Yes, folks, the Great Car Shopping Extravaganza of the last few months finally came to an end. Meet my new car:
My 1999 Saturn had become too difficult to get in and out of for my unhappy knee – and, to be honest, I was getting kind of bored with it after almost 10 years. Even tho the mileage was insanely low, it just wasn’t working for me any more.
But what did I want? I researched my little brains out building cars at different dealer websites and comparing options, packages, mileage, dimensions and of course, price. Mostly it needed to be comfortable. But since I plan to keep it a long time (my last 2 cars have lasted me 24 years), it was important that it get good mileage since we all know gas prices are not going to stay where they are for long.
It may be evil and un-American, but the only cars I seriously looked at were Hondas, Toyotas, and Subarus. The mechanics I talked to strongly urged not to buy American, and my own experience with a horrible Dodge that had problems from the get-go. And now adays, I didn’t want to get a car from a company or dealer that could go under. My Saturn was only worth $1200 in trade in compared with the $3500 I got for my 14-year old Nissan back in 1999, and I knew that the Japanese cars hold their value better over time.
I kept piddling around online and Jen said that she thought the reason I hadn’t actually decided on a car was because I hadn’t fallen in love with one. That changed last weekend. My plan was to test drive a Corolla and a Camry but he suggested that I also look at the Prius. Added to the fact that it’s cute and gets phenomenal mileage, there is no state sales tax on hybrids and they were offering cash back for a limited time (until the 2009 models are gone). I got a pretty fair price; I probably could have done better but I’m still pleased.
Mostly it was just time, I was ready, I liked the style, and they had a red one. I am a sucker for red cars and the idea of getting silver, gray or black just like everyone else in the parking lot was not appealing. The Prius I picked up this morning is my third red car with gray interior and I know I can find it in a parking lot because I’m trained to look for a red car. Plus it’s totally cool. I’ve named her Hermoine for Hermoine Granger of the Harry Potter books because she’s cute, very smart, and a little bit magic (kind of like the whole hybrid thing).
Check out Flickr for more pictures. Ain’t she sweet?