By on August 2, 2016

2012 Mazda3 Hatchback, Image: Mazda

MrKiwi writes:

I’m currently driving a 2011 Ford Fusion with 80,000 miles. It’s good, reliable, and utterly boring. I’ll have it completely paid off in a couple of months. Here’s where I’m going to get myself into trouble.

The responsible thing to do would be to keep the Fusion and enjoy a paid-off car. But …

While driving a rental car recently, I remembered how much I enjoy a manual transmission. There are also a couple of times a year when I could use the extra capacity of a hatch. I’m starting to look at the listings for lightly used Ford Focuses and Mazda3s with manual transmissions, thinking, “Wouldn’t it be fun?”

Most of my driving is my daily work commute of 55 miles round-trip. No exciting twisty roads; just straight streets through suburbia, about an hour each way.

What would you do? I know the responsible thing is to wait until the Fusion is too expensive/unreliable, which will be at least another five years with a boring automatic transmission, but it would be in a car with no payments.

For this installment, let’s play a fun game called “Good Bark, Bad Bark” where I give you financially prudent advice as “GB” and automotive enthusiast advice as “BB.”

Alrighty, Good Bark, let’s start with you.

GB: Thanks, Bark. Listen, a car is nothing more than (say it with me) a depreciating hunk of metal. You’re right about one thing: that Ford Fusion should run reliably for another five years of your boring, mundane, and dreary commute. Take the money that you would spend on a car payment and invest it in a low-risk mutual fund. In fact —

BB: Whoa, whoa. Sorry, Good Bark. I have to jump in here. A car is nothing more than a depreciating hunk? When did we start talking about Fabio? *rimshot* Thanks, I’ll be here all week. Tip your servers. But seriously — if that’s how you view cars, then how did you even end up on this site? You know, The Truth About Cars? This ain’t the truth about finances, brah! This is a website for people who love cars. Why would we tell somebody they should keep driving some blah, ho-hum, Camcordion?

GB: Weren’t you looking at leasing a Fusion Sport as recently as, oh, I don’t know, this morning? 

BB: Yeah, but that’s, like, totally different, man.

GB: The “truth” about cars involves talking about the financial risk that’s inherent in buying them. Aren’t you the man who as recently as eighteen months ago had four cars in his driveway? Who are you to be giving financial advice?

BB: Yes, but to be fair, that was also you.

GB: Perhaps, but I’m the smart one who sold the Boss 302 when it turned out that we never drove it. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this man that he should take on another bill at this time.

BB: I can! It’s not like he can’t afford it. (You can afford it, right?) It’s the difference between being “responsible” and having some real fun in his life. As the great Fiona Apple once said, he should make a mistake, and he should do it on purpose.

GB: Sigh. We’re not getting anywhere here, Bad Bark.

BB: You’re right. Is there some sort of compromise that we could come to?

GB: Stop ending sentences in prepositions.

BB: Sorry.

GB: However, you might be onto something. Is there a way that he could get a cool little hatchback for the one or two days a year … I’m sorry I can’t go any further down this path. Rent a car you id—

BB: Hey! Relax. Even I can see that justifying a hatchback by saying you need one once or twice a year is totes ridic (and MrKiwi knows that, too). But I think the fun factor is what you’re overlooking. Come on, GB. I know that even you like to drink too much Pinot Noir and get crazy now and then. Let’s look for the purple banana together here, okay?

GB. Fine. What do you suggest?

BB: I suggest that we start by finding out how much that 2011 Ford Fusion with 80,000 miles on it is worth. Ah, here we go. KBB says that a 2011 Ford Fusion SE with standard equipment in “Good” condition is worth about $7,500 in a private sale.

GB: KBB? Ha. Everybody knows their values are inflated.

BB: They’re actually getting much more in line with the market, thanks to their Instant Cash Offer program. And we can’t discuss how we know that, remember? 

GB: Oh, yeah. That document we signed. Keep going.

BB: So, why not sell the Fusion, then go take a look at this pretty badass Mazda3 Grand Touring hatch? There’s only a delta of $2,000 between the two, and I bet that he could negotiate it down a bit.

GB: Hmmm. Two grand. I suppose that’s not the worst thing in the world.

BB: Nope. It’s even got fewer miles than his Fusion does, and it’s only one model year older.

