Saturday, February 09, 2008

Car shopping

My husband has been on a car shopping kick lately. I think he is trying to distract himself from the fact that we STILL do not have orders. We are ok in our sedan, but we know that we want more kiddos and that means a minivan. Evan and Harry are fine with looking at the cars as they get to climb all around in them while mommy and daddy talk with the nice salesman. We had a marathon session yesterday afternoon in which we hit the Toyota dealer and the Honda dealer. Last Friday we hit the Mazada dealer.

The Mazda was nice but way too small. It had the best gas milage, but it also had the smallest engine. I just could no see us being able to pile four kids in the back along with camping gear for the whole family and actually still being comfortable in the vehicle. The minivan drove nice and it was not all that different than driving a car. It was quite low and might have trouble getting over speed bumps. Evan had no trouble climbing in on his own. The salesman was nice and did not put the thumb screws on us to try and get us to buy a car.

I liked the Sienna. Many of my friends have them. It had the space that we needed and the newer ones have a nifty fold flat back row of seats. Evan had a harder time getting into this one but I also did not see us worrying about going over speed bumps either. The salesman actually pulled out the classic "What would I have to do to get you into one of these today?" I was quite flip and told him that if he cut the price of the car in half we would love to drive away with it today. Sadly he did not take me up on my offer.

The Odyssey was my favorite in the looks department. The one we test drove had a beautiful navy blue color (the same shade as my blog background). I also thought the metallic dashboard looked very sharp. I enjoyed annoying my husband by telling him that I liked it the best because it was the prettiest car. The salesman was slick enough and amusing enough to lure us into the sales room to "crunch numbers". They had a room with toys for the kids (donated by our salesman who had kids and knew that a toy room is essential if you want parents with kids to stay any length of time crunching numbers. A poopy diaper and two kids that had not had dinner yet got us off of the sales floor, well that and the fact that we were still not too sure we had to have a minivan right that second.

It is quite an exhausting thing to go car shopping. I am not sure that we will continue at the moment as things are so up in the air and it is not really distracting my husband from the fact that we STILL do not have orders. It would be nice to have the extra car space when moving (if we do indeed end up moving), but I am not sure that it is worth the hassle of doing all the looking and comparing and poking about here and there. I would love it if the minivan fairy would leave me keys to a fully loaded navy blue minivan under my pillow. I would give her a whole mouthful of teeth for that.


Steph said...

Good luck with the car hunting! It's never a fun task, but in the end you'll have a nice shiny new car, so I guess that's a little incentive :)

Guinevere Meadow said...

I LOVE your answer to the salesman!! Car shopping can be VERY stressful. I do NOT envy you!!

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

We had a Sienna at one point....

LOVED that van!!! Loved, loved, loved.

I don't think you can go wrong with a Toyota or a Honda.

Do you have a CarMax near you?

Vicky said...

We had a second hand Odessey for seven years and drove the pants off it. We really liked it and when it died we would have got another one but they were too expensive. What I liked about our Odessey was that you could fold the middle seats right up against the front seats, and have a big space for changing a baby or eating a picnic or whatever.

Now we have a Toyota Isis which is cheaper by far than the Odessey (I am sure I am spelling that wrong...) The Isis middle chairs cannot be folded up, and it is narrower - but that makes parking easier! The two things I like about the Isis are that there is no pillar between the passenger door and the sliding door, so when both are open there's a huge clear gap which makes getting in and out easy. The other thing is that it's "semi automatic" or something. It is always automatic but you can slide the lever into manual, and change gears yourself. That means that you get much more control on ice (not that it seems you have to bother with that!) There is no clutch to deal with, so it's easy. That was an option though, not all cars have it. I just thought of something else, the Odessey was full time 4WD or not at all, but the Isis has a 4WD button that saves on gas when its not needed in the summer. (Again, maybe moot for you!) The Odessey was much stronger feeling than the Isis, too.

chichimama said...

I hate car shopping. The last car we bought I made hubby do all the leg work, I test drove the one he picked out, declared it fine, and then left again and let him hash out the details.

Good luck though, both with the shopping and the lack of orders, my BIL just got his, they are staying put for another year.

Cammie said...

Might want to check out a Nissan Quest, too. We love ours!

Mean Mommy said...

I hate dealing with salespeople. We bought a Sienna a year and a half ago. I hated dealing with salesmen so much that when we decided to buy, we used our credit union's car-buying service. We told the guy what we wanted, and he shopped all the dealerships remotely close by and found us the best deal on the closest match and then drove it two hours to drop it off to our local branch. It was pretty awesome! (I don't know if you have a similar service available; I know our USAA account has one too.) Anything extra we paid over the best deal we might have negotiated on our own was well worth the freedom from the haggling hassle.

We picked the Sienna mostly because they were running cheaper than the Odysseys at the time. From my research, they're pretty much even in almost all respects.

That girl said...

We had a dodge grand caravan. We loved it, drove beautifully but it was enourmous. Then we got a Ford Windstar and that was a lemon from the start.

As a woman, I hate car shopping too. I don't know all the difference between all the makes and models.

My dream dealership would look something like this: You walk into the lot, and you see big signs: RED CARS. Then, further down you see another BLUE CARS. And every other colour.

That's exactly how I'd like to pick my next car :-)

Nanette said...

That would be nice if the fairy leaves you a minivan! If she does, send her my way next.

(BTW, I have closed my blog, just so you know when you get the invite only thing, I just have it for the blogroll)

chelle said...

I had hoped for a mini van but the more time that goes by the more chance we will go with a car. I love the gas milage of our little car but crave space so bad! I loved reading your reviews on all of them!