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Old 02-10-2020, 09:26 AM   #1
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Plug-in hybrids

My wife is in talks to potentially take a new position that will require her to take some day trips within New England. Although the sane and almost certain thing to do is to wait several months to a year to properly gauge the frequency and length of these trips, her immediate reaction was "I am not taking the Miata on those trips," which I completely understand. It sucks in the highway.

The reasonable thing to do is to simply have her take the LR4 if the trips are relatively infrequent (2-3 times a month), which is the likely scenario. But she would need to park in city parking garages which makes the LR4 an annoying choice at least.

The desire to shield the M3 from gross weather and the relative expense of using the LR4 sometimes makes us use the Miata more than we should. We also do several very short, in-town drives, which makes firing up the LR4 or M3 kind of annoying and if I am going to abuse a car with 1-mile drives I prefer the Miata suffer. This is where the eGolf was so great.

Thinking about potential cars to replace the Miata (I know it's cheap, but keeping it as a 4th car is a bit nuts), after a bunch of thinking and reading I wound up looking at the upcoming GLC 350e. Not that we are seriously thinking of one, but it's small while still being able to seat all 4 of us in comfort, has a decent cargo area for stuff or dog, is comfortable and upscale for her, but importantly will also have enough electric-only range to handle all the annoying in-town errands without firing up the ICE. It's nice and all but also $50K new, which is pretty crazy. Admittedly the LR4 would be 7+ yo by the time we make a decision and the M3 2+ yo, but still.

To be clear, the LR4 is going nowhere. We love it, it's roomy, and it's now at a point where depreciation is bottoming out. The LR4 should start to transition into what was the plan all along: that it would become the 3rd car to be used when weather/vacations/towing/cargo volume/carrying 5+ passengers is needed. The M3 is clearly also staying.

The broader point is that I think a reasonably practical plug-in hybrid (that my wife likes) makes a lot of sense for us, and would be a great fit no matter what, but even more if my wife takes this new job.

The Miata is great, but since my wife does not touch the M3 and has grown tired of driving the Miata except for the occasional weekend errand, the Miata is a very cramped and impractical toy car. I dropped off my son this morning and his sax took up the entire trunk, forcing him (12yo and growing) to cram into his seat with both his and my backpack.

We could keep it as a 4th car, but I think that is pushing it, and I rather save the brownie points for a used Boxster down the line. I dunno.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:06 AM   #2
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How close is the nearest rental car location? Not that it wouldn't be a pain to shuttle back and forth getting/dropping off a rental several times/month... but it would cheaper, and less to worry about as far as putting on miles, performing maint, etc.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:39 AM   #3
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How close is the nearest rental car location? Not that it wouldn't be a pain to shuttle back and forth getting/dropping off a rental several times/month... but it would cheaper, and less to worry about as far as putting on miles, performing maint, etc.
There is a place somewhat nearby, but it's always a bit of a PITA and requires planning. Like I said, strictly speaking, nothing is cheaper than just driving the LR4 despite the high operating costs.
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:43 AM   #4
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There has to be a better substitute for the Miata than a second SUV.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:07 AM   #5
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There has to be a better substitute for the Miata than a second SUV.
Everything with cargo space is an SUV nowadays. At least this is small-ish.

We already have a sedan, so we can't have two of those. Also, sedans are dying in favor of SUV's. My wife does not want a GTI, and wants something a bit more upscale than a Golf.

Not much in the way of plug-in hybrids excepts sedans (no), large luxury vehicles or sports cars (no), or cheap economy cars (also no).

This would not be for me, and she should pick something she likes if we end up going that route.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:56 AM   #6
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There has to be a better substitute for the Miata than a second SUV.
Not if a second SUV best suits FC and his wife.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:58 AM   #7
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X3 has a plug in set up as well. The X3 platform is great and you're familiar with the bmw ergo. I think there is a v60 wagon plug in also
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:06 PM   #8
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This would not be for me, and she should pick something she likes if we end up going that route.
Then just tell her to pick something, buy/lease it, and be done. Why think about it beyond putting a list together and giving her some links?
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:06 PM   #9
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X3 has a plug in set up as well. The X3 platform is great and you're familiar with the bmw ergo. I think there is a v60 wagon plug in also
I saw the Volvo, but it's very pricey (it said starting at $66k.)

I did not see the BMW. Will have to look at that.

I saw the Audi but that starts at $55k. The MB (at least the MY2019) starts at 50k. I suppose if we do go that route, we'd probably look at all the Germans anyway.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:08 PM   #10
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Then just tell her to pick something, buy/lease it, and be done. Why think about it beyond putting a list together and giving her some links?
That's where I'm at - trying to come up with a list. Just putting out the rationale to see if there are any large holes I'm missing.
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