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What is your daily and how do you like it?


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2009 Volvo XC70 T6. Rides and handles well. Tons of space. Fancy option gadgets are starting to fail now which are annoying. Next time going for simple, but I'm guessing that is no longer really possible.

 

I agree but there is no solution. "Simple" is relative. We all want certain things in our dailys and they add up, making cars no longer "simple" to begin with. Now it's just semantics of how many add ons are we comfortable with having.

 

Cruise control? Sure. Power windows? Course. Automatic? Likely. Computer screen for Apple Car/Android auto? In a daily? Of course > for GPS/Waze etc. Automatic climate control? Heated seats? Remote start? It just keeps going.

 

We have a 2007 Nissan Versa in the drivway. At the time of sale it was cheapest car in America. Around $12k new. 6spd, 50K miles. It is about as simple as you can get in modern day and age. Power windows/doors are about the only electronically controlled features. No screens, not even cruise control, no power anything. It works but it's hardly an ideal daily. I've driven it long distances and its a dramatic difference compared to even the 2003 Volvo in terms of comfort as daily and minimal features.

 

Looking at the current market I feel the same way, cars are too complicated and too many things will break one at a time making a long term ownership not really a reasonable commitment. They start to feel disposable but there isn't necessarily anything wrong with that. We like features. We find them useful. I can't wait to have a car that has automatic cruise control feature to make my driving easier.

 

I digress, you brought up an interesting point. Last ~15 years have seen a huge change in automotive development and features. It's hard to accept the new market and reality of it but I'm coming around to it. In NE it's very hard to keep a car long term anyway without it rusting away. If daily becomes a disposable item, I'm okay with it.

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.....In NE it's very hard to keep a car long term anyway without it rusting away. If daily becomes a disposable item, I'm okay with it.

 

I've always owned VWs. My 1971 Super Beetle was a rust bucket when I bought it, but other than that, I never had any rust. Ever. Any. Fox, Passat wagon, Passat sedan, Jetta Sportwagon, GTI. Kept our 1992 Passat wagon for 12 years - it lived outside for its whole life, never waxed it, hardly ever washed it, and it looked like new inside and out when we sold it.

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I've always owned VWs. My 1971 Super Beetle was a rust bucket when I bought it, but other than that, I never had any rust. Ever. Any. Fox, Passat wagon, Passat sedan, Jetta Sportwagon, GTI. Kept our 1992 Passat wagon for 12 years - it lived outside for its whole life, never waxed it, hardly ever washed it, and it looked like new inside and out when we sold it.

 

It really depends on the brand. European brands in general tend to have better paints and more zinc? I believe in their steel making them more rust resistant.

 

Which is why it's rare to see a rusty BMW/Volvo/Benz etc.

 

Japanese and Domestics on the other hand are much harder to keep on the road especially with less preventive maintenance.

 

With that said, there is an asterisk to that statement as premium European cars generally tend to receive better care throughout their life (garages, washes, upkeep etc) when compared to run of the mill entry cars helping maintain their condition.

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I too have a Volvo wagon. A 960 (one of the last RWD Volvos) that I swapped a Chevy LS motor. I put in better front seats (V70R), brakes and stiffer springs. Other than that its stock. Not super quick but it keeps up with modern traffic, has carrying capacity yet isn't too big, can tow a Seven, is old enough to be maintained by me and doesn't draw attention to itself. it looks like a college professors car. My only pretence of academic excellence!! I would love a Mercedes or Cadillac hot wagon but their electrical systems scare me and I would trash it cosmetically hauling trash to the dump! Aside from the fact that they are out of my price range.

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We had a V70 wagon from 2005 to 2018 and it was an excellent car. Not sporting, but comfortable, reliable and durable. It was amazing what would easily fit in the back that car!

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One of the best things about doing the swap, funnily enough, was the V70R seats. They are great. I'm trying to get the seat heaters to work. The 960's electrical system is more "old school" whereas the V70 seats are computer controlled/influenced. The same old story: the last 10% takes 90% of the time!!

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My daily is a 15 Fiat 500L, 6 speed manual with a full EuroCompulsion custom tune, Alfa Romeo coil packs, intake, exhaust, blow off, etc~250hp or so. It’s lowered with 18’s and sticky tires. Looks like something your Mother would drive unless you know what you are looking at. Have fun playing with the BMW’s around here. Always fun to see their faces after a Fiat embarrasses them.

