Sunday, September 07, 2014

Adventures in Car Shopping

I got my first car 22 years ago, a Honda Civic hatchback coupe. Seven years after that, my husband got a company car and we traded in my Civic and I started driving his Corolla.

Fifteen years later, that Corolla is finally worn out enough that it makes more sense to buy a new car. Yay!

I spent many hours doing research online and narrowing down my options based on budget, safety ratings, reliability, and appeal. My top option was a Scion xD, in part because it was different. I hate that every car looks the same, and they're all silver, white, gray, red, or black. My entire life, I have not wanted to be one of the crowd.

So I went over to the Scion dealership and they had no xDs. He had none coming in, and none closer than 45 minutes away. There were no used ones. I reluctantly said I'd test drive the new Corolla while I was there. Instead of talking to me about the car, he used his phone to confirm that Scion is apparently discontinuing the xD. *sad face*

The Corolla didn't excite me at all. It's what I currently have, and I didn't want the same thing. They also made the steering wheel fatter with these big bumps at 10 and 2, and that just didn't fit my hands. So I was off to a discouraging start.

I stopped at dealerships to look at the Chevy Sonic (could NOT see myself in a Chevy), Mazda3 (a bit higher than I wanted to spend because you have to go up a trim to get cruise control!), and Hyundai Elantra. The Elantra might have still been on my "look at" list, but it was lower down for safety and reliability. But the most discouraging thing was that no one came out of any of the dealerships to talk to me. Apparently I wasn't worth braving the heat or something. So to hell with them.

Yesterday we went over to look at the Honda Civic and Insight. I liked the Insight okay, and it felt fine until I got into the Civic. It had firmer seats and a more "economy" feel, and since I keep my cars for over a decade, I want to be comfortable. :)

The Civic felt good, has some great features for a base model, and is top rated in safety and reliability, so I bought one! I even liked the color they put me in. The sales manager said he looked at the gray and the red (crimson pearl, which is a deep red) and decided I was more of the red. He was right! So I'm scheduled to pick it up Thursday.

Last night, I had annoying dreams. I kept rotating cars in my brain, researching and setting up test drives that I didn't go on. Then I had a real dream, with other people and events and stuff. We were going on a writing retreat, and I drove my new car that I had JUST picked up that day. I went to open the hatch (apparently I had a different car in the dream than the one I bought) and someone had backed up RIGHT against my tail. When I came around the car he pulled forward so I had room, but he had crunched my paint job and chipped a fist-sized hole right down to the metal.

The dream is probably because we were talking about whether or not to get the gap insurance, which covers the difference if your car gets totaled shortly after you bought it and the insurance company takes a few thousand off the replacement value. I still can't get the images out of my head.

Off to work, so I can earn my car payment. And then, today is FOOTBALL! *does a happy dance* What's making you happy today?


LBDDiaries said...

My car is 14 years old and still worth putting $$ into. It really has been drama and problem free and I bought it used at 4 years old. I've really enjoyed having it. I tried to find something newer but two things stopped me - I can't find one I'd want to buy right now and I don't want to make car payments! I'm like you - I hate that every car out there looks the same and the colors are so ordinary! Alpha Hubby's vehicle is a wild orange red or reddish orange - so unusual! Mine is champagne (blech) but I plan to paint red it if I decide to keep it much longer. Great story!! And btw they didn't come out to sell to you probably because you were a... woman. I've had that happen before, too. Then when I go back with hubby, they rush out to sell to him. Ticks me off.

Natalie Damschroder said...

I prefer to think they didn't come out because it was stinking hot. LOL

I like the champagne colors! Though it depends on the era and the make. Some are creamy-looking, some are not.

I plan to keep this car for 15 years, too! :)

Damon Sherman said...

Car shopping can be one heck of an adventure. Thankfully, yours ended on a good note. And I hope it will continue to be that way when you finally get and drive your car. So, how's the experience of driving your new car, so far?

Damon Sherman @ Butler Auto Hyundai

Natalie Damschroder said...

Damon, I have to respect your spam for being personalized and appropriate. Not to mention grammatically correct. LOL Your link appears to be legit/safe, so I'll leave it! :)

And love my new car. Thank you!