Bonus Match-Up: A Truck For Katy

by Kaibeezy: My friend Katy wants a new truck. “New?!” I snorted incredulously, “gah, such a ripoff.” “I know,” she said, “but I can’t help it, I’m in love with that new big Ford, and I’ve been driving this hand-me-down Buick for so long, I’ve paid my dues, life is short, and I want what I want.”

What she (air quote) wants (air quote) is an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle… wait, wrong cliche. It’s the 2016 Ford F-150 King Ranch SuperCrew. I don’t know if she mentioned or even cares whether it’s the regular 5.0 V8, the upgrade EcoBoost 3.5 V6, 4×4, or whatever else. Any way you rope it, you’re riding a big, buckin’ bronco of dang near a $50,000 car loan.

“New?”, I whined again. “What?”, she what-ed. “Oof, you’re going to get hammered on the depreciation, and all those payments, and the insurance, but then again, you don’t commute, so you’re not going to put miles on, so it’s going to last you a good long time and be worth more if you ever sell it.” She keeps cars.

Even so, it’s an awful lot of money. “Why, I bet,” I drawled, “my posse over at Daily Turismo could come up with fantastic options for you on a truck with style, presence and luxury, for under $20,000.” “Fine,” she conceded, “but there’s one thing I can’t abide, and that’s being stranded on the side of a west Texas backroad because I tried to save a buck and my dang used car broke down on me.” “I understand.” “You’d better, because if I do and it does, I’m calling you and I’m not going to be happy.” “But,” I stammered, “I mean, what can I even do from all the way over here on Neptune?” “Exactly.”

Frankly, that imperative many people have not to be stranded probably pushes them towards new cars even when they would be much better off, financially and otherwise, even possibly reliability-wise, with the right used car. I know I don’t trust *any* car, new or old, right from the start, and it takes me a really long time to chill with it. At least with an older car, I’m working on it, or at least diagnosing with my mechanic, specifying good replacement parts, getting out ahead of things, getting to know the noises and quirks. With a new car, you get blindsided. Take a solid older car, a repair budget, and some time to get things done, and that’s a car you can rely on.

So what do we suggest for Katy? She wants the (air quote) reliability (air quote) of new, she likes the King Ranch, wants the King Ranch, and possibly has already bought the King Ranch. Unless she’s thought twice about the expense. But a cheaper new truck won’t have the luxury of the King Ranch.

Yes, I showed her a Lincoln Blackwood (“it’s ugly, and it’s too old”), a Honda Ridgeline (” I just can’t”), a cool, 70’s full-size Ranger (“cool, too old”), and so forth.

Are we really stymied by the argument of people who can’t abide being stranded that anything that’s not new is unreliable and old? Certified used, maybe? But that’s practically a new car anyway. Your comments and ideas, please.