Originally Posted by Jim Rogers
You're right, Dirk, and what you outline is along the lines of what I'm thinking. I feel sort of binary on this choice-- if I have to accept even one frill, then I feel like I might as well have them all.
I.e., a 2017 ES seems like the most stripped model one can have. If I go to a 2015, I have to accept auto climate control. Ok, maybe that's not such a big deal because maybe that system is reliable enough that it doesn't really add any complication.
But if I go to a 2018 ES, then I get a screen and a backup camera. I hate screens! And a backup camera seems totally unneeded in such a small car. So, if I accept that camera/screen, I might as well get the cruise, usb, forward collision monitoring, etc. Which means that a 2018 ES is almost the worst of all worlds-- I take on a frill I really don't want, but I don't get several that I do want.
So, I guess my current order of preference is:
#1: 2017 ES. The most stripped, but not seeing many of them around. For some reason, what few are listed are priced high. Maybe that will change-- I'll continue to look.
#2: 2015 DE. As stripped as the 2017 ES except for auto climate controls. Lots of them for sale, many at good prices (even with low miles). I might favor the softer ride and I'm ok with the older styling. Don't want the auto climate control, but it might not be that big of a deal.
#3: 2019 ES. Has the bluetooth, touchscreen and backup camera that I hate, but I get cruise (that I want). Last year of manual HVAC.
#4: 2020+. Not that much worse (as far as frills) than the 2019. Gotta accept auto climate controls (but, hey, I would have to take that in the 2015!) and forward collision monitoring, but is that really all that much more stuff than the 2019? In exchange the car would be much newer. On the other hand, it would also be much more expensive.
With that list in mind, I'm keeping an eye out for a 2017 ES that might pop up at a low price (seems unlikely anytime soon), or go for a $4-5K 2015 DE (of which I'm seeing several that look to be in good shape and have 90-110K miles).
That's the current thinking, anyway. But since I'm just at the beginning of thinking about all this, I could change my mind at any time!