I told my wife that once our 2002 Impala hit 300k on the odometer that I would get another car. We don't buy new cars, because they lose so much value the first several years and first several thousand miles. This helps us achieve another goal of remaining debt free. Since the cars we buy are cheaper AND since we keep them a long time. It allows us to save up cash for the next car.
I had a 1999 Rav4. My wife's parents gave it to us. My father-in-law who really likes nice new cars. It's his thing. I can't fault him, I love sour or hard candies. The Rav4 was given to us so that we could take then proceeds from the sale of our Truck plus the sale of the Rav4 and anything we saved in between to purchase a new car.
The sale of the Rav4 went quickly and easily. The buyers were purchasing it for a 2nd car and to possibly turn it into an electric car later on down the road. [pun intended] I had been asking $3800 for the Rav4 which was the KBB fair condition value since it had 195k and lots of body dings and dents. We settled at $3500 and completed the sale in less than a week. I was thrilled but now had no car. SO the hunt was on furiously I looked for cars, some selling before I had a chance to look at them. I was starting to get discouraged and was considering the fact that we might have to borrow money and buy a newer, but still used, car. Then while I was at work, browsing cars I saw a car I had been looking for. I immediately called and was told it was on a test drive. I told the salesman that if they didn't buy it I would come and buy it from him that day and that I had cash in hand. The car was listed for $7643. He called, so I dropped everything I was doing at work and left for the dealership. An hour later I had the keys and finished up at work to drive home.
I love the car. It is zippy. I was actually very jealous that my wife will be driving it. I do not like driving a standard. Of all the claims everyone has about why a standard is better than an automatic, I could give a rebuttal or equally matching statement as to why an automatic is at least equal. For this car though, I wish it was an stick. The handling was really good and it didn't have near the body roll I was used to with the Impala. It is smaller and more maneuverable than the Impala and the 2.0L engine makes the car sail. It is a great cross between the Rav4 and the Impala. It has a 5 star frontal crash test rating and 3-4 star side impact rating which is similar to what our Impala had. Now maybe I should try to find one for myself.
Note: The picture above is not actually our car, because I didn't have a pic of it. However, it is just like the one above and in very good condition.