The car you should buy vs the car you actually want

The age old battle between the head and the heart - and how it determines your choice of car

4y ago
162.2K

If you are a petrol head, (if you are reading this you most likely are) you would know that when the time comes to buy a car, you are almost guaranteed to be torn between a car which your brain justifies as "sensible" and the one your heart tells you is "the right one". The aforementioned would be something that makes financial sense, has great fuel economy and is practical. The latter would be something that might catch fire, but has such a 'cool' factor that you don't mind.

Below is a list of cars for different stages of life and how your brain would argue with your heart on deciding which is best.

First car

Your first car is important. If you are a student, this will serve as your daily driver, festival tent, shag mobile and the taxi to pick up your parents at the airport with. It is a fairly tall order for something which has to be bought on a budget and to make matters worse, you are quite young and therefore don't mind being a bit yobbish either.

Brain tells you: Ford fiesta

much sensible

much sensible

The Fiesta. Probably the greatest small hatch of all time. Mum and dad would be proud. It is the pinnacle of sensibility even if you aren't a student - which means that if it is your first car, it will most likely continue to be your first car for work as well. Society would therefore call you daft if you didn't buy one. But as you scroll through the net looking for the nearest dealer, you come across a classifieds ad...

Heart tells you: Ford mustang fox body

tempting

tempting

You do the math. A bit more coin here and there and you could get your hands on a fairly used V8 model. You begin to imagine the endless amounts of fun you can have by doing burnouts in front of your friends and cruising along Main Street with your aviators on and one of your dad's old Zeppelin cassettes blasting over the V8 burble. It might not be the coolest Mustang, but the look is starting to catch on again. It all seems too cool to be true. Until you have to explain to your dad it has the fuel consumption of Nairobi...

First executive car

You get your first corporate job. You now have to become presentable in the eyes of your bosses and therefore the Fox Mustang is no longer going to cut it. You will now have to opt for something which has 4 doors, leather seats and is grey in color. Oh yes, and German.

Brain tells you: BMW 3 series

As grey as can be

As grey as can be

Ah yes. It has 4 doors (unlike your Mustang). It is available in small petrol and diesel engines and it's a BMW, so you'll fit right in when you put your keys on the table at your weekly sushi lunch with your stock broker buddies who can't shut up about football. Your boss would be proud. But yet, every time you look across the street on the way back to office, the car you actually wanted to buy was standing right there.

Heart tells you: Used Maserati Quattroporte

mafia 101

mafia 101

Your heart aches at the thought that you could have bought a used one for less than your new diesel BMW. It's Italian. It's got a 4.2 V8 and there is room in the back for your soon-to-arrive child. It makes all the right noises and you will never look like a cock driving around town in it. You see the owner approaching his car. You run over to him and strike a deal which he is more than happy to take. He's just glad he doesn't have to pay the running costs anymore and you drive around with a smile on your face doing 12mpg.

First SUV

The child has arrived. An SUV is therefore mandatory. The Maserati must stay. You are therefore forced to buy something sensible for a change. The choice is simple.

Brain tells you: Land Rover discovery

You cannot mess this up. It is the best all round car money can buy. It is comfortable, practical and has enough grunt to satisfy. Even your heart agrees that this is the right choice. Your spouse would be proud. Yet, you still leave the dealer with the following...

Heart tells you: Land rover defender 110

In case of emergency trip to Africa

In case of emergency trip to Africa

There was a barely used one for sale at the dealer. You don't mind sacrificing a bit of comfort for looking more like an adventurer type. Kingsley Holgate would be proud. You even add a snorkel to the air intake in case you have to cross a river on the school run. You don't care that it is as refined as a barn, because in the end - it remains the best 4x4xfar.

First grand tourer

Years go by and it's time to trade in the Maserati for a nice 2 door sports car. A grand tourer to be precise. It should show that your upper management position is finally paying off and be comfortable enough to do a weekend away.

Brain tells you: Mercedes benz sl

looks a lot better now

looks a lot better now

This has been the benchmark for drop top grand tourers since the dawn of time. The looks have been updated so it doesn't resemble a parrot anymore and it comes with many goodies and gadgets. Yet, you still feel it is lacking some character...

Heart tells you: Maserati gt convertible

Gotta love it

Gotta love it

Yes, they have been making this model for around a decade now. Yes, it's not as well built or has the tech of the Merc. But in your heart only one thing matters. Flair. And this car has plenty. Your spouse should be comfortable on long trips and you get to enjoy the sound of that Ferrari based V8 with the roof down. Only winning.

First classic

You have some extra money laying around and you would like to buy something to enjoy over the weekends. Its a tough one.

Brain tells you: Listen to your heart

I have a thing for Italian

I have a thing for Italian

At this point your brain has transferred all decision making duties to your heart and you are free to pursue the car you have always wanted. There is no right or wrong choice. As long as it gets your heart pumping when you climb in and forces you to look back once you climb out - then you know you have made the right choice.

Lucky for all of us, each of our heads and hearts work different. Tell me in the comments which logical and illogical buys you would make.

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Comments (54)

  • All stages-Mazda MX-5.

    First car-reliable, good gas mileage, and fun. Corporate career- true play-makers deal one on one, not in packs. You'll save enough money in gas, insurance, and repairs to have the bigger house, and a hotter trophy-wife.

    Kids-- Dont. Kids are expensive and require space and responsibility.

    Later life- you already have a fun to drive two seater convertible. Maybe just take it to track days once in a while and turn it loose.

    Classic- restore your MX-5 to new condition. By then it will be classic and what everybody will be chasing and oohing over anyway.

      4 years ago
  • I will never buy an SUV.

      4 years ago
  • No-one needs an SUV to carry a child. That's when you get an RS6 or E63 AMG Wagon :-)

      4 years ago
  • My first car was a 1981 Alfa GTV, my second was an Alfa 156 2,5... The brain knows nothing

      4 years ago
    • Haha, brilliant! I'm looking at getting an alfa bravo....the Mrs wants me to get a golf.......ermmm no

        4 years ago
  • First new car: BRZ vs Focus ST.

    The BRZ won. Practicallity is so overrated, 99% of the time Im alone in the car without much luggage.

      4 years ago
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