Saturday, July 19, 2008

Car Shopping

Yesterday I went back to the Toyota dealer and took in John's car for appraisal to see if he could get anything close to what he'd like for it as a trade in, as he's trying to sell it anyways (it's a Ford Taurus in case you are in the market for a used car). The answer is he'd get not enough to make a difference either way so we figured we wouldn't try to factor that in to the purchase of a new car.

Then we drove a manual Yaris, the one I'd "bought" the other day but hadn't driven, and I didn't like it. John thought it was okay, but I just didn't feel good in it. Then we drove a Matrix for the hell of it and that was okay but the thing I really liked about it was the sun roof. If you've read this blog for a while, you will know I drove a car with a sun roof (after discovering the sun roof some time into my ownership of the car) and I really liked that. Then we drove a Yaris hatchback, which I actually liked better than the sedan. But it wasn't great and I had wanted to drive an automatic car - my leg was so sore after my drive back from Toronto last week - and I thought maybe it was time to go for an automatic - but they didn't have one on the lot.

We were just about to leave the shop when we took another look at the Matrix and were discussing how it was more comfortable and more grown-up and fun to drive and the sales guy said, "if you're willing to pay that much for the Matrix, why don't you check out MY car? It's a RAV4." We thought, why not, and took it for a drive. Wow. That was a car we fell in love with. It was automatic, had a sun roof, was high up (we're short so that was kind of cool to feel tall), and it was just an awesome car. And then we said we'd think about it and left the dealership.

I mean a RAV4? For me as a yoga teacher? For me as a mom driving around and going to the States on trips and going to Montreal for classes and as someone who lives in the long winters of Ottawa, a RAV4 might make sense. But most of my car use is around town just getting to classes and back. And the main thing is the price difference. The payments on the guy's lease would be almost double the Yaris payment.

I spoke to Nina in TO about her RAV4 and she had similar questions about it for herself, having been an Echo driver as well, and she said her husband really researched it and felt the RAV4 was best for their family's needs right now. After class I spoke to a couple of women who are really into their cars and love driving cars that are fun to drive. Deb has both a convertible Miata and a Volvo. So she was totally supportive of me just driving a car because it's fun - plus it's good in winter, has side airbags in the back for my kid and other passengers, etc.

Then I talk to John and he's like, "why don't you sell your car and use mine?" It's not like we haven't discussed that option. I just didn't want to drive a 6-cylinder monster of a car that older people would drive. I mean my grandmother drove a Taurus some years ago. But it makes sense.

It was so fun to sit in a car that we both loved and could see ourselves in. And yoga is about thriving after all, not just surviving. And if I thought I could think about those car payments and relax, I would probably get the RAV4. But that sense of relaxation just isn't coming at the moment. Maybe that's me living small and just sticking with what I know and being comfortable, but for now, it makes my brain go quiet and peaceful to not imagine the leap it would be to drive a sparkly, tinted-windowed, sunroofed, rustproofed, beautiful, big car.

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