April 08, 2009

Long Recess....for an awesome car!

My apologize for not keeping on track with these posts, been a busy few days and weeks. First my girlfriend and I got a new vehicle, Honda Pilot, some pictures below:

Then we had a huge birthday bash for her oldest son. Paintball mania! Pictures to come...

Now we gotta sell her old truck and such. Been crazy if you can imagine.

One of the things that really hit me through this whole vehicle purchase was how I looked at vehicles the closer we got to being able to purchase. Best time to buy is now with cars since many car companies are bloated with inventories. Granted, we got the car through a private seller. I was looking for a specific car for my girlfriend. SUV or a CUV (crossover for those who don't know), just something to replace her aging '96 blazer. The first cars I looked at were of course American. I always feel its best to support the nations economy in all respects. So we had a few options, since the blazer was discontinued...

1) Chevy Trailblazer
2) Ford Explorer
3) Jeep Grand Cherokee
4) GMC Envoy
5) Dodge Durango

So you got the big 3 right there. All good cars, but not great. All the vehicles on the list have sub-par crash test ratings save for the Grand Cherokee after 2005. All are huge and don't have the best gas mileage. Granted, SUV's don't usually get good gas mileage but I would of still liked to have somewhat of a decent rating. All of them have small issues all around. Trailblazer for an example has this nasty habit of having poor interior materials. Envoy's relability has always come into question, Grand Cherokee has always had issues of relability and so on and so forth.

Not being very enthusiastic about the choices was a hint to myself that none of these, nor anything that was offered, had the kind of "wow this is an awesome car" of an appeal. No matter where I turned it seemed anything "american" was just not in the league I was looking for. This would be the first car she would be buying since 1998, so I wanted it to be the best of the best. So I made a new list, this time only looking at the safety, reliability and performance of the vehicles. A shorter list came up and none were from the big 3:

1) Toyota Highlander
2) Toyota 4Runner
3) Honda Pilot

Now came the practical side. 4Runners are usually sold new or 15 years old. Its very hard to find one that is used for 3-4 years, which was the target market we were looking in. Highlander is very high quality, probably one of the best SUV's out there. Best also means most expensive, and I couldn't find one used under 18 thousand. So Honda Pilot was the last probable choice. Thankfully, a nice gentleman needed to unload his 4 year old one with 41000 miles, so it all worked out nicely.

With a moment to reflect in that whole decision process and I gotta wonder. Am I going to replace my Buick 5-10 years down the road with an American car or with a foreign vehicle? Will I get the Ford or the Honda? The Chevy or the Toyota? I'm not really sure, but I know how much the American Automotive Industry means to this country. Not just to the general population, but all the workers who are directly or indirectly affected by this downturn. Will they gain control and create affordable and quality vehicles? Lets hope so, I know if we lost that industry it would be a huge blow to this country. Management and Unions go about who is to blame, when in the reality of it all is they should get a mirror and shout at it.

We'll see, other then that me and my girl will enjoy the new addition and push forward with new opportunities.

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