After totalling my car last Tuesday, I’ve embarked on a week long search for a suitable replacement. Upon thinking about things, I concluded that I wanted something that fit my 6’5″ frame well, had more pep than my Camry, looked nice, good long-term reliability, and was a good deal. Gas mileage was somewhat of a consideration (don’t insert “Peak Oil” arguments/links in the comments, please), but only a deciding factor as SUVs threatened to dip highway mileage below 20 MPG.
A fun week to be sure. Over that time, I test drove an Audi A4, Ford Escape, Mazda3, Nissan Murano, Infiniti G35, Subaru Legacy, and Acura TL. I also looked at the Acura TSX, Mazda Tribute, Honda Accord and Pilot, Toyota Camry and Highlander.
A common issue was what I call the “stop light problem”. Many of these cars, at a stop light, require me to crouch and tilt my head so I can see when it turns green. I’d prefer not to do that in my next car. Many had legroom issues, including, surprisingly, some of the SUVs and every Nissan car. The Audi A4 beat everything in legroom, due to highly adjustable power seats. I’ve already decided on the type of car, and am busy working deals to get the best price, probably on a slightly used car. I’ll detail my choice and the decision process in part 2.
Auto technologies are developing at a blistering pace. The list of cool technologies I played with over this week is mind-boggling: direct injection engines, turbo, hybrid engines, Continuously Variable Transmissions, All-Wheel Drive, navigation systems. I’m hoping all of these can be found in one car by the NEXT time I’m car-shopping.