While every single day it's fun to think about cars, NMS is seriously thinking about buying a new car. Heck, maybe two! The bottom line is that it is usually cheaper to buy a good used car, but with the economy going the way it is, some recent model used cars are hardly any cheaper than their brand new versions.
Anyway, the main point for me is to look at what do you need your vehicle to do? If you need to haul your tools and plywood or drywall, you likely need a full size pickup with an 8 food bed. If you need to haul your 10 kids, then you might be shopping for a 12 or 15 passenger van. At the heart of the matter, a car or truck is an appliance that helps you get something done. Despite that, well, it would be fun to buy a used NASCAR race car (RACECAR, the world's greatest palindrome forwards and backwards!) too, but that wouldn't be the most practical way to go get groceries and grab lunch at Burger World. Or the Big Kahuna Burger if you are a Quentin Tarantino fan.
So one side of the NMS garage, we've been very happy with our 2011 Toyota Camry. Other than tires, one set of spark plugs, and new brakes/rotors, we've only had to replace some shocks and suspension parts, which is probably to be expected at 170,000 miles. We're looking at upgrading a bit, but sticking with the Toyota company, and maybe going hybrid to increase fuel economy. Lexus is their fancy brand, and the make several SUVs, so we're looking into the smallest/cheapest one, the Lexus UX. Or a Corolla hybrid, who knows?
The UX for 2023 only comes in hybrid, and gets a combined MPG of 42. Taking a test drive will help make the decision. Shoot, with a 12 years newer car it's probably got all kinds of fancy tech that we've never had, like Apple CarPlay, and all those warning/safety things.
On the Cayman side of the garage, we're holding onto this car, but thinking about another vehicle for everyday driving. Again, I'm leaning to the hybrid side, and believe it or not, the Ford Maverick hybrid small truck looks like the pending winner in this horse race. It's got a small bed, but room for 4-5 people, and is one of the cheapest hybrids available. Speaking of prices, it still amazes me how expensive all cars have gotten, with the average retail price of new vehicles in the US now hitting $49,388 according to the folks at Kelly Blue Book. Dude, that's 50 G's!!!! The NMS budget is under that, and the hybrid mileage especially around town should fit us just nicely thank you very much. The cheapest XL model Maverick is around $24,000.
OK, the Lexus UX and Ford Maverick don't have huge back seats, and won't tow 7,000 pounds, but for the two of us we don't need those features, so we're looking forward to a little car shopping later this year after the HQ moves to SC.