Reader Question: Saaaaaaaafety-free New Cars?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Irene asks: I currently own a 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX hatchback. It has been extremely reliable, and I have 187,000 miles on it. I really hate to get rid of it when it finally dies. My question: Are there any cars anymore that do not have all the saaaaaafety crap included?

I do not want “driver assist.” I do not want “braking assist.” I live in Alaska. There is a thing called permafrost that, in essence, means the roads are terrible. We drive like we are in a game of Frogger for a reason:  We are all darting the dips and potholes, so as to save our struts and shocks. A saaaaaafety feature would prevent that.

Are there any less, big-brother’ish vehicle options out there, or am I stuck with forever sticking a new engine in the vehicle I have now? Sure, it has Big Brother under the seat, but no governor (it is a manual transmission) and certainly does not have any of the new saaaaaafety junk that is being shoved down drivers’ throats.  For at this point, buying older, used vehicles may be the only way to avoid Big Brother from keeping us “safe” from ourselves.

My reply: Bad news.There are very few 2019 (and fewer 2020) models that don’t have at least one of these “assists” as part of the standard suite of saaaaaaaaaaaaaafety tech.

I think it’s worth a quick segue to point out that things like automated braking, steer/lane keep “assist” aren’t “assisting” anything. They are pre-empting your driving. Trying to make you drive a certain way, which is “assistance” in the same way that you “contribute” to Social Security.

Anyway, the only way to avoid this stuff is to suss out the dwindling number of “new” cars/trucks that are still old – in terms of their design – or buy a used car without any of this stuff.

Or, spend the money on the car you have – to keep it on the road.

At least, until the Great Crash comes.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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