Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mr. Mori and I must share logic diagrams

Moving to the 'burbs of Denver in a few weeks, I've started to think about what I should get as a second car.

Naturally, I wasted a lot of time browsing ads to see what struck me. This is a useless process for me, because I am a lover of cars generally - and for a wide variety of reasons. My favorite car so far was a 12yr old Geo Storm. I owned it when it was announced the Lotus Elise would finally be coming to the US. I couldn't help but notice how the two were similar in many ways and how the Storm excelled the Elise in some ways (the chassis and the engine were built by the same company; the Geo wasn't held together by glue - well, it hadn't been when it was new, anyway).

Point being, cars are an emotional subject for me so browsing listings leads inevitably to frustration and fail. I'd end up buying something ridiculous like a Eagle Talon TSi (a hot little turbo-ed awd coupe with an engine so explosively unreliable that it has been referred to as a very expensive grenade from which the pin has been pulled).

Acknowledging my inability to make a rational decision, I decided to rely on a logic diagram to guide me.

The design was thus: we already have a reliable, competent, efficient, smallish car (a 2003 Pontiac Vibe). So the additional car should add as much vehicular capability as possible at the least total cost (initial plus operations and maintenance). The capabilities that I value are:

1) AWD or 4x4 for snow-going (AWD is slightly preferred because it is lower cost and probably good enough. I have no desire to drive off-road.)
2) a truck bed for hauling dirty stuff (for when I have a dirty garden)
3) decent acceleration from a turbo (for getting up into the mountains without putting excessive strain on the engine - turbos don't derate at higher elevations the way naturally aspirated engines do)

The required characteristics are:

1) must cost under $12k
2) must have less than 75k miles
3) must carry at least 4 adult passengers

Anyone who spends too much time reading car mags knows where this is going and is probably a little disturbed by it:

The much maligned Subaru Baja Turbo. Unofficially known as "the Subaru Outback that got in a fight with a sawzall - and lost." Depending on the price differential between the turbo version and the base model when it is actually time to buy, there is a decent chance I'll skip the turbo.

If you're still wondering about the title, Mr. Mori is the CEO Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru.


leila said...

It's a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. Duuuuuuuude. That's gotta hurt.

shaun said...

yes, our car is a 2004, not a 2003.

to be fair, it was almost certainly built and probably bought in 2003.