Car sales may be slow, but even the most frugal consumers have to replace their cars sometime. Anthony Stolp had hoped to hang onto his 1998 Acura Integra for a while longer. But when a coolant hose blew in September and he had to shell out $100 for the repair and tow, he gave in and sold the hail-battered old vehicle.
"I just wasn't going to trust it," said Stolp, 28, of St. Paul. "I didn't feel like dumping any more money into that car."
Since the Integra's odometer had passed 284,000 miles, most people would say he got his money's worth. Especially since his father gave him the car, back when it was a youngster with a mere 120,000 miles. But Stolp was disappointed -- he was shooting for 300,000.
"That Integra was probably one of the best cars ever made," Stolp said. Acura discontinued the model in 2001. "I don't know why they stopped making them, but they were stupid to do it."
Still, he's happy with the car he bought in its place, a bright blue 2011 Subaru WRX. Stolp, who drives extensively for his job in insurance sales, wanted a vehicle with decent gas mileage, and all- or four-wheel drive for better performance in snow. He nixed a moon roof to avoid the extra weight that drags down fuel efficiency. After doing some research, he decided on a Subaru because "they have a great reputation and they also have a great resale value."
Though that won't be an issue anytime soon; Stolp plans on keeping his new car for a good long time.
"Probably till the wheels fall off," he said. "Why get rid of it if it's still running?"