Thoughts on Owning a Lexus After 9 Months

INSIDE: In this Lexus review, you’ll learn what it’s like to own a Lexus, straight from someone who has. Learn what he loved, what he didn’t like, and if he’d do it again.

Ever wondered what type of cars us financial bloggers drive? If so, you’re in for a treat today :)

My man MP from just collected data from over 20 different bloggers on what they’re riding these days, and why, and was kind enough to let us debut it on Rockstar Finance yesterday. Check it out when you get a chance!

The Cars of Personal Finance Bloggers

Some of the bloggers featured are Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist, Brandon from Mad Fientist, Justin from Root of Good, Jesse from YNAB (his car was my favorite surprise, especially considering he founded a budgeting company! ;)), the Financial Samurai, Mr 1500 Days, Paula from Afford Anything, The Frugalwoods, Physician on Fire, and Jason Fieber from Free At 33 – formerly Dividend Mantra.

You may be surprised what frugal people rock ;)

And if you haven’t been reading this blog for more than 9 months, you may be surprised what I drive too. In a nutshell, I went from this:

frankencaddy(1993 “Frankencaddy” – 90,000 miles, fully paid off, side hustle king!)

To this:

Lexus review[2008 Lexus RX-350, 80,000 miles, car loan]

All in a span of a couple of weeks and totally unplanned, haha… I wrote about the whole thing in depth here (Bye Bye Frankencaddy, Hello Car Payments!), but the short version is that I needed a bigger, more reliable, car as I was taking over responsibility of driving my little nuggets around every day, and out of all the cars we looked at this was the only one that *excited me* enough to want to spend any money. I don’t really care about labels or how fancy/expensive things are, but stuff I consume DOES need to make me happy. And as long as I can afford it, it’s fair game.

The beauty of personal finance, eh?

Anyways, it came down to picking up a used minivan or a used luxury car (both around the same price, interestingly enough) and, well, for once I splurged and picked up the fancier one. I did wish I had more time to search for a cheaper and privately owned model vs snatching it from Carmax, but outside of that I’ve surprisingly had little regrets. In fact, I’m actually MORE in love with it than the day I took it home!

It’s been about 9 months now since owning it, so today I thought I’d share my thoughts so far in this Lexus review. While hopefully not losing any more of you in the process :)

(The day I blogged about this purchase broke the record for the most unsubscribes ever here! HAH!)

My Lexus Review: What I’ve Learned After Owning One

My Lexus review is probably going to be very different than others you’ll find. I’m not going to go into all of the details and features. I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned and if I would do it again.

We’ll start with the items that shocked me the most…

#1. A luxury car feels damn good to be in!

This just has to be first in my Lexus review. I know everyone (including myself) likes to say “a car is just a car and it gets me from point a to point b”, but the truth of the matter is that some just feel nicer to be in! You may not need or want a luxurious ride, but they’re definitely not all made the same. And never again will I assume people are buying them simply for “status.” I know many are, but there’s something to be said about the quality too. I’m just hoping I haven’t screwed myself from ever owning a hoopty again, haha…

#2. I’ve got more swagger than usual.

I don’t know if this will shock you as much as it did me, but I actually feel more confident riding around in this thing. I don’t know why that is, and I know I probably shouldn’t, but in all honesty I do. I just feel GOOD driving it around town, and even more so when I step into it for the first time of the day! Now granted, I also felt pretty pimp’ish rolling out in my Caddy too, but there’s a nuanced difference in the type of swaggership going on here, haha… How do you put a cost on that when factoring stuff in? ;)

#3. My charitable giving has skyrocketed

Tell me the truth: if you see a fancy car rolling up to a street corner and a homeless man is there asking for money and the driver turns a blind eye, what’s the first thought that goes through your mind? Be honest! Mine? “What an a-hole!” “You can afford that car but can’t afford to dish out a few dollars? Come on now….”  Haha… Now what if this same car that rolled up was a beater? ;)

Obviously there are a TON of factors as to why someone does or doesn’t give out money, and I’m clearly in no position to judge, but for me personally, I just find it MUCH harder to *not* give when I’m sitting in a car that’s not at all a necessity. And if I had to guess, I’d say my charitable giving has at least tripled since buying this car. Whether on the street corners or in life in general. Who would have guessed that??

In fact, this same period of ownership has also seen me finally get our philanthropy project up and running too after all these years!! Which has already helped give out over $5,000! Now perhaps it’s purely coincidental, but then again who knows… All I do know is that I’ve become much more charitable since picking up this ride and it’s nice.

#4. Expensive $hit still breaks :)

Can’t forget this one in a Lexus review. Going down to the not-so-shocking list, no matter what car you drive – old, new, expensive, cheap, fancy, boring – all cars require maintenance. Now some are more quality made and will last longer than others, but at the end of the day no car stays alive without some good ol’ TLC.  And not surprisingly, TLC costs a lot more on luxury cars vs standard ones.

