We had already been casing the car websites and considering what would work for us. Now that we only have a single car instead of one for me and one for him, a single vehicle would have to perform for all our needs. In the past I was the queen of the small cars, and bought economy models because I drove quite a bit commuting to work for the last fifteen years of my work life. My hubby worked closer in the downtown area and liked larger cars for the comfort. In addition, there were accessibility and storage issues. We needed to be able to load and carry a wheelchair, and he wanted a larger door opening to get in and out more easily. If we were the average couple we could have gone out and bought any number of sedans and they would be fine, but with physical limitation issues to consider, we were tied down to looking for a hatchback or wagon with a good amount of space in the cargo area, not too high off the ground for accessibility, and ample foot room in the passenger side for my husband. That limited the list considerably.
We had been researching cars for several months and my husband had pretty much narrowed the list to Toyota, Honda and a few others. We were trading in a much beloved Subaru but since that brand upsized the cars, downsized the horsepower and added that Continuously Variable Transmission (it's got a belt inside instead of gear wheels - NO THANKS) we had sadly ruled out another Subaru.
On Tuesday afternoon, off the car dealers we went after making a few phone calls and checking inventory online for the local dealers The primary candidate, a Toyota Matrix, wasn't in stock anywhere in the area. We had never seen one in person but on paper it looked like a good fit. To our surprise, no one had one in stock and hadn't for over a year. It seems that they don't sell in the southeast although on the west coast they went like hotcakes Go figure.
So what else did Toyota have to offer that might work for us? It turned out - nothing. We continued on to Honda.
Our first candidate was the CR-V, and I liked it immediately but the passenger footwell was so crammed that sitting straight-legged as he has to, there was absolutely no way he would fit. The next suggestion, a Pilot, was so tall that I would have needed a step ladder to get in. Finally the salesman, a little guy that had just graduated from college and only worked there six weeks, brought us a Crosstour.
A Cross what? I'd never heard of it. It's kind of a hatchback Accord but fancier. Bigger than I had ever considered. But wow - the wheelchair slid into the cargo area over a flat door sill without a problem and plenty of room to spare, and the passenger seat and floor area were fine. We took a test drive. I started to reconsider my bias toward small cars.
In the end - we bought it. The dealership was clearing out the 2012 models and we got a good deal. In addition I had my dear hubby to dicker with the sales staff for us, especially about the trade-in value. Gotta love people with project management and contract negotiation experience!
So without further ado - here's the new car:
I also had to replace my laptop last week after it pretty much figuratively crashed and burned during a Windows update. Hubby resuscitated it until we could visit Best Buy and pick up a new one, so I'm in a learning curve on all sides right now!