Sunday, November 07, 2004
Grant is a writer for the lobby group that represents Automotive dealerships, and whose link I have already posted. He also has his own blog here. He is also an independent consultant in various areas.
As an aside, I was thinking today, actually daydreaming, of what will be my next car. Like most who make no money, and are overly educated, my dreams are often ridiculous. They range from the bizarre (a nearly new original MINI from the gray market, the one's that the Rover company built), to the extreme (a BMW or Triumph motorcycle), to the absurd--for my pocketbook at least. (the new 320E Diesel Mercedes-Benz).
I drive a 2001 Nissan Sentra, with automatic transmission. It's a sturdy car, I drive the hell out of it, but I want something more exciting. This is probably several years off, but I'd like a car with similar MPG (26 City, 33 Highway) because I'm a guilt-ridden liberal, but with more horsepower. I don't want a MINI, because it's a little too small for my tastes, and seems girly, though I do think they are very cool. I can't really get a classic car, because of insurance costs, reliability issues, and fuel mileage issues. I'm also a terrible driver, so a small car will be more nimble. I think I've limited it down to a Mazda 3, specifically the 160 HP version, with DVD navigation and five speed manual transmission.
The fuel costs are similar, but a little worse than my current Nissan. The interior is WAAAAAAAAAAY higher quality (poor grammar, I know). It comes with DVD navigation, which is a total waste of money, but looks and sounds completely awesome for anyone who's seen it in action. It has significantly more power than my Nissan as well, which is a necessity. My Sentra is just too underpowered to get onto a freeway without flooring, and that is dangerous here in Los Angeles. Also the car looks pretty cool. It's four door, and relatively inexpensive to insure, and purchase.
I looked over the Civic Si, which had the same horsepower, with similar fuel efficiency, but it's a two door, and just didn't seem as high quality, though it was close. The Acura RSX looked good too, but the interior just didn't seem as well done as the 3's, and as a two door it would be more expensive to insure. Also once I get my career started, whatever that may be, I'd like to buy the loaded model of whatever model I buy, not the entry level version. Buying the entry level version just seems so nouveau riche, and an attempt at buying something out of reach, a very real American problem. I want something I can afford.
So it's settled. In three years, I will purchase a 2006-2008 Mazda 3, loaded, but without leather or sunroof. And a week from now I will change my mind again.