So, This Just Happened: Los Angeles, CA
So, I did something nice for myself the other day…
I finally pulled the trigger and signed my life away in exchange for a bright, shiny, clean, brand new, and of course, blue, car. I did this, and it still doesn’t feel real.
The particulars: This is a brand new 2013 Mazda3i Touring hatchback in Indigo Lights Mica. It has a sunroof, big time audio, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to drive.
This caps off over 8 months of my typical mind-numbing tedious research, and two months of hitting the pavement and test driving six different vehicles.
I made the decision to buy a new car a couple of months ago when pulling my Blue Camry out of my driveway on the way to work, only to have it sputter to a stop after 300 feet. This marked the third significant repair to my car in the last 12 months, so $350, another new alternator and battery, and a missed half-day of work later, I was calling dealerships and declaring myself in the market for a new vehicle.
So, after over one-quarter of a million miles (!), I will bid a fond farewell to my Blue Camry very soon. It still runs, it will collect more miles, but I will be leaving it in the very capable hands of somebody else. Perhaps it’ll go to a 16-year old high school student looking for his first vehicle, one to get him used to life on the road, much as it did for me 11 years ago.
Now, all of this being said, I still can’t believe that this is actually my car. It still feels like a rental car or a loaner. Seriously, ever since I brought this car home on Wednesday, I’ve just been staring at it, and kind of gently touching it just to make sure it’s real. “This rear spoiler? The leather covered shift knob? This working speedometer? It’s all mine???“ Yes, it is.
As an aside, it’s incredible to think how much automotive technology has changed in the last decade, not to mention in the 22 years since my Blue Camry was built. Since when did automatic transmissions become auto-manual transmissions? I’ve always loved the feeling of power in a car with a stick shift, but having to stomp on a clutch while driving in a city with tons of traffic is a terrible idea. Now I have options at my fingertips. I have the option to shift if I feel like it, just because I can, but I don’t have to. And don’t get me started on this thing that lets me start my car just by pushing a button. That’s just plain magic.
I should also note that this was not an easy process. Sure, a lot of it is my own fault for being incredibly meticulous and indecisive, but once I finally settled on a Mazda – and this Mazda – it seemed like the dealership, which shall not be named – coughcoughlookatthepicturecough – wanted to do their best to make sure that I didn’t drive home in this car. The requisite haggling and brinksmanship aside, I wanted this car in this color and with these options, and I had money to give to them! I had money, they had a vehicle, it seemed like a done deal. However, it ended up taking me four straight days of driving to
Cerritos the dealership (60 minutes each way in traffic) to finally sign my name and get my hands on this car.
I tell you what, though – I’m sure glad that I did.