1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

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4Leaf
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1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by 4Leaf »

Let's assume that we are in a market for a new (used) car and have 50k cash to buy a car or two. Being a boglehead, we know that 50k is probably too much to spend on a car, but in this case it is one of our urges as a car enthusiast. If you had the choice to buy and drive one 50k car, or two cars for 50k, which would be a better value? Is the value trade-off more beneficial to having one or two cars? Assuming we drive 15k miles a year, we need to look at costs of maintenance, gas, insurance, etc..

Let's look at one car first
A used 2013/2014 Lexus GS350, loaded with all the packages and options for $50k
MPG: 19/28
Annual Fuel Cost (15k/yr) (fueleconomy.gov) - $2,550
Estimated Annual Insurance: $1200
Estimated Annual Maintenance: $500
Depreciation after 5 years: $27,000
Money spent after 5 years: $71,250
Car value after 5 years: $23,000
Cost of ownership: $48,250 for 5 years, almost $10k/year

Now let's look at two cars
One daily driver
A used 2010/2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid for $16.5k
MPG: 41/36
Annual Fuel Cost (11k/year) - $1000
Estimated Annual Insurance: $900
Estimated Annual Maintenance: $500
Depreciation after 5 years: $7000
Money spent after 5 years: $28,500
Car value after 5 years: $9500
Cost of ownership for 5 years: $19000, $3800 per year

One weekend car
A used 2006ish BMW M5 for $33.5k
MPG: 11/17
Annual Fuel Cost (4k/year) - $1200
Estimated Annual Insurance: $700
Estimated Annual Maintenance: $1200
Depreciation after 5 years: $15,000
Money spent after 5 years: $48,500
Car value after 5 years: $18,000
Cost of ownership for 5 years: $30,500, or $6,100 per year

Total spent on both cars after 5 years: $77,000
Car value on both after 5 years: $27,500
Total cost of ownership for both cars: $49,500, or almost $10k per year


First of all, how do these numbers look? I did some research before posting this, so I think they are fairly accurate but I may be wrong. Am I missing anything obvious here? What other considerations should be made? For example, having one car is nice but what if it needs to be repaired? Having two cars in that scenario is helpful. What about the value of driving a nicer car every day? Any input is appreciated - i'm still not sure which route to go.

Thanks!
Last edited by 4Leaf on Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
aude
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by aude »

Maintenance on the M5 will cost a lot more. That model is a V10 with a host of gizmos. Even if you can DIY it, estimate $2500 per year.
sport
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by sport »

IMO, you should buy two cars only if you need two cars. For one driver, one car should be sufficient. You have given two possible choices. I would suggest that you consider a third choice. Get one vehicle, that is nice, but more modest that you can use for all of your driving. The car enthusiast thing is an expensive hobby, and expensive hobbies are for wealthy people. If you are wealthy, you certainly can do whatever pleases you. However, if you are not wealthy, spending 50k on a "want" is an expensive extravagance. Economically, you would be far ahead to spend about half of that on a new Accord or Camry, and you will have good, economical, and reliable transportation.

Another way to look at this is to take that extra 25k and calculate what that will be worth at your retirement age, assuming a 6% average annual return. This will give you an idea how much your car enthusiasm can really cost you. It is also reasonable to say that if you are not maxing out your IRA and 401k accounts, you cannot afford such extravagance.

Jeff
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black jack
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by black jack »

Buy one car - an Accord or Camry, or even a Civic - for regular commuting and errands; rent a sports car for fun drives on weekends.
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4Leaf
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by 4Leaf »

aude wrote:Maintenance on the M5 will cost a lot more. That model is a V10 with a host of gizmos. Even if you can DIY it, estimate $2500 per year.
You think that even at only 4000 miles per year? I estimated about $2200 per year (15k miles)
black jack wrote:Buy one car - an Accord or Camry, or even a Civic - for regular commuting and errands; rent a sports car for fun drives on weekends.
Renting a sports car is like throwing money away! Last time I looked, it was around $200/day for a luxury car.

Understood, accord/camry are the economical choices when it comes to cars, but those aren't any fun.
sport
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by sport »

4Leaf wrote:Understood, accord/camry are the economical choices when it comes to cars, but those aren't any fun.
If you want fun, go on a date. Don't fall in love with a car, it won't love you back.
Jeff
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pjstack
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by pjstack »

Even when I was single I often had two vehicles. One for work and a van for camping.

Some days, when one car was "down" (maybe in the garage for work, or just wouldn't start) it was very convenient to simply drive the other vehicle and sort out whatever problem the other vehicle had at my leisure.

