Practical or Fun?

The title should actually be “Mid-Life Crisis Car or Responsible Adult Car” 🙂

Just as an update on the VW situation, I had lots of questions by friends about the entire mess.  One of the things I left out was the buyback with trade-in option.   Yes this would allow me to save about 2k more but it still works out to be the same number as you get on a buyout but then gives you a value to apply to a new VW that lowers the tax amount, by about 2k in my situation.    After writing that blog post, I thought about it some more and basically I should be in no rush to trade the car in.  The longer I keep it, effectively the more money I keep in my pocket.   This is because the car is stuck at the Sept 2015 value, and that doesn’t change unless you put a pile of km’s on.   The longer I wait, the lower the existing loan goes.  In addition if I buy a new car, I get hit with the first year depreciation when I can be sitting on the current car with low depreciation.   The cons of waiting is that if something happens and I destroy the car or need a very major costing repair it will bite me in the ass.    The thought process right now is to wait for the 2018’s in Aug and then make the move.

And what is the move going to be?   That has been the dilemma.   I went back and forth a few times between the Mazda 3, the VW Sportwagon and the Subaru Crosstrek.   I quickly discarded the sportwagon as I am just too upset with VW (thus giving up about 2k in savings, that hurts) and the Mazda really doesn’t interest me that much (and yes I also thought about the Honda HRV).  Thus I was settled, a 2018 Crosstrek it will be once I test drive one.  And if I don’t like the handling I would probably go with the lower suspension Impreza hatch.

Then Jen sends me a note at work one morning.   One of the guys has a Mini Countryman for sale.   Jen knows I have always loved the mini’s and would love to have one.  I wrote her off pretty quickly as “no, I need a roof rack for the canoe and mini’s are too small” but it kept niggling at my mind.  I had never looked at a countryman before so I started looking online.   Oh my.   These cars are just like the mini but much larger with a roof rack, this might actually work.   The guy had the mini on for a very reasonable price so I dropped him a line to take a look at the car but unfortunately he had already cut a deal with someone.   Oh well, not to be, back to the crosstrek.


But I can’t shake this car from my mind.  It makes no sense.  It needs premium fuel, the boot is smaller (sorry watching too many British youtube review channels that call it the boot), it costs a ton more, etc etc….   But looking at the numbers, it has more ground clearance then my current Sportwagon, only about 1 inch lower then the crosstrek.  It’s not much smaller then the crosstrek, maybe 6 inches shorter in length.   It has roof racks.  How often do I really haul the canoe or kayak around?  10 times per year max?  The rear seats fold giving me more cargo space.  It’s rare I have 3 people in a car when I canoe, so that space is good for cargo.

So what to do?   The practical Subaru with safety innovation, good gas milage, high ground clearance, can be spruced up to look sportier or a Mini Countryman, that needs premium fuel, that has a 1.8 turbo, costs more, looks really cool, great for booting around and scratches that mid-life itch?


The other option I am exploring is 2 cars.  A small traditional style mini and then an older “beater” car.   Although I am not leaning in this direction as I really don’t want 2 cars in the yard, 2 insurance bills and 2 sets of maintenance.   But a small two door mini would be fun as well 🙂

August will be test drive time and a very hard decision.


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