By on June 4, 2015

 

Taylor-2013-Scion-FRS

Cobalt no more. (photo courtesy: autotopiala.com)

Brandon writes:

Sajeev,

I wrote to you a few years ago about my dilemma with a boring Cobalt. Now I’m writing because I have the opposite problem. I held onto the Cobalt for a wonderful year with no car payment before trading it in on a 2013 FR-S in April 2013. At the time, no one could talk sense into me. I wanted THAT car. While I still love it and by no means want to let it go, there are some issues with the practicality of sports car ownership. Those issues as follows:

  • The future Mrs. isn’t comfortable driving stick so we usually take her ’07 Camry with 210k on the clock wherever we go out in case she needs to drive.
  • Since buying the car we’ve added a 100 pound fur baby to the mix and he can’t get in my car.
  • Future Mrs. ships off to Northwestern in 9 month for prosthetic school and can’t take the dog with her.
  • Student debt is going to be a big issue for us upon her graduation in 2017. I’d like to have a reliable 4 door paid off before we think about having kids.
  • If I move away from the city center, I’m going to need a way to transport my bikes, which with the FR-S the answer seems to be to install a hitch. To that I say no.

The way I see it my two options are:

  1. Keep the FR-S and pray I never need to take the dog to the vet while she’s away at school or hope I can bum a ride from a relative close-by. Also, since I owe around $10k still, I won’t be dumping it just to bring on more debt. It will be paid off in 3 years if I only make minimum payments. Also, I’ll continue to live in the middle of downtown and pay through the nose for rent since cycling is my big hobby.
  2. Trade in the FR-S on a used near-luxury sedan, such as a Buick Regal Turbo or a Acura TSX that has already taken the depreciation hit and can be had in the $18k range. If I can get at least $14-15k on trade in, at most we’re talking financing $12k over 4 years but paying off sooner if able. I’m thinking those are worst case numbers based off my cruising TruCar and the like. My credit is great and interest rates seem low. I’m really just concerned about the beating at trade-in even though the car is in great shape.
  3. **Bonus Option** My dad says he’ll sell me his ’00 Silverado for $5000 and I can just leave it parked on the street downtown somewhere for emergencies unless I move back home.

I know this is a long post with lots of variables, but I think I can boil my question down to this: If the compromises I made for the FR-S are getting harder to continue to justify, what’s the best car option long term? Do I suck it up and hope for the best? Or do I hope there’s enough equity in the car to justify purchasing a Regal or TSX? A decision has to be made before she ships off to Chicago and I’m stuck without her lovely Camry to save the day.

Sajeev answers:

You are almost there! You got the “Bonus Option” all wrong. To recap:

  • Your life needs something cheap-ish; a used practical vehicle with someone else’s problems, to compensate for a certain future of financial debt!
  • You live “in the middle of downtown”, so I assume – unless you work in outside sales, real estate, etc – that public transit, bike parking, occasional use of taxis and/or a not impressive looking daily driver is totally acceptable.
  • You likely owe less on the FR-S than a sale at private party value, assuming mileage isn’t far beyond the norm.
    • And assuming you didn’t beat the shit out of it, or smoke like a chimney in it.
  • You owned a Cobalt at our last Piston Slap, so you aren’t an uppity elitist that can’t live without something luxurious and/or sporty.

Oh wait, it was a Cobalt SS. Perhaps you are a performance junky. I am, too, yet content with regular cab pickup ownership (after Bilsteins, short shifter and an ECU re-flash) to zip around town, doing the rear-wheel-steer thang while saving big money for hobbies. I care not about preconceived notions of what defines a performance-minded street vehicle. Or how that definition appeases the sensibilities of others.

So here’s the deal:

  • Buy Dad’s (presumably trusty) truck and recon whatever is needed for downtown commuter status.
  • Install Bilstein shocks for a modicum of RWD fun. I reckon it’s still on the original dampers which are hella toast.
    • Don’t make it pretty, don’t put an exciting stereo (install new speakers if needed) just leave it as a Q-ship.
  • Save even more money by parking on the street, no more renting spots!
  • Sell the FR-S for private party value, pay off the loan, make a few bucks.
  • Happily drive the truck and pocket the cash (and future savings) for your upcoming (?) wedding, a car to replace the Camry, expenses that come with fatherhood and/or down payment on a house.

Go ahead, Best and Brightest. You know I got this one all wrong, so give it to me!

 Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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132 Comments on “Piston Slap: Feelin’ Blue, FR-S?...”


  • avatar
    golden2husky

    No, you have right. Excellent advice, though someone who enjoys a sports car is not going to be thrilled with a truck. But it’s not like its forever.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    I don’t get it. I fit 100 lb. human children in my FR-S all the time. Why’s the canine so uncooperative?

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Me neither. When I met my wife, she had an 80 lb Golden/Chow mix who sat in the back seat of her Honda Prelude. Why can’t this dog get into the FR-S?

    • 0 avatar

      I think he’s just making exuses. The woman won’t drive a stick and that’s that. I had some of those.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        That’s what I’m reading too. To each his own, but I could never marry a woman who can’t drive my car. Once you sell the 86, I can assure you it’ll be the last stick you ever buy.

        Every car you’ll ever want will be met with “but I can’t drive it.” When the 60% likely divorce comes, you’ll have to look back at all the things you gave up for a piece that some other dude is now hitting, while half your paycheck goes to child support. You might be able to afford a 10 year old FRS and relive the good ol days.

