Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yet Another New Car

So, last we talked (Hey, I'm writing again after only 2 weeks!) ... last we talked the Lincoln was going in for repair.

Well, days later, we get a phonecall telling us that after they took a few panels off/etc, they realized that there was MORE damage they couldn't see. Now, it's totaled. It can still drive, but it's totaled.

So yesterday we get the 'final call' telling us how much we will get. This was Wednesday.

I'm also told then that I can only keep my rental until Friday!!!! Plus I am very busy this Friday-Sunday with running an SCA event!


So we have to make a decision. Either Wed/Thurs go buy a car, or end up paying for rental ourselves. (Or leave Heather without a car while I'm at work for a while).

Since we had been spending the last 5 days or so before that car shopping anyway, knowing it was coming ... and since we had narrowed it down to 2 cars, we said screw it ... and I left work a little early and we picked up our check, and went shopping.

We decided that all we really needed was a little commuter with good gas mileage. Well, the long story short was that I made a spreadsheet comparing all the 'cheap cars', for 'full price of ownership' (taking gas mileage into account, etc).

We found that there were about 3-4 cars that were cheapest once configured. However, at only a few thousand more, there was suddenly quite a jump in 'quality' and features. We looked at the big list, and decided that the extra money was worth it in a 'bang for your buck' sense.

And we decided on a Scion xB ... it just seemed to fit perfectly, being a good commuter, but being multi-purpose with having good cargo room,etc. It could be a 'trip without much gear' vehicle as well as commuter. Cool!

Well, that was just 2 days ago.

On Tuesday, we took a step back. We said: Ok, wait a minute, we were comparing 'cheap cars', and ones that might cost a little more. Now that we have decided on a car (without having even test drove it) ... let's look at things that compare with IT.

We did. We found a handful that compared with it, and after some research, threw them all back out. Except for one. The Suzuki Aerio SX.

So yesterday, we went and drove the xB & Aerio.

We drove home in the Aerio SX.

The drawback to the Aerio SX, was that it was actually a few thousand more than the Scion. However, it had alot going for it that the Scion didn't. It had side airbags, it had a 6-cd/MP3 player, it had cruise control, it had a bigger engine. Biggest of all, it was AWD!

In fact, it only had 3 'cons' ... they were:

* Space. The Scion appears to be a big box and have lots of cargo space. The thing is, that while it IS ... when you really look at it, it's not that much. Lots of the space is up in the driver area which isn't useful for cargo. And if you lay both the back seats down it's got tons of space; however, in my case there is probably going to be a permanently mounted carseat back there. With the backseat up, there isn't much cargo room at all.
So in the end, it lost this comparison.

* Gas Mileage - The scion got better gas mileage. However, the AWD of the Aerio makes up for that. Also, we were told by the salesman (yeah, yeah, I know, we will see how right he was), that Suzuki always underquotes it's gas mileage so that you aren't upset when you buy it and the gas mileage is sub-par. So he claimed that the slight difference (29 vs 34), would really not be all that different, and that we should get 30+

* Cost. The Scion was cheaper. No question about it. This was a big sticking point.

Except for one thing.

Scion is a no haggle dealership. So we knew exactly what we were going to pay there. After making a decision that we liked the Aerio, we talked with the guy, told him that we were comparing it to a Scion, and were leaning to the Scion.

Suzuki likes to haggle. They made us an offer at exactly what the Scion was going to cost us, and got us a better interest rate than Scion would have. Meaning that for the same price, we got a better car all around.

So we drove home in a bright blue Aerio SX, to sit beside the dark blue Dodge Ram


I'll have to post pictures eventually.



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