I’ve already had to do oil changes, regular scheduled maintenance, and lately all new tires due to some bare threads I knew about when first picking it up, as well as a nice tire popping when some asshat left razor blades in the middle of the road, ugh. All things that come with the territory of car ownership, but all things that cost more typically with a luxury car than not. This area I don’t like so much ;)

(Also – as VIP as they treat you at the Lexus dealerships, and they def. treat you well!, it’s definitely not worth the mark up as I found trying to experience it for the first time… yikes)

#5. Expensive $hit has too many fancy buttons!

If I gave you a dollar for how many times my dang tire pressure light comes on, you’d have $15 already. I’m all for smart technology and keeping me in the loop, but my goodness does it seem a bit too much at times. Anytime the temperature changes drastically that tire gauge goes bananas over here… It even goes off when my *spare* tire needs air! Haha…

I miss the days where I just chalked it up to the car “being old” and carrying about my business ;) Though that’s probably not the smartest route to take either, and leads us to the next thought…

#6. I’m taking MUCH better care of this car than any others.

I’ve only owned one newish car before – a new-to-me Toyota Highlander back in the day, with chrome rims and all! – but even then I only did the bare minimum and was stressed any dang time new car repairs needed to be done. Which actually tells you something good right there – if you can’t afford the repairs, you can’t afford the car!!

But in this more-mature phase of mine, over 8 years since owning that car, I’m quick to act like an adult now and actually face the music anytime something needs attention. I still cringe every time and don’t enjoy it, but these days the precious cargo I drive around are much more important than the cash. So I suck it up and get stuff taken care of in a more timely manner. I’ve also since learned that I require a mechanic who I can ask a billion and one dumb questions to and not get laughed at! ;) I hate not knowing if I’m getting ripped off or not!

#7. Lots of you reading this right now also have a Lexus RX :)

The last thing I’ve learned and want to share in the Lexus review was that, despite oodles of people hating me for this and leaving my site, many others shared that they HAVE THE EXACT SAME CAR!! Which is fantastic! And I appreciate all of you who reached out to tell me so during the apocalypse too. (Though more of you emailed me on the side vs publicly stating it ;))

I started a tally so I could share the total numbers, but it seems I lost it all and could only find one of the messages I saved which coincidentally also came from a $$ blogger! Per Grant from Millennial Money:

“I have a 2007 and I love it. Best car ever. I bought mine off someones lease and it only has 61,200 miles on it. I live in the city and only drive like 1,200 miles a year, so I plan on driving it for at least the next 20+ years! One of my life goals is to never get rid of that car”

BOOM! So frugal or not, it always feels good knowing you’re not alone, haha…

And that’s where we stand at least now with the Lexus review :) Will I regret it later and come back singing a different tune? Perhaps. But so far so good, and I look forward to seeing how many miles I can rack up on this thing before it runs into the ground…

I’m going for 218,000 so I can bet out the attendees of Camp Mustache! (Nice find, Gwen!)

camp mustache cars in  my Lexus review

What car you rollin’ in these days?

PS: Here’s that list of bloggers’ cars again if I haven’t scared you away yet: What 21 financial bloggers drive. They’re def. more in line with what you could expect, haha…

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  1. Felicity (@FelicityFFF) March 22, 2017 at 7:00 AM

    I think my department head might have the same car, except in white. She calls it Pearl.

    My current car, and only car I’ve ever owned, is a 2000 Camry. We put about 5k miles on it annually and it’s currently at 145k-ish. One thing I’ve noticed with an older/more beat up car is that mechanics seem to give us a little bit of a break when repairs come up. Hopefully it lasts is a few more years at least!

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 7:33 AM

      Nice!!! At that rate your Camry will last pretty long too! Toyotas are great.

  2. Lars-Christian March 22, 2017 at 7:14 AM

    It’s good to hear that you’ve found something that adds value to your life. As long is a scarce resource to me, I can’t really imagine spending more money than “necessary” (somewhat reliable!) on a car. But, then again, I barely drive at all, so even having the most awesome car in the world would mean little to me, as it’s mostly sitting in the garage anyways! :)

    1. Lily @ The Frugal Gene June 26, 2017 at 12:32 PM

      Yes! Exactly Lars! Lars said pretty much everything I wanted to.

