I hope you won’t laugh at my current Diamante, it’s been brilliant over the past twelve years. But I’m at a loss as to what to replace it with. Most new cars have cvts, which I refuse to buy. I have strong concerns about their durability. And don’t talk about the dual clutch repair costs – outrageous.Meaning I have to dip into the seconds market and look at low mileage vehicles to get something affordable on an average wage.
It’s a scary world.
I have a good idea of what I need, and will be looking at what you call the Pontiac G8 (in a six cylinder version), or it’s now-gone Ford equivalent, the Falcon. But looking forward, manual transmissions are being phased out, and idiotic schemes like the Volvo ownership experience don’t inspire much confidence in the future options for car buyers who like to drive, and want to keep their vehicles for more than just a lease term.
I would love to have the option of something considerably older, but as a white collar guy, I don’t have the mechanical skills to do much work on them, beyond basic maintenance.
Would welcome your thoughts. Love your column, keep up the good work.
My reply: I won’t mock your Diamante, first of all! Second, while I am also not a big fan of CVTs on subjective grounds ( I don’t like the shiftless feel of them) most have proved to be pretty reliable. I’d frankly take a CVT over one of the new nine or ten-speed automatics – for exactly the reasons you lay out in your question!
That said, you still have the option to go with a conventional (six speed) automatic in cars like the Mazda6 and Toyota Camry, both of which are excellent sedans. The Chevy Impala is a nice big car that also doesn’t – yet – use a CVT.
If you go back a few years – within the past five or so – you should be able to find cars like these with a manual transmission, if that is your preference. Keep in mind that almost any recent vintage car ought to be reliable/trouble-free for at least 150,000 miles – so buying a used one with say 50k on it is akin to buying a car with about 15-20,000 miles back in the ’80s!
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