Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cars, cars, cars

Before Aliza was born, Russ and I had decided that we would get a new car for me before the winter weather hit. While I do love my cherry red Jetta, it is an older car and does have quite a lot of miles on it. Russ is convinced I will break down somewhere and be stranded with our daughter in the car. Granted, my car has never broken down before, but I love him for being so worried about the safety of his baby girl. (And his wife of course, but, let's be honest, he's mostly worried about his daughter- as he should be!)

We took advantage of a day off of work for Russ yesterday and began our search. After having an extensive conversation we decided to go with an SUV. I know, I know, gas prices, carbon footprint and all that jazz, but the reality of our lives right now involve things like strollers and diaper bags and pack and plays and car seats......all of those things require space. Not to mention getting in and out of a sedan with a baby and/or a car seat is difficult. And I refuse to have a mini-van. Not at this point in my life. I'm sure it will make sense in the future but I'm only 32 for crying out loud.

So, we headed to a nearby town and checked out this car first. I admit, I went in thinking I wouldn't like it. But as soon as I started driving it I absolutely loved it. Granted, anything compared to my Jetta is going to be amazing, but the ride was smooth, the car didn't feel big and it looked snazzy. I think it definitely helped that the salesperson was clearly a pro and reminded me strongly of a very dear friend. I wanted to buy the car from him just because he seemed like such a nice guy.

Next, we test drove this car. This is the one, going in, that I was convinced I would love. My sister in law and brother in law have an Outback that they love, and this car was in Consumer Reports as top of the list for it's safety features, a major concern for us. And, well, I liked it....but I didn't love it. It drove differently--almost stiff. The plus side was that it felt very solid to me but the downside was it wasn't smooth, you could feel the bumps a lot more with this car, which I, personally, don't like. Of course, Russ loved this one, especially when he discovered that you could buy some sort of device that allowed you to plug your Ipod in and control it right from your radio.

Next we wound up looking at this car. Once we saw the sticker price and the highway miles we opted not to test drive it. We weren't in love with it anyways, and those two details turned us right off.

That was the end of our first journey into the car shopping world. We grabbed some lunch and spent some time trying to convince the other of the validity of our choices--Russ arguing in favor of the Forester while I argued in favor of the Sante Fe. The Sante Fe was a deal breaker for him when he discovered that there was no Ipod jack. We finally agreed that we have more work to do and made a list of other cars to go look at. While I was thinking we had a few months, Russ has decided that I should have my new car by some time in October. And that is one point I am happy to concede on!

6 comments:

Helena said...

Hi Lisa! Love reading your updates! Whenever I check Christie & Ted's blog, I usually check yours for latest pics of your cutie pie. Just had to respond to this car post, as Chris and I went through the same thing after having Alexis. Have you considered a Hybrid SUV though? Better gas mileage, good example for Aliza re: better choice for environment while maintaining the larger sized vehicle you want, etc. We got a Hybrid SUV and love it (plus I get to drive in the HOV lanes to/from work every day which cuts down on my commute from 1.5 to 2 hours to about 45 minutes to 1 hour!).
Anyway, just a thought as I know hybrids are a little more, but you do save money on gas. I love filling up next to the other SUVs and spending half the money. :)

Have fun in your car search! :)

Kelli said...

I don't know if this will help sway Russ (if you decide you do want to sway him toward your choice) and I don't know THAT much (or, um, really anything) about cars so this may be a "duh, Kelli, everyone knows that" comment...but my brother bought an older Volkswagon (old as in, had a tape deck and CD player but no Ipod hookup) but then went to Best Buy and upgraded his stereo...his Ipod hooks into his glove compartment now and he controls the whole thing - volume, song shuffle, etc. through his radio.

Either way, I wish you luck with the search!

Ellen Simon said...

I'm an AP reporter writing about car sales and the economy. I'd be interested in interviewing you about what dealers are telling you about prices and what role gas mileage and sticker price are playing in your deliberations. Thank you! Ellen Simon, esimon@ap.org

Tina said...

The iPOD jack was the dealbreaker? You can overcome that obstacle (as Kelli pointed out). And hey, whose car is it anyway? Now if Greg had read this he would say DON"T buy the car from the salesman because he seems like a nice guy... that just means he is a really good salesman so watch out! and also... yes Hybrids are good for the environment yada yada yada but... do you know how many years you have to keep it in order for the gas money savings to balance out the extra cost? Many more then you will. So don't let "saving money" be your reason. If you want to save the earth, well, please do so...
What about the Nissan? I remember I really liked how those drove...

JaxMom said...

Lisa - My friend just had a hard-wired iPOD jack installed in his car at Circuit City for just under $100.

Get the car YOU want!

Becky said...

If you liked the Santa Fe, you will like the CR-V even better. A little roomier, drives better, and feels a little safer. Don't know about the ipod jack in the new model.