So my Jeep in in the shop again for repairs and I am looking at potential replacements online. 1st problem: My needs contradict each other. I like a small fuel-efficient manual transmission car for commuting, but I want to get a boat in the future. Boating apparently is an extraordinarily expensive hobby, once you factor in the tow vehicle, etc. However, I’d like to get out and enjoy the water a few times before the apocalypse comes. ( Every time I put the news on, it confirms my fears that the apocalypse is nigh, time is short, better do any fun stuff you want to do soon before its too late.)
My original plan was to buy a Honda Fit for commuting and a Toyota Tundra for a tow / camping vehicle. Being “Frugal”, I have to concede I don’t drive enough to justify “two” nice vehicles, one of which will be sitting on the driveway depreciating and deteriorating at any given time.
Today I was looking at Toyota Tundras on the Toyota website. Seemingly 648 different ways to configure a pickup truck and I cannot get the combination of features and color I want. Pssshhttt! And $40k+ price tag, once you figure in all the add ons: (You want tires on that truck?).
I guess everybody has their favorite truck. Consumer Reports ranks the Tundra head-and-shoulders above the rest for reliability. For $40k+ I expect and demand the best in reliability. My mechanic strongly recommends the Dodge Ram, but based on the fact that nobody in my family has ever had a good experience with a Chrysler product, I wouldn’t trust a Dodge, although I guess he would know something based on what comes through his shop.
A lot of people here seem to be impressed with the new Ford F-150’s with the aluminum content, but my view is: Let someone else be the guinea pig. If all those trucks start to break in half in 6 or 8 years, let it happen to somebody else, not me.
Another problem is that the auto sales industry is geared to cater to the most shallow and short-sighted amongst us. Nobody wants to give you a price, its always, “RENT( lease) one for $xxx/month.” or, $“X” amount cash back" or “call dealer for price”. Yeah. A rational and logical buyer is frustrated at every turn.
I guess I better buy something soon before automation / overcomplication takes over. I don’t like all this drive-by-wire, throttle-by-wire crap cars have nowadays. What happens when the computer shorts out and floors it? Isn’t that part of what caused those runaway Toyotas a few years ago? Didn’t one of the automakers recently have a recall regarding those accident-avoidance / automatic-braking systems where the car would automatically and without warning slam on the brakes because the sonar would mistake guardrails for an obstruction in the road? (I can’t pay attention to everything that happens, but I seem to recall hearing something about this in the news).
Other features I don’t want include built-in navigation / OnStar type systems (Big Brother tracking your every move), or the gotchas like free trials to Serious XM radio (stay in your pocket for 9.99 a month for life). Speaking of “life”, do the dealers in your area advertise these “Customer For Life” programs? Sounds like a prison sentence to me, (we’re gonna stay in your wallet, for the rest. . . of. . . your. . . LIFE! hahahahahaha!!!)
One more problem with used vehicles, especially Toyotas and Hondas, is they hold their value too well. If a 7 year old Fit with 75 - 90k miles costs $13 - $14k and a brand new one can be had for $19k (I’m talking on the road price), there’s really no reason to go used. It used to be you could get a 3 - 4 year old car with 40,000 - 60,000 miles for about 60% of the cost of a new one. I guess its obvious that its been a VERY LONG TIME since I went shopping for a vehicle.
No wonder in the end I always end up plunking down another $500 - $1000 to keep my old beaters going. Even my mechanic is starting to laugh at me, "Yeah, you’ve put a lot of money in that little car of yours. . . . " He should be grateful: when I finally do buy something new, I won’t be at his shop every other month or so spending my hard-earned money, and, and, arrrrgh!
Oh crap I forgot to ask a question. Anybody else want to rant and rave?