GB: I need to call Dave Ramsey really quick and … nah, I’m just kidding. Even I know that’s a bunch of bullshit.

BB: Right on, Good Bark!

GB: Okay, I can support this idea — but only if he saves up the extra two grand first. NO financing.

BB: Fine, fine. MrKiwi, I think we’ve got your problem solved here. Save up a couple grand, sell your Fusion, and then go get that hatchback you want.

GB: Agreed. Now, let’s talk about why we are spending all this money on road racing.

BB: Oh, would you look at that! A thousand words. Sorry, we’re out of time.

Want your car buying question to be answered by a man suffering from obvious schizophrenia? Bark is your guy! Send your queries to [email protected], or tweet him (me, since I’m the one writing this) at @barkm302

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65 Comments on “Ask Bark: Cold Fusion or New Hotness?...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    If you can afford it (meaning, you aren’t going to cause yourself financial hardship,) and want a better handling car with a stick, I say go for it.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    Need more details: wife, kids, dog, snow, types of other cars in stable, etc.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Here’s my usual spiel on this type of question:

    Is a used Mazda3 or regular Focus what you *really* want? If so, buy it.

    However, if what you really want is a Focus RS or Civic-R or whatever then hold on to your boring, paid-off Fusion until you can buy those.

    Personal experience here. I got rid of my paid off Lucerne for my Charger R/T becuase the Buick was too dull. What I *really* wanted though was a SRT or C63 or CTS-V or detective-edition Caprice or (especially!) an SS sedan. Fast forward two years and I can suddenly afford those “dream” cars but to get into one I’ll get clocked on the Dodge’s trade-in.

    If I had just waited 20 more months I’d be in an SS right now. Even if my Charger didn’t have bad quality that knowledge stings.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “However, if what you really want is a Focus RS or Civic-R or whatever then hold on to your boring, paid-off Fusion until you can buy those.”

      Much agreement.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Yup, I’m a big advocate of getting what you really want instead of getting what is easily available or “a better deal”. Don’t kill yourself financially over it, but save up longer until you can afford what you want. I know too many people that end up with a car that they regret or want to modify to make what they want because they pinched pennies or whatever when they first purchased. I’d have saved a decent amount of money had I just bought what I wanted in the first place instead of compromising.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      That’s a good comment, thank you.

      There’s buying as much car as you can afford and there’s saving for a car you really want. I was fortunate enough to basically buy the car I wanted and I love driving it. But now, I kinda know what the car is about and my eye wanders.

      At the same time, starting next month (knock on wood) I’ll be walking to work for at least a year. And as much as I’d love something low, yellow, normally aspirated, and with a nice manual transmission, realistically I’d like to save my pennies for self driving car to own, or if you can commute for cheap in a self driving car, maybe I just own a motorcycle.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    I’m just wondering where the dude found a rental with a manual transmission.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Agree with ajla above.

    If you think a regular Mazda3 or Focus with manual transmission will sufficiently scratch that itch, then go for it. But consider that once you’ve paid that one off, you may be getting the itch again. Like, “I love this manual transmission, but wouldn’t it be nice to have another 75hp hooked to it?”. Voila, five years later you’re looking at the Focus RS build & price page even though there’s lots of life left in your basic Focus. I know this because I went from paid-off automatic Camry to Jetta wagon with 5spd to the GTI build & price page. I’m being good and resisting so far because I’d like to retire someday.

    My advice would be to suffer through the boring fusion on the boring commute (a Mazda3 isn’t going to make it much less boring) for a few more years and then buy something a step above. Don’t hastily trade in your known quantity Fusion for a Mazda 3 with that outdated and thirsty 2.5 with 75K unknown miles on it. Speaking of which, how is your tolerance for excessive road noise on your hour long commute?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      This is not necessarily true. With my last car purchase I pretty much halved my horsepower. I probably would have been happiest with about 2/3-3/4 (started with 287, went down to 140) to be totally honest. As my traffic lawyer knows, 1 depending on what kind of driver you are, the lower the threshold for excessive HP, and 2 it’s not necessarily how much HP you have as much as how you use it. The guy in the letter doesn’t come across as a speed demon so I imagine a Mazda3s will be more than enough for him.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I agree it’s not necessarily true. I put down my own experience in case it overlaps his, because some of this letter reminds me of myself. I think the advice to wait a year or two and save the funds necessary to get a better car is the bigger point. “Better” will depend on his preferences, be that more horsepower or just a newer Mazda3–say, a 2014 model on the newer platform with better powertrains, better interior materials, and lower miles.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Isn’t the Fusion equipped with the very same “outdated and thirsty” Ford/Mazda 2.5 liter four?

