To Tech or not to Tech


To Tech or not to Tech

I have been in a quandry these past few weeks. My car has turned 15 and has 170K on the clock. Traditionally its well past its shelf life and its time to look for a replacement. I have been extremely happy with the car – it’s a Lexus IS 300. I have had virtually no problems with it. I have done all the scheduled maintenance, replaced a bit here and a bob there as needed, and quite simply have loved the car.

So why not replace it with new IS. I went to the Lexus dealer and drove the supposed equivalent. It was “OK” but I didn’t feel the ‘buzz’ you are supposed to feel when you buy a new car.

The kid who road with me on the test drive told me that all the technology was actually built for drivers his age. Frankly I’m not sure I would use all the tech nor did I care about it. The screen the size of a TV was fine for the on board GPS mapping, but frankly my phone seems to work just fine.

As I was sitting in the dealership waiting for credit reports and the ‘closer’ to arrive I wasn’t comfortable. The price wasn’t as much an issue as the fact that I really didn’t like the car that much more than the one I was driving.

When the ‘closer’ came back he knocked a few bucks off the msrp and then added back twice that with extended warranty and maintenance programs. I asked why I needed the extended warranty since I had had such good luck with the car I was driving.

I was told that new cars have so much on board computing and technology that something was always going wrong and it was important to have the extended warranty. Huh? If that was true, then why get the new car anyway.

When I went out to pick up my car from the valet the dispatcher asked me if I wanted to sell it to him. He said that it was of an age where cars were really great and he had been looking for a good one. The valet asked me the same question.

I think I will correct a few cosmetic things, perhaps add a new radio with a back up camera included, and keep my old faithful a few more years. If the dealership doesn’t have confidence in the tech added to these new cars, should I?


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. I feel your pain, JVH – I’m driving a 12 year old GS and what I’d really like are just a “couple” of the upgrades, but not ALL the whiz-bang. Not that you asked, however, I would treat the decision like making a wardrobe decision in a cold climate….you can always take layers off/ignore feature functionality…it’s really hard to retrofit factory features in older cars. As for the extended warranty….dude, that’s just unadulterated salesmanship and tried and true FUD to add margin to the car. Get the new car, don’t get the warranty and enjoy the ride!!

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