By on October 6, 2016

dealership2

I bought a car yesterday (as seen below). I’ll do the full reveal and write-up for you tomorrow. For now, let’s talk about all the things I considered buying but didn’t, and how it might help you make your own buying decision in the future.

And yes, I bought it. I didn’t lease. We’ll discuss that tomorrow, too.

When people buy cars, typically it’s a journey of exclusion. What do I mean buy that? Simple.

According to our own Tim Cain, there are approximately 300 different models that anybody in the US of A can walk into a dealership and buy today. That’s an overwhelming amount of choice, and that’s just new cars. Imagine how complex and difficult your decision becomes when you throw all the used cars available in the marketplace into the mix.

It’s impossible for anybody to test drive all of them. It’s improbable that anybody will even test all the cars in a particular consideration set. So what do we do? We exclude.

We exclude anything without four doors. Or all-wheel drive. Or a tow rating below 4000 pounds. Or engine output below 200 horsepower. We take a massive selection of cars and we narrow it down to a select few, and then we start the real research process.

Car dealers don’t understand this. They think customers look for reasons to include them in searches. Many of them are under the impression that customers still have some sense of loyalty in the car buying process, but nothing could be further from the truth. As such, dealers fail to differentiate themselves from others in the marketplace, and inventory ends up being the deciding factor instead of the dealer experience. Unfortunately, the exclusion process means many dealers never get a shot at customers they could do an excellent job of ultimately servicing.

However, it’s during this exclusion process that we have the potential to miss some truly magnificent choices. I’ll walk you through my selection process and tell you why I excluded some cars, and why I ultimately started including others. It might help you in your next buying process, too.

Often times when people write to Ask Bark, they haven’t really determined what’s important to them. Before you go shopping, build out your consideration set, including the following:

  • Price
  • Brands you like/want to avoid
  • Body style
  • Street capabilities
  • Track capabilities (if you’re interested)
  • Features/functionality you can’t live without

My price limit was $50,000. I wanted something more powerful than my Fiesta ST. As much as I love the FiST, I missed the feeling of raw power that came with mashing my foot down in the Boss 302. I also wanted a comfortable daily driver with some creature comforts. The Fiesta, although it’s many things, including a capable track rat 3-5 times per year, luxurious it is not. I also wanted a capable autocrosser (even though it’s not racing) in the event I felt like standing around and picking up cones on a Sunday afternoon.

So what did I consider?

BMW 228i M-Sport: Gosh, I wanted to buy this car. I really did. I’ve never owned a BMW, and I have to admit the reminder of riding around in my Dad’s Bimmers as a kid gave me a certain sense of nostalgia. Also, Jack seemed to think it was the best of the little BMWs — better than the M235i and the M2.

However, when I mentioned I had an appointment to go drive one, Jack reminded me, “You’re paying Coyote ‘Stang money for something that won’t see a Coyote ‘Stang at the track anywhere but pit lane.”

Fudge. He right. You’re excluded, 228i.

Mustang GT: This idea has been stuck in my head ever since I sold the Boss. The new GT is faster than a Boss 302 in nearly every way, and a yellow GT with a black stripe was available right down the street from my home. But let’s admit it — a GT isn’t as special as a 302, even if it’s a little faster. Also, a Mustang’s back seat is becoming less and less practical for my growing kids. Excluded.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack: Everything about this car said yes to me. Everything — except the badge. I just don’t want a Dodge. Also, I think it would be incredibly fun to drive on the street, but painful and laborious at the track, not to mention on an autocross course. Excluded.

Ford Fusion Sport: I liked the idea of this, too, but the track/autocross duty just didn’t seem like it was gonna work out. It would have been the best of the street cars, but the worst of the track cars. Also, I hate to admit it, but to the rest of the world it’s just a Fusion. Since we know how vain I am, the Fusion wasn’t gonna work out. Excluded.

Just like everybody else, I expanded my set the closer I got to the purchase date. What else did I add to the search?

