Does anyone shop this way?

Consumer Reports (October) is apparently under the impression that car buyers are almost totally immersed in price considerations, and that they’ll go for something they never considered if the numbers add up. For instance: over a five-year period, they say, you might spend $33,750 (including depreciation, fuel and insurance) for a brand-spanking-new Ford Focus; for the same money, however, you can get yourself into a three-year-old Infiniti G35 sedan.

Now really, how many people are cross-shopping Foci and G35s? Not many, I suspect. And they have lots of similar examples: instead of the new V6 Mustang convertible, you could have a Boxster with three years on it.

The message is clear enough — depreciation will eat your lunch and will hang around for a chunk of dinner as well — but it’s not like CR to plunge whole-hog into the Department of Wishful Thinking.

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