The other day we whipped up a little cauldron of commentary vitriol following the review of the Mercedes A220 4MATIC with various opinions as to its styling, price, and really when it comes down to it, reason for existing. I know we are largely a group of buy-and-holders with firm convictions as to what is good and proper so here’s an opportunity to think about that. Assume that you are given (someone else pays for the purchase) a brand-new vehicle to use for the next decade. It will be used as your main vehicle (so a minimum of 80% of total weekly usage) but you can still keep others around that may be better for certain chores just like you currently do if you have more than one, you just have to swap your own current primary vehicle for this new one. If you currently only drive 2,000 miles per year, great. If you drive 30,000 per year, choose wisely, this needs to last you a decade and while the purchase is paid for, most ongoing expenses are yours.
The rules are few but important: 1. It must be new and available for sale in your region. 2. The car and annual registration are free, but the fuel/energy, insurance, maintenance, and repairs beyond the published standard warranty are on you. 3. It’s your primary ride for at least 80% of the time. 4. After the decade is up, you get to keep the car or sell it and pocket whatever proceeds there may be.
After considering the options, I’d pick the A-Class. Haha, no, just kidding! For me it’d likely be a RAM 1500 CrewCab 4×4 in Laramie trim with the 6’4″ bed in Patriot Blue and powered by the eTorque 5.7l V8 with Multi Displacement System. I’m no extrovert and don’t need the flashiest thing but the Laramie trim is the lowest trim level that offers all the safety tech which has become much more important to me so I’d choose the Level 2 Equipment Group and the Advanced Safety Group to get it all, conveniently that covers lots of other stuff as well. The inexpensive OffRoad package gets it back down to 18″ wheels on comfortable tires and the optional 33 gallon fuel tank keeps fuel stops to a minimum. Black leather with the 5-passenger seating and center console will be durable, convenient, and easy to clean enough and the 8.4″ UConnect touchscreen is plenty large, no need for the 12″. Some other minor preference items such as spray-in bedliner and tonneau cover and for $58,935 that someone else is paying in this exercise I’d have a truck that will work for 90% of what I need a vehicle for currently and likely for at least the next decade while probably being reliable and otherwise relatively inexpensive to maintain along with retaining decent value at the end.
What will you choose?