i had a chat with my mechanic yesterday, upon taking in my VW for service.
i've been thinking a lot about a new car lately, but am continually disappointed by what i find in the US. honestly, my 10 year old car still seems the best of the lot given my parameters.
this past week, i'd been musing over doing the very-american-thing and having two cars. 1) my beetle and 2) something that tells people i'm middle-aged and having a crisis.
so i put to my mechanic (the 2nd car idea, plus just simply replacing my Beetle), who said the following things in his still-thick german accent:
- Lotus is like "having a girlfriend who isn't fun," referring to how much service they need
- porsches overheat often and need lots of service (apparently not a fan of the Boxster)
- ferraris and such: forget it (he brought up ferrari, not me)
- older toyota celicas are great
- the mini is a ton of fun (recommended the Cooper S over any other, including the D)
- given what i told him, the best car for me is the Jetta diesel
- otherwise, for something sportier, the Miata is about the best i can do
But the most interesting comment was reserved for why foreign manufacturers don't sell their ultra-high mileage diesels here: the quality of the fuel. even after recommending the Jetta, he did have some reservations about that engine being able to handle the low quality of the US diesel.
so where does that leave me? i can't stand the thought of buying a new car that gets worse mileage than mine, but not even the new Jetta can equal my mileage. i remain unconvinced about hybrids (for many reasons, including that their highway mileage is worse than city [i understand why, it just strikes me as wrong]). shockingly, the petrol cooper, even the S, gets better mileage than most US cars. more shockingly, the Lotus Elise and Porsche Cayman are about average!
maybe i'll just go test drive a Honda Fit. but if i bought one, i'd need someone in the UK to send me a "Jazz" badge so i can fit that on...