Europe's outrageous fuel costs and choked roadways have long demanded the compact maneuverability of the Sportback -- immortalized in countless films as the vehicle of choice for drivers joyfully fleeing Interpol's clutches. Now that LA's gas and traffic problems are worse than ever, hook yourself up with the best of the class: the Audi A3.
The A3's a compact, 5-door number that merges clean, athletic lines with everyday practicality -- like an NFL running back who's also man enough to help out with the groceries. As for performance, the A3 packs 250hp, and'll move you from zero to 60 in under six seconds (faster than it takes you to identify whether that song's bass line is introducing a classic about "pressure", or some ditty about "ice babies"). All that power's kept on the road with the storied quattro system -- the first 4-wheel-drive for compacts, it's been helping Audi win grueling rallies since the '80s, a pedigree that makes it overly capable of conveying you back and forth from the pancake house.
Of course all this'd mean nothing if juicing up the A3 cost an arm, a leg, and a kidney, but the A3's also equipped with turbo-charged FSI direct injection technology, giving it superlative fuel efficiency. So, check out Audi's site and test-drive your A3 ASAP -- you can even pretend you're being chased by Interpol, as long as you obey all speed limits, and refrain from jumping over a canal and knocking the hat off a startled gondolier.
Check out SoCalAudiDealers.com for a dealer near you, and take advantage of 0.9% APR, financing that'll bring this beast to well within your reach.