Words, Weights, Whatever

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

***Good Car Hunting***

On Sunday, while scan tens of feet from our house, my car started to sputter. The Spouse took control of the situ (thank the gods for medical torture...er...training) and I coaxed the Neon into the garage where I left it until Monday morning. Quick call to AAA and the eight year old vehicle was safely at the nearby garage.

Diagnosis by the techs later that morning confirmed that the fuel tank was near empty. What? Apparently the fuel gage (or the units transmitting to it) were down, giving the illusion the car had a quarter tank of fuel left.

I barely listened while the tech rattled off other, less urgent probs (like the front tires are smoother than a baby's bottom). This was a sign. Car's over eight years old now and over 125k miles. A quick check over at Kelley Blue Book confirmed the lack of saleability of the vehicle. It was time to move on.

I stopped by the garage Monday evening and rattled off my instructions. Replace the tires. Don't fix the fuel gage. Don't fix the stuck AC/heater knob. Feeling a little better, I started my investigation in my next new vehicles and have narrowed them down to the following four:

Toyota Camry

Honda Accord

Some SUVs caught my eye. My experience with these vehicles has been less than pleasant. My opinion is that they're way too big for typical suburbia and burn fuel faster than a manipulative date (not as though the latter ever happened to me. Heaven forbid.) But I used to have a truck and they've left a soft spot in my heart. However, they're not really as practical as an SUV in my life so I'm also considering the following:

Ford Escape

Mazda Tribute

I'm also looking at the Honda CR-V. Specs looked good except the model only comes with a 4 cylinder engine. But I'll do some more research (on-line and hands on) and am willing to listen to folks who own the vehicle.

(Note that all the above images were found on the Internet. All rights belong to their owners.)

My current plan is to keep my Neon until we purchase the new vehicle by year's end or next year. Whew! Car shopping is not something I like to do but a necessity that must be done.


  • I have a Honda CR-V; my second one (I have only bought Hondas all my car-owning/leasing life). The first one was okay but a bit underpowered. I bought the current one the first year of the current design (2002) and love it. Much more power and drives great. I have no worries zooming into traffic on the onramps when I do have to hit the highway (weekly driving to my spin class in Capitol Hill from VA)

    My mileage is between 22 and 26 mpg and mostly city. Mine's a 5-speed; have always had manuals, though the next car may be an automatic. I should also say that I got the EX, the top model so I could have the sunroof and 4WD, which also works perfectly. I think it may have a slightly larger engine as well but not certain. The A/C also works a lot better than on the previous model, important for those sweltering humid DC days.

    T. Kevin

    By Blogger TK, at 3:17 PM  

  • I drive a Mazda MPV minivan — blame my wife — that has given me excellent service over the five years we've owned it. So excellent, in fact, that when we were replacing my wife's prehistoric Olds Delta 88 a couple of years ago, we strongly considered the Mazda Tribute. She ended up buying a PT Cruiser, but the Tribute was a close second choice.

    By Blogger SwanShadow, at 11:42 PM  

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