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Automotive Central

191
Wood Guy

What are you driving? What's your favorite vehicle that you have owned? What are you lusting after? What should architects drive? What is important to you in a vehicle? Should we even drive vehicles? 

 
Apr 7, 21 12:34 pm
Wood Guy

My current car is a 2011 Prius. It's rock-solid and will last forever but it's looking old. It's actually peppier than most people think. But I'd like something a little nicer and more fun to drive. Reliability is very important to me, so unfortunately although I love European car design, I don't trust any of them. I need to be able to carry some tools and materials for miscellaneous projects, and hopefully do some travel with it. Currently at the top of my list is a Lexus RX hybrid. 

The first few cars I drove were early 1980s Volvo 240s, and the first car I bought myself was a 1980 Volvo 245 painted cherry red. I loved that car and used it like a truck, until I really needed a truck. 

I'm looking forward to prices for high-performance electric vehicles to come down. I'd like a Tesla, or any of the electric trucks soon to be on the market.

Apr 7, 21 12:46 pm  · 
2  · 
gibbost

I've just recently reached a point where I am considering a car payment.  Never had one, never wanted one. With the kids out of daycare and credit cards paid off, I finally feel like rewarding myself.  I've always had this dream of owning a nice new crew-cab pick-up truck.  (I drove an old beat-up F150 for years when I was a brick mason and loved it.  That feeling has never left).  But I struggle with whether it's that practical.  The electric options coming to market do excite me.  Alas, I will likely drive my 4-door sedan for at least another year.

Apr 7, 21 12:55 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

I know what you mean. My Prius is long paid for and I'm not excited about taking on a payment. But life is short, and I love cars, so... I've had two F150s and a Dodge Dakota, so I also have a thing for trucks. In fact a Tundra with a flat bed caught my eye recently. But my MIL lives two miles away and I can use her Tacoma TRD whenever I want, which makes it hard to justify buying a truck. That doesn't mean I don't look. ;-)

Apr 7, 21 1:03 pm  · 
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JLC-1

I was driving a 2003 Audi A4 quattro until December, when it started to die, and I bought a 2011 Mini Cooper S, both very fun to drive. But the nicest car I've owned was a 2006 Saab 9-3 sport kombi turbo, unfortunately Saab disappeared and it was incredibly expensive to get parts, I sold it when I had to replace a head lamp bulb for $250.

Apr 7, 21 1:02 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Saabs were great. My wife had a 1990 Saab 900 with a manual shift when we got together and it was fun to drive until it fell apart. My MIL has had a lot of Saabs and still drives a 9-3, though it's on borrowed time. Our local mechanic is a Saab specialist but it's just not worth trying to keep them running. Did you find the Audi to be reliable? On my wish list is an Audi Allroad, among others.

Apr 7, 21 1:09 pm  · 
1  · 
JLC-1

That particular Audi model was very reliable, but I only had it for 3 years, I live in a place where some people use their second or third homes and have a car for 3 months out of the year, hence the audi had very low mileage, but wasn't really well maintained. I don't trust audi's in general, and now I have a mini with a bmw engine.... I think reliability is relative, and sometimes you get bad luck, but European cars are more expensive to maintain for sure.

Apr 7, 21 1:14 pm  · 
1  · 
JLC-1

PS the most reliable car I've had was 1986 Saab 900 S, I donated it when the wheel hub came off over a speed bump in 2012.

Apr 7, 21 1:24 pm  · 
 · 
mightyaa

Yep.. I had a 2000 Saab 9-3 Viggen 5dr. Loved that car.

Apr 7, 21 4:31 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

In 2015 I bought the quintessential Architect's Car: a black Volvo V70R. It's gorgeous, but like Wood Guy said - I don't trust it. I've probably spent more in maintenance in the past 5 years than I spent to buy the car. I'm currently in the process of fixing it up one last time so I can sell it.

I'm selling it because in the fall we bought a lifted '06 Tundra (nicknamed it the "Tig Ol' Bundra"). I have a Leer canopy on order & working on a design for a minimalist camper build. Once that's squared away we're planning to trade in my wife's old Toyota Matrix for some sort of plug in hybrid. The overall scheme is to stop having "my car & her car" and start having "the city car" that we use when we need to go somewhere we can't walk / bike / bus, and "the mountain truck" for our weekend adventures. I'll post a photo set of the camper build when it's done. 

As for a dream car, if money was no object I'd shell out six figures for a Bollinger or a convert a classic to electric:

https://bollingermotors.com/bo...
https://www.zerolabs.com/

Sadly money is an object.

Apr 7, 21 1:03 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

It figures that you and I would have similar taste in vehicles. I think the Volvo V60 is one of the most beautiful cars made today. Unfortunately it gets terrible reliability ratings. The V70 is not quite as sexy but it's definitely architecty.

I remember your new Tundra from the last car thread. I've been considering both newer-style and older-style Tundras, but the newer ones get horrible milage, and the old ones like yours often have rusted frames around here. You're lucky to not be in salted road-land. Bollingers are awesome. 

Apr 7, 21 5:15 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

The new Polestar wagon is the first electric car I've seen that's actually *wowed* me with its design. Hoping that's the beginning of a trend.

Apr 7, 21 5:17 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Same body as the V60, I believe.

Apr 7, 21 6:36 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

Yep, pretty sure it is. I'm just a sucker for Volvos.

Apr 7, 21 9:18 pm  · 
2  · 
msparchitect

Polestar 2 is on the same platform as the XC40 and upcoming C40.

Apr 9, 21 5:16 pm  · 
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tduds

Welp, got the Volvo back from the shop yesterday and its terminal. Coolant is leaking into a couple cylinders. Might be a head gasket, might be a cracked cylinder. Best case scenario is a $5,000 fix. So I'm donating it. Godspeed, little wagon. We had some fun together.

May 6, 21 12:19 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Shit, sorry man. I thought of you yesterday when my highway buddy was an XC70. (I had the wrong model but the thought was there...) Both seem "architecturally designed" to me, good architect wagons. RIP. What's next? Or will the Tundra get promoted?

May 6, 21 12:29 pm  · 
1  · 
senjohnblutarsky

I'm on my third Nissan Altima.  Current one is a 2020 SR with AWD.  I commute 110 miles per day, and am getting 37.6 miles per gallon. 

It's orange. And pretty sexy. 

I don't really lust after much.  I'd like to have a Jeep Gladiator, but don't want the payment for one.  I have a thing for station wagons, but I can't make one fit my current full-time needs. 

Apr 7, 21 1:28 pm  · 
3  · 
atelier nobody

I've had a couple Altimas over the years - good cars. Second only to Toyota Corollas in reliability, particularly when they already have 100K miles on them when you get them, as was the case with every Altima and Corolla I've ever had.

Apr 7, 21 1:50 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

I'm with you on the wagons. SUVs usually look bloated in comparison, and their handling matches the look. I love Wrangler-style Jeeps and keep looking at them, and the Gladiator, but they cost a lot for poor ratings. Still fun though. When I lived on Nantucket I used to rent a Jeep when visitors came out so I could take them on the beach without destroying my truck. Though I managed to do that too. Driving your truck IN the ocean is not recommended, apparently.

Apr 7, 21 5:20 pm  · 
2  · 
Almosthip

I have Black 2011 Kia Sorento with 294,000 kms, that I bought from my firm 3 years ago for 1$

Apr 7, 21 1:39 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Good car, great price!

Apr 7, 21 5:21 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

After a lifetime of whatever used car I could afford, I bought my first brand new car in 2014 (age 47) - a Jeep Patriot. I wanted a small SUV primarily for cargo capacity, as I have some equipment-intensive hobbies, and have been a little disappointed in the Patriot in that regard - they really took the small in "small SUV" seriously - but other than that I have been pretty happy with it.

