Sunday, June 6, 2004

Car Update

We went to the used car lot today.  I let Reza (my roommate) do most of the talking while I did a lot of observing.  I test drove a Nissan Pathfinder.  Funny because before the Xterra was invented, Pathfinder was top on my "someday" list.  It's not anymore.  It handled the road well.  It's got a powerful engine. But it's way too big for me - not much body support in the driver's seat. It gets terrible gas mileage for city driving.  But it is a beautiful vehicle.

Later, I took Gordy's and Reza's advice and signed up for consumer reports.  I spent all afternoon reading about small and midsized SUVs.  [Sorry Gordy and DiAnne, I just can't see myself in a minivan. Not yet anyway.]

The beautiful, coveted Xterra has been bumped from the first position.  Right now the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CRV are competing for the top spot on my list.  Great on the road.  Better on gas.  Big enough for dogs but small enough for me.

The Toyota 4Runner is also in the competition.  But it's about as big as the Pathfinder.  I'd have to sit in one and see how it feels.  I've driven my friend's 4-door Ford Explorer and as big as it is, I feel completely comfortable and safe driving it.  I think it has a lot to do with the seating options.  If I could be that comfortable in a 4Runner, that could work.

The Ford Escape is near the top of my list too - but I know, it's a Ford.

[note: my preferred car color is black but red must photographwell, since many of the links provided are some shade of red].

It's interesting how much I notice all the different cars on the road when I'm in the process of buying.  It amazes me how many times I've been willing to take the first available car, or settle on something less than desirable, just to have something to drive.  Yet, it's one of the most important decisions I'll make.  And since I don't own a home, this is a purchase that should last longer than any other item I buy.

Tomorrow Reza and I will continue the car search.  Timing is crucial.  I have a jam-packed schedule this week.  And my current car either needs to be fixed or nixed.

17 comments:

sunflowerkat321 said...

Wow - care problems galore.  First the break in...now the coolant problem.  Good luck on your search.  You really do have to find a salesperson your comfortable with before you even look at the cars.  I hope you find something that fits you well.  My neighbor has a RAV4 and really likes it.

aynetal3 said...

Freee, here's our 5 cent advice ... go with the Honda ... it's rated 10 on value for its cost and 11% higher in general ratings than the Toyota RAV4.  AND, the difference in cost between a 2003 and 2004 is only $100-150, so we figure you should go with the 2004 model.  Hmm, there ... that was simple :)  Seriously, whichever you choose as long as it makes you feel good, that's the one!!  But, we were serioust also about the 5 cents.  Pay up!!

krobbie67 said...

Love the subtitle at the top! "Pardon me while I obsess..." LOL! One of the vehicles that I have been considering is the Toyota RAV IV. It's not really an SUV. It just wants to be one when it grows up.  Good luck and hopefully you'll find one soon.
Someone actually suggested a mini-van???? LMAO Yeah right! :-) ---Robbie

sonensmilinmon said...

I lke the Toyota Rav4 ... it's been a favorite of mine for sometime.  I have to admit that despite it being a FORD (found on road dead) I like the Escape. I've been driving my son's Explorer and I thought it would be too big and bulking ... not to mention the gas! But, it really hasn't been bad on gas when it comes to my little get-a-ways. I haven't used it for in town driving.  Anyway, good luck with your new car.  I kinda wish it was me getting a new car/suv.  I'm still driving my $150 bargin ~ a Ford Taurus.  I'm NOT complaining ~ it runs and it's paid!

Monica

diannevan said...

Just one bit of advice:  "Friends don't let friends drive Fords."

andreakingme said...

Trishy, I drive a 2002 Ford Escape. His name's Gray and he's a good little SUV. Drives like a car, very easy. Fun, too! I wish they came in those new deep purplish burgandy colors ... 'cause that'd be ME. Oh yeah.

I don't get great gas mileage. But I don't think many SUVs do, compared to a CAR. Or ... a bike, scooter or horse.

Sending you powah car buying vibes ...

andreakingme said...

I just saw DiAnne's comment. I must go konk that woman over the head with my wet pool noodle. I'll be right back.

aynetal3 said...

Hmm, still thinking ... maybe we could collect back by you giving us your thoughts at a penny per!  Figure we're going to make out on this purchase too!  :)

derossetfamily said...

Oh, I'm totally in love with new CR-V's. Actually, I'm a freak. I go to the car lot sometimes just to poke my nose in one. I have color/interior picked out too. Midnight blue exterior with charcoal interior. And it comes with a picnic table! Yeah I know, it really doesnt matter, but how cool is that? I say go for the CR-V, but I'm going to be totally jealous so no pictures!! :P
~Mary

geminiwilder said...

i can't offer any advice on makes/models, having only driven cars and a MINI-VAN (which is nice by the way!!!) but have fun shopping/trying them on for size!

phinney

slowmotionlife said...

If I get a vote - and I realize I don't - I want to put my vote in for the CRV.  I think those babies are hella cute!   I actually considered one before I bought my Cougar.  So, yeah... that's my vote.  LOL

Good luck in the continued car search!!

babyshark28 said...

I didn't catch this entry.
my opinion, and I know your not asking for it, but I like the Toyota RAV4, it looks artsy and I love the design.  the other vehicle would be
the Ford Escape.  Of course I am basing this opinion purely on style. :P

Happy hunting :)

txsguinan said...

Oh...I gotta throw in for the adorable little Rav 4!  

I bought mine in '96 and never had a single problem with it.  It's happy and zippy and (as Babyshark says) arty too, as well as highly maneuverable in any situation.  Gas mileage is good and mine has never been in the shop except for check-ups.  I LOVE my peppy little Ravi! (sirens beckon...take one home...it'll make you happy... :)

miarenee24 said...

I'm not a huge ford fan. I'm a chevy girl, but they are way more $$$ Right now, I'm driving a ford ranger [my daddy's] it's okay, but doesn't have the power I'm used to. One of my friends has a Ford Explorer and she loves it. Like you said, she feels "safe" in it. The Honda CRV is a good-looking vehicle! Hondas have a history of lasting and staying in good condition for years. resale value is better than most too.
xo

belfastcowboy75 said...

I drove a '96 RAV4 until last February, when I decided it was time for a new car. the RAV was utterly dependable and the dealers lusted after it (even a '96) at trade-in time. Mine was slightly underpowered, but that's been fixed.

akatvjunkie said...

The absolute best car for you would be the Honda Element. You would love it. Especially with all the puppies! ;-)

~TVJ~
www.tv-junkie.com

musenla said...

I'm clueless about cars so I can't offer advice here.  But it would be interesting to see what kind you actually end up buying.  Good luck!