Camaro 1LE: Excluded, for the same reasons as the Mustang.

Mercedes CLA 45 AMG: Probably the fastest car available in my price category, but it’s a freaking CLA. Everybody knows that those are for poseurs.

Audi S3: I think they’re neat, but they’re ultimately just sedan versions of the GTI. I drove the GTI and the Golf R a few weeks back, and neither made it into my consideration set. Excluded.

So what did I buy? Come back tomorrow and find out.

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106 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: All The Things You Ain’t...”


  • avatar
    davewg

    Is the picture of the Lexus dealer a hint? If so, my $ is on an IS350 F-Sport.

    If not, this has Chevy SS written all over it.

  • avatar
    Drew8MR

    The CLA isn’t any more poseur than a freaking RS. Just sayin’.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Hows an RS anywhere as poseur as a CLA?

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      Agreed with Drew8MR….saying that the CLA is poseur is just a silly statement no matter how many times it’s repeated on the interwebs. A colleague has an AMG version, it’s a very nice, very fast little car. I don’t own one nor want one, but I dig it…but to call someone a poseur for owning one is kinda silly.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      What does the Focus portray itself to be that it isn’t?

      CLA tries to pass itself off as a legitimate Benz… it isn’t. I’d respect it more in it’s true form (A-class hatch), not the mini CLS it pretends to be.

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        “I’d respect it more in it’s true form (A-class hatch), not the mini CLS it pretends to be.”

        This!

        I’ve ridden in current model A-class hatches that were being used as taxis in Europe, and didn’t find them objectionable in the least even with the paint shaker diesel engines as they seemed like honest compact cars. Nothing wrong with an A-Class as an alternative to something like a Seat Leon.

        The North American spec CLS is just wrong…

    • 0 avatar
      DaPlugg

      Do you know what poser means? The RS is a ford being a ford, the cla is a kia trying to be a benz, i once thought c class build qaulity wasnt great, and then when i sat in a friends cla250 i was shocked they put a benz logo on it, the cla makes the c class seem like an s class

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    Despite the lead image, I think most “track-capable” Lexuses have those faux-stacked quad tips…

    Hmm. Infiniti Q60?

  • avatar
    NoID

    Yup. My considerations (in order of importance) right now are:

    FCA product
    4 Doors
    30+ MPG
    AWD/4WD
    Manual Transmission
    OMG NOT WHITE, BLACK, OR GREY. OR GRAY.

    As much as I’d like to include sporting pretentions, I realize that at this stage in life my sporty driving is limited to the on- and off-ramps I encounter driving to and from work.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Aren’t the Renegade and 500X the only cars that meet that list of criteria?

      • 0 avatar
        NoID

        The whole list? Yes. I have a Solar Yellow Renegade Sport 4×4 6MT option sheet saved and may pull the trigger early next year. $326/mo for a two year lease with unlimited mileage, all maintenance covered, insurance included.

        I had a Dart priced out as well, before they axed it from the lineup.

        • 0 avatar
          cls12vg30

          I’ve had my orange ’15 Renegade Latitude 6-speed turbo for 14 months and 33,000 miles. Love it. It’s a comfortable, practical hauler for my family of 3 and easily breaks into mid-30 mpg on the highway. It’s not the quickest vehicle I’ve ever had, but it handles really nicely

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        Technically, a manual Wrangler Unlimited falling off a cliff also meets the MPG requirement, but just barely.

        A Ram 2500 crew cab with manual and Cummins diesel could close-in on 30 MPG highway, if you lug it at the minimum speed she’ll do in 6th.

    • 0 avatar
      Tandoor

      “OMG NOT WHITE, BLACK, OR GREY. OR GRAY.” I am with you 100% on this. I don’t get why buyers want (or dealers believe they want) their vehicles printed in grayscale. Resale? Cars depreciate like a bag of french fries left on a picnic table overnight. Besides the basic ability to pay for the car, this is not really a financial decision. You’ve got to live with this thing for a long time. It’s got to be comfortable and practical for your desired use. You want to like the way you look in it. Get what you want. Demand it. Find me a blue one or no deal! I’ve written a manifesto. I apologize.

