Monday, December 28, 2009

In praise of my 1995 Honda Civic

I love my car. I bought it new when I lived in Toledo, and it will be 15 years next April that I have owned this vehicle. It has almost 172,000 miles on it, and, aside from three or four mufflers, three batteries, three or four sets of tires, and some miscellaneous "normal" repairs, it's been a relatively trouble-free car. I know I might be jinxing myself, but at this point, I'm ahead of the game, so I'll continue.

I know that my days with my beloved Civic are numbered. I put $500 into it a couple of months ago, which included me getting a new battery, which I am extremely thankful for each morning when I start my car. There's nothing wrong with it right now, but odds are I'll get to the tipping point in the next year or so, where it makes sense to get another car instead of plowing more money into this one. I take my car to Tom, who laments (in a nice way) most of the time that there's nothing expensive that needs to be fixed on it, and promises me that he will tell me when I'm at that tipping point. Pretty amazing.

I've had such a good experience with my Honda, it only makes sense to consider buying another. And I, for one, consider gas mileage to be almost the most important thing when deciding who the contenders are for Linda's next car. People who use their cars for actually hauling stuff or driving in potentially treacherous conditions of course have more to consider than I do here.

My old car gets about 35 mpg, and often more than 40 on the highway. This is what I'm used to, so naturally I'm looking for something comparable in my next vehicle. I can't imagine, given how I will use the car, settling for less.

So, what are my choices? Well, today's Civic gets a dismal 25/36. Yawn. The Civic Hybrid gets 40/42 mpg, but costs about $24K. Civic also makes the Fit, which I think is "so me". It costs less, about $18K for what I want, but it only gets 27/33. To its credit, there are websites that tout how people are getting much better mileage out of their Fits, so maybe I could get mid 30's overall? I like the style of it enough that it will likely be a contender. I've also read things online that say Honda is going to put out a hybrid Fit in the next couple of years, and if that were available, my decision would be made.

Finally, there is the Insight. I remember when my SIL bought one at least 6-8 years ago. She's got a long commute each day, and that model is a two seater. Today's Insight is a five seater, gets 40/45, and cost about 21K. I feel a sense of responsibility toward promoting this kind of consumerism, where we talk with our wallets, and that is a good reason to buy an Insight.

I'm thankful I don't have to make the decision quickly. I need to explore other makes of car as well, and also see if a diesel would work. One thing I've noticed is that American-made hybrid cars are more expensive than I thought they'd be. For example, the hybrid Escape, a small SUV made by Ford, is $30K! So, the search is on.

1 comment:

  1. When considering a new car, don't forget to consider an all electric car. The up front cost may be a bit higher, but not buying gas, or having oil changes, really racks up the savings quickly. Comparable MPG (cost of electricity vs cost of gasoline as fuel) brings them to over 100 MPG.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.