I know that this may be confusing given the plethora of car purchase posts in the last 24 hours, but I’m inclined to delay my recent intent to replace my wife’s car with an off road capable SUV. Hiked Stone Mountain in NC yesterday.

Took my wife’s 2014 Mazda3 that she almost never drives anymore (she works from home or flies to clients and prefers to have me drive when we are going places together). I enjoyed the comfort and fuel economy. Still prefer my GTI, but the Mazda3 is a very good car with the 2.5L NA 4 cylinder.

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I had been considering that, really, this has become my second car, so as long as I replace it with something that she can stand driving occasionally, I could replace it with an occasional toy, like a 4Runner. But as this weekend shows, I would give up so much ride comfort and fuel economy, when the 3 has enough ground clearance for many forest roads that I used to take the Prius on. As much as I enjoy technical off road wheeling, I’d rather just be camping and hiking, or autocrossing, and not add a new hobby.

Check back in with me in a month when I start obsessing about a new automotive option, possibly back to the 4Runner or a Wrangler.