I agree with Zbyers. The only difference between the old car and a newer car is the headlight type (and polishing the plastic, of course. I miss glass headlamps). I've found that two vibes over 17 years (Feb 2003 to now) have shown that as long as the tires are in good shape, it handles water REALLY well, and even snow decently. I'm in Houston, so I _know_ driving in the rain
. I lost traction _once_ many, many years ago; I bought new tires the next day.
So, if you want a new car, get a new car. If you just need some additional safety, spend money on tires and headlights, (maybe new shocks), rather than $35k on a new car.