I Need A Car That Can Go 50k Miles A Year! What Should I Buy?

Robert is the Director of Operations for a major company and travels a lot to various locations. He will put about 50,000 miles per year on his car and wants something comfortable and reliable for the long commutes. What car should he buy?

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Here is the scenario:

Quick Facts:

I’m a Director of Operations for a business with locations over 4 states and 200 miles end to end. We are building even more locations and growing rapidly. My commute to my office is 20 miles but with all my other work to do, I travel about 50,000 miles a year. I want something that will hold up to the high (easy highway mileage), and will make me forget that I have a stressful job in between where I’m coming from and where I’m going.

I am looking for something, smooth, stylish, modern, around $50,000, used is fine, not too old, good driving assistance tech, tech, not electric, quiet, AWD, luxury, reliable but not boring, has presence and shows that I’ve worked hard to get where I am. Lots of room for 4 tall large men when we travel as a group. (3 + me)

Budget: Around $50,000

Location: New Hampshire

Daily Driver: Yes

Wants: Luxury, comfort, reliable

Doesn’t want: An EV

Expert 1: Tom McParland – Luxobarge!

Image for article titled I Need A Comfortable Car That Can Handle 50,000 Miles A Year! What Should I Buy?

Photo: Lawrence Hodge/Jalopnik

Robert, that is some serious marathon driving you are doing, so I can certainly understand why you would want your car to be a little bit of an oasis. This seems like a classic case for the executive sedan. This body style is fading out in favor of the SUV, which means you can score a serious value in the pre-owned market.

While the traditional European luxury brands have plenty of offerings, if you want something a bit different that hopefully won’t raid your retirement account for high-mile maintenance, have a look at Genesis. The G90 is the Korean answer to the Mercedes S class and looks the part of a six-figure luxo barge, but you can pick up one with reasonable miles and plenty of tech for half of that.

Here is a 2020 Premium model with the turbo V6 with only 24,000 miles for around $45,000. And while this isn’t the top-of-the-line model, it still comes excellently equipped with all the driver assist tech, heated/vented seats, heads-up display, and an upgraded sound system. The rear seats will feel almost like a limousine for your colleagues.

Expert 2: Collin Woodard – Dang It, Tom

2020 Lexus LS 500h

Photo: Unique Auto Mall

Dang it, Tom. You were so close. You had the right answer in the header photo and then went in another direction. How are any of us supposed to recommend something weird or off the wall when you skipped the most obvious correct answer, the Lexus LS?

Don’t get me wrong, Robert. The Genesis G90 is a fine automobile that you can buy for a surprisingly affordable price. The fact that you can find a gently used one for not much more than a fully loaded Toyota Camry is pretty wild. And Tom is probably right to recommend a flagship luxury sedan over a larger crossover.

What I worry about is how the Genesis will hold up after three years when you’ve added another 150,000 miles to the odometer. You said they’ll be highway miles, but that’s still a lot of miles. Also, the G90 is only EPA-rated at 25 mpg. I’m sure you can expense most of those miles, but still.

Enter the Lexus LS 500h. It’s big, luxurious and ridiculously comfortable just like the G90, but it’s built by Lexus, so it’s a much safer bet for someone who drives 50,000 miles a year. And since it’s a hybrid, it’s rated at 33 mpg highway. Over three years, that should save you something like $6,000 over the next three years, and that’s before you get into possible repairs.

The bad news is, the only LS 500h I was able to find near you is a 2020 model with 46,792 miles that’s a little over your budget at just under $57,000. If you’ve got a hard cap at $50,000, there are others further away that cost less. They’ll just be more inconvenient to test drive and get home. Either way, the car you want is a Lexus LS hybrid.

Expert 3: Andy Kalmowitz – Live In Hell With The Cool People

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Bobby, both Tom and Collin have given you excellent and sensible choices. You’ll surely be happy with either the Lexus LS or Genesis G90, but you know what those cars aren’t going to do? Set your soul on fire, Robert. You deserve to set your soul on fire. That’s why you need a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Let’s just go over your list of wants really quickly. Is it smooth? No. Is it stylish? Sort of, in a bro-ish sort of way. Is it modern? Absolutely not. Does it have good driving tech? Buddy, your right foot is the best driving tech there is. Is it quiet? Not at all. Does it have all-wheel-drive? Sure doesn’t. Is it reliable? I guess… sort of. Will it fit four adults? I suppose. Is it not boring? You bet your sweet ass it isn’t boring, Bob. That’s what’s most important if you ask me.

You know what real relaxation and luxury are, Robert? It’s time. Think about how much time you’ll save yourself if you’re blasting around the Northeast with 707 horsepower under your right foot. You’ll be early to absolutely everywhere you’re going. It’s a power move if you think about it.

Because I’m a really great guy, I even found the perfect SRT Hellcat for you. It’s located on the East Coast in Maryland, and it’s got just under 21,000 miles on the clock, which is great for a nine-year-old car. This Hellcat also comes in under your budget at $48,000. It’s finished in Granite Crystal Metallic paint, which means you won’t attract the cops with a bright color. On top of that, buddy, look inside. You see that right in the middle there? That’s God’s transmission: a six-speed manual.

Listen, Bobbo, I know this isn’t the car you’d think to buy for your situation, but I promise you it’s the car you need to buy.

Expert 4: José Rodríguez Jr. – Toyota’s Crown Jewel

Image for article titled I Need A Comfortable Car That Can Handle 50,000 Miles A Year! What Should I Buy?

Photo: Toyota

Robert, that’s some serious mileage. That means you’ll want to focus more on the driving experience than the badge on the exterior. A luxobarge or executive sedan is a fine choice, like, say, a Volvo or Acura if the Genesis and Lexus above don’t do it for you. But traveling that much will feel like a chore unless you throw in some spirited driving now and then. For that, I recommend the 2024 Toyota Crown, provided you opt for the Platinum trim.

It may seem ludicrous to compare a Toyota with a Lexus but we’re talking about Toyota’s crown jewel of the U.S. lineup. People with little regard for badges have been buying top-of-the-line Toyotas for decades (think of the stealth wealth crowd in Land Cruisers) when looking for a reliable but luxurious car. And you could likely score a new one given the discounts dealers are willing to give Crown buyers, even on Platinum models with the most performance. The Crown is relatively unknown in the U.S., so you can use that to your advantage.

The Toyota Crown Platinum has a comfortable, quiet cabin and sports-sedan handling. It comes with AWD and will be a reliable vehicle to log all those miles in for you and your passengers. It easily accommodates four adults — regardless of height — and, when you let it rip, the Crown Platinum delivers a surprisingly fun drive. If the looks are too pedestrian, don’t worry. You can always import parts from Toyota’s Modellista line in Japan, and make your Crown stand out. You’d be the only executive in the U.S. with a Crown on the hood of your car.

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