I have a major case of split personality. I spend most of my time trying to eek the most MPG out of Box and by and large have done that well. But there are two situations where that isn't the case.
One is when I autocross. Pounding around a course, taking corners like this, the last thing on my mind is fuel economy. And if it's hot out I've got the A/C blasting the whole time I'm idling on the grid waiting for my chance on the course.
The second is when I drive Emily, my '62 Comet. I could care less what gas mileage I can get out of her, as I'm having too much fun just driving her. And I have a bad habit of blipping the throttle jsut to hear the rumble through the glasspack dual exhaust.
Wow! Congrats on the ride! It's a wonderful thing when a machine melds with its master. There's nothing like it (that's legal, anyway).
I get that way sometimes in the Camaro, but the suspension isn't as advanced. Still, for $8k it isn't bad.
A quick look at Craigslist for my area brought up a big handful of Mercedes for less than ten grand. I wonder, how are they for maintenance and parts costs? Wife is head over heels for a convertible, and there's a Mercedes convertible in that pile I saw. Can she be stylin' in a Mercedes without me having to sell my tools to keep it running?
Price was $6800. Local property tax assesment is $8800.
I don't know that I would recommend a used Benz to anyone unless you are a pretty competent mechanic. Even then you need to research the known problems with the specific car and have access to used parts.
I worked at a Benz dealer for several years in the early eighties. The quality of MB cars is not what it once was. The mirror switch I replaced was originally made in Germany. Many of the German car electrical components (BMW at least) are now made in Mexico. Check Consumer Reports frequency of repair records to see how owners respond to a particular model.
Put it in the garage and drove the Civic for the first time in a week, I think the VX is actually larger than the Benz.
One of the reasons the prices seem to be so low is the cost of repairs, if you have to go to a dealer. I was lucky to have to only buy one part (mirror switch@ $41) to get everything in working order.
Sweet car, I have liked them since they were first announced. I drove a C 230 K across Canada in 2004 and that was nice, 6 speed manual, got it up to 133 MPH on the Prairies (speed limiter for North America, damn them!), but it returned about 29-30 US MPG over the whole trip despite the frequently blowing supercharger and five people inside. Our B is nice too. I have been dreaming of a Porsche Cayman and they're not all that expensive.....hmmm.
I know what you mean by split personality. I guess I can call myself a part-time hypermiller - I drive to save every ounce of gas in my VX, but when I'm driving my Evo or Miata, I redline them all the time and drive for fun.
I guess you could say that I drive each car like it was meant to be driven.
I have been drooling on Porsche Caymans, which Transport Canada rates at 6.8 L/100 km (34.6 US MPG) on the highway (2.7 L version). They're coming out with DFI for 2010, so that should bring even more power and less fuel consumption.....
We'll see what the future portends. Maybe you can have your cake (a real sports car) and eat it too (decent FE).
I have my VX for DD duties and use it as much as I can for any long haul driving trying to get the best mpg out of it all the time. Driving conservatively, not worrying about getting anywhere faster, etc.
But then, when I get in my STi it is a whole different world. It is primarily used for autocross duties (which it was bought for) and fun days. After being patient in the VX the majority of my driving time, it is fun to let loose in the Subaru.