I think architects tend to want either sports cars or trucks/SUVs, so I think the perfect architect's SUV/sexy sports car crossovers are the Infiniti FX series. I remember the first time I saw one thinking it looked like the bastard child of a Subaru Outback and an Audi TT.

My absolute favorite vehicle ever was actually a piece of crap - a '77 Datsun pickup (that model year had legendary terrible breaks, you can still Google it now and find rants about the brakes). What it did have, however, was a little camper shell just big enough for 2 people or one person with a couple dogs to stretch out in comfortably, with a carpet and padding kit of the ultimate '70s carpet in mottled shades of yellow/gold. That little camper and I had many adventures in my late teens to early 20s.

Apr 7, 21 1:48 pm  · 
2  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

2015 Nissan Altima 3.5 sl. The last model for 3.5 in the Altima trim. Fast.


Coolest? 1971 Dodge Demon 340 4 speed. Drag car.


Want? Either the latest Challenger Hellcat, or 1970 Hemi Dart.

Apr 7, 21 1:51 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Rocking a sweet all black 08 Toyota Yaris sedan and I just passed the 200,000km line this past winter. I also take the light rail train to the office so I don’t drive to work. No panel on that car has less than 3 obvious cracks, dents, gouges (evidence of a life in an urban world and snow banks).  Even at its age, it’s dirt cheap to maintain.


I like the idea of liking cars in general but I just don’t think I care enough about them.  I know I need to replace the Yaris soonish because it is small, but everything available within reason are so blah. I do like the latest VW wagon tho. 

Apr 7, 21 1:54 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I remember you mentioning the Yaris a few times over the years. It sticks in my mind because my 6'-8" BIL has one--great car, and fits him, believe it or not! I've been looking at the VW Golf Sportwagen and the VW Alltrack. I like everything about them except the famous VW reliability--the opposite of Toyota's.

Apr 7, 21 5:25 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

WG, we had 4 yaris in my group of friends at one time a while back. 2 are left. I agree with the entirety of your VW statement.

Apr 7, 21 5:41 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Did you drive them in parades, clown-car style? I still like VWs. Just last night I was looking online at Golfs and Eurovans. And Super Beetles.

Apr 7, 21 6:38 pm  · 
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Non Sequitur

No parade, but we would park them side-by-side whenever there were get-togethers. We did once pack 7 people in a the 2door hatchback yaris.

Apr 7, 21 11:19 pm  · 
1  · 
whistler

I suppose you could drive them like the Italian Job mob!

Apr 8, 21 3:16 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

"Should we even drive vehicles?"

Back when I would sometimes fantasized about having my own successful firm, I always thought I'd put it as close to a train station as I could get it and have a couple company cars for site visits so everyone could take the train to work. I still think it'd be a great idea, but someone more ambitious than I am will have to be the one to do it.

Apr 7, 21 1:57 pm  · 
5  · 
tduds

I'm obsessed with the fantasy of taking the train to work. Too bad rail service in America sucks so bad outside of Bos-Wash.

Apr 7, 21 2:59 pm  · 
4  · 
mightyaa

My dream once was once owning something like a larger sailboat. Setting up shop in it and traveling around the gulf and Caribbean; but I know nada about sailing or oceans :P Just sounded really cool to rent a slip for a couple months then move on to some next port.

Apr 7, 21 3:41 pm  · 
3  · 
atelier nobody

I have train stations within a few blocks of home and a few blocks of work, but it's only 2 stops so it'd be 15-20 minutes of walking and about 3 minutes on the train vs a 10-15 minute drive. I really should get a bicycle.

Apr 7, 21 4:01 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

I also have the sailboat fantasy despite never having sailed in my life. My mother thinks Lyle Lovett's "If I Had a Boat" is my them song.

Apr 7, 21 4:02 pm  · 
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tduds

What sucks is that it is *technically * possible for me to commute by train. I live less than a mile from an Amtrak stop that's 20 minutes from downtown, which is 1/2 mile from my office. There's an AM train that would get me downtown at 8:00, and a PM train that would get me home at 6:20. I even tried it for a while. The problem is that it's *never* on time, and occasionally I'd be delayed 60-90 minutes mid-trip. Few things are more enraging than being stuck indefinitely on a train. I'm extremely excited about the current administration's infrastructure plan and the attention it's been giving to trains. Our passenger rail system is an embarrassment compared to every other country I've visited (even the "developing" ones!) & it desperately needs upgrading.

Apr 7, 21 4:25 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

We gots an xc60 and we likes it, precious.

Apr 7, 21 2:04 pm  · 
4  · 
Wood Guy

That is a nice looking car. Volvo does design right! Quite a change from the "boxy but good" era. Though I've always liked how they look.

Apr 7, 21 5:26 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

We were shopping for used CR-Vs and the volvo popped up. I dismissed it as an anomaly, but I think we got lucky due to nobody buying cars during the pandemic.

Apr 7, 21 5:31 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

It's by far the nicest card I have ever owned. And it goes over the rough stuff better than our subee ever did.

Apr 7, 21 5:32 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Whenever I see one I imagine the designer looking at the model and saying it needs something... then giving it a little squeeze, and voila, the indented sides that give it personality. And that a lot of other brands are now copying.

Apr 7, 21 6:40 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

The coolest thing about that move is the way it prevents the wheel wells from presenting inside the back. Somehow it has more space in the rear than an Outback yet the wheel wells are outside the interior space!

Apr 7, 21 6:47 pm  · 
1  · 

20-year-old Subaru Forester is my not-so-daily driver. I have not broken the 200k mile mark yet, but probably would have in 2020 if not for the pandemic. Used to be the family's only car, but we bought an Outback (late 2010's) when my wife and I needed to shuttle the kiddo around more and coordinating the one car was becoming a hassle. These last few years it's been relegated to getting me to and from the bus station when I was going into the office, and errands on the weekends (and shuttling the kiddo around obviously). 

Been thinking about going electric recently though. Electric bicycle that is. Torn between getting a commuting setup that will go the distance into the city, or a cargo bike that will do the local trips to drop off the kiddo at school and pick up groceries, etc.

Also, older related thread but still a good one: What kind of car should an architect drive? Shame most of the links to images are broken.

Apr 7, 21 2:31 pm  · 
2  · 
SneakyPete

TWENTY YEAR OLD subee with sub 200k miles?!

Apr 7, 21 2:50 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

The one new car my wife and I bought was a 2005 Forester, manual shift. We drove the hell out of it, including one 3000 mile trip in 95° weather when the A/C decided to quit! We had it until two years ago, when rust got the best of it. That was a good thread, and I considered reanimating it but thought a fresh start would be good.

Apr 7, 21 5:29 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

When we got rid of our outback it was 17 years old, had no working A/C, an oil plug that leaked like a seive, squeaky suspension (you can recognize a subaru squeak,) the gas lid switch was busted, none of the lighter provided power, and some body damage. The dealer laughed his ass off, showed the entire staff, then gave me 500 bucks as a gesture of good will.

Apr 7, 21 5:40 pm  · 
 · 
mightyaa

When I worked downtown, I seriously considered a electric skateboard. Basically, I'm a couple miles from the light rail. So I could ride the board, carry on-board, light rail downtown, then board another quarter mile to the office.... Then changed jobs and now commute 40 miles down the highway :/

Apr 7, 21 6:26 pm  · 
1  · 

I just checked SP and the subee is 20-years-young at 192k miles. I thought I was closer; probably a few more years before I'll break 200k with how little I drive it. It has had the normal subee woes like the notorious head gasket leak, but aside from that it's been pretty reliable for us. Electrical issues are starting to creep up here and there, like half my dash lights are out so it's a little difficult to see how fast I'm driving at night. The rear dome light doesn't work all the time when you open the back. Moonroof slipped off the track or something and we disconnected the power to it.

