Cars that appeal to hearts tug at our heartstrings and incite a lust/infatuation that borders on the irrational. The classic example of such cars have to be Alfa Romeos. For generations, Alfa has churned out cars that sent grown men (and women) falling head over heels. Despite the occasional tantrum, owners (or ex owners) still think the world of their Alfas.
On the other hand, we have cars that we know check all the right boxes when it comes to practicality. They almost never break down. They are fuss free to maintain, reasonably priced (well relative to Singapore standards), have a big boot, sip fuel ... Well, you get the idea. These are cars designed to tug at our brains or heads. They are the logical choice. For a long while, Toyotas dominated this class though we see the Korean car manufacturers chipping away at its dominance today.
And this brings me to the conundrum plaguing me today - what is a young (relatively, speaking) driving enthusiast on a young man's budget who just sold off his ride and is in the market for his next ride to do? Heart or head? Or is there a way to get a little bit of both?
Part of me really wishes to splash out the cash on the car I fell in love with (yes, it is an Alfa). But my saner side questions if I can put up with any niggles. Reliability may have been improved in recent years, but it is likely to be a slight distance away from the Japanese marques I have been used to. And let's not even talk about the horror stories that friends have been passing along about their parents' Alfas. They are like a bucket of ice cold water extinguishing my passion for all things associated with the Serpent crest. Not to mention, it does require a rather hefty financial outlay for someone at my stage in life.
And then there is the contender to the Alfa. Another equally attractive car (to me) that speaks to the Beng in me. Prices are a lot less steep but I am sure the worries are no fewer. I speak of the almost legendary EG and EK Honda Civics. The same old cautions are administered in large doses. Reliability, worries over accident history, the inevitable problems with driving cars that are more than 10 years old. The list is long. Once again, my saner side is screaming and telling me NO.
On the other side, these two cars face a myriad of competitors. I have test driven bread and butter cars from all major Japanese and Korean marques. Yes, they are within budget and yes, reliability is not such an issue. But if I bought any one of them, I would always have the niggling thought that I was settling. They would never be my first choice.
And as each COE bidding passes, I am still unable to make up my mind and I remain currently car-less and hopeful for that one car that could be the perfect compromise of both heart and head. Any suggestions?