We had bought Pam’s Miata shortly after getting married when her Saturn literally blew up. Back then, I wanted to get her something fun and sporty (and teach her the versatility of driving manual)… I grasped onto the fact that it was convertible because part of me sorely missed the convertible Mustang I used to drive in high school.
Six years and almost 2 kids later, both of us conceded that the Miata just won’t work as a daily driver. I’d love to hold onto it and keep it as a toy (especially since it’s paid off), but seeing that I already have a Datsun 240Z (2-seater) and a Harley Fatboy in the garage with my name on them, I don’t think Pam would entertain the idea of adding a third toy. Besides, my garage isn’t the size of Jay Leno’s.
So about a week ago, I guess Pam became a tree-hugger because we traded her Miata in for a 2010 Prius (we didn’t get the car until today). I know: cliché, right? I totally wasn’t expecting that to happen so quick. Last week’s goal was to have Pam test-drive a few qualifying cars that could potentially replace the Miata (my criteria was that their mpg-rating had to be on par or better than the Miata, and they had to have four seats), and we’d make the “buy” decision when I got back from the desert. So what went wrong? Did I get the wool pulled over my eyes by the car salesman?
I honestly don’t think I did; I didn’t get a steal, but I think I got a genuinely good deal. Kelly’s Bluebook lists our Miata from $7,000 to $10,000, mainly depending on whether it is private party value or trade-in. Even if you take the lowest version of the price that we paid for the Prius (prior to taxes, titles, etc), the difference between what we’re paying and our total price of the car (which is at MSRP) is about $10,000: essentially the amount we got for trading in the Miata. Of course, as you add in tax and the few other charges, it just ups the value we’re getting for the Miata since what we’re paying out-of-pocket does not change at all. So that’s what mainly talked me into buying now: offing the Miata for a price way better than I ever expected… and I guess it gives Pam a new toy to play with while I’m gone.
All in all, I’m for the purchase. I really don’t consider myself a green tree-hugger, but I do have a problem with America’s reliance on oil (posted a while ago here). At 50 mpg, I guess I’m putting my money where my mouth is and trying to start to get our family off the “oil grid” where I can. It’s Pam’s car though. I’ll start driving it the day I get an Apple tattoo and an earring.
On that note, I can’t stand it when I see some tree-hugging Prius driving down the road with some personalized license plate, like “50 MPG” and such, that some smug asshole got for it… like he’s trying to rub it in or something. So I couldn’t resist adding my own sarcastic twist to make fun of those that try to brag about their gas mileage: