I know exactly what you’re thinking — if I sold my Subaru STi for a Honda Civic Si, I must be a complete idiot, right? Well, in my opinion, it was the smartest move I have ever made.
This summer I celebrated my two year anniversary of Civic ownership. Although there is certainly much less excitement in my morning commute and I no longer get stares of admiration and excited compliments at red lights, I’m still happy. Although sports car ownership is certainly a blast (when said sports car is actually in working order), I had to find out the hard way that excitement and enjoyment don’t always trump practicality. Instead of dragging you through a 5,000 word thesis about why I chose to live a life of practicality, I’ll keep it short with a nice, tidy list.
1. Owning a sports car is expensive
No, I’m not talking about the initial cost of the vehicle. Both my 2005 STi and 2013 Civic Si were just about $22,000 at the time of purchase. The difference? The Civic was brand new, bone stock and had something that most car enthusiasts can only dream of – a warranty. Sports cars, however, are generally made of far more costly parts, these parts often wear out faster than they would on the average car, and with my luck, they seem to all start failing at the same time. Unless you have already factored in significantly steeper maintenance costs in your monthly automotive budget, you might want to crunch some numbers with that in mind. Guess how much I’ve spent on repairs for the Civic? Nothing. The only maintenance I’ve paid for is a set of tires and oil changes. That’s OK in my book!
2. Owning a sports car is a lifestyle change
No, I’m not saying you need to race everywhere you drive, or anything like that. But you’ll have to adapt to some serious road noise, harsh ride quality, a loud exhaust note, and more often than not, dealing with a third pedal in traffic. Now, all of these traits are also some of the things that I remember most fondly, but the average person can’t stand it. Your passengers are always going to have something to say about the lack of comfort, and some days you’ll wonder why you put yourself through this. Although I certainly miss that car with a passion, I’m pretty damn comfortable in my Civic.
3. You’re a target for police
The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right? Well, the loud car gets the bacon grease. If you’re in a car that stands out, cops will be all over you. Trust me, I know from experience. Have a modified exhaust? There’s a potential ticket. Police will single you out, praying for you to slip up so they can empty out your bank account with dubious traffic violations and fix-it tickets. Pulled over for speeding? Don’t even think about expecting a warning this time around. Although the occasional officer will compliment your car or ask you to pop the hood out of curiosity, a majority of LEOs will take this as an opportunity to charge you for all the offenses you’ve surely committed in their absence. Now that I have the Civic, I can drive however I want and still manage to fly under the radar.
4. Creature comforts – or lack thereof
I now have Bluetooth, iPhone connectivity, steering wheel controls, a dependable air conditioning system and great ride quality. Although I certainly miss the sportier feel of my STi, my Civic is a proverbial La-Z-Boy. My passengers are content, I can make it to work without my AC failing on me, and hell, I can actually hold a conversation in my car without shouting.
5. Now I can buy another sports car!
You honestly though I could just give up on sports car ownership just like that? Although I’ll probably never heavily modify my sole means of transportation again, I’ve managed to save enough money in the Subaru’s absence that I can not only buy myself a fun project car, but keep the Civic to daily drive! I’m certainly not about to shell out $22,000 any time soon, but I have several thousand dollars to buy a nice track car and plan to throw in a more gutsy motor soon after the initial purchase. In case you’re wondering, the car of choice is an S13 coupe, or a Nissan 240sx for those that aren’t fluent in chassis code. Given how cheap it is to own my Civic, I’ll have plenty of spare change to waste on the hypothetical S13.
There you have it. Although I certainly miss my STi with a passion, selling it was the best decision I have ever made. It led to greater financial stability throughout my college years, less stress, a more comfortable daily driver, and now, the ability to purchase a track car upon graduating this December.