« I'll Never Lose Weight Because Life Isn't Worth Living Without Pretzels and Hummus | Main | Redsun Making a SW-Capable Boombox? »

September 13, 2013



At 30K, the Mazda is still under warranty. And frankly, on a modern vehicle from any manufacturer selling cars in the U.S., no suspensions "go out" after 30K----unless he means "after" as in WAY after, like at 230K. For the record----from a strictly "reliability" standpoint----and possibly also longevity----he's right that the Accord is a better choice. If you want to keep the car past 8-10 years, the Accord will likely cost a lot less to own and last longer. Appliances tend to last a long time. And don't get me wrong---I like the Accord for it's "competency." If what you're looking for is a little more life behind the wheel, I would test drive the Mazda. My opinion is that the Mazda is a good enough car---that it's worth a test drive. If you feel as though it's going to give you a lot more driving pleasure----I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. If you're a numbers cruncher and how the car "feels" and how it handles/accelerates/drives (a combination of those attributes and how they translate to the driving experience) doesn't matter to you----buy the Accord.


Just got a Subaru Outback myself, but somehow I think that snow, and snow, and ice and sleet and rain and ice and a little bit more snow, and then snow, followed by summer (if it falls on a weekend next year let's have a picnic) and then snow, is more of a concern where I am than where you are. And the traffic jams are getting terrible here too- there were two cars in front of me at the stoplight this morning. Took me ten minutes to get across town!


Bill: You can't go wrong with a Subaru. I remember in the 1970s, when they were just basic little entry level cars and the ads said "Inexpensive and built to stay that way." For around $3000.00, you were able to get a stylish (for the time) little coupe with a nicely finished interior. The engines and transmissions on those things ran forever. Unfortunately, the bodies rusted out----but that was an epidemic back then, same problem on Datusns too and other Japanese cars. The Subarus were the first to have a full line with front wheel drive----little cars that could pull through the snow, cheap too. They were much loved and every single year, they've gotten bigger, better, more sophisticated and yes, more expensive----but in my opinion, still a good value for what you get. To me, they are like a spiritual successor to the original Saab. Saab also came to the U.S. and through the late 50s into the 60s-----offered a bargain priced small car that pulled with the front wheels. Saab is under new owners now----going to reemerge in China and Europe and if all goes well, reintroduce into the U.S. and Canada in a few years. I have an '04 Saab 9-5 wagon that has been a tremendous car. Going on 9 years old, not a single significant problem with it and the interior looks new---high quality.

Rob Zing

Or spend $22.2K on a base level Mustang, then toss on a decent air filter, glasspacks, and a tuner. You're back up to the same $23.5K now, you'll have slightly more horsepower than Steve McQueen's car in "Bullitt," and you will have – automotive-wise at least – fulfilled this site's mission statement.


I traded a Mustang on the Subaru, and I lost a bucket of Man Points- sort of. The Outback is a station wagon. On the other hand we have many two-track fire trails out in the State and National Forests, where the Subaru can wander at will and the Mustang couldn't. Maybe I'll get some Realtree (tm) camo pattern seat covers and wheels, and a rifle rack, get those Man Points back.

Driving the Mustang, which didn't even have anti-lock brakes, was "interesting" in the snow. It could be done. However after seven years of that I was facing body work for rust (for the second time). Also steering system repairs (for the third time). I hope the Mustang goes to someone in a warmer climate. She deserves it. The roads and climate around here are just too harsh for a car like that, I think. We just can't have pretty things here. It's sad.


You enjoy the markup of a new car for the "privilege" of it depreciating as soon as it is driven off the dealer lot?

At ~$22k, think more along the lines of a BMW 7-series or an Audi A8 with dealer certification and/or an extended warranty.

YMMV. ;)


The Subaru's AWD has no use in most of sunny SoCal, where it merely adds weight and reduces MPG (and if one tire needs to be replaced, you must replace all tires,) and whatever you save in the Mustang will be lost several times over in insurance. Basic FWD family sedans may not be exciting, but there are a lot of cost-effective reasons for their popularity..


Can't drive a BMW. I failed Arrogance 101 at the U- twice- so I didn't get one.


We are in The Sticks here, so these exotic cars like BMWs, Audis, and maybe a Dodge* are hard to find and hard to find parts and service for. Even a Toyota or Subaru is pushing it.

(*Exaggeration for humorous effect. Joke: a deliberately silly statement intended to engender yucks.)


