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We need a new car. My daily driver 2004 Nissan Sentra is at 180,000 and needs $1,000 of work put into it to survive, for the 3rd time in two years. At this point, it’s no longer to keep throwing money into it when it’s days are numbered anyway. So car shopping we go.
We’ve narrowed it down to two choices, and would get for different reasons. First, a bit of background.
My wife and I have another daily driver of a Chevy Cobalt. It’s getting up there in years but still gets decent gas mileage. Whoever doesn’t drive the new car would drive this.
I drive over 100 miles a day. If I get the new car, it needs to have great gas mileage.
My wife takes the kids to school and goes to work in town, averaging 37 miles a day. If she gets the new car, it needs to have plenty of space for kids and hauling things.
Here are the two choices. Costs are the same, and are about $1000 under MSRP. Both have nice interiors with touch screens and back up cameras.
2016 Toyota Corolla in 4Evergreen
Choice 1 is the safe but boring 2016 Toyota Corolla that would get blend in with every other car in any given parking lot. It’s a great car, just not very exciting.
It has great gas mileage of 28/37.
It’s one of the safest cars on the road.
It has a deep trunk for hauling a stroller and groceries.
The back seat is a decent size for fitting two kids and a car seat.
It has a super smooth transmission and is easy to drive and see out of.
LED headights. We test drove it at night and it was very bright and easy to see out of.
It’s boring. Like, the definition of a boring car. Does that matter? I’m trying to make it not matter but if for the same price I can get something I really like, maybe it does make a difference.
Space is decent but not great.
Now that I think about it, there aren’t a lot of cons to this car other than it being something I think is completely average-looking. I like how it drives, I love the gas mileage, and it would be perfect for everything we need. Why don’t I want to pull the trigger? Maybe it’s because of the…
2015 Scion xB in Army Rock Metallic
Several years ago I had a chance to drive an xB and instantly loved it. It became my “sometime I’ll get that” car. Maybe that someday is now.
We both love it. The look (which I know not everyone likes), the color, etc. It’s something different, and something that stands out. It has character. I can look at and say “that’s my car” and feel good about it.
Space. It has a TON of space. Lots of head room in the front, and tons of space for the kids in the back. The back seats also fold completely flat, giving 67 cubic feet of space, which is perfect for hauling things and we wouldn’t have to borrow my mom’s van every time we needed to haul a large item. There are also tons of little “extra” areas for storage.
It’s all the pros of a mini-van without actually being a mini-van.
It sits up nice and high and has decent visibility.
Is nice and smooth and fun to drive.
The gas mileage sucks. 22/28.
It’s safety is decent but not as good as the Corolla.
While the extra space is awesome, the general trunk space is smaller than the Corolla. That may not be much of a bad thing.
We really like this car. But are we blinded by that enough to ignore the crappy gas mileage? Or is it worth paying more in gas to get the car we actually like. Does having the extra room for the kids make up for the low gas mileage?
I really don’t know the answer. Maybe we don’t even end up with either. Stay tuned to see what we decide.