Last weekend my beloved Toyota 2005 Sienna died on the highway. Was it simply a stroke or a fatal heart attack? Right now she is in the ICU suffering from a broken transmission and differential in addition to having slight arthritis in the sliding power door and a broken rear windshield wiper.
Right now I am in limbo car mode. I have literally driven 10 plus cars this week. My back hurts, I am confused, and still I am in the same place as when I started. Do I fix my car or get a new one? Plus, my life has changed since 2005. Two kids are in college and the other two are home. Am I ready to make the leap back to a car? Become a Big Girl? Boy, can I use help.
So, I broke up this post into two parts to give you a flavor of all the cars I drove and my thoughts about them.
The Argument to Fix the Sienna
The argument for fixing the Sienna: But she was and still is a great car. What a trooper. She never complained as my 4 cavemen trashed her, road tripped with us to 14 colleges for Son #1 (what was I thinking?) and never once said that she was bored (unlike the other cavemen.) When it came to snow, she was like a mama bear on a mission to safely trudge through mountains of unexpected winter snow without a single whine or peep. (Again, unlike the cavemen crew.)
Was I heartbroken? Yes, especially when I was delivered the news that it would cost me $7500 to fix her. She just turned 100,000 but spire as a cat. Her mine was as sharp as ever. She is my transition car. Some day (in five years) Son #4 will be going to college and I can put down my chauffeur’s cap.
Not the First Time at the Car Crossroads
Many of you may remember when I hemmed and hawed in 2008 about should I buy my Sienna out of its lease or buy a new greener car. I tried several different cars and felt like Goldilocks. This car seat was too uncomfortable (Camry.) This one felt like a truck (Honda CRV.) This one’s spoiler was in the middle of my vision (Prius.) And the biggest issue: how could I go to a small car when I had such a big family: 4 Cavemen and the hubby?
I opted to buy my Sienna out of lease since I felt in my circumstances it was the greenest thing to do. Why did I need to buy a new car?
Forced into the Situation
Well when the mechanics tell you that your car needs $7500 worth of work, and its value is somewhere between $9000 to $13,000, what do you do? I decided to explore getting a new car. In the last week, I have driven my fair share of cars and then some.
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Sienna
- Toyota Pruis
- Toyota Highlander
- Toyota Venza
- Toyota RAV-4
- The Subura Outback and the Forester
- Hyundai Sonata
- Sat in the Hyundai VeraCruz and Santa Fe
- Ford Fusion
- Ford Edge
If you own one of these cars, let me know what you think.
Shopping for a car is a kin to yanking out a permanent tooth. I hate change as much as I hate an uncomfortable seat. So here was my wish list in no particular order:
- Comfortable Seat (Okay, I am lying to myself. This is the number 1 priority. If my back and rump are happy, then I am happy. If I am happy, then the hubby is happy. Got it?)
- Good gas mileage
- Could carry at least 5 people comfortably but not too big of a car. Is this possible?
- Had some bells and whistles. Navigation since I get lost going down the street. Hands free phone in case any of my children need to call me. (And, boy do they call me. Sometimes, I want them to forget my name.) I don’t like to have a phone attached to my ear.
- All wheel drive car. I need all the help I can get in the snow.
- Would like large trunk to haul more plants for my garden. (A garden girl has to dream, right?)
Sounds like a do-able list? Or am I shooting for the stars? Read Part II for my thoughts on the above cars.
Join the conversation
- Have you replaced your car recently? If so, what did you buy?
- Would you fix my car and wait out the five years?
- How do you feel about driving a mini van? Hate it or love it?
- Any experience with the above cars?