Being in Florida, there is usually a decent supply of low-mileage, used luxury cars on the market.

Even the occasional Ferrari 308, Mondial, etc. pops up for under $25k here. That said, and admittedly, the sale price does little to reflect the ongoing maintenance costs for a Ferrari.


Rob: Proceed with caution though. I know people who've gone for "bargains" on used exotics and luxury sports cars like BMWs. And this isn't against BMW----I have a 325i that I love dearly----but the fact is, if you buy a used one, depending on mileage and model, you might be in for some money "above and beyond" the price of purchase. My cousin's husband had an M5, first generation that came to the U.S. He traded it with 60K on it----and undoubtedly, someone scraped together just enough money to get that great deal instead of a Camry or Accord. But the problem is that----the car would be due for some major services in a few thousand miles. Brakes on a BMW, driveline belts, fluid exchanges that really should be done at that mileage to head off crushing repair costs----are in and of themselves, a small fortune. It's not "a few hundred bucks on top of the purchase price" to catch up on the maintenance (done correctly). It's thousands more.

Rob Zing

You know, I used to be a big fan of nice used BMW 3-series cars. The first one I picked up for a song right after the '87 stock market crash, and since have owned three more. With each subsequent one, I watched them evolve from "The Ultimate Driving Machine" into more luxurious, less reliable, electronics-encrusted maintenance hogs, all while the prices climbed. Last year, of what I could find locally the price finally crossed that of a new base Mustang. So, out with the 325i and in with the pony car. With that background in mind, I'm just going to bust out into verse:

I would not, could not drive a Lexis
across the heated plains of Texas

I will not, will not pilot a Bimmer
to the gun range with George Zimmer


I could not, would not drive a Mercedes
even to convey my ex to the depths of Hades

and finally,

I am done with these luxury cars used and old,
with parts that cost more than bars of gold.
They have all become high-maintence bitches
which conspire to keep my wallet in stitches.

Instead I will drive a new domestic car
both to the range and to the bar.
With warranty from defective manufacture,
my wallet will no longer writhe from fracture.

OK, time to put down the whisky and get to bed. Work comes early tomorrow. What the hell came over me?


Rob: My late wife----had a '93 BMW when we met. She bought it new and it was a low mileage car as she lived close to the train that took her to her job. It's the 325i I reference above----E36 model, which some say is "The last REAL 3 series!" I don't know about that----but I do know the car is more spartan than the new breed of gadgeted up i-pads on wheels. This car is built for driving. The twistier the road, the better! I'm somewhat attached to the car because it was her car when we met. But it's been very reliable for the most part and it's a blast to drive.


I already well know the concerns with used luxury cars, especially of the land yacht variety. I have owned Audi, BMW, Maserati, Mercedes, etc. over the years.

Luckily I have two distinct positives for European import ownership. One, I do not mind doing many of the common repairs on imports myself. Two, I do not have a regular commute, as I am a consultant in the dot com industry.

I often opt for low-mileage, older land yachts. Recently sold my BMW 750iL. Still have my old Mercedes 560SEL as a daily driver.


I currently have five cars---four owned by me and a company car. So my garage and (enlarged, with two parking pads) driveway are full. If I could squeeze another one in----I've been very interested in finding a mid-80s Mercedes diesel. I'd go for a wagon or sedan. I like the bigger ones. I still see those from time to time----in good basic condition. It's amazing Rob, how high quality the leathers were and other interior materials and how well those parts wear. Even the chrome parts on the exterior---seem to have "extra" layers of plating and are heavier than anything I've seen since then. I see people selling these cars with 200,000 or 300,000 miles on them, claiming that the cars are still good daily drivers. Makes me think one with 125,000 isn't even broken in yet. I wonder how hard it is to find parts and how expensive though?

Jack Marshall

He says the suspension "goes out" on a new Mazda6 after 30K miles?

My Miata had closer to 130K on the clock when I traded it, with nothing more than routine maintenance (none of which included replacing any suspension parts). Current Mazda3 has 50K+ and all I've had to do was oil changes.

The Accord is certainly a durable car too, but I'd find a new mechanic.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


  • Advertisements


  • Advertisements


  • Advertisements
My Photo


  • Advertisements


  • Advertisements


  • Advertisements

August 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          
Blog powered by Typepad


Companion Website: Breakthrough Writer

My Photo

Become a Fan