I recently decided that it was time for me to get my own car. At 34 years old, I’d neither shopped for, purchased, nor owned a car, so this was all new territory for me. In starting to do some research for this purchase, my big hurdle has been vocabulary and metrics, specifically I’m trying to translate, “It duz wat I want” to specific horse-power, torque, and turn radius, as well as interior features like dash indicators and that whole interface in the center.
One handicap to this process is that the only vehicle that I’ve driven with regularity is a Prius (of course, I’ve driven moving trucks, and friends and family cars a few times, but nothing more than a handful of times). Because of this, I don’t understand features well – those cars that I have driven have generally had similar features. In some cases, they are features that I’m conscious of and really like, (hybrid engine with awesome gas mileage). Other features, I know I don’t like (I’m looking at you, leather seats). But the majority of them don’t even register (I can’t really give an example here, because if I did, I would be conscious of it). This makes it a challenge to looking for a vehicle with similar features, without simply defaulting to another Prius (where I might miss out on a feature of another vehicle that I might really like).
So, for my first outing, I plan on talking to the sales folks and gathering more information. My initial list of requirements is the following:
- It must be able to comfortably ascend i-70, such that I can go to/from Grand Junction without trouble.
- It must not have leather seats.
- Ideally, it should be fairly small and agile – it should be able to accelerate to get on the highway, make a reasonable U-turn, get around in the average parking lot, etc.
- It should be large enough to haul five people plus games – I’m not interested in a sports car or a two-door, but I also don’t need an SUV or a three-row.
All that being said – this weekend, I decided to buy a Subaru Impreza. After doing a handful of test-drives, a fair amount of research, and talking with some folks, this seemed like it would meet my needs… …And also be fun to drive. Somehow that didn’t make it into my requirements list, but Ian helped me out there, and now I’m really excited about my new vehicle. Here are a couple of pictures (one from the website, and one in front of my house).
At the end of the day, I feel like I got a good deal on the car that I wanted… …In some sense… …Success?