Many of you know me for my Phaeton, which I don’t intend to ever let go of. Fortunately, it’s doing just fine. But I have a much longer history with the other car in my life.
I’ve had my 1999 Mitsubishi Galant since I was 16. I’m 32 now, so we’ve lasted longer than a lot of marriages. And the car, which rolled off the line in July of 1998, was totally solid and problem-free for the first 14 years of its life.
It’s racked up 135K miles, and over the last 4 years, it’s been rapidly showing age.
It keeps throwing O2 sensor warnings. The engine mounts are cracked, and the whole car rattles violently until it’s warmed up. Rust has eaten at the steel where the windscreen meets the roof, and water gets inside when it rains. The steering column initially doesn’t want to budge when it’s been sitting in the rain. It reeks of exhaust when it rains. Everything bad happens to this car when it rains.
I haven’t taken it to the shop because I know an 18-year-old Galant isn’t worth the cost of repairing at this point. I know I should buy a new car. But I get very emotionally attached to cars. It’s falling apart, but it’s still my baby. It was my first car. How can I let go without a tearful goodbye and a lot of heartache?
I know what I’d pick up as a sensible, comfortable daily driver if I didn’t have the Galant anymore. I’ve test-driven the Kia Cadenza Limited three times and know that I really like it. But I haven’t found a used Cadenza that checks all of my boxes until today.
This one is the SXL Limited (the trim I want), Bronze Metallic with White Nappa interior (the colors I want), and it’s under $20K (the price I want). It’s one-owner with a clean Carfax, and I really can’t justify NOT buying it. Sure, it’s in Massachusetts, but I could make the trip. The one thing that’s really stopping me is my unconditional love for the car that’s been with me for 16 years. I know I’d be saying goodbye to her if I bought this car. And I don’t know if I’m ready for that.
I’m struggling with this one. Keep the car that I love despite its problems, or go with a new car that’s better in every single respect except for emotional value?