I have owned 28 cars in the past decade and as a result a lot of my friends seek car advice from me. Just the other day, yet another friend asked me what I would recommend in terms of a vehicle that would just be a “daily driver”. They all wanted something affordable, reliable, and that it had a few basic features. That got me thinking about the vehicles I have daily driven over the years and I realized, many of them are not cars I’d actually recommend for daily driving… at all.
My ownership with the Mini Cooper was short lived. In 2017, I purchased a 2009 Mini Cooper with about 80,000 miles (130,000km) on it. The water pump and thermostat housing were leaking, and it had minor body work issues. It was actually a fun car, and once I figured out the water pump and thermostat housing, it was a reliable little ride. I ended up selling it 9 months later for $2,000 more than I bought it.
Ah my first and last E65, as well as probably my most expensive mistake. It was the summer of 2013, and I had gone through a BMW craze. A friend had a friend, who was recently divorced and she had inherited a 2007 BMW 750Li from the divorce. She had no interest in the car and wanted to get rid of it, which is where I came in. The vehicle had approximately 60,000 miles (110,000km) and was driven by her ex primarily who was some sort of big shot executive. I thought I had scored quite the deal as the vehicle appeared clean and very well maintained, and I parted with about $20,000 for it which at the time was a steal. Within the year I *attempted* to daily drive this, I replaced the radiator, alternator, heat valve, arms and bushings, as well as more than a few sensors. I parted with it a year later for $14,000 and celebrated the day the new owner picked it up.
Apart from the BMW on this list, the other vehicles were mostly on this list because they were impractical for daily driving. However, the Chrysler 300 I purchased from an elderly couple was actually just simply unreliable. The worst part was it was the only vehicle on this list I purchased from the original owners who dealer maintained it the entire life (just goes to show you it doesn’t matter). It was a 2007 Chrysler 300C, loaded with all the bells and whistles and of course the Hemi 5.7 engine. The miles were on pare for a 2007 model year in 2015, and it came with a stack of service records. The car was hysterically unreliable, with the transmission going first, then various components of the cooling issues, the AC system in the summer, and various electrical problems. It was almost a game of turning the ignition to see what new surprise awaited!