      I’m not a car person but I have a strange draw to the Audi TT coupe (red. It must be red.) Aesthetically speaking…it’s like a sexy supermodel. *drools*

      1. J. Money June 26, 2017 at 3:59 PM

        yeah it is :)

  3. Mrs. Farmhouse Finance March 22, 2017 at 7:21 AM

    I’ve driven hoopties my whole life, but after spending way too much on repairing my last clunker, we actually bit the bullet and took out a loan on a new-to-me car. I am debt averse, so that was a tough decision to make at the time. We need our cash for our down payment on our house, so we only put $5,000 down on a 2013 Subaru Impreza (with only 26,000 miles and the ability to extend the factory warranty), and took a loan out for the rest. We’re hoping to have the loan paid off this year (within 2 years of purchasing it), and then will start saving for a newer car for Mr. Farmhouse Finance. Right now he’s driving a sweet 2007 Prius, and he’ll definitely get a few more years out of it.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:12 PM

      Hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, right? And from what I hear those Imprezas are pretty tight!

  4. Band of Savers March 22, 2017 at 7:30 AM

    Glad to know that it is still something that brings you joy. I am currently driving a 2002 Buick Century Custom with over 180k miles on it (the odometer turned off about a year ago when it had about 180k so I have no idea any more), I plan to drive it into the ground. My wife drives a 2010 Mazda 5 with about 105k miles.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:14 PM

      That is beyond baller, haha… Buicks are right up there with the classic Cadillacs :)

  5. Matt @ Optimize Your Life March 22, 2017 at 7:42 AM

    “#3. My charitable giving has skyrocketed”

    This, to me at least, is the most interesting. It makes sense, though. As a personal finance person you can recognize that this car is a luxury rather than a necessity, which makes you feel more wealthy, which gives you more incentive to give money away. It’s a really cool side effect that I had not considered. Maybe we should be encouraging more people to splurge on something that reminds them of their abundance on a daily basis…

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:14 PM

      yeah!! couldn’t see that effect coming at all!

  6. Gwen @ Fiery Millennials March 22, 2017 at 7:43 AM

    Thanks for the shoutout, J! We had a fun time at CMSE guessing who drove what car. It was difficult to figure out since most of us carpooled in rental cars! Of course, they guessed mine right away since it’s on my blog -.- Lady of mystery, I am not haha

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:15 PM

      Sounds like a game fit for $$$ nerds :)

  7. Catherine March 22, 2017 at 7:44 AM

    I’m not a ‘car person” but I would love to have one of these to drive around in, I won’t lie, but for now, my 2008 Sentra will do just fine lol. My husband is very much a car guy though and we’re in the process of doing homework of replacing our main family vehicle by years end… Hes making an awful lot of arguments being pointed out in this post for what we should buy (it won’t be my Lexus but he’s pushing hard for a newer VW)… I think it’s funny you had so many unsubscribe from you after that post lol…. Also have you figured out a way to deal w/tire pressure light yourself? I know on our vehicle when our tires get changed seasonally the light comes on and it’s a combo foot thing we can do to override the computer to make it go away.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:20 PM

      The mechanic we found will let us swing by anytime something funky happens and so far hasn’t charged us anytime something small comes up he can fix on the spot :) So now I’ll just take it there anytime I can’t fix the light or anything else myself, and he’s pretty much earned our business going forward!

  8. Money Beagle March 22, 2017 at 7:59 AM

    I still love those old Caddy’s. I’d want one some day as my side car. But no money in the budget for one of those at the moment :)

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:21 PM

      They really are great – you’d love them :) I thought about keeping Frankencaddy around, but having to transport it and then maintain on the side w/ the others just didn’t excite me enough to hold onto her… But no stopping me in the future from going back one day! I’ve already owned two of the exact same year and model :)

  9. Go Finance Yourself! March 22, 2017 at 8:20 AM

    I have an ’06 Acura TSX that I bought right out of college. I love that car as it was the first big purchase I made. May not have been the wisest choice at the time, but I’m still driving it 11 years later. And it still runs like new. Biggest recommendation I can make is to keep up with the required maintenance. I haven’t had a problem with it outside of the air compressor going out several years ago. Outside of that, no issues at all. I currently have about 150k miles on it and am shooting for 300k.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:22 PM

      Nice!!! Yes, for the first time EVER I’m paying attention to that and making sure to take her in even when something hasn’t broke – imagine that?? :)

  10. Daniel Zehner March 22, 2017 at 8:23 AM

    I’m currently driving a 2005 Subaru Legacy GT wagon (with a 5-speed!). She’s got 216k miles on the clock and still turns heads. I’m torn between keeping it until the grave, or selling it while it still has value to get something with less miles and a little more storage space for hauling lumber, camping gear, kids’ stuff, etc. Looking at a 2010ish Outback, so staying in the Subaru family. :D :D

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:23 PM

      it seems like once you go Subaru you never go back ;) such a cult family with those cars!

  11. Franklin Bach March 22, 2017 at 8:24 AM

    There are car people and there are not.

