Thursday, September 25, 2014
Car Contingency Planning: What Do You Buy If Your Car Was Totaled?
If you're a car guy (or gal), you've probably asked yourself this question: If my car was totaled tomorrow, what would I buy to replace it?
I much prefer this question to the "If you could have any car, what would it be?" question because this one forces me to think within my actual means. I don't have to ask rhetorical questions like, "Do I have to maintain the vehicle?" or "Am I paying the insurance?"
It is a very difficult question, however, because you have to examine your satisfaction with your current vehicle, it's current availability, and whether or not if fits your lifestyle, as well as if you're willing to add a car payment again (if you don't already have one or two). Plus, then you rack your brain thinking about the available cars at the moment, what's coming out in the ultra-near future, and so on and so fourth. But as a car guy, it's kind of fun to think about as much as you hope none of your rides actually do get totaled.
We own three cars. If I had to go out and buy a car next week, here is what I'd get. And for what it's worth, I'm writing this without having talked with my better half.
If a giant meteor hit our 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX tomorrow, I'd likely replace it with a Subaru XV Crosstrek. While certainly not as fast as our 265 horsepower turbocharged WRX, it has a lot of character, plenty-o-ground clearance, is also AWD, and is available with a manual transmission. It's comfortable, not too big, and decent on fuel economy. Plus, there's plenty of modification potential to turn this little lifted wagon into an even more fantastic adventure vehicle. It's not that I don't like the new 2015 WRX, but it's only available as a sedan, and frankly, I'm a hatchback/wagon guy.
If the Jeep Renegade were available, it might be a different story. However, it isn't ... yet.
If our 2007 Toyota Yaris exploded this week and I had to replace it, its replacement would depend on how severe the damage was. Since it has a lot of modified parts, including a custom air intake, air intake manifold, header, exhaust system, a bunch of suspension work, TRD clutch, shift kit, and custom wheels and tires, it'd depend on how much I got from the insurance company and if any of the parts were damaged. I could probably find a 2012-2014 Toyota Yaris SE and transfer all of the parts to it, which would be great. Not sure if I'd want the 2015 Yaris yet due to its looks.
If I got enough money, I'd seriously consider a Fiat 500 Abarth, simply because it's so damn fun. And that exhaust note ... I'm seriously in love with it. I do, however, like not having a car payment on our Yaris. So maybe I'd just get another Yaris of some sort.
Heaven forbid the Teal Terror, our 1995 Suzuki Sidekick, got squashed by a runaway dumptruck or something. It's vehicles like these that are really difficult to replace since they are not made anymore and good ones are so hard to find. However, if I got a few grand for the trucklet (and all of its modifications), I'd probably get another one. Hell, even if I didn't, I'd still get another one. I might opt for a 1999-2004 Chvrolet Tracker or Suzuki Vitara instead though. They have 127 horsepower (37 more than the 16V pre-'99 Trackers/Sidekick) and are a bit more comfortable. The aftermarket isn't as strong, but all I'm looking for would be suspension, a winch bumper, and a rear locker. Just about all the other parts could be fabbed up.
I really hope none of our vehicles are are erased from the face of the earth, and I certainly hope neither Mercedes or I would be involved if they do. It's always good to have a plan if one vehicle needed to be replaced, though. Ask me the same question again next week (or maybe tomorrow) and my mind might change. New vs. used. Same model or something different. So many questions. So many variables. So many cars.