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I believe so. It manages to somehow get only 28mpg on the EPA highway cycle in the compact Mazda, which is worse than his Fusion. All the more reason why spending real money to trade his Fusion in on it doesn’t make sense to me. I’d personally wait and build some cash up for a newer 3 with the 2.5 skyactiv.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Prevailing TTAC wisdom says that no car should be replaced until it has 487,000 miles, a broken transmission and is currently on fire.

    I say you have a history of choosing sensible cars and paying them off. That plus the used-car pricing bubble (in the U.S.) makes it completely rational to treat yourself to a minor upgrade.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      What kind of loser gets rid of his car when it has only 487,000 miles?!?!?!

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Funny you should say that, the Lincoln LS article got a comment like that too.

      “I was shopping new cars but Im perfectly happy with my 300k Lincoln”.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        I only said 200K not 300K, not that I haven’t taken past vehicles close to that figure (I had 280K on my XR4Ti before rust consumed it).

      • 0 avatar

        My father is still driving his Dodge Caravan LS circa 1992. It is beginning to rust, and has had two transmission replacements.

        He won’t drive it out of state, and gets the three day $19.99 Enterprise Rent a Car special when visiting parents in New Jersey (From central WV). I don’t think he will ever get rid of the thing until it catches fire.

        I /KNOW/ he has enough cash on hand to buy a Jag F-type no prob, but he is so miserly…

        EDIT – It has caught on fire before! The starter motor ignited and he had to open the hood and throw snow and windshield wiper fluid on it!

    • 0 avatar
      thattruthguy

      Trade in a burning car with a broken transmission that only has 487,000 miles?

      Are you a Rockefeller or something?

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    if you can swing it… go for it. Life’s too short. My circumstances are a bit different, so it’s tough for me to advise. I’m single… and I usually have 3 or 4 cars in the stable, ranging from a 427 Cobra roadster (replica) to a Mercury Grand Marquis. Follow your passion, but don’t forget to include your obligations (wife/kids/etc) as part of the equation.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Buy something cool so the rest of us can live vicariously through you.

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    Is KBB really inflated for private party? Here in the SF Bay area when searching for desirable cars, I’ve always found private party sale prices to be in line with KBB, and sometimes even a bit higher. Maybe I’m just getting hosed. I am referring to lower-cost cars from ~$3k to 15k.

  • avatar

    You know, I’m in the same boat, more or less. I have a 2008 CRV with only 58,000 miles.
    I HATE this car. Truly. It’s slow. It doesn’t have great fuel economy. It’s devoid of any personality. It’s too big. It’s boring.
    It’s also as reliable as an old boot and its’ paid for.
    I went through a few months of trying to “one for one” swap it for something more interesting. Nothing really fit the bill, and the ones that did my wife nixed.
    Then I started trying to find a way to sell the CRV and get something newer and more expensive, like a Focus ST.
    Reality set in. While I could afford this… I couldn’t really. And even then, what would I gain? It would literally be wasting money for something I don’t need and also couldn’t even enjoy on a daily basis. My commute is 24 miles round trip and it’s bumper to bumper gridlock. There’s absolutely no joy in this drive. I used to drive only manual cars. At the age of 41 I now cannot imagine spending 90-120 minutes per day shifting from neutral to first and back to neutral over and over and over and over and over, averaging a cumulative 12 MPH. I think if I did have something “fun” like an ST or a GTI or even a Mazda3 I’d be nothing but frustrated being totally unable to even begin to tap the fun potential.
    I also realized that while we’re fine, financially speaking, we’re not ideal. Far form it. We want to have 12 months of expenses socked away in liquid savings. Right now we barely have 10% of that on hand. My wife’s Highlander, the family car, is paid off next March. One kid is out of daycare next month. That’s an extra $1,000 a month we could either use for a new car for me, or drop into savings. So. Either replace a car that I actively loathe, but is completely reliable and will likely remain so for at least another 15 years,150,000 miles, or sell it and buy a new depreciating asset that does the exact same thing as the one I’m replacing, but affords me a little more of an ego boost and some occasional grins behind the wheel.
    We chose Option A.
    I should now mention that for those times I do want to be Car Guy Mike, I have my project car that’s disgraced my garage for a decade now. Go for a drive. Fix something. Modify something. It’s right there and it costs us little more than a couple hundred bucks a year in bits from eBay and $120 in fixed value collector’s insurance. I realized the secret of gearhead nirvana is a daily driver that gets the job done in the most efficient way possible for your situation, and save your money, time, and energy for an awesome project car.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Great post. I’m kind of in the same boat. I commute a CR-V older than my teens for 18 miles on an ugly artery full of brodozers and mindless SUV-Texting-Pilots (possible business idea: phone holder for bottom-center of steering wheel for these dolts). I’m literally aching for something cool.
      It’s been several years since I went back to driving an appliance, and I’m starting to really respect the little thing. It’s trade-in value wouldn’t be anywhere near what it’s usefulness is. Sigh. Japanese cars of this era were overbuilt to a ridiculous level.