        God, I’m such an optimist.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Won’t drive stick… My first wife had that problem. I got real tired of doing it myself ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        I’d say this is it. If the seat (front or back) can contain a person, it can contain a dog.
        Trade a FR-S for an old pickup? What? Ain’t no suspension changes going to make up the difference on that one. Dude bought the car because that’s what he wanted. If the pickup weren’t being offered by pops at a discount, that would NEVER even be considered. This advice comes from a person who imported a goofball brown turd of a car and has presumably poured plenty of money and effort into it and several other rolling obscenities that some call cars. Not sure why he’s telling you to be cheap on your own; maybe a little latent projection going on.
        Keep the car, stuff the dog in, get a roof rack for your bikes and teach your lady to drive a 6spd. Better yet tell her to take the dog with her (FYI, I think dogs are stupid so the BEST advice is to not have one in the first place).
        By the time you get to three kids (if you do) the car will be old enough that you’ll want to get rid of it anyway. Baby seats hog up ANY car so don’t waste your money on buying for something that hasn’t happened yet. You’re not married, you don’t have kids and you haven’t bought a house. If you follow that logic, you should probably pre-pay a prostate exam, get some viagra in bulk, and buy a casket.
        Big ugly truck for a city-dwelling kid with no kids and a nice car WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?

    • 0 avatar
      is_lander

      A buddy of mine had an older Prelude two door (much smaller cars back then). It had the best car alarm ever. A full sized Doberman in the back seat. the dog was larger than most people in Asia (whom the car was designed to fit). Little did people know, that Doberman was a cream puff and was the sweetest giant you would ever meet. Still very intimidating to see. The new FRS is much larger than the old Prelude.

      P.S. Before anybody complains about pets in cars, he ran a pet shop so he knew how to keep the Doberman cool in the car and did not leave him there on hot days. Mostly short trips into stores with the windows and sunroof open.

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      A big dog can fit into all but the smallest of back seats. They curl up, or stretch out, and unless you’re driving for hours with them, they do fine. My friend had two 100 pound+ Labs in the back of his ’99 Mustang all the time. They(Their toenails) didn’t do the crappy material on the seats much good, but that was my friend’s fault getting cheap and not buying the rear seat cover I offered him for $20. At least his dogs didn’t spend most of their time chewing their nails into a point like one of mine did. She sliced up even the best of those covers in a couple of weeks. Not to mention my arms when she would get scared of something and climb up into the front.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Good advice, Sajeev. At this point in their lives, they need economical transportation. Brandon’s future wife will be more dependent than he on a car. Her Camry is getting up in miles but should hold together provided they haven’t neglected it. He just needs something that can be trusted to start when he turns the key. The Silverado will suffice for that.

    If at all possible, they should put off buying another car until student loans are paid off. Even then, they should buy used and invest the savings. The sooner they start on a retirement nest egg, the longer compound interest will have to work its magic.

  • avatar
    PeterKK

    I think you hit it on the head. That is a great option in my mind.

    PS: I should add I am not really a performance junkie. :p I am on the “as fun as possible practical car” boat. Ie just bought a protege5.

  • avatar
    Brendon from Canada

    How about – teach the future Mrs to drive stick; a few hours on a sunny afternoon usually does the trick. Through a handful of blankets down for the K9 on the odd time you need to shlep it around. Hidden hitch or roof rack for the bike….

    • 0 avatar
      eManual

      I taught the Mrs. how to drive stick, and she taught our two daughters. The hardest part is starting on a hill, so if the Brandon lives in flatland, she should do fine. Until they fixed the problem, my subdivision had a small ramp to get out, so she used a different exit.

      Northwestern (Evanston, IL) is flatland, and she might enjoy having the FR-S with her. The first few months together might answer if this is a possibility.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Northwestern Memorial and the med school are in Streeterville (downtown Chicago). It sounds like the fiancee is not bringing any car with her – understandable, as that’s one of the least car-dependent neighborhoods in the country.

        It’s flat there, but it wouldn’t be a fun place to cut your teeth on a stick shift, as much of the driving is crawling in heavy traffic from red light to red light.

        Your point is well taken, however. My father is just young enough to have learned to drive in the Hydramatic-Dynaflow-Powerglide era. During a family trip, his cousin decided to take advantage of an uncle’s auto dealership by borrowing a car to teach Dad to drive standard shift. The wrinkle was that this was in surprisingly hilly Dubuque, Iowa. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenelon_Place_Elevator. Who knew?) The lesson was so frustrating that it made Dad a confirmed automatic driver for the next six-plus decades.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    At this point, it’s time to cash out on fun for a while and get a used Kia Soul. Fits the dog, bikes, and should have a minimum of drama.

  • avatar
    RetroGrouch

    “the answer seems to be to install a hitch. To that I say no.”

    You, sir, are the problem, not your car.

    1. What is so precious about this bastardized Subaru that you cannot bolt on a $150 hitch? If I owned a Ferrari 458, I would fab up something so I could tow my track tires on a small utility trailer.

    2. I have also taught a couple dozen people to drive a stick, including a friend’s girlfriend during an autocross. You are not the specific problem. You are just too close to Future Mrs. Have a buddy teach her to drive a stick and give her the keys to the Toyotabaru for a couple days.

