Instead of “Flashing my Stash” (April 1 is “Flash Your Stash” day in case you missed that or you’re not a knitter), I’m going to Flash my golf umbrella!
My 1999 Honda Civic was a manual transmission, which was fine for me 7 years ago when I bought it. It was also a 2-door Coupe, which was ok when it was just Jason and I and he was only 7 years old. Climbing into the back seat was easy for him back then.
Over time, between my wrist issues, elbow issues, and finally my shoulder issues (6 weeks of physical therapy last fall, a home therapy program, and it still isn’t all that much better but there isn’t much more they can do for it), it became obvious to us that I needed to move over to an automatic. The doctor has been pushing for it for some time. It was even more clear when I didn’t drive for 2 weeks after my hand/wrist surgery in December and my shoulder felt better than it has in 5+ years.
Also, as Jason seems to insist on growing, we realized last summer when we drove to New Orleans that if we want to take road trips we really needed a larger car. I am a bit hesitant I must admit because we were in an auto accident last year, requiring us to seek legal council from this St. Louis Missouri truck accident lawyer Mike drives a VW Golf which has a small back seat, and while the Civic was a little larger but just a 2-door, neither one was a great fit for the 3 of us travelling. Jason looked like he was getting out of a clown car when he climbed out of the Civic! Whenever we drove around town we always took the Golf because the 4-door was so much easier to deal with.
I did a ton of research on every car I could think of; I also researched the trade-in value of the Civic. I knew I was making a good choice when I went with Honda in 1999; I didn’t realize just how good though. It seems they are one of the best companies for holding residual value – my 7 year old, almost 70,000 mile car with some minor body damage (plus an inch of water in it back during Tropical Storm Allison, which was repaired by the dealer) was still worth about $5000! To compare, the Corolla that I almost bought back then, which was the same price in 1999, is now only worth $3000 or so.
When I first started researching options, Mike, always the VW lover, suggested looking at the Jetta, but the new sticker price was higher than we wanted to go with. I kept pushing for Honda, but Toyota had their annual event going on at the end of March, with reduced interest rates, so we gave them a shot. We liked the Camry when we test drove it, but the price was still a little higher then the price point we wanted and we weren’t really in love with it … once we got to the Honda dealership it was clear that I was going to end up in another Honda.
I hadn’t narrowed it down to a final option before we arrived. I knew I wanted to look at the Accord, the Civic and the CR-V. I thought I wanted an Accord – also higher in price, but among Forbes’ top 10 of holding great residual value, plus good gas mileage, plenty of room for us, plus it is a nice comfy ride. (We went to New Orleans a few years ago with another couple in their Accord, and with all 4 of us in the car we were still really comfortable.) I wanted to check out the new Civic too, but I learned once I saw it that I *hate* the new redesign. The hood is much shorter and it slopes so strangely I couldn’t see the front of it. Sitting in the driver’s seat, I was uncomfortable with the instruments, the hood, everything. It just felt like it wasn’t even that safe since it is so small. Then it was time to look at the CR-V. I have had my eye on the CR-V too ever since I bought my Civic back in 1999.
My parents both drive an Infinity (Infinities?) which they bought “pre-owned certified” from the Infinity dealership and have been very happy with them, so I knew all about the pre-owned warranties, etc. Basically, you get the same warranty as if it was new, and you don’t have to worry about the instant depreciation that comes with driving off the lot in a new car. Our salesman at Honda asked if we were interested in their certified vehicles which have to pass a complete 150 point inspection, and we said yes – my only criteria was low mileage. He showed us a nice, dark blue 2004 CR-V with only 9456 miles on it. The cost was close to $5000 less than what a brand new 2006 CR-V would be. We checked it out, and then we looked at the Accord, the Civic, the new CR-V and the Element. (Jason and Mike both wanted the Element, but something told me we wouldn’t be happy with it in the long run. The salesman later confirmed for me that they also don’t hold their residual value as well.)
In the end, the CR-V was the clear winner. So we just had to decide if we wanted new & silver (my original color choice) or a $5000 less expensive, minorly scratched, slightly lower miles per gallon, royal blue CR-V. I debated for awhile – always the queen of indecision – but finally decided that for $5000 I could live with some scratches and without the radio controls on the steering wheel. (I really wanted those controls on the steering wheel.) Heck, I can probably get the scratches fixed someday. 😉 (They look like someone always held the keys while they opened the door, as all of the handles have scratches in the area where your hand goes between the handle and door.)
So the Civic is gone and there is now a lovely blue CR-V out in the garage. I have to go back next week to get my second key and the remotes. I’ve had a remote to lock the doors for so long, it seems so weird to have to use a key for right now! In the end, they gave us more for my car then I expected – $5200 instead of the blue book $5000 I thought it would be. I found out from CarFax that the reason the miles were so low on the CR-V was that it was a fleet vehicle and only used from 12/20/04 – 12/20/05, and the dealership got it in February to sell. I got to drive back to the dealership this morning to get the garage door opener I accidentally left in the Civic, and it was so much fun to drive it! I’m so thrilled with it!
Oh – I left out that we test drove a Hyundai Tucson also, but it was uneventful, Mike didn’t like it, and I still worry about the reliability and the residual value of a Hyundai. I will say that I know Hyundai owners (Kathy and EJ) and they are both very happy with their vehicles – it was the main reason we decided to test drive one. Something just felt wrong about the experience we had there though, and I have to trust the vibe. I got out of there as quick as I could – we were at that dealership for probably only 15 minutes!
I’m so excited. I love the new car. Now she just needs a name. I’ve never named my cars in the past, but since Kathy & Elaine have bothed named their cars it just seems like the right thing to do. What should I name her? Help me – I need ideas!