Stacy and I went out car shopping today. Stacy has spent some time over the last few weeks looking at car information, gas consumption, dealer locations, all that fun stuff. Today we set off to test drive a few of those cars. Here in lies that tale.

We started at the Honda dealer. Stacy is a big fan of the Honda Fit so we took that out for a drive first. The car we took out was a dealer car, so one year old, 47,000 km on it. Priced at 17.5k. The fit has a really nice drive, good acceleration, handles well. Not a lot of space. Just in terms of the around the block test drive I could feel my leg cramping on the gas pedal. Not good if you’re going to do any driving up to Owen Sound. The fit would probably be perfect for Stacy. The Honda guy was offering 3.9% financing so the price wasn’t too bad.

From there we wandered down the road and, on a lark, stopped in at the Volvo dealer. We both assumed that Volvos would be outside of our price range. Again we took a look at the used cars and test drove a used S40. This one was 2 years old and 60,000 km I believe. The S40 handles really well, has really good acceleration and is quite comfortable. Given that the Volvo is one of the safest drives on the road the S40 was a serious contender. The dealer got a bit offended when we said we were comparing cars and one of the cars we were comparing too was the Honda Fit. There is just no comparison he said, heh. He got a bit pushy at the end trying to make the sale, We can only give this price today kind of thing. The financing would be at 7.0% but the numbers didn’t seem too bad in the long run. The Volvo was definitely in the lead over the Fit. Plus, he gave me a bottle of water which is always nice.

From Volvo we cross the parking lot to the Volkswagon dealer. We got what must have been the pushest, most useless dealer at this point. Tell me what you want we’ll sell it to you today. Um, we want to look at the City Jettas and the Rabits. Tell me what you want we’ll get you into one. This repeated for about 10 minutes, without us getting any information or seeing any cars, before we ditched him and went to look inside. I’ve had a Volkswagon before, the car was pretty nice but when I got rid of it I was starting to have issues with things going wrong. We bailed quickly due to the sour feeling left by the dealer.

We continued our trek up to the Nissan dealer to take a look at the Versa. Apparently the Versa is a really hard car to find. We asked about availability and the dealer basically said, give me a list of 5-8 colours you like and I’ll try to find one of those. We quickly left as neither of us wanted to play colour lotto with the car.

Leaving Nissan I informed Stacy I wasn’t built Ford tough so we skipped the Ford dealer.

As our last stop of the day we went to see the Saturn Astra. The dealer kind of looked at us funny when we asked about used Astras, apparently they’ve only been available in North America for 4 months. So, no used cars. But, Sebastian (the sales rep) quickly told us some of the features and the price range of a new Astra. This certainly peaked our interest so we took one for a test drive. The Astra handles really well, we took it out for the longest test drive of the bunch and Sebastian gave us lots of interesting information on the car. Along with trying to get me to take some corners at 100 km/hour. The Astra lacks a certain amount of punch that some of the other cars may have but I’m not looking for something that needs a lot of kick. As long as I can get up to speed before something else hits me I’m good to go.

So, we went back to the dealer, talked price and we’re picking up our new Saturn Astra XR 4 door with sun roof on Wednesday. We got lucky and a silver Astra XR with the features we wanted had just arrived the day before. Apparently the Astra has been moving off the lot pretty quickly for them. The interesting thing being, because Saturn has a 0 down, 0% financing for 72 months the Astra actually ended up being cheaper monthly payments then any of the used cars we looked at. That’s with us getting the extended warranty on the Astra (so, 5 years on the Astra instead of 2 or 3 on a used.) They also give you a 500$ gas card which is handy.

Now I just need insurance. Oh, and Stacy needs to get a full license.