Saturday, August 08, 2009

And so the story goes like this....

There has been alot of talk around this house about cars lately. We went back and forth about trading in the car and the truck, or just the truck or just the car. The Cash for Clunkers program was a good incentive but we also have been having problems with the Jetta. But- and that's a big but--both of our cars are paid off and we liked not having any debt besides a mortgage. After much discussion we decided to keep the truck. Yes its a 1989, yes their is a shock hanging off the back end, and yes its big and a gas guzzler- but it does what we need to do. Haul construction stuff back and forth and haul demo materials to the town dump. Its old and slightly rusty so therefore you don't have to worry about getting it dirty when we throw old boards and dusty drywall sheets in the back of it. It really is handy for us to have and we use it often. Its pretty reliable and pretty darn good in the snow.
And then there is my 2002 Jetta. The first car I ever bought. I bought it straight out of college. It served me well. It has 93,000 miles on it and it only had 4,500 when I bought it. Its small though so rear facing car seats take up a bunch of room and leave very little leg room for the people sitting up front. It also barely holds a double stroller in the trunk. But its main issue is its electrical problems. VW are notorious for electrical problems and this one is no exception. I can count at least 4 times in the last 6 months where it failed to start for random electrical issues. Not to mention that with 2 car seats in the back seat we now had no room to transport anyone or anything else... as we used to be able to fold down half the backseat and extend the trunk space. Not anymore. Yesterday was the last straw as I went to start the car so I could go interview a midwife in Concord and it failed to start. Luckily Natalie was here babysitting Keira and was kind enough to let me drive her car otherwise I would have missed my appointment that took 2 weeks to make. The battery light was lit up in the car... which made no sense as its a new battery and the car had started a few hours before. We had had enough. We decided to trade the car in while we are still able to get a few thousand for trade in value.
The question was what to trade it in for. We decided to look at mid sized cars ( Camry, Accord, Avalon) and Subaru Outbacks and Toyota and Honda Minivans. Our reasoning for the minivan was that although we really don't need a minivan with 2 kids we aim to have the car for at least 5+ years and we are definitely planning on at least one more baby after this one. So it might make sense to have the extra space now. The other big incentive was that with the 3rd seat folded all the way down the trunk space on a minivan is HUGE and will allow us to haul stuff should the truck die in the next few years... or even if it doesn't. Often times we are out as a family and stop at Home Depot or Lowe's or some construction place and end up buying big things that need a big truck space to transport. Yes SUV's are definitely cooler but they have worse gas mileage and I HATE the way you have to climb over the second row seat to get to the third row. Not convenient with car seats at all!
We looked at Subaru but they did not have one pre owned Outback in our price range that was not a manual transmission. I cannot drive a manual car and I have no desire to learn how.
I really wanted a car that can drive on snow so we were going to look at the Toyota Sienna since it is the only mini van with all wheel drive I believe. However when we went to the dealer they did not one have pre owned minivan at all. They also only had one Camry that was in our price range and one Avalon. So we headed over to the Honda dealer where they had 2 pre owned minivans. One was fully loaded and way over our price range and the other was the one we ended up getting. A 2007 Honda Odyssey with 55,000 on it. Its a nice van and handles well. It has no bells and whistles though. No heated leather seats, no moon roof, no 6 disk CD player, no leather seats. But its spacious enough for lots of car seats and stuff and the gas mileage is decent. It was in our price range and we were able to talk them into going down several thousand dollars and giving us more for our trade in . Mike promised to get snow tires for it too so its more stable in the snow.
I am definitely mourning the loss of the coolness factor. I think I said many times that I never wanted to drive a minivan. But that was before I had kids in car seats and realized how much more convenient they are than SUV's.
While Mike and I were sitting at the dealer for hours as any new or new to you car purchase requires we were thinking about the fact that we are 27 years old and own 2 older non cool cars. Its a sad day for the Vigneau's!
The last time Mike and I looked at cars.. ( I kid you not!) it was while we were engaged. We were dual income and no kids and we were looking at an Acura TL. From an Acura TL to a Honda minivan in 3 years. WOW.
And David and Christina Sullivan.... we did not set out to copy you- I promise. But like I mentioned it was this van or the one that was over our price range and it was also Blue. So yes we now have an identical minivan to you. All we need is the NO Obama sticker on the back. Sorry guys!
Pics to come of our pimped out ride... when Mike returns from work with the car.


Caroline said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with a minivan! You're still cool, don't worry! haha

WildRose said...

Yah good for you a GREAT choice!!!!!!

MommyKW said...

I love this story! I've seen the cool factor go down over the years as well! I keep dreaming of the day that I will have a cool car again!