The WRX did very well in this calculator whipping session
"What kind of car are you interested in Mr Ball?"
"Well, I want something with a little bit more power than my current car but something thats cheap to own and fun to drive so I'd prefer rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. And I would strongly prefer a 4 door, and a hatchback if possible."
Rear wheel drive
Oh dear. I realized I was going to need to sit down, have a nice cup of tea and make a spreadsheet. I went wrong the first time getting all caught up on fuel economy and purchas price as the deciding factor. I realized that fuel economy is only one part of the cost of ownership. Then my head started hurting, so I had another cup of tea. Then math happened.
I gathered up all the cars that are giving me akward boners when I see them in public. Then I worked out a lot of numbers on my spreadsheet. I added some more numbers and a chart, and I think I have this all figured out.
Lets start with my list of contenders (based on factors such as style, performance and fizzy feelings in my gooch).
2012 V6 Mustang
2012 Focus ST (not available yet)
Hemi Charger - 2006-2008 ish
Imprezza WRX - 2006-2009 ish - hatchback
BMW 328 - 2006 ish
Jag XJ8 - 2006 ish
Infiniti G25 - 2011
Infiniti G35 - 2008 ish
Infiniti G37 - 2009 ish
Mustang GT 2012
Some obvious compromises in there - Mustangs, obviously not 4 doors. But if I go coupe its my favorite choice, I think it offers the best bang for the buck performance wise.
Focus ST not rear wheel drive, but I think it might be fun enough to enjoy it. I could add the mazdaspeed3 but I think the focus will get better gas mileage. The rest are 4 door cars, RWD or AWD.
Adding fuel and depreciation together I get ownership cost (in dollars per month) - simple