      Grinding a clutch in a Miata would suck, but still…can’t…stop…craigslist…shopping…

      • 0 avatar

        Save up for a Miata then! While the racerboys keep the price of good NA’s beyond couch money range, I see 90’s NBs with less than 100k miles for not even $3,000 all day long. I often wish I’d gotten one instead of my Alfa, but then again… Alfa.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      not knowing what city you live in…

      Here in Denver that kind of commute is short; 12 miles one way AND we have an excellent bike road/trail system. Have you considered mapping out a way to ride a bike for your commute. Their are some pretty sweet hybrid electric bikes on the market to assist if hills are present.

      I can’t see how a bike commute would take longer than your current drive time while not working up a major sweat.

      • 0 avatar

        We’re in Austin. Ninth-worst traffic in the United States with a bullet!
        At the moment I’m taking two kids to daycare every morning, and with one of the highest auto on pedestrian accident rates in the nation, I’m not really considering it, at least for now. Once we’re done with daycare though, the City should also be close to finishing the new Violet Crown Trail system, which links my part of the city with downtown, where I work. My office also has a shower and lockers for bike commuters.
        So yes, I do think within 2 years or so a bike might very well be in my future, at least for some of the year (meaning when it’s not already 98 degrees at 7 am)

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I would look into doing one of 2 things:

      1. Move or change jobs so you are not wasting 2 hours a weekday in bumper to bumper traffic

      or

      2. Get something luxurious that will take the edge off of having to slog away in traffic.

      I don’t know how this fits in your budget, but an RX400h with somewhat decent mileage can be had for ~$15-20K, will get much better gas mileage than your CR-V, and be a much nicer place to spend 10 hours a week. I’m almost certain they will accept double DIN radios too, so you can mirror off your phone and watch Youtube or whatever during the drive.

      • 0 avatar

        Neither moving or changing jobs is realistic for me. Austin real estate is going nuts and we can barely afford to live where we do, and we don’t even have a mortgage. Just property taxes and general cost of living, man. I’m looking around for new work, but it’ll necessitate a MAJOR career shift and likely a total relocation. So that’s not in the cards for another 4 or 5 years.

        And I did look at a number of more comfortable urban cruisers. I really liked the TL and GS, but I have no desire to spend money right now. I figure I could get $10k for the CRV, but we can’t afford to blow our savings or take on another loan. The wife’s Highlander is paid off next spring, and we plan to double down on saving up a year’s worth of expenses within 2 years. We need that slush fund just for peace of mind. So NO major purchases before 2020 at the earliest.

        I just plan to drive that hateful Honda until it dies, then I’ll probably drop in a new transmission (because come on, it’ll be the transmission) and keep on driving it.

        I MIGHT see if my upholstery shop could reshape the seat so it’s a little more S-Class and a little less Green Line, though. Seriously, the WORST seats I’ve ever had the misfortune of plonking upon.

