THE CIRCLE OF
Our writer delves on his girlfriend, or so we thought…
In my last column, I spoke all about my dearly beloved (no, not about my girlfriend, but my aging Subaru Impreza WRX). Which I ended off by saying something along the lines of, well, for what it’s worth despite the pocket-busting upkeep and maintenance, I love this car to bits. Oh mother of irony. I actually thought deep after seeing that column printed out in this magazine. Am I torturing myself financially just to hold on to this dreamcome-true? Am I thinking right?
After all that pondering and after replacing the set of wheels, I finally told myself this: That’s it, I am no longer going to hold on to this car, and I am going to sell off this car and settle for one that’s more affordable to keep. I’ve even planned to do so before renewing both road tax and insurance in two months’ time.
So I began looking around used car dealers; I kid you not, I have spent three Saturdays back-to-back going to Mackenzie Used Car Centre and Turf City Car Mall to look at the potential replacement. And here’s the bigger irony: Despite being a motoring journalist with more than a decade’s worth of experiences, I do not know what exactly I wanted to buy (although I already have a budget set in mind).
I was thinking a Suzuki Swift Sport because it’s simply small and fun – but operating a small business that requires me to travel up north regularly, the small boot space makes it a little ridiculous. Then the Toyota MR-S and Mazda MX-5 came to mind – it will surely deliver endless smiles per hour, but the restricted cabin space for two and non-existent boot space makes it an impractical choice. I also considered the rare Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TFSI and I thought this will be it – however the unit I viewed looked rather tired and isn’t aging too gracefully. On top of that, the car dealer refused to budge from his price.
And then I thought I should perhaps shift my conditions; hence I decided to scour around for an SUV instead. Which is the most convenient solution for me personally – at least if I settle down and have kids in the near future, I do not have to go through another round of car replacement just because my priorities have changed. SUVS are like jeans you see – it can be used for anything.
At this point, I have narrowed down my choices: A Subaru Forester. To be frank I was skewed towards the Forester as I just want to have that similar sensation of speed the WRX delivers to me every single day; but akin to being given a good smack to the back of my head, I was reminded by the girlfriend that the whole point of changing the car is to save costs on maintenance and upkeep. Although insurance premium for the Forester is cheaper than the WRX, the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine equates to a higher road tax and of course, petrol and maintenance costs.
The compromise? A 2.0-litre non-turbo’d Forester… and 2.0-litre Suzuki Vitara.
Yes, I know there are other models that I should include too, like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander. However I have this psychological barrier after that reality check above: No to anything beyond 2.0-litre.