In the middle of a crappy situation, there were some bright spots. I met a great police officer, I had quite a story to tell and I learned about several other people’s car theft stories!
I also get a new car. Well, new to me. 🙂
I share it, because I am kinda excited. I wasn’t until I drove this car.
I was looking for something that was basically my car’s big sister. That meant a small SUV/crossover with low miles, four- or all-wheel drive, good gas mileage and high safety rating in a neutral color. It took a week and several days of running around to narrow it down to three great deals on the following vehicles:
And, I don’t have a single bad thing to say about any of the three. I really enjoyed driving all of them and they each had their pros and cons, but the weight of each would completely depend on the buyer. What was a con for me, might actually be a pro for someone else and vice versa.
Here were my thoughts on each vehicle:
1. The X3– is a BMW, which means, I’ve almost already said enough…
- What I loved was the high-quality reputation, the features like power seat adjustments and the way it looks. It is just so pretty without feeling gimmicky. When I asked my mechanic about buying a car with 50K miles and five years of wear, he said, “for a BMW, it’s just getting warmed up.” Awesome.
- What I didn’t love was the price. Although it was a good and worthwhile price up front, I was concerned about the older year and elevated price of everything that goes with it throughout owning it, like tires. I also didn’t like that the illuminated dash items were red colored. I know that seems shallow but I felt like it hurt my eyes and looked cheap next to all the other slick interior elements.
2. The Forrester–
- What I loved was the unique and quirky personality of the brand, the reliability, safety features and the amazing handling. I busted a U-turn in the middle of a 4-way stop (on a test drive route, no other cars) and it turned like a dream.
- What I didn’t love was the basic look and lack of features in my price range. I really liked this car but I didn’t feel like it was supposed to be mine.
3. The Tiguan–
- What I loved was the body style, the Volkswagen brand since that’s what I was coming out of, the great handling, the comfortable interior and the extras (like a sunroof of all sunroofs, heated seats and lots of storage compartments) in my price range.
- What I didn’t love was the 43K miles already on it, less trunk space than the other two and some things on the inside were either missing or broken.
But after weighing it all, in the end, I’m a VW girl. It stood out from the beginning. I went to Volkswagen of Orange Park, and my sales guy (Jesus Avila) was great, the car was great and the deal was great.
The Tiguan felt like my Golf with it’s road feel, zippiness and responsive handling only I feel 50-feet tall and fast forwarded into the future with all the amenities.
Jesus was great about not pressuring us and just letting the car sell itself. He gave us good information about the car while we test drove it rather than making us sit at the desk and listen to him read the features listed online. He is having a baby Tuesday and still kept a sense of humor and didn’t rush us.
And I’m sure they do this for everyone, but I liked that they walked me around to introduce me to all the staff members in the service area and finance department. They set me up with a free maintenance check-up in a year and fixed everything (a headrest that was missing and a rear cupholder that was popped out). They haggled down with me and matched my bank’s low interest rate offer.
Although I never would’ve wanted to get a car this way, I am happy with what I got. And I think the more I drive it, the more I’ll find to like about it. Plus, it means I get to mark off a goal!
Let me also say that this really taught me about complacency and taking things for granted. I won’t leave me purse in the car or leave it running even if I’m just running back into my house for a second. It will *always* be locked down in the garage, with a security system and lo jack.
I still haven’t decided on a name… I’m thinking it should be a sassy girl, but we’ll see. Do you name your cars? What do you think, is it he or she?