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I'm Trading My Type R For Something More Relaxing, What Car Should I Buy?

Illustration for article titled Im Trading My Type R For Something More Relaxing, What Car Should I Buy?
Photo: Patrick George

Matt lives in Pennsylvania and drives a Civic Type R. It’s a fantastic car, but he is realizing it’s just not a fit for him anymore. He wants to take advantage of the current market value and get something cheaper, more relaxing.

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 (Welcome back to What Car Should You Buy? Where we give real people real advice about buying cars. )

Here is the scenario -

I currently own a 2018 Honda Civic Type R that I am financing. I am considering selling it based on the high market value since I plan on moving out to my own place within the next year and a half. Selling it would allow me to get rid of the high monthly payment and put some of the proceeds towards a down payment on a cheaper car as well as the rest to savings for a down payment on the future house.

Due to my mental health collapsing recently, I no longer find much enjoyment out of driving the Type R due to it’s fairly stiff ride and noisy interior which stimulates my already very bad anxiety.

I’m looking for something that will allow me to get through the next 3-5 years without much drama. I have back problems so I’d like something that won’t break my spine if possible.

I enjoyed driving manual but I think I want something that is an automatic this time around. I anticipate getting around $10K after the loan is paid off from the sale proceeds, so I will be able to use $5K or so as a down payment on a replacement vehicle.

After I move out I plan on adopting a medium-sized or larger dog which is why I would prefer a hatchback or mid-sized sedan if possible. I will be financing this vehicle but I am aiming for a much lower monthly payment on a 60-month term.

I want something reliable, good on gas, FWD or AWD, with modern safety tech for around $20,000 or less. I don’t mind something “fun” I just don’t want something as extreme as the Type R.

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Quick Facts:

Budget: up to $20,000

Daily Driver: Yes

Location: Doylestown, PA

Wants: Comfy, Reliable, Spacious

Doesn’t want: Anything with a racing pedigree

Expert 1: Tom McParland - Don’t Worry, It Just Says “Sport” In The Name

Illustration for article titled Im Trading My Type R For Something More Relaxing, What Car Should I Buy?
Image: Autotrader

Matt, while there are likely to be some folks that get all worked up in the comments about someone trading a legit enthusiast car for an “appliance,” I support your choice. Not only is it smart to use the current market to your advantage for your long term financial goals, but there also is nothing wrong with recognizing a car just isn’t for you, no matter how objectively good that car is.

So if the list is comfortable, reliable, easy on your back and good for some canine companions, a good choice would be the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. Don’t let the “Sport” aspect fool you, the only reason Hyundai used that term was to differentiate the midsize two-row Santa Fe Sport from the larger three-row Santa Fe. There is really nothing sporty about this car...but that’s not a bad thing.

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What you have here is a comfortable crossover, spacious but not too big. It comes well-equipped with nice features, respectable fuel economy and pretty solid reliability. That being said, you are going to miss the passing power from the 2.0T in the Honda so I would suggest you look into the 2.0T versions of the Santa Fe Sport. It’s not going to be nearly as quick as the Type R, but the naturally aspirated base engine in the Santa Fe can feel a bit sluggish due to the size.

Here is a Certified Pre-Owned 2018 with the turbo motor and around 33k miles right under $20,000. This example is FWD but if you dig a bit more, AWD versions will be available as well.

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Expert 2: David Tracy - Just Try To Keep It Fun

Illustration for article titled Im Trading My Type R For Something More Relaxing, What Car Should I Buy?
Photo: Trimax Auto Group/Facebook Marketplace (Fair Use)
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I’m sorry to hear about your mental health troubles, and that you’ve lost joy for your Civic Type R. I wish you the best, which is why I cannot recommend that Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

I’m sure it’s a lovely vehicle. Reliable, I bet. Probably efficient for its size, and comfortable. Good. And Tom is a man who knows what people want—it’s his job as a consultant, after all. But I remember when I wanted a no-BS, sensible machine, so I went out and bought a car that didn’t “click” with me. The result was: I felt horrible driving it. I knew I was piloting something that I didn’t care about at all, and that’s just not what you need right now.

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You’ve got to find something that’s reliable and comfortable, but that you can—especially once you get on the backside of whatever mountain you’re currently scaling—actually appreciate. Stay true to yourself; the last thing you need is a boring car.