    2010 Dodge Challenger in Vanishing Point White. I waited forty years for the modern day version of a movie car that inspired a 10 year old kid to run a different road.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 10:10 AM

      I remember when that car dropped! Car people were all over it!

  12. MK March 22, 2017 at 8:25 AM

    I drive a 2012 Honda Fit that I purchased new off the lot. I traded in a Chrysler 300 and was able to pay cash for the balance. My main reason for buying the Fit was for better gas mileage but I’ve gotten so much more satisfaction out of it. Over the past 5 years, I’ve hauled more stuff because of the awesome cargo space, I’ve found good parking spots because of the size and the maneuverability suits me to a T. I’m still very happy driving it and don’t see myself changing vehicles anytime soon – it has under 60k miles. And my friends say the Fit fits (haha) my personality better than the 300 did!

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 9:50 AM

      Big change! And love that you’re not afraid to state out loud that you bought it NEW too, another thing people like to hate on around these parts :) But hard to argue with putting down straight cash money! Nicely played.

  13. FullTimeFinance March 22, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    I’m a car person, and judging by the responses in the blogger car post thread I have one of the most expensive set of cars. That being noted, the difference is:
    1) I’m a car nut. It’s one of my few hobbies, working and driving cars. In my past I tracked my cars, maturity and kids has decreased some of that.
    2) I’ve gone in eyes wide open prioritizing cars over other hobbies and things.
    3) Even though I have an expensive hobby, I have no need or desire to constantly upgrade or be on he vanguard. My hobby car is a 9 year old corvette I bought new. I’ve never spent money to modify it. If I have it ten years from now I won’t be suprised (repair bills and accidents are the only future potential limiting factors). Any hobby is doable if you choose your hobby, look around for good deals, and don’t need the best equipment,
    4) each person has different priorities. Very few of bloggers are car nuts, however they do prioritize other areas of their life, we each have a hobby and interests.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 9:49 AM

      Nice!! I have yet to actually ride in a ‘Vette. Maybe one day you can take me out in a spin :)

  14. My Sons Father March 22, 2017 at 8:47 AM

    Not that I’m in a position to buy a luxury car anyway, but #4 is what would scare me off. A friend owns a BMW and told me how much he paid for an oil change…ouch. It’s a blast to ride around with him though.

    BTW I think it’s crazy for someone to stop following you because of a car. Definition of throwing the baby out with the bath water. I’m glad you have a good perspective on it though.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 9:48 AM

      Thanks man :) it’s pretty hilarious sometimes seeing the notes that come through my inbox… it’s not uncommon to get one person saying i’ve changed their life, and the next telling me to shut it all down cuz it blows haha… I’ve learned those who stick around are MY people and those who don’t can happily find one of 1,000 other blogs out there :) My style isn’t for everyone!

  15. Paul March 22, 2017 at 8:52 AM

    I know people got down on you for buying a Lexus. Even though it is rated as #1 in reliability. I think some people just haven’t learned to not be penny-wise yet. In my mind, quality at a reasonable price always trumps something cheap that wont last. Also, while it sounds pretentious, the one thing that only those of us in the DC area will understand is that your Lexus, while nice, isn’t an uncommon thing here. We live in the land where Acura, Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and the like are just normal everyday cars. Shoot I don’t even turn my head when I see a Tesla Model S anymore. In a given week if I had to guess I would say I see that car at least 5 or 6 times. The only time my head actually turns anymore is when I see a Ferrari or Lambo. Which is still at least a monthly occurrence. I have a 2008 Camry (60k miles) and a 2011 Odyssey (95k miles), in this area those are beaters.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 9:43 AM

      YES! Teslas and luxuries everywhere here. Lexuses are like the hoopties in some areas haha…

      1. Paul March 22, 2017 at 11:29 AM

        The school system is so good in MD, but its all of the passive aggressiveness and general luxury that is so common here that makes me second guess if I want my kids growing up thinking this is normal. Its one of my greatest fears that they will grow up to be proto-typical Mid Atlantic passive aggressive douches.

        1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:27 PM

          For real! You gotta get outta here with me as soon as you’re able! :)

  16. Justin March 22, 2017 at 9:30 AM

    Re: “#1. A luxury car feels damn good to be in!”

    My goal is to spend as little time as possible inside a small metal box, so as to enjoy the outdoors more (my own form of luxury :) ).

    I also feel you on the “fancy stuff has too many buttons”. When we upgraded to a 2009 last year, there were soooooo many buttons, knobs, and levers all over the dash and steering wheel. Front AC, back AC, front and back wipers (and washer fluid for both?!), lights, windows all over, etc etc. And that tire pressure monitoring system… And this is on the next to lowest trim level of an 8 year old non-luxury minivan. Can’t imagine what a brand new 2018 model of an actual luxury car feels like inside.

