Tuesday, March 2, 2010


They say that you meet The One when you stop searching.

They say that when you meet The One, you know.

They say that when you meet The One, all those that came before fade from memory.


Zoom-Zoom, bitches.

Also, when it comes with 0% financing, $500 cash back, no payments for 90 days, and a price right around invoice, well, sometimes happiness is the smart move.

And it turns out I was wrong.  That feeling I had with the 1996 Concorde?

Yeah.  It's back.


The Everlasting Dave said...

I would plow that till next July.

bluefrog said...

Oh. My. Felicitations!

Michael Mock said...

Hubba hubba!

GailVortex said...

Oh, she's a beauty.

Details, details? Model, options?

Geds said...

Details? That's crazy talk...

What you're looking at there is a 2010 Mazda6 iTouring Plus. It's got the 2.4L 4 cylinder with a 5-speed automatic. The biggest problem I'm having with it is that I've got to drive it at least a thousand miles before I can call the engine broken in and really unwind it, but it's kind of hard to not drive fast...

Anyway, the Touring Plus is one step below the top-end model. I prefer it that way, since going up to the Grand Touring was about another two grand for the addition of a disappointing Bose stereo system (the basic 6's stereo is made by Panasonic, which is a shocking revelation, especially since it's a really good system, better even than the Infinity Premium systems in the Hyundai Sonata. That, in and of itself, is disappointing, though, since I had an Infinity Premium system in the Concorde that was just brilliant) and leather seats that I honestly found to be too firm. Honestly, the Accord EX-L and Genesis Sedan were the only cars with leather seats I really liked. Moreover, all of the Grand Tourings that were available had the "optional" Tech Package, which I really, really didn't want. That was an extra $1500 for keyless ignition (which is cool in commercials, but I'm not so much a fan in reality), multi-driver presets on the 8-way driver's seat (which, I suppose, might come back to haunt me if I ever let anyone else drive my car...), and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, which I'm planning on having installed at some point in the future, anyway. I don't need Homelink, but I might someday. And auto-dimmers are awesome. They have available auto-dimming sideview mirrors, too, which I'm also thinking about getting. Now that I live in the land of the pickup truck I'd like to avoid being blinded at every stoplight. But the sideviews aren't a Tech package option and the cost for both is about $800 installed, so I'd still save money.

What I do have is a 6-disc CD changer and integrated Bluetooth with steering wheel and voice controls. And, of course, a power sliding moonroof. Since my main list of desires included "new," "fun," "mid-sized," "Bluetooth," and "power sliding moonroof," I think I won. No in-dash nav, though. I'm totally ambivalent about those, especially at $1500-$2000.

Geds said...

The really interesting thing, though, is that I almost passed the 6 over completely. I was under the impression that the car was just a re-badged Ford Fusion. And I cannot tell you how much I hated the Fusion. It was uncomfortable and sluggish. I couldn't get the test drive finished fast enough.

Last Saturday I was down by the dealership row on Airport Freeway and decided that for my due diligence I needed to test the new Malibu and the 6. I didn't even turn the Malibu on. But I did test an Impala, since I have an irrational appreciation for them. But my conclusion was, "It's spongey."

So then I went over to the Freeman Mazda and said, "Look, I'm pretty sure this is just a re-badged Fusion and I hated the Fusion, but I wanted to make sure." The salesman told me I'd be pleasantly surprised. Obviously I was.

It's very happy making, too, since I've been a huge Mazda fan since they re-invented themselves with the 3 and the 6. If it hadn't been for the Concorde's untimely demise I'd probably be driving a 3 or even a speed3 right now.

But the new base 3s are ugly as hell. And I couldn't bring myself to even consider another compact, even if it's fun.

Meanwhile, my car purchasing wasn't nearly as distressing as I'd made it seem. But, really, it was a good way to put various other massive life changes in perspective. Even so, I was genuinely non-plussed by all the other cars I'd tried, so my ambivalence and overly nitpicky attitudes towards the cars was quite real. When I took the 6 out it really was a case of realizing, "Oh, that's the feeling that was missing with all the rest of these cars." With the other ones, even the Accord, which was the favorite up until the Mazda dealership, I didn't mind getting back in to my Cavalier. The 6 was the only car where I drove away thinking, "I wish I was still in the 6."

Fake Al Gore said...

Those leather seats may come back to haunt you now that you live in Texas.

Congratulations on the new car. (Why do we say "congratulations" to people when they spend massive amounts of money? "Congratulations on your new home." "Congratulations on your new breast augmentation.")

Michael Mock said...

@ Fake Al Gore - I think it's because we assume that if they spent that much, they must have gotten something that's important to them.

Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe the things that people congratulate each other on (weddings, children, new speedboats) are the things that salesvultures know they can charge a lot for...

Geds said...

Fake Al Gore: But...but...I very specifically did not get leather seats. Heated leather is nice in Chicago in winter, but I sat in a Grand Touring that had been in direct sunlight for about 5 minutes and as I got in my shirt came untucked. It burned. Since Mazda seems to like black interiors, that really didn't seem like a good thing.

Michael: That's an interesting thought. The car salesman is trying to sell the new car smell and that feeling I explicitly said I was looking to re-capture. It's the romance of it.

That's why car commercials are generally cars driving really fast on some picturesque California highway, not sitting in gridlock on 35E. They want to sell emotion and freedom, not, "This is the car you'll sit in for 45 minutes every morning and evening for the next ten years while you drive the five miles to or from work."

It's a very human and easily exploitable thing. That's also why I've developed several simple rules for buying a car:

1. When you first get on the lot you don't need or want a car. Even if you need or want a car.

2. If you must say that you like a car, overbalance with negatives. Otherwise, just act like it's pretty meh.

3. Walk away at least once. If you come back they'll be far more willing to negotiate and will probably take the pressure off.

4. Try to find an older salesperson. They're generally more willing to work on price without pulling the BS routines. And they're generally less pushy, since they've probably seen it all and don't think that they have to sell whatever car is available to whoever walks on the lot.

GailVortex said...

And driving fast is part of the Texas culture, since there's so many Great Swaths of Nothing between the population centers of Texas.

[I remember my terrifying drive back to DFW after interviewing for the job that sent me to Dallas, as pickups going 80 blasted past me on the left and right. Most of which had gunracks in the back and one even had horns on the hood. Terror mingled with astonishment-- since I'd til then assumed vehicles of such design were an invention of the set decorators for the Dukes of Hazzard.]

Are you finding 35E and its fellows to be better or worse parking lots than your commute in Chi?

Geds said...

Actually, I mostly avoid the parking lots. I'm just a few minutes from the office and there's only really one potential traffic snarl. I do know not to be on 635 between 5 and 7 on a weekday if I value my life, though.

The biggest problem that I've found, though, is what I've taken to calling "The Dallas Dipshit." There are plenty of people who just don't like letting anyone else get in front of them. So they're cruising along, minding their own business, until you pass them or look like you're about to pass them. All of the sudden they HAVE to be in front of you. But once they get in front of you they'll slow down again and re-start the process.

It's fantastic if you're trying to exit and they're in the right lane. And I know people do it everywhere, but it's, like, a daily occurrence here.