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Honda Fit Sport, 10 Year Cost of Ownership

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So my "fun" cars get all the attention on this blog, but I thought I'd give some credit to my "everyday" car: a 2010 Honda Fit Sport. In 2010, when I bought it, the Honda Fit was the only car that ticked all the boxes that I needed: (1) big enough to comfortably transport a 150lb. Newfoundland and (2) small enough to easily park in San Francisco. Even today there's nearly nothing else on the market that satisfies these two requirements. The key to transporting huge dogs is Honda's " Magic Seat " fold-down "Utility" rear seat configuration. Because these seats fold flat into the floor, they transform the back of the Fit into a truly GIGANTIC storage space with enough headroom for standing Newfie. All while still being a sub-compact for street parking purposes. Nothing else on the market manages that combination (the Ford C-Max had seats that fold flat , but it's over a foot longer). But the reason for this post is not to cele

Mod #5: Phone Pouch

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The Problem: Like most ND Miata drivers, I generally keep my phone in the little cubby next to the USB ports. But when accelerating rapidly from a standstill (aka "hard pull"), the phone will slide out, often falling into the driver's side footwell and sliding around some more. That's not ideal, especially since being distracted by trying to catch your phone mid-acceleration is not exactly safe. The Solution: I've velcro'd a pouch to the side of the transmission tunnel, right next to my right leg.  I affixed it with velcro (the hook side, which sticks to the interior carpet nicely). This also frees up the cubby for other things that hopefully won't slide out.

Miata: One Year Cost of Ownership

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I'm actually late on this one, since I've now had the car for 16 months or so. Other than the modifications I've already detailed ( here and here ), the only out-of-pocket costs have been gas and the 5,000 mile service ($106). Oh, and I also applied protective film to the front of the car right after purchase to protect the paint from chipping. That was pretty pricey (~$2k), but it's a one time cost. Overall, that sounds pretty great, especially when compared to the maintenance costs I had with my previous cars . But you expect low maintenance costs for a new car. The trade-off is depreciation. And there, the news is never good for a new car. Kelley Blue Book estimates  depreciation of about ~$5k from my purchase price (that's not counting taxes, title, and registration costs, which in California are another 10% or so on top of the purchase price). This still makes the Miata the cheapest to own of the cars I've discussed on this blog (but not as cheap a

My 911 Turbo Gets Sold Again on BaT

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Well, well, well. The buyer of my 2002 Porsche 911 Turbo has just sold it on Bring A Trailer . In the four years since he bought it and took it to North Carolina, it appears he put about 4,000 miles on it (~1,000 miles/year) and invested another ~$5k in maintenance (new clutch, rear main seal). The car sold on BaT for $42,500 (recall, BaT adds a 5% fee on top of that), which is $2,500 less than I got on BaT in 2016 . His failure to run a DME report  (which records "over-revs" where the driver has pushed the engine too hard) probably cost him a little. But the he got roughly what he paid for the car on resale. Overall, this confirms that these cars are still at or near their price nadir. Of course, there's still the cost of maintenance -- this car has absorbed ~$15k in maintenance over the past 5 years! But given all the work that has been done, along with the low mileage, I'm guessing the next 5 years should be quiet ones. Although the next owner will need new t

The Perfect Circuit

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There they are. The best driving roads I've ever experienced. Miata-perfect. Coastal California gets all the attention, but it's really inland central California where the best Miata roads are. From Carmel Valley to Paso Robles, and then from Paso Robles up to Gilroy. Glorious. Mostly through hilly ranch land, with a military base thrown in. Virtually no traffic at all (well, other than in Paso Robles itself). A great mix of tight corners and long sweeping curves. Mostly two-lane, but some single lane stuff thrown in for variety. Altogether, this is 237 miles that takes just over 5 hours. Other than Carmel Valley, Paso Robles, and Gilroy, there are few services available, so plan accordingly for your gas and bladder needs. Carmel Valley to Paso Robles (this is basically G16 and G14): East Carmel Valley Road (G16) to Arroyo Seco Road (G16), then left and over the bridge on Elm Avenue (G16), then right on Central Avenue to 101. Lots of ascending and descending, tight tu

Miata: Mod #4, Backup Cam

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A backup camera. The 2019 MX-5 has one. The 2018 MX-5 for the Japanese domestic market has one. But not the pre-2019 MX-5s destined for US shores, including mine. Now it can reasonably be asked why you need a backup cam for such a small car, especially if the top is down. Well, first, the top isn't always down, and the rear visibility with the top up isn't great. Second, even with the top down, the backup cam lets you see things that are otherwise obscured. Especially at curb level. Like, for example, the curb itself. When parallel parking, I appreciate the additional information, which should reduce the risk of curb rash when I mess up the entry. Fortunately, you can self-install the exact camera that came as standard equipment in Japan in 2016-2018 MX-5s. The OEM camera and wiring harness are available from Rev-9 or Amayama ( wiring , camera ). Once installed, the camera video immediately appears on the dash display when you shift into reverse and the on-screen guide

Four Seasons in One Day

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A lovely NorCal, midweek, 127-mile drive today, trailing a friend on a motorcycle. First was the familiar path up to Tomales: over the mountain (slow, wet) to Stinson Beach, then straight up Hwy 1 to Point Reyes Station for lunch, then onward to Tomales. The weather included mostly rain and fog, unfortunately, so there wasn't much opportunity to push things (one early skid reminded me how little traction there is in the rain). From Tomales, it was all new roads to me. First Tomales Petaluma Road, then Chileno Valley Road, then Pt. Reyes Petaluma Road, winding upward to Nicasio Reservoir, a lovely spot I'd never been to before. Then downhill on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. to (sunny!) Fairfax before climbing back up into the hills for the most insane bunch of switchbacks on Fairfax Bolinas Road. Back on top of the ridge above Stinson Beach on W. Ridgecrest Blvd., we were enrobed in thick fog until closing the loop back onto Hwy 1 via Panoramic Highway. Fog, rain, sun, clouds.