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vroom vroom

Okay, so I totally told the guys at work that I was thinking about buying a car sometime in the next two months, and that's all they talk to me about. I know I'm an advocate of equality between the sexes and not catagorizing men and women, but what is it about guys and cars? Even guys who don't like cars seem to like cars. There's like car proteins in testosterone or something. I went into electronics because I loved physics, I can't tell you how many guys I met who started because they dinked with their car stereos so often they wanted to make a career out of it.

What's more, I've got the close men in my life looking at me sending secret pheromones or something to sway my decision. Both Dad and Boyfriend have expressed the idea that if it makes me happy, they'll be happy too. But I can feel these vibes... Dad's all like, "But wouldn't you be happy with an american car? We love american cars, right?". And Dave's all like, "Stop throwing out Hondas, they aren't bad cars! Now Saturns, I have no idea why you like those." Even my boss, who rocks my face off, recently confessed that he's never gotten along with women who drive mitsubishi eclipses. Where the hell did that come from?

Really, all I want right now is a car with a drivers' side window that rolls down. And no duct tape holding parts to the undercarriage. And an engine that's not a four cylinder... damn I'm tired of having to turn the AC off to get up the on-ramp to the highway! The probe was a great little college car, I loved it, but it's time for it to go back to college... my sister reminds me of this every time I call. I don't like the probe's black interior, it makes the damn thing an oven in the summer. I don't like its totally uselessly small back seat, it seats a box of kleenex and two pairs of shoes comfortably, yet rumor has it back seats are for people.

A sunroof would be nice. And a CD player, that shouldn't be hard. Power windows. And I like red cars a lot, red or blue.

I'm not going to run out and do the dumb college grad new car thing, I've seen too many people do that and they never seem smart. I'll get a '98-'01. Maybe a program car? Who knows.

Ewe, I just took the "what car is right for you" quiz on auto trader and my #1 pick was a 1998 Chrysler Sebring Coupe. That doesn't look that fun for some reason, maybe I'll test drive one just for the hell of it though. I want to test drive one of those gas-electric hybrid cars too, they look cool. Anyway, I've got some time to think about it. And lots of people to talk to about it, glad they're all excited about talking to me all the sudden. Dorks.

Top Most 8 Important Traits For My New Car (in order of importance)
1) Fuel efficient
2) Small and easy to park
3) Seen as Dead Sexy by opposite sex (duh)
4) Reliable
5) Fast
6) All the right features (CD, power locks, etc.)
7) All the right colors
8) Stamp of approval from car-knowing people in my life (sigh)


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 4th, 2002 08:05 pm (UTC)
Hey, I bought a new car a few months ago. It rocks! I got a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP, and it's blue. I even joined a car club. It's really fun getting to know all the people in it.

http://www.mccgp.com/members_frame.html Check it out, I'm member #28.
Oct. 4th, 2002 08:16 pm (UTC)
Dave would smack me, but:

Pontiac Sunfire.

Less expensive than the Grand Prix, mechanically similar to the Chevy Cavalier, but it looks fine. I'd buy one. And they're inexpensive. :)

If you've got a ton of money to spend, though: Subaru Imprezza. They're NICE. :)
Oct. 5th, 2002 08:37 am (UTC)
Imprezza WRX!!!!
Oct. 4th, 2002 08:32 pm (UTC)
Fits 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7.... don't know about 2 or 8.
Volkswagon Jetta.
Yeah I know.. but theyr'e good cars. Not too expensive (worth buying brand new), and volks's are really reliable.
Now it comes with a 4-cyl, but the one I test drove moved me just fine with a/c on full blast, and my 500lbs frame in the drivers seat... including up the on ramp into freeway traffic.
Now it was a standard, i don't know if automatic would be that different.. Shouldn't be that diff.
It's DEFIANTELY worth the test drive.

My three fav cars I've ever driven? In order:
Jeep Cherokee Chief (Now called Jeep Cherokee Classic)... it's an SUV, Inline 6-cyl (as opposed to V-6)... good power, good towing, lots room. Also avail in 4wd.

