The 3rd Car Update #illumedati 4


Hi everyone, It’s Whatever Wednesdays again… and I’m here with my The 3rd Car Update.

If you were hoping for my “Who IS Sensei?” post which I promised before, I’m sorry to disappoint you. That post should happen before the end of the month.

Stock Photo From: Pexels

So I talked about my thought process for buying a 3rd Car in my prior post: The 3rd Car

Essentially, I had it pretty well narrowed down to:

2nd Generation (2009-2013) Honda Fit

3rd Generation (2010-2015) Toyota Prius


So… what did you end up buying?

You may recall that I was mostly concerned about the length of the car because I would need to parallel park it in my shallow driveway overnight.

For this reason mainly, the Honda Fit won out. The picture of the Smart Fortwo was just for fun.

I picked up a used 2011 Honda Fit Sport today. It has a few nicks and scratches, mostly from door dings from the look of it. It also had about 50k miles, which is kind of a lot for Hawaii, but is low by mainland standards (~8500 miles a year for 5 ½ years.) This isn’t a huge deal for me, as I doubt I will even drive 5k miles a year for the remainder of this vehicle’s life time.

For those interested, there are slight differences between the Honda Fit and the Honda Fit Sport, mostly cosmetic. There is a nice little youtube video on the differences here, for the 2013 Honda Fit versus Honda Fit Sport. Unfortunately, the Honda Fit didn’t get Bluetooth standard until 2012 so that was kind of negative, but not a deal breaker by any means. However, other than that, I don’t think there are any major differences between the 2011 and the 2013.

SIDE NOTE: For completeness’s sake, all Honda Fits from 2007 until Spring 2014 were made in Japan. From what I can tell, starting with the 2015 model,all future Honda Fits are made in Mexico, with some parts outsourced to other places. Source  While some of you may not care about this, but it was important to me, so I am including it here.


Well, what do you think?

Not much to say really. It’s your basic econobox. It has to work a little hard going up hills, and you aren’t going to be revving at any M3s at a stoplight. However, the ride is pretty comfortable and it handles pretty decently overall, no huge understeer or oversteer. There isn’t that much body roll or lean either. It has just about all the things you need, and really nothing you don’t. It also has good safety scores for such a small car.

For those interested, they did implement a new “Small Overlap Front Test” in 2013, which that model did “Poor” on.

I do wish it had Bluetooth, but that is a small gripe. However, I may end up buying a Bluetooth adapter… but I’m also lazy, so while I say I might… I probably won’t.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This car will only really be used to commute my 5 miles to work and home. I don’t see it getting much more use outside of that, except for maybe a few errands here and there. Like I said before, I will surprised if I even drive it 5000 miles a year.

Reviews: US News  /   Cars.com  /   Kelley Blue Book

Overall, I concur with their reviews. If you want a good bang for your buck econobox which will offer a comfortable ride and good gas mileage, I think the Honda Fit is hard to beat.

If you want something with any semblance of power, you’re looking at the wrong car. Perhaps the VW Golf R might be more to your liking if you like the hot hatch styling. However, that will run you $40k.


I don’t get it… you’re a doctor. Shouldn’t you be a driving a doctor car?

You’re right. I am a doctor… however, any car that a doctor is driving is, by definition a “doctor car”, is it not?

I know what you mean. Where is my fancy BMW or Porsche?

The answer (for me) is: In my dreams, where they belong.

Let’s do a quick hypothetical scenario, my $10,000 2011 Honda Fit versus buying a “doctor car”.

If I was going to get a BMW, I’d get a BMW 340i. Why the 340i over the 330i? Well, the 340i has an twin turbo inline-6 versus the 330i’s twin turbo inline-4. For some, that may not make a difference, but like I said, if I was going to buy a BMW I’d opt for the 340i.

According to bmwusa.com, a BMW 340i would run ~$50k with very few options. If I was going to buy it, it’d probably be “well-equipped” at $55k.

By the way, forgive me if I screwed something up. I did this “build your own” thing pretty quickly.

If you hit the “Estimate a Payment” button, this is what we get:

  


So let’s just calculate it out:

If I financed this car at the interest rate of 2.91%, I will pay $59,080 for the car over 5 years.

If I leased the car, I will pay $27,556 over 3 years.

So, buying this car versus buying the BMW 340i is about $50,000 difference.

Leasing the car costs me about $28,000 for 3 years, at which point, I have nothing.

