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December 07, 2011

THE CAR QUEST. Part 2. Have an Identity Crisis


I read the behind-the-scenes Edmunds series. I studied specs and reviews of dozens of cars. I talked to friends who drive my top candidates. I knew my budget. I knew what general features I most wanted (leather), what was optional (moonroof -- sigh.) and what I'd skip (spoilers, GPS).

I was ready.

Except for one thing.

Which car did I most want??

Which really translated into: WHO AM I??

source: Round About Show

For some people a car is wheels and a seat. They think it says nothing about them.

I say, that says something about them.

I'm the kind of person who gleans meaning from a hairstyle, the kind of cocktail someone orders, a person's ringtone or lack of one.

So am I a mid-career professional looking to impress someone, anyone, with her ride? For a while I started to think so, but then I realized there's no one to impress but myself (and my pocketbook), since I don't usually do business with image conscious types. Forget that.

Am a mother (not yet, but buying a car with that in mind) looking for a roomy backseat and a quiet cabin, perfect for sleeping triplets? (Hey, gotta be ready for anything!)

Or am I an ambitious young professional looking to maximize gas mileage, zip through traffic in a cute little thing and be comfortable along the way?

Do I love to pass people on the highway? A little too much.

Would I be comfortable driving something boring safe and slow, in exchange for a roomy interior and cruise control? Er, maybe!?

So there it was, an identity crisis -- sporty, stately, kid friendly, city friendly, all or none of the above?

Mr. A tried to help. He knows a ton about cars, and he knows a ton about me. :) He drives a Civic and has been very pleased with it. I asked him to help me narrow down which of the following cars packs the best balance of sexy features, comfortable drive, affordability and a solid repair track record.


Me: What do you think between the Mazda 3 or 6, the Hyundai Elantra, a VW, a Toyota, a Volvo, another Nissan, or, what else?

Him:  How about a Honda Civic?

Me: I tried one and didn't really like it. It was a 2012 model, and those are getting bad reviews.

Him: How about a 2011?

Me: No, I want something... different. More energetic, more alive.

Him: Like a Civic? It's super reliable. You'll never see them on the side of the road.

Me: I think I'm leaning toward the Elantra.

Him: Why don't you test drive a 2011 Civic and we'll go from there?

Me: Thanks, darling! I think we narrowed it down!

Next step: Unleashing the internet negotiation elves.
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