Having two vehicles at your disposal is more "luxurious" than one luxury car. At least I found that to be so.
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hiddensee
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by hiddensee »

4Leaf wrote:Renting a sports car is like throwing money away! Last time I looked, it was around $200/day for a luxury car.
Then your 'weekend car' will buy 167 days of sports car rental without factoring fuel or other costs; that's more than a year of weekends! One day every other weekend it would last for six and a half years.
aude
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by aude »

A few data points on 2006 M5 maintenance costs:

-set of brake pads $500
-set of brake rotors $1000
-set of tires $1700
-set of spark plugs $150

These are parts costs only from Pelican Parts. Dealer and independent mechanics will charge more plus labor at $80 to $160 per hour. Just know what you're getting into!
spat
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by spat »

Buy one car, the M5, and drive the heck out of it. :twisted:

Don't end up the richest person in the graveyard. Take it from a guy who also likes cars and almost ended up in the graveyard once already - trust me, it changes your perspective.
CdnAppraiser
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by CdnAppraiser »

BMW is great when they are knew, but they break down as much as the average Chev, ford, dodge product. The big difference is the cost of parts and labour to repair.

I would just rent sports cars once a month or so on the weekends. That way you get to try lots of different cars without paying repairs and yearly insurance.
YttriumNitrate
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by YttriumNitrate »

The M5 almost seems too practical for a weekend car. How about an early 2000s Corvette or Porsche 911 to go with the Ford Fusion?
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Epsilon Delta »

jsl11 wrote:
4Leaf wrote:Understood, accord/camry are the economical choices when it comes to cars, but those aren't any fun.
If you want fun, go on a date. Don't fall in love with a car, it won't love you back.
Jeff
The car won't boil your bunny and attack you with a carving knife.
stoptothink
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by stoptothink »

aude wrote:A few data points on 2006 M5 maintenance costs:

-set of brake pads $500
-set of brake rotors $1000
-set of tires $1700
-set of spark plugs $150

These are parts costs only from Pelican Parts. Dealer and independent mechanics will charge more plus labor at $80 to $160 per hour. Just know what you're getting into!
Totally agree on the maintenance costs, but what are these tires you are putting on an M5? Just a quick discount tire search and you can get a brand new set for $800 and nothing they carry would run more than $1200 for a set. You can also get brake pads significantly cheaper than $500.
ralph124cf
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by ralph124cf »

Having two cars with one driver can sometimes be very convenient, if you have the garage space. If you live in an apartment, forget it. If you are a car enthusiast then I assume that you do at least some of your own maintenance, so perhaps you can keep the BMW maintenance down to something within reason.

Looking at your estimated prices, I think that you may be able to get the cars you are looking at for a more reasonable price. Bargain hard, and be ready to walk away.

I think that the insurance cost quoted for the BMW is low, even with a second car discount and low mileage.

Ralph
Robin
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Robin »

The problem may be the mileage. Once you have a fun car and a boring car, you will always find a reason to use the fun car. I think your mileage split is unrealistic.
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slow n steady
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by slow n steady »

I think you might have missed some numbers with the fusion. Given your inputs, the cost per year should be $3800. That will make your savings by having 2 cars disappear.

Or I could have the numbers wrong myself.
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Chan_va
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Chan_va »

Did you just use the words 'car enthusiast' and 'Lexus' in the same post?
thomasbayarea
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by thomasbayarea »

I have always been a two car guy (in addition to the wife's car).

Porsche 911 is the weekend garage queen, and the Nissan Maxima or Toyota Prius have been the cheap commuters.

Here are some ridiculous reasons I have used to justify this to myself....

If the Porsche breaks, there is no hurry to fix it. Brake pads? Can wait till next month.
Low use cars depreciate lesser.
Insurance costs are a bit higher, but a low use car is surprisingly cheap to insure.
I measure cars in smiles per mile, not $/mile.

Anyway, I'm not a big fan of the E60 M... But to each his own. Good luck, life is short, enjoy your passion while you can.
freddie
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by freddie »

I am guessing the 1 car solution of buying a 2011 BMW 5 series (or Lexus GS,...) would destroy both of your options money wise.
Topic Author
4Leaf
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by 4Leaf »

YttriumNitrate wrote:The M5 almost seems too practical for a weekend car. How about an early 2000s Corvette or Porsche 911 to go with the Ford Fusion?
I'm open to that - the post was more about comparison the costs and value of having two cars vs one, so we could substitute any cars in and make the same argument. I'm definitely a fan of the 911.
slow n steady wrote:I think you might have missed some numbers with the fusion. Given your inputs, the cost per year should be $3800. That will make your savings by having 2 cars disappear.

