I know this isnt quite the right forum, but its been on my head...
i'm turning 23 in less than a month, for some reason when I was in high school I would love a 1000 dollar civic or whatever small car that saves gas, and I will be ok with it. dinged up or not. My point of view is that all cars decrease in value, and why do you need a suv when your only driving by yourself? anything thats bigger than a 4 cylinder is pointless, we have 4banger SUV's, pickups, vans, cars, crossovers, etc.
now as i get a bit older i feel like I want at least something thats midsize, more powerful. and at least comfortable/quiet on the highway, and at least 7000 bucks or over. But i know the moment I do that I will get bad gas mileage even with a 4 cylinder accord or camry, higher insurance, etc that will screw me over in the long run since economy isnt doing too well, gas prices are uncertain.
i dont know, maybe when im a little older i have to drive 50k cars
have any of you guys felt this way? its like the minimum requirements has went up? I know this leads to the debt ridden society that we have now, where people spend more than they earn, or use a car to show off their status or "up" their status.
First car was a 95 Chevy Cavalier 4 door....Parents bought it for me for $400, the first week of owning it the oil sending unit cracked and leaked the oil out of the block. I had it towed and repaired at a local shop (I was 16 so I didn't know better) paid $100 to have it fixed (including the tow). Then I picked up a Haynes manual and did all my own repairs and maintenance from then on.
Second car was a 95 LeBaron, replaced the head gasket myself on the 2.5L (twice in one year) Car was a piece-o-dookie. Trans went out, $1000 to fix an $800 car, it made me mad. 10 months after owning it, I got into a head on collision, took care of that pesky problem of hating that car.
Bought a '72 Galaxie 500 for $400. Spent next to nothing for maintenance aside from a master cylinder replacement (done by myself) and a $400 trans rebuild (done by a shop since I won't mess with an auto trans). Great car, reliable as ever after the trans rebuild, but got about 9-12mpg with the way I drove it (I was 17-18). Got airborne going 80MPH about 6ft. in the air, came down hard and the trailing arm tore off a chunk of the rear frame the next day. sold the car to a local junkyard for scrap. (drove it there too)
Also bought an 86 Integra while owning the Galaxie....fell in love with small nimble and fuel efficient Hondas! Bought the car for $1200, did some body work myself and then sold the car off after a year or two for $1800. Only other money to ever go into that car was for oil, oil filters, spark plugs and wires (along with cap and rotor) and one igniter (common for those to go out if they were the original ones).
Bought an 88 Integra after selling the 86 and scrapping the Galaxie. Just drove it and maintained it...42mpg before I even knew what hypermiling was.
Also bought a 90 turbo Grand Prix....omg....I called the the A-hole car because I drove like an A-hole in it since I made it ridiculously fast. Many speeding tickets.
So I sold off the 88 Integra and the TGP and bought a nearly new 98 Acura Integra GSR. It became the new A-hole car, but I could squeeze 40mpg out of it when driving right. Got Paranoid about theft of said vehicle and traded for a 91 CRX. the GSR got stolen three months later from the new owner.
Souped up the CRX and loved it. I also got 40mpg from it as well. Then I got paranoid about it getting stolen and sold it and got my VX that I currently own.
I do miss the creature comforts of the GSR and the TGP, but practicality is my main driving force when it comes to car ownership. I try to find the luxury in knowing that more money stays in my wallet when it comes to maintenance and mileage, not to mention insurance.
Everyone is different when it comes to cars though...some like the flash and the attention they get in their SUV, meh, I say to them. Some people are shallow and are incapable of thinking outside their own box.
This forum has a huge number (if not all) of members that think outside the box and look beyond their hood ornament to see the light of practicality and ingenuity.
So, yes, I've been there with the bigger more luxury/powerful crowd....it was nice, but got old real fast and expensive. I like cars that I can work on and are cheap to maintain.
ok, I'm stopping now, it feels like I'm rambling on and have givving my entire driving history.
There is nothing wrong with your tastes changing over time. They are subject to many influences. Here's a few I can think of: experiences, needs, changes in your body, changes in your schedule, financial changes, lifestyle changes. There's loads more, but those are the ones I thought of. You drove your gf's 03 accord v6 and you were impressed by the real differences that a larger car offers. No big deal, enjoy some variety.
Note written after I finished typing up the whole post: Holy crap. That's a novel from me, and a novel from Tom. Sorry...I bet you didn't expect that much reading material.
Sure, some (most?) people want a bigger vehicle because of the image, they think it makes them look cool, but it doesn't change the fact that the vehicle delivers something real too. There's people who drive lifted Jeep Wranglers that never see a speck of dirt, but those vehicles still CAN do the dirty work. Just as it's shallow to drive an unnecessarily extreme vehicle solely for its image, it's shallow to avoid a vehicle solely because of its image. Well, that is unless we're talking about an image that would have practical effects on your life, like driving an old beater when you're in a professional career and need a clean, normal image.
Before I could drive my dad got a crazy deal on a Cadillac at an estate sale. I had always thought Cadillacs were just about having a snooty "Look at me, I'm rich" image, but then I rode in it, and it really did deliver something worthwhile. More recently, maybe 3 or 4 years ago, my mom was shopping for cars and wanted an entry-level luxury car. I went with her to test-drive a brand new BMW 3 series. I started with the same "status symbol" attitude I had about Cadillacs so many years before, but after I drove it my mind was totally changed.
