Zoom-Zoom, Zoom-Zoom: You Can Say That, Again

After losing BB to the accident, we learned that we were one of those rare cases where a totaled car was in our favor. We bought BB with a ~$3000 trade in of my truck. Insurance paid off our loan and gave us $6,000+ to put toward a replacement.

E’s car, Little Blue, is 11 years old, and is showing her 106,000+ elderly miles. The engine or transmission is starting act funny and she’s been in for ~3 mid-sized repairs. Our plan was to replace her this spring/summer. E’s new job was perfect timing for us to find a way to make that happen. We just wouldn’t change anything else about our lifestyle and his new pay would cover a reasonable payment for a new car for him.

So, here were are again, just like we were in 2000:

  • E’s truck died and needed more repairs than the value of the vehicle.
  • A gasoline supplier filled the unleaded tanks at the station with diesel instead, and caused severe damage to my truck…and just 3 months shy of the warranty expiration. Luckily, the company covered the cost of the repairs. (No, filling your unleaded vehicle with diesel is not covered under warranty.) The dealership told us we’d likely have long-term problems from this, so we traded my truck while it still had good resale and while the engine still sounded good to the used car inspectors.

So, on our way to Paris to visit Grandaddy, we stopped at Honda (We liked one car for me, found nothing for E, and hated the dealership …which is strange since it’s the same owner as the Scion dealer where we got BB), had lunch, and then shopped at Mazda.

At Mazda, we both liked the Mazda 3. E preferred the sedan style (he thinks 5-door models look like station wagons. phsaw!) and I liked the hatch back (it’s much easier for managing photo gear and other stuff, too. After driving the hatchback, our salesman, Mark, suggested we drive the sedan, too. On one of the test-drives, we saw a Mazda 2…which made us notice them in the parking lot when we came back. The 2 is smaller, but has almost as much storage and gets a little bit better gas mileage.

Mark’s face sank just a little when we asked he we could drive a 2. I was afraid he was thinking we were going to drive a bunch, but not buy anything. Then I was afraid he was sad about the loss in commission on the cheaper car. Turns out, they work on volume bonuses, not commission, at that dealership-

So, we asked Mark to crunch numbers. He said, “If you are looking at the 3, it’s [this], and if you are looking at the 2, it’s [that].” That’s when E dropped the surprise bomb on him and said, “we’d be getting them both.” Cha-ching! He said he can come off the price more AND wrangle us a loyalty discount, too. Nice!

What are the odds that we’d both like the same brand? I feel a little guilty for liking anything other than another Scion since BB sacrificed her life to keep me safe, but again, I get a little to attached to my cars.

I spent part of our ride to Paris putting the numbers he gave us into a spreadsheet so we could estimate as closely as possible what we’d end up paying each month and then looking at the color options in the brochure.

Lime green (Go ‘Canes!) or bright turquoise (“ZTA blue”)?
decisions. decisions. decisions.

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