A little over eight years ago Reiko and I bought our first car. The little Daihatsu proved to be a solid investment with minimal maintenance needs outside of the bi-annual, government-mandated emissions and safety check. Thinking back, there were only three occasions where the car needed some work performed. Twice after the vehicle came back from its inspections, and once after bouncing into a rather large and unavoidable pothole. Mechanically, I would expect this car to be perfectly usable for at least another decade given the right set of conditions. That said, those conditions do not match the situation that Reiko and I find ourselves in today, which is why we traded in the Daihatsu for a bigger Mazda Premacy.
This car is the third rather large purchase that we've made this year, with the other two also appearing in the photos1. As a result, our savings account has dwindled to its lowest level in almost five years. So long as there are no drastic emergencies in the next twelve months, we should get back to our regular safety balance.
One of the primary reasons we chose to replace our still-functioning car with a larger vehicle is the weight of the family. When Reiko, the boy, and I climb into the car, the engine clearly has to work to get up the hills around our neighbourhood. Our house is built atop a flattened mountain that sits just over 100m higher than the nearby city where we buy groceries and other necessities. We need a vehicle that can handle the weight of its passengers and cargo without signs of obvious struggle. A 6-cylinder Mazda is certainly more capable of this than a 3-cylinder Daihatsu.
Another reason we picked up this particular car was because it has the storage space to accommodate all the things we might need when ferrying the boy from place to place. While the Daihatsu could carry quite a bit thanks to the skills honed by years of Tetris in the 90s, there was a very obvious limit that typically appeared when trying to buy just diapers and groceries. Yes, we could fit both in the car, but it meant going home with elbows in strange positions. The Premacy should solve this problem for the time being.
Other justifications for why we went with the new car was its design, colour, features, and a myriad of other reasons that made sense at the time and will hopefully continue to make sense as we acclimate to having a larger vehicle and the higher costs that come with it.
As I said earlier, so long as this is the last big purchase that we'll make for a couple of years, then I'll be satisfied.
The house was technically bought in December of last year, but the first mortgage payment wasn't made until April. The landscape — which is still devoid of plant life — cost more than the car and will see more work done next spring as we plant a tree and start a garden.