My new car arrives today. I’ve been shopping for a car for a while now, and thanks to many of your suggestions, dear readers, I’ve finally come to my decision. It only took me 18 days! 18 days and 3 months. In that time, we’ve sold the Mercedes convertible and the 2004 Lexus RX330 without having to trade either in (you get a lower price for a trade-in than you can selling it on your own).
FYI, this post is massively long and unedited. Given this, I’ll try to categorize and chunk it under someone suspect titles to help break it up for you.
HE’S CUTE AND ALL, BUT I DON’T LIKE THE CURVE OF HIS… UM… THUMB
I’ve seen the Honda Pilot, the Nissan Pathfinder (I couldn’t see out the back window), the Infiniti JX35, Acura MDX, Subaru (no power lift gate in a 2013!), the Buick Enclave (Phil was not diggin’ it once he saw that it had an analog clock in the dash). In the Enclave, I loved the second row bucket seats, that allowed for very easy access to the third row, but I wasn’t a fan of the… such a dumb reason to nix a car… the locks. I now must include a photo… see that big Frankenstein Thumb? Talk about picky. If I were like this whilst I was dating, I’d be childless today… or, uh, unwed.
IF YOU’RE THAT PICKY, YOU DESERVE TO BE ALONE
I loved the luxury of the Infiniti, but Phil preferred the Acura (I think it likely has much better pickup, better safety ratings – though I don’t love the exterior of the car, it looks tight and angry or robotic). Next, we checked out the GMC Acadia Denali. I loved loved loved that it projected your mph right into the glass of the dashboard, because I, well, suck at reading analog clocks or meters. I still have a hard time telling time quickly on a non-digital clock. Seriously, I get a little panicked when someone asks me for the time, like being asked to read aloud in class when I haven’t had an opportunity to pre-read and stumble over the long words. But the GM Northeast people just dropped the ball, didn’t seem to care if they had our business, so perhaps it was my ego that was turned off to their service, or lackthereof. Mind you, our experiences with GM in Texas were wholly different; they treated everyone like a rockstar, particularly Donna McLallen.
QUIT SLEEPING AROUND – WHEN A READER KNOWS BEST
I think I prefer the second row bucket seats to a bench in terms of easy access. I couldn’t quite bring myself to look at a minivan, not when I only have two kids. This comment from Melissa, a reader, really got me excited about the Infiniti JX35:
“We just bought the Infiniti JX for our family of four. Part of the attraction is that you can access the third row even with car seats installed in the second; with other cars that have a bench second row, you have to climb over the second row or in through the back window (the Pilot is like that). Highlander and Enclave have bucket seat second rows that help with this. It definitely has a lot of the bells and whistles, like you said you like — a 360 degree camera, which is awesome for parking, remote start, warning lights if someone is in your blind spot, automatically stops if you’re about to back into something, same thing with front crashes (nice for highway driving if someone steps on the brakes in front of you). If you read the reviews, most of the dings are for performance, and a few note that they basically sacrificed performance for fuel economy. I also thought it wasn’t too monstrous looking (the Pilot was that).”
SERIOUSLY? BUT YOU WOULDN’T EVEN MAKE OUT WITH HIS IDENTICAL TWIN
Odd how the Infiniti is basically a luxed-up version of the Pathfinder, and I was so quick to write off the Pathfinder because of rear view visibility. I think the difference was that during the Pathfinder test drive all the headrests were up, even in the third row. But when I test drove the JX35, they probably weren’t. So visibility didn’t seem like an issue. Also, let’s face it, I’m just a sucker for a nice interior and fancy technology. The Infiniti JX35 was it. I’m driving it most, not Phil. He had nothing negative to say (shocking actually), so good. Done. Kinda.
THE WHEATGRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER
I’m wholly impractical; I simply had to get the Wheat (pale beige) leather interior (as opposed to the Java or Graphite), despite being warned by the salesman that dye from darker jeans will rub off onto the seats! Yikes. That’s terrible given that I live in jeans. And, hi, last I checked I have kids who wear sneakers and sometimes like to kick the seat in front of them. So, I climbed into a Java-clad car and tried to love it just as much. But I couldn’t. I’d always be wishing for the Wheat. So I looked up how to remove dye from Wheat seats, etc., and I’m going to order up some leather cleaner, what can I say? I just love what I love, even if it means more work.
IS IT TRUE LOVE IF WE WERE SIMPLY WOOED BY BELLS?
I don’t let the kids watch any TV during the week (weekends only), so we wanted to avoid the theater package (a dvd player built into each headrest, like on Jet Blue). Besides, I think now with iPads, DVD players are becoming dated. But we wanted all the bigger bells and whistles, like blindside assist, keyless entry, remote start, Destination Assistance (via a real person who inputs the destination into the navigation system for you), and that auto-stop function when you’re driving bumper to bumper and you get too close without realizing it. Also, like the Lexus we had, the JX35 has the telescoping steering wheel, but what’s more, when I cut the engine, the steering wheel retracts and my seat position moves back, to make exiting the car easier, especially with a hobo bag. Also, I love the Intelligent Key, that the car knows it’s MY key vs. PHIL’s key, so as soon as the car automatically unlocks (without having to rummage through my bag to find the damn key, especially in the rain!), all the mirrors and seat position are set to my preferences AND all the radio settings are set to MY presets. Such a sucker for that.
AN ASS FOR EVERY UGLY SEAT?
To find what I wanted wasn’t easy. Most people want the Java, or want the theater package, etc. So, eventually Phil came back saying he got the car with everything we wanted in MIDNIGHT GARNET. Mmmkay. Wait. Ew. That’s so old lady. I don’t want a garnet colored car! There must be something else? How about the Granite? “You are killing me,” Phil said, and he was right. I was being slightly picky, especially after saying that I didn’t really care which exterior color it was, so long as it was Wheat inside with all the features we cared about.
I texted my sister, who agreed. “Don’t settle on a new car. You should love everything about it.” No way was I getting a garnet car. “Let’s just go to another dealership and see the colors in person,” I urged, realizing that it wasn’t about the dealership, that they all check the same database, that they know what’s available within a certain radius. They trade cars with other dealerships, etc.
“They have one in Glacial Silver and Liquid Platinum.” Oh, God, what’s worse? Silver or Garnet?
“Just get the effin’ Diamond Slate,” Lea said without saying “effin.” “It’s gray. It’s nice. My friend has it. It reads a little blue in the sun.” Yeah, I want the gray. I tell Phil. He tells the dealership. They find a Diamond Slate, gray, car with Wheat interior, only the car doesn’t have the maple accents. Instead the accents are a marbled gray blackish color. Gray blackish on warm wheat? Truly, I am a nightmare.
AND ALL AT ONCE I KNEW, I KNEW AT ONCE, I KNEW HE NEEDED ME
In the dealership parking lot I turn to Phil and say, “Oh, snap. I’m in love. The search is over. Call off the dogs. I want this sex fiend of a kitten.” My hand brushing the hood tenderly.
“You’re screwing with me right?”
I begin to sing, as if all boozed up. Patsy Cline. “I go out walking, after midnight. Out in the moonlight. Just like we used to do. I’m always walking, after midnight. Searching for you.”
It isn’t glacial, silver, white, nor gray. I want, more than any other, the car in Midnight Garnet, with Wheat interior and Maple accents. I’m surprised, but it’s true. People sometimes name their cars. This baby might be Patsy… Klein.
PHOTO TO FOLLOW WHEN I PICK MY GIRL UP
We’re out of focus but happy!