Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A New Car

A New Car

If you didn’t read the title of this post in the voice of the announcer from The Price is Right go back and do it again. Doesn’t that sound better.

More than two months after my old piece of crap car got totaled, I finally have a replacement. We’re lucky that we rarely need the second car since it allowed us to take our time looking for a new one, and we certainly took advantage of that.

I ended up with a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. I’ve been thinking about getting a hybrid for a few years, but the newness of them and goofy looking options stopped me from considering purchasing one until now. Ultimately a combination of escalating gas prices, my inner hippie’s desire to be environmentally friendly, and the fact that the Civic Hybrid looks like a normal Civic helped finalize my decision.

Buying this car was no small feat. The demand for hybrids is greatly outpacing the supply so it was a challenge finding one that hadn’t already been sold for a test drive. One of my concerns was that in an attempt to maximize fuel economy the engine would be severely underpowered, and I so I had to make sure it had sufficient power before I bought it

Side note: I type the word poker so often that anytime I start a word with p o my hand just automatically types in the following k e r, so sufficient power started as sufficient poker, and I really don’t think any car has that. Anyone else have that problem or am I just weird?

Where was I? Finding a car to test drive. According the Honda website, there were four within a reasonable distance from my house. A typical Saturday would involve the following script repeated four times.

Me: Hi I was wondering if you have any of the Civic Hybrids on the lot.
Salesman: No we don’t, would you like to put down a deposit?
Me: No thanks, I would like to test drive one before I commit to anything.
Salesman: We should be getting one in Tuesday, if you put down a $500 deposit you can reserve it.
Me: I’ll call back Tuesday.

Eventually one dealership did have one in stock. When we got there we were informed that it had just sold, but we could put down a deposit to reserve next incoming car. No thanks we said, although we did test drive the Civic EX, just to get a feel for that line in general.

A few weeks later, that same dealership claimed to have two in stock, but again by the time we got there they had both sold. Do we want to put down a deposit?

Now, I understand that these are highly desirable cars, and that they don’t last long, but there is no way that the three cars that this dealership managed to last up until we call, but then get sold in the thirty minutes it takes to get to the dealership. I’m 99.9999% certain that they would just tell us the cars were in to get us down there to either put down a deposit on an incoming vehicle, or test drive something else.

Fool me once, shame on me, yadda yadda yadda. So we expanded our search and found two more dealerships that claimed to have hybrids in stock.

A few stressful wrong turns later and we pulled up to the dealer almost sure that they had sold during the hour it took us to get there. But there was not one, but two Hybrid Civics sitting there right before our very eyes. It was a Christmas miracle.

As the dealer was going through his spiel, telling us about the safety features, and Honda’s customer satisfaction rating and showing us under the hood, another salesman came up, took the keys from him and informed us that one had been sold.

Onto car number two. He starting going into the spiel again and all I could think was “For the love of God, shut up and let me drive the car before someone else gets it.” Finally, he grabbed the keys and we were on our way. The day we never thought would come had arrived. We actually got to test drive the car.

And it was great. There was nothing significantly different between the hybrid and a normal gas guzzling counterparts. The only weird thing is that the engine shuts off while breaking, which will take some getting used to. I don’t think it affects the overall performance though, because the engine is back on before you can get your foot from the break to the gas.

Unfortunately the one we test drove was used and it was a girly pastel blue color, so we had to order one. And we weren’t able to pick it up until last night. But, we do now have a new car and it rocks. It was well worth the wait, and I’d highly recommend you pick yourself up one, the next time you are out.

I should also mention that we did try the Toyota Prius, but I was never very interested in it. I really don’t care for the design. If they just could have made it look like a normal sedan instead of the goofy hatchback look with the split rear windshield I might have considered it. Not only does the back half look odd, it’s really hard to see out of, which I found quite annoying. It also seemed too gadgety. It was like the designers decided that since they were going to have a futuristic hybrid gas/electric motor, everything in the car should be futuristic, to the point where it was complete overkill. That being said, if I had had to wait another week or two before I was able to test drive a Civic, I probably would have gone for the Prius.

So now I can’t wait for gas to hit $5 a gallon so I can laugh at my friends who mocked me for being a hippie and not buying a normal car.



At 10:58 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Congrats on the new car. More poker...I mean power to you...

At 11:32 PM, Blogger ZeRat11 said...

I did want the Accord at first, but the fuel economy of the hybrid is no better than the base model which kind of defeats the purpose.


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