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Car Talk


Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

My husband and I plan to buy a
newer vehicle soon. I commute about
45 minutes to an hour each way. My
husband is just a mile from his job.
We have a 2014 Fiat 500 with 75,000
miles, but we need a second vehicle
because we are both on call for our
jobs. If one of us has the car, then the
other (my husband) has to walk to
work or home in all kinds of weather.
My husband would like me to buy a
used Hyundai Santa Fe with low mileage, but I know he would love a truck.
He wants me to take the new vehicle
that we buy to work every day.
I know that a truck would cost more
in gas, but I think it would make him
happier in the short run.
What do you suggest? — SUZANNE
I suggest a used Hyundai Santa Fe
and one of those big, golf umbrellas.
The good news is that if you’ve
been happy with the Fiat 500,
you’ll be happy with anything, Suzanne.
If the Hyundai Santa
Fe or something similar
appeals to you, that’s
what you should get.
When you’re commuting
up to two hours a day,
you should drive something you really like. So,
whatever that is, get it.
Meanwhile, the Fiat
is perfect for your

commute. It’s only a mile, so if the
Fiat breaks down, he’ll never have to
walk more than a mile. That’s what the
aforementioned, oversized umbrella
is for.
Honestly, Suzanne, you’ve been very
lucky with the Fiat. While cute as hell
and fun to drive, its reliability record is
among the worst of all cars rated by that
major consumer magazine we all read.
And therein lies the beauty of this
plan. When the Fiat dies — or requires
its next major repair — your husband
should plan to get a truck to replace it.
That’ll make him happy, and because
he commutes only a mile each way,
even if the truck gets only 15 miles per
gallon, it’ll still take him five months to
go through a tank of gas. Neither the
cost of gasoline nor its environmental
impact is of great concern because of
how little he drives.
Meanwhile, you’ll be happily cruising back and forth to work in your
Lexus RX-350 (or whatever
makes you happy), laughing at podcasts of Car
Get something
you’ll really enjoy,
Suzanne. Something
worthy of spending two hours a day
in. And when the
Fiat says arrivederci
(tell your hubby not to
worry, it shouldn’t be
long), he should do the
same for himself.

Got a question about cars? Write to Ray in care of King Features, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando,
FL 32803, or email by visiting the Car Talk website at
(c) 2019 by Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman


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