When I was in high school, I wanted nothing that was less than 4000 pounds and had less than a V8. I grew up in a family that valued big classic American vehicles with torquey V8s. I sure was happy when my dad gave me the Caddy, which was beaten up pretty badly by that point.
Next I got a '97 Pontiac Grand Am V6, a compact car under 3000 pounds, which was a radical departure from anything I wanted. I hated it. Years later I realized that it wouldn't have been so bad if it was more comfortable, rode smoother, and didn't have controls made by Fisher Price for a Baby's First Car toy.
After ~5 years of that, I got the GMC that I have now. I loved it and still do. It's an extended cab full size V8 pickup. There's room for my elbows and knees, there's room for all my stuff inside and out, and there's the power to do whatever I want with it (and I do do all kinds of stuff with it).
However, after 6 years of that, I had a new long commutue and a bad financial situation. I grudgingly decided I'd have to settle for a little car. I went shopping and sat in a Ford Focus which reminded me of the Grand Am, my elbows and knees pressing against hard surfaces which were way too close. I test drove a Jeep Patriot (which, economically speaking, I should have gotten) and figured I could probably get used to it and I'd probably just have to settle for something like that. So, imagine my surprise when I sat in the VW and it felt perfect immediately!
That was a revelation for me. There I was, in love with a car that was everything I've ever hated -- very small, hatchback, small engine (by my standards, 2.5L I5 is miniscule). I still think it's ugly and I'm embarassed to show up in it, but I don't care because I enjoy driving it and I enjoy the tiny fuel budget. I guess it also helps that it weighs a hefty 3000 pounds, a little more than the Grand Am weighed and with a lot better suspension technology to give me a decent ride and decent handling.
Now, a year later, having put 18,000 miles on the VW, I still love it. In fact, the ride and handling have grown on me even more. I've come to realize that I could possibly fit in other small cars and it's even possible that I could enjoy driving a smaller, lighter car than the VW if it fits me right.
I'm 39, and the only reason I'm slightly tempted to get rid of my '94 saturn is because (like it or not) it does not do good for my image at work. I feel like I'm going to push for a promotion in the near future, and for someone at my education and career level I think the Saturn might be hindering me.
But it's a bit of a shame since the saturn is (relatively) a fuel sipper, and is so each & cheap to maintain for the 25k miles I drive it every year.
I can understand how you feel. I didn't grow up in much of a V8 family. My mom owned a Tercel 2D and a Neon and my dad owned a Prizm and a couple 4 banger Accords.
With all those cars being the ones I rode around in I felt my Cressida was an awesome ride. And it was! It had all the amenities that you could ever want, rode smooth, and had plenty of get up and go. I was 16 when I got that car.
The next car was what, at the time, I considered a step up, the Tracker. It was an SUV which made living over 6 hours from home easier when i needed to buy/move larger things, it was a 4 cylinder so I was expecting better mileage (that I didn't get), it was newer (99 @ ~65k vs 88 @ ~195k), and it was RWD. I hated that car. Hated it with such a raw passion that at the scene of the accident I totaled it at I was actually happy that she turned out in front of me. The 250 mile drive from here to El Paso was murder because by the time I got there I ached all over. It was uncomfortable and I was embarrassed to be driving in it.
When I went looking for a new vehicle I started thinking about where I am in my life, what I like to do (sports and such), and where I want things in my life to be going. The Durango fills all of it. I like off-road trail riding on my bike and the 4x4 will get me to even the worst of trail-heads. I wanted an SUV with actual utility(go figure) and the 5600+ towing capacity and 1700+ pound payload capacity takes care of that, not to mention the fact that the rear cargo area has hooks for tie down straps. Took it on a trip to El Paso to visit my sister and when I got there I couldn't believe how good I felt, something about 5000 pounds of vehicle absorbing small bumps makes for a nice drive. And last but not least, a family will fit in it, and while I didn't think (or even care) about that when I was even 20 when I got the Tracker, I do now at 23.
It's only a few years but things can change quite a bit.
hell first job i get and few paychecks im gonna find me something with some V8 muscle, nova, elcamino, find an old caprice like we used to have (loved that car, had some balls to it) heck anything where i can stomp the gas and actually go somewhere.
Or id like a jeep wrangler as thier not fast but fun as hell. or even a slightly lifted 4X4 for fun.
sure any of em will get maybe 12mpg but if u just take it out on special events or find one old enough you can classify it as antique and buy cheap plates and find cheap insurance it wont be that noticeable.
4 cyl are fine for commuting and long trips but when i wanna just cruise around and have a car that doesnt sound like 4 angry gerbils in a coffee can id like a V8 or something.
I have a '96 Saturn that I daily and baby, a '94 Z28 that I race in SCCA, and just got my turbo '96 Miata running. Between all 3 cars purchase prices total $3,700, mods/upgrades/maintenance and purchase price totals $6,300 for all 3.
But... if I had money, I'd buy a new Mercedes C350 Sport in a heartbeat. OMG, sat in a few at the Cincinnati Auto Expo 2 weeks ago, and just sat in another at the Cleveland Auto Show over this weekend. I'm in love. Base price is like $37,000 US
One of the great things about GasSavers.org as opposed to other gas saving forums is that we're open minded, not limited to tiny subcompacts and Hondas. We have lots of fans of classic American V8s in big cars and we talk about saving gas in everything. I don't think you'll find quite as much variety and open-mindedness elsewhere, but maybe that's a false impression.