2012 Volkswagen Golf 2.5 - 29k miles - $9500 - Los Angeles, CA

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The base Mk6 generation Golf is an overlooked gem of a car. Overshadowed by its TDI and GTI brethren, the lowly 2.5 variant may not get much attention, but its tried-and-true inline 5 cylinder engine delivers very good overall performance (170 hp) along with excellent reliability – in fact, it’s known to rack up 200k miles and more with relative ease.

Most examples of these Golfs, which dropped the 2.5 engine in 2015, are pretty well used up by now. But with not even 30k miles, this one is a rare exception. It looks like new inside and out, and the seller reports that full maintenance records are available, showing regular service.

This one has the 6-speed automatic gearbox, which may seem like a bummer when a manual was also available. However, the smooth-shifting slushbox suits the torquey motor quite nicely. And, let’s face it, if you really want the sporty version, you should probably jut get a GTI instead.

It also benefits from having some desirable options which are somewhat unusual on a base trim car, including heated seats, Bluetooth, and a moonroof.

The car is offered on craigslist HERE by a private seller in the LA area for $9500, which is a touch high even for a nice one. I think $8000 or under would be well bought.