Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Test-drove this today...

2000 Jaguar S-Series.

Power, agility and driveability: B
Driver comfort: B- (cramped cockpit)
Passenger comfort: C- (cramped First Officer's chair; only one cupholder; glovebox door bangs uncomfortably against First Officer's knees if opened)

Dear old Yvette (who you can see in the background there) is about to turn 18 years old and we've been actively researching and car-shopping for a couple of months now.

We have three "fairly serious potentials" currently, which, oddly, are all pretty significantly different from each other.

(Did I say "oddly"? I forgot who we were talking about for a moment. Actually it would be surprising if there was any kind of logic to our choices.)

We're DINKS (unless you kount the kats), which gives us a lot of freedom in what we choose without having to worry about baby seats and sippy cup holders and so on. Even if we bought a two-seater, we'd just rent a minivan when we talk all the neiclings and nephlews somewhere.

So right now our thoughts are that we'll probably choose either a hybrid (Civic or Prius), for the environmental and fuel economy benefits; a PT Cruiser, because it has a proven track record and a good reputation, and we've rented several and really like them, or a "gently used" exotic or luxury car. Hence the test-drive of the Jaguar.

We're also less-aggressively looking at a couple of the new roadsters - Husband wants to test-drive a Crossfire (I think it looks like it's got its bum in the air, but I'm open to being seduced). We are considering convertibles but given our climate, only hard-tops. (The thought of replacing or repairing a ragtop every time there's a hailstorm, a wind storm, or icicles fall off the buildngs around a parking lot - a daily occurrance in the winter - is not attractive.)

If we went with one of those, we'd almost certainly lease - they're almost all new, with little to go on in terms of knowing which will sustain the long haul and which will turn out to be lemons, or will age poorly.

You don't need to point out the pros and cons of each to us - hybrids are still relatively unproven technology, the fuel economy varies, there are battery considerations and if we wanted to make sure we left a small environmental footprint there are other routes to go; foreign or luxury cars have parts and servicing issues; etc. etc. etc. We are doing lots of research.

But we also know that we are at a point in our lives where we've both sacrificed and been broke and driven a 1989 Honda Civic for a hell of a lot of years, and we are finally reaping some of the rewards of all those student loans and crap "working your way up" jobs; and right now we are in the best position of our lives to drive something fun before we have to start tying our transportation choices to retirement considerations.

Wish us luck - just test-driving and "shopping" is going to be a lot of fun.



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