I am in the market for a new car. The Chrysler Pacifica I have driven for the last eight years has been very good to me, but I am ready for something smaller, as I rarely have to drive children around anymore. I am also currently getting an average of 19.2 miles per gallon, which could do with LOTS of improvement.
Husband Styro and I have driven Chryslers or Dodges almost exclusively for nearly twenty years. As a Detroit girl, born and bred, I have always been loyal to "American" cars, which I interpret as automobiles, the profit from which is headed into the coffers of a USA-based corporation.
You know what? I'm not too impressed with corporate America right now. There are a few cars that fit into this category that I was willing to look at...
Mid-summer, I had a chance to go for a ride in a Nissan Leaf, the new all-electric vehicle, that Nissan was taking on a road tour. It was a fun ride, and gave me a chance to see how completely differently you have to think with an electric vehicle. Currently, they have a range of about 100 miles, so they aren't really practical for me, as the occasional trip to Dayton or Chicago far exceeds the cars limitations. And now that they have caught on, the government isn't subsidizing hybrids anymore, so even the Totyota Prius, which starts at about $22,000, is more than I am willing to pay for transportation.
Anyway, along with the Leaf, Nissan had brought along a Versa, an amazingly-priced little machine with terrific mileage (starts at $10,990, 27/36 mpg). I drove it. It's a great little car, but way too much of a comedown from what I currently drive for me to be happy with it. So I tried this...
Nicer. Still in a reasonable price range to start, but if you add anything at all, it quickly gets up to twenty grand, more than I wanted to spend.
I gave it a couple days pondering, and decided I wanted to look at higher-end vehicles, but something used (certified, pre-owned actually; most places sell both Used and CPO, be careful of the distinction. If they aren't willing to warranty it, I don't want it) with low mileage. Here's what I will be bringing home on Monday..
So, this Detroit gal is buying a 2008 Nissan Altima SL in Pebble Beach Metallic. It looks silver in the picture, but it's a beautiful golden/sand color in reality. It has everything but the premium sound system; moon roof, heated leather seats, a stereo with an input for my mp3 player, and a 2.5 liter engine with a nice little punch to it. And the thing that drew me to Nissan in the first place, the continuously variable transmission. The CVT is the transmission equivalent of anti-lock brakes. An ABS system will pump the brakes hundreds of times faster and more efficiently than the driver could do so. The CVT does not have traditional gears. It's built differently, and shifts continuously to whichever gear ratio will get the best mileage/performance. (Consequently, Nissan doesn't have to qualify their mileage numbers with "up to;" their cars actually get the mileage listed.) Very smooth, very quiet, and rarely goes higher than 2500 rpm. As I test drove it, the odometer rolled over to 30,000 miles.
The new baby comes home on Monday. I would like to thank Don Scherbing at Tamaroff Nissan for an awesome car-shopping experience. Don is friendly, honest, and careful not to tread on the buyer's toes. We spent some time talking about me as a driver/vehicle owner, and he got a pretty good idea of what I wanted pretty quickly. I will definitely shop there again.
I received no compensation or discount for writing this, and I gave Don a shout-out based solely on the fact that he did a great job.