Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The Recall Jinx: Scrambling My Car Shopping Impulses
My aging Impala passed its 100k mark this winter. I've replaced the tires and am looking at about $2,000 of "maintenance" to keep it on the road for as long as it wants to live. The transmission slips. The interior is looking tired. The A/C doesn't have the oomph it used to. In short, my daily driver is wanting to be replaced.
Buying a new car isn't an impulse. This is an investment of time and money. I will spend a year researching the market and available vehicles. This year at the Boston Auto Show, I came to thoroughly appreciate the new Ford Fusion. And driving around town, every time I come up on the new model at a light, I say to myself, "I want that thing."
But I do have a rule. I won't put money down on a Toyota, no matter how reliable the things might be. How many recalls have been issued on various models in the last five years? Nope. Not touching a Camry with a five foot pole.
Then what happened yesterday? You got it. A freakin' recall. On Fords. Fusions! The fuel tank could leak.
So...don't buy a Toyota. Enough different models had faulty braking systems, I'm not playing. Now, half a million Fords might blow up when their fuel tanks crack open. Nice.
What's left? Subaru. Ehhh... The last review I read on that one had the tell-tale "it drives like a Subaru" in it. A clear indication I won't be happy with the test drive when I put my foot down. Honda Accord? Their one-price for all the extras is nice and even reasonable. But...it's a Honda.
JEEP. The most horrendous thing happened this year. My co-worker bought the exact model I was swooning over at the auto show. There goes feminine pride. It's like wearing the same dress. Can't do it.
Last, but I'm wondering if maybe it won't be least. The Dodge Dart.
I sat in it. Liked the interior--didn't feel tiny, although it is a compact. Its got nice horses under the small hood and all sorts of bells and whistles at an extremely competitive price.
But, should I finally take the Impala down for a trade-in, I will be in a good position to drive out of the dealer's lot with something I want. And as long as the Dart remains recall free...its got a nice shot of winning me over.
Who knew? Downsizing. I could do this.