Apr 7, 21 7:42 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

This is my ride, with electric support when needed:


Apr 7, 21 2:47 pm  · 
3  · 
tduds

I like your hair

Apr 7, 21 3:54 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Nice yacht.

Apr 7, 21 4:00 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

For some reason I thought you were a guy...

Apr 7, 21 5:29 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

^gents... it's a stock image of the product.

(https://www.bikesland.nl/cargo...) 3rd image

Apr 7, 21 5:39 pm  · 
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Wood Guy

Party pooper

Apr 7, 21 6:30 pm  · 
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SneakyPete

how do we know randomised isn't a model on the side?

Apr 7, 21 6:35 pm  · 
2  · 

This on my n+1 list.

Apr 7, 21 7:04 pm  · 
2  · 
randomised

It's also a very strange spot to pose with your bike...unless you had to dump a dead body of course, for which this bike is perfectly suited: https://goo.gl/maps/5kKeY6LgWU15js5h8

Apr 8, 21 5:23 am  · 
2  · 
randomised

That 'nice yacht' is the Eye Filmmuseum by Delugan Meissl ;-)

https://www.eyefilm.nl/en/visi...

Apr 9, 21 3:29 am  · 
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I hope/plan on getting one of these as soon as Samuel Wayne gets a bit older and I need to start taking him to school as part of my commute!

May 4, 21 11:51 pm  · 
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x-jla

2018 Toyota 4 runner.  Love it.  It’s my favorite car I’ve owned this far.  I’m not a big car person, but it’s very comfortable and reliable. 

Apr 7, 21 2:54 pm  · 
 · 
mightyaa

It’s my Achilles heel. I own:

1971 Datsun 240z; still titled under my parents the original owners. I grew up in this car. Favorite cruiser. Slowly figuring out how to tune dual SU carbs.

1973 Land Rover 88 Series III. My project car. Chevy drivetrain from a botched engine swap, non-runner, needs a ton of work including a frame. So it’s basically been my expensive rolling toolshed for a couple decades. Had so many things wrong it was cheaper to buy the next one.

1980 International Harvester Scout II. Mildly modified. 4-barrel, hot cam, family cage, lift and lockers. 4-spd, V8.

1990 Nissan 300zx Twin-Turbo. Always in a various state of something wearing out; original owner. This was my first hand-me-down office car. I kept after they only offered $2500 on a trade (for a Saab back in 2000).

2008 BMW M3. V8, 6-spd. Original owner and was my daily until last month. Was my office car when I had a firm. Like the Nissan, was offered shit on trade ($11k), so I just kept it.

2017 Range Rover TD6. Still on temp tags. Diesel, 4wd, can haul my stuff around the mountains, good gas mileage and range while surrounded in a leather cocoon with dolby digital while churning down the highway or stuck in traffic. I'm still transitioning from fast sports saloon to slow big land yacht. 

Note the eclectic taste; American steel, JDM, and Euro's as well as sports and functional SUVS. There's also a admired design philosophy at work here; My 4x4's are real, as in low range transfer cases and off-road capable. The sports cars are RWD and corner carvers. Just different approaches and goals which I can appreciate. 

Apr 7, 21 3:32 pm  · 
7  · 
tduds

I want a Scout so bad (or a first gen Bronco)! But other than being extremely beautiful, it doesn't suit my vehicle needs in almost any way. Maybe if I strike it rich and retire I'll get one as a toy. A boy can dream.

Apr 7, 21 3:54 pm  · 
 · 
JLC-1

this one came up in the local swap facebook page a couple of days ago, it's not too far from you might, in rifle.


Apr 7, 21 4:01 pm  · 
 · 
mightyaa

Here's 3 of them

Apr 7, 21 4:38 pm  · 
4  · 
mightyaa

The Scout is probably the one I'll be selling in the next few years after new paint and some interior. They're worth a ton now and I'm out of space.

And the 240z; it gets the garage.


Apr 7, 21 4:40 pm  · 
5  · 
RJ87

I like the Land Rover 88. My dad just recently got into the Defenders. He's having one rebuilt & it should be ready sometime this summer, it's all he talks about lately.

Apr 7, 21 4:44 pm  · 
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mightyaa

Oh lol JLC... $265k for that Defender with a LS-3. Ya... that's a rip off.

Apr 7, 21 4:50 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

Can I be you when I grow up? Nice collection. I'm reminded of my childhood, collecting Matchbox cars and building things with LEGOs. Not much has changed, I guess.

Apr 7, 21 5:32 pm  · 
 · 
mightyaa

lol... that's pretty much it. "What do I want to play with today?" or even "Who do I want to be today?" and you grab a set of keys like you would picking out what shoes go with your outfit. Suit and tie? It pairs well with the Range Rover or BMW. Nice sunny day? Pop the T-tops off and blaze up the turbos on the 300z (or Scout with the top off if you're feeling a bit rustic). Feeling nostalgic, want strangers striking up conversations? Slip on your Vans and head out in 240z or Scout. Cars are about the design for me and the emotional feel. Oh and lol... btw I've told my daughter that if she wants a lot of attention from teenage boys, just borrow one of my cars.

Apr 7, 21 5:59 pm  · 
2  · 
JLC-1

my 20 yr old son would kill you for that datsun.

Apr 7, 21 6:24 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

Get dat son a Datsun!

Apr 7, 21 11:15 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

What about dis son?

Apr 8, 21 3:33 pm  · 
1  · 

mightyaa that Z is GORGEOUS.

Apr 8, 21 10:22 pm  · 
 · 
JLC-1

Well, he is in med school so I'm sure he'll be able to afford it in a couple of years.

Apr 9, 21 11:49 am  · 
 · 
RJ87

The trouble with cars is 90% of them look terrible & the other 10% are relatively expensive.

I have a 2010 Wrangler now with only 65k ish miles that I plan to drive until either it craps out, becomes too expensive to fix, or we've got the expendable income. The plan is to replace my wife's Forerunner with an all black Tahoe when we start having kids & that will become the "family car" while my Jeep is the "parents & dogs only don't put a child in a jeep with no side airbags" car. We'll see how that works out though, may have to get a new car for myself sooner than anticipated.

Edit: Seriously though, most cars on the road look meh.

Apr 7, 21 3:55 pm  · 
2  · 
tduds

I can count on one hand the number of cars produced in the past decade that are even remotely aesthetic. And I'd go as far as to say there hasn't been a single good American truck built since the 90s. It's a shame, auto design had a good run.

Apr 7, 21 4:00 pm  · 
 · 
RJ87

It used to terrify me when I'd pull into our office parking lot & see conservative sedan after conservative sedan lined up. A pickup truck trend has started in the last 5 years, but I now realize all of those sedans were a biproduct of people in our industry being generally frugal / environmentally conscious.

Money is what it is and you have to live within your means financially. But as an office perk certain employees receive gas cards for both business & personal use (I know that's abnormal), so as a result I couldn't care less what the gas mileage is.

Apr 7, 21 4:06 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

My 2006 "Full size" truck is smaller than 2018 "Mid-sized" truck. The old F-150 is smaller than the new Ford Ranger. The size trend is toxic and stupid and should be illegal. I don't know why but it just makes me so angry.

Apr 7, 21 4:08 pm  · 
2  · 
RJ87

I edited my previous comment before your new comment popped up. But as a result of your anger please disregard my line about not caring about gas mileage hahaha.