      Bark! What’dja get? Spill it already!

  • avatar
    seth1065

    I am working on that list as I ponder to sell my TDI back to VW, and it is a PITA to figure out what I really want and the trade offs I am willing to make.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    It is a Lexus IS or BMW 4 series

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The big missing car here is the Chevy SS. It wouldn’t be as good on the track as the RS you bought, but it would be a hell of a lot more comfortable the 95% of the time you’re driving it on the street, and it wouldn’t lose much to that Coyote Mustang on the straights.

  • avatar
    ajla

    – No Volkswagens
    – No pick up trucks
    – No 4 cylinders
    – Styling that I don’t hate
    – Non-lame exhaust note
    – Conventional auto or manual
    – RWD**
    – Under $45K

    ** Unless GM builds it. Internal bias means I’ll buy FWD or AWD from them.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This is a fun exercise.

      – No cars that sell more than about 100,000/year, unless there’s something unique about the trim level or configuration I bought
      – Must fit in my garage (which rules out most pickups)
      – Enough power to accelerate decisively at speeds up to about 90 mph
      – Satisfactory ride/handling balance (which can mean a lot of things)
      – Must either have a good sound or be electrically powered (this rules out many, but not all, four-cylinder cars)
      – Must have auto climate control and heated front seats
      – Must have at least a decent expected or actual reliability track record
      – No FCA products (a 300C 6.4L would be the one thing that might cause me to break this one)

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        Shopping right now.
        -must be fast-ish; turbo-4, v6, v8 please, no NA 4cyl
        -must handle reasonably well, can’t afford to track it, so doesn’t have to be a superstar
        -must have heated seats
        -must have a decent stereo or must be replaceable
        -must be manual transmission
        -must not be an unreliable heap (which is what I have now)
        -must have five seats

        I’m down to four choices: Civic Si, Accord Coupe V6, Mazdaspeed3 and Focus ST. All used of course because the most important thing is that is must not break the bank. I don’t really want the Civic, but the entry price is tempting. Accord Coupe is the top contender (keeping the price under 16k), the Speed3 and ST are appealing, but I think I might be a bit too old for them. Plus it’s REALLY hard to find a Speed3 that hasn’t been riced out or abused; not as bad with the ST.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I find it interesting in your result set you completely dropped the “V8 please” requirement and every choice is FWD. I personally think for you Accord Coupe V6 FTW.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            Have a V8 now, love it don’t want to give it up, but it is a piece of junk. I’m also breaking my rule of no NA 4cyl with the Civic, VTEC nonwithstanding. I guess I could find a FWD V8 something, but I’m pretty sure that it’d be a GM Northstar or that wackadoo Taurus SHO, neither of which are manuals. I have no problem with RWD, (have BMW now) but I don’t see a lot of V6 RWD cars that have five seats except a Challenger SXT which is not very appealing. Also, there’s no way I’m buying another BMW or any German brand for that matter. Learned my lesson the hard way.

            I’m good at making my own problems.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            How about the CTS or G37?

            autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=433098030

            tinyurl.com/jzoxwl9

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            CTS isn’t bad, not a huge GM fan however. I like the G37, but finding a sedan with an MT is almost impossible. The coupe only has two seats in the back. Why I have no idea.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Come up to Canada and buy my buddy’s G35S! It’s in excellent condition and hasn’t been winter driven. He’s a mechanical engineer and takes care of his things.

            kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/saskatoon/infiniti-g35s-2007/1190921424

            Poor guy hasn’t worked since the oilfield tanked and is fundraising.

            It does have a somewhat terrible Bose stereo that may not be easily replaceable. It’s not nearly as bad as some Bose systems though.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @zamoti

            Which V8 BMW do you have now?

