Ask The Best&Brightest: Is Vodka's Future Just A Mirage?

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
ask the best brightest is vodkas future just a mirage

Over the past five years, my home has often resembled the fabled Island Of Misfit Toys, with various people coming and going as fate decreed. That would make me King Moonracer, then, and it has made the infamous Vodka McBigbra the island’s princess. In the near future, however, she’ll be moving out to spend more time with her family. This will reduce but not eliminate her ability to call on my fleet of random cars for backup when her well-traveled 2005 Hyundai Accent requires repair.

It’s new-car time, then. She has the ability and willingness to buy a new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE with continuously variable transmission — having driven a stick-shift M35 truck during her stint in the Army, Vodka’s done with clutch pedals 4 lyfe, yo. I’m inclined to agree with her proposed purchase, John Pearley Huffman’s unfriendly Times review aside.

But surely you have other opinions.

The approximate requirements are:

  • Well under fifteen grand out the door
  • Warranty lasting as long as the payments
  • Automatic transmission
  • Air conditioning
  • And that’s it

We’ve looked at a few low-mileage Accents, but the used-car market is feverishly hot right now thanks to the Obamaconomy/Boehnerdoggle’s wholesale relocation of the middle class to a buy-here-pay-here lot. As much as this woman has suffered in our relationship already, I don’t care to extend that suffering with the acquisition of an Aveo. The Fiesta’s DCT makes me nervous.

I honestly don’t know. The Mirage seems like a decent deal. She rarely drives on the freeway and is physically small (5’5″ and 115 pounds) so the packaging of Mitsubishi’s Thai takeout seems reasonable. What say you? Should we just head over to the Mitsu dealership on Monday and make it so?

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2 of 112 comments
  • Master Baiter Master Baiter on Jul 05, 2014

    Nice headlights.

  • ShoogyBee ShoogyBee on Jul 06, 2014

    If she *has* to go new, then I'd go with a Mazda 2 or a Nissan Versa Note. If one can get a Sentra for around $15K, then that would be a reasonable contender as well. It sounds like the Mazda 2 can be had for hundreds, if not a thousand or two, less than either of the Nissans. Just over a year ago, I bought a CPO 2010 Camry LE (4 cyl, power driver's seat, moonroof) with 31K miles for $16K even. It was in perfect condition and if I had to do it all over again, I'd go for that Camry over any of the aforementioned vehicles in a heartbeat. But again, if having a new car under a full warranty is that important to her, then the Mazda and Nissans would be reasonable options.

  • VoGhost What to name a car for people insecure about the size of their 'manhood'? Magnum. What do name a car for people insecure about their orientation? STR8. Nobody -- and I mean nobody -- knows their customer base like FCA/Stellantis.
  • VoGhost Finally! The minivan that Porsche owners have been clamoring for all these years?
  • 2ACL Random fact: despite cratering sales and discontinuation, the 200 is regularly featured in national top 10 lists for catalytic converter theft.
  • MaintenanceCosts The first-gen SRT8s look badass, there's just no two ways about it. A set of wheels from the same-year 300C SRT8 would make this into an impossibly good-looking car. But as a car rather than an object of sculpture, the second gen is so much better, even if it isn't a wagon.
  • 2ACL In addition to having two decades of wear and tear, several of these old Hondas & Acuras (namely the V6s) also have transmission design defects that would likely send them to the crusher if they manifested. I wonder how many of these recalls are still open because they're attached to cars in some state of inoperability.