Car considerations

posted by Jeff | Friday, June 20, 2014, 12:32 PM | comments: 0

It's hard to believe it, but I think we're closing in on the time to replace Diana's car. As far as I can tell, there's nothing particularly wrong with it, or danger of some imminent failure, but it is over six years old. It actually has less than 40,000 miles on it, too. Maybe my concern is that the harsh Cleveland winters set something horrible in motion in terms of corrosion, and I want to head that off. Maybe I just don't like having older cars.

I know what I don't like, and that's having a car payment. We're only half way through our loan on the Prius V. I generally hate the expense of cars, and I'm not much of a car guy, so that makes me like spending money on them even less. Still, there's something to be said for something that is reliable and always works.

My best friend started dating a guy with a Tesla Model S. I'm not going to lie, I've been infatuated with that car since it was announced. Normally I associate expensive cars with people who worry about status, but that's not really the case with that car. Pretentious people may buy them, but mostly I think the market is nerds, gadget addicts and people who believe Elon Musk is like Tony Stark. (And yes, my friend's boyfriend is not pretentious at all.) I could probably buy one of these cars if I saved the way I did for our house, and it would make me happy, but this would fly in the face of my "experiences not stuff" modus operandi that I try to adhere to. I could go on dozens of cruises for that money.

I'm still interested in electric cars though, which got me to thinking about the Nissan Leaf again. The one I rented about a year ago was a lot of fun to drive. With its limited range, of course it's only good for in-town commuting, but I don't imagine that we would ever need both cars to be out on long distance trips at any given time. They have a lease deal right now where we could probably get the payment down close to zero with trade, but I'm not sure I would want to commit to three years. Last year they had a two-year that was more interesting.

The forthcoming 2015 Prius is interesting, if you believe the "spy photos" of the car that you can find on the Internet. They're doing a new drive train for it, and the rumors suggest that they can push 60 mpg out of it. The styling is a little more aggressive, though the overall shape won't change much, since that's part of what gives it such high fuel economy. It's probably kind of boring and safe, but I've been really happy with both of our Prii.

There's no real time frame we have to commit to, though obviously Diana's car isn't exactly appreciating in trade value. I'll be content to work something out this year.


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