Thinking about a new car

My poor Maxima was in the shop again. It’s slowly wearing out, and becoming more expensive to fix. This time, there’s a hole in the exhaust system, near the front. The replacement piece will cost about $900, and even the aftermarket piece will need to be assembled, welded, and then installed. And everything’s on backorder too. So for the next little while, my car sounds all riced up.
I also finally removed the tattered remains of the car bra from the front bumper, and there was a little rust near the wheel wells. That’s to be expected, but it’s just another thing that needs to be done.
And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the car’s scratched surface. There are so many things wrong at this point that it might be better to just get a new car, rather than keep fixing this one. Which is terrible, because I love my car. Sure it’s a pain to park, it’s starting to rust, it’s a complete money pit, and its fuel efficiency borders on the hummer-esque. But it’s my car. I drove it across Canada.
But time moves on. And 10 car years is something like 70-80 human years, so maybe it’s time to retire the old fogey. I’m sure as hell not going to get anything on trade-in. So I was contemplating a new vehicle. Something sporty, alternative, and good with the occasional pile of cargo, construction materials, bicycles, camping equipment, canoes, and art supplies I move around from time-to-time. I mean, the Maxima was fun to drive, but was crap when it came to hauling around sheets of plywood.
The Honda Element
This car/truck/SUV/lunchbox crossover is like the Mac of the auto world. It’s much maligned, marvelled, and modified by enthusiasts. The latest trim, the SC is for us urbanites who think that driving the access roads of Algonquin is off-roading (which it is, thank you very much). I’ve always liked the look of the car, and so do about a hundred other people in Waterloo.
Honestly, I’ve never liked the “Honda Nation”. I’ve never wanted to represent. Honda owners, like Mac owners, are so self-important and smug, it makes me want to hit them. However, R’s a big Honda owner, and she’s brought me around. Good resale value, they last for years, and they go forever on a single tank of gas. This will be most important when the zombies come.
Pros: Better gas mileage than my Maxima; Better gear storage; Better sound system; Looks like a lunchbox
Cons: Looks like a lunchbox; Is a Honda
The Hybrid Altima
The Altima always seemed like a step down from the Maxima, but in recent years, they’ve made it increasingly powerful, attractive, and stylish. Now it’s even a hybrid!! That’s almost as good as having it run on coolness. But there are still the limitations inherent to the sedan design that will limit my use of this car, or will require me to sport it out with another roof rack. Essentially, we’ll be back at the start. And the sedan isn’t quite as cool as the coupe, and isn’t as powerful, since it’s a hybrid.
Pros: Great gas mileage; Cool-looking; Most like a Maxima; Nissan learning curve is low
Cons: Still no room for cargo; Not as powerful as the coupe; Not as sexy as the coupe
The Infiniti FX
Hey there. New in town? Yeah, this place is kind of tough. Why don’t you stick with me. Yeah, we’ll grab a cup of coffee or something, and you can tell me about yourself.
The Infiniti FX is the sexiest crossover I’ve ever seen. It does everything you want, and you don’t feel ashamed while driving around with it. But it’d be like having a high maintenance supermodel girlfriend (or boyfriend, if that’s your thing). I’d probably have to feed it premium gas all the time, and get it nice things.
Pros: This is the car that I want
Cons: I don’t date supermodels either; What am I, made of money?
The Nissan Rogue
The Rogue is a new addition to the world of mini-SUVs and crossovers. It was brought in to replace the X-Trail, which filled the void in the price range left by the the X-Terra when it became a more pricey SUV, and had to fill the void in the price range left by the Pathfinder when it became a luxury SUV. I haven’t even mentioned the Murano, on which the Rogue’s chassis was based. I suppose people didn’t want another boxy mini-SUV, but couldn’t afford a Murano, let alone an Infiniti FX.
Suffice to say that the Rogue is supposed to be the crappy entry-level addition to the Nissan clan. Owning this car/truck/whatever is tanamount to saying “I can’t afford anything better,” though it does get good gas mileage, and has pretty much everything I need in a new vehicle.
Pros: It’s like the X-Trail and the Murano; Has everything I need; Cool name
Cons: I need an eye patch and an M107 to drive it; It rips off the Murano; Cheap
The TNG Baja
It’s no joke. This thing seats 2, gets 75mpg (3.4l/100km), costs almost nothing, and looks like something out of Road Warrior. Since all I do most of the time is commute to work and back, maybe I don’t need a cargo van, or a heavy-duty driving machine. Sure I could only drive it in summer, and if I were in better shape, I could just ride my bike to work. Shut up.
Pros: Costs next-to-nothing; Amazing fuel efficiency; Awesome cool for a scooter
Cons: Only in summer; Wasn’t I just griping about needing something with cargo space?

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