    3. Shove that dog/llama/platypus in there and drive.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    How many miles? If under 30k you can sell your FRS for $16-17k in 5 minutes.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Observe.
    youtube.com/watch?v=PHXCyyFVQWA

  • avatar
    ccd1

    I can sympathize with your situation. I bought a sports car based on one set of expectations. Fortunately for me, my situation has not changed as drastically as yours.

    The car is a manual and my wife does not drive stick which is OK as our other car is a CUV. What I did not expect was her total aversion to the car. I envisioned the car as a weekend getaway car. We did finally do a weekend getaway with the car and she admitted it was more comfortable than the car it replaced, but she still does not like riding in the car. It’s too low and too loud.

    So my sports car has become the car I use for trips/errands I take by myself and my mileage looks to be more like 5-6K annually. If I want my wife to join me, I’d have to trade my car in for a sports sedan at the very least

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Keep the FRS, buy the truck, and tell Dad that you’ll (eventuallyt) pay him out of your inheritance?

    I think Jack would approve of this approach!

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    Nobody asked me for my advice, but here it is:

    0. Make sure you get the future Mrs. to do all the things you want her to do in bed before she goes off to Northwestern.

    1. When she does, take the “fur baby” out back, place a 9mm pistol to the back of its head, and pull the trigger. Fur babies are not real babies and no young man should have to waste an irreplaceable moment of his twentysomething life putting everything that comes out of the fur baby’s ass into a bag.

    2. Download an application called “Tinder”.

    3. Have sex with women every night for free, instead of occasional sex with a woman who has massive student loan debt.

    4. Unfriend your future Mrs. on Facebook, block her number, and move down the street.

    5. Continue with the activities described in 3) until you turn forty-nine.

    6. Use your vintage Toyota, because that’s what it will be then, to pick up a woman in her thirties who has paid off her student debt.

    7. I’ll be long dead by then, so you won’t be able to thank me. Instead, call Rikers Island in NYC and offer to pay my son’s bail on whatever assault charges he’s racked up that week.

    YOU’RE WELCOME

    • 0 avatar
      Halftruth

      Great advice!! After an STD or two and children from different women, you’ll wish you had this dilemma!! While JB’s advice may be extreme and partly correct, he is 100 percent right about the car.. just keep it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Best advice I’ve heard this year.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I don’t know if I’ve ever heard better advice since I’ve been alive. Maybe just a drill sergeant that told me to, “shoot that f#*ker in the face before he gets you.” That was good advice.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      #3: Get blown off by all kinds of women on Tinder, but get a couple of propositions from guys posing as women. FTFY.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Women are gonna flake no matter what you do, ultimately its a numbers game.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        I’m so ugly I cause seizures in children from a distance, I’m at least forty pounds overweight, and I still cleaned up on Tinder. Particularly on the west coast thanks to the knock-on effect of looking like a backup musician for the Fleet Foxes.

        If you can’t hook up at least once a week on Tinder with a decent-looking woman you aren’t trying.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      There is no god in the sky. God truly walks amongst men.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Really, killing the dog? It was funny except for that part.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        Or let the dog go to a shelter.

        But that amounts to killing it so it would be better to do your own work.

        When I see single (as in unmarried, not as in “not plowing some side piece with the galactically distant promise of a ring”) straight men in possession of any dog besides a pit bull that is actively earning money in Michael Vick’s underground circuit, I feel this sick rush of empathy and pity all at once.

        Why chain your life to an eating/sh**ting machine that requires more attention than a three-year-old? Because you want love? Why not have love from real people? Why not volunteer at a shelter or work with troubled kids or nail single moms four times a week off OKCupid? Why buy love by creating a food dependency in an animal?

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I’d find a home for it with CL, or take it to a no kill place or something. I could not for the life of me kill an innocent dog.

          Note: I don’t have any pets!

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            I’ve worked at a shelter before.

            Very few animals are adopted out. The ones that are frequently find themselves back in the shelter for the same reasons they were let go in the first place.

            I took a cat with severe head and sinus injuries in once because the shelter couldn’t get her a permanent home. I spent maybe ten grand on that cat. Looking back, I wish I had the money back to buy something for my son.

            Animals are not people and for people who get them confused there is nothing but misery ahead.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I volunteered at one in college for a while. It was a no-kill ASPCA one, IIRC. Sad to see those same dogs there every week (especially the older, larger ones). They just needed someone to care about them for the most part, but everyone just wanted a puppy. Seemed like a lot of them were abused, and I recall one in particular that made me sad, because she’d lay down whenever you went to pet her.

            (Ouch $10k.)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            We have a cat. I have a hard ceiling on feline medical care spending. We used to have two cats, but he crossed the sickness/cost threshold. You can’t explain to a cat that it has cancer. You just put it down so it doesn’t hurt anymore.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          In my case, the dog was my father’s and I felt it was my duty after he died.

          The dog was very nice, too, friend;y to a fault and well behaved.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Actually, a good dog is a great babe magnet. I trolled back in the day with my dog. The only risk as a younger guy was finding out that the woman you started dating has a kid – back then it was the automatic “Heisman” for the baggage carrier.

        • 0 avatar
          nrd515

          There is something very wrong with you. Seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      Driver8

      Truth. Worse would have been a 5# ‘fur baby’ or someone else’s bastard.

      Cut bait man.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Item 1 – There’s such a thing as an animal shelter, you know. It’s not like the dog has done anything that justifies the death penalty.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Jack,
      I certainly hope that was written in ‘sarcastica’. Even then despite your immense writing talent you can sometimes come across as misogynistic and more than a little selfish.

