Welcome to Glenn's Blog!

Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cars, Cars, Cars

Now, I know what your'e thinking. But, no, I did not take another trip to Disneyland to visit the new Cars Land. I still haven't seen it, and won't until my return to the land of fantasy and imagination in December.

Really, what I've been doing a lot of this week is scrutinizing new cars. I'm looking at trading in my 2006 Hyundai Tucson, which has served me well and is still in great shape and has less than 50,000 miles on it. I don't particularly need a new car, but I'd like to trade mine in while it still has some value and before it starts needing major work, like new brakes and its 50,000 mile service. Plus, anything I get now will get at least 4-8 MPG better on average than my car, which will add up.

So, really, a lot has been on my mind as I am looking at all sorts of possible replacements. It's nice to have the freedom to think that, really, I could get anything I want. Well, pretty much. Really I'm looking for something in a crossover SUV that comes in under $28,000 and has a good combination of stylish looks, comfortable ride, and great features. I'm surprised that this has become so hard...

Maybe I'm just too picky after all.

So far I have been on something of a test drive rampage. And I don't use that word lightly. Starting last weekend, I have driven the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Chevy Equinox, The Ford Escape, The Equinox again at a different dealer, the Santa Fe again at a different dealer, the Toyota Prius V, and the Kia Sorento. And today I'm hoping to hit the Mazda CX-5. If the 2013 Toyota Rav 4 would ever bother to come out, I'd probably try that too.

But so far, nothing has really wowed me. There are things I like about all of them...and things I don't like as much. The Ford Escape has nice features and good pep, but it's not exceptionally comfortable or quiet of a ride, and some of the interior design feels quite cheap. And for some reason, Ford seems too eager to balloon their car cost over $30,000. The Equinox has by far the smoothest, most comfortable ride, and exceptional rear seat leg room. But the exterior design doesn't wow me (though it's not bad) and the exterior colors wow me even less (that's putting it mildly). The Sorento is pretty decent in most aspects and has a great price point, and I like their available exterior colors, but I don't like the red illumination of their interior controls very much, and the interior design is just average. The newly redesigned Santa Fe was a surprise, and I enjoyed a lot about it. Available colors aren't as good as the Sorento, but they're okay. The problem is, to get it outfitted with comparable features as the others have, it brings the price over $29,000. That's $1500 more than the next closest, the Equinox - and the Equinox includes a premium stereo with 8 speakers and a subwoofer. The Prius wins the MPG battle hands down, but I'm not enamored with it's exterior design too much. Feels too much like a station wagon

What to do, what to do?

Well, I'm keeping at it, doing my research, and test driving like a madman. I'm sure something will win me over soon...but the good news is I'm really in no hurry. I don't drive that much as it is, averaging just over 8000 miles a year. And my current car would certainly keep me going for a few more years with little effort. We'll see what happens...