Car Buying Compromises

Note: This post was originally published on it’s been moved here for archival purposes.

Performance, economy and price, you can’t have all three, there’s always a compromise. The difficulty comes in deciding where to compromise and figuring out which is best in the long run. For example lets budget £3,000 for a car, it needs four wheels and preferably four seats.

Compromising performance gets you a 2002 Ford Fiesta 1.4 Diesel, 64mpg and 68bhp. Compromising economy gets you a 1996 Skyline 2.5 Turbo, around 20mpg and over 250bhp. Compromising price gets you a 2006 Alpina D3 2.0 Diesel, 47.9mpg and 200bhp but for three times the budget at £9,000.

Personally I wouldn’t drive the Fiesta, couldn’t afford to run the Skyline or buy the Alpina but they illustrate the point nicely.  I’ve been looking at the total cost of ownership over a few years for a variety of cars that I’ve been considering. What I’ve found is that it’s cheaper over three years to buy a less economical car than to pay the premium for the “economical performance cars”. It’s food for thought so now I just have to make a decision.


  1. Paul Reply
    11th April 2012 at 8:36 pm

    So two out of the three are not viable options and the third is out because you wouldn’t drive it?

  2. ianw Reply
    11th April 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I didn’t say it had to make sense. I wouldn’t want to drive a car with 68bhp, it’s unlikely to be a “drivers car”.

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