Nissan Altima. Good little car. The.. uhm.. I forget their next model up.. but it's a little nicer, but still. Good car, drove well, lasted for years. 4-cyl.

Caddillac Eldorado (what I drive now). Fairly expensive to maintain (if something breaks.. regular maintenance isn't THAT bad)... and expensive to buy, but good, pretty, comfy car. V-8.

Anywho.. I suggest the Jetta as one to check out.
Personally, my next car (I hope) will either be a Dodge Ram X-tended cab pickup (6-cyl), or a Ford Crown Victoria w/ Interceptor (police) package.

Hope I Helped.
Oct. 4th, 2002 08:33 pm (UTC)
Ack.. I have black leather interior right now. I hate it in the summer!

I secretly long to own a Mitsubishi Eclipse. Every time I see one, I stop and go "Damn, that's a nice car." I'll probably never own one, though, and if I do it probably won't be for a loooong time.
Oct. 4th, 2002 09:03 pm (UTC)
I think you just described my boyfriend's car, which is a Nissan Sentra. It has very good mileage and very compact. Stick with the Asian cars. I want to sway you from red cars. Cops tend to pick on them more and insurance will charge you more, I don't know why.

I want those hybrid cars. It's too bad they cost a lot, and the only people who seem to be able to afford them are rich celebrities, like Cameron Diaz and Leonard DiCaprio.
Oct. 4th, 2002 09:39 pm (UTC)
I'm in the market for a new car too. My '86 Civic is on death's doorstep and the registration expires in Dec. Thus I need something new, or at the very least new to me, by the end of Dec. I really like the Ford Focus, VW Jetta, and Honda Civic. Though I do know a Mazda/Pontaic/Chrystler/Plymouth dealer, so if I go there they won't screw me over. Dataknife's work has a "thing" with BMW, Lexus, and Toyota (would LOVE a convertible BMW.... maybe after I make my first few million.... HA!). Basically I am on information overload right now. Too many makes, too many models, too many things to consider. I need to make a check list of all the cars that I can afford and see which ones I: A) like the look of. B) am pleased with the reliability on. C) Dataknife can actually fit in (those who are 6'10" can't fit in Miatas... sad but true. D) I like the features of. ETC.

Where was this "what car should you get" quiz?
Oct. 4th, 2002 10:03 pm (UTC)

fun little go-through, I found it interesting anyway.
Oct. 4th, 2002 11:11 pm (UTC)
Jetta's Rock. Come with a little 4 cylinder turbo (don't get the 115hp version, get the 175hp or better version), that thing flies. You could go racing in one of those, they're designed to go on the autobahn. Plus they're cute and reliable. Honda Civics and Nissan Sentra's are nice too, because even though the engines are small, the car is proportional. I have a little 4 cylinder 93 sentra myself, it cost 12K new then (my dad bought it) and no problems outside of standard maintainence till now, even now it runs great, plus it has a top speed of 140mph (don't ask how i tested that). Jetta's are nicer. Toyotas are good too, but stay away from American cars unless you're leasing, they're not reliable past 3-4 years. Chevy Cavaliers suck, my friend had a new one that lasted 2 years before engine issues, and another friend of mine is having issues with her cavalier. In general, foreign cars are more reliable and can be kept longer.
Oct. 5th, 2002 01:41 am (UTC)
I would recommend a Volvo for top-notch safety, reliability, and value retention. It doesn't score so well on the small / fuel-efficient bit, but 740s and 940s are extremely easy to park because they're rear-wheel drives so they have absurdly good turning radii. And they're not terribly inefficient either, not nearly so much as an SUV or a big boxy monster. Money-wise they're the best investment; you can buy a $4000 Volvo and drive it for x number of years and sell it for, say, $2000, as opposed to a $4000 Taurus which would resell in the same number of years for $1000. Most importantly there'ss the safety issue. I know safety isn't sexy, but I'd rather be alive and unharmed with an uncool car than dead or quadriplegic with a zippy little number.
Oct. 5th, 2002 01:44 am (UTC)
(I drive a silver 1994 Volvo 940, 126,000 miles, power windows, locks, and seats, cost us about $5500 after repairs. And you can get Volvos with sunroofs and you can have a CD player installed for about $100 these days.)
Oct. 5th, 2002 04:32 am (UTC)
well to throw 1 and 2 out the window but to totally rock # 3, 5 and 8... you can never go wrong with a corvette. lacking the cash to get one of those, a mustang is always a good choice...

