>Bye Bye Coolness

>When I left to take the boys to school today, Mike was just getting ready to head for work and then to the airport for a brief roadtrip. I dropped off Nathan, took a swing through McDonalds to use up my Monopoly freebie coupons that expire today, and drove home. Mike’s Ford Explorer was still in the garage with the hood up. Not a good sign.

This is at least the third time in the past year or two it has not started, for different reasons, and he has had to have it towed. And this time it means I have to drive him, along with two kids, to the airport this afternoon and pick him up tomorrow during rush hour. I said to Mike “well, I think it’s time to get a new car” and he immediately agreed. Of course we said that last time the Explorer died, but this time the difference is we made our last payment on my car this month. We were hoping to go a few months at least with no car payments, but the Explorer is up for inspection next month and the past few years it has always cost at least $500-750 to pass inspection. So why put money into it when we’re just going to sell it a bit down the road?

The next question is, what car to buy. I know I posted on this before and got all your opinions. At the time I had an identity crisis or something and really wanted a fancy big SUV instead of an uncool minivan. Now that I have actually had my second kid I realize that any chance of staying cool is long gone, and a minivan is much more financially and environmentally friendly than any SUV. If I were made of money I’d probably still spring for the Acura MDX, but with gas prices rising again and my higher goal of saving money to finish our basement, I think I’ll go for a Honda Odessey. I know Jenifer likes the Volvo crosscountry but I hate station wagons even more than minivans.

Now comes the fun yet stressful task of finding the right car for the best deal. New or used? Used may be the obvious choice but with the last car we found that because interest rates on new are much lower than on used, sometimes new is not more expensive per payment than a late model used car. Car shopping for me involves a LOT of research, even when I know what model I want. The myriad of options available creates a great deal of confusion on pricing, especially with used cars.

Last time I bought my Maxima, the color of the car was a big deal to me. I absolutely did not want bland. I refused to buy anything white, beige, or silver. Now that I’ve gotten over myself and succumbed to my “mommy” image, I suppose silver would be ok. I still hate white though. My neighbors have a white Honda Odessey anyway, and I certainly don’t want to get the same vehicle as they have. That would be the epitome of uncool.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. >i’ll be honest, i’m really impressed with this Prius. i love this car!it fits four adults comfortably (even the over 6 ft tall ones), and it fits two car seats (infant sized and up) comfortably and safely in the back.it has a very high safety rating, and we can carry a lot of stuff in the back!it’s fun and easy to drive, and we get about 400-450 miles per tank of gas–and we spend about $20 a week on gas (we go about 400-450 miles/week). i don’t know if it’s something you’d really consider, but it’s a great car. And, the start price is around $20k.You might also consider the ford escape hybrid, and i think that toyota also has a variety of hybrids that might include a minivan.

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  2. >what’s the difference between and SUV and minivan when you have kids? Are the minivans more practical? more space?

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  3. >I f-ing hate Blogger tonight. I just left an incredibly detailed comment for you and it failed to post, then deleted all my pearls of wisdom! LOL.I love my 2003 Toyota Highlander. Good gas mileage, no problems at all. I would imagine it would be suitable for a two-kid family like yours, too. Love it and will drive it until it completely conks out on me. Then I will get the Highlander hybrid.Also, my mom got a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe (I know! but hear me out…) earlier this year and absolutely adores it. Must admit I didn’t even know it was made by Hyundai at first…thought it was an Acura SUV. Starting in 2007, the body design became much sleeker and refined than before. Good luck with the decision!

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  4. >I love minivans. You get more room. I like my Kia. Not tope of the line or nothing but a great deal and it does what it is supposed to do. I have an explorer as well and it is on its last legs.

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  5. >My advice, is to do what we did. Buy a dealer demo, if you can. And ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS bargain with them. We probably visited the dealership 4 or 5 times. We asked for the compensation we felt was fair for a car that had been driven for four months and had 3,000 miles on it…and when they didn’t come close to meeting that, we walked away. Came back a couple days later, and it was a different story. We got them to take the OUT the door price with taxes title license and everything down $5,000 from the MSRP of my 2007 Chevy Equinox…and they put a remote starter and a hitch on it for free.2nd. A friend of mine drove a minivan for the last few years with her 3 kids (ages 7 and under). She really wanted a Dodge Durango…so they traded in the van. I asked her 7 year old how she liked mommy’s new car. She looked at me and in all seriousness said, “I kinda miss the van. We had more room,” as she sat in the middle wedged between her 5 year old sister and the 3 year old in the car seat.

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  6. >Glad to see that you are ditching the earth destroying SUV. May I suggest a Matrix or a Vibe. Lots of room and very dependable. We love ours, fit the kids in comfortably and it holds tons of stuff. Added benefit is it uses less gas and polutes less then a minivan or SUV

    Reply

  7. >Gotta say, although I feel totally uncool in it, I love my minivan. I’ll be getting another Sienna when this one dies. We got a one-year-old program car. Good deals on those. Good luck!

    Reply

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