            I also think given this revelation your selection in reliable FWD is indeed s sane one.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            BMW 545i, RWD 6MT. As noted like rwd, would buy again, but I also got a set of dedicated mounted snows and I live where it’s flat so no challenges thus far.

        • 0 avatar
          Supercool

          The Accord Coupe is helva car. Ive driven my 06 V6 sedan for 10yrs with almost 0 issues. Ive sold Honda too and was blown away by the 2016 V6 coupe. Wow whats not to like. Balanced driving dynamics, luxury and years of reliability

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        This is indeed a lot of fun!

        For me there’s two categories I guess, my commuting vehicle, and my weekend road trip+ offroad vehicle.

        Commuter:
        Comfortable seats (long seat cushion, broad seatback without tight bolsters)
        Comfortable ride that smothers road imperfections
        Reasonable tires that won’t get messed up by potholes
        A mix of reliability/durability and repairability all in one
        As cheap as possible. I hate depreciation.

        Road trip/weekend rig:
        All of the above, plus…
        loads of cargo space to haul people, things, dogs
        Ground clearance and good body and suspension geometry, underbody protection, a serious 4wd system

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      May 2016

      – Must be a two door
      – Must have a reasonable rear seat, but doesn’t need to be generous.
      – Must have a reasonable trunk, but again doesn’t need to be generous
      – Really want a trunk; really don’t want a hatchback
      – HP around 200-300 or so, about 150ish HP per ton.
      – Must handle well but be comfortable
      – Must be a manual
      – Must EPA at least about 20 city
      – Prefer new
      – Budget up to $40k
      – Good sound system is a plus
      – Built in nav system is a plus
      – Leather seats are a plus

      I wound up excluding the:

      – Hyundai Gen Coupe – shockingly bad mileage, wish they still had the 4-cylinder turbo
      – BMW 228i – no real reason, I just wasn’t feeling it
      – Audi A5 2.0T – see above
      – Chevrolet Camaro 2.0T – functionally it’s a 2 seater
      – Dodge Challenger – would have wanted it, and the V6 is close enough to my mileage target but the V6 is not offered with a manual. The V8 is offered with a manual but the mileage wasn’t acceptable. Was still tempted to make an excuse anyways
      – Subaru BRZ – totally perfect for me, I loved it. Light weight, rev happy engine, fit me well, handled great, ride was a little rougher than I wanted but not bad. Everything was great about it… except my wife said the seat was a re-purposed medieval torture device. And bless her she was willing to let me go for it, but I really want her comfortable in my car.
      – Honda Accord coupe – Oh so frustrating Honda. To get the leather seats I would have had to buy the V6 which was just a shave below what I was willing to tolerate for mileage. To get the efficient 4 cylinder I couldn’t get leather seats and the 4 cylinder is a little weaker than I wanted for the heavy Accord. Decided I didn’t have to make that choice.

      And that’s more or less how I wound up with a Mustang Ecoboost Premium with Shaker Audio and no performance package. The Accord and especially the Challenger were tempting. But the Mustang gave me the decently fuel efficient engine with the manual that I wished the Challenger had, and I could have leather and a powerful engine which again I wish the Accord would allow.

  • avatar
    wiseweasel

    I’m going to throw out a Subaru WRX

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      As a guess, or to rule it out? It sounds like it could be something like that, but the exhaust pipes are all wrong. The video that he has shows a single pipe with a rounded cutout in the “diffuser” area for the pipe. There might be a second on the other side, but a WRX/STI has quad pipes and a more squared or trapezoidal cutout.

      Maybe he got ahold of one of those final edition EVOs?

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        I think you nailed it with the IS 200T F-sport, it doesn’t appear to have the wacky stacked oval tailpipes.

        An Evo X would get him his track functionality and backseats but it won’t tick off the “creature comfort” tab.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Definitely not an IS200t. The exhaust is way more subdued and the IS200t has generally been panned from a sporting perspective.

          I could 100% get behind an Evo. In 10-15 years, car fans are going to realize how special they are.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    2015 Denali crew long box 6.2 8AT in blue with all terrain grill and rims.

