Sunday, July 13, 2008

(Another) New Car!

I bought yet another new (to me) car yesterday. Here she is:

It's a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Why, it seems like just a couple of months ago I was writing about another Grand Cherokee:

Had kinda bad luck with that thing. Dealer ripped me off, basically. Told me they fixed something that they hadn't fixed, and I spent $2,000 trying to repair it myself (which I'm now in the process of recovering). Hello, small claims court! And it still needed more work before it was even actually safe. I couldn't deal with the headache.

So I bought a certified used one with a lot fewer miles on it. It still wasn't very expensive at all (not much of a market for SUV's right now) but you know how dealers are, especially when you're financing. It always comes out to more than you expect when all is said and done. I'm feeling a little buyer's remorse right now, but then I think that's pretty common. But this isn't like what I thought that other Grand Cherokee was going to be - this isn't an old beater that I'm going to run into the ground. This is a real car. I'm gonna be sad if anything happens to it, and I've got a not-insignificant financial commitment to it. (It does have a few dings already; I mean it is four years old.) It's gonna need to work for us at least until we pay off the loan: five years.

I'm still having a pretty terrible time buying cars, though, even a certified one. I noticed when I got this thing home last night that it had no spare tire. I didn't even think to check that because it's supposed to be part of the certification that the spare and jack are there and in good shape. I've also never bought a car that didn't have its spare before; it's just weird. So I'm gonna have to go back and deal with the dealer on that; hopefully they won't call me a liar and accuse me of taking it out of the car so I could get a free extra one to sell.

Buying a car at a dealer really sucks - I was there for about six hours.

I also seem to have driven through some paint or something on the way home; the driver's side has little droplets of white paint all over it. And it's a black car. Ugh! I'll need to figure out how to get it off.

At least I've got a real warranty, though, unlike the fake warranty that was apparently not worth the paper it was printed on that I got with the last Grand Cherokee.

I know, how can I be buying another SUV with gas prices being what they are and whatnot. Well, first of all, seriously, we drive like 4,000 miles per year total. So yeah, gas prices suck for us, but we're not as bad off as people who are commuting 70 miles a day by car. And one thing we learned from the other Grand Cherokee is that we love Grand Cherokees. I mean we love the just-right size and the interior space and how they look and feel. And of course, we need a 4X4. Older Grand Cherokees feel like serious SUV's, not these little toys most companies are putting out these days and calling SUV's (including Jeep after 2005). At the same time, though, Grand Cherokees are not unreasonably huge, they're not ridiculous.

I think that someday both of our cars will be all-hybrid or electric-hybrid. It just makes sense that the world is moving in that direction. And I have no problem with the idea of an electric or hybrid car, I just don't really want to make a massive series of compromises and drive a Prius or a Civic, and I don't want to get on a waiting list and then spend $35,000 right now to drive a Ford Escape hybrid (we really couldn't afford it). Someday, though, there are gonna be Jeep Wrangler hybrids and all-electric Mini Coopers and whatever else, and we'll have the money to buy one. Probably pretty soon, too - maybe even by the time we shop for another new car.

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About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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