Sure, there are newer, faster, more fuel-efficient (not to mention fully electric), more luxurious cars out there. But nothing beats driving a paid-off car.
You think you love your car when it's brand new? You'll love it even more when it's paid off.
Did your car just get dinged? Oh no worries, it's already paid off. 😉
Does this mean that after paying off your car, you won't get tempted into buying a new one? Absolutely not 😄
So then what's the point of this post? Stay with me for a bit.
As a car guy, I struggle with this since I'm always enamored by cool new cars. However, the experience of not having a car payment, will make you think twice about signing up for another car loan. At least, it does for me.
This is a gem that I ran into on YouTube. If you like cars and driving, you might like this road trip series. If you like 90s JDM cars, especially Mazda RX-7s, then you'll most likely love this series.
While I've enjoyed watching road trip episodes from Top Gear, I always felt like they were out of reach. Like the cars were out of reach, the people doing the road trips were out of reach. Those were big budget production episodes and it felt that way.
This one though is different. While these guys were sponsored, this one still feels relatable. This feels like seeing a couple of car enthusiast friends film their road trip. It feels down to earth. It feels like something a regular joe, like you and me, can do.
As the title states, it's a road trip across 48 states in two Mazda FD RX-7s. One is still running a rotary engine, while the other has a K-swapped Honda engine. Interesting, right?
It's also very nicely shot. The cinematography, if that is the right word, is beautiful. The choice of background music is beautiful. I've never thought seeing somebody wash a car would illicit an emotional response from me, but it did. Then there's the numerous clips showing a Mazda FD RX-7 in motion. It's like watching poetry in motion. Just stunning to see a red and yellow Mazda FD RX-7 cruising on the highway. It's a sight that I'll probably never get tired of seeing. I consider the Mazda FD RX-7, one of the most beautiful cars ever made.
Anyway, I've run out of words and time. I hope you enjoy watching these as much as I did. And to the car enthusiasts out there, enjoy driving your fun to drive cars. It won't be long before our stick shift enthusiasts cars will be replaced by self-driving electric cars.
They gave me a CX-5 as my loaner car for last week. It was a 2020 Grand Touring Reserve model, which means AWD with the turbo! It was hilariously fast, for a family CUV that is. That Mazda SkyActiv 2.5T engine is strong. Love the power in everyday driving.
Got back my Mazdaspeed3 last Saturday. I'm glad to have it back. But I also have to say that I was so spoiled by that CX-5 turbo loaner car. It was a really good car!
Anyway, cost to repair the leak in the Mazdaspeed3 transmission was $1,071. It was actually the transmission shifting mechanism that was leaking, not the transmission itself. Thankfully it was an affordable repair bill. And that's thanks to an emergency fund set up for times like this.
2020 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring? I wasn't sure what trim this was as it was just a loaner car.
I really enjoyed the 2020 Mazda CX-5 loaner car. I had it for a few days while the Speed3 was in the shop. I think it's a great daily driver. It wasn't the top of the line CX-5 trim, but it had a Bose sound system, heated seats, heated steering wheel and even had power folding mirrors. I think it also had ventilated seats, but I didn't get to try it out.
It didn't have the turbo engine, but it drove really well. Sure, it could use more passing power at highway speeds, but the engine felt responsive and strong. The biggest difference in my opinion, between the engine in this 2020 CX-5 and our 2016 CX-5, is the powerband. They both have the same 2.5 liter 4 cylinder SkyActiv-G engine. The newer engines do have cylinder-deactivation. But the powerband on the 2016 CX-5 goes from 3250 to 5700 RPM, while the powerband on the 2020 CX-5 goes from 4000 to 6000 RPM. Technically, the 2016 CX-5 has a wider powerband, so it should feel stronger in everyday driving. But this was not the case.
