Austin runs a remodeling company. He is looking for an affordable vehicle that can act as an advertising space but is also fun to drive. He has a modest budget of around $ 15,000. Which car should he buy?
(Welcome back to What kind of car should you buy? Where we give real people real advice on buying a car.)
Here is the scenario:
I own an exterior remodeling company, mostly roofers. I need to buy a car that I can pack to get me to and from sales appointments. I don’t want a boring Ford Transit. Which car should I buy? When it comes to requirements, I just want something fun and reasonably good on the gas. I come from a 2000 GMC Sierra so everything would be better! A manual transfer would be preferable and I can spend up to $ 15,000.
Budget: Up to $ 15,000
Daily driver: Yes
Want: Fun, good mpg, advertising platform
Do not want: A big, boring box
Expert 1: Tom McParland – In sales you have to …
Picture: Jason Torchinsky (Jalopnik)
Austin, I can fully understand that I don’t want to sit behind the wheel of a van as practical as it might be for pulling equipment. I imagine you already have dedicated work vehicles, so you want your daily driver to have fun managing customer advice and, of course, keep fuel costs to a minimum.
That said, in order to put effective advertising on a slide, you need a car with a lot of color and therefore a box-shaped look would be ideal. I would suggest that you go with a Kia soul. These are funky enough to be a little different from a standard compact, but they would also serve as a pretty good canvas for anything you want to wrap around.
There are many souls with reasonable miles in your region and even some of them have three pedals on the ground. Here’s a nice one that’s well below budget.
Expert 2: Raphael Orlove – just buy a van
Let me take five seconds here and just:
It worked better than I thought! America almost underestimates vans criminally, and you can get amazing things if you extend your search to them. This 1966 Ford Econoline is the model with many windows (everyone is happy about a van that they can easily see into) and two-tone in cheerful colors.
The seller only asks for $ 8,500. If this were a VW bus, with a little luck, it would cost three times as much.
We spend so much time and money buying vehicles like the Soul. Just get out!
Expert 3: Jason Torchinsky – Fill this snail with roofing nails
I admit my first reaction was that I opted for an amazing old Corvair Greenbriar van like this because I’m a fool for a good old air-cooled van with a rear engine. But I realized that Raphs Econoline would look and feel just as good and was a little cheaper. And that’s not great for gasoline, nor does it have a good, empty, flat area for your wrap and branding. Then I realized that there is something that does exactly what you need: a Nissan S-Cargo.
Well, really, our Max Finkel suggested it, but he has to have a colon or something, so I steal this suggestion because it makes so much sense.
The S-Cargo, as strange as it may seem, is actually a cold, rational commercial vehicle bastard, if you look at it closely. It’s small on the outside to park and maneuver, big on the inside to accommodate all your belongings. On the sides there is a huge empty area that literally serves to present logos and branding.
This was a fun, eye-catching commercial vehicle from day one – of course it will do exactly what you need!
In addition, the small four-speed engine (30 to 40 MPG easy) provides excellent fuel performance, is comfortable and airy, and thanks to the RHD function, you can easily push advertising flyers into mailboxes.
If I were looking for a roofer who would finally be half a mast away from my attic and I would choose between two roofers, I would without a doubt take the one who drives the fun S-Cargo.
Our buddy Gary Duncan got one for a reasonable $ 11,900. The 1.5 liter engine is basically the same as that from Sentras, so mechanical parts are not even hard to come by.
This is an easy choice. Drive a big snail.
Expert 4: David Tracy – I recommend a jeep and it feels right!
Oh yes, I’m finally free from this prison I’ve been trapped in for years and it feels good! Patrick George, beloved former editor-in-chief of Jalopnik, forbade me to recommend jeeps in the articles “What Car Should You Buy”. But now Patrick is gone and I can finally recommend the right cars for the job. In this case, it’s pretty obvious that you need a Willys wagon.
The key to the success of a small business is to make the name of the company known. This means that every vehicle you drive with your company logo must stand out. Tom’s Kia Soul suggestion won’t make it, and although I think Raph’s Van Suggestion and Jason’s Snail Car will probably do you good in this area, the Van is scary as hell and the availability of the snail parts won’t be great.
What you need is a vehicle like the Willys Wagon that people like to associate with surfing on the beach – it’s fun! No, it won’t be particularly economical on fuel consumption or on highways, but it has plenty of space, a nice three-speed manual, and all-wheel drive, and uses the same powertrain as pretty much every 1940s and 50s jeep, so it does will not be difficult to find parts. The above is only $ 3,500, though it takes work. There are really nice, complete examples for 10 big ones.
It’s the perfect machine for this job, and yes, it’s a jeep. J E E P. Man, that feels good.