Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Talking About It Doesn't Get It Done

No, it doesn't.  And there was plenty of talk about it over the Thanksgiving holidays with my son.  The gist of the conversation was this: 
  • I sure do miss my Dodge pick-up truck.  I must have liked it, since I owned two of them over the years.  I'm sorry I got rid of that last one.
  • I enjoyed these trucks.
  • I appreciated their carrying capabilities...things like bags of mulch and other bulky items, getting the bicycle in to the shop for a "tune up."
  • I didn't like the way the truck rode.  It was very...well...truck-like.
  • But I sure do miss that last Dodge pickup truck, a beautiful dark metallic gray color with silver fender flares and rocker panels.  It was a quad-cab and nicely appointed.
  • I sure would like to get something bigger than this sedan, something I can get my bicycle into the back of, something that sits taller, has greater visibility than a sedan.
My four-door sedan is perfectly adequate; it's comfortable, has a luxurious leather interior and some nice features, and gets great gas mileage (up to 35 mpg highway), but the drawbacks of a four-dour sedan become painfully apparent when I need to carry something big in the trunk.

But - dang it! - I had new car fever, and no amount of common sense was quelling my interest or discouraging my roving eyes. 

I'd been noticing CUV's on the road in my travels recently, and had been taking mental notes.  Some were too small, their short wheelbases creating noticeably choppy rides as they cruised on down the interstate.  Some were too boxy and radical in design.  Some were just too big.  Some were looking quite dated and old.   Of the ones I liked the looks of, the list was quite short.  Nissan Murano...Chevy Equinox...Buick Enclave...Kia Sorento...Mazda CX9.

The Monday morning after I returned from Thanksgiving at my son's, I got onto the USAA website and - just for grins - requested a quote for a Chevrolet Equinox.  It was one of the few that I liked.  After submitting this request, I realized that copies of this request were also sent to the participating USAA Program Chevy dealers in the area.   Yikes!  Oh, well...in for a dime, in for a dollar.  So I requested a quote for a Mazda CX9, another CUV that I liked.  Both the Equinox and the Mazda CX9 are rated very highly by the auto reviewers.  The CX9 is rated first in its class by a number of auto writers, including Motor Trend, Consumer Reports, US News.  The Equinox is rated second in its class by those same reviewers.

Within two hours, I received a phone call from a really  nice woman at Munday Mazda.  Actually, I had their webpage open on my computer, getting their address and phone number, when they called me.  I was planning on heading up there, USAA quote in hand, anyway.  Now I had a contact person and an appointment to meet her at 11:00 AM.    Automated email replies were starting to roll in from various Chevy/GM dealers in the area, but no personalized emails or phone calls had come in yet, by the time I left the house to drive to the north side of the city.   

On impulse, I ran back inside and grabbed the spare set of keys to my car and rummaged in the safe box to get the title.  Who knows?  Might need them.

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