    Hopefully it’ll be smart enough so I can say “Ok Google/Siri, you know how I like it. Make it so. And take me somewhere good to eat. You know what I’ve been searching so drive me there based on that. You decide.”

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 9:41 AM

      now that would be something!

  17. geckovision March 22, 2017 at 9:31 AM

    in dec switched up my 2 door ’07 ford focus with 95k miles for a 4 door ’15 nissan leaf with 20k miles.
    got the leaf used for $8k!! woot!
    sold my focus for $3k didn’t do too bad on difference.

    its amazing how much life is better with kids and 4 doors

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 9:40 AM

      haha agreed!

  18. Mrs. Picky Pincher March 22, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Hahaha, oh my god! I can’t believe so many people unsubscribed over your car purchase. Oh weeeeell. ;) I have a very sensible Toyota Corolla, which gets us around pretty well. I do like the luxury cars, but I would be terrified of the maintenance and the cost of repair parts. My dad has a (used) Volvo and it was ridiculous to repair it.

  19. Debbie March 22, 2017 at 10:17 AM

    Bought a 2000 Kia Sephia new for $12,000 cash. With 145,000 miles got rid of it for a new 2013 Ford Focus, paid $16,000 cash for it which hubby drives. It has 25,000 miles on it (just bought new tires for it). Bought a new 2016 Ford Fiesta 6 months ago for $16,700 for me. Financing the entire amount with 0% interest. Since my son in law works for Ford we get the family discount. No haggling price. They even threw in a few upgrades for free.

    1. B March 22, 2017 at 2:36 PM

      Ford is all my husband will buy.

    2. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:28 PM

      Nice hook up!

  20. Josh @MoneyBuffalo March 22, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    We borrowed a family member’s Lexus & got to drive it. I also got to take my friend’s BMW for a nice spin once. Beautiful cars & I love the engines of European sedans. If I had the extra money right now & could get a good used one, I probably would. Of course, I would be so perturbed over every scratch in the paint like I was with the one car I bought brand new.

    Of course, we are saving for a family SUV (we are too prideful for a minivan at the moment). To get one to fit multiple children (mostly their car seats) you pretty much have spring for the something that is $60k new. Instead, we routinely comb Craigslist looking for something that meets the eye that way we can buy more on our terms than the seller’s terms as you mentioned with your buying experience.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:31 PM

      Yup! start the process now so the second you find a steal you can jump on it :)

      I thought I’d be super worried about scratches too, but actually haven’t so far? I think cuz I know it’s all just “stuff” at the end of the day and it’s not as important as it was once for me the last time I owned a nice car? Also with kids I’ve learned it’s going to be dirty no matter what I do :) Something I forgot to include in the write-up actually, d’oh.

  21. Ms. Montana March 22, 2017 at 10:22 AM

    Mr. Mt bought a beautiful classic car this summer. He’s like an old man. Driving it to the grocery store, dropping off kids, taking it to car shows. His new favorite Sunday afternoon activity is washing and waxing the car or taking it for a drive. He might as well be 70. But he’s happy. =)

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:32 PM


      Tell him to come over here and do mine when he’s bored! :)

  22. Matty B March 22, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    1998 Lexus GS400 – runs and looks new. almost 200k miles, going for 500k!

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:33 PM


  23. Mrs. BITA March 22, 2017 at 11:05 AM

    If you peek into the garage at the BITA household the sheer boringness of it all should put your right to sleep. You’ll find a a fully paid off Honda Insight that we bought used and a leased Chevy Spark that Mr. BITA gets to charge for free at work. Mr. BITA drools every time he sees a Tesla though, so maybe one day we’ll have more fanciness in our garage.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:34 PM

      With all that money you’re saving he’ll be able to get that Tesla one day :)

  24. Hannah March 22, 2017 at 11:19 AM

    “From ever owning a hoopty again” – When did you become an old man J$, was it the Lexus?

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:34 PM

      You stop.

  25. Cassie March 22, 2017 at 11:41 AM

    Currently it’s a 2010 Nissan Sentra that I bought used off Kijiji in 2013. It’s been worth every penny so far! It replaced a 1993 Oldsmobile Achieva that I paid $50 for. That car probably shouldn’t have been on the road :s

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:35 PM

      $50!!! That’s like a bar tab! :)

  26. jenlarson79 March 22, 2017 at 11:57 AM

    I can’t believe that many people unsubscribed!! We just bought a new (to us) 2013 GMC Acadia, and since we bought it from a friend (who had just ordered his Model S Tesla), we got a pretty good deal, and knew it was in great shape! It does feel weird to drive a luxury-type vehicle, but I gotta admit, I like it! One of the main reasons we got it, is to pull a camper-trailer this summer, for an extended road trip with our kiddos…I guess we’ll see if we keep it after that, or swap it for something more economical! (We also still have our 2003 Honda Accord with just over 200,000 miles)

