Sunday, July 19, 2009

I've lost my patience. I can't do it anymore. It's time to get a new car.

Currently, I drive a 99 Ford Ranger. Why do I drive a 99 Ford Ranger? Well, there are a lot of reasons. Okay, there's one reason... and it's the only reason for over a year I've been driving a manual shift, no AC (yes, NO AC... it's 100 degress outside... and 300 degrees in this car) brain jolting, no radio signal receiving, slip-and-slide in the snow, broken speedometer, leg in the door crushing, death cab of a 99 Ford Ranger; I don't have a choice.

Beginning of April last year I drove a 97 Saturn LG. It was a sweet little ride. Shore it wasn't anything particularly special or exciting, but it did more than just get from A to B. It had AC, it was a small car built for small bodies (those of 5'1 to be exact), and all its nobs and dials worked. I recall it had a few little "quirks" that made it a "good ol' college car" - but I don't remember them beacause the heat of the cab of my Ranger has now boiled down and leaked any bad memories of that cool little vehicle out my ear. All I remember now is pure luxury. I drove the Saturn - deemed the Speedy Marshmellow - for almost 4 years. And on University Avenue and 3rd North in Provo April of last year, its age and mileage finally caught up with it. Other than the electrical system short circuiting and frying my battery dead, come to find that during it's last repair some expensive this wasn't properly adjusted into that and thus, resulted in a break down in a busy intersection and a promised $1500 repair. We bought the Saturn for $2000 respectively. Yeeeeeeah... not worth essentially "re-buying" it. And though I had a full time job at BYU Independent Study at the time, it was a fairly new job (perhaps about a month in) and I was just trying to gather myself after a long stint of a combination of a temp job and Banana Republic. Needless to say a lofty car repair NOR a "new car" wasn't even remotely in the cards. However, several lucky situations had come together for my "no car" problem. First, my little brother had left on a mission February thus leaving a functioning 99 Ford Ranger not being driven by anyone, and secondly, I was planning to go to Europe for a year, so I didn't really need to worry about a new car until I got back. Sweet. I sold the Saturn for $500 respectively and drove the truck of doom (lovingly referred to... ahem) for about 2 months until I left for San Franny... wow... this exact time last year (Mind blown!). You all know the irony... after a month in San Franny, I came back to the 99 Ford Ranger, and have been risking my life, and at the very least my sanity, on the roads since. Now with my feet under me again and the searing Utah summer finally boasting 100 degrees, I can't wait any longer.

For my job I travel a lot. Especially in the Fall. Last year, I seriously dreaded having to drive my truck all over the state for various presentations and appointments. Dreaded it. Having a job that requires you be out of the office is very cool, but not so "cool" when you have to drive a 99 Ford Ranger with no A/C. I arrived at many a school jostled, sweaty, and have you ever tried to dismount from a truck in business casual skirts? Well the world gets to see everything you have to offer most of the time. That truck has taken my DIGNITY! Along with melting my make-up and de-poffing my hair. It's all been very traumatic. And after the heat has cranked up this weekend as well as Fall promising another very active time for me to be on the road for my job, AND the fact my psyche has only now just recovered from my many many many slipping and slidding near death experiences on snowy roads for which my truck requires three 60lb sand bags in the back to even attempt gripping the road, I've had it. I'm done. The Ranger must be retired to Huntington and await my missionary brother to return if it hopes to continue it's ridiculous ventures as a college-student car. It barely even deserves THAT label. Good things missionaries come back humble. Mwhahahha! Sucker. I've been grateful for its availability - but now I'm ready to move up in the vehicle world! I'm ready for air conditioning and dammit, a radio signal and EVEN, automatic shifting. Heavenly clouds part, a pillar of light comes through, angels sing.. "awwwwwwww....."

So here's the trick now. I don't know what I want, and I've never had a car payment before. Well, I want a 2010 Honda Accord but lets be honest, I've not quite "arrived" there yet. No no... I need to be sensible, but I am NOT necessarily looking for "cheap." Remember, I'm a career woman now and prefer to steer away ( ha ha.. steer... it's a post about cars... ahem) from "college student-esque" cars. I also don't want a manual nor do I want it to be white! I hate white cars. My last two cars were white and I feel my personality demands something more than white. Red to be honest... just anything but white. So there's what I don't want - here's what I'd like:
  • Nothing older than a 2005
  • Nothing over $9500
  • Because... I want to pay it off in 36 months THUS keeping the payments CLOSE to $230-ish (insurance not included)
  • Sedan preferable
  • Sun-Roof happily accepted
  • Radio/CD player a must
  • The BEST A/C conceived that won't cause any sort of over-heating and will work even if it's the last thing functioninng in the car.
  • Under 60,000 miles
  • Of the following Makes: Hyuandai, Any Honda (num num), and Toyota. But of COURSE I am open for suggestions. I realize Honda's and Toyota's maintain their value and thus my specs might be pushing it - but hey - those deals are out there!
I've researched the Hyundai's most. I really like the style of the 2005 Hyundai Elantra GT and it usually meets all the above specs (and then some). However, if you my few readers and "i found this blog when I was bored" explorer, have an opinion of what sort of car I should get, or what sort of car would fit into the above stipulations, or OWN such a car, let me know! My brother has made me promise that I will not be buying anything without his presence and consent (not the missionary one clearly - another one - 1 of 3), so I'd like to come to him with some knowledgable suggestions when we go out car shopping this weekend.

Oh how I look forward to the day when I post a picture of myself, in my new car, an air conditioned breeze whipping my hair around my face, and a dreamy "I've finally arrived" look on my face. Oh how I dream of that moment... yearn for it... I'm so ready.


Crazy Walker said...

Could I be so bold as to recommend a Scion XB? They are the love it or hate it car, but we've had ours since November of '05, and it has been incredibly awesome. It gets fantastic gas mileage, has great head room (which makes it seem spacious), and it has an ipod connector, so you can connect your ipod directly into the stereo and run it from there.

This actually kind of fits the bill for what you're looking for:

Ours is an '06, so I don't know the differences between the '04 and '06, but I gotta say we are totally in love with ours. It isn't amazing in snow, but it was better than the wagon I had.

But, if you hate the toaster look, it probably isn't for you, and would probably make this option ruled out completely. lol.

Good luck in your search!

Marisa Jean said...

Can't blame you on this situation. My family used to have a Ford Ranger, and oh the joy. It was like ice skating during any kind of precipitation (wet, or snowy). Not fun.

I've had my fair share of college cars--ah yes, the memories are boiling to the surface--I repressed those for a reason.

I've had a couple of friends buy Hyundai's, and in crashes, they've held up pretty good. My preference is Toyota. I've never had a problem with either of the two Toyota's I've driven (knock on wood). Good luck!

Andrea Jolene said...

Melisa - A toaster eh? I actually like the non-toaster Scion to be honest! I see it cruising around and thing "yeah... YEAH!!" Thanks for the link!

Marisa - Huzah for Hyundai!

Anonymous said...

Go with a used Honda Civic if you are willing to buy used. Otherwise you could get a new Toyota Yaris for cheap.

Andrea Jolene said...

Oh a Yaris! And yes, I am planning on buying used 100%.

Adam & MiKail said...

Adam and I have had our Toyota for 5 years - it's excellent! I'd totally recommend Toyota! I would recommend leasing a vehicle, because then you can get a new one for a low monthly payment, but if you're traveling a lot, that probably won't be the best idea because they kill you on the extra miles! Good luck!

Christian Eyring said...

Me and my family have always really liked Rands Auto in North Salt Lake. They always have nice new cars going through at a good price. We have bought 6 cars from them and have been very pleased.