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Keeping a car for 300k +

I’ve had several cars last way over 300K. One brand was a ‘luxury car’ (a Saab). The other Saab lasted 240. They were fun to drive spinning that turbo. It required maybe some more maintenance than the others but never left me stranded - a car similar to a BMW in handling but uglier. Owners used to say that a 900 is so ugly it is pretty. I liked its quirkiness.

Thinking about it, I guess the Volvo was considered ‘luxury’ but that was actually one of the worst cars I’ve owned so that’s not a luxury car by my standards. There was always something that needed doing on that thing. It didn’t make it to 200K where all the others did. Most the other cars I’ve owned have all been cheap driving appliances.
I’m partial to Subaru and have had at least one since 84. They’ve all passed many 'a BMW sitting on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck and they outperform them in snow. It is /the/ car of New England. Great brand, in general.

Along with Whitey, it is all in the maintenance - not in the price you pay for the car.

Infiniti, Lexus and Acura do not have worst quality than their other branded counterparts. Many times they actually have similar if not better quality than the branded counterpart. My qualm with economy cars are the cheaper materials including cushioning and hard plastics used. They also have lessor rides which only degrades with age and leads to rattles which annoy me to no end.

I get sick of economy cars(Civics) around 150k but they kept going. I sold two perfectly running. However my old luxury cars (Acura Legends) I clung onto into the 250k-300k range as they were pleasant albeit rusty.

The line is getting closer between luxury cars and normal cars for sure. Anyway the marketplace consumer demand has pretty much abandoned the economy car. The new offerings are quite nice. I would definitely compare a used cared for luxury car vs loaded regular car in my next purchase.

For my SUV needs I choose a used Acura MDX over a used Honda pilot. The difference was very clear even though they shared platforms. I did however give up on third row room.

It seems like it would be more prudent to replace cushioning than replace a car, but if a luxury car is what you prefer, and you can afford it, it’s a perfectly reasonable choice. My main objection is to the assertion that luxury cars can be owned and operated as inexpensively as economy cars.

When I compare Edmunds’ true cost to own estimates of the MDX and the Pilot, I find a difference of $18,964. If you can repair worn out components like seat cushions and plastic body parts for less than 18 grand, you come out ahead financially with the Pilot. But who am I to judge? Economic considerations aren’t the biggest consideration for everyone, and if you can afford to spend an extra 18 grand, and it makes you happy, go for it.

Sincerely, I am not questioning your preference for luxury brands. I only question the assertion that there is no cost difference.

I’d like an Acura TSX at some point…Definitely no hurry.


The price difference I ran into with a 4yr old used Acura MDX vs Honda Pilot of same year AND equivalent level of equipment was $4k-5k. The MPG is similar however MDX requires premium. Not much difference otherwise maintenance wise as they share the same DNA.

I checked TCO over 5 years and recall about $5k over the life of vehicle which means the cost to own happens to be similar with exception of the acquisition price.

@Accordion Acura TSX is a real nice car. It also is built to a higher standard IMHO over in Japan. We got a TSX wagon as a loaner during recall work and definitely would recommend it.

Splurge and drive a luxury car if you’re going to drive the same car for a decade or more. The nominal extra cost is totally worth it. Parts are a little more expensive, labor is the same (never go to a dealer), and 93 gas will cost you like $300 more a year.

For these reasons, you can buy a used luxury car for less than a Japanese car, and get a hell of a lot more car.

I think 300K is within reach. Good for you for keeping your car in good repair. I think you can do this all on your own. You don’t need no help from me. But I can offer three tips that might prove useful as a way of reinforcing what you are already doing.

  • Continue to follow the maintence schedules in the owner’s manual. Check the fluid levels frequently. Keep an eye on the console when you are driving to see if any usual warning lights are coming on or thecoolant temp is going up higher than normal. When you first turn the key to “on”, before you start the engine, check to see all the usual lights are lighted on the console. Don’t skimp on any of the scheduled maintenance items. When something is due, have it done right away.

  • Avoid accidents and drive gently. Avoid fast accelerations, fast cornering, and fast stopping whenever possible. Keep your eyes looking ahead to avoid hitting pot holes and other road obstructions, esp at higher speeds. Slow down on bumpy roads. Avoid long periods of high speed (over 75 mph) driving, especially in hot weather.

  • Park in the shade when away from home and park in an unheated garage when at home. Wash the car with just plain water by squirting it with a garden hose at least once a week. Try to do this hosing off just before you take it out for your drive to wherever you are going, so the excess water will get blown off by the wind.

For these reasons, you can buy a used luxury car for less than a Japanese car, and get a hell of a lot more car.

Or you can buy a Japanese Luxury car and get a lot more car with higher reliability.

People drive what they NEED. You can get a very comfortable mid to small car that will last 10+ years and several hundred thousand miles.

$300 … how are you calculating that??? A Luxury car is NOT going to get the gas mileage of a decent mid-size car. 5mpg and 25k miles/year will mean a lot more then $300/year.

Glad my 2- 2000 Accords didnt have no transmission problems,Wife finally traded the Red one on a 08 Civic, no problems,the green one is still going strong over 180k on it no transmission problems(both are automatics) of course the wife doesnt dog them either.Keep doing what you are doing ,you’ll make it-Kevin

My brother has a chevy pickup with abouy 445,000 miles. had to rplace the trans when it ran out of fluid. Noticed it was jerkong as he drove down the highway.!! maintence not much.
Still running strong but I checked compression and found 1 cyl is low