Saturday, April 30, 2016

In Which Katie Lapses Into Radical Consumerism

So you guys.... guess what? I GOT A NEW CAR!!!!! An honest to goodness new car. I haven't had a new car for a very, very long time. Even though I've known the inevitable day was coming when the Solid Gold Minvan would explode somewhere,  leaving me and the kids trapped, I also absolutely dreaded the hassle of finding, pricing and buying a new car to replace it.

 Haggling is not something at which I excel (although I am making a habit to do better in asking what I am worth in my freelance work instead of the just taking the first offer made to me, but I digress) My fear of haggling for a car made me feel sort of physically ill, I dreaded it like swallowing crushed glass or firewalking while juggling angry weasels. But the problem was that the rapidly deteriorating condition of my 2001 Town & Country mom-mobile was forcing the issue. I had to get a new car sooner rather than later.

But like I said, I just KNEW I would get ripped off somehow.  Enter my little brother Robert, a lawyer and property developer who actually likes putting deals together. He offered to do all the haggling for me - and he did, by phone (because he lives about 3.5 hours away from me and the dealership.) All I had to do was show up at the dealership and sign the paperwork.  Robert did all the price checking for me and feels sure that I got a solid deal.

The` one  other thing I did have to do is turn the keys and title to the Solid Gold Minivan over to the dealer for the SGM's trade in value. I know it will be a sad day for so many of you to hear that the Solid Gold Minivan will likely be headed for the salvage yard. But I take comfort in knowing that it performed its duties admirably well in the 15 years since it was purchased new. However, it had finally reached the point of no return. It didn't help me that someone rear-ended me on the interstate on the same day I was planning to trade it in. The verdict? I got a whopping $500 trade in value.

So what kid of car did I get!! Is the excitement just killing you? Well here here it is. It's a Scion ia.

If you've never heard of Scion before, it's a line made and marketed by Toyota. They're apparently now folding the Scion models into the existing Toyota brand so no new Scions will be made after this year, but all maintenance.repairs/etc will continue to be handled Toyota. 

I picked the Scion for several reasons. One was that they had some great financing deals going. But I also need a car with much better gas miliage. I'll bet the SGM was getting 25 miles per gallon on it's very best days. Also, I needed to downsize. I am no longer hauling five children around in a minuvan. Jane is in college, Elliot starts college in the fall and they both have their own cars. So mostly when I drive somewhere it's just me, or me and the the two littles. It's  kind of like our decision to downsize into a much smaller house; we just had too much empty space in that large, gas guzzling SGM. Last, I wanted a car that gets really strong reviews, which the Scion definitely does.  

The only thing I don't totally dig about the car is the front end design, It looks sort of...well,,,I can't figure out what it looks like, but if I had my druthers, it would look more like a Honda or maybe a Prius  up front. Oh well, in the immortal words of Mick, "you can't always get what you want." 

In this case though, I definitely got pretty darn close to exactly what I wanted, After two days I can honestly say that I love the new car. Yes, it does have something to do with that undoubtedly unhealthy "new car smell" off-gassing from all the new plastic and fabric inside the car. I mean,. who doesn't love a new car smell? Some of the other cool features I love about the car are the very good mileage, the keyless entry system, and I also really like the screen that shows your backup view. I'm certain I will just love the bluetooth enabled phone access plus Stitcher and Pandora that come standard with the car.  So far my sister Betsy has attempted to explain how these features work, but i am still just as baffled as ever. I am sure I will love them when I figure them out. E will be here tonight.. Maybe he can help me. 

Oh! And another really cool feature of the car is a collission control sensor. If the car senses that you are rolling slowly toward something - like another car - it stops my car automatically. This will be HUGELY helpful to me,.

So yeah, I am excited. I feel like a kid in a candy store. I am generally not a "car person." I've never really cared what I drove as long as it got me there. But my zippy, new little Scion may turn ne into a much more enthusiastic driver. 

So what kind of car do you drive? Did you buy it new? Did you consider the haggling/buying process terribly stressful? And are you happy with the car you bought? Tell me in the comments below.
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  1. A 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Four Wheel Drive. I love it. Since I don't commute any more, I only have a bit over 87,000 miles on it. No matter what Consumer Reports says, this has been an extremely reliable car. No problems at all, ever. It handles well, still looks good, is a great size for schlepping everything from friends (with the seats up) to horse feed bags, groceries, and dogs with the seats down. I wish it had the new bluetooth and GPS stuff, but I'm thinking of getting a custom add on done. Lots cheaper than a new car. I'd buy another Grand Cherokee in a heart beat.

  2. Congratulations! The back up camera, hands-free phone and other safety devices were made with you in mind, my little accident-waiting-to-happen friend!

  3. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. I love it. Especially the big sunroof, heated seats and steering wheel and GPS!! Awesome car!