Today is my last with my truck. It’s been a good truck, never gave me any problems, always there when I need it, and takes miles like a champ. Unfortunately, I just can’t justify keeping it. I don’t use it for hauling anything other than myself often enough to justify the $70-$100/week it eats in gas. And room it takes up the garage. And space on the road. Did I mention gas? So, I’ve decided to trade my loyal truck in for a 2004 Dodge Neon SXT. It’s a bit of an econobox, but it’s still a Dodge. The low-end acceleration is a lot better than my truck, and the gas mileage is supposed to be over twice what I’m getting out of my Dakota.
- Money. Payments will be cut by nearly $100/mo, insurance is going down $60/6months, gasoline bill is going down $200-$300/mo.
- Slightly more refined. The Neon has power doors/locks/windows and cruise control, all of which my Dakota lacks. It also has dark tinted windows and a spoiler.
- Same color. There are very few colors I think a Neon looks good with, and the Metallic Gray is one of them.
- People space. It’s a four door car, so when we go places with friends I can drive more than Beth and I if needed.
- Stuff space. The trunk is pretty large, and the back seat folds down for even more room.
- Smaller. Easier to park, maneuver.
- Dodge. I guess I’ve just got a bit of brand loyalty since their vehicles haven’t ever given me major problems and are tough as tanks in an accident.
- Not my truck.
- Not new. I don’t know how it’s been treated for the first 14,324 miles of it’s existence, whereas with the truck I put every mile from 3-32,568 on it.
- Stuff space. No matter how much trunk room it’s got, I still can’t move furniture, appliances, yard waste, etc. in it.
- Smaller. I lose my command seating, and excellent view of the road. My only complaint about my old ‘93 Shadow was that it was hard to see what’s going on in front of me, and now I’m going back to that same situation.
- Small car engine. When you get it up into the higher RPMs, you can tell it has a 2.0L I4 in it. Even the Shadow had a 3.0L V6. The higher pitched whine of the engine is going to take some getting used to.
Maybe someday when I finish my master’s degree, get a decent raise, drive less, move into another house that needs real construction, and have 200,000 miles on the Neon, I’ll buy a new Dakota once again. Until then, so long, old friend. You’ve done well.