Apr 7, 21 4:11 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

Gas mileage is a thing, but it's a small concern when large trucks are literally killing pedestrians. That's the real source of my outrage.

Apr 7, 21 4:19 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Wrangler, 4Runner and Tahoe are all on my wish list. My brother had a mid-90s 2-door Yukon (Tahoe clone) and I've been a fan ever since. I agree about price and looks. Good to know that my preferences seem to be shared with my peeps here.

Apr 7, 21 5:34 pm  · 
 · 
mightyaa

One of the reasons I got my Range Rover; 28 mpg. I'm thrilled considering my BMW barely got 20 mpg and hates snow. My wishlist when shopping new included the new Bronco, Rivan truck, and Polestar 2... but all are waitlist. Bronco seems like it'll be a hit and a decent price. I think Ford did a good job with it and I've like their engine lineups; the office did have several F-150's (and Rav 4's and Prius's) before they made us start using our personal vehicles.

Apr 7, 21 6:23 pm  · 
2  · 
JLC-1

wood, rent a 4 runner if you can, I wasn't impressed here in the rockies, windows are too small.

Apr 7, 21 6:26 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

JLC, my old boss had a 2012-ish 4Runner I rode in a few times and I felt the same. They look cool and are good for off-roading, which I don't do, so there's no point in me getting one. I just like imagining my fleet including one someday, which won't happen. Mightyaa, I agree that the new Bronco looks great--they actually kept a lot of the cool stuff from the 70s-80s models. Ford in general does a nice job with design. I wish their trucks lasted more than a few years in the salt belt though. My two F150s were expensive to run. 13 MPG didn't help, though I know the newer ones get better mileage.

Apr 7, 21 6:35 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Tduds, I always liked the size of the T100--7/8 of full truck size. Too bad they have goofy proportions. And haven't been made in 20+ years. In the early 2000s I was torn between an F150 and a Tundra, and went for the Ford--very similar in size and style at the time, but the Ford (3 years old at the time) was a better color and came with a cap. Ah the lessons of youth.

Apr 7, 21 6:45 pm  · 
1  · 
mightyaa

Ya.. the office had newer F-150's with the ecoboost turbo v6's and I think aluminum bodies. Engine and drivetrain impressed me. They felt faster than the Dodge Ram pickups with the V8. Didn't have them long enough for me to judge how well the body holds up (Colorado also uses salt). One of my managers has a very nice Tundra; it has a great interior, but I think it was one of those special named versions. His complaint is its no different than our base model Prius: cheap arse switches, touchscreen and all. So, lovely leather, stitching and soft touch stuff, then same old crappy plastic interfaces like the rest of the lineup.

Apr 7, 21 7:10 pm  · 
1  · 
curtkram

so i'm probably going to be getting a new car.  a tree fell on mine.  it needs to fit two saint bernards.  i currently have a jeep renegade.  more than likely i'll get the same.  anything else i should really consider?  i've never owned a car that isn't an american brand (chevy/ ford/ mopar)   my favorite car was a '79 camaro, but i can't fit 2 dogs in one of those.

Apr 7, 21 6:55 pm  · 
 · 
mightyaa

If you want the current 'hot' classics with rising values; mid 70's to 80's SUV's. Jeep Wagoneers, 2nd Gen Broncos and PowerWagons. There's also classics like the Willies Wagons or Jeepsters/Commandos. New? Ford Bronco, another Jeep, and you might look at Rivian's suv if you are considering electric. (Rivian is US, and funded by Amazon and Ford). I seriously looked at the Lincoln Aviator and Ford just introduced a new redesigned Explorer that looks nice. GM lineup looked dated but I think they have a new one as well; ?Trailblazer? Everybody has a SUV now.

Apr 7, 21 7:29 pm  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

Subaru Forester. 'nuff said

Apr 7, 21 11:48 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I keep coming back to the Forester as an excellent value with everything you really need. My wife and her sister both have 2016 Foresters and they are nice little SUVs. The one I would want (and there is a decent chance I would actually get, when I finally pull the trigger on something) is a 2014-2018 Forester 2.0 XT. It has a peppy and reliable turbo engine (reliable for a turbo, anyway) that many reviewers say is almost as much fun as a WRX STI, Subaru's sports car. Zero to 60 in under 7 seconds, not bad for an affordable SUV. If you put the rear seats down, two Saint Bernards would fit, but they would be pretty tight with the seats up.

Apr 8, 21 9:13 am  · 
 · 

Currently driving a 1995 Mercedes e320 Wagon with < 120k. It's handy for art hauling.

Not mine, but same model. Between working at home and living in a village I'm driving maybe 3k/year. No new cars for me, I hate the gizmo electronics and don't want built-in tracking and monitoring. 

Recently got rid of our '98 4Runner with 150k because the frame was rotting out. Bought it new, ordered from Japan, 6 cylinder with a 5-speed. That thing was a billy goat and the most reliable vehicle I've ever had. Aside from basic maintenance, over 22 years the only things I replaced were shocks, starter, valve cover gasket, and ball joints.

I would greatly prefer having public transit but here in Paradise it is basically non-existent. No self-appointed master-of-the-universe is going to leave his G500 in the city and rub elbows [[[shudder]]] with poor people. Bicycling here is a death wish with all the overentitled  sociopaths racing around. And texting! WTF

Apr 7, 21 7:37 pm  · 
3  · 
Wood Guy

That's a classic! Your comments on the other car thread have stuck with me, about what kind of car an architect [or designer] should drive. Old 4Runners and MBs fit the bill. I know at least two people who have converted older diesel MBs into biodiesels; apparently it's a good car for that.

Apr 8, 21 9:15 am  · 
1  · 
SlammingMiruvor

I have a hard time articulating it, but older MBs feel like the quintessential architect car to me. Still precious in their own right, but also old enough to be considered utilitarian. Rarely ostentatious. Add in the idea that you're doing the maintenance yourself, and I think it sends a message that while you appreciate aesthetics, you know what it takes to get there.

Apr 9, 21 12:51 pm  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

8 year old Subaru Impreza with manual shifter. This is the most fun I have ever owned. Want to get a WRX but probably not a good idea if I want to avoid parking tickets...

Apr 7, 21 10:30 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I've looked at both of those too. I can't get a WRX for the same reason, plus when you see a slightly overweight, balding, middle-aged white guy get out of one it screams "midlife crisis." I want my midlife crisis to be more discreet.

Apr 8, 21 9:17 am  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

In that case, get a WRX, but rip the badge off!

Apr 8, 21 8:53 pm  · 
 · 
citizen

Nice thread, Wood Guy.  Looks like you hit a goldmine!

Apr 7, 21 10:47 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Thanks! Apparently you're right.

Non sequitur (small s): my research shows that of all the European brands, Porsche actually has pretty good reliability ratings. My first Matchbox-car-love was a Porsche 944, back when it was a brand new model. So I've been looking at those, and other Porsches...

Apr 8, 21 8:51 am  · 
 · 
citizen

My ride's a 2015 Tartan Prancer.Best car in the world? Albania's official minivan Tartan Prancer - Makina  Shqiptare ! - YouTube

Albanian state of the art.

Apr 7, 21 10:55 pm  · 
4  · 
Non Sequitur

Nice suicide doors... but why are there 2 pairs of side mirrors?

Apr 7, 21 11:17 pm  · 
1  · 
citizen

Isn't it obvious?World's worst car designed for new Vacation movie - pictures | Auto Express

Apr 8, 21 12:22 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

sorry, I was distracted by the sweet karate kicks

Apr 8, 21 12:31 am  · 
1  · 
midlander

i thought it was because it has no reverse gear, just swivel the seats and drive from the other end

Apr 8, 21 7:49 am  · 
2  · 

Ha ha, I finally clicked through to watch the video. That's a tricked out Toyota Previa.

