Drive Me Crazy

09 August 2010
Soon, we'll be in the market for a new car.  I feel like even writing this post is going to jinx it and that will piss me off.  We drive our cars until they die and have been car payment free for over five years.  We aren't in a hurry and we want to make the right decison.  Presently, we have an old clunker that Dave drives to and from work and I drive the Chrysler 300.  We also drive the 300 for most things we do together, though Finn loves the novelty of riding in Daddy's Work Car.

I have to tell you that the 300 was Dave's car, it was his choice completely before we got married.  I have a bit of an issue with the blind spots for short peeps like myself and the rear wheel drive really super sucks for the winter months.  It was only after I was far along in my pregnancy that we switched cars... I do not mind driving the old clunker at all, but Dave somehow feels like, especially since Finn is almost always with me, that I should drive the nicer car. 

The master plan for the new car is that it will be my primary vehicle, the one we will take on trips, and Dave can have his car back.  I hope he doesn't mind the few cheerios he'll find in the back seat.

I test drove several crossovers and SUVs last summer when we started to look {we were going to take advantage of the Cash for Clunkers, but turns out our clunker didn't qualify} I liked a few, one in particular stood out as the front runner.  The only problem with that one?  The dealer in our area behaved less than honestly and I am not giving them a dime of our money.  It went beyond sleezy car salesman to blatently trying to fuck us.  We also, because of Dave's job, qualify for special pricing for very many of the car manufacturers out there. 

Honda and Toyota/Lexus are not on the list if we buy new.  Pretty much everything else is fair game.

Here is what we are looking for...
  • above average safety ratings
  • under $30k
  • comfortable for backseat passengers {ideally we will have this car until Finn is a teenager}
  • front or all wheel drive
  • not. a. minivan.
I want to know your thoughts.  I have zero issues with it being a few years old, Dave would prefer new.  What do you drive?  Do you like it?  Would you recommend it to your best friend?  How about your favorite blog writer?

17 comments:

Jess@StraightTalk said...

How exciting! I can't help you because I drive an Accord but my Aunt has a Ford Escape and it's pretty darn cute. But if there is a baby 2 in the picture for the future, I'd say no because it is tiny.

I think if you are going used, if you could get a great deal on a Tahoe? Awesome. I loved mine. LOVE IT I tell you. But filling it up? Not so awesome.

Amy Dean Stuempges said...

I drive a Scion XD and I love it! It's a 4-door, hatchback, gets great gas mileage and super cute. Might not be big enough for road trips with child(ren) though. The XB is bigger but looks like a box. Still efficient though. And for us short people, they are easy to load things in and out of because they sit a little lower unlike some SUV's that I feel like I have to fling myself into. Good luck with the hunt!

mommara said...

Honda Accord and I love it. Good luck on your search I am not a car person at all. As long as it gets me from point a to point b, has an air conditioner and a sunroof. LOL but, husband is a Parts Manager at an Acura dealership so he does all the car decision's. It is a no fun process but, well be worth it in the end. The only car I *love* and wish I could have is the CRV that honda makes. I really like the way the windows look. Practicle huh? Good Luck and I can't wait to hear what you end up with.

Meg said...

honda crv! they are great cars and hold their value like a champ! i just sold my 2000 and and got an '05...after test driving tons of other models, the crv won again! i love it--safe, spacious, well designed, comfortable, and great quality.

Mommy Lisa said...

My Dad is on his SECOND Kia Sportage. They are WAY nicer now then when he bought his first one.

I totally want the Chevy Equinox after driving the Traverse for a month. It is a smaller version with WAY better gas mileage. You should check that out.

Amy said...

Sorry I'm no help. I love my Honda Civic Hybrid more than is normal to love any non-human.

My parents have a Chevy Equinox, and they have the older one, so you'll have to check it out, but their back seat is NOT comfortable, at least not to me.

Leslie said...

I have a 2011 Kia Sorento, and I am in love with it! It fits all of your criteria, too! (Mine's not an AWD model, but it is available!)

Jessica @ Sunny Tuesday said...

