Posted on August 18, 2009 by Dennis Salazar

When Eco and Comfort Clash

Tough Decisions for American Car Buyers

I think my commitment to green is being tested much like my patience is tried on an almost daily basis. The lease on my company car has run out and I am stuck in a frustrating state of indecision. Even after you decide whether or not the purchase of a new car is a wise thing to do in the current economic state, you are still left with a wide variety of smaller and even tougher decisions to make.

American or foreign brand?

toyota-priusThere has always been a part of me that prefers to buy American whenever possible but is that smart when so much of the domestic automobile industry is on the brink of failure? I am sure I am not the only potential car buyer concerned about warranties, parts availability and even resale/trade in value of some makes and models.

For so long “foreign” meant manufactured in Europe or Japan but now manufacturers from China and South Korea are also working for their share of the US market, making good cars and tougher choices.

Domestic manufactured or domestic assembled?

Many of the foreign cars today are at least in part assembled in the U.S. so that line has become very hazy at best. I was surprised some manufacturers are doing assembly in Canada. That may not be domestic but I can hardly consider that foreign.

Luxury versus practical?

I admit I am still a sucker for “rich Corinthian leather”. You older readers may have to explain that to the younger ones so they can possibly see the humor in that statement. The fact is that when you finally get to a certain age and stage of life, there is at least a small part of you who believes you owe it to yourself.

High performance versus economical?

As soon as I enter a car dealership my head and interest seem to turn towards the two door coup model with the great lines and something that resembles a car James Bond would commandeer to avoid getting caught by the bad guys. If only they made one that goes zero to sixty in less than one gallon.

And last but certainly not least – green versus non-green?

honda-insightThis category might also be titled “Practical versus Comfortable” since for guys my size, there is nothing comfortable about fuel efficient cars. It seems to me all of the cars with the best mileage are designed for MPG rather than LBS. I suppose in time manufacturers will realize that green minded consumers do not all come in a size small and we are indeed willing to pay for some creature comforts like “rich Corinthian leather”.

“Excuse me, can I get this Prius in blue, with an upgraded interior and in a size two X?”

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