My New Car Needs a Name
Thursday night after work I rolled out to a car dealership because some ad I got with a scratch-off number said I’d won something. They wouldn’t tell me what it was over the phone. I went out, and they made me sit through a spiel about my current car and what kind of other cars I might be looking at. I wasn’t really in the market for a car (I liked my Acura just fine) but I played along. I looked at a few cars, test drove a Mazda 3, and thought that was it. It was a nice car, but being that I wasn’t shopping for a car I hadn’t really come prepared, and I almost bought that one.
I did some number-running with the salesman, and figured out the Mazda would save me enough on gas to make a difference in the current car payment I was paying. And, if the Acura broke down (it was over 100k miles) I’d be paying for a car I couldn’t afford to fix. The silver Mazda only had 25k miles on it. It seemed like a good deal.
Saturday rolls around and I’m all prepared to go out there and pick up my Mazda3. I go inside the dealership and talk to the salesman Kenny, and he’s found me another car: an ’08 Dodge Caliber in gunmetal black. It has power windows, locks, cruise control, cloth seats, second row folds down for more cargo room, superb Boston acoustics sound system, cd player, the remainder of the first owner’s 1 year of XM satellite radio, and I got a 60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that started from the day I bought it as well as an initial 25,000 mile Dodge warranty. I also get free oil changes for life, but I have to drive out to the dealership (1 hour away) to do it, so that may not happen very often. I also got no money down, and no payments for 45 days, and a voucher that lets me register online and then get reimbursed for $100 worth of gas, in $25 increments. Not too shabby. Oh, and it only had 5k miles on it.
The Caliber drives beautifully (it’s built on the same chassis as their SUV) and rides higher than your standard sedan / wagon. It’s a four-door with a hatchback (which means rear-window wiper!) and has a very agressive looking front-end and grill. The windows are shorter, which really hides the fact that this thing has amazing head room. I don’t feel cramped at all. I also found that it has a 120v AC plug (like the outlet in your wall at home!) so I don’t need that crazy DC adapter to plug up a laptop or a toaster or something.
So, other than the low mileage, the fuel economy is the main justification for trading in the Acura and starting a new car loan for the Dodge Caliber. I drive a lot farther to work now than I used to, and 19 city / 21 highway just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I tested it today, and I can get from my house to the town where my work is and back on 1/10th of a tank, which means if I don’t go anywhere else I only have to fill up every 10 business days instead of once a week. Saving me money already! Now she just needs a name. Suggestions?