Sunday, May 05, 2013

Drivers Wanted? Here We Are!

Buying a car is a complicated matter in our family. It isn't just about finding something that will get us from point A to point B. It is about finding the right balance of practical and fun. Finding an actual option that fits that balance. Making sure that it complements our Jeep Wrangler, which is a permanent member of the family but only seats four and can't carry much cargo.

Then, of course, finding it at a deal we can swallow without choking.

We've been talking about it for years, especially after each major expenditure we made on our lovable but irritating and rapidly deteriorating Jeep Cherokee. Then recently we realized we didn't own a vehicle we'd feel okay about driving cross country. My sanity requires that I have the capacity to drive cross country at all times.

Yesterday the planets finally aligned. We said goodbye to our Cherokee and hello to our new VW TDI Jetta Sportswagon. And when I say new, I actually mean new. We haven't bought new since we ordered the Wrangler nearly 20 years ago. We made the decision based on the same logic this time around: it's a car that holds its value well. The gently used ones we found were nearly as much as the new ones, and if we bought new we could get exactly what we wanted and an awesome warranty.

Here were our main must haves that are now our do haves:

  • Standard transmission (more fun to drive!)
  • Lots and lots of pep (but pep that flies under the insurance rate radar - and as it turns out we're actually going to save $200/year on insurance!)
  • Great gas mileage (possibly nearly triple what our Cherokee got!)
  • Low miles (the odometer read 17 when we drove it off the lot!)
  • Room for five plus gobs of stuff (but compact enough for easy city driving and parallel parking!)
  • Air vents in the back seat so passengers can have a little more climate control (maybe an odd and insignificant deal breaker, but I promised Jack!)


Unexpectedly, we bonded with the dark gray. Who knew? I must say, it looks very sharp parked next to our red Jeep.