Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Zane writes: Curious, everyone has a certain cut-off point for used cars; wondering if sports cars made in the mid 2000s, without navigation would be acceptable (350z, S197 Mustang, M3, STI’s, Kappa Twins, etc.). If not those, when would be the latest you’d recommend? Thinking of a toy car later this year, but something Uncle couldn’t find unless he did it the old fashioned way.
My reply: Almost any car less than five years old will have GPS; most built within the past ten will also have “telematics” (i.e., a system like GM’s OnStar that can be used to locate the vehicle for roadside assistance and so on) which amounts to the same thing – a technology that can be used to pinpoint the location of the vehicle in real time and (in many cases) remotely control some of the vehicle’s operations.
Any car that came with something like OnStar; look for a button on the sun visor or rearview mirror. Even if the subscription has lapsed, these systems remain active. Or at least, can be activated – without your having asked – and without you being aware.
Note that with regard to GM vehicles, you will have to go back to at least the mid-1990s to avoid OnStar (as well as Event Data Recorders, or EDRs).
This is why I love my ’76 Trans-Am! It hasn’t got any kind of leash that Uncle can yank!
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Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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