I am often asked about cars by co-workers or friends who know of my interest. Usually the question is what I think about Car A, or whether Minivan A is a better vehicle than Minivan B. These questions usually come from the appliance people - those whose approach to buying a car is the same as their approach to buying a toaster. Camry buyers.
To me, these cars are not comparable in any meaningful way. Sure, they both have soft tops. And they both carry four people. And they're both driven by women. But they're in different places on the car continuum. One is young, beach, fun and one is older, town, shopping. Not really anything I'd be looking at side-by-side. Not really anything I'd be looking at all, actually. But he is.
He is a GM man. Company car is a Buick. He likes it. Home cars are Chevys. He likes them. But he wants something more fun at this stage in his life. That's a breakthrough I think. Car as fun, not as toaster. But his lifetime of car-as-toaster thinking leaves him ill-prepared for the car-as-fun decision. He's getting lost. He looked at the Ford Mustang convertible, too. He can't get away from the practical questions: What incentives do they offer? What warranty comes with it?
It's really an emotional decision. It should be, anyway. Find your car. Decide if you can afford it. Buy it if you can.
So there's not much for me to do. I told him I think the Beetle is more of a girl's car than the Saab. I told him I disdain GM and Saabs are slightly Nordic Chevys. I pointed out the $15,000 price difference. I said if forced to pick one, it would be the VW. (Not because I could then use the leftover cash to buy a 10-year old BMW for daily use while hiding the VW in a garage, but because the fun quotient is higher in the goofy Beetle and the whole point is fun.)
I'll go tell him to stop thinking like an appliance shopper and to start thinking like a car guy: what do I want to drive?