Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Car hunting

Allie and I have been car hunting for a long time. We’ve test driven a multitude of vehicles. We’ve given a second look at a myriad more. The reason for all this is the fact that I currently have a rather nice car, with a rather nasty habit. My Acura TL-Type S 2003 is a great car except that it needs a new transmission every 11,000 miles or so. Not good for the long run once the warranty is up. At this point, I don’t mind the nickel and dime costs associated with the average car once off warranty. I just don’t want to get hit with a $4000 repair bill and a week long car rental every 10 months or so. So, we need to trade in my TL for something else.
While car hunting, I’ve discovered features that used to be special only to the higher end cars are now included in the average cars. Of particular note, the high trim of 2009 Chevrolet Malibu has more features than my old TL, all for 10K less than what I paid for my car 6 years ago, and for nearly 15K less than the current price for a new TL. The level of quality across the mainstay brands keeps going up. Reliability is something that fluctuates, so it’s a good idea to always keep an eye on Consumer Reports and other sources. Right now, it appears some GM brands are doing well, while others haven’t quite got things figured out yet.
Given what I’ve been looking for, GM cars have been attracting my attention more than others. This surprizes me. Then again, I pretty much hate all the car brands for one reason or another. In general, I tend to gravitate towards American and Japanese, and show less interest in Korean and European cars. OMG, have you see the Smart Car? How dumb is that? Anyways, we think we know what we will end up with soon.

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