It looks like we’ll be getting a new (probably not brand spanking new, but a good, used car) car.
Background: A few years ago, my grandmother finally admitted that she can’t drive safely anymore, and surrendered her driver’s license in favor of a regular state-issued ID. She and my grandfather bought a 2000 Buick Regal that was a former lease, and that was their last car. It was a good car, and I remember driving it around the summer right before my senior year, because I didn’t have my own car yet. The only issue I had was the placement of the pedals, which were practically on the front bumper. For someone who is short with short legs, that meant I had to practically sit on the steering wheel and do some fancy configuring with the seats so I was able to comfortably reach the pedals. Everything else was awesome, especially for the time because it was really luxurious.
Anyway, at the time my grandmother made this decision, I was driving around a 1996 Geo Prism that was starting to have a lot of issues. Our 2006 Scion xB was in fabulous shape, and I was driving it to appointments at PSHMC instead of taking my Prism. John really loved the Buick, so we decided to make an offer to my grandmother. We sold my Prism, and got the Buick. It was technically my car, and is registered in my name, but John and I switched our main vehicles and ended up driving the other person’s car on a regular basis.
Fast forward to Friday. I get a call from John in the morning, right as he arrived to work, telling me that the Buick stalled on him in the middle of the damned parking garage, right as he was going up the ramps to get to the next deck. He managed to drift it off to the side and put a bag in the window with the hazards on, but I knew we’d have to call AAA to get it towed. The stupid car didn’t show any lights indicating what might be wrong, and the mechanics are taking a guess that it’s the fuel pump. Now, we already put $1100+ into the Buick back in January for it to pass inspection, and that’s just scratching the surface of the amount of money we’ve put into repairs so far (that’s excluding the money my parents and grandmother put into it to get it running properly before we bought it). The estimate for the fuel pump was almost $850.
I was expecting maybe $500, but not almost $1000. The timing is extra shitty, because I had to get new front brakes and rotors on the Scion, and that was an additional $500.
We’ve put more money into this blasted Buick than we ever anticipated. The car is 16 years old, and while it’s still low mileage, it’s way more trouble than it’s worth. John and I talked about it, and decided it’s time to wash our hands of the Buick and get a new car.
Since John technically got the first new car (we weren’t married yet, but were engaged) when he bought the Scion, I said I get a chance at having a newer car. Once the Scion is done, and that’s going to be many years from now because those suckers are crazy reliable and run forever, he’ll get the next new car. I’ve been browsing for years, knowing I wanted another Toyota, and I’ve always had it narrowed down between a Prius and another Corolla (my first car was a 1990 Corolla, and I loved that car). At this point, though, I have extra considerations to think about, like cargo space. Lugging Judith’s equipment around is a pain in the ass, but obviously necessary. She has a few years to go before she’ll be able to start using a flutter device for airway clearance, and be able to do it properly, so for now we’re stuck hauling the vest everywhere. Since I’m the one who’s driving her around the majority of the time, we need a car with a decent amount of cargo space.
This gets tricky, because at this point I’m anti big cars. I love, love, LOVE driving the Scion around because it’s so compact, and for a small car it has a surprising amount of cargo space, particularly with a seat or both seats down. Whenever I drive a bigger car, be it a sedan, wagon, van, etc., I feel like I’m driving a yacht. Something like a Toyota Yaris or a Honda Fit would be right up my alley, but trunk space is very limited, and it would be rough trying to cram all of Judith’s stuff in there.
Yes, I realize a regular Prius and a Corolla aren’t exactly the epitome of tons of cargo space. The thing is, they have at least the same amount of cargo space that I currently have in the Scion, and I’ve made it work in there for years. So as long as the car has at least the same amount of trunk space, I’m good.
Fuel economy is another huge sticking point for me, if not the biggest. The Scion gets a good 35 MPG, which is fantastic. But ideally, I’d like that to be higher. That’s why the Prius has always been very attractive to me. I do try to be environmentally friendly when I can, preserving natural resources and reducing emissions, etc. Plus with all of the city driving we’re now doing makes the allure of a hybrid even more thrilling. So it looks like we’re going to get a Prius.
I did test drive a Prius V yesterday. That sucker was loaded, and all of the bells and whistles were a bit overwhelming, but at least it gave me a good idea about what I’d like to look for as far as those types of packages go. The Prius V is more like a station wagon, and is quite roomy with lots of cargo space. However, when I was driving it, it felt huge. I’m sure I could adapt to that rather quickly, and I’d be fine, but the regular Prius is still attracting my attention more.
We’re shopping around, looking for the best price, and are also shopping for the best rates on auto loans. John said that he doesn’t want to wait too long, though, because we want to unload the Buick before it starts costing us even more than it already has. So I’m really hoping that we’ll be able to have our new car by the start of summer.