Paul: $100,000 is a lot of money. Okay, maybe it’s not that much, but when it comes to buying cars, it’s a lot. You could buy 1 car with that kind of dough, but how far could I stretch it if I tried? I could buy a bunch of older used cars, certainly. But if I narrowed it to say, 3 to fit all my desires:

1—I’m fortunate to say I already own one of the cars in my dream $100K garage. It’s a silver 2004 Audi A4 Avant Ultrasport 3.0. Okay, you say, it’s a station wagon. Yeah, but this ain’t no ordinary wagon. It’s a sharp-looking, sporty little cargo carrier with Quattro all-wheel-drive, adequate space for people, comfortable for road trips, gets pretty good gas mileage for as much power as it has, and I’ve got space in the back for my snowboard or beach cooler or camping gear. At this point in my life, I don’t have kids or a dog, but I want to haul stuff, and pick up friends. It also works well as a car to drive every day to work. It’s small enough to fit in parking garage spaces, maneuver around parking lots, and big enough to carry groceries and gear. Slightly used, it’s $30K well spent.

2—Okay, I’m not much of a truck person, but I like them. I like the ability to haul even more/bigger stuff. (We Americans and our stuff.) I don’t quite need the cargo-hauling capacity of a pickup truck or a big SUV, but I may need to tow a boat or a trailer under 5000 pounds. I’d like the ability to truly go off-road. I’d like something with terrific build quality, lots of power, decent gas mileage, good resale value, true off-highway ability, fairly compact on the outside, but can still haul a fair amount of cargo in the back when I fold the seats down. And it has to look good. All I can think of is one car that fits these requirements. The Porsche Cayenne S. Now, before you start throwing stones, let me explain. The only thing the Cayenne shares with the VW Touareg is the chassis. Everything else, from seats and interior to engine and drivetrain, is Porsche specific. The Cayenne S has 340 hp, it’s still fairly compact in exterior dimensions, and most importantly, it has true off-road ability. Porsche built these things to take extreme temperatures and conditions. It can cruise at speeds above 130, and then turn its wheels to dirt and rocks. As far as styling goes, it’s polarizing, I agree. Yes, some things I would change. But overall, the designers did a great job combining corporate Porsche styling with a large vehicle. A good used 2004 Cayenne S is about $32K. Done.

3—My third choice is easy. I want a sports car. Something that is so much fun to drive, I never want to stop. I’ve got $38K left to spend. It has to be striking in design, beautiful to look at, reliable, quick, corners/handles amazingly well, and affordable in insurance costs. Insert a Lotus Elise here. I think I’ll take one in Red. Or Solar Yellow. It’s a car that grabs your eyeballs, refuses to let them go, and absolutely beats them into submission with its good looks. It looks like a whole bunch of fun standing still. Just wait ‘till you drive one…..

Tell us about your $100k garage.

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