New Car Shopping/Old Car Mourning

8 Apr

Last Friday, when leaving Ted Drewe’s, I was the victim of a hit and run.  If you aren’t too familiar with St. Louis dining, Ted Drewe’s is an outdoor custard shop.  Back to the story. I was at a red light when another vehicle hit me from behind, pushing me into the intersection. To avoid being hit by cross traffic, I immediately accelerated out of the intersection. Then I pulled over, turned on my hazard lights, and looked around. Whoever had hit me was long gone.

A few days later, I found out that my car was being called a “total loss.”  This means that my first car, my friend and companion, is not worth 5,413.32 to the insurance company.  That number, by the way, is what it would cost to fix my poor little car.

So I feel at this point, it is appropriate to say a few words about my car. My car was a 2003 Pontiac Sunfire, shiny blue.  My parents gave her to me when I was 17, and she was my ticket to freedom.  No more being dropped off by Mommy, no more walking two miles to work everyday.  She went to college with me. She came to law school with me. She went to Oklahoma with me. She just went to DC for spring break with me. And now she is gone. Jonathan went by the dealership and cleaned out all of my stuff yesterday while I was in class.

And yes, she was falling apart way too young. I will keep my rant on GM cars to myself. We had to replace the electric system, the brakes, the tires, and the fuel pump all in the last two years. She didn’t even have 60,000 miles.

But she was my first car. A precious gift from my parents.  No other car I test drive feels just right. No other car has the exact dimensions that are perfect for me. I know where all the radio buttons are without looking. I know where the cup holder is, how to adjust the air.  Alas, it is the end of an era.

It is finally time to be an adult. Jonathan and I are buying a car together for the first time. We are looking at very sexy, stylish… station wagons?

We test drove a Hyundai Elantra Touring. It would be perfect for our roadtrips, or moving small furniture, or carting around little kids in a few years. I was explaining to Jonathan that the Hyundai Elantra Touring does not give you that exciting feeling that sports cars or something like that give you. We also drove the new Hyundai Sonata. Now that is a car that has that ‘nice car’ feeling. I compared it to dating. When you first start seeing someone, every time you hold hands makes your heart pound and you feel  a little giddy. Now that I’m married, holding Jonathan’s hand feels safe, comfortable, and loving. The Hyundai Elantra Touring gives you the second feeling. And honestly, that is quite alright by me.

We don’t have a number from the insurance company on our pay out yet, so we aren’t making any decisions. But a new Elantra Touring might just be in our future.

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5 Responses to “New Car Shopping/Old Car Mourning”

  1. Hilary April 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    Am I your first comment? I hope so 🙂

    If you find your payout is not sufficient to being able to get a Hyundai, do consider Kia’s instead. They are very very similar in feel.

    • themagees April 8, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

      Yup! First comment! Congrats! 🙂 Kia and Hyundai are the same company now, right? Jonathan was worried about the low horsepower on the Kias, since in St. Louis we often have to do a fast acceleration to get on the highway or turn left anywhere.

  2. Boo Radley April 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Yes, Kia & Hyundai are the very same company, and have been for so very long that I think they may have ALWAYS been the same company (I’m sure someone will correct me on this, that’s ok, I like to learn & like even more to be taught in a compassionate way)… sorta like how GM used HUMMER and SATURN as seperate brands to launch seperate kinds of vehicles and capture a different brand image. See also Scion/Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity, or Honda/Accura. Not sure how the Kia’s get a lower horse rating over the Hyundai’s since many of them share the same motor/transmission. Don’t neglect the ever popular weight to power ratio. Drag racers strip all the creature comforts from their cars to try to optimize this. The vans sold under both the Kia & Hyundai names are gastly heavy and therefor have bigger motors than some of their competitors to be able to keep up with the need for “press pedal = move” Unfortunately these motors are not very efficient for their size, thus adding to the weight problem. Any thoughts on a “Genltly Used” or “Certified Pre-Owned” car? might could move a little upmarked if you don’t mind someone else putting the first 20K on the clock and taking the hit on the depreciation for you. Personally I’ve never owned anything newer than the 2k4 van we bought in 2k6, and typically drive something 8-18 yrs old… but then I am your redneck brother-in-law from Arkansas/Texas/Appalachia/Okiehoma. Call me rural-politan.

    • themagees April 9, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

      Hyundai bought Kia through a protracted auction in 1998. So yes, a long time ago!
      As for used cars, I just don’t know enough about cars to feel as though I’m not somehow getting ripped off. Two friends of mine bought CPO and had problems within a month. I’m ready to not be constantly calling people to help me when I’m stranded on the side of the road! haha

      • Boo Radley April 9, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

        Well, Dial-a-redneck didn’t mind at all helping you out 🙂 and see… I knew someone would have better info than me! (Thanks for being nice about it! lol)

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