Window Shop with Car and Driver


Scott Mosher, a former C/D staffer, needs a new used car for his daily commute, so naturally, he thought to ask us for help. We’re flattered. And up for the job.

Mosher’s list of past cars reads like a true enthusiast’s dossier: He has owned a BMW 135i, a Ford Focus ST, a Honda Civic Si, and an Acura RSX. He wants his next car to be just as fun to drive and also reasonably quick. He gave us a budget of $7500 and asked that we narrow our search to listings near his Los Angeles home. Then the Window Shop crew leapt into action.

Hoping that Mosher would appreciate a practical crossover with a turbocharged heart, senior editor Joey Capparella suggests a Nissan Juke with a manual transmission. Capparella tries hard to sell it, but the rest of us aren’t convinced.

Contributor Jonathon Ramsey offers up a real sporty choice: a first-generation Porsche Boxster. He points out that a prior owner replaced the engine and fixed the dreaded intermediate shaft (IMS) bearing issue, but we suspect this cheap Porsche will be costly when it comes to maintenance.

Associate editor Annie White’s choice of a Fiat 500 Abarth meets the budget and combines the practicality of the Juke with the fun of a Porsche Boxster, but the group can’t help but worry about the future reliability of her Italian hot hatch. White is more concerned with the origins of Abarth’s scorpion logo than our jabs, though.

We have fewer concerns about the quality of contributor John Pearley Huffman’s first-generation Mazdaspeed 3, but the cosmetic condition of this Cosmic Blue Mica car makes us wonder about how well the previous owner cared for the 252-hp turbo four.

The last car presented comes from deputy editor Tony Quiroga. His desperate pitch for a low-mileage, garage-kept Nissan 350Z convertible doesn’t go as planned despite his efforts to sell a sun-filled California dream.

We’re certainly used to people asking for advice and then ignoring it, but is that what Mosher will do? Check in next week to see if he listened to us.

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