Can We Talk About How Expensive and Misused New Cars Are?
And also a small rant...
Look, I get it: selling cars, making cars, and designing cars is a business and businesses spend money to make money. That is all well and good, and yet I find it baffling when I look at the brand new Hyundai Elantra in my apartment complex's parking lot and the window sticker says almost $30,000. Let me preface this article: this is a bit of a rant. I realize I am only 25, but after the last year I may as well be 70 in terms of my attitude, so, without further ado, here is some borderline old man rant material.
How does one convince oneself to spend the money on a fully loaded, brand new Hyundai Elantra? The worst part is the man who drives it was smiling as he got out. I mean grinning, cockily as he locked his car and swaggered into the elevator. Yes, if you spend $30,000 on an Elantra you should probably love the car as you are spending quite a pretty penny on it, but of all the things you could spend that money on, you chose... an Elantra? Elantra's are great cars, but not $30,000 great. Not to mention, he literally flushed away about $15,000 on his drive from the dealership back to his complex as they don't exactly hold their value. You know what though, this is all well and good, because one could say the same to me about buying a new Corolla. Sure, I plan on keeping mine 20 years as I am cheap and buy things I know will last, sure my Corolla was 2/3 the cost of a fully loaded Elantra, but I'll hang my head and accept responsibility that I am perhaps in a roundabout way picking fun at myself. Therefore, I offer you this instead and wish Elantra man well with his new car, despite his ability to always park like a jerk.
The two girls in their mid twenties who live a building over have a brand new Tahoe LTZ. They look to be in their early twenties. Maybe they make great money, I don't know, but a four wheel drive $70,000 SUV in Florida doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me in general. I'll bite my tongue though, because they take it off-roading. All five feet to the gym. Seriously, this is what SUV's have become. They are looked upon as status symbols used for market runs, gym runs, and nobody blinks an eye that they have just spent probably two years of their salary (judging off the median income for an early twenty something year old) on a Tahoe. I have heard countless people around my age comfortably admit that they spend about $1000 a month on their car/lease payment and they seem genuinely OK with it. Most of the time, this is over half of their monthly income. I'll just leave that there.
We all see the new Defenders parked outside Aldi's and farmers markets, Tahoes outside of the gym, and G Wagons in traffic driving the half mile home from getting the new must have clothing item. But do any of these owners feel remorse or angst at the sacrilege that they are committing? Do they ever wake up in their apartment or mansion, look at their beautiful car in the driveway, and have a desire to do anything but drive down to the local mall or strip to go shopping? Do they know what it is capable of, or do they just look upon it as a big expensive brick on wheels that impresses people they neither like or respect? I wonder in the coming years how this time period will be judged, as the history that we now look back to in terms of these famous vehicles will now be the present time for the next generation, and I doubt they will swoon too much over the adventure Karen had in her Tahoe driving back from the gym. The end, you're welcome.