Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Neeewww CAAARRRR!!!

In a previous post I detailed my new budget plan with the end-game of purchasing a new car.  In the next few posts I'll be going through some of the cars I'm looking at with stats, options, prices, and relevant reviews.  I'd love any input you have.

Background: I currently drive a 2002 VW Cabrio convertible.  It's effing ADORABLE.  It's great to paralell park, and nothing is greater than taking that top down on a warm sunny day and going ... anywhere.  The most mundane errands are fun when buzzing around in this cute little car.  And it IS little.  I can find a parking spot just about anywhere, which was a huge boon when I was still living in the middle of the city.  I bought it from a co-worker on the SUPER cheap, with low mileage and a pristine body (the car, not the co-worker).  I blame credit the Cabrio with getting My Runner and me together- if it wasn't for a dead battery the day of playoffs (and the subsequent week), who knows what wouldn't have happened?
 Hallo, Auto!
Everyone loves topless driving

So why the heck do I want to sell?  Well, it's a Volkswagon, so there's essentially zero cup holders.  I know that's a bit trite, but I'm really looking forward to driving without coffee nestled in my crotch.  It's an automatic transmission, and even though it has 1st-3rd as options, I miss having a manual transmission in the winter.  It doesn't get the awesome gas mileage you would think for a small car with a small engine.  It's SMALL.  I barely consider it a 4 person car and I feel like I could be accused of entrapment whenever I have to transport someone in the back seat (insert obligatory Mall Rats joke here).  The trunk space is nearly as sparse.  When My Runner and I took the Cabrio to VT for a long weekend our luggage took up pretty much ALL the extra space in the car.

What doesn't work with the Cabrio informed what I'm looking for.  I'd like a small hatchback with a manual transmission that gets good gas mileage and has a good sized interior.  And lots of cup holders, (though it seems that every non-German car realizes this need as new cars have an average of 27 cup holders per passenger.)  My budget informs my price range.  I'll be selling the Cabrio in the spring/summer (best time to sell a convertible) and using the cash from the sale and my savings as a down payment.  Using calculators from my credit union and on I was able to determine that I can afford a 4-year loan in the $15-$17K range.

I have a relatively broad list of cars to research.  I'd love any insight or suggestions you have!
Potential Cars:

  • Honda FIT (I *love* this car... the list is so long because I don't want to be too partial)
  • Kia Rio5
  • Toyota Yaris (& Matrix- concerned the Yaris will be too small and the Matrix too big)
  • Hundai Accent (& Elantra Touring- same concerns as the Toyotas, but these cars are CHEAP)
  • Ford Fiesta
  • Nissan Versa (& Cube- not sure I love the Cube's weirdness, but it's like an Element thats $8K cheaper)
  • Mazda MAZDA A2 (& A3 5-door- I see a LOT of A3's on the road)

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