I have just bought a new car to replace my VW TDI that was recalled for not meeting emission standards. The recall process has been slow. I thought all fall I would be getting a new car, but our turn never seemed to turn up.
Last November and December I did a lot of research and test driving of new cars, ruling out ultra expensive ones. I have a friend from church who is a journalist that specializes in cars. He was invaluable in this process, and I can’t thank him enough for his help.
I really liked my 2012 VW TDI and am sad to see it go. In particular, it was a stick shift (which I find excessively fun to drive), had a sunroof and heated seats (features I loved), and had a turbo engine (which I really appreciated). What I learned is that there was no option out there currently in my price range (that I liked to drive) that had all four of these features. Good gas milage and reliability were also important.
I narrowed down the field to a Volt (which is a hybrid, but was automatic, and without a sunroof, thinking that since we had solar on the house this option might have made sense). It was more money, though, and I didn’t love it. The car I liked best was a Honda Civic Sport Turbo, but since the stick shifts were so rare they were next to impossible to get, I was looking at buying one with an automatic transmission that had the turbo, sunroof, and heated seats I wanted.
Meanwhile we waited and waited to hear from VW. Last week, we finally heard that we were stalled because we had bought our VW as previously owned from a different dealer, and they were waiting to hear from that dealer to confirm the amount remaining on the loan. One phone call from us rectified the situation, and all of a sudden, we have an appointment to sell them back my car.
So today we re-drove the Volt, and it did not feel like our car. Then we went over to Honda to try the automatic again, thinking we would probably get that. But we were greeted with the news that after 6 months of waiting for one, they actually had a stick shift in stock, and when we took it out for a drive, it was clear to me how strong my preference for a stick shift was! Unfortunately, they only offer the stick shift in the base model, so having that meant I had to forgo the sunroof and heated seats. But it still was obvious to me that this red beauty with the manual transmission was my car anyway.
Our timing to get this car couldn’t have been more perfect. Only this narrow window of time could have made it possible. It is clear to me things easily could have turned out differently and we would have missed each other. But God governs the combination of ideas! The obscure choreography of this working out was oddly very precise. I’m so grateful!
So I bought this bright red stick shift Honda Sport Turbo Hatchback that gets 39 miles/gallon and has only 22 miles on it (much of which was driven by us). It is my first new car ever. It costs less that my used VW did. I hope to have it a long time. It is very fun to drive, the hatchback will work well for my artwork, and I actually like that it doesn’t have all the flashy navigation system and the touch screen panel distractions. Also, I’ll miss the bike rack and CD player that my VW had, but somehow we’ll compensate.
Even though I couldn’t get everything I wanted, this car feels like my happy place nonetheless. I get it later today and I can’t wait! With all that color and power, I’ll have to be extra diligent not to go over the speed limit!