I'm not much of a sentimental gal, but I really loved that Windstar. I maintained it well, and in return, it was really good to me. The model did have a reputation for having problems with the transmission, but we never had any trouble. It never left me stranded anywhere. It was comfortable, reliable, and fun to drive. ("Fun", for me, in this case, meaning "comfortable and reliable".) Oh, and clean! That was our first vehicle with leather seats, and led us to resolve to never back to cloth. "Clean" is a real priority for me.
Although I've always preferred to buy used, not only out of financial necessity, but also a sort of sense of responsibility (call it a Charlie Brown Complex, but somebody has to love the gently-used vehicles), Wort didn't have to twist my arm too terribly to get me to consider a new vehicle, in this case. It just made sense for us at this point. After perusing Toyota Siennas online, we walked into the dealership today knowing exactly what we---er, I wanted. The kids and I bade our sad farewells to our nearly-denarian, four-wheeled friend; to whom I had never bestowed a moniker, but who shall be hereafter known as "Old Reliable" (it almost doesn't seem right to not have a eulogy); and off we went, into the showroom.
In aiming to convey to the salesman exactly what features I wanted, I had to bite my tongue against a rant about the general "obnoxiousisity" of having DVD players in minivans (I'm aghast!), especially since it was part of the package in the model I was eyeing. (Imagine my horror when the guy tried to sell me on the point that the kids can play PS2 while on the road!)
The whole process was pretty straightforward: "I want to see that one." "OK, I'm ready to test drive it." "Yep, I'll take it."
I'm sure we'll even use the damn DVD player, and I bet we'll even like it. So stick a fork in me.
It rides smoothly. It has bells! It has whistles. It has an auxillary jack for my iPod. It has Bluetooth. No kitchen sink, but I can sure fit one in the cargo area. And best of all, it doesn't leak radiator fluid everywhere I go. w00-h00t!
It's dark outside now, so I didn't take any pictures of my actual car. Here is the closest image that I could swipe off of a website, but mine has a contrasting trim (which, somehow, is important for you to know):
The website I swiped this one from describes the dash as "bland" (for shame! It's clean, I tell you). This one seems to show a navigational system, a feature which did not come with my own vehicle:A car review website described the interior as being "cavernous", which lends great appeal for soccer moms and serial killers alike (neither of which am I, by the by, but the space is nice all the same). Oh, and the hideaway seats are push-button automatic, so we can grow older more gracefully, without setting our backs out trying to move seats. It even has at least six different kinds of hooks, for hanging garments, handbags, trash bags, cargo nets, and grocery bags, and securing bungee cords; perfect for a veritable "bag lady" like me (can you hear Wort laughing?):
The middle seats can be reconfigured to make a bench, which will be fun to try. It might make access to the third row seat easier. Here, they are shown as I received them, although I didn't seem to get the "teddy bear trim package". (Oh, bother!):
Thanks, Wort, for my totally posh "Mom-mobile". Hey, maybe I can pick you up sometime... (Baby, take a ride in my coupe, you make me wanna... shoop.)
Last year I felt it were time to upgrade my convertible to..er..another convertible. I proceeded to test drive virtually every convertible on the market. The strangest thing happened: every time I test drove a car, received the sales pitch, studied the features, and considered the payments, I got into MY car in the end and though, "gee...what a nice car!"
This is not to say I'm particularly married to my car, but I simply found it the best option for all the cars I drove. I was specifically interested in maintenance packages, but no one seems to offer comprehensive maintenance these days. In the end, if I were to trade up, I shouldn't trade up to 'brand' new (kudos to Charlie Brown)
My car has NOT been difficult this year, as it had last, but I have pushed the odometer into the netherregions. I worry I may have only until the end of the year before I am stranded by the side of some country road in god-forsaken Chester County, PA in a blizzard with the top stuck halfway down.
I hear they make miatas as hard-top convertibles now.
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