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2012 Nissan Frontier. Basic, simple (to the extent that is available) and tows a 7 well. Every family needs a pickup and mine is ours. It’s headed up to San Francisco today to move my grandson back home for his final semester at SFSC. Had a new windshield installed recently due to pitting (75k on it now). Even the neighbors borrow it occasionally. I plan on holding on to it until a reasonably priced electric pickup becomes available. Who knows, maybe I’ll convert this one.

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Last year I bought a Buick for my daily driver.

 

I'll pause now so you can get the sniggering out of the way.

 

What can I say, I'm a sucker for sheetmetal. I wanted AWD, love wagons and was on a company budget that would have normally had me in a Subaru. Then there she was, a pearl white TourX with 300+ HP. I set aside the MotorTrend comment about the lazy transmission - surely it must have been a misprint - and bought my first (last?) Buick. A few months later I got rear ended by a drunk and quickly found out that TourX parts are hard to come by, and that a Trifecta tune was not enough to wake up the transmission. I still like the car, but do need to be mindful to force a downshift if I need to accelerate quickly for any reason.

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I have a 2015 VW Golf wagon TDi. One of the nicest cars I've owned. More than quick enough, has the firm suspension of the handling package and I've averaged 43 mpg over the past 35,000 miles. Quiet and composed and the seats fit me very well (I'm 6'4"). It's awesome for road trips or running around town.

 

The other 'daily' is a 2006 Honda Ridgeline truck that is used to two my Westie around. Many will poo poo it for not being a 'real truck' and I get it. But I don't need a real truck and this truck-lite is awesome for my needs. Default FWD (slips into 4 wheel of the fronts loose traction) means it handles great in the snow and it's got more than enough grunt to tow my Westie up and over Montana mountain passes all while getting 15 mpg towing and 20 around town. It's a pleasant place to spend time and the handling is surprisingly good for the size of the thing. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

 

dave

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I agree but there is no solution. "Simple" is relative. We all want certain things in our dailys and they add up, making cars no longer "simple" to begin with. Now it's just semantics of how many add ons are we comfortable with having.

 

So my wife has a 2018 XC60. Great car. The advanced cruise and lane departure features really do make long distance highway cruises less fatiguing, but while all of these features are great now, I wonder if they are going to leave the vehicle impossible to keep in 10 years when they start to fail and are just too expensive to repair. I can see failure of these systems leaving the car dead. 10+ years ago options like air suspension and xenon headlights were nice to have, if you still have that car now they are liabilities as they fail and are expensive to repair. All of the auto-violet stuff, likely even more expensive and unrealistic to repair. I guess I'm just too cheap to consider $50K+ vehicles disposable.

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So my wife has a 2018 XC60. Great car. The advanced cruise and lane departure features really do make long distance highway cruises less fatiguing, but while all of these features are great now, I wonder if they are going to leave the vehicle impossible to keep in 10 years when they start to fail and are just too expensive to repair. I can see failure of these systems leaving the car dead. 10+ years ago options like air suspension and xenon headlights were nice to have, if you still have that car now they are liabilities as they fail and are expensive to repair. All of the auto-violet stuff, likely even more expensive and unrealistic to repair. I guess I'm just too cheap to consider $50K+ vehicles disposable.

 

Unfortunately we already know the answer to these questions. We can look at Hoovies Garage to see old luxury being mechanically totalled while having a lot less features. Old 7 series BMWs and Mercedes having things fail but not being worth repairing. And that's with A LOT less features.

 

Contrary technology rolls downhill and a $30k new car will be better equipped with modern safety and features than even a 15 year old luxury car.

 

I'm not in any position to know what it's like to buy a $50k plus cars, buts my understanding that the owners can afford and not care that it's a depreciating disposable asset. Few people buying a new $100k 7 series BMW are concerned with residual value and reliability 10 years later.

 

The technology will trickle down to $30k cars and those are a lot easier pills to swallow for most. Tesla's are a good example having most modern features for entry price. Long term ownership is still questionable but unlikely to be reasonable.

 

I think writing is on the wall for 90s and early 2000 cars will be quite desired for enthusiasts in the near future and cars will become nice, electric and disposable for dailys. Electric performance cars will be untouchable and we will take solidarity in the fact that our slower ICE cars have more soul and gears to row through.

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My daily driver is a 2019 BMW X5 50i with the 4.4L twin turbo v8. This is my third one - i had a 2013 BMW X5 30i then (turbo straight 6) the 2016 BMW X5 40i (twin turbo v8). A number of people who have been to the annual Sevens event have seen it and its predecessors. I find it leaves me cold. Its not particularly distinctive in styling. Its a nice drive, handles well, excessively fun amounts of power, goes well but does not endear itself to me. Its monumentally complicated - only car where I have ever read the owners manual to understand how to use all the features and even then it took 2 hours to read things and try to set the car up. Its like a complex kitchen appliance - useful but no soul.

