Thursday, February 23, 2006

Who Needs Leg Room?

It's funny to see a post about minivans here, because I've been having my own minivan angst lately. On Monday morning, we got a babysitter (no daycare because of President's Day). We headed down to Roxbury with all of Adam's research. And we test drove minivans. Two specifically: the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey. The first thing you need to know is I hate car shopping. The last thing you need to know is I hate car shopping.

Both minivans drove just fine. They're not stunning cars (Adam thought I was kidding when I complained, "The dashboards are ugly!" but really, who wants to look at an ugly dashboard?). Adam kept asking which I liked better, but honestly, they were really about the same. We had our checkbook in hand, the old car ready for a trade-in, and were mentally prepared to walk out with a new car. The prices were within about $500 of each other.

The Honda salesman seemed to be too busy to give us much time. The Toyota salesman, however, was breathing down our necks. "You don't need leather seats. Just do what I do: Don't allow any food or drink in the car for any trip under three hours." "Oh, okay, you can get the LE and simply add leather." "You won't need to move that seat very often--it doesn't matter that it doesn't slide." "I got kids, too, and this car is perfect." He kept disappearing to do God only knows what. Took forever. Adam tells me that's a sales technique, that they like to make the customer wait because then the customer becomes impatient and wants to make a deal quickly. Didn't work on me.

I told the sales guy, "Listen, we've got a babysitter at home. We have to leave soon." He dawdled. He disappeared for a bit. He returned with a sales manager. He thought he had us reeled in but he didn't get that I was serious. Minivan or no minivan, I was thirty minutes from home sans br*east pump. "We've got to go," I told him. He smiled and leaned back in his chair to negotiate some more. Finally, I'd had enough and I picked up my bag. "You've got to understand. I'm a breastfeeding mama and in about five minutes, I'm going to be in a world of pain, so we're leaving now." I'm a little sorry now that this was one of those rare moments when I actually censored what I said, because what I meant was, "Hey, jerk! My b*oobs are about to explode!"

And since we didn't walk out with the minivan, it's given me lots of time to rethink my minivan position and I believe I'm over it. Really, it shouldn't be such a leap. I already drive a station wagon, albeit a station wagon I love (a 2002 version of this). I so love my car. Love, love, love. It's a beauty of a car. And yet... I must find but another to love. The Audi has two points against it: One, a convertible infant car seat in the rear-facing position renders the front passenger seat unusable, so Adam and I will not be able to travel with our children together until Sweetie Pie is both over one years old and twenty pounds. Two, the warranty on the Audi is up soon. Right now the full warranty covers all service. The thing is, the Audi actually goes in for quite a bit of service. And it won't be economical to keep it. So I need a new car sooner or later. And let's face it: the minivan just makes sense now.

Here we are in limbo. What do we get? An SUV so there's room for car seats (and if we do that, a hybrid tops my list)? Another, larger, station wagon? The minivan? Chuck common sense, decide the kids really never need to leave the house, and go for the Boxster? The biggest argument that I can see for the minivan is it means I don't have to test drive any more cars. (Did I mention I hate car shopping?)

The only response is the Scarlett O'Hara one: I'll think about it tomorrow.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

That's funny! ...I hate car shopping too. I know what I want when I go in, and I want it then. Tell me the price, let me pay. Luckily, our sales guy was great (Rob Link at Passport Chrysler in Alexandria, VA)and he got us out of there in time to have an anniversary lunch and see one of our 1-3 yearly cinema movies!
I am still happy with the van...and there was no way we could have fit anymore kids in the Cabrio. We squeezed Harry in there for a year and a half though!