      I admire that you worked at a shelter and demonstrated your humanity and loyalty by going well beyond what is reasonable in taking care of your cat. I would never spend $10k on a pet’s healthcare, but I would also never advocate euthanizing a healthy, adoptable animal. And you are correct in that human lives should be considered more valuable (in most cases, I don’t include those who committed heinous crimes).

      Personally I cannot stomach Hemmingway wannabe’s/idolizers. In reality as the great Greg Clark and Morley Callaghan revealed, besides being a nut case, Hemmingway was something of a liar, a blowhard and a coward.

      Better to be chauvinistic in the Jeremy Clarkson mold and be able to also laugh at yourself.

      And yes, I do expect to get some grief for this post and accept that.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    ccd1 has a point. brandon brought us a problem and sajeev came up with a really good, practical solution *but* we do not know what the future mrs. is thinking beyond, i’m going away to school, and i don’t want to drive a stick. who really wanted the furball? whose dog is it? the fact that you added a dog knowing that one of you is going off to school is potentially telling.

    if she is ok with the camry long-term that’s one thing. in 9 months she ships off to northwestern. sounds like a long ways. if so then she might be commuting back and forth say 1-2x per month? that doesnt sound good for a car with 210 on the clock – esp during the winter, no matter how much it is loved.

    should she get the truck and brandon the camry? why doesnt brandon move off with her? live the university life with only 1 vehicle; live in university housing? university housing requires a couple to be married? ok you already call her future mrs……….

    the car issue is part of the decision process. the life issue is the larger part. decide where you are both going to be and why then decide the transportation issue to best serve your life decisions.

    good luck!

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Cyclist, dad, FR-S owner here.

    1) Bikes: Google a thread on FT86 club called “tow hook bike rack”. For a hundred bucks, you can have someone turn and thread some bar stock that threads into your two tow hook attachment points on the rear of the car. Attach your bike tray to the two bars sticking off the back of the car. Attach bike. Lock tray. No hitch, no roof rack, no permanent modification. Just as secure as a roof rack.

    2) Furbaby: I’m uncertain why the dog is an issue. My near 3 year old climbs back there into her car seat and I pop in for a second to confirm the buckles/fix them when they are twisted. Couldn’t the dog ride up front when the wife isn’t around?

    3) if you go the truck route, ignore the advice of putting anything more than the bare minimum into it. It is a 15 year old truck that drove badly new. No amount of suspension will make it not be a 4800lb, lazy driver… especially if you are used to the FR-S.

    • 0 avatar
      sastexan

      That’s an exact image of my blue FR-S at the top. Also a dad (3 daughters), also have an old camry with 158k on it (except it is our 3rd car).

      Car seats in the back of the Toyobaru aren’t bad – although fitting two at once is not pleasant as no one wants to sit behind the driver with very little foot space (even my 4 year old). I take car seats in and out all the time; takes me 3 minutes max once you understand how the belts work (don’t bother with LATCH – seatbelts are safer anyways). There is no reason a dog can’t get in the back of the car. Throw an old blanket over the seats for easy fur cleanup.

      If the FR-S is just a toy, then that’s fine – bike for commuting – keeps insurance low. But it sounds like the real driver is saving bucks. If the OP gets his main kicks from biking rather than driving, sell the FR-S private party to help save cash while wifey is in school. Keep the camry – it costs virtually nothing to keep going (I just had to plow $250 in parts and similar labor b/c I don’t have time to fix broken cat pipe, valve cover oil leak, water pump leak) – parts are plentiful and ultra cheap on rockauto. And the 4 cyl is super easy to work on.

      If the OP needs to scratch the itch of sports car driving, rent something for a weekend or go to skip barber or similar track school.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Quentin-

      How would the a car like the FR-S work for two kids? I am so tempted by a Mustang right now. Like you, I have a child that is turning three this year, but we are going to start trying for a second. Did you ever do the infant car seat thing with the FR-S?

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Do you hate yourself?

        If the answer is no, *get a car with four goddamn doors*.

        (Or at least a full-size rear seat.

        Like a GTO.)

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          See. This is my dilemma. I have no interest in a Charger and I don’t like the interior of the SS. I like everything about the Mustang besides it only having two doors. Since Ford won’t build a 4-door version, I guess my C-Max will soldier on, eventually being replaced by a severely depreciated luxury vehicle from an also ran luxury brand.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You and I both know you’re gonna get a used CONTINENTAL AWD after they’ve been out 2-4 years!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You are right. Why do I even say something different is going to happen. I’ll be hanging out at Lincoln dealerships once the lease turns in start coming in. I’ll be jonesing for a Conti fix like a junkie.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There is a Navi or Conti in your future bball. I also fail to see the need for “AWD” on a FWD car even in the most severe Northeast winters. I kinda get it on RWD vehicles, I just think it should be able to be enabled or disabled by the driver.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            AWD will be the best trim level, and will probs have options which aren’t available on other trims.

            Also, AWD vehicles are easier to sell, if ya sell it yourself.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Like Corey says, it’s going to depend on engine options. The 3.5EB doesn’t come in anything but AWD once you get outside of the F150.