For some of you, it may be worth the $50,000 to own the BMW. For me, $50,000 is simply too much money I could put elsewhere. I could be putting them money toward 529s for my kids, or renovating the kitchen/bathrooms in my house, or taking a trip to Disney World with the family… or even all of those things.


Wait a second! That’s not a fair comparison, the BMW 340i is worth more than the Honda Fit is!

You could sell the 340i for significantly more than the Honda Fit 5 years from now when you own it!

This is true, kind of. However, depreciation hits BMWs pretty hard.

Here is a True Cost To Own for a 2016 BMW 340i. 5 year depreciation is estimated at ~$32000.

So if I spent $60k over 5 years, and then tried to sell it, I might be able to sell it for $28k. So I would have spent $32k to have the car for 5 years.

In comparison, here is the True Cost To Own for a 2011 Honda Fit Sport.


That’s not fair Sensei, you’re not a car guy!

You’re right, I’m not. I’ve admitted that before in my prior post about Cars. However, I just want to make sure you know what you are getting into when you decide to buy a German luxury car. I haven’t even started talk about the maintenance and the headaches that come after the 3-5 year mark when stuff starts breaking.

My dad had a Mercedes Benz (420 SEL) back in 1988. He loved that car and was the happiest guy around for the first 3 years. I have to admit, it was pretty awesome to sit in that car when I was a kid. It was like sitting in a moving living room.

Then all of the sudden, stuff started breaking. The Air Conditioning kept working on and off. Then the front headlight washer decided to stop working. That car spent a lot of time in the shop. Until one day the Air Conditioning stopped working completely. We couldn’t replace it, because it was money we simply did not have. So there my dad was, driving around in the hot Southern California summer… sweating like crazy without Air Conditioning, in his fancy Mercedes Benz 420 SEL.

He finally managed to sell that car later and bought a well-equipped Camry…. which he still drives to this day. He told me that buying that Benz was the single biggest mistake he ever made.


Ok, ok, ok… I see what you mean…

Now, I’m not saying everyone should buy a little econobox like I did. What I’m saying is that the cost increase is exponential, not linear.

The way I see it, a basic new econobox will run you $15-20k. A mid level car will run you between $20k-40k. Just above that will be you $40k-60k. Then most things over $60k just becoming exponentially more expensive. Now, is the $60k car 3-4x better than the econobox, or 2x better than a mid level car?

Is my previous dream car, the M5, 5-6x better than an econobox?

Well, all of that depends on you. Just make sure the costs are worth it to you. 

If having an awesome high end car gives you enjoyment above all else, then there is no way I will convince you otherwise. However, for others of you, if you had to choose between a used Honda Fit with $50k or a BMW 340i, I think that might give you pause.

Don’t just buy a “nice car” for the sake of a nice car, make sure you are getting the enjoyment you want out of it. If you just want to “drive fast” sometimes, then go take a weekend course in Las Vegas where you can learn to drive and push some really exotic cars to their limits. I have no idea of which of these companies are good, but here are some examples:

Dream Racing

Speed Vegas

I assume these also exist elsewhere, I’ve just heard of the Las Vegas ones before.


TL;DR

My 3rd Car is a 2011 Honda Fit Sport.

It’s not a BMW 340i.

Having one would be nice, but saving $50,000 for other things (to me), is better.

I can do a lot with $50,000.

Remember the curse of my dad’s 420 SEL.

Whatever car you buy, make sure it is worth it to you. Remember, it’s an exponential increase in price, not linear.

-Sensei

Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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4 thoughts on “The 3rd Car Update #illumedati

  • eric

    You cheated! Even doctor cars can be bought used! 🙂 Either way your points are valid, and especially with your driving mileage it would just be silly to get the twin turbo v-6. You could get to work one minute faster though, so you have to account for all the extra time you would have….. Thanks for the great blog and good luck with your goals!

    • Sensei Post author

      Hi Eric!

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right I did “cheat” since I didn’t talk about used cars in that particular post. However, in the previous post Cars I do talk about how buying a fun car used is the best bang for your buck if you’re truly a car guy.

      Maybe someday I will still get that Honda S2000 or Porsche Cayman GT4… but by then they may be “antiques” that aren’t electric.

      As for the BMW 430i, you’re right, a Twin Turbo 6 isn’t necessary -at all-, but we’re talking about an alternate universe where I buy a -new- BMW… right?

      -Sensei