Or I could have the numbers wrong myself.
Good catch. You are right. This makes both scenarios cost almost equal. That certainly changes things quite a bit.
Chan_va wrote:Did you just use the words 'car enthusiast' and 'Lexus' in the same post?
You must not have driven the new GS350, it's quite a nice car. I could have chosen any car, but I feel it's a good value.
freddie wrote:I am guessing the 1 car solution of buying a 2011 BMW 5 series (or Lexus GS,...) would destroy both of your options money wise.
Please explain? According to kbb, these cars are similarly priced and you can find used ones for $50k after fees. There are some that are cheaper, but I used 50k as a price point for a nice rounded number.
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4Leaf
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by 4Leaf »

thomasbayarea wrote:I have always been a two car guy (in addition to the wife's car).

Porsche 911 is the weekend garage queen, and the Nissan Maxima or Toyota Prius have been the cheap commuters.

Here are some ridiculous reasons I have used to justify this to myself....

If the Porsche breaks, there is no hurry to fix it. Brake pads? Can wait till next month.
Low use cars depreciate lesser.
Insurance costs are a bit higher, but a low use car is surprisingly cheap to insure.
I measure cars in smiles per mile, not $/mile.

Anyway, I'm not a big fan of the E60 M... But to each his own. Good luck, life is short, enjoy your passion while you can.
Great example. Would love to have something like that. I simply chose the cars here since I am most familiar with them, but I could switch out the BMW for a Porsche, and the Fusion for a Prius without thinking twice. Just can't keep wondering if I would get tired of driving the commuter car or if I could live with it. After recalculating the costs, they are almost identical.
TexasMu
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by TexasMu »

Have you thought about an e60 545i ? 300hp v8, 6 speed manual or auto. I have one as my only car and puts a smile on me every time I get behind the wheel. Much cheaper buy in than a m5 and I get 20 - 26 mpg 8-)
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Epsilon Delta
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Epsilon Delta »

The original post is missing the cost of storing the second car. The cost varies between OMG$ (if you live in Manhattan) and SFA$ (if you live in Montana). Even if you plan to park it in an existing garage or driveway you may find there is an opportunity cost, e.g. you can't use a garage bay as a workshop or man cave while it's storing a car.
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Driver
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Driver »

The E60 M5 has engine bearing issues not to mention the red cog of death(smg transmission issue). Do your research before you buy. M5board.com is a good place to start. There is a reason why they are so cheap now.
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

As someone who already lives in the 2 car mode, I have to say that an M5 is a pretty practical car. 4 doors, lots of room. Sounds like a daily driver to me.

If I were looking for a single "nice" car that was also fun, I'd be looking at a used GT-R, used 996 turbo, maybe an STi (way below budget) or a 3 series X drive. All are AWD, so driving in the winter is still practical to some extent.

If you're doing 2 cars, the second one should be fun enough to make it a weekend only car. Elise, Exige, Corvette convertible, maybe a 370Z, Miata, S2000.

(my practical car is a Wrangler 4 door. My weekend car is an Elise. Buying the 2 used for $50k is pretty easily done)
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freddie
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by freddie »

A 2011 GS is likely to be cheaper over 5 years than a 2013 GS. I haven't done the math but I am guessing it will cost ~8k+ less to buy and you will save more on insurance and taxes along the way.

That being said by the m5. Its what you want. Better buy it before gas goes to 6/gallon.
4Leaf wrote:
freddie wrote:I am guessing the 1 car solution of buying a 2011 BMW 5 series (or Lexus GS,...) would destroy both of your options money wise.
Please explain? According to kbb, these cars are similarly priced and you can find used ones for $50k after fees. There are some that are cheaper, but I used 50k as a price point for a nice rounded number.
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Mister Whale
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Mister Whale »

As a car enthusiast I have always opted for two previously owned cars rather than one new car. I just can't see taking the depreciation hit; it's just too big, too much for a new car smell. (My '08 335i -- ZSP, 6mt -- still smells new. I bought it three years ago at 25k miles and put about 5k/yr on it.) It also helps me buy what I want; trying to get all of your car wishes stuffed into one car is a giant compromise in my eyes. :D
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sambb
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by sambb »

I did the two cars thing. Overall, i find it far better than the one higher priced option. There is flexibility that is nice.
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

4Leaf wrote: Great example. Would love to have something like that. I simply chose the cars here since I am most familiar with them, but I could switch out the BMW for a Porsche, and the Fusion for a Prius without thinking twice. Just can't keep wondering if I would get tired of driving the commuter car or if I could live with it. After recalculating the costs, they are almost identical.
Depends on the car. Just some examples....if you find a 2009 Fusion 4 cyl manual, it's going to cost you maybe $9k or so. Great mpg, reliable, practical and at that age, isn't going to depreciate.

Now you have the money for a 996 turbo at $41k to keep you in budget. This is completely doable (I've looked at them recently). This is a Porsche without the dreaded IMS issue (because turbos don't have an intermediate shaft). This car....as expensive as it sounds is pretty near the end of it's depreciation curve. Keep it 10 years and sell it for $39k.

