Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Car, Er, Bus

Thank goodness for Grandma because I don't know how any parent could go through the drama and sheer time sink of car shopping with a kid in tow.  M and I were lucky enough to be on our own over the weekend when we went from car dealership to car dealership trying to decide on our best option.  We've known for some time that we would need a bigger (and younger) car before the baby came, so we finally decided to take the plunge.  Consumer reports and some other internet research helped us narrow things down to either a Toyota or a Honda, so we headed out with those in mind.

The first place we visited was actually a Jaguar dealership.  Amazingly, the salespeople in fancy suits did not turn their noses up at our old car and overall shlubbiness, and they kindly allowed us to drive the trade-in Sienna they had on the lot.  It was certainly large, and even without the fabled 8th seat, it certainly had space to spare.  Even the cargo area, which is so tiny in some vans, was generous enough to accommodate a large amount of luggage or groceries.  It was also surprisingly easy to drive.  Given the fact that it is shaped like a huge brick, I was pleasantly impressed by the handling.  Don't get me wrong, it's no sports car, but at least you don't feel like you're hauling it around every turn.  We were tempted by the car, but we still wanted to at least try out the Honda.

Pretty soon it started to seem like we were cursed.  The second dealership we visited had one Honda Odyssey, but the battery was dead.  The third dealership is one we drive by every day, but when we went to find it, we got lost and gave up.  Finally, on the forth one, we had an actual hit.  The drive was very similar to the Sienna, so it was down to little details.  The Odyssey had more power and better steering, but the Sienna had better brakes and nicer interior.  The Odyssey had the 8th seat, but it was older and had more miles.  We were truly torn.  The funny part was that as we sat there hemming and hawing about it, it was clear that the salesman thought we were playing a game.  We were not, so off we went back to the Jag people.

Then, with very little game playing or fuss, we negotiated a price and bought the car.  I guess luxury car people just don't engage in all the shenanigans and running back and forth to the manager that others do?  Anyway, we were happy with the price we got, and drove off in our shiny, nearly new car.  My heart was in my throat the whole way home because I'm not used to such a large vehicle, but I did not whack anybody along the way.  More than a week, and one road trip later, this is still true, so there's hope for me yet.  Now we are officially suburbanites.

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