We had an early 90's Previa that was our "reliable vehicle" until we bought the Forester. We drove the heck out of that thing, gave it to my wife's cousin who drove it cross country, and kept it going for another few years. She ended up giving it away when she moved back across the country. It might still be out there on the roads for all I know. Hopefully someone took a look at the transmission. Engine will be fine though. That engine will never die. It won't put out much power to get you anywhere quickly, but it will never die.

Apr 8, 21 5:38 pm  · 
 · 

yup

Apr 8, 21 5:43 pm  · 
1  · 
bowling_ball

First new car I ever bought was my current daily driver - 2015 Subaru Crosstrek. It's been a tank so far. Great on snow and ice with the right tires and a lot more ground clearance than a ton of mid sized SUVs. Could use more power but otherwise it's been perfect. 


For fun, we own a BMW Z3 convertible. Has never seen snow, rain, or a gravel road. 20k KMs (was stored properly in a heated garage for a decade before we got it). It doesn't have streaming or satellite radio, nor does it have a CD player - but it does have a tape player. Which is never not funny to point out.


Also for fun, I have a heavily (heavily!) modified 1978 Yamaha Kenny Roberts race replica. I think there's about 4 original parts on the bike by now, and it can be fussy, but it's a great time. I'm thinking of selling this one and getting something newer and a lot more reliable, but I have the feeling my better half would have something to say about that as we enter middle age. I've owned something like a dozen bikes, starting when I was a little redneck kid. Highly recommended.

Apr 8, 21 12:30 am  · 
2  · 
senjohnblutarsky

If my cars weren’t allowed on a dirt road, I’d never get to go home.

Apr 8, 21 7:40 am  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

A Crosstrek was the first car I considered on this current round of car-dreaming. They definitely look like fun, though I'd like a car that actually has good power for once. Though I need to be careful to not get too carried away. I'm impressed that you can drive the Z3 and the bike without getting yourself into trouble! I'd love to get a bike but I'm positive I would kill myself on one.

Apr 8, 21 9:21 am  · 
 · 
bowling_ball

Yeah the Crosstrek is pretty underpowered. My wife insists on driving manual only, so that limits our choices. Compromise. But since I have the bike, it's fair. I've been riding since I was 8 and my father is a riding instructor on the side, so I'm about as comfortable as you can get on two wheels.

Apr 8, 21 9:39 am  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

Funny, my wife prefers stick as well. Her new-to-her Forester is the first automatic transmission she's ever had. (Another quirk: she has only driven Subarus and Saabs in the 30 years she's been driving.) I enjoy driving stick as well, learned on one and have had several myself. But it's hard to drive stick with a coffee in one hand and a phone in the other.

The first motorcycle I drove was a Honda Goldwing with paniers. I was used to riding bicycles, 4-wheelers and snowmobiles, and didn't have the muscle memory to learn the critical difference of brake placement on a motorcycle. Doing a front wheelie on a big, expensive bike is not a good way to start! Luckily I didn't quite dump it.

After that I rode my brother's on/off road bikes, which were fun, until he crashed and the muffler landed on his bare leg and he got a 3rd degree burn and bone infection. He's much more comfortable on bikes than I am so it was an eye-opener. Proper training probably goes a long way!

Apr 8, 21 10:09 am  · 
1  · 
sameolddoctor

The Crosstrek merely adds weight to the Impreza. We tried it, but then ended up getting an Outback 3.6R for my wife. Amazing car as well, and very zippy for being such a big car.

Apr 8, 21 8:55 pm  · 
1  · 

We opted for the 3.6 on our Outback and I'm glad we did. Salesman was trying to make some point that I could brag to others that I have the same engine as a Porsche, and in my head I'm like, "I don't think that really impresses anyone around here. A good portion of my neighbors probably have a Porsche."

Apr 9, 21 12:24 pm  · 
 · 

Spotted over the weekend. I was on my bicycle rather than in my Outback, or it would have been awkward since, according to the Subaru salesman, we have (essentially) the same engine.

Apr 19, 21 11:38 am  · 
 · 
joseffischer

first car was a 1990 Ford Taurus... I miss that car.  It was a box, it handled great on the highway. It got us all from point A to B.  Wouldn't recommend though because I got it when the transmission went for free (plus new transmission on my part) from family.  3 years later, the transmission went again.  Was a ford thing back then I'm told.

Upgraded to 1997 Toyota Camry, $5k, first car I bought.  That thing lasted.  Wife got in a bad accident on the highway and it still drove, but the insurance company totaled it out.  We used the totaled money to buy a 1997 Camry for $2k and used the old one for parts.  Overall a bad idea, the 2nd camry already had a rebuilt engine and was a taxi beforehand.  We eeked along for 3 1/2 years just canibalizing the old camry until we sold both to someone for $500.  

Current car is a 2014 Corolla... $7k, a number of complaints for this one.  Corollas are not as good as camrys.  Handles funny on the highway, feels like you're going to be blown off the road.  great gas mileage, but it's really finicky.  First car we bought with less than 100k miles on it though.  4 years later and we've put just under 20k miles on it with no problems, just oil changes and the like.  It's nice having a car that just works, even if it's not my preference.

We want to upgrade soonish, most likely to a hybrid, Prius's are good, have some friends with leafs that do well.


Apr 8, 21 10:01 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

A fellow frugal driver! I remember going to Disneyworld in 1984 and they had a super-futuristic car on display, one of few memories of that trip. (The doughnuts at the all-you-can-eat buffet are another.) The car was a Taurus. It's funny how it's now seen as kind of frumpy--it was cutting edge at the time! Better than a K-car, at least.

I'm surprised to hear that about Corollas. I haven't driven one but I believe the Prius uses the same platform, and mine (2011) drives well on the highway. The battery weight probably helps. I'm slowly learning to like the look of the newer Priuses, but the Corolla hybrid looks good. I've also been seeing the new Honda Accord hybrid and it's pretty sexy. I had a 2006 Accord which was reliable but boring, so it's nice to see an attractive one. I think I want more cargo room, though.

Apr 8, 21 10:16 am  · 
1  · 
joseffischer

Yeah, in 2010 corollas changed to electric steering. They did a patch on the software and changed how it worked for the 2014 corollas... but it is still a problem in my opinion. the Camry's kept the old steering at least for that era. I've had a chance to drive some prius's and they don't have the steering problem though they do use electric steering. Toyota's take is "there isn't a problem, that's just how electric steering works and everything's going that way" so in general I will be leery buying another Toyota (something I never thought I'd say).

Apr 8, 21 11:19 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Yeah, "fly by wire" is tricky to get right. Also, congrats on being comment #100!

Apr 8, 21 12:47 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

Bummer to hear about the Corollas - I've had 2 and loved them, but both were pre-2010...

Apr 8, 21 10:45 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Interesting article: https://www.treehugger.com/why.... The author, Lloyd Alter, is an architect in Toronto, though he no longer practices. He's a smart guy, and has been our guest on the BS + Beer Show.

Apr 8, 21 11:14 am  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

I live in the Los Angeles area, and I feel genuinely unsafe when I'm driving an economy car on a freeway full of suburban assault vehicles - I know a lot of people who have jumped on the yuppie tank bandwagon purely in self defense. It's like safety in LA traffic is based entirely on the doctrine of mutually assured destruction...

Apr 8, 21 3:28 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

I don't blame you. Though my Prius and Forester are two of the safest cars on the road, including for crash protection. Many of those behemoths don't perform all that well in crashes.