    I know exactly what I want. I’ll just never find it.

  • avatar
    pourspeller

    Focus RS. Nitrous blue.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    I think of this as ‘The Brothers Grime’ era at TTAC.

    Sooner or later all Grime things come to an end.

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    My pick 2017 Genesis G80 AWD
    Best deal for the money + long strong warranty

  • avatar

    “Since we know how vain I am”

    No kidding, since this is the second of a minimum of three articles surrounding the “look at what I bought” question.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    “it’s a freaking CLA. Everybody knows that those are for poseurs.”

    So, basically, you’re so concerned about how you’ll appear to other people that you won’t buy a car that suggests that you’re concerned with how you appear to other people?

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Nothing too-too.

  • avatar
    01 Deville

    Buying Lexus, Toyota and Honda is smart due to their resale. Your list of considerations do not preclude a CTS which could be had for under 50k with current discounts. But a Lexus is a better buy in terms of resale.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Per Bark’s on concerns, plus taking issue with some and adding others that he forgot.

    Price: that should be a given
    Brands you like/want to avoid: you stated that nobody has brand loyalty anymore. Is brand hatred any more logical?
    Body style: OK we agree on that
    Street capabilities: I have teenagers who are going to drive it. The only street capabilities that I care about are safety related, including being slightly underpowered. Most males over about 30 or married males and most females would probably feel about the same way. And males under 20 or those from the lowest socio-economic background would just be happy to have a set of semi-reliable wheels.
    Track capabilities (if you’re interested): And exactly what percentage of vehicle purchasers actually take their vehicles onto a track? I would assume that it is miniscule to insignificant.
    Features/functionality you can’t live without: Room for 5, reliable, has all the passive safety features and good crash ratings, is easy for an 80 year old to get into and out of, has good visibility/sightlines.

    Others that Bark forgot to mention:
    Has a dealership nearby
    Will provide 8 years or 200,000kms of reliability with only regularly scheduled maintenance
    Maintenance cost and scheduling: Always check out the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule first and the pricing for scheduled maintenance. Anything outlandish is out of the question. No timing belts. Prefer not to have a CVT or paddle shifters.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      While I agree with most of the post I will argue that “brand hatred” if you can call it that, is entirely rational and different from brand loyalty. If a particular brand had some kind of entirely foreseeable QC failure that resulted in your significant other being stranded in (an admittedly nice) town in literally the middle of nowhere you might be more circumspect about trusting them in the future.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Thus justifying someone not buying a GM because their Uncle’s Vega blew up or not buying a Korean car because of their experience with a Pony in 1989?

        Every existing automotive manufacturer that sells vehicles or has sold vehicles in North America must have manufactured at least one vehicle that meets or exceeds average reliability numbers.

        And as demonstrated many times, the treatment that the vehicle received or receives from its owner or owners generally has more impact on its long term reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Arthur,

      Modern timing belts have replacement intervals upwards of 100,000 miles (160,000 km). That’s hardly a reason to rule them out, especially since it’s not all that rare to have timing chain issues earlier than that (tensioners, chain stretch leading to timing issues, even chains skipping a tooth).

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @heavy, the last vehicle I bought that had engine choices between a belt and a chain was a Kia Rondo, the 6 cylinder had a belt with a replacement recommendation of 100,000kms (not miles). The 4 cylinder had a chain.

        That being said, I do realize that some makes and models have had problems with chains.

        I guess that the key would be between an interruption and a non-interruption engine?

  • avatar
    Paul Alexander

    Can you autocross an RX350?

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    50k and under?

    I’d just buy a new truck and go fishing.

    I can wait for winter and drift all day long without burning my tires off ;)

  • avatar

    It’s obviously an ATS-V! LULZ.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This might sound crazy, but…I’m guessing Toyota 86!

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Oops this is for MeJ above.

