Honda Accord Coupe vs. Ford Mustang GT vs. Audi A5

Ask AutoGuide No. 41

Ask AutoGuide is our community outreach program. Drivers in need of car-buying assistance call on us and we respond with a helping hand, a kind word or a stern warning; if they’re lost we can provide a map and some direction. Usually we recommend sensible sedans, handy hatchbacks or miserly mini-models, but this week we get to have a little fun.

All work and no play makes Chris a very dull boy. He’s an enthusiast that’s looking for a little fun. Sure, he could take the bus downtown and visit any gentlemen’s club of his choosing, but a new automobile is probably cheaper than partially financing the college education of a dancer named Avalon. Plus, who wants to walk around with a fat wad of George Washingtons in their pocket? Paying with a cashier’s check is much easier.

Stardust Unicorn Club

East-CoastWhen it comes to shopping, Chris has a generous budget of up to 40 grand, which gives him plenty of options. But what exactly does he want? Well, he’s not too sure.

Residing on America’s East Coast, decent all-weather traction is somewhat important to him but he’s still wide open to rear-wheel drive (winter tires FTW). Additionally, a backup camera and navigation system would be nice but rims that span at least 18 inches are a must. Finally, the transmission is a deal-breaker as well; he cannot live without a manual gearbox and we salute him for that. If we had 21 guns they’d all be pointed to the sky and fired simultaneously.

Giving this week’s installment of Ask AutoGuide a sense of multiculturalism, Chris is totally impartial when it comes to brand and it seems he isn’t too concerned about body style, either. Corresponding via e-mail he brought up several Lexus IS models as possible options but unfortunately none of them can be had with a manual, so scratch that. In any event, here are a few recommendations.