I am coming up to a time that many of us must face. My son is about to turn 16 and will need to have his own ride. Currently, we own a 2012 Toyota Highlander that my wife drives, and a 2013 Honda CR-V that I drive. I am currently scheming to dedicate the CR-V to my son and then my daughter as they begin driving, then buy something for me to enjoy driving for a while. My sights are set on a used 2008-2012 BMW 328 that is in the 70,000 mile range. I have always wanted something like this, but would not be able to afford a new one.
So here is my quandary: my wife likes that the CR-V is well rated on safety and that it is not too powerful of a car. But, she and others think the car is too new.
I’ve told epic tales before. Specifically, I’ve told you a story or two about the times I’ve spent at EPIC Hotel in Miami. In your author’s humble opinion, it’s the best hotel in America. The combination of the brilliant customer service, the enormous suites overlooking Biscayne Bay, the rooftop pool, the jazz club, and the best Japanese steakhouse anywhere makes EPIC, well, epic, even before all the kids were saying it.
I stayed at EPIC this past week while working in Miami, and there was only one thing about my week that didn’t fit the description: my rental car — a 2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.
In a place where everything about the experience is finely crafted and authentically brilliant, the Trailhawk is that awkward kid who’s trying too hard to fit in.
Right up there with I wish they’d make a manual diesel wagon in brown, it’s among the most played-out tropes on the Internet.
There just aren’t any bad cars anymore.
This is generally followed by some recollection of a Saturn of the early ’90s that had a faulty engine, or perhaps some Brezhnev-era Soviet masterpiece. Blah blah blah nostalgia blah blah A Christmas Story blah blah. Enough.
There are plenty of bad cars out there, but the majority of people haven’t driven enough of them to know it. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I have. And I’m here to break the bad news to you: some cars suck. Maybe even the one in your very driveway.
I recently started shopping for my first new car in a decade. I have looked at Infiniti, Audi, VW, Cadillac, Genesis, Tesla and BMW.
Something that really stuck out about the process was the different dealership experiences. The quality and happiness factor of each dealership seemed to coincide with the price of their cars.
For the past decade my daily driver has been a 2007 F-150, now sold. It’s time for something lighter and smaller to drive around the city in, not having enough need of a truck any longer to warrant keeping one. As an example of the drastic downsizing we were wanting to do, initially we’d ordered an Escape, believing it to be large enough to meet the need.
When that didn’t work out as planned, we revisited the decision and decided to order an Edge instead. The extra couple of inches in every dimension makes for a much more livable vehicle for two large people and a dog, without sacrificing much suburban city maneuverability. Neither of us liked driving the Explorer much, and we don’t need the interior space offered by the Flex. We’ve decided on a fully loaded AWD model with all the latest electronic gadgetry as this will be another decade long ownership experience.
So the problem isn’t so much what vehicle to buy, but what engine, as the Edge is available with three.
For the last two years, my daily driver has been a used 2006 Audi A6 Avant (bought outright in cash). Living in Minnesota and attending college in a rural part of the state, it’s the ultimate vehicle. It swallows 4 people and gear for a spring break Chicago vacation, gets through the snowstorms, and has heated seats and steering wheel. It even averages 24 mpg!
However, its mileage has reached the point where it’s no longer economically feasible to hold onto (repair-wise) going into the spring of 2017. I’m trying to hold off until used car prices fall, because of lease returns. With a budget of $15,000, I’m hoping to get five-plus years of use out of my next vehicle. My search has gravitated towards larger vehicles that are kinda low-volume players (with a slightly better reliability record) like the Lincoln MKT, Toyota Sequoia, Lexus LS/GX, Volvo S80, etc. Something bigger and a little more cushy. So, what do you recommend?
That’s right! Your friend, Bark M., is going live on Facebook at 12:00 p.m. EST today. This is your chance to ask me anything you want. We can talk about cars, clothing, music, the upcoming NFL season … whatever floats your boat.
If you’re not already following us on Facebook (and God knows we’ve been asking you to do it pretty blatantly for the last several months), then go ahead and head on over to our Facebook page and subscribe so you’ll know every time that we go live in the future. Who knows — if it goes well, maybe we’ll do it again!
If you don’t want to do that, hit the jump for some embedded live video goodness.
The lease on my BMW M235i runs out next summer and I’m looking at options for my next car. I’m mostly considering the Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, and Volkswagen Golf R, but also the Ford Fiesta ST (since you’ve praised your FiST so much) and Ford Mustang GT (because it’s a Mustang?).
I don’t really like the Golf R because it’s the only car on this list that doesn’t have Recaro seats and, well, it looks almost identical to the much cheaper, baseline Golf.
I contacted my local Ford dealer about the RS and they urged me to put down a $2,000 deposit since they don’t get many units and they’re selling fast.
My hesitation: I’ve never really driven a manual car outside of iRacing (online racing simulator) and an hour I had with a Corolla with 170,000 km on the clock, so I’m not sure that I’d like to drive a manual every day.
What do you think would be my best course of action?
Alex, my friend, sit down. We need to talk.
My wife and I live in New York City. For most people, this would mean no car, but our neighborhood isn’t on subway lines, necessitating wheels for errands, and we often leave the city on day trips. Our car – a ’98 Jetta – has needed nearly $2,000 in repairs over the past 18 months (and repairs are necessary, at an increasing rate), so it might be time to move on. We both agree that the best car for us is a Mercedes-Benz GLK Bluetec (yes, we test drove the previous generation), but that’s more for when we plan on moving out of the city next summer. We sorta need something until then. What are our options?
It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year and a half since I said “I do” to Ford Credit and the 2015 Ford Fiesta ST. In that time, we’ve gone autocrossing, battled tractor trailers, bought a whole lot of groceries, and even got rid of the FiST’s big brother.
However, it’s been a little while since I’ve given you an update on TTAC’s first Fiesta, and as I made my eighteenth electronic payment on it this week, now seems as good a time as any to let you know how the little four-door is doing.
Spoiler alert: it’s still the best car I’ve ever owned.