We're probably getting a new vehicle in December and another next year. We'll probably trade in my Civic for an Accord and my hubs's Chevy truck for a Nissan Pathfinder. It has 3rd row seating and is within our price range, especially if we get one that's a few years old.

Nikki said...

We bought a 2010 Ford Fusion and totally LOVE it! It's a great family car. Drives fabulously, spacious trunk, roomy back seat but also looks a little sporty on the outside. My husband wasn't a huge Ford fan but we looked at a lot and this was the car that we both loved. My younger sister went and bought the same car a couple of months after us because she liked it so much! I would say it's worth checking out!
I'm been totally M.I.A. lately and have missed your blog....glad to be back!!!

Stacy Kaye said...

Hey there, we are the same as you when it comes to cars, drive them til they die. Kev's car did that the summer before Rusty was born. We did a lot of investigating-my husband is the king of Consumer reports!-and went with the Toyota Rav4. I know it has gotten a bad rap lately, but we are not one of those that had to go through changes and we absolutely LOVE IT! We did not buy it brand new, it was about a year old. We are really happy with the room, the way it drives, gas mileage, everything.

MY car is a Toyota Matrix. I had a Nissan Altima that sadly got totaled out in a car crash and we found a great deal on a 2004 Matrix and I am in love with the car. Can't say that it would be super roomy for a teenager in the back?? but we do know that two carseats fit well, two sets of our friends have the same car and two kids and say it still has plenty of room. My thoughts! We are really, really happy with BOTH of our vehicles and plan to drive them both into the ground as well!

Anonymous said...

Check the Honda Pilot... 2008 or older models are right around $20K. Super comfy and lots of room (the Odyssey is actually better at both of those but you are minivan opposed:) At that point, you'll be able to move Finn to college in it! Honda's just don't die! Good luck.

BunnyMendelbaum said...

You know I love my Winnie Cooper, but I'll be the first to admit it's not the most practical kid car. That's why I have my eye on the new 4-door Mini Countryman. When we are ready for kid #2 in 3 years or so, they should have all the kinks worked out. :)
Marc is all about the ford focus though, the european model that is about to come out in the US. http://www.automobilemag.com/features/news/0806_america_gets_european_ford_focus_in_2010/index.html

Jordan said...

GMC Terrain. Love it. GREAT gas mileage- 32 MPG on the hwy. Super roomy. Nice ride. Sleek look. Go to Ballas- tell them Jordan sent you : )~

Meg said...

I am no help at all because I drive a Honda Fit, but if you could get a Honda and drive a small car, I'd recommend it 100%. It's the most amazing, reliable little car and it acts like a mini SUV. You can fold down the seats in every which way to fit all sorts of junk in the trunk.

Of course I'm rambling about a car that doesn't qualify on your list, but I'm excited for you! Car shopping will be so much fun!!

Tawny said...

I drive a Toyota Venza and absolutely adore it - we got the AWD and it was well worth it. Also the AWD was co-designed by Subaru hence why the Outback and Venza look so similar. (apparently Toyota and Subaru have been pairing up for awhile - who knew....) Have you checked out Subaru - the Outback and Forester are surprisingly affordable and you can drive them into the ground and back! I would have bought one but Toyota gave me the better trade for my Matrix.

Jennifer said...

I've got to say that I love my Subaru Forester. I just got it this past winter and it is fantastic. The back seat is spacious and I can fit 3 carseats (2 forward facing, 1 rear facing) in the back. I am also excited that subarus have the reputation for lasting a long time, as I anticipate tha tmy now 3 year old will be driving it some day. Good luck with your search and I'm glad that you walked away from the shadey salesman.

Anonymous said...

Just saw this. I don't think our kinds of cars are up your alley, but I do have a WONDERFUL used car salesman for you. Honestly. Kent Keplinger at Brown Honda. Kind, trustworthy, non-pushy, knowledgeable but not a know-it-all. Seriously. Sells used Hondas, but also other stuff. I won't work with anyone else.

P.S. we're buying a FIT if I get pg.

Bea

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