            Also, the chance of finding a used Conti in Michigan, where there will be deals to be had, not in AWD , will be close to impossible. They are supposed to use the Focus RSs diff, so it should be able to send 70% of the power to the rear. It’s supposed to premptively send power to the back wheels, but it all sounds like high level voodoo.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Sounds like a potential nightmare long term.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s the same old Ford system with a different rear diff. The rear diff. If it doesn’t scare me away now, it’s not going to scare me away then.

            I’ll have the same preventive maintinence schedule as I do now.

      • 0 avatar
        djsyndrome

        Oh! Oh! I can answer this one.

        Two kids fit in the back of the FR-S just fine. The older one (twelve) sits behind me and sits indian style so I can push the seat all the way back. The younger one (nine) sits behind her mom on the passenger side. She’s got lots of legroom because her mother graciously pushes the seat up just enough so her skinny little feet fit below the (barely raised) seat cushion.

        tl;dr: it works fine for short trips. Don’t try anything longer, both for safety and comfort reasons.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          This is correct. The Mustang should have more room than a twin, though. Not every car has to do every thing in the fleet. We have a RAV4 for family/utility duty. The FR-S is my fun daily driver and what I take when it is just the kid and me.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      The dog is too big for the front seat. But it’s hard to imagine the dog being so big that it can’t lay comfortably across the smallish back seat of a coupe.

      Do the rear seats fold down? I used to fold my rear seats and put a dog bed down back there for my ex’s Lab if we weren’t short on luggage space. A luxurious ride for the dog. He could even lay with his head between the front seats to enjoy the scenery and companionship. On highway trips I’d crack the rear windows and point the vents at his face so he could enjoy the prairie scents. He sure looked happy back there.

      If you really end up needing practicality in something that’s still light and nimble, go with a compact 4-door hatchback. Teach the wife to drive stick so you don’t have to sacrifice that at least.

  • avatar
    Andy

    Keep the FR-S, and teach the woman to drive it. You don’t want to marry someone who can’t drive a stick.

    And you don’t need a trailer hitch, there are plenty of bike carriers that will work. Google it yourself.

    And I know Jack was being sarcastic, but I totally agree with the second sentence of item 1 (and only that part of the entire comment). If you need to get the dog somewhere once in a while, you’ll manage.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “1. Keep the FR-S and pray I never need to take the dog to the vet while she’s away at school or hope I can bum a ride from a relative close-by. Also, since I owe around $10k still, I won’t be dumping it just to bring on more debt. It will be paid off in 3 years if I only make minimum payments. Also, I’ll continue to live in the middle of downtown and pay through the nose for rent since cycling is my big hobby.
    Trade in the FR-S on a used near-luxury sedan, such as a Buick Regal Turbo or a Acura TSX that has already taken the depreciation hit and can be had in the $18k range. If I can get at least $14-15k on trade in, at most we’re talking financing $12k over 4 years but paying off sooner if able. I’m thinking those are worst case numbers based off my cruising TruCar and the like. My credit is great and interest rates seem low. I’m really just concerned about the beating at trade-in even though the car is in great shape.
    **Bonus Option** My dad says he’ll sell me his ’00 Silverado for $5000 and I can just leave it parked on the street downtown somewhere for emergencies unless I move back home.”

    1. Looks like the dog is going to “run away” while the ball and chain is learning how to to make blow up dolls, er prosthesis. Granted this is important, but learning how to make a blow up doll is a more practical skill and reaches a larger target audience. I would encourage her to switch majors, or encourage you to switch women (esp if she is not 7-10 years younger). They are all basically the same and they all age terribly. Think steep depreciation.

    2. Buick Regal Turbo? No, just a whole lot of no. TSX is the deal in the segment, followed by used Lincoln Zephyr, used Infiniti G37, and possibly used Buick Verano.

    3. If you do not live in the snow belt, thus the Silverado is not a pile of rust underneath, option three is *the* best -automotive- option.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Additional: “I’d like to have a reliable 4 door paid off before we think about having kids.”

      I used to work with a successful guy who married some cow and told me these words verbatim when he traded his 350Z for the beak Acura TL in 2011. Being the incredibly handsome and wonderful man I am, I simply nodded at this most awful of decisions (both the trade and the selected replacement) and resisted the urge to reply, my you have become such a p*ssy Brian. However I will not politely nod here, even if you ignore the sage advice of Baruth, don’t be a p*ssy on this. If Miss to be Misses Prosthesis wants a sedan to haul around the brood, she can go get it herself with all of her empowerment dollars. The fact you are even asking these questions tells me you’re not in charge so at the best you playing the femnazi false paradigm of “equality” and at the worst you’re the b*tch. If you have one ounce of testosterone left don’t neuter something you care about, your car/driving experience, to accommodate HER needs. She’s already asking for too much:

      1. You take care of HER dog.
      2. You put up with HER education away.
      3. You assume HER debt later.

      Seeing a pattern yet?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        28 hits the nail on the head!

        Here, do this stuff for me and placehold, while I go have a life and do what I want. If I don’t find anyone at school, I’ll be back. Baiii.

        F that.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Game, its all about game. In 1998 my classmate Brian Miller told me this and his example was his worthless brother who worked at Foodland on Broadway. This brother had no car, no real money, shared an apt with a friend, but he always had the ladies lined up. The secret: he could talk a game.

          “Give me 10 minutes to talk away my ugly face and I’ll bed the Queen of France”

          -Attributed to Voltaire

          Also read from the Book of Bonecrker

          http://no-maam.blogspot.ca/2003/01/the-book-of-bonecrker-table-of-contents.html

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I know a loser currently who I went to high school with, and he’s just a kind-of druggie who works nights at some crap job, and moves to different crap apartments ALL THE TIME. Not good looking, aging badly because of the drugs.

