Question of the Day: Are You Ready To Buy Small?

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
question of the day are you ready to buy small

Just paid $4.37 per gallon this morning for premium. Oy. While patiently waiting for (another) $60 to leave my wallet a lady pulled up in a Smart Roadster. I haven't driven a Smart yet, but from I'm told, it blows. However, it really doesn't weigh very much. A few days ago, a dear friend called me and asked if she and her one-year-old should buy a used Audi. Let me rephrase that: she wanted to buy a used A4. I tried explaining that when new, the A4 sold for three times what a Mazda Protege went for. Today the Mazda is worth more. She wasn't hearing it. I then touched on the fact that she could well be paying $400 a month in bizzaro repair bills, like CV joints and a new electrical system. And the (relatively) poor mileage. "But Jonny, it's so cute! My friend has one– I love it" I finally talked her out of it by mentioning that the auto-dimming rearview mirror will eventually leak mercury all over her infant. That worked. Long story short, she's got about $15k to spend. I told her to get a Honda Fit. "Oh no! My friend says they're death traps." Based on what? Her friend– a TV actor– test drove one and thought it was a death trap. From the test drive. Long story short, even though she wants a clean, high mileage car, she ain't going small. Because of her baby. You?

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4 of 86 comments
  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on May 30, 2008

    If I had to get a new car today, I'd look hard at a Civic. If the Fit got about 10-15 mpg more than the current Civic, without being a hybrid, I'd look at that. I currently drive an Accord.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jun 03, 2008

    We're having a baby in August We got a new Civic SI. It has all those fancy ass curtain airbags, reinforced steel doors etc - the nanny government has essentially regulated extra weight and safety into the car for us. we get 26 mpg city, 32 highway. It swallows everything I own without complaint (no problem eating 4 wheels with tires to take to autocross). small can be safe and efficient.

  • Ricky Spanish Ricky Spanish on Jun 03, 2008

    I just want to add that "I'm having a baby so I need an SUV" is one of the most retarded things I've ever heard, yet so many people believe it. Car seats fit in the back of a regular car. Unless you have a brood, you don't need an SUV. My family of 4 did fine in a BMW 5-Series and Mercury Sable.

  • Beelzebubba Beelzebubba on Jun 10, 2008

    I am both amused and enraged, simultaneously, when idiots (for instance, TV actors who test drive $15k cars) state their ill-informed opinions as authoritative fact. The inevitable result is that folks like us, who actually spend time researching and educated ourselves on a topic before advising others, get to first 'un-do' their damage before actually offering useful information. Even more ridiculous, some still won't heed the good advice even with hard facts (crash test data, CR reviews, etc). I guess they deserve what they get! One of my favorite quotes seems appropriate here- "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak out and remove all doubt."- Abe Lincoln TV actors- take note!