Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fighting Back (Gas Prices Edition)

Well we did it. We went out and bought a brand new car. After hours of research half a dozen test drives and two weekends spent shopping for cars we finally bought a 2008 Nissan Versa hatchback for me to drive.

We weren't planning on buying a new car quite this soon but my 1998 Ford Taurus' transmission started slipping (only if you gunned it) and rather than spend 700 to 1000$ repairing it when it finally crapped out we opted to trade it in for 700$ (fair market value IMO). We got a good rate of 4.9% due to my wife's superior credit score and monthly payment of 305$ for a 17,000$ car (including extended warranty).

We picked it primarily because it was the most fuel efficient vehicle in its class getting 33 MPG on average (38 MPG possible driving 65, on a flat interstate, with one passenger of average weight, with cruise control on, and the car being well maintained.) was highly recommended by Consumer Reports, and had the most bells and whistles of any car in its class including ABS, key less ignition, built in alarm system, variable speed transmission, power everything (except seats), and a six disk in dash CD changer with bluetooth and Ipod port.

Also of great import is that my tiny wife can see over the steering wheel if the seat is fully jacked up without having any major height oriented blind spots.

Unfortunately the only 2008 model we could find was a light gray without the spoiler and so its a really bland looking car. Especially considering that its major competitors were the Pontiac Vibe:

and the Toyota Matrix

which all were rated well but the Versa beat them out on mileage, power, safety (with ABS), and gizmos. But there isn't a speck of me in the car. I mean my first car was a new 1998 gray Ford Escort. But I chose that car. This one was decided on by consensus, need, and functionality. I assuage myself knowing that I've decreased my gas consumption by 33% which in turn saves me some money, reduces the amount of carbon dioxide I spew into the air, reduced the amount of money that governments that support terrorism receive, and if we use it to run errands on the weekend we'll save another ten bucks a week. But part of me would be much happier if the car reflected an iota of my personality rather than screaming entry level accountant. How American is that?

Who knows, once I slap a " Cthulu in 2008 Why vote for the lesser of two evils?" bumper sticker on it, add a NWF and a Coalition for Darfur window decal to it, and hang up a tacky air freshener I'll feel better about it. Until then at least I can take a little pride knowing that I'm making a tiny sacrifice for my family, my nation, and my world. After all don't the needs of the many outweigh the needs of a few or the one?