            But he’s always got a girlfriend, one was even a -model- legitimately. I heard back in high school it was because of a different important reason to women…

            So apparently that’s still working.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Always did and always will. Read from the book.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Right, a nice, large book always works.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Books supply information, information helps change you.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            (I was speaking in code there, LOL. I’m surprised you didn’t pick up on it.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Repeat message, over.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Haha, the reason the loser dude I know always has a girlfriend, I am attributing to the large body part that’s important to women, which I heard about high school.

            A nice, large book, always helps.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Guys, you do realize that about half of the physically attractive girls are of below average intelligence, while many throughout the spectrum will have terrible personalities. They have to take what they can get if they want a relationship that lasts longer than a couple days, because once the thrill of new pussy wears off they’re no longer desirable to a man who has anything going for himself.

            A truly good girl is worth keeping if you can find it.

      • 0 avatar
        Chaser

        I was left taking care of my ex-wife’s cat when she went away to law school. She never came back. Luckily I didn’t assume any of her debt (although I lost $7k in paying off her car while she was in school) and I really loved that cat. I wish the OP much better luck!

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          How’s the cat doing!?

          • 0 avatar
            Chaser

            Unfortunately she passed away last year. She was a rescue cat and already quite old when I adopted her, but at least I gave her five good years in “retirement”. That’s more than the ex did for me ha!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Five good years for a cat is great! My parent’s dog is 14, and I keep wondering when he’s gonna go.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Dump it, buy an Equinox and call it a day.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    So she’s going to leave you with the dog, go to grad school at least hundreds of miles away from you, make you get rid of your car because she doesn’t want to drive a stick, and then you get the pleasure of being in a crappy financial situation starting in 2017 because of her student loans?

    Dafaq is this?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The decline of society in action.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I don’t have any “single guy” tips to share anymore since I’m married. However, now I feel like I’m going to have to teach my daughter not to be a wealth robbing succubus that preys on unsuspecting men.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          My brother used one of my computers to log onto OkCupid a few weeks ago and he must have clicked “save my password” at the prompt because when I went to log in it took me to his account. I didn’t realize this until I saw a “new” message and clicked it. I decided to read through the thread until I got to one message which literally asked about five questions of him. His response was:

          “This is starting to feel like a job interview. Ok, I’ll answer the first one [which was what am I doing with my life]. I’m on a quest to become more powerful”

          I liked this so much I memorized the response.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Dating or “hooking up” is so much different than a decade ago. The numbers game aspect of it is amazing to me.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I think it always was a numbers game. I read a figure in something a circa 1995 book which stated if you approach ten women, at least one will respond. I then read in a circa 2002 book the figure 3 out of 10 responding was “very good”. I had quite a thing going myself until my life got destroyed in December but I think I’m finally on the way back.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The numbers are much larger now. The net you can cast trolls much wider and deeper with less effort.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I was gonna say, the easyness factor has to be x10 with sites like OKCupid.

            (Funny, I was never of “dating age” when there was NOT online dating. There’s a paradigm shift there.)

            Don’t like the answer or their face? Press hide and move to the next one. Search by height and build, and even ethnicity if you wanna. Nobody will know.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That would warrant a rethinking of the response ratio.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @corey

            On such sites women get a message ratio of probably sixty to every one you get (I have seen the inboxes of avg level girls). The beta thirst is too strong, getting the female’s attention in that mess is more difficult than you may realize. When it is easy to message it is easy to spam. I think this is why tinder is so successful, it takes things down to a simple shallow equation and doesn’t require much of an attention span per person.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Idk what beta thirst means!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Thirsty

            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Beta

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh, so it’s more literal then. I already knew what thirsty meant, because I watch Vines.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            All I know is that my friend that looks like a muppet and cleans up on Tinder. Also, he’s been on a solid streak with meeting women via a game on Facebook called Trivia Crack. Beaker has game apparently.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Beaker and I go waaaay back, he’s a pimp.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            “I’m on a quest to become more powerful.”

            Wow that’s the summation of my life from puberty onward.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      “So she’s going to leave you with the dog, go to grad school at least hundreds of miles away from you, make you get rid of your car because she doesn’t want to drive a stick, and then you get the pleasure of being in a crappy financial situation starting in 2017 because of her student loans?

      Dafaq is this?”

      One would hope that the payoff will be that she’ll make good money after going to “prosthetic school.” Even assuming that pans out, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the gamble that she’ll still want the same things – ie: you – if/when that happens. I’m wary of women whose life plans include, “My significant other will finance me until I get my sh1t together.”

      My 24 year-old girlfriend has parents of limited means who don’t give her money, is a year away from getting a masters degree in a lucrative field, has nearly zero debt, 5 figures in the bank, and has never asked me to finance anything for her. Even when I take her on trips, she makes a point of paying for something or other to the point that we end up splitting the cost about 50-50. That’s a good woman.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        My wife has student debt, but whatever. It’s an insignificant monthly payment compared her salary. I make enough money that she can stay at home now, but I’m not paying for her student debt with my salary. She’s working at least until that loan is paid off, and probably longer. She makes too much money to stay at home.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          There’s nothing wrong with taking on debt in order to build a lucrative career. In the US I imagine it’s probably almost impossible not to, unless you go through the army, or Mom and Dad have the means to support you.