    For me this means 1990s Toyota products, my new-found Lexus ES300 as the commuter, and my 1996 4Runner Limited as the road-trip vehicle. The one area the 4Runner kind of falls flat is long road trip comfort. Not necessarily the seats, but how it goes down the road. It gets blown around by crosswinds and large expansion joints really get it out of sorts. A GX470 or newer 4Runner or even a Sequoia might be the solution in a few years. My fiance soon-to-be-wife likes the new Outbacks a lot and that’s a good choice for her odd-hour commutes to the hospital. Once she reaches her stride as a doctor tastes may get more expensive, who knows. Maybe I can convince her of the merits of a GX or Land Cruiser, then I can have my cake and eat it too!

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      Before I stumbled onto the Crosstrek I gave serious consideration to the Tacoma. Beautiful truck with a well-deserved reputation for durability. Also the FJ cruiser was on my short list (Used, since they are now discontinued). The reason I opted for the Subaru was a (rare) common sense issue (for my particular needs) it pertains to how often I’ll use it in rough terrain (not a ton, but some) and how much of a regular boring commuter it will be (often). And it won out mostly for the great gas mileage and comfortable ride (I must be getting old). Both the Tacoma and FJ are pretty bad on gas for what I’d be using it for, so I based my decision mostly off that.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Yeah if I could only have one single vehicle, an Outback would probably it. Fuel economy isn’t too big of a concern to me to be honest, anything over 20mpg is palatable enough, especially once I consider that my “guzzlers” basically do not depreciate so the TCO is still quite favorable.

        Most of my off road driving would be completely adequately served by a Outback, but I have to say there have been a few instances (with scrapes on the 4Runner’s skid plates to prove it) where something like an Outback would be missing a bumper at best, and would be still sitting in a river bed at worst.

        • 0 avatar
          brenschluss

          An Outback with a mild lift, tall tires and a snorkel is my super secret fantasy.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            By the time you get it lifted and armored up, fuel economy is approaching stock 4Runner levels, while capability and durability still lags behind IMO:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq6FPFpDkWE

            But it’s definitely pretty cool looking

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    He’s right – it’s about exclusion.

    I limited my last new car purchase to a few things:

    Good gas mileage – I was driving 650 miles per week and it was costing $140 per week for premium gas in my B5 A4.

    American, Japanese, Korean – in that order. Nothing German.

    Reliable/inexpensive to fix – again, nothing German.

    Fits my 5 person family when needed.

    6-speed manual.

    Ended up with a Chevy Cruze Eco. Met my needs and (far) exceeded my expectations. The savings on fuel nearly covered the note, and I sidestepped the $3000 in regular maintenance (clutch and timing belt) I would have expected in the coming year on the A4.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I have my list of criteria which I am thinking of tossing out the window. The local Fiat dealer is closing and they just listed their two leftover 2014 500 Abarth GQ edition convertibles for $15,500. They originally stickered for $28,595. The car meets few of my needs as a single dad with two kids, but damn.

    I was considering an AWD 1.4T/6M Renegade as well. My criteria included a manual transmission, 5-door body style to haul the kids’ sports equipment and drum set. I like wagons, but there just are few around so a small to mid-sized SUV may be the main option. I may consider a Golf Sportwagen, but I haven’t driven one yet and a manual trans version is a unicorn around these parts. I live in Northern Michigan, so AWD would be nice but not entirely necessary. I get along fine now with a FWD car with winter tires. Waiting for a Sportwagon with AWD and a manual tranmission would require about a year and half, I imagine, if they ever offer it at all.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I’m willing to bet that car enthusiasts are the main ones that will actually follow some sort of pattern to sift through car choices.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      There is a lot of truth to this. Many if not most non-enthusiast buyers are one of two kinds:

      1) I trust Toyota (or my cousin works for Ford, or I only feel good about myself in a BMW, or I’ve spent a month’s pay on stickers of Calvin peeing on the Ford oval) and I’ll go to the Toyota store and get the one in my price range.