Apr 8, 21 3:32 pm  · 
 · 
bowling_ball

A good friend just bought an Escalade. It's ridiculously huge. (And no, he's not filling up his $120k vehicle with crap to take to the lake - that's what his Ram pickup is for).

Apr 8, 21 5:22 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

Daily Driver - 2019 Audi All road

Alternate Driver ( Wife's Car ) - 2013 BMW X3

Weekend Hauler ( wood/tools/bikes/skis ) - 2015 Tacoma 

Desired Weekend Driver- vintage porsche 911

Preferred Commuter - 2017 Santa Cruz Hightower

Apr 8, 21 3:51 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Oh man, nice selection! I guess there are perks to running a bigger firm, eh? How do you like the Allroad and the X3? Both are on my not-so-short list. And I need to get into bicycling.

Apr 8, 21 4:18 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

The All road is a great one quiver car. It does most everything I need with a bike and ski box. The X3 is really a nice small SUV that my wife really likes as a commuter and decent highway vehicle. ( I find BMW too finicky I prefer the Audi engineering and logic how how it all works and laid out )... probably going swap out the X3 for a new 4 runner and my wife will take over the Audi. My son has pretty much taken the Tacoma. I am finding some of my winter / summer adventures need a more robust vehicle and the Audi doesn't cut it when I can 't get the use of the Tacoma, which is more often now that he has a dirt bike that requires the tacoma to cart it around. I've looked at Defender / Land Rovers but for the price/reliability the Toyotas are a good bet..... i would hate to be suck up north with a broken down Land Rover, you'd be better off getting service on the Moon! My son was t

Apr 8, 21 4:52 pm  · 
1  · 
whistler

I was saying my son was taken out by a deer in the Tacoma last year and even it was difficult to get serviced in a not so remote spot. Need to drive a north American truck to get anyone to work on them up north.

Apr 8, 21 4:53 pm  · 
1  · 

A few years ago the 4Runner was T-boned by a deer. I had just canceled the collission coverage three days before. Found a junkyard door in the same color and bolted it on.

Apr 8, 21 7:44 pm  · 
1  · 
whistler

Ouch, My son was travelling at about 80 km on a clear day on his way to a hunting trip and the deer jumped right across the hwy and took out the whole front end and nearly totalled the car. Crazy stupid those deer... nothing left of the front end or the deer!

Apr 8, 21 7:57 pm  · 
1  · 

Lucky it didn't come through the windshield. That is the definition of a very bad day.

Apr 8, 21 9:01 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

I hit deer twice, on the same stretch of road that I don't travel often, with the same car. The first time it totalled the car (my parents' 1984 Volvo 240 that I drove) but my dad was on the board of the vocational school and got it student-repaired for free, AND got the dirty ivory color repainted to metallic blue. Pretty sweet car for a high school kid in rural Maine. Within a week a deer ran into the side of the car and dragged its face down the side, leaving a big gouge. I felt bad for the deer but technically it hit me.

I definitely keep in mind what vehicles can be easily repaired around here. There is civilization within a 1/2 hour drive but for higher-end vehicles the closest dealers are 1 1/2 hours away. The closest shop is a Subaru specialist, not a dealer, just a few miles away, which skews me in that direction even if I don't love Subaru's long-term reliability. 

Apr 9, 21 9:51 am  · 
 · 

my daily driver:

Sadly it now just has a racing stripe on the hood; I got backed over by a truck and had to replace the hood. Husband didn’t want to do the custom graphic again. 

Very important: I drive it with the top down every day it is above 28° F and sunny. 

Apr 8, 21 10:26 pm  · 
5  · 

It’s my first ever new car, but my third Miata. I’ll never drive any other car except a Miata. The day Miatas become electric and therefore not stick shift is the day I stop driving.

Apr 8, 21 10:28 pm  · 
 · 

Were the graphics paint or wrapped?

Apr 8, 21 11:47 pm  · 
 · 
joseffischer

Always love this picture

Apr 9, 21 7:13 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I was hoping you'd share this photo, Donna! I know what you mean about manual shift, but have you driven an electric vehicle? The ones I have driven--a Tesla, and a custom mid-90s Chevy S10) have amazing acceleration. But there's nothing like physically connecting with the transmission.

I grew up with electric garden tractors and learned to shift on the fly from low gear to high gear, though it wasn't recommended. (I also learned young how to shift manual transmission cars cleanly, without using the clutch, though I know that's not recommended either.)

Apr 9, 21 9:58 am  · 
 · 

The graphics are stickers, Miles. The Firechicken graphic was birthed from me asking husband if the Trans Am Firebird graphics were painted or stickers and he said "All factory graphics are stickers, but you can order the stickers, you could even order one and stick it on your Miata".

Apr 9, 21 11:08 am  · 
1  · 

And he won't do it again? Sounds like doghouse time.

Apr 9, 21 11:28 am  · 
 · 

Of course this is my dream car, the car I learned to drive on that now sell as vintage resorations for $80K:

<swoon>

Apr 9, 21 11:13 am  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

Would also look good with a firechicken decal.

Apr 9, 21 11:17 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Perhaps a soft top?

It's in Indiana... https://bit.ly/3dMk1pL

Apr 9, 21 12:01 pm  · 
1  · 

The FJ-40 is well known as a rust bucket, the US was exporting low-grade steel to Japan. I had an FJ-60 before there was such a thing as SUVs. It was a tank and drank gas like one.

Apr 9, 21 12:44 pm  · 
 · 
SlammingMiruvor

First car was an '02 Mini Cooper, which I really miss and reminisce over. It was time for it to go, but I definitely find myself browsing Craigslist for '06 Mini Cooper S. At $3-5K it's awfully tempting. Every change they've made after that model has bastardized the center console more and more. That Mini was a super fun car, but it went through oil so quickly I carried a quart in the trunk. Mechanic could never figure out exactly why it was so thirsty. Ultimately sold the Mini to pick up the current vehicle, a 2017 Subaru Forester. 

It checks all the boxes a car should from a utilitarian sense. But I'd be lying if I said it was fun to drive, zippy, or any other 'fun' adjective used to describe cars. I love it though, because while it doesn't necessarily excel in any one segment, it does everything I need a car to do at a high level. I should say it's pretty phenomenal in the snow. 

The wife and I share that Forester, and before WFH was the norm I'd bike into work most days. One way commute over the last 4 years ranged from 6-11mi. Current ride is a Kona Wheelhouse, which I like a lot.

Apr 9, 21 1:01 pm  · 
1  · 

We just traded our son's Mini and I have to admit I did enjoy zipping around in it. Not as much as the Miata, but not too far off in terms of fun and a significantly smarter car - damn could it fit a lot inside!

Apr 9, 21 5:02 pm  · 
 · 

2019 XC40. My first car in years. Been living the past 13 years in London, NYC, and Munich so haven't needed a car in some time. It is nice to have one now. Glad to see a lot of Volvo love here. They're cheap to insure which makes the monthly cost to lease close to a Mazda 3 or even a Crosstrek all in. I'm pretty tempted to move up to the Polestar 2 when this lease is up.


Apr 9, 21 5:27 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

They just look fun to drive!

Apr 9, 21 8:33 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

I have to say that Volvo's recent design direction change is really quite good. I looked seriously at the XC60CC. Unfortunately the Volvo dealer just wasn't prepared to bargain much and the Audi Allroad became the next best bet. ( first world problems ). I love the styling across all the volvo models.

Apr 9, 21 8:58 pm  · 
1  · 
JLC-1

Polestar 2 looks really nice, I couldn't find the range per charge on their website though.

Apr 13, 21 1:42 pm  · 
 · 

An architect's car, like an architects sweater and eye glass frames should be black.  All other details are irrelevant.

