I like my Chevrolet Impala. It’s a big American highway cruiser of a car, though it gets the same mileage per gallon as my first car, a 1970 VW Beetle. At 32 MPG highway, this full-sized Chevrolet demonstrates just how improved cars are since 1970! It has a 3.5 liter V6 engine in it at that, and is pretty zippy.
The only reason I can think of to trade my Chevy is it is approaching its seventh anniversary since I bought it new in 2009. My Chevy [below] is in good shape, and I still like driving it. It’s a comfortable car.
Seven years isn’t a long time for me to keep a car. The Chrysler LeBaron coupe I bought new in 1992 served me for 13 years before I sold it to my next door neighbor, who had it detailed and replaced all rubber parts. He still drives it. I think he even had it repainted. I liked that Chrysler a lot.
So what brought on new car fever? A ride in my neighbor’s car last Monday. His 2013 Ford Taurus sedan was quiet, comfortable, loaded to the gills with cool bells and whistles, and my neighbor was on the verge of trading it for a new Ford SUV. My first thought was I’d like to try to buy his Taurus. Then I thought more about why I would trade a perfectly decent 2009 Chevrolet Impala just now.
That lead me to check out other brands and styles of cars. I landed on a 2016 VW Golf Sportwagen [sic] S I found available (perhaps) in Rapid City, 151 (243 kilometers) miles away.
Positive qualities: 1. This station wagon is not butt ugly like every SUV I’ve ever seen; 2. Price is reasonable for a new car; 3. Lots of good bells and whistle features, including most (perhaps all) of the ones I like on my Chevrolet; 4. Gets a bit better mileage than my Chevrolet; 5. Lower lift height to put my walker or cats’ carrier in cargo area than either the back seat or trunk of my Chevrolet; 6. Seven model years newer than my Chevrolet (Can this be my last car? I thought the Chevy would be.); 7. Had a VW Rabbit I bought new in 1975, so am familiar with the basic idea of this car.
Negative qualities: 1. The closest dealer is 151 miles away and the Chevrolet can be serviced in town or in Scottsbluff (less than an hour away); 2. I’ll have to sell some stock to pay for that part not covered by the trade in value of the Chevrolet; 3. My favorite bells and whistles on the Chevrolet are daylight running lights and headlights that automatically come on when sensors determine it’s dark, something I don’t think this VW has (A black car especially benefits from daylight running lights…!); 4. The difference in mileage may come at the expense of zip on the highway. (It’s turbo charged, but that might also be a complication for maintenance down the line.); 5. Is the cargo area big enough for both a walker and the cat carrier? (The Chevrolet has a huge back seat and a cavernous trunk.); 6. A new car has more value than my seven-year-old Chevy, which means taxes and insurance costs in Nebraska will be higher if I buy the VW; 7. That 1975 Rabbit was a fun car to drive, but it was, to be blunt, a piece of shit that required at least one or two trips to Rapid City a month for service to fix something. (Will the latest iteration of the concept — now called Golf in America, too, to distance the car from the earlier VW Rabbit — be more reliable?)
I left notice with the dealer that I was a prospect for this black car. If it is still in inventory and isn’t spoken for by someone else, I may be in a new car within a short time. Mostly, it depends on trade in value given me for a car that is very low mileage for a car driven in mid America. Even though it was a “program car” with a few miles short of 14,000 miles on it when I bought it, it only has 32,500 miles on it seven years later. A typical American car might have 10,000 to 15,000 new miles a year on it. Mine, by comparison, is relatively virgin.
Stay tuned. I will talk with the sales department after it opens at 8 AM. Will I be in a new car or will stick with my old Chevrolet? I don’t know.
[I take delivery of the new VW next Monday morning….! I took care of some of the details this morning when I drove up to Rapid City, and will finish the rest next Monday when I give them the money for the car and hand over my Chevrolet to them.]