I like new cars. I mean, really, who doesn’t? But I particularly enjoy the shopping process, and the researching, and I tend to get bored with cars relatively quickly. We replaced my aging and rapidly failing Acura RSX about three years ago, and I’ve been driving a Mazda CX-5 since then. This past weekend, we replaced Gina’s aging and slowly failing Nissan Sentra. But that was not our original plan.
Preliminary research had narrowed things down to a Subaru XV Crosstrek or a Kia Soul, with longshot possibilities for a Toyota Prius V or various compact sedans. While the Subaru and Kia rose to the top of our initial search, we were prepared to cast a wider net.
We set out for some test drives on Saturday, beginning with the Crosstrek. While it drove well, it was smaller than we’d expected (they call it a Crossover SUV, but it’s too low to the ground for that… it’s a station wagon), and it was pretty unrefined for the price. Manual seats, no climate control, horrible back-up camera… sure, these are certainly First World Problems, but these things were important to us.
So, not eliminated, but we didn’t love it. We figured we had enough time to give the Soul another shot, then probably hit up the Toyota dealer on the way home.
Yes, I said another shot. When we bought the Mazda CX-5, the Soul was a close second. It had a lower price in its favor, but it didn’t handle that great, and had its own “refinement” issues.
The Soul was redesigned for the 2014 model, though… and wow, what a difference. The handling is now tight and responsive, and in many ways, it’s now more refined than the CX-5.
Basically, we fell in love with this car right away. So much so, that the stereotypical “what can I do to make you walk out of here with this car today” salesman question was not rhetorical. We sat down for some negotiations (me panickedly researching price information on my phone), and a few hours later, we were driving home with a shiny new Kia Soul. Would we have been better off waiting? Honestly, we probably would have. While I’m more than happy with the car, our bargaining position would have been stronger had we left, done the research at our leisure, and returned. We might have gotten a better deal.
That said, I’m happy with what we did get. The Soul now becomes my primary car, and the CX-5 shifts to Gina (who only drives once a week or so) to balance out the mileage for the long haul.
And now, any trace of “my car, your car” is gone!