In response to Whitney Tilson’s email yesterday about new cars and their safety, Anton Wahlman wrote (and gave him permission to share):
I would add that there are so many new cars these days that come with a lot of great safety equipment, and they’re relatively inexpensive, with MSRPs from $17,000 to $25,000 (they often sell for 20% or more discounts, so we’re talking $20,000 or less in most instances).
Check out the new models from Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, Honda and Volkswagen that are right around that level. And all new cars from Toyota, with prices all the way down to $17,000 or less, have a very comprehensive safety suite as standard.
The all-new models that came out in the last year or so have raised the bar. Whether the 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback, the 2019 Nissan Kicks, the 2019 Kia Forte, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta or the 2019 Hyundai Elantra – they’re all around $20,000 and have all or almost all the safety goodies as standard. Certainly for $23,000 to $25,000 you get them all.
And you know what’s even better? All of these new cars are not only safe and provide superior value but are also great to drive. They perform as well or better than cars that used to cost $35,000-$40,000 only two years ago. What improved value in a such short amount of time!
I drive approximately 100 new cars per year and am getting so jaded because nearly all new cars coming onto the market are shockingly good. And safe. And provide value.
I just drove the new all-wheel-drive Toyota Prius, which comes out in January. Its AWD ensures that you won't get stuck in snow or ice on a steep driveway, and it only reduces the combined city/highway fuel economy by 2 MPG, from 52 to 50. Depending on the trim level, it adds only $1,000-$1,400 to the price. When these new cars becomes available next month, they will be by far the most fuel-frugal all-wheel drive vehicle on the market.