I need a new car. I really do. I’ve actually been thinking about it for over a year, maybe two. With big purchases, I like to take my time, but I’ve taken an extra-long time this time. Let’s see if I can say “time” a few more times. It’s a smaller investment than a home, but it’s kinda more important to me. My lifestyle really requires that I have my own transportation. Even more, a car represents something for me. I’m not sure what exactly, so I’ll just say, “freedom”. It’s probably that or some other dumb shit. Time.
Anyway, it’s actually gotta happen soon. I’m so fuckin’ sick of my Jeep at this point that I’d like to push it into a river. But I’m still cautious about this. When I’m getting ready for something like this, I do two things. I make a “hit list” and I compare my options. Let me show you.
The Hit List:
I think most people have a running list of features they require from their next purchase, I just put that list down on paper. I basically just make a top 10 of things I really want. It’s not always 10, but whatever. I really just start listing stuff that I’d like and then organize the list. Obviously, the most important is closest to the top. #1 is the top, in case you’re wondering. I don’t know what asshole decided that #10 can be the most important or that you can count-up on a top ten list, but that’s fucktarded. Count-down to #1 or shove it. Anyway, I consider 1 – 4 as essential, 5 – 7 as nonessential but still important, and 8 – 10 as highly desired. If the list spills over 10, everything else is usually stupid shit I want.
Here’s my list for my next car:
10. “Cool” factor
9. Trunk/Cargo space
8. iPod or AUX port
7. Recent model/year
6. Low-ish Mileage
5. High MPG
4. Acceptable repair costs
3. Insurance price
2. In my price-range
And the spill-over (which I list in count-up order because who knows how many you’ll get):
11. Sun roof/moon roof
13. Can I have sex in it?
14. GPS System would be nice
15. Good cupholders.
Here’s a quick explanation about that list. The “Cool” factor is low on the list because most of the best cars are really conservative and lame. I really want a Mustang GT (super-cool) but they’re pricey, get bad mileage, costly repairs, and I’m not sure if they even have an AUX-In. The AUX-In might seem kinda stupid, but my iPod has become pretty important to my day-to-day life. I don’t have many CDs and if my future car has a CD player, no tape deck, and no AUX-In I’ll end up having to burn “mix-tape” CDs for myself. Not looking forward to that. Low gas mileage would be great, but could be trumped by other factors. That actually feeds into the top 4. I mean, keeping costs low is preferred and reliability is required. This is actually the reason I don’t have any BMWs or Mercedes on my comparison list – though maybe I’ll drop a few in just to see. Don’t get my wrong – they’re reliable. Both companies make fantastically reliable cars that will last at least as long as a Nissian and almost as long as the fabled old, American pick-up truck. However, when they break down, they break down hard and cost way too much. Granted, it will be after 10 years of service, but I don’t think it swings in my price-range.
I don’t think sun roofs are very practical, but I kinda like them. I don’t like them on sports cars, but that’s another story. A warranty would be awesome, but I can’t put it in the top ten because some of the best deals are either with private sellers or out of state. Being out of state doesn’t kill the warranty, but what I’d like out of the warranty is dealership maintenance/service without dealership price. Having a GPS would fix a lot of problems I have on the road, but I’ve been driving for over ten years without so whatever. Speaking of things I don’t need – I’m not saying that I’ll actually have sex in the car. I’d like to, but first I have to find a chick that will do it with me. Then I have to convince her to do it in the car. And with gas prices these days, I’m not lookin’ to pay for it. Yet.
And yeah, cupholders might seem stupid as all get-out, but if you’ve ever driven a car without them, you know. Bad cupholders actually suck more. They give you the illusion that you can safely transport a piping hot or frosty beverage without fussing. If they’re too small, they’re useless. You try to use the thing and end up driving with it either in your off hand or moistening your thighs. If they’re too big, they’re worse than useless. You think your drink is safe and you forget about it until your lap is covered in Baja Blast because it’s been sliding, sloshing, and tilting for the last twenty miles. If one is great and the second sucks, the passenger is either stuck holding their drink or screwing over the driver. But great cupholders – like those graduated ones with the extra notch for a coffee-mug handle – can double as a place to hold an iPod or cheeseburger while you wait for red light or long stretch. Even more-so, crummy cupholders make a car’s interior feel like a rental car. You want the interior to feel good. You know what? Interior should have been on my list.
TL;DR – Cool is good, cheap and reliable is great, better cupholders = more sex haves. Wait, what?
I’ll talk about the cars I’m looking at in future posts, but for now I’ll just say that I’ve gone all types of technical about it.