I drive a black KIA soul 2016  I dove a clunker before and having a new (now new ish got it in 2017) car is great for the flowing 13 reasons:

1. I can drive through puddles with out stalling

2. If I turn hard left my radio now stays on

3. Radio is in stereo! (who knew this was a possibility)

4. Instead of a tape deck adapter I have a USB port

5. In the winter I can unlock and open all 4 doors and the hatch

6. Also in the winter I can close all 4 doors and they will latch the first time and stay closed while driving.

7. All 4 tires are inflated all of the time, even on the weekends.

8. The car starts every time on the first try, even on the weekends

9. My headlights are bright and not obscured with yellowing plastic and I can see more than 10 feet in-front of the car at night.

10. The headlights don't dim when i turn on the windshield wipers.

11. My turn signals work all of the time, even in the rain.

12. When getting the vehicle serviced the mechanic does not ask "do you really want to do this?"

13. The neighbors stop calling city services to ticket my car for being "abandoned"

Over and OUT

Peter N

Apr 12, 21 7:47 pm  · 
2  · 
Non Sequitur

I have colourful eyewear and sweaters but my car is still black.

Apr 12, 21 9:21 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Haha, I don't know what kind of car your previous one was but I think I had the same model! I like Kia Souls, especially the hybrid version--just not different enough from my Prius to justify a change. You must not live with a gravel driveway or gravel roads--I've had black vehicles and let's just say that having to constantly clean them, or having them constantly look/be dirty, is not my idea of a good time. Whatever vehicle I get, I'm leaning toward silver color because I've found it's much easier to keep clean-looking but has some of the cool factor of black.

Apr 13, 21 10:06 am  · 
 · 
mightyaa

lol.. Most mine are black, or really dark shades of grey. Just one white, and one sort of a oxidized grey with a hint of olive undertones and bare dull aluminum highlights. :P

Apr 13, 21 12:42 pm  · 
 · 
whistler

I am never buying a black or grey car again. Too many on the road and only look good when perfectly detailed... sorry not in my nature to keep them that clean, also Canadian winter kinda gets in the way eh!

Apr 13, 21 2:59 pm  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

Eyeglasses: black & rectangular - check. Car: charcoal gray - check. Shirts: one day decided I'd had enough of black and wanted to stand out in the crowd, so I have amassed a large collection of paisley and floral shirts - guess I'm only a 2/3 real architect...

Apr 19, 21 1:38 pm  · 
 · 

None of my work clothing or my car is black.

When I think of architects wearing all black this comes to mind:

I've seen quite a few metro area architects who dress and look just like this. 

Apr 19, 21 2:56 pm  · 
1  · 
atelier nobody

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uloc1iW-pgc

Apr 19, 21 3:09 pm  · 
 · 
shellarchitect

surprised there isn’t more love for Mazda around here... I’ve always liked their cars.  With their push to be more “upscale” they seem like a pretty good value too.  


Driving a 07 Ford Edge with 230k and a good bit of rust for the past couple years, gift from the in-laws.  Other car is a Plymouth minivan, same color as about half the elementary school.  


Plan is to drive the edge for as long as possible, but before I get stranded somewhere.  Problem is that nothing out there really excites me.

Apr 24, 21 10:16 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Reviews always note how much fun Mazdas are to drive. I think they do well with design, though I have a feeling the giant vertical grills most manufacturers are using are going to look pretty dated in a few years. I've heard that part of the reason Mazdas handle well is that the front tires are toed-in more than most, leading to premature wear, but I'm not sure how true that is.

The Ford Edge has been on my list too; it looks very practical and nicely designed. I appreciate a few straight lines, and I appreciate that Ford was able to get through the 2008 bail-out without taking taxpayer money to keep afloat.

Apr 24, 21 10:22 am  · 
 · 
archiwutm8

Always been a fan of the Miata even have the original NA until a year ago when it rusted to death and I didn't have the time to weld the sills up so got rid of it.

Jun 14, 21 3:16 am  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

My Prius was in the shop this week and I think it's time to bite the bullet and trade it in while it's still in reasonably good shape. I know the financially smart thing to do is to drive it into the ground, but I don't want to get stranded and it's still worth a few grand.  

The current batch of vehicles I'm looking at are later-model (but not brand new):
Subaru Outback 3.6R (w/ v-6 engine)
Honda Civic hatchback

Or slightly older (2012-16):
BMW 2-series or 3-series
Audi Allroad
Subaru Forester 2.0 XT (w/ 4-cyl turbo)
Toyota Tacoma 
Toyota Tundra

Today I'm leaning heavily toward the Tacoma. I can drive my mother in law's whenever I want, but when I need it I'm usually towing or hauling something and I don't like beating up her vehicle. I have a lot of house projects coming up and I'm considering dipping my toes back into construction ("Maines Natural Homes" or something along those lines) as well. They are tough vehicles, have excellent resale value and an iconic look, if a bit dated. They drive well enough. Once I pay it off I would think about adding a sportier car for fun.  When electric trucks become affordable I'll go all in. 

The biggest downside is that the gas mileage is in the mid-teens, so it's expensive to run and doesn't jibe with my focus on environmental responsibilty. But I haven't found anything else that is as capable without being over-sized. Another downside is that while I'm no fashion maven, I do believe that appearances matter and I'm not sure how some clients would perceive a Tacoma vs. another type of vehicle. But mainly I'm trying to make a smart financial decision, and the Tacoma is winning. 

Thanks for listening to my TED talk. Advice is welcome.  

Apr 24, 21 10:39 am  · 
 · 

I've got an 05 Tacoma access cab, made in Mexico. This was my third, and last, Toyota. There have been 9 recalls and a class action that eventually resulted in a frame replacement. I got the 4 cylinder beliving the gas mileage claims, which were utter bullshit - the 6 gets better mileage. It rides like a brick unless it's loaded, but has not left me stranded (yet). If you can find an older model that was manufactured in Japan and that's had the frame replaced, go for it.

Apr 24, 21 12:26 pm  · 
1  · 
shellarchitect

Wow, i didn’t know a frame could be replaced!

Apr 24, 21 1:40 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Miles, those Gen 1 Tacomas were sweet! I fell in love with the original Toyota truck when I saw Back to the Future and the Gen 1 (like yours) is a step up. I've grown to like my MIL's Gen 2 design, which is regarded in the Tacoma groups I'm in as the best all-around generation. Now they're onto Gen 3 and getting too gadgety for my taste. I don't think any Tacomas have been made in Japan, only the Hilux, the similar model the rest of the world drives; I believe Tacomas are all made in Mexico and the US. I'll definitely be looking closely at the frames--my brother has had three Tundras and had the frame replaced on two of them--a $15K job, supposedly! I'm only looking at 6-cylinders and preferably a TRD model, with beefier suspension and a transmission cooler for towing.

Apr 24, 21 4:28 pm  · 
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whistler

We had a 2015 Tacoma, and loved it so much a handed it down to my son. perfect car in so many ways. Great in winter, solid off road vehicle and capable of hauling a decent amount of crap around .. bikes / motos / wood. Very reliable, unfortunately the gas mileage isn't great even on the highway but overall I didn't drive a ton of miles in a year so I could overlook that. Had some damage over time but it was always reasonably easy to have repaired. Best modest size truck out there but if you need more space etc best to look at a more standard size vehicle ie Tundra or something similar.

May 5, 21 5:01 pm  · 
1  · 

2003 Landcruiser.  This is 12 miles from the nearest paved road.  I've had it for about 10 years and it has 330,000 miles.

Apr 24, 21 2:03 pm  · 
3  · 
randomised

That's quite the car for someone called Walker

May 5, 21 4:46 am  · 
1  · 

Hey all!

