Why it is probably best to just buy the cheapest (manual transmission) car:
It is all so fleeting
The first thing:
With all cars, it is all so fleeting.
There are always new cars, new models, new versions, and new upgrades. I hate the idea of being stuck with just one thing — this is why if I could have it my way, I would never own a car– just perpetually lease it, and not be stuck with any one thing. Or another option:
Just buy a super cheap used car (manual transmission) from a private party on Craigslist, and if you get a super good deal (far below market asking price) you don’t feel bad to either get rid of the car, selling the car (for a small profit), or even giving it away to a friend or family member.
What do we even want from our cars anyways?
It seems that we seek a certain aesthetic ideal in ourselves through our cars.
For example, if you aspire to become a more muscular buff, strong and dominant person … perhaps you seek to buy a muscle car with lots of horsepower, and something really loud. And also the irony:
You are allowed to have a really loud car (mean exhaust), but somehow you’re not allowed to yell and grunt in public, or at the gym?
I say more impressive to drive a shitty random, whatever car, or have a ‘sleeper’ car, and be insanely buff and epic, than to be a flabby person (with an impressive car). I call it:
Better to transform your body into a Lamborghini than to own a Lamborghini.
Why manual transmission?
It seems to me at least, the biggest benefit of a Tesla is the self-driving technology (great for long stop-and-go traffic on the freeway). I was recently stuck on really bad traffic from Providence to New York (stop and go) and thought:
This is where I would looooove to have a self-driving car just deal with the huge annoyance of stop and go traffic.
This especially is good for driving on the freeway in LA (405) or even the Bay Area, if you commute much. But otherwise, perhaps better to just take Amtrak or fly to avoid traffic (which gets rid of the need of having a self driving car).
The joy of manual
The joy of driving manual:
It is more fun.
More fun, more interesting, and more engaged. Aesthetically manual transmissions (the stick shift in the center) also looks more aesthetically appealing. Furthermore, manual cars are cheaper to purchase, cheaper to maintain (break down less than automatic cars) and also are a ‘flex’ that you know how to drive stick.
The best manual cars
Before my 2003 Subaru Outback 5 speed died on me, it was a great car. I think a Subaru Outback (manual transmission) is fantastic — all wheel drive, drives well, and is insanely useful (hatchback, with also the station wagon back trunk allows you to fit almost anything in it). Far more useful than an SUV, or even a truck.
The upside of electric
I think the biggest upside of electric is the ease of maintenance (you don’t even gotta change the oil, or replace any parts). A gasoline car is insanely complex, an electric car is insanely simple and minimal. Thus if you seek the most maintenance free lifestyle, it seems an electric car is best.
The upside of Hybrid
If you want to go long distances and hate charging times, Hybrid is the way to go (either a Prius or any other capable hybrid Toyota car).