Reader Question: What to Do?

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

Gregg asks: Hi Eric, I heard your interview on the Tom Woods show, great interview! Someone asked the opposite question I wanted to ask; they wanted a state of the art, all the bells and whistles, hot rod. We need a new car and would like to buy a luxury car. I recently heard that these days, most people end up paying an extra $10,000 to $15,000 for “options” that they will never use. I’m an older guy, and don’t really want or need all of the bells and whistles. I just want a good riding road car, that gets fairly good gas milage. I also don’t plan to buy new. So my question is, how far back do I need to go to get a nice luxury car, that won’t talk to me incessantly, or take over driving, should someone change lanes to fast, and what brand or brands might you recommend? You also mentioned leasing, should I be considering that? BTW I generally keep my cars until the wheels fall off. The car I”m replacing is a 2000 Impala, so we’d like something about that size, just a little nicer. Thanks a million!

My reply: Three cars come to mind right away – the Lincoln Town Car (not made anymore, but made recently enough that you should be able to find a used on in very good shape) and the Toyota Avalon (any year, including new) and the Chrysler 300. These cars are big, roomy, quiet, comfortable – and even the new 300 and Avalon – largely free of over-the-top nanny tech and big brother tech.

The TC  is gong to be the pick of the litter as far as cost to buy, in part because it’s older and in part because it is perceived as an old guy’s car. If you don’t care about perceptions, then I urge you to find – and test drive – a used TC.

If you would like the peace of mind of a brand-new car, the 300 is hard to beat because the car is still fundamentally old. In  a good way. The car’s basic design hasn’t been updated in years, which means it is very much like the cars of circa 2010 or so – and those cars were free of most of the most obnoxious stuff being put into “new” new cars. Plus, it has a wonderful V8 (available optionally) as well as AWD (also optional) if you’d like the all-weather traction.

The Avalon is also an exceptionally nice – and exceptionally well-made car, essentially a Lexus ES350 but without the Lexus price tag.

This ought to get you started!

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

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  1. I’d like to find a decent example of the Buick Roadmaster Wagon. They got great mileage, had a dead reliable SBC and TBI along with a lot of whistles and bells, esp. a rear suspension worthy of pulling a fairly large trailer. It’s a “bring everything and the kitchen sink” kinda car. Of course a early 90’s X or crewcab pickup would do same, just less the fuel mileage.


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