In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Will there be a Ferrari SUV?
- Owing a Jeep vs a Honda costs?
- I’m 16 and thinking about a Jeep for a first car.
This first question comes from a fan who wonders if there will be a Ferrari SUV.
Q:Hi, I was wondering if Ferrari will build a SUV?
Lots of other car makers are doing it like Porsche.
A: Greetings Pete!
If you asked me that same question ten years ago, I would have laughed. Now, I’m rather concerned that it might happen. While Ferrari seems to be opposed to the idea, it’s hard to argue with the big money automakers are raking in with their crossovers and SUVs.
Automakers like Bentley, Jaguar and Lamborghini are following the trend. Still, every rep I’ve spoken to says it will never happen, just like a 4-door Ferrari. Meanwhile, nearly 90% of high-end automakers will or are working on a crossover or SUV.
With that being said, many Ferrari fans and owners also say there will never be a Ferrari SUV. Right now, the closest things that would equate a Ferrari SUV would be vehicles like the Maserati Levante, Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Ferrari FF. Just the idea of a all-wheel drive Ferrari (like the Ferrari FF) would have caused riots in Maranello a few decades back.
The sketches I added above are, what I think, is the closest embodiment of the Ferrari spirit in a SUV. It’s the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. I guess, if you added two doors and lifted the Ferrari FF, that would sell like hotcakes in Beverly Hills and Shanghai. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the SUV/crossover craze with automakers who were (historically) all about sports cars and luxury cars.
Just a few years back, Ferrari said they would never build a hybrid. Before that, they refused to consider all-wheel drive. So, while many refuse to even consider a Ferrari SUV, others may be planning it as we speak.
Man, I hope it never happens.
This next series of questions comes from a fan who is looking at Jeep maintenance costs over her Honda (along with several interesting questions).
Q:Hello Nathan! Subscribe and hit your website at least twice a day. All are doing a super job!.
1. When you review a vehicle, is there any way that you could also add something to give us an idea of cost of ownership? Even something on routine maintenance of different types of vehicles. Example…
I have a 2015 Honda Fit, 60,000 miles (yes, my Spirit is driven…a lot!). Routine maintenance consists of taking her to a Honda dealership (9 president awards winner). At certain mileage she only needs an oil change. When she hit 30,000 and then 60,000, she required much more preventive maintenance. This dealership literally has a check list that is followed, and then given to me after the work is done.
If I were to purchase a Jeep, just a general Jeep, what maintenance costs would I be looking at? At what amount of mileage does wear and tear cause replacement of parts?
2. I have found a reputable dealership. But, what makes a dealership reputable? What should we, the consumer, be looking for in a dealership?
3. Does TFL’s readers realize that if they purchase a used vehicle, before 2012, that there is a good chance that ABS, VSA, and other necessary safety features aren’t available?
4. In looking to purchase a used car, besides taking it to a reputable mechanic or dealership, what should you be looking for? What is the difference between a California car and a Michigan car (rust, number 1)?
I am really enjoying the vlog on the Nissan Frontier, and would like to see more of this type of review and analysis, using different types of vehicles. My Honda Fit, Spirit, has been taken up logging roads, been stuck in the sand at the beach…yep, up to visit my mother in Penticton 8 times (heading again next month), and seen Oregon, North California, a bit of Montana, Idaho’s Great Divide, and through Washington state. No problems. Routine maintenance and a set of tires. Have hauled a treadle sewing machine, boxes, and have camped in her. Nearly have her paid off and fully intend on keeping her. I turn 62 this year…she’s a part of my family and my baby. I had, early in my life, a Ford Courier pickup that I didn’t ever think could be out done. Spirit has out done it!
By the way…please tell Roman that the Ridgeline is a truck. Unless you’re towing your home behind you, in all practicality, what more does anyone need?
Take care to all,
Debra, a Manchester Terrier named Shaka, and an Aegean Blue 2015 Honda Fit “Spirit”
A: Hi Debra!
Great questions and observations! I’ll answer each one, but first – awesome job with your Honda Fit! Keeping up with maintenance on a car like that is the only way to go. As far as I am concerned, the Honda Fit is the best car in its class and its reputation for longevity is easy to live up to; provided that you keep up with its maintenance.
- When you review a vehicle, is there any way that you could also add something to give us an idea of cost of ownership?
The problem with ownership costs over time is that there are so many variables. Are we talking about a 5-year or 10-year cost of ownership? Some automakers now include the first few years maintenance (and even oil changes) and others may offer a lifetime maintenance plan.
My sister (for example) has a 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty along with a five-year maintenance/service plan that averages out to about $500 per year. It covers the whole vehicle and it can be extended. That’s through her dealership and it’s an outstanding deal.
I usually tell people that, over five years, annual costs can run around 10% of your vehicle’s purchase price. That’s just a simple rule of thumb, but it is in the ballpark for many consumers.
We don’t mention cost of ownership in our videos as it would take several minutes just to cover the vast amount of variables that now exist.
- I have found a reputable dealership. But, what makes a dealership reputable?
With the advent of the internet and social media, it’s easier to find “reputable” dealerships. You can check them out on several sites and see if there were complaints. That’s pretty easy, especially if they are a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Still, there is no such thing as a “perfect” dealership. Recently, I brought my significant other to a Jeep dealership near Denver. It had a good rating and, in the past, other dealerships under the same name treated me well. This place had a shabby appearance, terrible inventory, rude salespeople and they turned us away when we asked to test drive a vehicle. I was mortified.
Nothing guarantees a good dealership.
- Does TFL’s readers realize that if they purchase a used vehicle, before 2012, that there is a good chance that ABS, VSA, and other necessary safety features aren’t available?
Yes, I feel that most of our viewers are aware that older vehicles (can) lack safety devices and are less safe than their newer counterparts. That’s one of the reasons I suggest, especially to younger viewers, that they get a more current vehicle. New(er) vehicles are remarkably safe.
- In looking to purchase a used car, besides taking it to a reputable mechanic or dealership, what should you be looking for? What is the difference between a California car and a Michigan car (rust, number 1)?
Get a Carfax and look at it carefully. You can avoid a lot of misery if you can see its history. If the car has up-to-date maintenance records, that’s always a plus. Lease-return cars can be a great deal as many are on a maintenance plan, but former rental cars may have led a harsh existence.
Avoid “salvage” titles.
California vehicles must have top level EPA devices that are in working order. California is the most stringent on automotive environmental standards. With this in mind, remember: California cars may have emission equipment Michigan vehicle do not have.
Yes, rust can be a Michigan issue too. Add to that the possibility of overused suspensions as Michigan roads tend to be rougher than Californian roads. Along with all of that, keep in mind that while Michigan cars may have the scars of snow and rough roads, Californian cars that are exposed to sea water (mixed with heat) can have serious rust and paint issues too.
Thanks for the email!
This last question is from a 16 year-old who wants a Jeep Wrangler.
Q: Hi Nathan, I am 16 years old and looking for a first car. I’ve been working to save up enough to buy a car.
I really want a jeep wrangler, and from what I saw on craigslist it would be a TJ. When i was browsing I came across a 1963 Willy’s cj5 that appeared to be in very good condition and in my price range of around $5000. I was wondering from you if that is a good buy or to just stick to a TJ.
A: Hi Alex!
Interesting question, but my answer is simple: go for the the Jeep TJ. While an old man like me would definately consider the Jeep CJ5 as a project, the Jeep TJ is a better daily driver, easier to live with, more comfortable and a lot safer.
Enjoy your Jeep and remember to take those corners slowly!
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