New set of wheels

At long last, I’m liberated. By that I mean, I have a car. How did I manage without one for over one year in LA. Shopping will be more convenient for heavy and bulky items, and no more waiting for buses. Yay!

After looking for a used sedan / small nippy hatchback for over four weeks and having zero luck, I finally settled on a car to buy. I’ve mainly been trying private owners, so I’d thought I’d change my strategy and try out a few local dealerships located on Santa Monica Blvd. Normally I’d never touch dealerships unless I was purchasing a new car, but I was getting desperate for a set of wheels.

The question was, could I find anything within my low $4000 budget. I did, although it was the second car I looked at on the day after test driving a Mitsubishi Eclipse. The Eclipse turned out to be an ex-rental car, so that put me off straight away.

I present to you…

The 1990 Lexus LS 400. It’s a large luxury rear wheel drive 4 door sedan with a 4.0L V8 engine and 250hp. Its equipped with plenty of premium options, such as leather seats, electric windows and mirrors. Electric seat adjustments for both front seats, digital temperature control, moon roof, and even seat warmers.

The car was in good condition overall. No accidents according to its history report and surprisingly only one owner which is a rare find considering this car is 22 years old. There are a few minor dings and scrapes on the body work, but that was to be expected.  The leather interior was somewhat worn in a lot of places, especially on the steering wheel. The electrics all worked which shows this car was maintained to a high level.

Engine runs really smooth compared to other cars I test drove recently and it’s almost silent when driving compared to other 4.0L cars. It handles well for such a large vehicle, but I had to get used to taking corners a little bit wider due to the length.

Since I prefer driving cars with manual transmission, I did find the the Lexus a little slow to shift to a lower gear when I put my foot down, but when it does kick in, it’ll accelerate leaving the car behind you in your rear view mirror looking like a spec of dust.

That wasn’t all though, it also had a 6 CD changer in the boot, and even a phone between the driver and passenger seat.

I bet 10 year old models of the Honda Civic didn’t even have half as many options available.

Fuel economy turns out to be 16 mpg, and it has a 22.5 gallon tank. A full tank would cost me around $80 to $90, and that would get me around 350 miles. Since my commute to work is so near, I probably have to fill up once every 2.5 months.


6 thoughts on “New set of wheels

  1. Not sure if the other comments been saved, but that brick of a phone is hilarious!
    Just started the Steve Jobs Biog, really cool – you’d love it!

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