      2) That car/truck is SO CUTE (cool, pretty, tough, etc.)! I’m gonna go get one!

      2) is how my father-in-law ended up with a 4×4 F-150 STX even though he’s used the bed maybe twice in seven years of ownership and never drives off-road.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @dal20402
        I’ve had people ask for advice when all they really wanted was for me to confirm the decision they already made.

        Add to that:

        “I buy what dad always bought”
        “I’m a ……….. man” Insert brand on dotted line.
        “Well, all of my friends have SUV’s”.
        “well, that Escalade is bigger and more expensive than those other SUV’s”
        “Everyone else on my street has a truck”

        The list goes on……….
        I rarely EVER have talked to someone that said, ” I made a list of priorities and worked of that list to find what works best for me”.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I second that.

      I went through a similar process on my current car (enthusiast criteria selection)

      Here’s my wife. “____ has a Toyota (or insert other name). It’s cute and she likes it”. Or, I like the look of that one”. Or…”I like that one, what’s it called?”

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Right. My friend bought a freaking first gen Versa that she now HATES because it was “cute”.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Why would you have a price ceiling of $50k? You always lease, so shouldn’t your criteria be “monthly payment below $X”?

  • avatar
    Doc423

    Confused….please interpret this mumbo-jumbo statement concerning the BMW 228iM:”You’re paying Coyote ‘Stang money for something that won’t see a Coyote ‘Stang at the track anywhere but pit lane.”

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    Audi S4. Premium Plus, manual trans, MSRP $49,200.

  • avatar
    319583076

    I drove a Fusion last week and I thought it was garbage. Bad visibility, poor driving position, poor control ergonomics, and the drive was terrible.

    The cluster and steering wheel felt really low and the seating position made me feel like I was in the back seat driving the car a la Hightower from Police Academy.

    There is no drivetrain or suspension package that can overcome the inherent awkwardness of this car.

    In fact, I’m driving a Dacia Logan MCV (diesel 5mt) this week and it’s a superior vehicle.

  • avatar
    EAF

    Congratulations on your new purchase!

    IS 350 F Sport?

    My criteria;

    #1. No Volkswagen / Audi
    #2. No Subaru
    #3. No rear drum brakes =)

  • avatar
    pb35

    Please tell us you bought an SS with the 6-speed manual! You’ll love it as much as I love mine. I had to buy the automatic as my wife won’t drive a stick and she needs to use my car on occasion because her daily is a 9 yo Volvo. It breaks. It’s time to get her a new car too. She likes the CLA!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I really like the SS, I should’ve included it instead of the Corvette in my list on the other article comments of my $40k and above car choices. I don’t know why I didnt, I’d likely buy one over a Vette.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Easy one for us. New Durango.

    3 rows, handles well, looks good to me, not a Ford, not a Nissan (will never get another Nissan), not an ugly sad catfish or predator eating an alien. They tow a decent amount.

  • avatar
    threeer

    So…it’s “tomorrow” already! What did you buy? Inquiring minds want to know…:)

  • avatar
    OzCop

    I agree with Flipper. Durango has it all. Great ride, good looking, variety of configurations, V6 or V8 power, up to 7700 lb towing capacity, AWD availability, and interior second to none…and that was back in 2011 when the new gen first came out. Wish I had not traded mine in on a Ram…although the Ram 1500 Longhorn crew cab is a pretty danged nicely equipped vehicle, my mother in law can’t get in and out of it….Wait…I think that reminds me of why I traded the Durango…she liked it too much…

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    He got the Lexus LS Ultra Luxury. C’mon dude is gettin’ old and he’s got a bad knee.

  • avatar
    Trev Limiter

    Enough with Bark’s claim that autocross isn’t racing! Yes, there are significant differences between it and wheel-to-wheel circuit racing. Autocross is slower, safer and cheaper, but to go so far as to say it’s not racing is ridiculous and snobbish. It’s like an Ivy League alumnus saying to a state school alumnus, “Oh, no, you did not go to college. That doesn’t count.”

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