Ask AutoGuide No. 40
We’re thinking small on this week’s installment of Ask AutoGuide, where value reigns supreme. Are cheap and cheerful mutually exclusive traits or can they really coexist in an automobile? We aim to find out and help one faithful reader in the process.
Carlos is our victim person of interest in this post. At 21 years old he’s in the market for some new wheels to replace his 1997 Civic, a fine vintage of Honda to be certain, but the car is knocking on two decades. A new ride is probably not a bad idea at this point.
Naturally, as a young man Carlos doesn’t have a lot to spend; value is more important to him than oxygen to astronauts. Given his situation, you could argue that a new car isn’t the best thing for him to pursue. Certainly, a low-mileage pre-owned model would be a better option. Or perhaps a second-hand police interceptor? After all, they’re indestructible and cheap, plus traffic gets the hell out of your way.
However, spending more on a car than you can reasonably afford is utterly ridiculous; it’s like buying a business-class ticket for a flight you don’t want or need just so you can dine on top-notch airplane food.
Accordingly we’re going to try our hardest to keep Carlos from overextending himself, to prevent his finances from becoming like the mythical 13th animal on the Chinese zodiac, depressed and barnacle-crusted. Can you believe it’s the year of the Manatee?