neither of those were suggested and they're my favorite cars, sooooooo. ta da.
Oct. 5th, 2002 07:12 am (UTC)
Re: suggestions
Yeah, rocking that much on #3 tends to overshadow the other factors. Sad, isn't it? I'll have to look into one, I'd be very happy in a corvette!
Oct. 5th, 2002 06:35 am (UTC)
My Toyota Celica has been a good car. Have you looked at those? I think they run from 19 - 24.

The only problem with most american cars is the resale value is squat.

How about the honda civic? A guy at work got one for 16,000.
Oct. 5th, 2002 09:23 am (UTC)
Ok kids, it's the Sig Other posting a list of cars I think the 'Fem should think about. Flame at will.

1. 1996 to current Mazda Protege
2. 1996 to 1999 Honda Civic
3. 1998 to 2001 Honda Accord
4. 1995 to 2000 Acura Integra
5. 1996 to 2000 Subaru Imprezza
6. 1998 to current VW Jetta
7 1998 to current VW Golf
8. 1999 to current Ford Focus
9. 1995 to 1997 Nissan Altima
10. 1995 to 1997 Saab 900
Honarable Mention - 1997 to 2000 Pontiac Sunfire (this is in last place for a reason)

Ok, now, the reasoning.
The Honda cars (remember, Acura is really just a Honda) because they're reliable, they get good gas milage, they aren't hard to work on (this does matter, if you don't plan on working on it, because it's cheaper to have someone else fix it for you) and they're, well, it's a Honda. Yeah. It's that good.

Mazda Protege? It's won Car and Driver's small car shoot out, what, 3 years in a row? They use good materials, they're fun to drive, and good on fuel.

The Subaru, they're tough cars. Really tough. Not as quick as the Protege unless you get an RS, or the current WRX, but not bad. Decent on fuel. Great in bad weather, the car *should* appeal to an engineer if they spent some time looking into it. Just keep up on the fuild changes and any other maitence, and it'll last a long time.

The VW's? Great interiors, probably the nicest interiors out of all the cars I listed, ok handling, good on fuel. They look great, really hold the resale, and are ok quick, really quick if you get the V6 (which I wouldn't) or the 1.8T motor (which I would). They are on the same platform, so it's more of a choice of body style.

The Focus, decently quick again, ok on fuel. They seem to be pretty reliable, I wouldn't get the first year, nice to let them get all the bugs out that might be there. Handle nice, and they are pretty decent sized on the inside. It's a small American car I would consider for myself.

The Altima, and why the year? Because I only really like the first gen, or the brand new one. And the brand new one isn't nearly in the price range for this deal and are a lot bigger than they were. That stuff in the middle, slower, heavier, doesn't handle great, nothing really notable about them except they are decently put together cars, like about any other Nissan. Plus, the first gen Altima handles well, pretty decent on gas (expect at least 30mpg on the highway with the automatic) and are ok quick. My sister has one, it's been a really great car for her besides the tachometer spazing out.

Saab 900. Now this is an engineer's car. Costs a little more, but it's just so neat. Again, well made, a little different but nice about it. Safe cars too. Can be had in fairly quick to amazingly quick versions (this is the fastest car in the list, actually) and in 3 and 5 door formats. Yes, it's a hatchback, kinda. I always thought they looked pretty cool, maybe some others don't, but who cares. It's the great handling, the great running motors, all that, which matters more to me.

