Famed comedy writer and devoted gearhead Spike Feresten is back. As host of Esquire Network’s Car Matchmaker, he puts his knowledge to good use by getting to know prospective car buyers and helping them find their perfect vehicle. The show premieres on June 22 at 9|8 Central, and now you, too, can take advantage of his skill at automotive divination.
On June 15th from 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific - 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific, Spike was here in the comments, live, taking all your car-buying questions and pointing you toward the best option. He’s also answered some questions about basic things to consider before making the jump.
Nandita Raghuram: What’s a good transition car for someone who might want something sporty and fun right now, but will also need something family-oriented in a few years?
Spike Feresten: I would jump on a 2016 VW Golf R with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). It’s a 4-door hatch with 292HP, 19" wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and best of all a manual transmission option. It covers all the bases for years to come. Unless you plan on starting a Duggar-type family. Then buy a school bus and disappear into the woods.
NR: What are some must-have, non-negotiable features you look for when car shopping?
SF: You must offer connectivity for our devices or do not build a car. Period. I can tell you the options my buyers were most excited about this season; heated and cooled seats, the heated steering wheel, car surround-view cameras and privacy curtains that you can lower after cutting someone off in traffic. Ass-cooling seats are awesome here in LA. Me personally, I love the SPORT PLUS button on the Cayman GT4 that rev matches during downshifts. Yummy.
NR: How do you calculate the appropriate budget when car shopping?
SF: I keep it simple. Down payment and monthly payment. What can I handle and for how long based on my employment security. I generally keep cars 3-5 years, so I seek out those terms. I also lease because I can write off a portion of the payment for business. I try not to get bogged down in any financial endgame math. For me it’s about driving something I love. A little more money in the bank at the end of five years does nothing for my happiness. But that’s just me.
NR: What are expensive add-ons that are totally unnecessary?
SF: Rust and paint protection, extended warranties, alarms, front bumper pink mustaches... basically all the crap the salesman tries to add-on at the dealership, that the factory did not install. With the possible exception of the trailer hitch. That’s a damn useful add-on. Oh yeah, and Seth Rogen’s mom has been going on about a car-microwave to heat up her coffee. Primo idea. Get that.
Want to learn more? See Spike’s answers below. And don’t forget to catch the season premiere of Car Matchmaker on June 22 9|8 Central only on Esquire Network.