Last post on Sep 04, 2008 at 7:40 AM
You are in the Honda Civic
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Honda Civic, Sedan
#4558 of 4597 The economics of a long commute...
May 14, 2007 (7:23 pm)
Hey gang, some of you know me here, most of you don't.
Quick history: For the last twenty years or so I've had a fairly stable commute history that was at a rate of usually less than 15,000 miles per year. As such, my taste for nice cars was able to be sated with the likes of some fairly nice lease cars, much to my delight. Nearly two years ago I took a contract that was with a company about 45 miles away from our home, and since the lease on my 530i was nearly up, I simply let that car go back to BMW and started driving our spare car, a 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan with the 3.8 liter engine (which only had 80,000 miles on the clock at the time). Tough transition.
I figured at the time that once that "three to six month" contract was over I'd simply lease a new car and be on my way. Well, best laid plans of mice and men and all of that, here I am 22 months later (and 60,000 more miles on our old DGC), not only still contracting to the same company, but facing an even longer commute when they move later this summer some 20 miles further up the road. Said another way, with my usual 10,000 miles per year (around here anyway) of driving to out of state soccer events and other non-work related mileage, that I'll be racking up miles in excess of 40,000 per year Hmmm...
I ran a spreadsheet that takes into account commute miles, other miles, gas prices and fuel economy, and came up with some startling numbers. Between Mrs. Shipo (whose company just moved much further away from our home as well) and I, I figured that we were going to be driving some 80,000 to 90,000 combined miles per year, and at $4.00 for gas, we're talking over $18,000 of gas per year! Ouch. Casting about for options, I pretty much figured that by selling one of our DGCs (hers is much nicer and only has 90,000 miles on it, so that'll be the one to go) and buying two Honda Civics, we can pay for the new cars in gas savings alone! Nice.
I went and visited my friendly neighborhood Honda dealer this afternoon and drove a Civic EX 5-Speed (Atomic Blue Metallic). To be honest, I was prepared to like the car, however, I wasn't prepared to like it as much as I did. Geez, what a nice fun little car, and what a blast to drive. It kind of reminds me of a 4-Door version of my old 1979 VW Scirocco. Maybe not quite as quick on the turn-in, but a heck of a lot faster in a straight line and no slouch in the twisties.
When I came back to the dealership all grinning and giggly, the salesman was sure he had a sale. Then I told him that I was actually looking to buy two, one EX Automatic with Nav, and one EX 5-Speed with no Nav, and he started grinning as widely as me. Of course no good deed goes unpunished; Mr. Murphy stepped in right about then. Mrs. Shipo called my cell phone and told me that her boss had just had a conversation with her and leaked that the president of the division was going to call her (my wife that is) tomorrow and offer her a juicy promotion along with a three year stint in Hong Kong for our whole family. Hmmm...
We'll know officially tomorrow if this is going to really happen or if it was just some wishful thinking by my wife's boss, but if it does, I guess I won't be needing those Civics.
#4559 of 4597 Re: The economics of a long commute... [shipo]
May 15, 2007 (3:03 am)
Wow, shipo!! Keep us posted.
#4560 of 4597 Re: The economics of a long commute... [pat]
May 15, 2007 (5:03 pm)
Thanks Pat... No word yet... Hmmmm...
#4561 of 4597 Question for those of you who drive a 5-Speed...
May 15, 2007 (5:05 pm)
Does the shift knob pivot fairly freely at the end of the stick? I pointed that out to the sales person who gave a standard sales person response, "They all do that."
Uhhh, yeah right. So, the question is, do all shift knobs twist or was this one just loose?
May 16, 2007 (5:41 am)
The one on my 2007 Accord pivots fairly easily. I suppose I could give it one more turn to tighten it up. Just need to unsnap the boot twist and resnap.
#4563 of 4597 Re: Question for those of you who drive a 5-Speed... [shipo]
May 16, 2007 (6:43 am)
This probably doesn't help you as much since I drive a 6-speed, but my shift knob is pretty much solid. I haven't noticed any play in the knob itself, but oddly enough, the boot is not attached to the knob. It looks like an intentional design, but it's still weird to me.
#4564 of 4597 dudleyr & wiley
May 16, 2007 (9:04 am)
Thanks folks, I appreciate your input.
So, the Group President of my wife's division called her today and the negotiations have started. It looks like maybe about 95% odds that we're moving to HK in July.
With the above in mind, I wondered about the feasibility of having a car in HK and it does seem doable. In fact, many Ex-Pats bring their cars with them and either take them home when they leave or simply sell them in HK and split. That then begged the question, "Is it a better deal to buy here and ship over or to buy there?" The answer to that is still an unknown; however, a quick check of the Hong Kong Honda web site shows some interesting things. First off, the HK version of the Civic is only available with an Alloy Wheels, Automatic Transmission and Leather Interior, and is available with Automatic Climate control. Hmmm, how do I get my hands on a 5-Speed EX with leather and climate control?
May 16, 2007 (11:21 am)
You can probably get a lot of interesting cars in HK. Honda Fit could work - it will be easier to park. HK is pretty crowded.
My father had a very nice Nissan Stanza in Sri Lanka. Had all the options you could not get in the states, but still had a nice small efficient engine with a manual transmission.
#4566 of 4597 Re: - [dudleyr]
May 16, 2007 (11:29 am)
Thanks for the response.
Yeah, I thought about the Fit, however, I also find myself wondering about back seat room. My 13 year old is already 5' 6" and growing at the rate of 4" per year.
I'll keep y'all posted.
May 16, 2007 (8:19 pm)
I have issues with headroom in most cars and found the back of the Fit to be much better than the Civic. I think the overseas fit has just been redesigned as well.
I would have a ball getting a car in HK. Probably wind up with some Espace type vehicle with a diesel engine and a stick shift.
I was there about 20 years ago, and I still remember looking out my hotelroom at a building accross the street and the lights were on at midnight and people were working away doing some light manufacturing - HK is always busy. Another thing that struck me was all the scaffolding is bamboo.
Get some good electronic equipment while you are there, and a fake Rolex. Sometimes they change the name just a little so they are legal. I remember seeing some Polex brand watches.