Old Honda or Newer Truck?


#1

I’ve owned a 2001 Nissan Pickup for about 3 years now. It’s been fairly good - I replaced the Timing Belts and a leaky valve cover gasket ($1,000 total), but other than that, the ONLY maintence I do is routene (Oil, tires, etc…). I will add that there hasn’t been a DAY that it wouldn’t start for me. A VERY reliable truck.



However, As gas prices go up, the cost of owning this vehicle goes up as well. So, I have been looking at differnt older used cars. The one I have my eyes on is a 1997 Honda Del Sol - basicaly a honda Civic 2 seater with a hard top that can be stored in the trunk to become a convertable.



Gas mileage with this car is amazing and would improve an extra 10mpg in the city and up to 20mpg on the highway compared to my truck - saving me about 800+ bucks a year at the current gas prices.



So, my question is this: Should I keep the truck I own, expecting it to last a long time and have few repairs? OR should I gamble and buy a Honda Del Sol 1997 (w/civic engine) and expect it to have repairs, but to save money in the long run with the extra 800 bucks (or 1000 if gas goes to $5.00 per gallon) a year I will save?



I will add that I am totally a truck guy. I don’t like getting down into cars. However, ultimatelly, I’m money motivated as I’m saving for a very expensive masters degree. So, the more money I can save the better! And the Honda Del Sol has cought my eye since about 2 months after I bought my truck and began to feel the pains of higher gas prices. Reviews of it (honda) here @ cartalk.com are all 9 out of 10!



Any suggestions? Keep the newer truck or Buy the older Honda?




#2

Look deeper at your $800/year cost “savings”. First you have to invest in a this vehicle which is about 2-4 years of fuel. Beyond that you have to register, insure, maintain and repair this second vehicle which is more money subtracted from your “savings”. I think you are in the negatives now and have the hassle of two car ownership.

Sorry to ruin the potential relationship but the cost “savings” does not hold any water.


#3

I love the DelSols and wish they still made them.

However, if you’re a truck guy and your only goal is to save money you’ll be making a mistake. You’re far better to keep a known reliable and paid for vehicle than to replace it with an 11 year old vehicle of unknown history.


#4

Let me rephrase my question - I’m not going to own 2 cars. I want just one: either the Del Sol or the Truck.


#5

Keep the truck. Pass on the DelSol.

You’re an admitted truck guy. You have a 7 year old paid for very reliable truck. You’re considering replacing it with an 11 year old vehicle if unknown history that you’re probably not going to like as much. The money that you expect to save just might be eaten up in repairs.

I’d gamble only because I like DelSols. But it doesn’t sound like the right choice for you. Is there some other way to save money, like a small used motorcycle for commuting?


#6

Off-hand, I’d say if you don’t need the truck (which I’m guessing you don’t, since you’re considering doing away with it) to go ahead and do it-- I wouldn’t consider a '97 Honda much more of a gamble than an '01 Nissan P/U. Both are very solid vehicles, although you will naturally want to carefully scrutinize it before you buy it.

However, if this is a strictly financial decision, the Del Sol might not be your best option. Del Sol’s are very fun cars, and consequently they generally sell for more than other small cars. A Civic from the same era would do just as well, but would likely be cheaper. Another possibility that you should really consider is a similarly aged Geo. I know, I know… the indignity of it… but a 10-15 year old Geo Prism or Metro will get great mileage, will be very reliable, and will cost a great deal less than a Honda will. That way, you can either keep your truck or apply the remaining proceeds from its sale towards your master’s degree.


#7

I guess the question is:

  1. Can you get enough out of the truck to pay for the Honda?
  2. Do you anticipate the need for a truck in your near future?
  3. How much is the insurance? 2 seaters cost more even thought this one is essentially a Civic mechanically. Whould the insurance be more than your savings?
    Also, is the Honda manual or automatic tranny? Small automatics’s require more maintanence than manuals and can be costly to have rebuilt.

#8

I’ve had thew same problem when younger. Didn’t want two cars at the time, liked truck utility but poor milage. Solution (short term) compact car that can tow 1000 lbs and get a light utility trailor or rent as needed.

In current similar situation.My wife convinced me to get rid of my old beloved truck and take her new 4Runner and get a compact for her for better milage. Picked up a Thule aluminum utility trailor that only weighs 220 lbs.but rate to carry 2000 lbs/. That can be towed by both. Cheapest way around your problem.


#9

Well, the Del Sol is a chick car, no doubt about that. You have a compact pickup, I doubt if the fuel mileage difference between the two is going to be as much as you think it’s going to be. No offence, but I have to chuckle when people are complaining about the poor mileage of a small pickup. I have three cars; my daily driver (Mustang GT w/ supercharger) gets about 13 around town, maybe 18 on the highway. My Bronco gets about 9 around town and about 14 on the highway, and my TR6 gets about 18. In my opinion anything over 15 MPG is pretty thrifty.


#10

“Well, the Del Sol is a chick car, no doubt about that…”

So, that means the Del Sol will have more “pickup” than the truck!


#11

No offense, but you’re comparing in the discussion of mileage a supercharged Mustang GT, a TR6, and a Bronco? No wonder you think 15mpg is good!

Modern 4-door sedans like the Corolla and Civic get in the high 30s. My 2005 Corolla got an honest 38 mpg highway. My Scion tC gets an honest 30 mpg highway if I go easy, 26 combined. Heck, my 1989 Toyota pickup got 27 mpg!

The DelSol is, under the sheetmetal, a stock Civic, albiet an earlier vintage. I’d be surprised if it got less than 30mpg highway.


#12

I know 15 MPg is pretty poor, I was just being a little facetious :slight_smile: , I just demand instant gratification when I step on the gas. When you think about it 400 HP and 18 MPG is more efficent than 150 HP and 30 MPG.


#13

Sorry, I took you literally.

Me, I’m happy just to have an open roof with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair…heck, at my age I’m happy just to HAVE my hair! And in NH we’re happy just to SEE the sun!

Happy motoring.