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:36 PM

      OOooh those are nice!! I was gazing at those as well, but had to tack on an extra $10k for those bad boys… Maybe we can switch one weekend and enjoy them for free? :)

  27. Guy March 22, 2017 at 12:04 PM

    I’m really shocked at the lack of Buick owners, Buicks are awesome! I drive a 07 Lacrosse 160k miles on it, had it for about 5 years. I haven’t been keeping up with the schedule maintenance (bad I know) but it still runs like a champ and still gets close to it’s estimated MPG. I’m going to start keeping up with the maintenance cause now I’m intrigued on just how long I can keep this car. Maybe there was something about Buicks that happened in the early late 90s that I’m unaware of since I was still a kid in that era but right now I see Buicks in a a good light. Only thing I can recall is that only old people drive buicks. Actually I think that is what there new marketing strategy is trying to debunk

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:38 PM

      You nailed it ;) Buicks and Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs (at least the old school ones) are all chalked up to gray hairs and early dinners. Which I don’t get because they’re sooo comfortable and regal looking!, but hey – just leaves more for us to enjoy as we go :) I’d totally rock a Buick.

  28. Joe March 22, 2017 at 12:17 PM

    I like the Lexus RX too, but probably won’t splurge for it anytime soon. I like to stay humble. :)
    Currently, we drive a 2010 Mazda 5 and put about 6,000 miles/year on it. It’s still running very well so no need to save for a new car yet.
    Next time, I’d like a hybrid.

  29. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life March 22, 2017 at 12:41 PM

    How did I miss that post?? And I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people got mad at you over a car despite your entire financial picture, but I am! Who’s gonna leave you over a car, come onnnn.

    I tell ya, though, I had a lot of these thoughts when we finally found our new-to-us used car that ended up being a BMW. I didn’t want to be a BMW driver! It’s too fancy! And the cost of maintenance – ohhh lordy. The only reason I caved was because it’s old old old, older than my college degree, and we have a friend who is a BMW mechanic so he does the work for cost, at his insistence.

    Go figure, this used luxury car was only 25% of the cost of a used minivan, which is what we were also considering because of the kids.

    Around here, though, the Suburus are the pure gold cars. I mean, you see Teslas and that’s fine but everyone wants the Suburus and their resale is shockingly high. Like, you might as well buy new-high.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:39 PM

      NICE!!! I didn’t know you rocked a Beemer! You fancy now ;)

  30. Primal Prosperity March 22, 2017 at 1:08 PM

    “despite oodles of people hating me for this and leaving my site”… that’s crazy… over a car? wow. I sold my car 4 years ago, but if I had kids, I would still have one. I definitely don’t blame you for choosing the Lexus over a minivan. :)

    My first car was a Mazda Miata that I kept for 5 years. Then I got a 2001 Honda Prelude that I kept for 11 years and then sold when I left the corporate world. I loved both those cars, and they were so much fun to drive. I admit, I did have a little sadness parting with each one.

    My husband still has his car because he works at a location that isn’t accessible by bus, so I commute a couple of days a week with him. The car is 19 years old, so he maintains it well so that it will last him another year or two, until he semi-retires.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:41 PM

      Are you like my twin?? I had a Honda Prelude for yearrrrrrrs (two, actually!) and then my old dream car was always a miata :) I never did get one of those, but i can see one day far off going back down to a smaller car once the kids are out of the nest… Wonder what sports cars are going to look like then?

  31. Manuel Schulze March 22, 2017 at 1:23 PM

    I still don’t have a car yet. I’ve got my license since 2008. But soon I will buy one because of long holiday trips we do with the car of my girlfriend’s parents. And a coupé is definitely nothing for a 4k kilometer trip with 2 dogs!

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:42 PM

      Wow – good for you! You’re probably saving bank over there!

  32. Financial Samurai March 22, 2017 at 1:35 PM

    That was a really eye-opening and fun post by MP!

    I’m going to miss having a smaller car to roll around in SF. Parking is seriously a premium around here.

    Focus on safety folks. It’s worth it!


  33. B March 22, 2017 at 2:34 PM

    2010 Ford expedition, husband 2012 F150
    $1000 a month, totally worth it.
    The money I’ve saved in parts on an 86 Mercury Capri and 85 Ranger were up there as well.
    Moved into the 21st century with a $5000 minivan and it lasted 5 years and got me $1500 trade in. I wouldn’t have paid $1500 for it after I was done with it.
    It true, more fancy things mean more can break, and newer parts cost more than old, but they aren’t as hard to find.

