May 31, 2016 7 Comments
Okay, not everybody, just me. I’ve been driving a 1998 Toyota Corolla for my daily commute since 2002 and from 1994-2002 a Geo Prizm (Corolla by another name) was my primary car, so it’s been a long time in Corolla world. The car still runs great, but the interior is ever more falling apart (literally, the cloth on the room falls in front of my daughter’s face in the back) in various ways so I decided that after all these years I’d buy another car to last the next 14 or so.
So, you wouldn’t think my minivan would be the key player in this, but it was. For years I’ve driven the Corolla (120 hp) and a 2000 Maza MPV with a 4-cylinder engine. Short version: most of my adult life driving underpowered cars. Then, two summers ago we replaced the MPV with a 2012 Kia Sedona. We were focused on the great value and not even thinking about power. But, wow, do we love that 274hp engine. My thinking was I wanted my daily car to be at least as much fun to drive as my minivan.
I started with the Mazda 3, as Mazdas are known for being sporty and this is a really well-reviewed car. It was nice, but the 3i, with about 150hp while clearly better than the Corolla, was less peppy than I expected. So, onto the 3s with a truly amazing engine that gets 184hp (and similar torque) while also averaging 28/39. Wow. Great car. So, why didn’t I buy one? Honestly, I love technology, but just give me a standard speedometer (that’s a tachometer dominating the instrument display below) rather than a pop-up digital display and so not a fan of what looks like an Ipad stuck on top of the dash. Also, the better engine in the 3s only comes with all the bells and whistles when I mostly cared about the engine.
Okay, sure, I could get past this, but thought I’d keep on looking. Turns out, if you want a compact car with good MPG, and horsepower and torque in the 170-180 range, the only other real option is the Volkswagen Jetta. It is also great fun to drive and it has a noticeably roomier back seat and trunk than the Mazda. And here’s the look for the driver:
So much better. And, that unobtrusive touchscreen in the middle perfectly syncs with your Iphone with Apple CarPlay. Very, very cool. So, put that all together, and, anyway, more than you wanted to know, but that’s how I ended up here.
Ironically, I ended up getting the SEL which has all the bells and whistles I wasn’t so concerned about, but it comes with the 1.8 turbo engine I love and my first ever sunroof, which I am very excited about.
Also, I tend to get obsessive over major purchases. One of the reasons I try not to make them too often. And there’s so much you can read about cars on-line. Let’s just say dozens of blog posts could have been written in the time I was reading on-line about cars. So, sorry for your lost posts, but it should be at least another decade before this happens again.