My Defense for the 200k commuter

If you haven’t read this article by Andrew Collins, please do. It’s actually a praise for the 3G TL, but in some cases it comes off that he’s trashing the car.

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Here’s why I think the TL is the best car I have owned (and still do own)

I bought the car in November for $7k, well below the going market value for a 6MT TL that didn’t look like someone parked it in a Rocky Mountain campground with a cooler full of steaks for a week (you know... the bears... they like steaks). Every TL I came across either had the horribly unreliable automatic (boo-hiss!) or the manual, but had rips in the seats, cracks in the dash, smashed in bumpers,250k+ or neon green wheels. Finding a manual with the navigation in my price range was like finding a 3-eyed toad. I sent out a few emails on craigslist & cars.com, went to see a few, but ultimately nobody wanted to accept $7500 for a TL that had less than 150k miles on it. Finally, one email came back with a glimpse of hope- one buyer had backed out and left the seller empty handed and frustrated. And he had a broken leg, so he wanted his 6MT TL gone. He said if I could come get it by the weekend, it was mine for $7k. My new car was a green 2004 TL, but it had the manual which was all I really cared about.

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Now on to what I was really talking about: why this car is actually very good and why you should buy one.

-It’s comfy. The driver’s seat is nicely bolstered, has a good amount of cushion that sucks you in & won’t make you hurt after a few hours. The heaters work quickly. The back seats are immensely more comfortable for those times you have old people in the back seat, or you’re too drunk to drive your own car home.

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-It’s quick: It has just shy of 270hp. Yes, it’s a pig. No, that doesn’t mean it’s slow.

-It handles better than Andrew Collins says it does: Because he drives Cayman GTS’ for a living. Of course anything else is going to ‘suck’.

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-It doesn’t break: Granted I’ve only put 15k miles on it since I bought it, but I’ve only had to do an oil change and change the rear brakes. The previous owner only replaced the clutch, water pump, and timing belt- all standard wear items. And after 125k miles this car has held up incredibly well.

-It has Brembo brakes: cool factor went way up

-It has VTEC: YO!

-It’s quiet: I finally have a car where the rolling resistance of the tires won’t deafen you inside the cabin. You can hear the engine at higher RPMs, and it sounds good decent too! If you’re tired after a long day and just want to get home in some peace and quiet, just roll up all the windows and everything outside becomes a mere whisper.

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-It shifts nice: It’s a Honda manual trans. It’s light-weight but shifts are very crisp.

-Parts are cheap: It’s a Honda Accord dressed up to be something else.

-It flies under the radar: I’ve gone 20mph over the limit past a cop and he never looked twice at me. In either of my 2 Subarus I would’ve been pulled over almost immediately.

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-It gets decent gas mileage: In winter I got 25mpg and now that it’s May and the snow is finally starting to melt in Wisconsin, I’m getting 30+ mpg, and I don’t drive like my 75 year old grandma would, if she could drive a manual trans.

-It has dings and dents, and my life is better because of it: I used to obsess about paint chips and tiny dents on my cars after hail storms or that old guy who backed into me in the grocery store parking lot. Simply put, I don’t care anymore. The car has miles on it, it’s 11 years old, and there are probably 5 more TLs within eyeshot of yours at any given time. It’s not a rare or special car by any means.

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I absolutely love my car and I plan on keeping it until the engine dies, which could be 350k-400k knowing how Hondas are made.

Questions/Comments/Concerns?

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