new VW sciroccoOh. My.

I’m shopping for a new car. The new gig requires me to commute about 23 miles to work (one way), and the Lumbering Beast (2005 Nissan XTerra SE) gets at most 18mpg on the highway. ON THE HIGHWAY. So, I’m car shopping… again.

If the new Scirocco were available here, I’d be on it like white on rice. Alas, it’s not. I am looking hard at the VW GTI MkV, though, especially now that it comes in the four-door flavor (since I am family-enabled). Fast as, nearly as cool as, and much more utilitarian than the MINI Cooper S I used to own (and regret — often painfully — trading in on the Lumbering Beast two years ago).

My other wanna buy is the new for ’09 (but coming out in late March) Subaru Forester. A nice redesign of a great car (I had one before the MINI). Also available in FAST version. The new Forester probably won’t have any special incentives or financing like VW or other makers these recession-soaked days.

I need decent gas mileage (24 city/30 hwy), preferably no Premium fuel requirement, driving fun, four doors, under 30K (and preferably under 26K).

Your thoughts?