  34. emily March 22, 2017 at 4:46 PM

    I recently purchased my first new to me car, a 2015 Toyota Camry SE. I love it. It’s stylish and comfortable and gets great gas mileage. I could have gotten a BMW or Benz, but I am glad to have a Toyota. Maybe one day I’ll upgrade but for now, I love my Camry.

    1. J. Money March 22, 2017 at 6:43 PM

      Camrys are great – super reliable and comfy :)

  35. gfaseed March 22, 2017 at 5:39 PM

    Very nice post. The feeling of driving a new car is unique. I totally agree.
    Keep up the good work.

  36. Dividend Diplomats March 22, 2017 at 7:59 PM

    J –

    Good to know these things! Coming from a frugal FI guy – curious on what it was like, then. Definitely can understand that you would take better care of it, given it is nicer and can cost more potentially AND the precious cargo – of course!

    I’m driving a Honda Accord 2010, that was financed 3.5 years ago or so, bought it used. Had 43,100 miles on it and now have 99,100 on it today. Even though I am averaging over 1.3K miles per month – this was actually heavily front-loaded, as I’ve placed maybe 8,000 in the last 11-12 months, due to renting cars more now from work than driving my own, extending the life on my car, but still can do better.

    Thanks for the post J, talk soon.


    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:52 PM

      Accords are nice too :) The luxury Honda!

  37. Jamie March 23, 2017 at 5:49 AM

    I drive an ’02 Camry (named Penelope) with 230K on it. I’ve always taken really good care of her, even mechanics are impressed with her condition and expect her to drive for a long time. My kids are 10 and 3 (my son loves riding in ‘Elope). I budget $1000/year for routine maintenance and repairs and it’s been about right. I fix stuff before it becomes a problem (my most recent big repair was the timing chain and assosciated parts – it didn’t break but it stretched far enough to throw off the timing. I don’t blame it, after 220K miles), so I haven’t dealt with many inconvenient repairs.

    I’m also setting money aside for when she needs replacing – my goal is to pay cash for my next car (hopefully many years from now). I’ve driven Beemers and Junkers (hated that Beemer it was ALWAYS breaking… by the time I sold it I could disassemble and reassemble the engine in my sleep) and fancy cars… There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying your ride!!

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:54 PM

      Pretty damn impressive over there. I’ve never hit the 200k limit (usually got bored before I could and swapped) but hoping to ride this one out until then :) Only 120k more to go! Haha…

  38. Linda@Frugal Turtle March 23, 2017 at 10:38 PM

    I’m driving a 2001 Grand Prix with 191,000 miles. It drives great so it will easily get to 200k miles. I’m hoping it lasts at least a couple more years so I can really build up a pile of money for a new(er) car.

    I love finding out what we all drive and how many miles everyone has. Super interesting!

  39. ZJ Thorne March 23, 2017 at 11:06 PM

    I’m in my thirties and have never owned a car. Can I claim to own the public transportation I utilize? Maybe my infrastructure investment is even bigger, but I don’t get the Lexus treatment, that’s for sure.

    1. J. Money March 25, 2017 at 1:56 PM

      Wowwww can’t say I know anyone that’s never owned before – that’s pretty wild! I bet you save soooooooo much money too (and probably have sooooooo much more patience than all us a well? having to do public transportation all the time? :))

  40. EL March 24, 2017 at 4:14 PM

    I drive a 2012 Toyota Camry, and it is a good size and fit for the family. I kinda miss the Mazda I had, but that got totaled in 2015. Good luck driving that fancy thing, and maybe ill sell mines soon.

  41. Han Chang March 25, 2017 at 2:07 PM

    Lexus vehicles are well known for their reliability so if you’re able to maintain it long term (300k miles here you come!) it should be well worth the price paid even with upkeep costs factored in.

    Plus, there really is no monetary value you can put on swagger :P

    1. J. Money April 17, 2017 at 3:24 PM

      That’s what I’m saying ;)

  42. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 1, 2017 at 9:17 PM

    I’m glad you like the car. My husband and I are not car people, so we feel good rolling in our Toyota Corolla. Enjoy the fancy car!

  43. Benjamin Davis April 16, 2017 at 1:01 PM

    Driving a beautiful VW Passat from 99! What a beautiful, reliable car. Love it. Cost me 3k.

    1. J. Money April 17, 2017 at 3:24 PM

      I do like those cars myself :)

  44. Colleen April 22, 2017 at 1:32 PM

    I also drive the Lexus RX 350 I love it! It was a BIG splurge for a frugal girl like me. I bought it used with 15K miles and it now has about 65K miles. The plan is to keep it long term and not have to buy another car for many years. I also replaced all of my tires and that was a great investment. I am now looking at new brakes and thinking about bringing it to Toyota to do brakes to save some money over Lexus dealership. They treat you great at the Lexus dealership! Enjoy your ride beep-beep!

