I know your weekends won't be complete without an update on our auto angst. We are currently weighing the following issues:
- we already own a fairly new, very comfy station wagon, which will be our car for long trips (such as the one we will take out East in July) for the forseeable future. But we need a second car, to be used mainly for work commutes (~10 miles/weekday) and the occasional jaunt around town
- we are spending buckets and buckets (well, the bank is, as we refinanced the mortgage) on the very big home renovation project we're in the midst of, and we're waiting on updated financials from our contractor. At last check, we were $2500 over budget and 80% done with the project. But there are plenty of details left to be settled (like can we afford to replace a few more windows in the house, do we need to repave the driveway, surely we need window treatments). And we've just committed to a private school for Curious Girl to start next year. So there are lots of opportunities for spending money around here, and we need to plan carefully. I'm thrilled we can afford the expenditures we can, but we're in the midst of some budget transitions and it's a lot to keep track of.
- I really want a hybrid car, but they are more expensive, and even with the tax credit, the small amount of driving we do isn't going to make up the costs
- Hybrids cost more energy to produce than some non-hybrids, although hybrids use less gas and send out far fewer emissions.
- the chronic-disease factor is hard to predict: Politica is often achy, and while yesterday she loved the Scion, today she loathed it. The scion gets mixed green ratings from two sites and we can't decide what to make of that, but if the car is too achy-inducing it probably doesn't matter.
- we can't decide whether it is just a flat out bad idea to buy a subcompact car without side air bags (the new small toyota, which is really called the yaris but which I keep referring to as the yurt, can't get side airbags)
- we can't decide whether it would be OK to have a car that Politica really doesn't like to drive. I'm not so fussy: any of the options would be fine with me. But the rough ride of smaller cars is not so good for her. But is a car the size of the civic or corolla too much car for a second, drive-to-work-and-back car? we can't decide.
- we think it would be more prudent to minimize immediate expenses, which probably rules out a hybrid for now. I feel badly about that. But it's a lot more expensive. So then I feel badly and chintzy. Sigh. Then I thought, let's buy a used car, not a new one. That made us feel overwhelmed. Too many options.
- we both thought the scion xb was very fun to drive
- Curious Girl thinks we should buy a red car, and I agree.
- At the end of our time at a dealer, CG wanted me to go in one of the cars out on the showroom floor. "Let's have a big ol' meeting!" she said. "I'll drive."
Here's wishing all of you a decisive weekend.