Here's my update: I really need to be writing my papers for class, instead of doing this blog.
Thursday, I finally decided on a car. I'd been visiting a VW dealership here in El Paso since Memorial Day trying to decide what car to trade in my trusty old Dodge Dakota for.
I had a list of features from my wife and oldest daughter: it needed leather seats, four doors, and a sun-roof, minimum. I really wanted a Golf/Rabbit hatchback, manual transmission because it's fun to drive, diesel fuel because of fuel economy, and enough storage space to get all my stuff back from El Paso to Iowa.
I had to compromise: I found a 2006 VW Jetta that was almost perfect: more space than the Rabbit, manual transmission, sunroof, and four doors, but no leather seats. The downside is that it's a sedan.
I'm putting a spoiler on the back to make it a little more sporty. It has almost the same wheelbase as the Rabbit and it feels tight - very fun to drive.
I love it.