          What I have a problem with is women – or anyone – who expect their significant other to finance them while they build a career with little promise of a payback.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    I think you need more help than a car site can give you.

  • avatar
    Mikein08

    I’ve got a very simple solution for you: keep your FRS, ditch your
    GF, develop some “game” and have all the female companionship you can
    handle, and live happily ever after. For further info and instructions,
    go to http://www.blowmeuptom.com and read the “Leykis 101” section. You’ll be
    much happier in the long run.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “If I can get at least $14-15k on trade in”

    HAHHAAHAHAH

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      A good condition FR-S with 36k miles (averaging 12k a year, assuming it’s an early ’13) will net 17.5k on trade here. Lower miles or better condition will only up the value.

      Did you actually look up the KBB value before you posted, or were you just salivating at the opportunity to troll?

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Look, there is no other way of telling you this – you are short-sighted, and even after making a mistake, you are ready to go make more dumb decisions going forwards.

    You have a dog and are planning children and then propose cars that probably can’t handle that many critters. So basically you will end up buying another car immediately once you have children – so back into debt.

    Do you even need a car at all right now? You live in a city, right? Can’t you just taxi/uber/public transit it for now?

    So maybe it is time to grow up a bit and stop being selfish about your car choices. Buy a damn crossover SUV or Subaru wagon or, if you really want to plan for the future and take your ego out of the equation, a Honda Odyssey.

    Now you can stick your dog in back, your future children in proper car seats, your future wife can now drive the car, etc. You can have it paid off by the time you have children, not go into further debt after and drive it into the ground while your kids and dog trash the shit out of it.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      Yea, I’m glad someone said it. Jesus, my 11 year old has better planning and decision making skills than this.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      “Buy a damn crossover SUV or Subaru wagon or, if you really want to plan for the future and take your ego out of the equation, a Honda Odyssey.”

      Yeah.

      Or, if you want to buy a stupid performance car that IS that, get a used R500 or (God help you) R63.

    • 0 avatar
      ChevyIIfan

      Bingo. Or how about he keeps the FR-S, moves out of downtown, cuts his rent by 2/3, pockets the extra rent money for their future debt and enjoys better cycling. Let’s face it; most suburbs have far better cycling options than downtown of a city, with parks and trails, as opposed to tight lanes and nasty traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        akatsuki

        But add in commute time and it all depends on the city – SF – great cycling right in the Presidio and across the bridge; NYC takes about 20-30 minutes to get out to NJ for great cycling; Chicago – forget it, 3 hours to get out of the city to ride in corn fields.

  • avatar
    Wade.Moeller

    Keep the FR-S and buy the truck. Dogs love trucks.

    You’ll also be able to haul all the crap home that she buys to replace your bachelor furniture.

  • avatar
    Willyam

    Ok, I’m never going to be Jack, what with the not so good with the putting the words together and their coming out good, thing.

    Watch the commercial for the new MX-5. Remembering “who you used to be”. What he’s saying is keep being that for right now. The lease deal on an Odyssey/Quest/Sienna will always be there when you need it. They’re just cars, they’ll make more.

  • avatar
    r129

    Among our fleet of 5 cars between two people is a fur-filled Honda Accord Coupe that is used exclusively to transport a large German Shepherd mix that is not and never will be referred to as a fur baby. The dog is not allowed in any of *my* cars, not even the 1996 Cutlass Supreme.

  • avatar
    r129

    Now for some practical advice: Why are YOU the one who has to sacrifice your fun car? How about dumping the Camry and putting the future Mrs. into a newer, lower mileage large, boring, cheap car? You can get a nice used Impala for less than $10k, or if she’s not into that, how about a former rental Camry for $13k? Makes perfect sense to me.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    Once in awhile I get to pricing out cars like the FR-S, GTI or 370Z online and think to myself, “I could swing the payments on that.” Then I read a post like this, and ask myself if having 3-5 years’ worth of debt is worth it over something I really don’t need and which will cause me stress. Freedom from debt is a wonderful thing, and it sounds to me like Brandon bought a car, along with a fiancee, that he can’t really afford. When you’re already looking at five-figure debt, maybe a brand-new $25k impractical car shouldn’t have been a priority, especially since you’re apparently already “paying through the nose” to enjoy your cycling hobby (I have a Trek Remedy 8 sitting in the living room of my 640sq ft, $1200/month apartment as we speak, so I understand). But that’s me.

    Now that you have the car, you could cash out and walk away (mostly) debt-free on it. If the $5,000 truck is reliable, and you don’t drive that much, buy that and live with that. Or you could keep the FR-S and buy a roof rack for the bikes (Yakima makes one) if you’re too precious to put a hitch on it. Find a way to put the dog in the back – or front – an alternate way to transport it when you have to, or a new home for it. Trading in and taking on even more debt on a more expensive used car would be about the stupidest thing you could do. I make do with a two seat convertible with a tiny trunk as my only car, and you can find ways to get stuff done. I’ve transported both my mountain bike and a new barbecue on separate occasions without too much trouble.

    If the FR-S is that important to you, and the fiancee can’t be bothered to learn to drive it (or drive her other car), that’s a red flag to me. If you’re forced to share one practical car, then I can see going automatic for her. To me, that doesn’t sound like the case, especially since it looks like she’ll be away at school for a couple of years.

