Cars: Choose Your Loss

2 station wagonsWhen you buy a car, you have a choice to make: fun or practical. Fun = expensive. Practical = saving money in the long or short run.

Case in point: these two wagons were for sale locally, for relatively low prices. When compared to the original prices, the BMW was an incredible steal. However, the BMW will end up costing way more than the Ford, in practically every way you can imagine. (Trust me on this; I had an old BMW for a few years.)

But every single minute behind the wheel of the 528 (when it is running OK, that is) will be way more enjoyable than every minute behind the wheel of the Escort.

You must pick your poison.

(And I dream of poison. When I saw that BMW, I thought a little too long on how fun it would be to have it. Alas, we will continue to drive one of the most boring — and practical — cars on the planet, the Toyota Corolla.)

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3 Replies to “Cars: Choose Your Loss”

  1. You’re so right about this Paul. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen people buy an older Mercedes, BMW, Lexus or Acura only to find that it costs just as much to maintain one that’s 10 years old as it does to maintain a new one, and worse, that the older ones, without warranty, are simply to costly to repair. All of the technical sophistication that is built into those cars eventually breaks down, and many times the repairs would cost more than what the car is worth.

  2. I feel sad looking at that blue Escort wagon. My grandpa owned one just like it. And he loved cars probably as much as you do, or more so. I don’t know. He had many nice cars when I was growing up, but he made a strange decision when he got his Escort. Believe me, he always had it polished. Loved that.

  3. Tim: What you say is totally true — and also sad. High maintenance is rarely a good thing!

    Johanna: Pride of ownership is an admirable thing. It’s not necessarily related to the external perceived value of the item.

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