Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Or, in words, what the fuck is wrong with me?

Anyhow, this is actually a contrite post about buying a car. I decided to post it because it describes the twisted path that is my mind.

Minivan shopping.

Mmmhm. Stupid right? Straight forward? Lost already? The spouse and I (new official designation) are thinking we may be buying a new vehicle. We have this bare bones Saturn Vue, which is okay, but with 2 kids, we are often wishing for more seating, or just further apart seating. And, our Saturn, well, it is loud. I mean LOUD. We keep asking, was it this loud when we bought it? What were we thinking? Headache inducing loud on the road. The solution of course is to turn up the stereo, but we have very few actual cd's floating around and 4 ipods. This leads us to a lack of axillary jack to play music in the car through the ipod, and the iTrip doesn't work so hot either.

We got into our heads that we really NEED a minivan. But the truth is, we don't really need it. We just want it. I have been researching minivans for months and finally got it down to the Honda or the Toyota. Well, I wouldn't say finally, that part was pretty easy. Then, I decided we needed a Toyota because that seems to be the quieter ride and the interior is nicer (though, I prefer the looks of the Honda but honestly, how often do we really look at the outside of our vehicles?).

I have spent months researching and learning the train wreck that is Toyota's version of options. First you have to decide what "trim level" you want, CE, LE, LE 8 passenger, XLE, or XLE Limited. And then, you navigate the waters of options and "package only" options and trim level only options to the point that.... you want to puke. Then, to really top it off, Toyota makes certain packages and options only available in certain states not others, and as we are looking at 3 or 4 states as possible places of purchase, it gets even more muddy.

Then of course, there is the money factor. Now, those who know me, not even well, just vaguely know me, know I HATE spending money. My best friend often comments that "I am so tight my farts squeak" which while exceedingly eloquent, is perhaps an oversimplification. I am not cheap, I am frugal. I don't mind spending money when I feel I am getting good VALUE for my buck (or my husband's buck as I haven't contributed financially to this marriage in quite some time now). This then leads to an obsessive, disgusting quest to find the most value.

Last weekend, we went and tried out some options. We listened to the regular audio which sounded fine until we listened to the upgraded audio. Then the regular audio sounded like a Sony Walkman tossed into a trash can... quiet and tinny. Okay, well to get the good ol' upgraded audio that we now NEED to drown out the 32nd round of "are we there yet" we then have to either get a PACKAGE or, go up a trim level. Both add significant more dollars to the price. Then, we see the navigation system with the very fancy touch screen controls and BACK UP CAMERA. Hmmm.... nice. We decide, we NEED this as we are in a pattern of moving about the country with my husband's job. Well, of course, to get the navigation, you have to UPGRADE.

Somehow, we are ending up with a fully loaded XLE limited as our choice, which seems... silly. And this is taking us into the $35 THOUSAND dollar range, which now has me thinking, well what other cars can we get for $35 grand?

And thus, the search continues... someday, we may even manage to get a new car.


Rocketstar said...

i hear ya, spending that kind of dough is tough, especially on a minivan ;o)

angel, jr. said...

Good luck finding a car!!
I hate any form of shopping. Well sometimes I like shopping, but most of the times no.

I Think I've Gone Mad said...

35 grand i think i'd prefer the fully loaded ford f150 king cab... lots of room 4x4 for winter and you can tow shit with it... although there is only myself, my wife and our one munchkin so we don't need all that much room... myself i could never plunk down 35 for any vehicle... i always think back to the purchase of my first house in 1999 for 49,000... this keeps me from buying 35,000 dollar vehicles...

Anonymous said...

I so hear that! $35 GRAND??? And that is actually getting it at $100 under dealer invoice, the MSRP is almost $42 grand!!!

I know! I minivan! If this was the BMW 4 door 300 series that I REALLY want, I would feel more motivated I think.

Travis Erwin said...

Car shooping is about as fun as getting your testicles caught in a vice.

The Egg said...

Since I don't have kids, I could settle for a nice bike. Of course, the way modern life'd be hard to navigate the higways with a cycle! I know I know--I can't keep up with the times!

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