So I’m turning in my leased 2012 Lexus LS460L at the end of July. I’ve been driving around in this floaty boat for two years. Before that, my last boat was a 2008 Lexus LS460L – ironically in the same exact color. So in essence, I’ve been driving the same car for four years. I can’t do the fullsize car thing again for awhile. I’m sick of it. Before this Lexus LS habit I had a 2007 BMW 335i. Now that I car I really liked – and never got tired of it (especially since it was modified and ran the 1/4 mile in the 12 second range). My wife hated it, however. Too fast. Too small. She wouldn’t be a passenger in it. Okay, fine…
I should mention that this zero mobile will be used strictly for:
1. Driving my wife and/or her parents around when she does want to drive her own vehicle.
2. Driving myself around when my Audi S4 is being repaired. And considering it’s extremely modified performance-wise, it’s not all that unusual to be in that position.
My wife loves big cars but doesn’t realize that it’s the turning in these big, floaty boats that makes her nauseas. To note, we avoid making turns as best as we can because she gets nauseas while doing so. (She says I take turns like a maniac but I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone because in my world I’m turning like an elderly man with loose internal organs. It’s a mystery of the unexplained). A small car rides too firmly. So a big car and a small car are both out of the question. That leaves us with a midsize car.
The Lexus LS has a 380 horsepower engine. I have no need for that. I cannot hit the gas too hard or my wife gets nauseas or afraid that I’m going to roll over, fall into a ditch, collide with the space shuttle, yada, yada, yada. So now I can save millions of dollars on gas while traveling to the local store, restaurant or occasional trip to Orlando since we no longer need a powerful engine.
I was considering an BMW 550i, Mercedes-Benz e550 and a few other “cool” and “powerful” midsize sedans – but why waste the money when I can never utilize the power unless I’m alone? Having a lot of power on hand and being unable to use it makes me feel like I belong in drug rehab. (Look! But don’t touch… Touch! But don’t taste… Taste! But don’t swallow…) And if I’m alone, I’m driving my “really fast” six speed manual (ie. fun) Audi S4. I’m not going to drive my “slow” fast car when I can drive my “fast” fast car. That makes no sense at all.
Creature comforts like cooled seats and stereo system? I really don’t need them. In fact, I’m thinking about removing the stereo system in my S4 as I prefer the sound of the exhaust. I never turn the stereo on in that car. Ever. And I can save about 30lbs – every pound counts when you live your life a quarter mile at a time. :p
I don’t need a loud stereo system in the new car because my wife only likes loud music when she’s driving in her own vehicle. I don’t need navigation because it works fine on my various smart phones. I really don’t need much. The car doesn’t need to be flashy – it’s a “second car”. My wife wants a BMW X5 or maybe a BMW X4 (new model this year). I’ll get her one of those and if we feel the need to drive around in style or whatever, we can always take her vehicle. I probably don’t need to mention that she won’t ride shotgun in my S4. :p
“MY” car — the car that “defines me” – will be my S4 until I replace it with something else. When I replace it, it’ll be with another fast, fun, cool car that I like to look at and am happy to be in. Perhaps a Corvette Z06. Maybe a Nissan GT-R. Maybe a Lamborghini Aventador. As long as I have my zero mobile to drive the wife in, all is well. So it would be nice if my piece of trash has a decent warranty and lasts awhile. I plan on driving it until the wheels fall off.
So help me pick out my zero mobile. I’m trying to spend as little as I can on a vehicle I really don’t want. If it were solely up to me I’d be looking at a Kia Rio class vehicle for around $13k. Why? Because all I really need is a rental car in my driveway. I like the Kia Optima but my wife is too embarrassed to be seen in it. Same goes for the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu and Hyundai Sonata. She likes the Volkswagen Passat, so that’s a strong possibility. I think she also likes the new Mazda 6 but I’m not sure I like it enough. What other choices do I have in the low $20k range? Maybe a Nissan Altima. Help me out here…