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The Price of Safety

February 21, 2011

Well, it’s going to cost us about $413/month.

I was driving a 1998 Honda Accord LX, Boo was it’s name.  I loved that car but things were starting to go wrong with it and since Isabella was born, I had a strong desire to purchase a newer car with better safety features.  We thought long and hard about it and decided that a new Accord would just not fit into our budget so we went out looking for something that would work for our family.  Our top need was safety and our top wants were a remote car starter and bluetooth capability.

I plan on reviewing the cars that we tested out in hopes that it can help someone else make a decision easier but please remember, I’m in no way a car person and these are just my opinions.

Lets start with Chevrolet first, we went there because N gets a family discount and I get a small discount through my employer as well.  We were super interested in the Chevrolet Equinox but considering they are like the more popular vehicle that Chevy has right now, they were not offering any special promotions.  We decided to test drive it anyway to see if we even liked it.  Rick pulled a “used” 2010 Equinox around, it was silver and super pretty.  I love the look of the Equinox and I’ve heard nothing but positives about it from everything I’ve read online.  I got in and it was beyond comfortable, it had a really cool interior and very comfortable seats.  I pulled out of the parking lot and made the first decision of the day, shockingly, I didn’t like the Equinox.  I felt like it was lacking power.  I am so used to the Jeep that I was disappointed in the response when I hit the gas.  It was just like driving a big car, not what I wanted.

Rick then pulled around a Chevrolet Malibu, OMG!  It was so super cute.  I got in and was instantly in love with everything about the dashboard and central console area.  It warned me about ice possibility, I felt like it had all the bells and whistles that I was looking for.  The downside, I felt claustrophobic in the driver’s seat and it had a huge blind spot for me.  I have this problem in some cars because of my height, I have a long torso but short legs.  It was driving me nuts having to look all around the door frame anytime I wanted to make a turn.  I loved this car overall but I was angry that I couldn’t make it work.  (there was also something I didn’t like about the shifter thing, I can’t really remember now)

N and I decided that we were going to hit up the Hyundai dealer on the way home.  It couldn’t hurt, right?  Wow, the Sonata looked FANTASTIC.  If I was buying a car based only on looks, the Hyundai Sonata would totally win.  The downside to this car, the gas pedal and the brake were too close together for me, the brakes were super touchy, and the dealer was really pushy.  I just didn’t feel comfortable at the dealership and that feeling transferred to the car.  Gio (the salesman at Hyundai) just kept pushing how the Sonata and a BMW were the only 2 vehicles to score a perfect 5 across the board for crash test ratings, before we left, he handed us photocopies of safety reports from CNN Money and a business card.  The funny thing that N picked up on is that Gio had worked at the dealer for 7 years and his email address was still a Yahoo email, struck us as kinda odd.

We went home to eat some lunch and talk about our other options.  Since N’s parents could continue to watch Bella, we decided to head out to one more stop for the day.

Ford– I also get a discount at Ford through my employer, it’s really a great perk because it means that you don’t have to haggle any prices, super for us because N and I both despise bickering for price (if you know us in person, you may be familiar with the jeweled turtle story from Mexico, if you haven’t heard it yet, just ask N the next time you see him!)

We test drove the Ford Fusion.  First let me say, the salesman, John, was really great.  He ran all around trying to find keys to the exact version of the car that I wanted to drive only to pull around a standard, I can drive a standard but I’m not really comfortable driving one anymore.  So he finally pulls up the car and I jump in an instantly tell N that I don’t like the car.  It felt just like every other Ford (or Mercury) that I’ve ever driven.  I started driving and was pleasantly surprised at how well the ride went.  It was very smooth and I actually liked the vehicle very much.  I liked how open the car felt, I liked the ride, I liked how much room there was in the back seat and I liked that it had all the features I wanted.  What I did not like was the extreme button happy center console.  It looks like what I would imagine an airplane cockpit looks like, ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but serious, why do you need all those buttons?  That being said, the Fusion instantly knocked the Sonata out of the running.

N and I went home and we basically fighting over whether we should get the Chevy or the Ford and on a whim, I went to the Honda site to see if they were offering anything special for President’s Day, imagine our surprise when I noticed they were offering 1.9% financing.  WOOHOO!

We headed over to the same Honda dealer that N’s parents have purchased their last 3 vehicles from.  As to not bore you with the small details of the Honda, because I mean, who doesn’t love a Honda, N and I purchased my first new car EVER, 2011 Honda Accord LX-P, I love love love this car!  I went driving last night in my jammies because I love this car so much.  The funny thing is, this model of the Accord, doesn’t have the remote car starter or the bluetooth that we were looking for but the safety features and the amazing longevity of the brand won us over!

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