    I’d be very careful about making plans with a girl who’s still studying full-time, taking on debt, and hasn’t entered the real world yet. Once she starts real life, you might find that you’re headed in different directions. You have to ask yourself how you’d feel about having put in all kinds of money only for that to happen.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “640sq ft, $1200/month”

      Gahdayum. Where are you! That’s $650 maybe here.

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        Let’s just say that Canada hasn’t yet had the housing price correction that the US went through. It won’t be nearly as bad, but experts expect that it’s coming, which is one of the reasons why I’m renting. I also pay a premium because I insisted on something fairly central (no need for a car), modern, concrete building, which is fairly uncommon in this old city in economic decline in which I live. The fact that I live next to a canal with a bike path and pleasure boating, and a decent view on the city, along with a parking spot in the garage in the basement, are other factors. I previously lived right downtown and paid <$700, but it wasn't pretty.

        If you have the means, having a bright, clean, quiet place to live makes life better.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        If people around here saw a listing of 640 sq ft for $1200, there would be hundreds of applications in the first hour. Think $1800.

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    I can’t speak for other urban areas, but Chicago is very unfriendly to pickup ownership. There are many roads you can’t drive on or park on overnight. The extra city sticker, parking tickets and insurance will be way more that you will spend in a year for Zip car or whatever for the two trips to the vet. Now, if you’re just tired of it, get what you want. Once you have kids, everything is different, in ways to profound to relate. It will be one less thing to be bitter about when you are spending $5000 on a French horn and private lessons or whatever the equivalent is in your life. Stay away from traveling sports teams too.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    One of the regular writers on this site has claimed that the answer to any automotive question is “Miata”.

    I will expand that.

    The answer to any question regarding ‘what should I buy, what should I drive, what should I have in my driveway/garage” should be “A Miata and a Minivan”.

    That settles any questions and requirements regarding both utility and fun to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      This is a position I can get behind, as well, although for me personally – no kids, living in the city – I’d modify it to Miata and a hatchback, a la Golf.

      But a Miata and a minivan will cover just about any automotive need, or desire for fun, and you can get one of each in decent condition for less than one compromise vehicle. I still can’t believe the price of a new base-model Caravan. You’d just need a place to park them.

  • avatar
    Kato

    He’s asking for vehicle advice, not how to run his life. This one is easy. Sell the BRZ. Buy a used hatchback WRX. It will be at least as fun to drive as the BRZ and the mutt will fit in the back. Bikes go on the roof rack. Done.

  • avatar
    TheyBeRollin

    Sound advice, mostly because it results in the minimum money being spent when you’re looking at taking on considerable debt and future expenses around this whole wedding thing.

    It sounds like the future Mrs is a catch, aside from the unwillingness to learn to drive a manual.

    I never realized how lucky I am to have a girlfriend that wants to learn to drive my car and has a dog so small that you could take it places in a backpack on a bicycle, if necessary.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    My 135 pound Akita fits awkwardly fine in my 911 with my 40 pound Shiba Inu in the useless back seat slapped against the engine. Bear and Duke never complains…

  • avatar
    Phillin_Phresh

    I echo all the comments here telling OP to keep the car, and if OP thinks it’s the expensive, impractical, poor life choice:

    You know what’s REALLY expensive? Swapping cars with a payment. This is one area where I disagree with Sajeev. So you bought a brand new (or new-ish) FR-S. To get literally anything else, you’ll deal with (A) getting gyped on the trade-in, because of depreciation in the best years of a cars life (B) dealing with dealer mark-ups, unplanned repairs on a used vehicle, and spending money to get the new snoozemobile just how you like it, and (D) transaction fees, finance charges, registration, and sales tax.

    You know what’s REALLY impractical? You’ll be switching from a newish, reliable (That bulletproof Toyota halo), mostly fuel efficient car that brings you joy and speaks to your personality TO some soul-crushing slush-box that will probably be a larger vehicle than you need (MOST of the time) and cost more to fuel. You know what’s going up these days? The price of gas, that’s what. Get a Zipcar membership so you can get a nice SUV or whatever when pooch needs a check-up.

    You know what’s REALLY a poor life-choice? Willingly making your life less joyful to accommodate some other person’s demands or responsibilities, or even worse, anticipated responsibilities. You never know when your future plans will change, and then you’ll be stuck with big debt for a car that you hate and don’t need. Every time you see that car, it will remind you that you downgraded your life.

    OP, your challenges are easily remedied. Like others have said, put the dog in the back and teach the lady to drive stick. I promise if you make it fun, she’ll have fun. And even so, it’s these challenges that come with sports car ownership that make the whole experience worth it. Or rather, it’s the things you do to rise to the challenge. Life is an adventure.

    Ask the future you, with a Subaru Outback or something of that ilk, whether he has any cool stories about easily fitting the dog in the back, or placating his wife by buying an automatic. Chances are, he won’t. He might actually be pretty boring. Don’t be that guy.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Why is installing a hitch on the FRS a no? and why is the dog not fitting in?

  • avatar
    baconator

    I share a Passat with the owner of a 75-lb Great Dane, and as much as we think of the back seat as being for the dog, the dog really wants to climb up into the front seat every damn time. And if that Great Dane can be happy on my lap in the passenger seat, your 100-lb fur baby should be happy as the sole passenger of the front seat of the Subie.

    If your missus is going many miles away, then it does not matter if she can drive your car. That’s 2017’s problem, and by then you’ll have a lot more equity in the FR-S.


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