Archive for the ‘Car’ Category
You’ve won a brand new car! It can replace the Donkey that you’ve been riding around on.
I’ve been driving a 1996 Honda Accord for several years now. It was a great car. It was very reliable, extremely economical, and hideously boring. I honestly didn’t mind that much since I wasn’t driving very far at all on any given day. Basically I’d drive to work and back which consisted of a total of an 8 minute drive… assuming there was heavy traffic. It was also nice to basically ignore the car and have it continue to hum along. That said, the car had all kinds of issues. It was stupidly loud – most people thought I had intentionally removed the muffler so I could out decibel a motorcycle. It was a manual transmission which meant Rach couldn’t ever drive it anywhere, and that I quickly got tired of driving it in any sort of real traffic. It had a big rusting dent in the side from when some kids in our old neighborhood decided to try to break into it. It didn’t have a stereo because, perhaps the same kids, would steal it every time I got a new one (lost two that way). The ‘defogger’ would frequently reverse itself and decide to fog up all of the windows instead. Oh, and it was a nice shiny color of Old. It likely would’ve lasted another 100k miles, but Rach and I had been saving up some money for a new car for a while and we decided it was a good time to go looking.
My new car is a 2007 Acura TSX, and I love it. I love it for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is I feel like I got a super good deal on it. It’s got about 50k miles on it, but it shines like its brand new. I convinced the dealer to take my ‘96 Accord as a trade-in for over $4k. Given that we only paid 10k off the lot for it originally, and its bluebook value was closer to $2k of scrap metal, and it looked sort of like it was taken care of by a semi-domesticated band of wolves, I was pretty stoked. In fact, overall, we ended up paying enough under the original sticker price on the Acura that KBB actually told me the trade-in value of it was almost equivalent to what I paid. I expect this means that the engine will fall out in a couple of weeks, but for the moment I’m ecstatic. Two important things that I learned about negotiating for a car is that it’s critical to start at a super low price point in the bargaining process (you may get it), and second to always negotiate on the “Out the Door” price, particularly if you live in a state with a 9.8% sales tax on autos.
I had no idea how many advancements they have made to cars since ‘96. I thought it was pretty advanced to have power windows; after all, my car didn’t even play music any more. My TSX has so many cool features that I could probably go on and on about, but there are some which are just super, super cool. It’s automatic. I know, I know, simple right? I love it. I just got so tired of dealing with a manual transmission. It has heated seats which are just absolute paradise in the mornings. It has auto climate control, and individually customizable heat/cool for the driver and passenger. Now I don’t have to stew in my own sweat when it’s 70 degrees out and Rach decides to put on the heater :). It has seat memory so that you can set it once and if someone else drives your car and adjusts your settings you can just hit a button and it reverts to your saved configuration. I don’t know if anyone has noticed this before, but Rach and I aren’t the same height. This feature is inspired. But wait, it’s even better – it’s tied to the keyfob. So if I use my keyfob to open the doors (yep! remote entry) then when I open the door it updates to my settings. The car has a hands-free link and I can’t remember the last time I used my cell phone so often. It’s great to be able to chat with family and friends while I drive home. It has different programmable voice prompts and commands in an extremely calming voice. I sometimes hit the push to talk button just for the extra company. It has a system called ‘home-link’ which is basically a programmable transmitter that I can use to open our garage door, so I no longer need to hang anything on my sunshade. The car has an auto-dim rearview mirror – I don’t understand how it actually works, but I dig that I never end up blinded by the SUV’s headlights behind me. It has built in sensors that monitor things like tire pressure, and a trip computer that shows fuel economy and estimates remaining range before a refill is needed. It automatically resets the tripometer when you refill the tank. It has comfy leather seats with at least 8 million adjustable settings. It has cupholders in the front and back. It has a 6 disc CD changer, built in XM receiver, and radio controls on the steering wheel. It’s got a sunroof, heated mirrors, fog lights, interval wipers, 6 air bags and it comforts me when I’m feeling down.
Here it is 🙂