By Chris Haak
Of course, Valentine’s Day is about showing the people you love how much you love them, not about cars or even websites about cars and the car business. But that won’t stop us from considering which vehicles we truly love. To keep the conversation on track, let’s focus only on vehicles that we’ve actually owned. Which cars did you love, and what did you love about them?
I’ve owned about a dozen cars during my 20 years with a driver’s license (not counting the cars that I had the use of growing up as the son of a car dealer, which meant changing the car that I was driving – but not owning – a number of times ). The car I loved the most was…
…my 2004 Honda Accord EX V6. (Note: the photo to the left looks exactly like my car, but is not mine). It was the first new car that I ever bought, and the first car that my wife and I bought together as a married couple. It was equipped with everything but navigation (her choice, not mine). It wasn’t a beautiful car (though I adored its Eternal Blue Pearl paint), but everything worked on it. The Honda J30 3.0 liter V6 was smooth and sounded like a muffled race car when in the upper reaches of the tachometer, it always started right up, and got better fuel economy than some four cylinders I’ve driven lately. The car’s orthopedically designed front seats provided the perfect mix of cushioning and support, and literally never left my legs or rear end fatigued, even after eight straight hours behind the wheel. The car never had a mechanical problem and still looked great the day I traded it after five years. It seems that I was smitten by Cadillac CTS lust and couldn’t pass up the deal that was being offered at the time.
Every month when I make the loan payment on the CTS that spends more time in the garage than it does on the road, I regret getting rid of the Honda. That car, with about 75,000 miles, was probably only a third of the way through its useful life. Since I’m reviewing press cars for Autosavant now, I drive just over 10,000 miles per year in my own car, so the Honda could have theoretically lasted me another 10 years. Now it’s up to the Cadillac to remain a stalwart in my garage for the next decade. That is, unless I get car lust – not love – again someday.
Not to ruin the occasion, but is there a car you owned that you specifically didn’t love, even hated? My first car, a 1988 Pontiac Grand Am SE 2.0T automatic didn’t even last a year before the motor blew, which led to a giant hole in the block and a spray of oil on my back tires while driving. (For aspiring drifters, that’s a great way to make a front wheel drive car oversteer!)
What do you say? Any cars you loved, and why? Have your say in the comments below. Happy Valentine’s Day!