Chris and I have been discussing buying a new car for years. I'd been driving a 1996 Nissan 200SX SE-R, and he's been driving a 2001 Audi S4
I loved my Nissan. It was my first new car, and I bought it back in Indiana when I was going to graduate school. I took my first solo road trip in it (down to Kentucky to visit Mammoth Caves), and drove it from Indiana to Virginia, and Indiana to California. It was just right for me: small, zippy, and comfortable to drive. The only thing it lacked was a color: I wanted green, but settled for black. I vowed the next time I bought a car I wouldn't settle.
I briefly considered buying a Nissan 350Z as its replacement, and even took one for a test drive, but I knew I wouldn't end up buying it. Too impractical.
When the baby arrived, I started driving the Audi, because it's a 4-door so it's easier to get the car seat in and out. However, it's still too small to fit two adults in the back in addition to the carseat. So we decided we'd replace the Nissan with a more family-friendly car.
We didn't want an SUV or a minivan, and quickly settled on a wagon. But then we stalled. There are wagons out there, but nothing met all our criteria: good gas mileage, reasonably sized back seat and cargo space, a little bit sporty, 4WD, and, my most important one: it had to come in red!
We dithered for months, went to the car show, test drove a couple of cars, and finally decided on a Toyota Matrix. But finding the Matrix with the options I wanted (red, 5-speed manual, vehicle stability control, all-weather package) was impossible. I tried CarsDirect.com, spoke to various dealers, but they all said that combination wasn't available. One dealer kept calling/emailing me and would say, "Cathy.... are you SURE you want red? I mean... it's RED. Really red."
Finally I called an auto broker and she found the car I wanted in Sacramento. Two guys drove it down on Saturday morning, and when we opened the door they looked at us doubtfully and said, "It's red." I GET IT. Then when I said I wanted to take it for a drive around the block, one of them said, "Well, it's a 5-speed.." Um, yeah, I DID buy the car... do you think I can't drive it? Then he insisted I was the co-signer when in fact my name was listed first. Ok, I'm a 36-year old woman; why is it I can't possibly want a red car with a manual transmission??
Anyway, we drove the car this weekend and I like it a lot. It doesn't have all the luxuries of the Audi--I really miss the automatic temperature control, where you can just set the temperature you want--but it's been nice to drive so far. And, we can fit two adults in the back along with the car seat!
Now I just have to sell the Nissan. I'm going to miss that car.