I've never had a "fancy" car / one I loved. Though there have been a few I had a soft-spot for. Probably "fav" being an 87 Toyota Tercel hatchback.

Nicest one is the current/last two late model, leased Tiguans. Always had a soft spot for wagons; Audis, Mercedes or Volvos in particular.

Would def rather be riding a bike than driving in a car also, so #bancars? Though do love a good road-trip.


May 4, 21 11:45 pm  · 
2  · 

Nam, there's a thread for that; https://archinect.com/forum/thread/150258827/cycling-central

May 5, 21 12:26 pm  · 
3  · 

Sorry there are so many "Central" threads now...! :P

May 6, 21 11:50 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

I finally pulled the trigger. After months of research, thinking and plotting, I just bought this 2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R. It's the nicest car I've owned, and a 6-cylinder so it has plenty of power. I'll miss my Prius (and its gas mileage) (you can see it in the background) but this is a much more capable vehicle. The only thing it needs is a trailer hitch.

Things I like about it: 8.7" ground clearance, good acceleration, great handling, European-like styling, Japanese durability, leather interior, moon roof, stow-away roof racks. I wanted something that could work like a truck, look like a luxury car, handle rough terrain, be comfortable and safe on highways, have reasonable gas mileage (I was hoping for 30+, had to let that one go), and be low enough that I can put things on the roof racks without needing a ladder. I've had trucks and just don't care about sitting up high. I've had black vehicles and find them too hard to keep clean-looking. I had been leaning toward silver but I think this blue is more cheerful, yet still classy. My goal was to spend less than $20K and this was $22K, not bad considering how hot the car market is right now, at least around here. 

I've never named a vehicle but might think of something for this one. Any ideas?  

Jun 12, 21 4:02 pm  · 
5  · 

Congrats! We have the same car in black. We used the incredibly unique name “Subee” for our forester so we named ours “Outbee” ... feel free to steal it, though I’m sure you can do better.

Jun 12, 21 9:56 pm  · 
1  · 
JLC-1

Great car, on our 3rd, this one in that same color.

Jun 13, 21 7:18 pm  · 
1  · 
RJ87

My golden retriever would be proud of you for buying a Subaru.

Jun 14, 21 9:55 am  · 
1  · 
shellarchitect

Nice car!

Jun 14, 21 1:26 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

RJ87, I'm not sure I get the golden retriever reference. This morning my MIL's goldie tried to jump on it, I yelled at him and got side-eye from wife and MIL...

Jun 14, 21 1:41 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Honestly my wife and I have always had our own cars, though one (usually hers) is our go-to for trips. So we'll very likely just keep calling them "your car" and "my car."

Jun 14, 21 1:42 pm  · 
1  · 
Non Sequitur

Nice WG, been looking at these for the eventual replacement of blackie (my car's name... as christen by my wife).

Jun 14, 21 1:45 pm  · 
1  · 
proto

wood guy, that's very popular car over here in the top left corner...given the variety of weather in the top right corner, i imagine it is a perfect choice!

Jun 14, 21 2:32 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Proto, it is a popular car here as well! I'm just surprised at how nice it is to drive. My mom has a 2010 Outback and my wife has a 2016 Forester but this feels like a luxury car in comparison, and with six cylinders it has a ton of power too. It will double as my "truck" for construction projects and I hope it gets me out to the mountains more than I've been in recent decades.

Jun 14, 21 3:27 pm  · 
 · 

+1 on the "luxury car in comparison" reference. Looks like you got the tricked out EyeSight package (I don't know if it came standard on the 3.6R that year or not) ... at least I think I can see the camera at the top of the windshield in your photo.

I really like it. I once tested out the following distance and speed control thing while following a friend on the freeway to a destination. We had to merge off one freeway and onto another and I never touched the gas or brake the whole time. Slowed down to something like 20-25 mph if IIRC. The whole time I was hovering my foot over the brake pedal anticipating taking over, but it worked great.

Jun 14, 21 3:54 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Yes it has Eyesight; it's a Limited model but I believe Eyesight was an added option. I wasn't excited about it--I'd like to think I'm a safe, though enthusiastic driver, but so far I like the lane assist. I got to scare my wife by showing her how the car is self-steering. (Probably should have told her about it first...)

The automatic cruise control thing is pretty cool too, though I haven't had much time with it yet. 

Jun 14, 21 4:09 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

And as for a name, what about 'TwentyTwo'?

Jun 14, 21 5:11 pm  · 
 · 

I didn't realize it was self-steering until my wife told me it will keep you completely in the lane (she's tried it). I first read that it was an "assist;" beeping at you and softening the power steering in the right direction and making it harder to turn in the wrong direction to aid you in staying in the lane. I usually turn it on when I get on the highway and do notice the wheel nudging in the right direction under my hands at times, but I'm too chicken to take my hands off completely.

Jun 14, 21 6:19 pm  · 
 · 
Wood Guy

Don't be afraid, EA--as long as there are lines on the road, my brief experience says it keeps you between the lines with no hands on the wheel. But it is progressively more insistent that you put your hands on the wheel.

Rando, are you suggesting that for the year? It's a 2018 (I wrote 2017 in the OP but I was wrong). Or for what I paid (ahem..am paying) for it? 

Jun 14, 21 7:14 pm  · 
 · 
sameolddoctor

Great choice. Wife has a 2019 3.6R and its amazing. I have a 2013 Impreza which is still doing great. We may become one of those "subaru families" for a while!

As for the name hows NORONA?

Jun 14, 21 11:40 pm  · 
1  · 
randomised

TwentyTwo as a reminder of the price tag, and it has a nice ring to it...

Jun 15, 21 2:54 am  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Sameolddoctor, my sister in law has a late-model Forester, and we often all park at their mom's house, so as an aesthete it was important to me that my Subaru looked good next to hers--dark metallic gray--and more importantly, my wife's, a deep red color. I like Subaru's green color but parking next to my wife's car would be a bit too Christmas-y. NORONA as in No Corona?

Jun 15, 21 10:36 am  · 
1  · 
przemula

Nice car, I've got a Subaru too, but Legacy with some modifications and custom color. Out of all the things you like about it, you didn't mention really good 4wd. These cars are UNSTOPPABLE in harsh winter conditions, and you can have a lot of fun drifting them in parking lots too. Mine sits lower because it's a bit sporty and I never got stuck in snow either.

Jun 15, 21 12:08 pm  · 
1  · 
Wood Guy

Good point, przemula. It snows quite a bit here in Maine, and many of my projects are in somewhat remote areas that my Prius did not like getting to! I really wanted either 4WD or AWD this time around, and Subaru is the master of it.

Jun 15, 21 12:43 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

Yes, for NO CORONA!

Jun 15, 21 4:29 pm  · 
1  · 
whistler

Great car, particularly awesome in winter conditions ( driving and clearance made it awesome ) upgrade the headlights it they aren't already, that was my only issue with the version we had.

Jun 15, 21 6:40 pm  · 
2  · 
Wood Guy

I know you have good taste in cars so I appreciate your advice. I've only driven it briefly at night but it has LED headlights, and apparently both the fog lights and headlights turn when the steering wheel turns. One of my few gripes about my Prius was that the headlights were terrible so I'm excited to actually be able to see at night.

Jun 16, 21 10:42 am  · 
 · 

Your mileage may vary, but I got annoyed with the fog lights turning on when I would turn the wheel. I like the idea, but in practice it just made it look like I had a fog light out (lots of winding roads around here so one of the two always seems to be on when the other is off). There might be a way to disable it, but I just keep both of them on when I have the headlights on.

Jun 16, 21 11:36 am  · 
1  · 

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