 

I put its predecessor 2016 BMW X5 twin turbo v8 on track once in conjunction with a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and an AMG Mercedes SUV. Saw 140mph down the straight and was thankful for the espresso brown leather seats at the end of the straight as poo was flinging everywhere when I tried to stop. Still overtook a Porsche Cayman before I decided I was pushing the brakes a little too much. The lane keeper feature would take control of the steering as you were aiming at an apex. As I could not work out how to turn it off I tricked it by using the indicators when turning into the corner and then again when tracking out!

 

My biggest problem with the car is that it just does not feel particularly well made. Its not a cheap feel as the materials do feel nice. It gives the appearance of quality but I don't expect it to last more than 10 years. All the technology will break over time and at some point it will be scrapped. I had a colleague with a 12 year old BMW 7 series and he scrapped it in 2019 as it was too expensive to fix despite being in immaculate condition otherwise. Thats what will happen to mine 8 years from now, 7 years after I hand it back at lease end.

 

There will be no 2022 BMW X5 for me. The new BMW grille styling is horrible, as if I dipped my bare butt cheeks in ink and backed up onto the car to make an imprint. No idea what next? - the new Jeep Grand Cherokee looks good. The Kia Telluride looks nice. Don't need anything as big as a Tahoe or Suburban as I have a work one in NJ I can borrow when I need it. I was driving the new Ford F150 last year and liked it but it was too large for my daily travel and I prefer a wagon style. In my extensive UK visits I usually get the Mercedes S class with a company driver but they are like a refrigerator to me - no soul again. US roads are too poor quality to be permit a regular 2wd sedan/wagon. I will never get a VW/Audi product again after some bad experiences. Genuinely underwhelmed with the choices available.

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Wow, Croc. I gree with everything you said! neat trick with the turn signals to abate the nannies.

 

Yes, I agree that BMW has lost their way. The newest front ends are hideous. It started with Chris Bangle screwing up the trunk lids. Trunk a % looked like came from a 7..Trunk on a 7 looked like off a proto-9? And they are not the "driver's car' any more. Several years ago, I went to a mfg drive/test thing and basically autocrossed a new 3. Unfortunately, I had a really nice prepped 2002 (Webers, tires, shocks, minilites, etc) for a few weeks at the time. The new car was no match for the 2002. Huge let down.

 

No problem with Mercedes, they have always been a reliable truck.

 

Even, also, sworn off VW after a terrible experience.

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As an old retired guy, I guess "daily driver" is kinda irrelevant. My commuter when I was still driving to an office was my 2005 Crown Victoria. Bought it in 2010 and it was literally a little old lady's car with only 13,800 miles From the looks of the undercarriage I don't think it had ever been out in the rain. To me it is the last real American sedan - big, RWD, V8, quiet, comfortable, reliable, has the towing capacity I need and is easy to work on. It has by far the best AC of any car I have ever owned which is an important feature here in Texas. This is an older picture but she still looks the same. Only 78,000 miles on her now. Barring misfortune, I have no intention of ever replacing it - my sons will be disposing of it after I'm gone.

crownvic3.jpg

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I had a friend back in Connecticut who purchased a used Pennsylvania State Police cruiser (Chevy Impala) as a tow car for his Porsche. Yes, it had 200k on it but the oil had been changed every 3000 miles. Big brakes, fresh Goodyear RSAs, HD cooling system, AC that would ice the inside of the windshield, the whole police package. The hard plastic rear seat was easy to remove to fit in the various tool box and spares and the trunk was cavernous. He left the antennas on top and never got stopped on a road trip as far as I know. $2500!

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There will be no 2022 BMW X5 for me. The new BMW grille styling is horrible, as if I dipped my bare butt cheeks in ink and backed up onto the car to make an imprint. No idea what next? - the new Jeep Grand Cherokee looks good. The Kia Telluride looks nice. Don't need anything as big as a Tahoe or Suburban as I have a work one in NJ I can borrow when I need it. I was driving the new Ford F150 last year and liked it but it was too large for my daily travel and I prefer a wagon style. In my extensive UK visits I usually get the Mercedes S class with a company driver but they are like a refrigerator to me - no soul again. US roads are too poor quality to be permit a regular 2wd sedan/wagon. I will never get a VW/Audi product again after some bad experiences. Genuinely underwhelmed with the choices available.

 

What are your thoughts on the new Defender?

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