About two years ago we realized that Apollo (our Scion XA) was not exactly an ideal family car (it doesn’t fit a rear facing car seat if there’s someone in the front seat and there’s no space for a stroller in the trunk). However Apollo is AWESOME for all the travel we do. We’ve put nearly 100,000 miles on dear Apollo in the past four years and he has held up great. But at the rate we were putting miles on Apollo, we knew eventually we’d need a new car. So after we paid off the last of our student loans, we started setting money aside for a car and we began the hunt.
For nearly a year now we have searched Craigslist ads and local car dealers looking for the perfect deal. We haven’t been in a rush which is awesome because it has given us plenty of time to look for the best of the best when it comes to good deals. We didn’t care how old the car was as long as it was well maintained, but it needed to have less than 50k miles on it. We wanted a car with cruise control because while Apollo is awesome… he came without cruise control and we never ended up adding it like we originally planned to. We also needed a car that could transition into a family car someday so it needed to be big enough to fit a rear facing carseat as well as a stroller in the trunk. However, I don’t like huge cars so we were looking for something that was just big enough to meet our needs and no larger. We also needed something with good gas mileage. Apollo gets 30-40 mpg (awesome travel car, I’m tellin’ ya) so we didn’t want to switch to something that gets 15mpg. We decided to look for 20+mpg. And since we were paying cash, we wanted to spend $10k or under. We had dealers laugh at us for this and tell us there was no way we’d find the car we want for the price point we were at, but we knew that if we looked long enough, we’d find what we were looking for.
So meet Athena. 🙂 Just like every time we travel somewhere, Christopher checked the local Craigslist ads to see if there was a car we might be interested in. And there was. A 2007 Ford Fusion with LESS than 41k miles on it (it was a town car that belonged to a little old lady who couldn’t drive it anymore). We looked up the stats on it and saw that it got 23-30mpg and that it was indeed big enough to fit a rear facing carseat. We took it to a local mechanic that my brother-in-law knows and trusts and he gave it an “all clear”. We Kelly Blue Booked it and found out that the price they were asking was fair (though Christopher did haggle with him a little – we ended up getting it for around $8k which was WELL below the $10k we were prepared to spend on a car). And next thing you know… we were driving away in a new (to us) car.
So now we have Athena. And we love her. We’re still keeping Apollo. He may have a lot of miles on him, but he is reliable and I love him. He is tiny and wonderful. Currently I’m still driving him because I drive more miles during the day than Christopher does. Which means at the moment we have three cars at our house with only two drivers. So it won’t be long before we are putting Christopher’s ’96 Chevy Cavalier (aka “Black Bird”, “Desperaux”, “Soul Searcher”, or “The Black Pearl” depending on what Christopher is calling it that day) up for sale. That poor car is just hardly holding it together. No heat or a/c, hardly any varnish left on the front of the car, questionable brakes, and the whole thing shakes when it goes over 40mph. So, any takers? 😉
So yes, Athena is a huge step up for Christopher. He came home yesterday and he amazed at how different his drive home from work was with heat in the car! Eventually when we have kiddos Athena will transition into my car and Apollo will become Christopher’s work car, but for now (while I’m putting so many miles on the car every day) I still get to drive my sweet Apollo to whom I am so attached.
Welcome Athena! We love you already!
When you buy a new car, do you look for a long time or just decide you need one and then go purchase it?