By Neal Shepard


A couple of months ago my sister in-law texted me to ask my opinion about a Volvo S40 my niece was considering buying. I texted her that Consumer Report Magazine ranks Toyota & Honda  #1 & #2 respectively in low cost of ownership over 5 and 10 years because of their few repair incidents, low cost of repairs, and high resale value for any ownership period. Toyota has eight parts warehouses scattered throughout the US enhancing their lower cost of ownership status, in addition to getting parts to their dealers within 24 hours… yes even Maine !.

Based on this, I recommended that she also look at comparable models at Lexus and Acura which would give her the same performance, safety, and luxury features as the S40.  They would also provide a lower cost of ownership since Lexus & Acura are the luxury makes of Toyota & Honda respectively. "But I also told her that the heart wants what the heart wants".

I received a text the next day saying "The heart got what the heart wanted", which was "no surprise if you know my niece...she likes the bling.

My Bottom Line
As long as you go into it with your eyes wide open and make an informed discussion, a purchase that makes you feel much better driving one model over another (even with the additional cost) will be worth not hearing that "little voice in your head" saying "I wish I had gotten the other one" for the next three to five years. So give "the heart what the hearts wants, be happy, and hope that in a few years that little voice doesn't say "Enough is enough - I didn’t know is would cost this much". Maybe my niece should have asked her other uncle, a loyal Toyota owner, about that Audi A8 experience he had... just saying. All kidding aside, sometimes the heart deserves to get what it wants.. You should never underestimate the "feel good factor".

Keep in mind that any informed decision has a better chance of being the right one, in this case, after the excitement of a new car wears off.