I can’t really speak about the reliability of a used Volkswagen product—generally, the company’s reputation isn’t great on that front—but a lightly used VW GTI with a DSG automatic could actually be pretty awesome. It’s comfortable, reasonably efficient, spacious enough for a big dog, and interesting. And while I realize that that last point might not matter so much to you now, it might in the future. I hope it does.

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Expert 3: Rory Carroll - Get Calm

Illustration for article titled Im Trading My Type R For Something More Relaxing, What Car Should I Buy?
Photo: Autotrader
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While I’m as bummed as anybody to see you letting go of that Type R, you have my admiration for recognizing your mental health situation and doing what you believe is necessary to get better. I’m sure it’ll end up with someone who’ll give it the thrashing it needs. And you? You can move on to a world of comfort and luxury with something like this 2013 Lexus LS 460.

This one comes with AWD, reasonably low mileage, and really appealing color. It’s super comfortable and should be pretty reliable. The price is a little higher than you’re aiming for, but I’m sure you can work something out.

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Plus the dealer’s name is Fred Beans. Whenever someone asks you where you got it, you can say you bought it from Fred Beans. That’s worth at least a couple grand to me.

Expert 4: Andrew Collins - Own The Slow Lane 

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Hmm, Honda Civic’s too hot for you, huh? I get that. The CTR is hard to drive with anything resembling civility. No sweat though, because there are plenty of cars built for cruising at or below the speed limit. Take this, uh, thing for example.

As if the retro Ford Thunderbird redux wasn’t enough of a rolling caricature already, somebody went ahead and exaggerated it with a few choice accessories here. Hell yeah. Buy this thing and you’ll be laughing at yourself again in no time.

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Brian’s Auto Center over in Jersey doesn’t list a price but I’m sure you can afford it. If the ask on this thing is over $20,000, I’m not sure my sanity can remain intact. Anyway, even if it turns out to be a dud (no chance of that happening!) this dealer clearly has fun taste. I see an old Supra, a Prowler, oh man, you should head over there for fun either way.

Do you want us to help you find a car? Submit your story on our form.

Tom is a contributing writer for Jalopnik and runs AutomatchConsulting.com. He saves people money and takes the hassle out of buying or leasing a car. (Facebook.com/AutomatchConsulting)

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DISCUSSION

zephyzeph94
ZephyZeph94

Hey guys,

I have no use for hiding behind the Internet, so the person who is behind this “What car should I buy” is in fact myself. Honestly, I’ve been so anxious about getting rid of it, but in the last few days I’ve come to accept it as a move that suits me better. I love these suggestions - the Sante Fe Sport is an interesting one - but I love Tom’s words here especially:

Matt, while there are likely to be some folks that get all worked up in the comments about someone trading a legit enthusiast car for an “appliance,” I support your choice. Not only is it smart to use the current market to your advantage for your long term financial goals, but there also is nothing wrong with recognizing a car just isn’t for you, no matter how objectively good that car is.

One of the things that has been stopping me a while is that I have a bit of an online following for owning this car. Getting rid of it means ditching that following. But surprisingly, a lot of people are for me doing it because it’s responsible. They want to see me in a better spot.

Monday when I drove it to get appraised for the first time I had absolutely terrible anxiety. I mean my heart was racing the entire morning, I couldn’t calm down, I felt depression about it. I love this car, but right now it’s just not the best thing for me. Couple that with how much it’s derailing my financial future and goal to own a house within the next year or year and a half, and it’s something that I’ve learned to accept.

I’ve actually found a Mazda 3 Grand Touring Hatch with low miles under 20K. I test drove it and loved it. It’s not as fancy as the new 3's, but that thing handled great and was fully loaded. The engine is peppy enough for me. It’s a top contender, but I plan on using the weekend to do all the hunting I can.

But the best thing here is reading the comments supporting my decision. As a car enthusiast, it’s hard to get rid of something this special for something less special, but I think it’s the best thing for me.

And a HUGE thank you to Jalopnik for actually featuring my request - I actually had my jaw on the floor when I saw the title of this article. But reading this article has given me much more courage to do what I once viewed as impossible. It means a lot to have this website support my decision. Rock on!