    1. J. Money April 23, 2017 at 2:16 PM

      Beep-beep, girlfriend!

  45. Scott November 8, 2017 at 1:58 PM

    Bought a used 2003 Accord with 34,000 miles on it in 2006. Put 165,000 miles on the car, at the end it was burning a quart ever 1500 miles. I drive a lot of miles for work and such (25,000 a year), so I bought a 2011 Accord with 32,000 miles on it. Ran it up to 135,000 miles, and this year it went to my son because he is far away. Got a super deal on a 2014 Hyundai Azera, off-lease, 26,000 miles, loaded. Plan on paying it off in a year and then driving it until the wheels fall off. Wife has a 2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L with 135,000 miles, still rolling along and been paid off for years……:)

    1. J. Money November 13, 2017 at 9:41 AM

      Very nice! I will attempt to break your 165,000 record w/ this Lexus and report back once it’s accomplished ;)

  46. Meg March 7, 2018 at 3:17 PM

    I purchased a 2016 Lexus RC 200t at the end of 2k17. Had a little over 2k miles. Ff 3/18…I now have over 17k miles on it and have had many issues, the biggest being the ac/heat. I love it, but hate it too. It’s scary sitting in the back, as there isn’t really much of an ass end. I bought a 2k17 Wrangler, as there were too many days I did not feel comfortable driving it. Rainy days, no thanks. It hydroplanes like nothing I’ve seen. I now prefer functional over swagger…

    1. J. Money March 8, 2018 at 2:21 PM

      Interesting… don’t know much about those, other than they look sexy as hell from the outside ;) As well as Wranglers for that matter! Just a different kind of sexy, haha…

  47. DonM May 22, 2018 at 7:27 PM

    I am a bit of a car guy and have always had odd car projects. They generally haven’t been frugal experiences by the end. A good friend and fellow retired colleague can no longer drive. He leased a Lexus RX350 last year. He went to give it back and just couldn’t bring himself to take the loss of his “down payment” and his monthly payments. He asked me to take his lease over and since we’ve always helped each other out I did. Now I have my pickup and our old Prius…both of which my wife and I enjoy. Now this Lexus sits there all shiny and wanting to stretch it’s legs. I don’t know. I wish it was the hybrid model, I wish this happened after the Prius died (it never will I’m thinking). I wish he could drive again and I could give it back. But the only thing I can think of doing is Road Trip!

    1. J. Money May 23, 2018 at 9:29 AM

      Maybe we should hold a Lexus Convention? :)

  48. Ihatecurrency August 20, 2018 at 10:32 AM

    How do you feel about your Lexus a year later? Right now I’m planning to buy a car within the next week. The Lexus RX has piqued my interest. Specifically, a 2016 model straight of the lease with 25,600 miles on it. It’s the sport package. Some of my interest in which ever car I purchase is likely in line with yours and I have additional interests too. I obviously want the height of safety and reliability. This is the family car and it will be filled with cars seats and my giant dog. It will be driven regularly in some of the most unsafe city roadways and highways in the country, where high accident ratios are common per capita. Also, I intend to ditch the Lexus tires early on, because they don’t give great traction for handling on icy roads, which will be a 4 month plus annual event in Boston. I don’t want an endless money pit and am prone to driving my car into the ground. Sure you can keep any car running as long as you for a price. I expect out of a car to get 200k without it turning into a money pit before hand. Otherwise, I feel I made a poor purchase regarding quality. Volvo May have great safety and realibilty reputations, but that reputation is ancient history. Nothing has been more unsafe than the Volvo’s we have owned built 2004to the present. They are also astornomical to maintain much like Audi and Mercedes. Junk! The Lexus piques my interest based off of previously owned Honda’s and Toyota’s. Granted, the cost of ownership and reliability has the possibility of being buried in the past too, because cars over all seem to all have corners cut these days on important factors and the money spent on technology. I’m hoping you can share the mileage you’ve placed on your Lexus and the cost of ownership during that time.

    1. J. Money August 20, 2018 at 3:36 PM

      Hey! Yeah man – still very much loving it! Stings more when you get scratches/dings in it, but other than that it’s still treating us very well :) Put about 25,000 miles on it since owning it and outside of a flat tire and regular maintenance (oil/etc), haven’t had to drop anything else into it (knock on wood). Surprisingly fits THREE car seats in the back too – or else we would have been in trouble when we found out we were expecting a third kid! Though we did have to swap out one car seat for a thinner one to squeeze them all in…

      I’ve owned Hondas and Toyotas most of my life too, and this Lexus def feels as robust – just more luxurious inside :) My mechanic says he loves them too and shouldn’t have any problems riding it out for years to come – so hopefully that’s true!