One of the best piece of advice for would-be car buyers is: do not buy more car than you need. Auto costs are a big part of many Americans’ budget, and if you purchase a car you can’t afford, you can drive yourself into the poorhouse (har har har, pun intended!) I thought I was pretty practical in that regard, but I can feel my heartstrings tugging me to something that’s just a wee bit outside of my budget.
After two days of car-shopping that resulted in no car purchased, CB and I are gearing up for more dealership visits this weekend. We are going back to a Honda dealership to test drive the 2013 Honda Civic sedan again, but I’ve been eyeing the 2013 Honda CR-V as well.
Guys, I need you to talk me OUT of the Honda CR-V.
- According to my research, the Civic sedan in the LX trim will probably cost me $19,500-$19,800 out the door. The CR-V, however, will cost in the neighborhood of $25,000 out the door. We’ve crunched the numbers – and CB and I have enough money in the bank to pay for the Civic in cash or to finance only $2,000-$3,000.
- The Civic has a better gas mileage than the CR-V due to its smaller engine and lighter weight. That will really come in handy if I have to drive frequently and the gas prices go up.
- The extra $5,000 for the CR-V could be pulled out of the money I’ve set aside for tuition next year, but that means I’ll have to take out student loans. There is also the option of an interest-free loan from my parents, although I’d prefer not to go that route.
Why (not) CR-V?
- I’ve always loved CR-V (it’s the perfect size!), but have thought it’s too much car for what I need. We are not planning on adding kids and we don’t go camping… ever… so there is no need for the additional passenger room or the cargo space of a crossover/mini-SUV.
- CB’s car is a 1995 Civic and is over 150,000 miles, so he may have to replace it in a few years. At that point, hopefully we’ll be in a stronger financial position and be able to buy a CR-V or a similar car with cash.
- More expensive car = lower gas mileage and possibly more expensive to insure.
- The only reason I’d buy the CR-V now would be for 1. comfort (I like to be able to sit up higher in a car), and 2. safety in crashes against bigger cars. The Civic is a top safety pick, but it’s still a compact. The laws of physics are not kind to small cars in small vs. big matchups.