Autolust… postponed

Okay, I so did the math. Apparently, the Lumbering Beast gets better mileage on the highway than I thought (closer to 24 than 20 mpg), which puts it at a real-world average of 15/24. Also, I did comparisons using Consumer Reports’ numbers (which are pretty consistent with mine for the XTerra), and buying a Subaru Forester would only net me a savings of about $50 per month.

Figuring what it would cost me in sales tax alone (insurance and monthly payment would be similar), it would take nearly a year to break even, then I’d be within a year of having the XTerra paid off. Even with regular unleaded running around $3.25 here in the Ozarks, I’m going to be losing money on the deal.

And, since I’ve had some wishy-washiness with vehicles in the past 5 years (the XTerra is the third car I’ve bought in the last 5 years), I’m going to stick with it for a while. Also, the options I want on the Forester aren’t available until the Summer, anyway. Plus, it’s the first year of the redesign, and they’ll invariably make some improvements in years 2 and 3 anyway.

So, getting a new ride is off the schedule… for now.


new VW sciroccoOh. My.

I’m shopping for a new car. The new gig requires me to commute about 23 miles to work (one way), and the Lumbering Beast (2005 Nissan XTerra SE) gets at most 18mpg on the highway. ON THE HIGHWAY. So, I’m car shopping… again.

If the new Scirocco were available here, I’d be on it like white on rice. Alas, it’s not. I am looking hard at the VW GTI MkV, though, especially now that it comes in the four-door flavor (since I am family-enabled). Fast as, nearly as cool as, and much more utilitarian than the MINI Cooper S I used to own (and regret — often painfully — trading in on the Lumbering Beast two years ago).

My other wanna buy is the new for ’09 (but coming out in late March) Subaru Forester. A nice redesign of a great car (I had one before the MINI). Also available in FAST version. The new Forester probably won’t have any special incentives or financing like VW or other makers these recession-soaked days.

I need decent gas mileage (24 city/30 hwy), preferably no Premium fuel requirement, driving fun, four doors, under 30K (and preferably under 26K).

Your thoughts?