These past few weeks, in addition to getting settled in our new place, we have been car shopping to add to our “fleet”. We have been a 1 car family for the last 2 1/2 years and I have to say, it has suited us well. Now of course I was the one who drove the car to work each day, but in all seriousness, I think my husband would agree that it really worked out well. He was able to bike or take public transit to work and then we would just arrange our evening/weekend schedules to accomodate whoever needed the car. And actually, we got to spend more time with each other because we ran all errands together, dropped off/picked up each other for events, etc. It was kind of nice.
But now that we’re in Cincinnati, we’re finding it to be a bit more difficult, mostly because of my commute. Work is far enough away that getting dropped off and picked up so that Phil can use the car during the day is not as practical. Plus we’re both getting more involved in “extra-curriculars” which means needing to get around more in the evenings. So, since we currently don’t have a car payment (and didn’t spend much on our current car to begin with), we decided we could afford to look around.
This whole process got me thinking back to when I was 16 and happy to drive whatever car was available to me, even if that was a 90-something Ford Aerostar mini van. While it may not have been the coolest vehicle (far from it!), I never once had to think about things like safety ratings, gas mileage, reliability, features or trim packages. Needless to say, it was a bit overwhelming when we walked onto the first car lot and were confronted with all of these options. Luckily, Phil is a daily auto blog reader and enjoys learning about all things car, so it could have been a lot worse.
What we did know was that we wanted a smaller car (with a comfortable back seat), a hatchback, something with high gas mileage, a manual transmission, and a competitive price.
We were on a mission to test drive our top 4 cars:
What did we end up with? You’ll just have to check back for the final decision along with what I learned from the car-buying process.