Gen X at 40

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humblebub -

I would speak - but I have no idea what you are asking? Are you asking opinions on cars - specifically the Focus? If so, get a Jetta.

Alan -

I meant of Foci.

[Surely you had some idea of what I was asking. I would have been surprised, for example, if you had provided a tale of a man in a prison in France in a metal mask unjustly imprisoned by another who wished to steal the prisoner's wife.]

Dan James -

I can couch for Subaru.

Dan James -

couch, vouch, whatever.

Alan -

What else will you couch for?

portland -

hey i liked the escort wagon and the focuses are bigger, a little better built. you'll be okay. dont ride it into the ground. replace after 4 years is my advice. theyre made to break. i can attest to that. but till then, perfectly good cheap ride. good luck.

humblebub -

WOW..replace after 4 years, made to break, don't ride them into the ground. Hmmm..I obviously made a mistake when I drove my VW Jetta 300,000 miles, my Audi Coupe GT 450,000 miles and my Toyota Tercel 250,000 Km. Oh wait, I still have my '83 BMW with 140,000 Km and maintenance costs of about $300 a year. (The BMW is a bike). Yep, I think I will sell my current VW and go buy a Focus. Yeah, right.

Alan -

It's all a matter of cost, Craig. A warrantied hairdryer is less than repairs on the VW and van together. I can't imagine yours maintenance on 4 vehicles is 300$ per year. If so, you must live on a road that votes Tory. My annual tie rod costs alone on the 240,000 km VW were double. Never mind the radio, rust, seized hatchlock I never fixed. There is a time they gotta go. If I had $500.00 per month I wanted on a car, it would have been a new VW but for city scooting, why?

humblebub -

Oh no - the cost of maintenance on 3 vehicles, (the Outback, The Jetta, and the BMW bike) has actually less than $300 over the last 12 months. The Outback which is 6 years old, has been $85 which included an oil change ($34), Tire rotation ($26 from memory) and $25 for fluids following a $1500 tranny rebuild that Subaru covered as "it should not have happened." My 2 year old Jetta has had nil costs and the balance has been for the BMW.

My point was not to brag about my good fortune, but rather was to point out that I consider any car that carries a comment that it needs to be traded every four years as being a questionable value in cars. I was also pointing out that there are alternatives that in my experience, do not seem to require quite so frequent replacement.

I don't see where I suggested you spend $500 a month for a VW. Perhaps you should shop around a bit.

Now I am bored. I have no further interest in car debate.

Alan -

Despite Craig's bailing, it is pretty plain that you can't buy a $25,000 car for a $300 month.

humblebub -

I only saw one reference to buy - prior to Alan's last post. Alan is right, you can't buy a $25,000 car for $300 a month. However, cost of ownership of a MV is not necessarily composed of retireing the purchase price of a MV through buy-down of the full capital cost.

Alan -

[Maydja look! I knew you couldn't go away. Who can? Active conversation running totals are like an itch.]

No, you are right, there are many costs and I have been lucky in the pricing of this purchase in that it is the end of a model years in a downturn of the industry during a period of extremely low inflation and interest rates. As a result I dickered and traded (tired, tired lemons) for over 20% of the price.

I would stil say that you are very lucky with your maintenance costs. Or I'ze a sucker. When the car guy says it needs this, I say fix it. But the van last year needed header work and this year needed front end work. Over $1000 a pop. The VW needed about $1,000 or maybe - who knows - $2,000 of work. This is what I understand cars over ten years and 240,000 km do.

Dan James -

So far we have one person (other than alan) couching for the Focus and two couching for Subarus..... If you hold off until roll up your rim to lose season, maybe you could win an Aztec?!

Alan -

Aztecs clearly sucked in the contest for my money. Weird mini delivery van like things.

Humblebub -

Quite right - Alan, old high mileage cars usually need expensive repairs and there is a point at which is just makes financial sense to buy / lease something newer. I think the point that we left - was (is) that a new car that has a (commented on) life span of 4 years is, to me, of questionable value.

To me, a careful consideration of value, VS price is a logical path to follow. If my Jetta costs be $342 a month (taxes in) to lease, and there are no maintenance costs due to warranty and VW service included policy then (for me) that is a good value. I get a quality car and no worries. As this is my 5th Jetta I have some history knowing (hoping) at the end of the lease the car will still be very dependable with equity remaining, that makes it either A. a good buy to purchase, or B. I will have equity in the vehicle to apply to my next vehicle.

Certainly, the dealer makes a huge difference. Most of the dealer-whores get what they deserve - a hard bargain in your face price negotiation. You know where I deal - good decent people who treat their customers the way they would want to be treated.

Just depends on what you want, what you can afford and what your needs are. If you want a throw away car, buy a Kia. If you want a million mile car buy a VW TDI. Blah..blah..what ever car makes sense to you and herself, then that is the car that is right for you.

For what it is worth - after two years ownership, I still smile when I get in the car to wobble off to work.

John -

Where's the love for the Civic? I have a 2001 Civic EX and love it. I considered the Jetta, but then I realized I'd spend an extra $5k to get the same features as on the Civic EX. Also worth looking at is the Protege5, which is what my wife drives. Great handling car and I love the sport transmission.

Alan -

Features. The '03 Focus has many of the things around the dash which in the 90's VW introduced as new ideas - the sales guy used the adjective of last resort - "european" - but perhaps in this case legitimately. One thing I did make sure I got was crank windows. The failure of a window motor when paying toll in winter is not worth the 4 calories you save a year not cranking the windows.

Humblebub -

<chuckle>..less awkward at the Tim's window too.

Alan -

...I was going to say that your can't bump the button and lose your A+W tray but that was a bit of pre-coffee time warp. I did see an A+W drive-in somewehere on my travels this summer. As Garrity, James and co. discovered when they swarmed the new one the day it opened in Charlottetown, however, the food is what it used to be.