Car Shopping: The Fascinating Journey

Life is still very slowly headed towards normalcy.  We have started car shopping and, if all goes as planned with the insurance settlement check (which we still do not have), we should have a new car purchased this weekend.

I am the opposite of a “car person”.  I am pretty much only interested in something that can take me where I need to go comfortably, economically, and safely.  But people seem to be genuinely interested in what is going on with our car situation, and perk up when we say we are car shopping.  I have noticed that people in general REALLY like to talk about cars.  Even people who might not self-identify as “car people”.  So I thought I would share a little about our car hunt…

Prior to my crash, and throughout most of the last few months of 2012, we had been talking about buying a new car in February.  The new car was intended to replace our older Saturn SL2.  We were planning on keeping our newer Saturn Ion as a secondary car, because it worked just fine and with Tadd working from home 2-3 days a week, and us carpooling most of the other days, having one new car that we use most of the time and one old (but reliable) car to use as a backup would have worked out just fine for us. The SL2 is getting up there in age and mileage, and has been having some issues lately, so it was definitely the better candidate for replacement than the Ion.

Since the Ion was a standard size sedan, we decided on a body style that was totally different for our future new car…and we settled on a hatchback/wagon.  We wanted something with decent cargo room that we could use if life called for it.  You have no idea how many times we had been at Ikea and NOT bought a piece of furniture just because we had no easy way of getting it home in our little Saturn!  And we are just not truck or big SUV type people.  So we thought it would be nice to have that option in a hatchback for next time we ran across a situation that required extra cargo room.  We were mainly considering the Kia Soul, but also wanted to look at Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, and a few others.


Then, on 1/11, the Ion was rear-ended by the semi truck.  We were fairly certain right away that it would be totaled, but were not 100% sure.  Now our casual car shopping turned into serious car shopping, and instead of replacing the SL2, we were replacing the Ion.  Once we found out what our settlement would be, we decided to go with replacing the Ion with a new sedan, with the hopes that the SL2 will last awhile longer so we can save up for a less expensive, used hatchback/wagon.  My thought was to get a reasonable, practical, reliable car with great gas mileage that could last us 10+ years.  My husband (who is much more of a “car person” than I am) wanted all the bells and whistles, and wanted a car that just felt nice to drive.

After visiting a few dealerships and test driving a few cars, we have narrowed our search down to two cars:

2013 Honda Civic EX




2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited2013_hyundai_elantra_sedan_limited_s_oem_1_500


Right now the choice depends largely on what the two dealerships we are working with can do for us.  We lean ever-so-slightly more favorably towards the Elantra (can’t beat that Hyundai warranty!), but there are things we love about the Civic that the Elantra doesn’t have.  The exact Elantra we want seems to be somewhat elusive and we have gotten conflicting information from different people at the dealership as to whether exactly what we want can be accommodated.  If it turns out it can’t, then we are going with the Civic.  We would be thrilled with either one.

Stay tuned to find out which car we end up with!  Maybe we will shock everyone, including ourselves, and end up with something completely different!  Exciting stuff, folks.