At the tender age of 42.5, I have bought my first new car. I have had a drivers license since I was 16 so this has taken a while. When I was a young man, I drove my father's Buicks. At the University of Chicago, I bought my cousin's Toyota Tercel. While I couldn't fit into the car, I did like driving around in it. I sold that car to Derek Neal when I joined Columbia University's faculty. In Manhattan, you don't need a car. When I moved to Tufts, my wife alread had a car (a 1993 Nissan Altima) and we didn't buy another. We just got rid of her 1993 Nissan Altima and people are shocked that this 15 year old car has only 39,000 miles of use.
Today, we took our new 2008 Toyota Avalon out on the road. It is a battleship. I'm an honest man -- it gets 20 MPG in the City. Before you send me to hell, keep in mind that we will continue to drive 2000 miles a year so 2000/20 = 100 gallons of gas a year. That's a small footprint. We did take a close look at the Toyota Camry Hybrid but at the end of the day, we prefer to live well now rather than when we go to heaven.
My wife was surprised today when I demanded that she let me drive the new car. She does all of our driving as I sit in the passenger seat stating my views on everything and everyone (including my opinion of you).
As I drove the car, Dora realized that I haven't driven her anywhere since I drove her to the hospital 7 years ago for the birth of our son. Today's drive was not as dramatic but the Toyota Avalon is a kick-ass car. I'm hoping that our neighbors will treat us better now that we've upgraded cars but our car is still not in the same league with their big mercedes and jaguars and bentleys.