In less enlightened times, the best way to impress women was to own a hot car. But women wised up and realized it was better to buy their own hot cars so they wouldn't have to ride around with jerks.
-- Scott Adams
So it's done! I traded in my nearly worthless, inspection-failing, 10-year-old Saturn SL for a 2006 berry red Saturn ION2. I dig it so much. It's the newest car I've ever owned, and it's so pretty. Here's a picture. Ok, that's not a picture of my actual car; that's a picture of the car I almost bought this summer, which was a 2007 ION3, but mine looks just like this (except the interior is gray, not tan like this one). Plus, this one has fewer miles on it than that one did.
Between this summer and Monday, I test drove four or five IONs, and ended up buying from a Saturn dealership, which was my preference. I was very happy with the level of service I received from them, which is part of the reason the only cars I’ve ever owned have been Saturns. I still have the balance of the factory warranty on the new one (about 10,000 miles or 18 months), and since I calculated that I will probably only drive about 6,000 miles this year, I'm pretty well set in that department. And, I think I got a pretty good deal, so I am a happy camper.
Things I love about my new car:
1. Power steering
2. Power windows
3. Power door locks (Sensing a trend? My old car was so manual, you practically had to push it to get where you wanted to go)
4. It's automatic (I wavered on this a bit; I love driving stick, but in DC traffic, it's a pain in my ass, so I'm giving it up)
5. Keyless entry! And a key fob! I can freak people out by making the interior light turn on from far away!
6. It's MP3 compatible - now (I assume and hope; I'm not technical and I didn't ask and haven't read the manual yet) I can listen to my iPod through the car stereo!
Things I am not so psyched about:
1. Having a monthly car payment when I only drive my car on weekends (public transportation around here is great, and there's no commuter parking at the nearest Metro station, so I generally don't drive on weekdays).
2. I almost doubled my car insurance payment, since this one's obviously worth more than the other one.
3. I had to leave behind my Universidad de Salamanca sticker because it wouldn't come off in one piece. (I also had to leave my law school sticker and my undergrad alumni sticker, but those are easily replaceable, though I probably won't bother.) I really would like to replace it - I have such good memories of that time - so if any of you feel like searching the internets on my behalf, I'd appreciate it. I did a brief Google, but my Spanish is so rusty the University of Salamanca site makes almost no sense to me.
All in all, though, I think the pros outweigh the cons (key fob!). I am looking forward to the drive to my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving in complete, automatic transmission-ed, iPod-ed, ease and comfort.
Oh, and a big congratulations to all my law school comrades who just found out today that they passed the New York bar exam! I never had any doubt! Now get back to earning those six-figure salaries!