        • 0 avatar
          Russycle

          If you’re mostly just sitting in traffic, is the CRV that bad? Granted, the seats, but aside from that, what are you missing? I can’t see how a nicer car will make much difference when you’re doing the old stop-and-go.

          • 0 avatar

            Well yeah, that’s my point! All factors considered it’s not worth replacing with something “better.” I installed an Alpine Bluetooth headunit, a small amp, some quality JBL speakers, and a small underseat powered sub. I’m now saving up to have my upholstery shop rebuild the driver’s seat to mimic the TL’s bolstering (adapting foam and leather to the CRV’s seat frame). It’ll be the best $800 I ever spend on that car.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “That’s an extra $1,000 a month we could either use for a new car for me, or drop into savings.”

      Doesn’t need to be a binary decision. You can do both. Allocate $300 for your car and invest the rest.

  • avatar
    rplamann

    Life’s too short to drive a car that fails to interests you, go for something with a manual transmission!

    On that note where is the Focus RS Bark????? Enquiring minds want to know

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      My only question is if you like manuals why did you buy the automatic Fusion in the first place? These were available with MT back when he purchased it. Serial bad decisions. It does not sound like he has outgrown the car or his needs changed just he does not have a clear idea of what he wants and Bark would not be the one to ask advise since he leans to BB rather than GB. Define your needs and wants and find something that fulfills them.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    I’m compulsively practical and frugal, which means I’ve driven nothing but practical, inexpensive boring cars my whole life and always keep them ’til they die. So I’d say if you have no kids and a comfortable amount of disposable income, live life a bit and forget about practicality. Dump the boring car and get your fun car while you still can.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    Car is almost paid off… has wife and kids… but has an itch for something more ‘exciting’ for his commute…

    Trade it in IF you can Afford it.
    Otherwise, pay off the car and just ‘enjoy’ it!

    So what if you have an itch for speed? You have a family now so the money can be used to fund the kids’ college fund, If you expect them to go to college. How about paying off the mortgage sooner?

    The Fusion may not be exciting but it’s relatively reliable on what you Need it for… commuting and family and it will be paid off soon. The car still has lots of mileage left on it.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Sell the Fusion and use the proceeds to buy a fun car that doesn’t require another car loan.

    (Edit – I see now that that’s what Bark suggested, heh)

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Keep the Fusion for a bit, its a good car and theres better things to do than throw gears around in rush hour traffic.

    If you really, really want to have a haych and replace clutches, get a Ford Focus once your Fusion hits 100k.

    Don’t even think about the Mazda, rusty ovepriced tincans if you ask me.

  • avatar
    thattruthguy

    Assuming that the modest used stickshift hatch is the car that makes you happy, and you don’t have to put two or three grand on a credit card at 24.9 percent or something else silly to make it happen, this seems fine. The cars have similar if not exactly the same values, and you aren’t giving up any utility or switching to a notoriously unreliable car. While the principle of cash-only is a worthy life goal, I can’t see how borrowing a few thousand dollars at a good interest rate would be a financially crippling mistake if that’s what you need to do.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Keep the Fusion, a garden variety Focus is not going to be more entertaining to drive, even if it has a MT. Put the money you had been spending on a car payment in a savings account and in a year or so pick up a Miata for a fun car.

  • avatar
    jrhmobile

    I think there are two issues that need to be addressed here:

    1) If you could use a hatchback “a couple times a year”, rent one. Or a minivan. If you don’t have a regular need or desire to own something, rent or borrow it for the rare occasions where it can be useful. Then get something more fun or useful on a regular basis.

    2) If you want something more fun or sporty on a regular basis, think seriously about how often you’d want that. If you’re commuting 50-odd miles a day, you’re knocking out some serious miles, maybe in occasional or regular traffic. As romantic as the notion of enjoying that snick-snick six-speed manual may be, it loses it’s sheen when you’re stuck in traffic shifting between first and second, and stopping and stuffing in the clutch, in rush hour traffic. Which leads me to …

    3) Consider buying a pickup truck. My four-cylinder, five-speed Ranger got me rides in Porsches, other nice sports cars, muscle cars and luxury boats while my buddies borrowed my pickup on nights and weekends. Because the best sports car, by far, is any borrowed one.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “Because the best sports car, by far, is any borrowed one.”

