Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zoom Zoom

Now that I'm a legal driver, I can tell the story of our auto shopping adventure!

We've had a minivan for about 6 years now and it was just what our family of 5 needed. But now that our eldest is in college with only 2 years left, we don't need all that room. Added to that is the fact that certain dash warning lights wouldn't go out, even after a trip to the dealership, and strange noises were starting to make themselves heard. It was time for our family truckster to retire.

We looked at several cars: a couple of offerings by Volkswagen, a Ford Fusion, a Honda Civic, but the one that spoke to me was this one: Mazda Speed 3.

That's the short version of the story.

Here's the longer version:

Saturday morning, we (all 4 of us that are still at our house on a regular basis) headed to Mobile to go car shopping. I had suggested that we look at the Honda Civic. We had driven several different VWs and and a Ford already. Mr. H wanted to check out the Mazda dealership, too, so we had our plan. He figured I'd go for the Honda, so we went to the Mazda place first.

There were several Mazda 3s in the lot. We prefer a manual transmission, so that put us looking at the Speed 3. They had one that was a color called Liquid Silver. I call it dark gray. Have I ever mentioned that gray is my favorite color? Odd, I know, but that's the way it is.

Mr. H reached for his wallet to let the salesman make a copy of his driver's license. No wallet! Boy, was he shocked! No test driving for him. So I figured, it's going to be my car anyway, I'll do the test driving. The salesman made a copy of my license and we all climbed in for the ride.

The dealership is right on the interstate in Mobile, so after navigating the frontage road, I was on the highway.


That's about all I can say.

That car moved...very quickly. In and out of traffic. No problems.


I think I was hooked by the time I got it into 6th gear. We made it back to the dealership and said we had one more stop to make before we made our decision. (The salesman offered to drive us to the Honda dealership in the 3, but we declined!)

Up the frontage road to the Honda place we went. We found a new Honda Civic with a manual transmission. It was red. I'm not partial to red cars, but I suppose I could have been persuaded in a pinch. I sat in the driver's seat and was most impressed by the way it fit. It wrapped around the hips and lower back area in a way I'd never seen before. I liked it!

...until I got the seat close enough to reach pedals and shifter. I was too short!! If my shoulders had been 3 inches higher, I'd have fit perfectly. As it was, my arm jammed into the edge of that comfy seat every time I shifted. The other obstacle was the rear visibility. The back seats have head rests that I couldn't see over. It made me nervous about changing lanes and reversing because I couldn't see very well out the back.

Mr. H was stunned. He was sure that we be coming home with another Honda. (That's what our eldest has.) We decided to have lunch at McAlister's and talk it over. I hadn't paid much attention to rear visibility on the Mazda. (Now I know it's because it wasn't an issue. I could see fine and that's why I didn't notice anything.) We went back to the Mazda dealership to finalize the deal.

As we were filling out papers, one of the gentlemen brought me the copy they had made of my license. He asked me to check the expiration date. I did. It expired 3 1/2 months ago!! We had NO legal drivers with us! I couldn't believe it. Well, apparently that happens quite frequently at car dealerships. How often do you check the expiration date on your license? (You might want to do that now.) They let us get the car anyway.

Yesterday, I went down to Pascagoula and renewed my driver's license. Mr. H will probably never be caught without his again in his life.

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