It has been a long time since my last post but I have been so busy with work, the new living arrangements and all the other things life has to throw at you. As busy as I have been, I finally found time to go car shopping.
In the past on a couple of occasions, I have bought a car without any real research or thought process. My previous car, a 1998 Saturn SL1, was bought just because it was affordable and available the day I went to test drive it. The car before that, had just been totaled by a deer on the thruway and I needed a replacement and so for the last 7 years, I have driven my Saturn without any major complaints. Now don't get me wrong the car is 9 yrs old, over 120K miles so it has it's quirks but really no major catastrophes. It was very good to me and to be honest, I would have kept it until it stopped running but a few minor problems (the sunroof leaks when it rains etc..) added to up to be expensive repairs so off car shopping I went.
I am a very independent person but when it comes to car shopping, I always need someone there for a second opinion or just as a sounding board so I enlisted J to come along. Before we even went into a dealership, we decided to pick the top 3 or 4 cars I was interested in and they would be the first ones I test drove. Immediately, I new my top two, the VW Jetta and the Dodge Charger, the third choice came about by a comerical I saw on TV, the Ford Edge. All 3 cars completely different but before I went test driving, I wasn't sure what I really wanted. Luckily for us, the Dodge, Ford and VW dealerships are close by so we just went down the street and hit the places as we came upon them.
The first stop, the Dodge place. The Dodge Charger is such a manly, American car and I was excited to drive it myself. Last year we went to TX to visit J's brother, who owns a Charger so I have ridden in one but never got behind the wheel of one. The first thing I notice when I got into the car was the room it had. The get and go the car had was awesome and the sound of the car was great!! I love when cars sound like they have balls ( the only way I can think it put it). Actually one day, I eventually want to restore an old muscle car but for now I will enjoy the attempt at the new muscle car. :) The sales woman was very nice and to my surprise not pushy at all. She let us test drive it by ourselves and when we came back I she was on the phone so I handed her the keys and said I would let her know. She smiled and thanked us and off we went down the road to the Ford place.
As soon as Jon the salesman greeted us, I knew I was not going to buy a car from this guy or dealership. We started off being up front and letting him know I was not buying a car that day and I only wanted to test drive the Edge. Jon started to ramble on about the Ford Focus and what a nice car it is blah, blah, blah. I wanted to say "if I was interested in a Focus, I would have mentioned it" but instead we listened to his spiel while he escorted us to his desk. I was a little annoyed that he had us sit down before I even got into a car to drive. After asking us few questions, he finally had us go outside to test drive the Edge. Its a very nice "crossover" car and had a lot of room but after I thought about it, it was too much room for just me right now. After getting out of the Edge, Jon kind of insisted that I drive a Focus so I did. It was a nice car but that all it is a car, nothing fancy, nothing special its a sedan. He was selling it to me like it was best thing since sliced bread. Jon also kept referring to J and asking him what he thought of the cars and what he wanted to buy etc.. J handled him well he said "It doesn't matter if I like the car, she is buying it and driving so I am just here for the ride" and Jon could not remember J's name and referred to him as Justin (after telling him 3 times the correct name). After the Focus Jon wanted to come and sit at his desk and he started to talk numbers. HELLO!! I SAID I WASN'T BUYING A CAR TODAY. But he insisted, we let him talk and than thanked him for his time and out the door we went.
Off to the VW dealership down the street and around the corner (sort of) we went. Let me back up just a little, I have wanted a VW Jetta since I was a Sr in high school so for over 10 years. I can remember the first VW car I ever saw, it was an old VW rabbit and I loved it. As the years went on, the VW Jetta's became more sportier looking, sleek and sophisticated, just making me want one more. To be honest it kind of is my dream car, other than the muscle car I want to rebuild. We arrive at the dealership about an hour before it was going to close and we are greeted by a very tall (st least 6'6"), slender man named Dan. He was very friendly and spoke with an accent not sure how to describe it but he does speak spanish so I am sure it ties in with that. As we did in the previous two places, we stated that I was only going to test drive a car so he said no problem, and brought around a Jetta for me to drive. The 3 of us get into the car and now I am driving a Jetta. I knew than that I wanted one of these. I wasn't sure what I wanted in it but I knew I wanted a Jetta. When we were done, Dan had us sit down at his desk too look over the inventory they had and to ask a few more questions like if I wanted to buy or lease etc.. We thanked him for his time shook his hand and went home.
I really wanted to say right than and there that I wanted the VW but I knew I had to think about it. So the thought process started my choices either the VW or the Dodge Charger, both having excellent selling points. It took me about 5 days and a lot of discussion with J that I decided I wanted to lease a VW. Luckily for me, J had offered to fund a small loan for a down payment with the agreement I would pay him back (of course) so we had some bargaining power when we went back. I was so excited that I didn't even want to talk about in fear that I would jinx me getting a VW.
We went back to the VW place about a week after the test drive, met with Dan to let him know I wanted to lease. He was a very honest salesman, yes that sounds like an oxymoron but he really was. When I told him I was thinking about using my current car as a trade in he said I would get more money if I sold it on my own and actually he is right I would. Than when he was going through his inventory of cars he kept telling me not to pay for things that I will not use. We ended up at two cars, one with cloth interior, 6 CD changer etc... sort of the basic model and the other was more done up. Leather interior, sunroof, seat warmers, 6 CD changers, satellite radio, a place to put my Ipod that plays on the radio, and chrome accent. I asked Dan to run numbers on both cars, knowing that I probably would be getting the cloth seat one, which is what I was looking for. I didn't go into looking for new cars thinking I was going to walk away with the car I did. So the numbers were ran and it turns out there wasn't that much difference in monthly payment so I of course I choose the one with the bells and whistles. I had to wait for a few days to actually pick up the car but it was well worth it.
Here are a few pictures of the car, which was taken out front of the new place. My best friend C asked me if I felt like I was apart of the "in" crowd now driving to work, (she was teasing me), I told her no but I feel grown up now, no longer in college. My Saturn was my college car, which when you are in college, who cars what you drive. I have had a "career" since I got out of college but just now and maybe because I am turning 30 soon, I just feel like I am saying goodbye to the 20's. Whatever it is, I do love my car.
Thanks J for all the help!! Love you honey