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Are You A Practical Car Shopper?

Posted in Best of, Featured by MrAngry | September 7th, 2011 | 10 Responses |

Porsche GT2 RS

Deciding on what automobile to purchase can be a very frustrating ordeal. Things like price, size, fuel economy, style and performance always come into play, along with the age old question of practicality. For example, I’m sure we’d all like to go out and purchase a new Porsche 911, however for some of us, it may not fit the bill in terms of price and interior space. Then there are those who go the opposite route and run out an by a minivan for those “just-in-case” situations where they “think” they’ll need extra room. Performance obviously factors in there as well, but that generally falls secondary to price and fuel economy. Personally I tend to lean towards the more practical side of things, however that sometimes ends of biting me in the ass. You see as strange as it seems, I always consider other people in my car buying decisions. I look at rear seat passenger room, cargo room and ease of drive-ability in case someone else needs to use my car.

Toyota Venza
*This would’ve been the automotive kiss-of-death for me…

In fact I almost purchase a Toyota Venza just because I thought it would be more comfortable when people came to visit. Thankfully though my dear old dad looked at me and said straight out, “Mike… you’ll be bored of this thing in 8-minutes”. He was right. So my question is, when you guys are buying a car do you tend to go practical or simply throw caution to the wind and buy exactly what you’re looking for? Chime in as inquiring minds want to know.

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10 Responses

  1. James says:

    I totally went for what I wanted. Two years ago I bought a 2000 BMW 323 convertible. Thought about getting a VW GTI or a first gen CTS but it was summertime and the sky was calling, not to mention the irresistible red leather interior of the Bimmer. As a single guy it really isn’t that impractical though. On the occasion that I have a passenger sitting behind me I do have to move my seat up to a not so desirable point, but it doesn’t happen often. My mother was concerned about me driving a rear wheel drive car in Cleveland winters, but with snow tires I was never at a loss of traction or control. Also, a snow laden parking lot and a rear wheel drive vehicle is a brilliant recipe for fun!

  2. I’m extremely impractical. I don’t have to think about other people cause no one ever uses my car except me and I’ve only had passengers once in 4 years. If I were practical I would drive a Prius but I don’t. My car only gets 23 mpg and I drive from OC to LA all the time. Every time I do it seems like it consumes a ton of gas, like almost half a tank if I drive around in L.A. I don’t like the style of any of the fuel efficient cars; I don’t like the looks of hybrids or affordable cars. I feel like my car is an extension of me; it’s like a handbag. It represents me. So it has to look good!

  3. Adam says:

    I usually balance the two. As a nearing-time-to-have-a-family-man I’m looking for a new car and I’ve happily set my sights on the VW GTI. It’s practical but not boring and feels great to drive.

    • Odeku Ogunmola says:

      That’s exactly why I bought my 2007 CPO GTI. I’m about to get married and have kids but I kill SUV’s on the turnpike and eat Honda’s and Nissans for afternoon early evening rush hour snacks. I’ve had all seats filled, transported a friend’s 2 kids plus a car seat and was none the worse for wear. Yesterday a guy in a new 328xi stopped me and said he missed his Mark V GTI. Why I asked? The Beemer guzzled gas!

  4. a says:

    I had a Town Car a while back because it was relatively safe and a cheap luxury, but it also made me next purchase a manual miata, whenever I save enough money for it.

  5. Jwag says:

    I usually go for practical performance, Mini cooper S is my most recent purchase. I’m willing to make sacrifices for performance. Though my general rule is to keep a backseat, and a hatchback is never a bad option.

  6. Mark Smith says:

    My last two cars, I was forced to buy for a practical commute car and ended up with a first generation Honda Insight (manual transmission, and not horrible to drive) and a Toyota Prius (which I HATE to drive but gets good mileage). In both cases, I was looking for something more fun to drive but my choices were vetoed.

    Finally, I got so sick of driving the Prius every day that even my wife saw I was miserable. At that point, I threw practicality out the window and bought what I really wanted (well, a blend of what I really wanted and what was a LITTLE cheaper) and put a Cayman S on order. I take delivery of the car in December, but will probably keep the Prius and split commute time between the two cars, at least for a couple of years.

  7. Willhelm says:

    I was trying to find a fuel efficient car to handle the brutal winters while still being reliable and able to do road trips for more than two people… Somehow i ended up getting an Audi TT so I guess i’m not practical =)

  8. Canrith says:

    I try to be practical in the sense that everything I buy has to be reliable. But when it gets down to it none of the cars I enjoy for the fun factor, or just looks, even comes close to practical. Stripping out the back seat didn’t help on that front either…go figure.

  9. Taylor says:

    I go for desirably practical. I like Jeeps and trucks so when I bought my Jeep I went for the Unlimited. This gives me what I desire in the abilities of the Jeep and the practicality of being able to take on 3-4 more people (four people and all necessary camping gear fits quite nicely in it).

    I am also currently looking at buying a Tundra quad cab, with the same aspects in mind.

    The way I figure, if I am going to make payments on something for a few years and put out a significant amount of money for it, I want to be happy in doing it.

    Also, say in the case of a truck, most people (myself included) don’t need a truck anywhere near 100% of the time but I feel that the cost of ownership of a truck is offset by not having the cost and hassle of arranging for a rental truck or moving service if, in that twenty or so percent of the time, I do need move or haul something.