      Actually no. I can’t be 100% sure but I’ll go out on a limb and guess that most sports car owners would not want to trade their Corvette/911/Cayman/Miata/Z4/TTRS etc. for a 4 cylinder ranger.

      Maybe, just maybe you could tempt them with the siren song of the six cylinder Ranger. We all know that one is a minx.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    If there’s a car that makes a freeway commute fun, I haven’t found it.

    Either get something comfortable, or something efficient. The Fusion is probably ‘good enough’ at both. I drive a Lexus LS but now wish I had got a Prius which would have saved me some money.

    It’s a classic problem – lighter, more razor edged cars seem to be more fun when you’re ready to have fun but they’re not as comfortable when you’re living with them. Grand touring cars split the balance between play and comfort but you pay to play.

    Once you start making compromises, you realize why so many people buy CUVs and midsize sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez_Returns

      Yep. Doubly so if you’re commuting in traffic. I always wonder where folks who DD Fiesta STs or WRXs live.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The car that makes the freeway commute fun is the one with comfortable seats, good climate control, and a good stereo.

      There was a reason I wouldn’t consider any LS without the Mark Levinson system when I bought mine.

      I’d rather pay the extra gas to commute in the LS rather than a Prius. And if your commute is really all freeway, the mileage isn’t even that much worse.

      I just came back from a week-long road trip in my LS. It averaged 26.5 mpg over the whole trip, and that included a bit of city driving and a fair amount of 90+-mph cruising in lax Montana. It will return 32 mpg at a 65 mph steady cruise.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        “The car that makes the freeway commute fun is the one with comfortable seats, good climate control, and a good stereo”

        I would add effective dampening of road imperfections and quiet.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh. You mean a Lexus!

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I spend some money on an older 5-speed car. Keep the Fusion for now, and see how you like driving the 5 speed through an hour of red lights, stop signs, traffic, etc.

    If anything, keep the Fusion until you’re sure the used car is good enough to drive, then sell the Fusion and buy what you really want. Depending on your experience with the used car, get rid of both for a new(er) ride.

    Some suggestions for a used manual car would be about anything Honda that wasn’t modified or looks to have been driven by a kid. Something from the 1990s-2000s: Accord coupe, Prelude, Civic Si, Integra.

    Also maybe a used (antique or modern) Mustang GT (or 5.0 LX if a fox body) could serve well as a fun-to-drive alternative to the boring and practical. Anything with a V-8 and a manual will do, so long as there isn’t a “II” anywhere on it. If winter is an issue, make it your summer car (convertible even?). It could be worth something someday depending on what it is, but it’ll always be iconic and desirable to some no matter what year it is. The kids (if not now, maybe future?) will always remember Sunday afternoons driving around with dad in his Mustang.

    Of course, an MX-5 is a good choice, although not my first one.

  • avatar
    bludragon

    1. Keep the fusion for a couple more years, enjoy the fact that it is basically free while putting the money aside for something a little more special… I don’t think a used hatch of similar age is going to be all that much better for your commute.

    2. Consider a fun car for weekends or autocross, or track… This will require you to have some free time and some spare cash, but you could get something to satisfy the itch for fun without being such a depreciating asset.

    3. Email a few dealers for quotes on a 2016 mazda3 with manual transmission… with the current Mazda incentives and the fact that the 2017 mid-life refresh is almost here there are deals to be had. And you get something fun, economical and 5 years newer than your fusion.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    I didn’t make it through the whole article. I utterly despise the whole “one person pretending to chat as two people”, and even “two people chatting as a post”.

    Sorry if others enjoy the format. I can’t stand it.

    Keep the Fusion. Crush your soul for the next 5 years. Then hit middle age, dump the wife, by an MX-5 and aim for a 23 year old blonde.

  • avatar
    Paragon

    Based on the daily commute, go ahead and keep the dependable, boring Fusion. Spending money on any other car isn’t going to make the commute any better. You already know that. Sure, we all daydream about all kinds of things. As Dave Ramsey would tell you, stick with the plan to save as much as you can so one day you will be completely DEBT-FREE! Don’t make the mistake of spending money when you don’t need to. Because if you do, you know you will come to regret it. Be thankful your late model sedan is almost paid off. Be a responsible parent/spouse, and don’t let temptation ruin your life financially.

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  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber