I admit, I am not really the ideal customer for a new car. I like manual transmissions, natural aspiration, speed, quirk, ease of use, and style. Modern cars like automatic transmissions, forced induction, MPG above all else, design by committee, fussy infotainment, and jellybean shapes.
That said, I did used to buy cars new. In 2009 I bought a new Civic Si and in 2012 I traded that for my 2013 Volvo C30 brand new.
I’ve spent the last three weeks in New Mexico hanging out with co-workers and at least some of this time was spent discussing the various rentals they had. Overall the consensus was the same as above: new cars are too expensive, too fussy, and, generally, not fun to drive.
Now, to my mind, my coworkers are all well educated, well paid individuals who seem like the type that car makers would be targeting.... right? Yet most of them are either hanging on to our current, older cars for the foreseeable future, looking to buy something older, or have just bought something older.
So... who is buying new cars? Who is spending $30,000 on a new Accord, or $40,000 on a Frontier, or $85,000 on a new Land Cruiser?
Who is demanding bigger and bigger bodies with smaller interiors and more screens? Who actually wants radar cruise that doesn’t work when it is snowing, wet, or dusty? Who wants backup sensors whose sole purpose is to beep constantly? Who wants a massive touchscreen controlling everything that you can’t actually use because as it turns out cars tend to giggle about?
And when is this bubble going to pop? When are enough people going to say “but I don’t want all this shit I just want a car is is comfortable, nice, and fast YET NOT full of half-assed jankity tech and also doesn’t cost half the GDP of Liberia.
So here I am, pocket full of cash, willing to spend it on a new car but instead looking at buying yet another shitbox off the internet because I can’t see myself buying a $60,000 testament to compromise, focus groups, and tech for the sake of tech.
This rant brought to you buy shitty hotel wifi and a large shot of whiskey.