Long rambling personal thoughts ahead from someone turning 30 next month, and is melancholic about getting older. I guess the TL;DR is what do you think your next car after the mirage will be and why?
I drive by a Hyundai dealership daily and they had this neat looking vehicle on display called the Santa Cruz which looks like if a F150 shagged a current Elantra. It's a crossover truck I guess. I was curious about the specs so I figured I'd take a look. Unfortunately it checks very few of my boxes. It has a good deal of utility having a truck bed and all, but poor fuel economy, and at least in Canada, it's quite expensive at 39000ish CAD before expenses or about 43000 CAD with everything.
When I was looking up the Santa Cruz, I was seeing it compared to a small Ford truck currently coming to the market called the Maverick. The Maverick seems to be a substantially smarter, if not a slightly more boring machine. It has a larger truck bed, 4 full seats, a fairly efficient hybrid engine that has an economy of 5.9 L/100 km combined, and an entry price of 29000ish CAD including freight and extra fees, 31000ish with tax.
My Mirage is currently very near 200000 km. I bought it with 28000 km for 11000 CAD. I bought it in British Columbia in 2017 and drove it cross country to Ontario with a then long distance girlfriend. That relationship has long since dissolved, but the car is still with me and has served me well for years. It is a machine of supreme utility, and great reliability, which is why I think we all like it so much. It checks most of the boxes of us here, and of course it does; we bought it for a reason when most everyone said it sucked. That being said, the new ones are pretty expensive, and there have been no improvements to warrant the current prices. I just did a build on their site and it said it would be 19000ish CAD for the cheapest automatic.
I'm pretty sure with some care, I should be able to get a few more years out of my Mirage, provided the transmission doesn't grenade. It's simple enough and it's comfortable enough, and after 170000 km, it really feels like home. I've tried faster cars, fancier cars, supposedly more "fun" cars, but I find myself loving this one more when I'm driving it again. Part of that is probably just a healthy respect for something that works as well as it does. I have a habit of naming my machines old lady names. I settled on Mary Jackson for my Mirage. She was an underappreciated mathematician that worked on the Apollo missions. Due to her skin and circumstances, she faced adversity but kept diligently, and efficiently doing the actual work and moving things forward. It was partly a joke on the car being black, but it clearly would fit even if the car wasn't.
I want something as uncomplicated and unfussy as possible like the mirage, for so many reasons; there's less that will break, I don't have to baby it, repairs and maintenance are cheap when even necessary, they are convenient, economical, and in a way, the car is an expression of humility. I grew up in a culture that's more aspirational than I care for. My parents and family drive luxury cars, but they work like sled dogs. My car is a rejection. I live a simpler life, drive a simpler car, have free time to actually care for myself and generally put my extra money to investments as I have no interest in showing off. This has worked well for me in most ways that matter. That being said, in a couple years when it is time to buy a new vehicle, I'm guessing I'll be able to find things like the Maverick for under 20k CAD, and that thing basically has the same mileage that the mirage does with a truck bed, larger interior, and probably undeniably superior safety. Hybrid engines are also a very proven technology at this point and last years upon years with minor repair; it's not rare to see old Prius' with 3,4,500000 km. Say what you will about Ford as well, but their trucks are also known to be reliable.
I guess what I'm saying is, unless they really do something to the mirage, both I and the market appear to be outgrowing it, and I don't even want to outgrow it. Give it a hybrid option or something. Give me like a 3 L/100 km phenom, which probably could be easily done if they're getting 5.9 out a whole ass truck that's 700 kg heavier. At least that would justify the increase in price. Give me another Mary Jackson.
As it stands, I really don't know what I'm getting next, but if the Maverick proves it's reliability over the next couple years, I think it's a contender. What do you guys think? Do you have any interesting thoughts on what your post Mirage life will be? More mirage perhaps? A lot of us have to be getting close, the car came out in 2014.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts!