Tuesday, July 17, 2007
It's an inescapable fact of life, for now. We need dependable cars to make the income to fund this crazy, off-kilter way of life we have until it becomes viable, or until the oil supply runs out. Whichever comes first.
Our current fleet all have over 200,000 miles on them, which means they're great, above-average vehicles, but then again they could maybe leave us hitchhiking on the side of the road at any moment, with kids. Even my dependable Honda Accord, which I drive almost sixty miles round trip to work each day, is in the shop now for brake work. And there's the cool factor. When The Hermit and I drove to Park Point in Duluth a couple weekends ago for a music festival, in our '95 Astro van, we thought to ourselves..."Hey, I feel pretty frumpy!" :)
So we started thinking seriously about replacing the van, or at least getting a vehicle that a) we could fit the whole family in, plus accessories, and b) had few enough miles on the odometer that it would hopefully last us a few years, and c) was cheap enough, and d) had some of the "cool factor".
The above pictured vehicle, a 2006 Subaru Outback with some 15,000 miles on it, met the above criteria. I am now in way more debt that I want to be, but it's okay, I just got a hefty 2.5% raise from the State of Minnesota each year for the next two years! And, we're probably better off financially than we've been in years.
Still there was that gut-tightening wait while financing was finally approved. I hate that. I can't help but thinking, with all the people bringing their Acura leases in for tune-ups and such, that we were probably the white trash customers of the day. Mr. Attitude did a lot in the waiting room to reinforce that image. ;)
I can say, however, that this is probably the coolest vehicle that I have ever driven. It has one of these mileage calculator thingies, and on the drive home I averaged 31.5 mpg! Another factor we considered in our vehicle selection, perhaps the most important. We could have gotten in to a bigger minvan or something, but at today's gas prices you have to think "do we really need a third seat?"
Did I mention it's all wheel drive, perhaps another important factor in our Minnesotarctica climate?
Oh well, the cool factor overrides everything. :)