Friday, August 12, 2005

Auto advice needed

For the first time in a decade, my husband and I are searching for a new car. New, as in, new to us, not necessarily an automotive infant.

One of my friends recommended Carmax and said she had a really good experience with them. But they won't haggle, which is a negative for me. I love to haggle with car salesman, because they become in turn surprised and enraged that a -gasp!- woman would think to do research or dare to take their incredibly generous offer and trot it over to their competitor to see if she could do better. There's nothing more satisfying than a salesman having a conniption. They act all hurt, as if I'm their bestest fwend in the whole world who hurt their widdle feewings. Of course it's all an act.

When I acquired my Mazda (may she Rest in Peace--or Pieces), one salesguy told me that if I bought from their dealership I'd be eligible for some fantastic offer on oil changes from Pennzoil. He showed me the brochure for the program, and it looked vaguely interesting. When he went to "check with his manager" (take a cigarette break), I used his phone to call Pennzoil. I asked them if their oil change program dealie thing depended on where I bought the car, and they said no.

Hah! I didn't buy from that guy, although I would have if he'd given me the best price.

Anyway, here are some models we're considering. Any feedback, advice on them or on the auto buying experience these days would be most appreciated:

Toyota Echo
Honda Civic (used)
Hyundai Elantra
Suzuki Forenza
Chrysler PT Cruiser (used)

Right now we're renting an Echo while our car's in the shop, and even my tall hubby says it's comfortable. He says the brakes are a little sensitive, but honestly? The brakes on his car are a little insensitive, so it's a matter of what you're used to. Small cars brake more easily because they're, well, easier to stop. I like that in a car.

Everyone I know but me seems to hate the PT Cruiser's looks, but I think it's bitchin'. It's so 1930s. All I'd need is a zoot suit and a tommy gun to complete the picture. The only con is its relatively low gas mileage, which is a deal-breaker for me. My last car got 36 mpg highway, and with the price of gas these days, 29mpg (which is what the cruiser gets) would be a letdown.

But it comes in burgundy! Or could it be considered...a dark shade of...magenta?

3 Comments:

Viva Magenta! Viva!

Posted by: Blogger Rob S. at 8/12/2005 9:28 AM

People hate the PT Cruiser? I love the look of the cruiser!

Sigh. But I still miss my Honda.

I drive a mom-mobile aka minivan.

:(

Posted by: Blogger moonhart at 8/12/2005 1:41 PM

Considered a Nissan Sentra? Used, not that expensive, good gas mileage and the current generation is also very ergonomically designed. Plenty of legroom (I'm 6' tall and own one).

--*Rob

Posted by: Blogger Rob at 8/12/2005 3:01 PM

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