Friday, November 02, 2007

What kind of car should we buy?

November 2007 - November snuck up on me. I was going to write about how much a baby costs (yes again), but I'm still confused. Maybe another month will help me figure it out. Anyway, we actually have something else, equally exciting, going on. We're buying a new car!

Yes the old 1998 Mustang has finally had it. To be honest, it's actually in good shape, but getting a baby seat out of the back is like trying to move shit with a plastic show shovel. Plus mom thinks a rear wheel drive, sports car nonetheless, is not the best to transport kids. What gives?

We decided that a van was too much right now. A car is too small. A midsized SUV seems to be just about right for a family of three. Big enough for fitting baby, baby stuff, mom, mom stuff and dad's golf clubs. Not in that order of course.

We've looked at the Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota 4Runnder, and Honda Pilot. All are very nice and would provide ample space for us. The Toyota is probably our favorite but at $28,000 it's a hefty price. At least for us it is. The Honda is about the same in both space and price. Both are very nice vehicles. The Hyundai is a bit smaller, but only around $22,000. Also a very nice vehicle.

I tell people I'm not into new cars, but two of the three cars I've bought have been new. The first one was used only because I made $4.25 an hour bagging groceries. So while I'll tell you I'm not into new cars, we'll probably buy a new car.

With a present value of $28,000 (Toyota or Honda), interest rate of 6% (yearly) for five years, we'd pay around $522 a month. That's about $9,500 in interest paid. With a present value of $22,000 (Hyundai), interest rate of 6% (yearly) for five years, we'd pay about $425 a month. That lowers our total interest payment to just over $7,500. Hyundai is cheaper.

Money is not everything though. Safety is important. All three say they have top notch safety records. They all have side impact air bags, some kind of stability controller, and brake technology that rivals everyone and all (so they say). I consider them all very safe.

Other things have value as well. Size, tires, engine, off-road experience. They all add up. When we broke it down though, we don't really need a lot of the things a more expensive vehicle offers. We don't need the DVD player. We don't need three rows of seats. We don't need a V8 with tow package. We just need a simple reliable mid-size that offers a good value with a great safety record. Thus we are leaning towards buying the Hyundai. The Hyundai also has a great warrantee. I'm not a big warrantee guy, but if you can give me one for free (at least for no additional cost, as you can't discount your car if you don’t buy it), I'll take it.

So there we have it. As of today, November 2nd, 2007, we are leaning towards a 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe. See you around town!