Eight years ago, I bought a very nice, practically new sedan – an Acura RL complete with their full technology package. I especially loved all the safety features: run-flat tires that would function for 100 miles after they were damaged, an anti collision system that braked and stopped the car automatically and Bluetooth integration to minimize phone distractions for the driver. 

Last year, I entered a new phase of my life and it was time to “upgrade” to a minivan.  Even though my sedan had almost 100,000 miles on it, I secretly dreaded giving it up because of its technology package.  Even so, I was ready to make a deal with the devil for the sliding doors and unlimited storage space.  As you may remember from my previous blog on the minivan selection, my heels were dug in about one required feature, keyless entry, but once Honda added that feature into their Odyssey, we were ready to buy.

I braced myself for the adjustment.  I had a feeling that I didn’t even know what all I was going to miss until I started driving the van.  As you may have surmised, I was shocked to find that this much less expensive car ($35K sticker versus $55K sticker) had better technology, overall.  It didn’t have my run-flat tires that delayed my retirement a couple years to maintain, but it did have incredible iPhone integration (I can text through my car and it reads to me), more blind spot warnings with a camera in the side door and likely better impact protection.

Conventional “Millionaire next door” wisdom is to buy a slightly used car and drive it as long as possible.  I was a fan of that buying philosophy until my latest switch.  Technology, specifically safety features, phone integration and navigation, is now so important to me that I’ll be buying less expensive cars, more often.