The plan was to drive our our old car, a ’98 Honda Civic, into the ground. We made it to 190,000 miles.
When Pottstown’s local Midas mechanic informed me that it would cost approximately 1 thousand dollars to repair all that was wrong with it (back suspension, broken motor mount, and broken hubcaps) and receive the state inspection sticker, I told him not to bother. “Kindly give me back my broken car” I said. Surprisingly, he was relieved. The mechanic confessed he was going to try to talk me out of sinking more money into the ole Civic.
On Friday, we went car shopping at Car Sense. Dan has already narrowed the choices down to a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry, since both have excellent reputations for longevity and reliability. We test drove both. And by ‘we’, I mean Dan test drove the cars while I played with all the buttons and gizmos in the passenger seat and back seat.
Our old Civic didn’t have any buttons outside of the AC/heat and the radio. To let the fresh breeze in, you had to manually hand crank the window open.
By the end of the evening, Dan and I couldn’t agree. I liked the Accord. The Accord, being a Honda, felt more familiar. Additionally, it had less automatic buttons (i.e. less things that can break and require repair). Dan liked the Camry because it was a smoother ride.
Dan got his 2006 Toyota Camry.
He was right. The Camry was a smoother ride and we drive a LOT. Our closest friends and relatives are an hour away (which equates to a 2-hour round trip). Other relatives are much further. It is more important to be comfortable in the long rides that it is to buy a car for its familiar environment or to worry about the buttons and moon roof that might break.