Monday, February 4, 2008

If you don't care about cars, you'd better just skip this and play on Facebook or something.

I've been on another planet lately.

Planet Claire?

No. Planet Car.

It's all I can think about. It is my nerd project. Well... that, and the real work they've given me to do. I spend a little time on that, too.

I've done as much research as I can on the kind of cars I can afford. In the end it came down to three cars that rivaled each other in terms of price, user reviews, reliability, resale value, and overall personal appeal. The finalists weren't completely equal on all parameters, but I felt that each represented a good balance of all the factors that were important to me. So I test drove a Scion tC, a VW Rabbit, and a Honda Civic on Saturday. I brought a nice male friend along for moral support and for hey-thurr-little-lady-what-can-I-do-ya-for repellent. (Thanks, Matt.)

The winning car was the VW Rabbit. I absolutely loved the way it drove. I had expected to be most interested in the Civic by sole merit of its gas mileage, reputation, and other such swoon-worthy honor badges that everyone associates with that model. And don't get me wrong-- I'm sure all the accolades are deserved. However... it just didn't feel Right. And the Rabbit felt Right.

So... here's the tricky part. Two-door or Four-door? The problem here is that the four-door model only comes in an upgraded trim level: better interior fabric, sunroof, six-cd changer... things I don't need. Things I don't want to pay for. I can definitely afford the two-door. But unless the price is right (and it's close... it all depends on what kind of quotes I get back from the dealers), it's a bit of a stretch to afford the four-door. But I really want those two extra doors. I plan to have this car for a VERY long time, and down the road I'm afraid I may regret having skimped such a feature just to be more frugal.

Now... here's another thing. One day this fellowship is gonna be over, and the kinds of jobs I'll be qualified for, frankly, will pay a good bit more. (Thanks a lot, Beige Wonder-- couldn't you have waited until I had a REAL job to plotz out on me?)

So... I dunno. Hopefully I can get a dealership to come down to a number where I won't have any trouble making the call. Let's hope so.

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