You know, I was thinking recently (and I try to do that more than occasionally) that around this time last year I was happy, not that I’m not happy most of the time, but I was generally pleased with my car situation. 2014 was tough for me in terms of my automotive relationship as my car of 10 years had taken successive waves of dings-dents that mysteriously appeared overnight, and then came a hit-n-run incident where someone hit me on the beltway then exited before we could pull over to exchange info. Then shortly after the tires and brakes needed to be replaced. I think the final straw was the nav system deciding to display a dark screen. The combination of those developments helped move me towards beginning the search for its replacement. I’d gone through a relatively intense process of replacing my last car of 10 years. Replacing a car can be a tough process if you are not properly prepared for the events that will unfold during your search.
For me it starts with some preconceived ideas based on marketing/advertising or models that caught my eye during a weekday commute. Then comes researching specs, looking up reviews, scheduling test drives for those models, and then weighting the scores for each model, eliminating any that don’t meet most if not all the needs. The finalists are then subjected to a final condensing all that info into a single emotion about how you feel about a specific model. Maybe I’m not normal when it comes to this, but for me it’s not just transportation it’s something more.
I was genuinely pleased with the results of my search last year when I purchased a 2014 VW JSW TDI. A good compromise of utility and sport. Now with the VW laid up somewhere in PA, and for the better part of a month got me thinking (see beginning of this post). I like taking impromptu road trips (400+ miles), and this event only a year into my ownership does not bode well for me taking trips away from home. Nor does it inspire confidence in the manufacturer after it took 19 days to diagnose the problem. In some ways it also helps me get closure on the honeymoon I had with my TDI. At this point I’m in limbo until I hear what VW plans to do to help me resolve my current VW absent-rental car as a daily driver status. Based on that I have to resolve myself to the fact that I need to start fresh with a new vehicle, but what to get? I began visiting automotive websites this morning, and then visiting dealerships this afternoon. I forgot how many models I’d looked at previously and pulled from consideration. It seems I’m interested in even fewer models this time around. Some of the models that made it as finalists in my search last year it seems are no longer available this time around. So it goes. Today I came up with 7 models, then quickly eliminated 2 based on aesthetics, 1 is no longer available, 1 apparently is unicorn rare during this time of year, 1 was my original backup plan (read not excited), and 2 are outside what I really want/need. The search continues!