Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Car Shopping

The Corsica has not been replaced just yet. We're actively shopping, though, which means that I keep looking at the same 20 vehicles over and over again on the internet.

After searching a lot of virtual used (sorry - pre-owned) car lots for the past couple of weeks, I think I know what I want. I have even filled out a few web forms to request an "internet price" from the dealership's internet sales manager.

In return my inbox is filled with form letter emails. They tell me how great their dealership is and ask for me to call them about the car. Or they quote me the same price that was on the website I just visited. I think they are missing the point about being an internet sales manager.

Here are some other observations from the process:
  • Ford is still hanging in there with the "numbered buttons on the door" security system. They also have the keyfob keyless entry feature, but apparently you need another option to get inside without using the key.

  • Chrysler is still hanging in there with the analog clock built into the dashboard. It's like someone decided to glue a wristwatch above the radio.

  • Car salesman do not read the newspaper or surf the web. They are completely oblivious to the fact that sales were down 48% last quarter and/or their company is going bankrupt. They think the car on the lot is still worth what it sold for in 2006.

  • I am the only person who thinks that a license plate bracket hanging off the front of a car in Pennsylvania is not a good thing.

    To me, it screams "I'm from a different state in the union - one which requires a front license plate." Or worse, "someone just drilled a couple of holes in my painted front bumper for no good reason."

  • I still don't understand why I need to haggle about the price of a car like I'm buying fruit at an outdoor market in Bangladesh. Plus, I don't think the Bangladeshi produce guy would be wearing a bad suit.
So there you have it. I don't really feel like I'm making any progress so far. Maybe I should just repair the Corsica and wait for the pending liquidation sales. I know my daughter would be OK with that strategy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Time To Go

It is time to replace the Corsica.

I realize that I've owned it for 10 years and we've just crossed the 100k milestone. But it needs some work to make it through inspection (plus a host of other repairs to keep it going). We have finally crossed the "not worth it anymore" point.

So what can possibly replace this classic, mostly reliable piece of mid-1990's engineering? I'm not sure yet. My daughter would like to just get another Corsica as a successor. A red one.

During the week I drive to work and park on the street in the city, so I don't want anything too new or too big or too nice. I like the idea of a hatchback to get more interior space for people, stuff, and a weekend run to Lowe's. I want keyless entry because the Corsica doesn't have it (and you can never have too many remotes). The internet tells me that all of these things combine to put me in the market for a compact crossover. That sounds interesting.

I'm on the lookout. The Corsica's inspection and registration run out at the end of May, so we'll probably wrap up the process before then. Probably.

If you're in the market for a pre-owned late model sedan with a V6 and a new driver's door, let me know. I've got one for sale that will make you the coolest kid on the block. It has worked for me for the past 10 years.