My wife and I have 2003 Toyota Avalons with 90,000 miles on them. The cars have given us dependable transportation for 10 years. They still run nicely and show few signs of self-destructing. They get lousy gas mileage (12-15 mpg) and are a little too big for empty nesters. We drive mostly around the neighborhood or to downtown Chicago. Seldom do we drive more than 120 miles in a day.
We are both a bit tired of our old comfortable Avalons, but the idea of spending a lot of money on a new car irritates us. We regard cars as useful modes of transportation. They do not have to be “the ultimate driving machine” as BMW touts, but these cars are really boring to us after 10 years.
A couple of cars do actually intrigue me. I love the Tesla “S” car, which is all-electric and drives magnificently, according to the car mags. But the car is a lot of money to spend, and I can hardly justify the cost on gas savings. I also like the Toyota Prius plug-in. With my driving, I probably would fill up once a quarter. I know that driving 5-7000 miles a year does not argue for an electric, but I like the idea of an electric car and I’ve loved driving a quiet Prius every time I’ve had the chance.
I pose the question to you folks who know so much more about cars than I do: Should we keep our two old grandma cars and drive them until they drop? Or should we keep one or none and splurge on something sexier? Is there a real safe car out there like a Volvo or Subaru that we should consider? I want a car, not a truck or SUV, I think. And I want a new car if I buy one. I do not want to spend a fortune, but I’ll listen to any idea.
Please steer me in the right direction.
Question: Is buying “American” irrelevant in today’s auto world?