Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Shiny Chrome, Flawless Paint, and a Functioning Radio. (What's THAT?)

**Now edited to include results of the truck investigation trip!!!!  Scroll down to the end!!!!

Today I'm heading into town to visit the car dealers.  You know, Ford, Chevy, Dodge, not necessarily in that order, the Big Three.  I like all the trucks.  Chevy Dodge Ford.  All of them.

I'm thinking two things right now.  One, how did I go from looking in the $2500 range to um, well, add another zero after that and prepare for a visit to the bank.  Two, I've never owned anything from the current decade.

And one more thing: new vehicles kinda terrify me.  When we bought our Jetta, seven long years ago, it was such a BIG DEAL for me.  Understand, in the 70s my dad drove a truck from the 50s.  In the 90s, my dad drove... the same truck from the 50s.  Guess what he drives now?  Yup.  In my 80s high school days, I drove either a 1973 Ambassador station wagon, or a 1974 Dodge Dart, or a 1971 Beetle.  Or that truck.  Sometimes.  Anything newer than fifteen years old has been considered NEW.  So imagine me with this perfect, shiny, clean little Volkswagen.  I wanted to wash it every day and keep it that way.

Jethro's over it.  The Jetta has become his mobile office and as such, is covered in what I call a thin layer of Drive-thru; his usual Cup of Sticky and Bag of Crumbs.  The little silver car has some road rash from all those trips down the 401.  It's got about 280,000 km on it.  I don't know how many miles that is.  I'm guessing, like, a million or something like that.  Not real good with numbers.

All I know is, the first scratch on that car was like a personal injury.

And I think you know what happens to trucks, right?

Sometimes they get a little roughed up.

But look how shiny and magnificent these guys look, like they've just spent hours in Hair and Makeup, with a wind machine gently tickling their mirrors...

I am telling myself that I'm only going to the dealerships to LOOK and DISCUSS and TALK NUMBERS.  Oh, that last one should be good eh?  Hit me with the numbers, dude.  I'll pretend I'm not blanking out.

The whole story of how we got from 2500 to possibly 25,000 is a whole other story, but the end result is that a three year old diesel pickup is roughly the same price as a brand spankin' new gas powered truck.

Both require some scrambling in the financing department.  Jethro looked at me one evening and said, "You know, if we buy something new we get a better warranty.  Look at this," as he shook a full page ad in the newspaper, "they're doing zero down.  They're practically giving these things away.  They're begging us to buy their trucks."

Um, okay...

Meanwhile a steady stream of scary things goes around in the background.

We can't afford this.
I don't deserve a truck this nice.
We need a truck.
I hate having a loan.
I hate monthly payments.

Ah'm skeert.

My mom really wants me to get another truck so's me an' her don't have to keep sharing her car.  Also the Pug isn't allowed in Grandma's car because of the shedding problem...

I'd like to stop feeling so stranded and kind of lost!  Unhorsed.

I just needs me a truck.

(look how shiny that sucker is eh?)


So it turns out, good ol' Chrysler puts a full page ad in the paper - one I had a hard time believing - that really is too good to be true.  Sure they'll sell you that truck, but good luck finding that exact configuration at this time of year.  I asked the dude if the ad is just to get people into the dealership.  "Sure it is," he replied.  I like this guy.  He even put the newspaper in his recycling box for me.

End result: the $10,000 cost of the diesel option isn't really worth it.  Yeah.

Also?  The most amazing news which I did not know?  Ready?


I'm friggin serious!!!!!  Turns out, the legendary Hemispherical head blah blah grunt grunt engine re-introduced in 2005 is quite the redesign.  When cruising down the road at highway speeds, the engine shuts down four of the cylinders.  Croooooze efficiently.  Then when you put your foot on the pedal, vrooooom and it's all there.

So I'm like, duh!  Yeah!!!

I gotta pinch myself because regardless, we cannot afford the payments on a new truck.

Anyways I sat in a 2008 and I liked it.  A lot.  I could see over the dash, reach the pedals, everything.  Too bad it's already sold.  But it got me thinking.

Took a cruise over to the GM dealer.  Sigh.  Darnit, Generous Motors, you have me.  And then you lose me.  You keep playing with my heart.  I hated the 1999-2006 (or whatever) generation of trucks.  Now I like the newest body style, but man that is a cheap interior.  All brittle looking plastic.  Cheeeep.  Plus I had to lift my chin to see over the hood - what the heck with THAT?

Also, the GM salesman wore too much cologne and said my name too often.  Yeeesh.

So there it is.

Dodge - better fuel mileage, better interior, good looking exterior, AND a few thousand dollars less.

Looks like Dodge might be stealing this GM girl's heart good and for real.


Sydney_bitless said...

Hey think of it this way in Ontario they are practically giving trucks away right now. I would go with a dodge ram, hemi, personally.

Sydney_bitless said...

In red. Maaaayybe black.

Heidi the Hick said...

oh yeah baby, Dodge ram with a hemi. In red.

Heat score!

"Sorry officer, I was just breaking it in..."

I can't afford the insurance or the speeding tickets, but hot damn, in a more fun world that would be nice...!!

Paul Tee said...

I know exactly how you feel about a new car. The upside, for once to have something brand new and perfect; the downside, is to have something unspoiled and perfect. A new car intimidates the hell out of me, makes me paranoid, and I'm likely to cause an accident by overly-defensive driving.

So if you must have a new car, then I have a simple remedy for fixing the break-in-a-new-car problem. First you take a ball-peen hammer and impress it on the right fender with a well articulated dent. And PRESTO, the truck isn't perfect anymore and you can relax. Why the right? Because then you don't have to look at it every time you mount up.

Believe me on the long run it cost less than having to pay for gas to go to the shrink to deal with those anxiety issues. It'll also lets the truck know who's boss. But you will have to purge code E128 from the information-feedback that tells you that the trunk is open, or there is a dent on the right front fender. Knowing your weakness, they will probably program Johnny Depp telling you this in an aggrieved tone...

Heidi the Hick said...

Yeah that all sounds about right!

CindyDianne said...

Look at you go with your bad, new truck buying self. My personal recommendation is a Ford. Though, my dad has a new Chevy and it is NICE! I don't think the Dodge holds up around the engine. Whatever that is worth.


Heidi the Hick said...

Oh good, a word from a Ford girl!

Fords are the classic farm/ work trucks around here. They're a good price, hold up to the work and are known for being better on fuel.

I think the new Chevy is nice if you get the top of the line version. You know, with the leather seats and all. Yeah, so I'm not in that price range!!!

Heidi Willis said...

Hilarious! We have a dodge Ram. It's been a great truck for us, but we don't live on a farm or anything. It is really beat up though. It's like it's so big no one can see it so people are always backing into it in parking lots. Crazy.

Anyway, good luck on the further search. Can't wait to see what you end up with. :)