The Swiss Army Knife:
'During the late 1880s, the Swiss Army decided to purchase a new folding pocket knife for their soldiers. This knife was to be suitable for use by the army in opening canned food and disassembling the Swiss service rifle, the Schmidt-Rubin M1889, which required a screwdriver for assembly.
In January 1891, the knife received the official designation Modell 1890. The knife had a blade, reamer, can-opener, screwdriver, and grips made out of dark oak wood that was later partly replaced with ebony wood.
The design of the knife and its versatility have both led to worldwide recognition' - wikipedia
Not sure what the geographical breakdown of the jalopnik community is, but I'm sure there's A LOT of you who live urban areas.
Chances are, if you're in a city and on this site, you love cars. Having a car in a city is great for spur of the minute escapes, but mostly its an EXPENSIVE hobby/luxury. Besides the car cost, higher insurance rates, and maintence, parking alone can range from $300-1000/month.
Many of us cant afford our own private urban warehouse garage like Jerry Seinfeld has under his town house for his Porsche collection. So to feed your automobile need, most of us are stuck with choosing 1 vehicle. That vehicle needs to be "swiss army knife", something that can do everything in order to justify rationale for having one.
So for $30K or less, you'd need to be able to haul you friends & gear "comfortably", abilitiy to carry equipment for activites Biking, skiing, kayaking, etc? and be "FUN" to drive (I'll leave "fun" open to interpretation, does not have to be ripping apex's on the track) & If you're in the north, you'll probably deal with some elements.
So what's the best the best "swiss army knife" of a car you can get?
My initial thoughts were:
2) B7 S4 Avant
3) VW Toureg V10/cayenne Turbo/ Range Sport
4) 996 C4s or turbo (albeit a stretch, but would love to see one with big thule box and racks)
5) Wrangler Unlimited 6 speed (but everyone and their little brother is buying these and I dont think you can get a good one under $30K)
But what do you guys think?