This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



So I Ordered a Car

So, a few hours ago I bit the bullet and ordered the car that will replace my 1996 Saturn SL2 that died in September.

Those of you who listened to the November 13th Curmudgeon’s Corner know this, but my criteria were basically:

  • 4 door hatchback. Didn’t want a two door anything, nor a four door sedan (let alone SUVs, trucks, vans, etc.) I had my heart set on a hatchback from almost the beginning.
  • Smallish since I don’t like big vehicles. But still big enough so that it COULD hold the whole family of four without them all complaining about being cramped.
  • Stock stereo must have an AUX jack (or better) integration with my phone, since that is all I use for audio
  • Blue, since I have driven a green car since 1995
  • Must generally at least feel like a small step up from my old Saturn
  • I wanted a 2012 model new car. Not used, or even a 2011 model. Intention is to buy new, then keep it until it can’t move any more, which preferably will be on the order of 15+ years.
  • Under $20k if possible, definitely under $25k. (Raw price, not necessarily counting taxes and all that stuff.)
  • All Wheel Drive preferred, but not an absolute requirement. (Once upon a time, I used to go on driving adventures which were really a bit much for the Saturn, and AWD would have been helpful, but to be honest I haven’t done that stuff in almost a decade.)

Those of you who listened to the show know that Ivan’s top five he thought I should look at were the Honda Fit, Ford Focus and Fiesta, VW Golf and the Hyundai Alantra and that I should avoid Subaru, Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Mazda.

Well… I obviously didn’t quite take his advice (although I did consider it).

I ended up looking at the VW Golf, Honda Fit, Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and the Subaru Impreza. I was not impressed by any of them except the Impreza. The Honda Fit was probably second in my ranking of those that I looked at. But I liked the Impreza a lot more. Now, admittedly, I’d been eyeing the Impreza for probably the last year. (Before that I’d been thinking Subaru Outback, and before that I’d been thinking Mini Cooper, and before that who knows… that takes me back 5 or 6 years in my “what if my Saturn dies now” thought process.)

Anyway, after checking out all of them, and reading tons of stuff online about a bunch of them, I liked the 2012 Impreza a lot. It met all of my criteria. And I liked the looks of it. And a quick test drive on Sunday didn’t dissuade me.

I could have gotten a 2012 Impreza under my 20k goal, but of course I didn’t. I had to pick the model with all the bells and whistles and stuff, which ended up putting the MSRP just barely under my 25k limit. Brandy says this means I may have to give up my thoughts of an iPad 3 for Father’s Day, and give up various other things to not screw us budget wise. Sigh. Oh well. We’ll see how that works out.

They don’t have lots of these in stock yet, so I did a factory order. 6-8 weeks for delivery. So end of January or beginning of February. Unless by chance one with the exact same specs, colors and options as I ordered becomes available sooner.

Next up, a used car for Amy which is big enough to hold her double bass but is still relatively cheap and probably still has five or six years left in it before it dies. (I never thought I’d be the kind of parent who would get their kid a car within months of them turning 16, but oh my goodness it will make our daily logistics so much easier if all three of us can get to the places we need to get to independently without having to constantly coordinate schedules and commutes…) Amy will probably have her car within the next week or so, long before I get mine. But I get to drive it until she actually goes in to the DMV and passes her driving test to get her actual driver’s license instead of a permit.

Now I wait for my new car.

6 comments to So I Ordered a Car

  • Oh, I should have added to that list of requirements: NO BUILT IN GPS. Technology for that sort of thing changes too fast, I’ll want a new and better navigation system long before I’ll want a new and better car. So I’ll use my phone, or perhaps a stand alone GPS. But I didn’t want a built in nav. (So of course I didn’t choose that option.) I also didn’t go for a moon roof, cause I just don’t get those for the most part, plus that option reduced headroom a decent bit.

  • chris

    Congrats dude!
    Glad to see you finally decided to return to the 2 fuel guzzling family mobile world! :)

    Actually, that’s a nice ride, I like subarus, though I often find their doors to sound ‘hollow’ when I close them :(

  • Thanks Chris. Living with only one car since the end of September has been kicking our collective asses given our schedules and places we need to be on a regular basis.

    Things will be a decent bit nicer with two cars, let alone the nice relief having three will give us. :-)

    That is not counting Brandy’s old 1989 Buick Reatta though, which doesn’t actually get driven. It just sits there aging, waiting to someday in another decade or two to be old enough to be interesting just because it is old. So actually four cars. Wow. OK, I definitely never thought I’d be part of a four car family. But here we are. :-)

    I think I can probably live with a hollow door, although I didn’t notice that. I am fairly oblivious on some things though. :-)

    I am eager to get the car at this point, but of course I have to wait a few weeks. But I knew that when I picked it…

  • Matt

    Congrats. I on the other hand am right in track w convincing the wife that an iPad 3 is the perfect fathers day gift. But I’d quickly swap that for a new car.

  • Greg

    A 1989 Buick Reatta will never be interesting. In fact, you could probably say a 1989 Buick * will never be interesting.

  • Hey, anything that sticks around long enough gets interesting just because of rarity! I wish I’d kept my 1976 Dodge Colt! Or any of the other cars I’ve had. If I had the land, I’d definitely have the redneck parking lot of dead cars somewhere out back. I just finally signed away my Saturn to be taken away this morning. It was very sad.

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