Friday, March 27, 2009

Cars we left by the side of the road

Being a bit of a car nut (and a basket case when it comes to big decisions), our new car search began essentially with the dawn of time.  Officially it lasted for about six months.  During that time we test drove the following cars:

2005 Audi A4 (Used)
2009 Honda Fit (New)
2009 Mazda 6 (New)
2009 Mazda 3 (New)
2005 Mercedes-Benz C230 (Used)
2006 Nissan Maxima (Used)
2008 Saturn Astra (New)
2009 Saturn Aura (New)
2009 Suzuki SX4 (New)
2009 Toyota Corolla (New)
2009 Toyota Camry (New)
2008 Volkswagen Jetta (New)
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit (New)
2007 Volvo S40 (Used)

Our 2010 Mazda 3 wasn't my first choice; I preferred the Mazda 6, Saturn Astra, and Volkswagen Rabbit, the first two of which have the added benefit of being somewhat American made.  The Saturn would never really have been an option though, because they killed off the brand just as we were finally ready to buy.  I was really disappointed with the Camry and Aura (though I liked the Aura better) for incredibly weak engines and poorly tuned transmissions (both with the 4-cylinder engines).  They get the job done, but without even a hint of passion for driving.  

One of our requirements for a new car was that it have a stability control system (if you're buying a new car, be sure to get it!), which when combined with our budget ruled out a large portion of the available cars.  There were a few that we could have considered but didn't:  2009 Ford Focus (too ugly and apparently less fun to drive than a Camry), 2010 Ford Fusion (the stripped down model would just barely fit in our budget), 2009 Honda Civic (only the top of the line model has stability control, and it's quite expensive), 2009 Subaru Impreza (too granola), and 2009 Chevy Malibu (again, only the stripped down model could possibly, barely, almost fit in our budget).  Hyundai and Kia also offer some models we could have looked at, but we felt no need to go to them.  The models just listed were enticing as either highly reputable companies (Honda) or American made to some degree.  Unfortunately, our ultimate goal was an elegant, compact car with the requisite safety features and in our limited budget, something the Detroit automakers just don't offer.  

Ultimately though, one criteria mattered the most:  Krystle's choice.  And in case you hadn't picked up on it from earlier posts, Krystle loves her car (even if it does look like a smiling whale with braces).


  1. So what if I bought the car while you were out of town? I think you need to let go already. ;P

  2. I love my (2003) Camry - however it is a 6 cylinder (and was made in Kentucky), I didn't want a 4 as you're correct, they are s-l-o-w! I think your new car is cute - but I disagree, it looks more like a smiling whale with a retainer (not braces!!) =)