managing editor mike fazioli is in charge of c/d's money. he manages our budget, approves our expense reports, and pays our contributors. so when he came to us with a car-shopping request, the window shop crew sprung into action.
faz—we call him faz and you can, too—needs a car for his three kids to share. his youngest is still in high school, and the other two are home from college for the foreseeable future due to covid-19. and being the great father and generous soul that he is, he'd like to buy a vehicle for them to drive to school, work, and maybe even socially distanced keg parties. faz set the budget at $4000 and asked for something safe, reliable, and near his home in michigan. he also requested all-wheel drive since the dirt roads around his house aren't plowed in the winter, but it's not a deal breaker.
our choices run the gamut from truly boring to weird and boring. contributor jonathon ramsey chooses a leather-lined first-gen audi allroad that appears to be well maintained, but reliability fears sideline it. deputy testing director k.c. colwell digs up an all-wheel-drive passat wagon that looks good but may have too much horsepower for senior editor joey capparella to accept. watch all the way to the end—or skip ahead to the last few minutes—and you'll see what may very well be the nicest ford aerostar in existence plus a commercial that you won't be able to get out of your head.