do i have to?

One of these days I'm going to have to buy a car.

I'm not a big car person, I'm just happy to get where I'm going.  When I bought my current car I was most excited that I'd have a door lock remote.  Not the engine or how manly it did or didn't make me feel or the stereo.  It was that remote.  Now that I have that, I'm just not excited about car shopping any more.

But now the affectionately-named "Mystery Machine" already has 125,000 miles.  In the last 3 months or so I've spent roughly $3,000 in maintenance.  So I'm starting to think about when that shopping day will come.

On one hand, I likely could get to 150k miles without a problem.  That's is 2 1/2 more years without another big service bill.  Maybe even longer.  But there's another consideration.  Christine's car is nearly 11 years old (mine is 8).  Hers has less mileage but it's not going to last forever either.  It would be nice to not be paying for two cars at once if possible.  That means I shouldn't wait too long.

They say the best time to buy a (new) car is May because the next year's models are about to come out.  So maybe 5/2011 will be the time?  I'd prefer to buy a 1-2 year old used car if it gets me some decent savings so I'll look into that.

Without having consulted Consumer Reports et al, here are a couple of early contenders:

Toyota 4Runner


(I stole all these images from flickr.)

Honda CR-V


Mine would never see snow...

And some Volvo or another such as the XC-60


Those reliable Volvos...

If anyone has anything to say about these or other similar models let me know.

The next couple of days I have some interesting plans so I'll have stories and my own pictures.  After that, I'll start a philosophy series that will probably be light on the pictures.  Sorry in advance.  Have a good evening!