The much improved throttle response on the newer CX-5, plus the powerband being at the higher end of the RPM range, meant the newer CX-5 felt stronger in everyday driving. It also made for a much more fun drive. Bury the throttle on a 2020 CX-5 and the transmission puts you right into the powerband, where you can wind it out to 6000 RPM if you want to. The 2016 CX-5 on the other hand, feels like it runs out of steam before the redline. It's like the 2016 CX-5 doesn't want to be revved to redline, while the 2020 CX-5 wants you to redline it as often as you want.
While trying to take a nap last Sunday afternoon, my mind wandered off to a scene in Cars 1 where Lightning McQueen was struggling to pull Bessie. I mean sure, Bessie is a huge, heavy, road paving machine. But isn't Lightning McQueen supposed to be a high powered race car? If so, why was he struggling to pull Bessie? Where did all his horsepower go? The answer I came up with (if true) helped me better understand the differences between horsepower and torque.
I had never driven anything powered by a Wankel, and the contrast of the RX-7 compared to everything with wheels I had experienced was stark, and noticeable immediately. The feedback normally received from a piston engine is not felt, due to the fact that there is no more conversion from vertical to rotational motion, a rotary engine (as implied by the name) involves no vertical momentum. It's not that the engine refuses to communicate with you, it's just speaking an entirely different language. The whiny exhaust note has an odd property to it that can be heard from no other source. It conjures up images of the mysterious, angry pair of triangles whirling about in their cage. Purely imaginary, of course.
Because the Wankel is so smooth, I found myself wondering why I should shift up. A piston engine makes you anxious when you push it close to the redline. Most send the driver a variety of auditory and tactile messages indicating that they must either shift up, or face a molten tie rod to the head. The RX-7, however, gives no such indication. When close to the redline, one hears only an excited whir. The result (forgive the upcoming Disney analogy) is an almost magic carpet-like experience. It's as though the power simply materializes before you with no apparent source or sacrifice.
What a good read! I found myself hopping over to Autotrader looking for used RX-8s around my area after reading this piece. Then, reality set in and I realized that I am in no position to be owning a second car. I say second car because I'm not sure I would replace my Mazdaspeed3 with an RX-8. Hard to give up the hatch, the passing power and better gas mileage from the Speed3.
Back in October of 2019, I had the clutch replaced on my daily driver, a 2013 Mazdaspeed3. The clutch started to slip as I neared 90,000 miles on the odometer. From then on, it just started to slip more and more. All I could do at that point was to get the clutch replaced. Here is a list of parts that I had to purchase to get it replaced.
Research on deindividuation theory has been conducted in numerous settings (not just driving) and has found that when we feel anonymous, we’re more likely to disregard societal norms for behavior.
Basically, it’s easier to get mad at someone when we don’t know them because we’re less likely to be held accountable for it.
“It’s the same reason why people feel like they’re entitled to be angry on certain social media platforms,” Dr. Himanshu Agrawal (a psychiatrist at the Medical College of Wisconsin) explains.
Since we rarely know the person in the car next to us (and since we also have a box of glass/steel between us and them), driving creates that sense of anonymity, making it easier for us to lash out.
When I decided to read this article, I was doing so because I wanted to learn more about road rage and how to avoid it. I didn't expect to run into this gem. This article basically says that one of the causes for road rage, is also responsible for the sad state of communications online. If you really read into it, it does make sense.
Totally did not expect that car to be the winner... but if you read through this highly detailed and descriptive article, you'll understand why that car won. Really good read, especially if you are a car enthusiast.
When it came to lap times, we enlisted a licensed club racer with no Thunderhill experience: me. We did this for a reason, and it wasn’t to build my ego. Most of our readers are not pro drivers. When you buy a new car, a professional’s lap time at any track is an interesting metric, but it’s rarely reflective of a normal person’s experience. We wanted to stress accessibility and adaptability. How easy is it to get up to speed in a given car? How communicative is the car? Is it hard to learn the quirks? Under the watchful eyes of our testing staff, every PCOTY contender got a quick warm-up session to set tire pressures, then no more than seven timed laps. Just enough to establish a representative lap and suss idiosyncrasies, not enough to set a record.
I love that. More car magazines/publications should follow suit.