“I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.”
“I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.”

Just some random thoughts in case it helps anyone...

A non-car-guy work friend was having car problems and asked me to find him a new car. Naturally, I found him some some awesome used cars, and he immediately declined saying he wants to buy a new car. Single, 30, not a car guy, wants something that will last, doesn’t want to spend a lot.

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So naturally that restricts things to Japanese manufacturers. My instinct was to go Rav4, but holy crap! MSRP on base model Rav4s are now $25k! Auto makers bitch that sales are down, and yet even mediocre cars start at over $20k. Yeah. So I had to actually put some effort into looking into new cars.

If cost is your primary concern but you want a lot of tech, the Nissan Kicks is incredible value. Under $19k gets you Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Automatic Braking. But it also only comes with a CVT transmission, which until proven wrong, gives it a knock over a proven manual transmission.

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What I ultimately recommended was a base model, 2.0L, naturally aspirated, manual transmission, AWD, Subaru Impreza Wagon with a luggage rack. Came in at just over $20k. Great value for an incredibly practical car. Can go on ski trips, haul his stuff 99% of the time, carry a reasonable amount of people, reasonable fuel economy, timing chain so hopefully no forced maintenance there, hopefully doesn’t blow head gaskets with the revised engine, etc.

But since he likes anime, I got to play the Initial D supah dorifto technique game. Last time I was in the market for a new car, the FR-S/BRZ/86 was just about to be released. And if they would have released it at a $20k price point, I would have bit. Instead, it came out at $25k MSRP, which allowed me to justify buying my 996 which I love and has been a great idea so far. Since then, the price has floated up slowly to $27k for a base model. Cool car, but the specs aren’t that different from the $20k Impreza. Really makes me think that Toyota and Subaru really dropped the ball on the FR-S/BRZ/86, as they could have gotten 90% of the performance and feel from a car based off of an existing Subaru or Toyota chassis, just with different body panels and a RWD versus FWD/AWD configuration. 90% wouldn’t have been as cool of a car, but if you could price it 20%+ cheaper, it would probably sell a lot more.

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Meanwhile you have the Jalopnik hated 370Z. Yes it is dated, and yes “Your Dad’s 370Z” is your 370Z. But for $3k more than the beloved 86 ($1300 than the beloved BRZ), you can get a 3.5L V6 RWD sports car with an extra 130+ HP. Hate on Nissan all you want, but the Z has become the car equivalent of a KLR650. Dated, but the lack of changes carries over into reduced production costs which carries over into a lower MSRP.

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