That Pontiac? This is the car to get when you need a cheap set of wheels that you don't plan on keeping. Yeah, they can look cute. I've even thought of picking up a cheap one just to get a smaller car again for a couple years, and tarting it up a little. Unless you get the GT version, they aren't that quick, probably no quicker than your current car. They should do ok on gas though.

Oct. 5th, 2002 08:34 pm (UTC)
I know that I love my little 99 Saturn SL1. It is a four cylinder, but I run the AC damn near constantly and have had no problems.

1. 30mpg highway, 24 city
2. The SL1 is the compact version of the SL, I can fit that car anywhere
3. Sorry, no dice...
4. My brakes are shot right now, but it was my fault. Otherwise no problems yet.
5. Speedometer only goes to 110, but I still drive faster then nearly everyone on the road.
6. Mine didn't have anything originally, but it was all available.
7. The 99's only had two different colors, I don't know about the other years.
8. Can't help ya there...

Safety in a Saturn is a double edged sword. In a bad wreck, you have an excellent chance of making it out alive and well, but that comes at the price of your engine being folded up like an accordion.
Oct. 6th, 2002 05:47 pm (UTC)
I didn't see this one
Think about the Hyundai Tiberon. Reasons:

1.It's cheap(er) with a killer warranty
2.It's quick (lots of bang for the buck)
3.It's 'sexy'
4.It's small

If you're looking for longevity, stay away from the domestics...although when they do break (and they will break) they're cheaper to fix and it's easier to find parts for them. So it's a trade off. Other good choices would be the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Nissan Sentra, or any Volkswagon. Hondas have come up short in my book because you just don't get what you pay for anymore.
Oct. 7th, 2002 10:30 am (UTC)
I might look at these given your criteria:

Ford Focus
Honda Accord (great cars, drove one over 200,000 miles)
Honda Civic
Mazda Speed Protege (getting some good reviews and very sporty)
Nissan Altima (new ones don't look that bad)
Toyota Camry (pricy, but worth it)
Toyota Corolla (feels and rides like a cheap car)
Volkswagen Golf (look at the TDI, very cute and would last forever)
Volkswagen Jetta (very European looking)

Oct. 7th, 2002 01:05 pm (UTC)
I'm going to agree with pres589
He knows what he's saying about cars. I would agree with most of his list, though I feel that Integras are often somewhat overpriced in comparison to Civics. Also, on a list of most-frequently-stolen vehicles this past year, Acura Integras were about three times more likely to be stolen (so people can put the higher-quality parts/engines/etc. into their Civics) than the next-most-likely vehicle (a Jeep Wrangler, I believe).

For whoever mentioned the Hyundai Tiburon: I've looked into that car, and it seems like a lot of fun. However, my one caveat is this: if you _ever_ plan on selling that car, the resale is most likely going to be horrible. While Hyundai is making better cars these days and giving a great warranty, they still have the negative connections with the Excel. Most people equate Hyundai = crap, and won't buy one used.

On the top of my list for getting a car in the next few months (new, because I like new things, and one can usually get a $500-$1000 new grad discount on a new vehicle), we have the Mazda Protege5. Yeah, it's a wagon, but it's practical, I fit very comfortably into it (I'm 6'4"), and I like the interior. It has everything I want standard (power whatever, ABS, CD player, etc.), and nothing I don't want (A/C, sunroof - though these are options). And it's reasonably priced. The Nissan Sentra SE-R also looked attractive, though I think it may be a bit too small for me (that's why I ruled out the Toyota Corolla).

Civics have great resale - I think a new Civic Si would have everything you want (including sunroof), and you'd be able to sell it in a couple years with minimum depreciation. Or heck, get a used one - same deal.

I like the VW Jetta as well, but it seems really overpriced. I know there's VW quality and all, but if you want anything other than the base engine and anything other than the base GL package, the price goes up dramatically. I'm not sure what pres's thoughts on the revised 2003 Dodge Neon are (aka "SX 2.0" in Canadia), but I believe they're making an SRT-4 model with a built-in turbo. Sound like fun to me! Or heck, get the Impreza WRX... everyone loves Subarus!
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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