If I was rash on getting a car last year, I wouldn't be in this moment.
Ideally 2009 was the year I was supposed to buy my very own car. It wasn't exactly planned and it was just an idea that grew from my father. After all the research and psychological conditioning, I was ready to get one but some drastic thing came up. Someone within my circle bought the exact model and color I had in mind. If you're a reader of this blog, probably you're tired shit reading the same sentiments over and over again. In a nutshell, someone screwed my plans, but it's about time I let it go and move on. In fact I have moved on. It was never an issue if I could move on to better things, I just see that the 2009 experience as a lesson about life that I would never ever forget.
Fast forward to 2010, the idea of having a car was distant. Given my financial capabilities in my previous job and my diminished interest, I felt it was okay to just manage borrowing our family car. I figured I wasn't in a hurry anyways until a great opportunity unfolded. In second quarter of this year, I got a better job and transferred to a sophisticated location, a location with limited access to public transportation. Just like a rising tide, owning a car at this time seemed like a perfect idea in the most perfect timing.
Picking up the need, my father pushed for the idea. He told me: "It's about time." So he helped me research for the perfect car, a car he knows would suit me. Little did I know he already has a few units in mind for me to check.
My father's picks a.k.a. suggestions (not chronologically arranged)
1. FORD ESCAPE
This is my dad's first choice. The moment I said that I'm again interested in getting a car, two words immediately came out of his mouth. SUV and Ford. I knew that since he sold our Mazda Tribute, he wanted a similar replacement as he began sniffing behind our backs. When the opportune time came when I wanted a car, he thought that Ford Escape is immediately a perfect choice for me. Like Mazda Tribute, it's powerful, spacious, comfortable, but not that big. Plus, he's a certified Ford fan. He knows how much I handled Mazda Tribute well and Ford is almost similar as Mazda. I guess this is a no-brainer for him.
2. HONDA CRV
Second SUV on his list is Honda's CRV. He said the form is ladylike and he liked the availability of the colors. Though I have a neutral stance on CRV. I may like the interiors and exteriors, but I'm getting saturated with this unit already. In truth, I like Honda cars, but I just don't find the connection with this one.
3. MITSUBISHI LANCER GTA
Probably if I can't afford any SUVs, my father wished I get this. He had built this up a hundred times. He even went as far as tested this himself. Like Ford, he knows Mitsubishi's strengths and weaknesses. This Lancer EX reminds him of his 2000 model Galant, which is technically my first hand-me-down-car ever. Though I trust my father's judgment on this one, I believe it's just too sporty for my taste. I have tested it and the engine roars unlike any other mainstream sedan. It's a case of owner mismatch for me.
4. HONDA CIVIC
Honda Civic is a safe choice. My father also went as far as researched this. We both like the form and the selection of colors. It's sleek and more masculine unlike Toyota Altis and I specifically like the interior. It's modern and unpretentious. But my colleague who owns one said that the gas consumption is very painful. For a sedan, that information is not particularly attractive.
A couple of things about my father's choices. He is a Ford kind of guy. He already knows the in and outs of the brand and still sticks by it despite the gas guzzling reputation. He has preference for SUVs. He and I are physically big for our categories, so I understand how sedan units feel limiting for us. Lastly, despite his car knowledge, he plays around. He might be loyal to Ford, but he entertains other car brands unless he hears something bad about it.
Like my dad, I too have my choices.
Some of my choices (not arranged chronologically):
1. FORD ESCAPE
Like father like daughter. I like Ford. Ever since Expedition came out, our whole family appreciated the comfort and the power it brings. Ford Escape, the SUV entry level of Ford's flagship, also has a good presence in this country, despite the gas-guzzling nature. A lot of people were impressed by the power, but they equally thrashed the painful gas consumption fact especially during the oil crises two years ago. The point is, why buy a powerful SUV if you can't handle the gas? If the overall gas consumption is not really the top of your priority list, Ford SUVs will easily tickle your fancy. It provides comfort and power without ever going over the top. The exterior is classic. Most people find this version of Escape weird because it looks like a cross between a sedan and a rugged SUV. But I like it. It's sleek. It's simple and professional looking behind the obvious power. To note that I am not sporty and I am not the dainty sedan driver either, this look is perfect for me.
2. HONDA JAZZ
I wasn't keen in owning a Jazz at first because I found it pixie-like, exterior wise. But a lot of my car-enthusiast friends vouched for this model because it's more than meets the eye. According to them, it's spacious and modern. It's a more fashionable version than Honda's City, which is another unit that I'm very impressed of. The exterior may project a small space, but the truth is, it's cute with better leg room. The unit price is very affordable and most importantly, it's perfect for city driving and even out of town trips because it's very economical. I know what kind of a driver I am. I am not for speed and adrenalin. I'm for cool city driving and easy parking. This should be a perfect choice for me only that I am a big big girl. I don't know if my exterior and Jazz's exterior match well. Psychologically, I'm slightly uneasy.
3. HYUNDAI TUCSON
The first time this came out on the road, I was speechless. First of all, the look is out of this world in a good, breathtaking way. It's so futuristic. Exterior wise, it's something new and it's definitely a chic magnet. Inside that bulky armor, the drive is smooth. I should know. I went as far as test drove it. The interior is just the same as the exterior, it's sleek, modern and very appealing. It's like driving the car of the future. I'm not really an automotive freak, but I would have to be impressed with the series of car reviews published as early as 2009. They all seem to say the same thing that behind the world class ergonomic unit is a powerful engine and with technologically advanced features. The price is very reasonable for what it offers, though not exactly cheap. It's almost priced the same as Honda's CRV, Mitsubishi's Montero sport and Toyota's Fortuner, but easily beats all of them in the reviews. This car is a good deal both inside and out. Only that my father is not comfortable with the brand as I am in a small percentage. Call it being naive, but Hyundai is still a new brand we have to explore. Since this will be my first car ever, my father wanted me to get something we all immediately vouch to be reliable. Hyundai may be all that, but I can't afford to take risks. I may like this car, but there's still a pinch of doubt in my mind just because.
4. 2011 Mazda 3
Originally, this was what I wanted to acquire. It wouldn't cost more than a million bucks and I like the exterior and interior very much. I've been waiting for this since last year and if ever I would go for the sedan type, I wouldn't look at anything else. Mazda is a power car for me. It's reliable and aimed to attract a certain group of market. It strikes a great balance between power, comfort and savings. But this will be released in 2011. I don't think I could wait that long. And this is only an option if SUVs are totally out of the list.
As you can see Toyota Altis is totally scraped off despite my dad's encouragement. He knows better than to touch that subject.
It took us a while to test brands and units. We independently visited showrooms of different car makers and at the end of the day went through the compare and contrast session. My father knows the feeling of owning my very own car. He will make sure I won't make any mistake. Since he knows more about cars than I do, he will push his opinions to the fullest. Others take this thing unnecessary since it's me who's buying a car. My friends can say what they want to say, but I trust my dad. He knows me and he knows more about cars. Probably my preference on a model is just superficial. In the end, I just want a classic car, preferably an SUV, which is durable, within budget and reliable. I don't have to force myself to get the best, kick-ass car of the pack that I would eventually slave for eternity. Forget about the technicality and the specific ergonomic feature. It just has to be something that instantly works for me and I instantly find a connection with that I'm willing to pay for the coming years. All cars are recommendable for certain tastes, I will choose only one. And given time, support and study I know I'll make a right choice.