10 September 2010


I hate buying cars.

I was in my thirties when I learned to drive.

I'm not a big fan of cars and in my ideal world, I would be able to walk everywhere I need to go. I do appreciate the freedom cars provide, and my life is currently set up in a way that makes them impossible to avoid (12 miles each way to work), but they are a tool for me and nothing more.

Eleven years (and 250,000 miles) ago, I completed my research on the which of the small sedans was the most reliable. I marched onto the dealer's lot, pointed at Puttputt, a dark red Geo Prizm, and said "I'll take that one".

She was my second ever car - her predecessor was a Geo Metro, "Eggbeater," also dark red. I liked the Metro well enough except that her hatchback meant that I couldn't hide things in the trunk and she was small enough that people were perpetually trying to make illegal left hand turns right through her. And my boys resented that there were no back doors -- so I went up a size.

Now poor old Puttputt, having served well for an amazingly long time, is ready to rest.

Well, that may be underplaying it ... the poor thing still moves, but she's no longer safe. She takes two quarts of oil to every tank of gas and spews nasty black smoke everywhere she goes and her clutch won't grab until third gear, so she starts soooo slooooowly after lights that she's become a hazard.


I no longer remember where I did my research all those years ago...nor am I sure that the same resources would be available, so we've been wandering around checking out options in person. So far, we've "narrowed" the field very little.

Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris or Corolla, Nissan Versa, Honda Civic, or maybe a Mazda four door...

I like the Rio, the Yaris, and the Versa. Rod prefers the Accord. ;)

Fortunately, we have had potentially good news at work. Pay raises will be awarded in October for the first time in many years. I still don't know whether *I* have one coming, but I can hope. And the value of our house plummeted again, so we are getting an escrow refund. And we have some very, very dear friends who have let us (and are letting us) borrow cars in the meanwhile. Thanks, Nerida, Neal, and Mark!

So...anyone know where we can check reliability stats these days?

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