There are other cars in this realm for sports cars. Used Nissan GT-R, used Audi R8 (v8 model), used Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Lotus Elise. All have leveled off. Air cooled 911's have appreciated over the last 5 years. That $15k 993 you could have picked up in 09 is now going to cost you over $20k. Water cooled normal 911's don't have that tendency because of problems and being somewhat shunned by the Porsche fanatics.
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nepats
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by nepats »

How about buy one $$ car like Tesla Model S that is fun and practical and keep it for 7-10 years. I think the math works out the same over a comparable 50K+ car.
sls239
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by sls239 »

I'd take the luxury car I could drive all the time - hands down. A little bit of joy every single day.

Renting a car isn't difficult if the need arises. There may even be a place where you could rent a car you are enthusiastic about for a special weekend - without the obligations that come with ownership.
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kenyan
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by kenyan »

Where is the annual registration fee in your math? We have to pay a few hundred $ per year to the state, per car, for the privilege of having it registered here.
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OverCusser
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by OverCusser »

So - I would consider myself a car guy and I literally just went through this same type of exercise for about 3 months.

I'm not going to concentrate on the day to day numbers like registration, insurance and things like that - I'm going to focus mostly on the budget.

I initially wanted something practical, 4 doors (child coming soon) AND sporty. I also wanted to keep it fairly inexpensive. After a lot of looking, I pretty much narrowed it down to M5 and e63AMG. I spent considerable time in both along with other similar cars - including trying to branch out to performance SUVs like Cayenne Turbo, etc. Also added the e55 AMG for a short stint, but ultimately decided on of the two first mentioned. My budget was similar - ~35K.

I spent a TON of time research and driving and just couldn't get myself to have one of those be both the daily AND the fun that I wanted. Going that old, it isn't as "nice" a daily as it could be and, as mentioned before, they're not a weekend "performance" car even though they ABSOLUTELY perform when compared against 99.9 percent of what you see and pass on the road (and you will mostly pass in them).

So, I decided that I would raise the budget some and look for weekend car and pushed it 50K (sound familiar). 35 would go to the M or AMG and 15 would go to __________ . I mostly focused on M3's and 911s. Can get a nice 996 with IMS and RMS taken care of *close* to range I was looking at - would just need a little budget manipulation. M3 is easier to find and you can get newer. Both you'll find a lot more convertibles it seems.

Here's the thing - going the way I was above - you end up with a daily 6,7,8 years old and a weekend the same or older - and the weekend isn't going to perform "better" - it performs differently.

Ultimately, I kept my 50K budget at that and bought a newer (2011) e63. So, in my opinion, I get better performance than just about anything I would have gotten for a weekender - whether straight or twisties plus a lot of the new features/tech (and in 2011 there was a body style change). Telling you - now that I did this, couldn't imagine have gone the other way. Now, I would LOVE to have the right weekender to go with THIS car - but, alas, that probably wont be happening. Luckily, every time a turn on a 6.2 liter NA motor and hear the exhaust - or hear the exhaust EVERY time I accelerate - I feel a lot better.

I also agree that the M5, or just about any 4 door 4000 lb car, wouldn't enter my mind or definition as a weekend car. It would be a LOT different than your fusion of course, but I also agree that you would immediately regret having the Fusion, you would drive the M5 wayyyy more and, in the end, wonder why you didn't spend a little more getting a better 4 door for an ONLY car - or a better weekend car that falls more into a standard definition of weekend car.

You can PM me if you have any questions - like I said, I spend a TON of time research a BUNCH of cars.

Also, I know someone mentioned it earlier about issues with M5 - every car is going to have issues. M5 has theirs, e63 has their headbolts, 911s RMS, etc. You'll find people talk about them a lot, but there are FAR FAR more reliable, no issue cars than the catastrophic failures you can read about. You just have to remember - just because you can pick up say a 80K to 100K car for 20K to 30K - they're still going to have the maintenance costs associated with a 80K to 100K car. And they'll probably have issues more often. It is important to have an indy mechanic that you can trust.
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Re: 1 Nice car vs 2 Decent cars (daily driver/weekend car)?

Post by Lane4Imaging »

A BMW M5 is hardly a "Boggle" car. Very high maintenance. I owned a used BMW 525 for a couple of years and it was like owning a boat. I felt like I was standing on a dock throwing $100 bills into the ocean owning that car. Each visit to the mechanic was never under $1000 and I was making a trip every 6-8 weeks. The 525 is a much less performance car than a M5 as well. I sold it and bought a boring Camry hybrid. Now my Camry is 4 years old with only oil changes and a new set of tires in its maintenance folder. I couldn't be happier. If you want a Boggle car, buy a Toyota or Honda, move on and be happy.
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