Sunday, 30 October 2011

Car Shopping- a necessary evil

I like driving.

I like driving fast.

But I prefer knowing I am safe. Our car is giving us hints and tips to say he's had enough.

We get a warning light that says nothing more informative that "Reduced Engine Performance" And the anxiety inducing orange exclamation mark highlighted with a circle. I should point out at this time we are driving a second hand Volvo V50. So I have the ability to hide that message. But not the fact.

What is happening is a peculiar thing. I put my foot down on the accelerator pedal and very slowly we creep forward and then after a moment of slow progression Viego (yes that is his name) realises that my foot is now flat on the floor and he can hear me screaming at him to "Just F***ing MOVE!!!!" as I sense other cars coming up behind us in a way that wouldn't be an issue had he responded when I put my foot down in the beginning. And he lurches forward like a demented spaniel that has caught the tale end of the scent of a rabbit.

We take off back to normal speeds. It's the stationary start from junctions that's the issue. Because Husband and I know that we are having this issue when it comes to pulling out onto busy roads we wait until there is plenty of room- no chancing it- and hold our breaths. There might not be a car in sight when we commit to pulling out but by the time we get to 30 mph there will be at least 1 car close behind if not 2 or 3!!

The mechanics have said it is an "intermittent fault" which in Cass speak translates to "terminally expensive" and any investigation will cost and not necessarily solve the problem.

So we are now in the market for a new car.

Viego is the first Volvo I have ever driven. The first estate I have ever driven. The first proper grown up car we have had. It as safety features on its safety features and I love it. I am not a big person but I feel like I own my wee bit of road when I am driving. It is easy to feel bullied when you are in a Ford Ka much harder to feel like that in a Volvo.

So my shopping list of car requirements are
1. Safety
2. Good MPG
3. Environmental- Low carbon emissions
4. Colour

I think I have found a contender in the Volvo XC70.

Who am I kidding? Certainly not you!

I haven't found a contender at all (Husband well and truly gets the credit for all the research!) and in all honesty my list reads 1,4,3,2.  At least husband and I have the same things on the list although he does talk about 0-60 in so many seconds. . .

My view on car shopping is simple. It is a necessary evil and once its over you hope you don't ever need to think about it for a while.

Husband is doing all the research. He is painfully aware of my list and my love of the Volvo, with its ridiculous number of safety features (which no other car could possibly have of course. This is how my tiny brain is working at the moment: Other non- Volvo's are Fred Flintstone like where you have to drop your feet to the ground and start running to get going!!)

Introducing me to other makes and models is a gradual process and he needs to come armed with the right order of information

1. " Doesn't this look good?"
2. " Check out all its safety features- you could get hit by a nuclear bomb and you'd be ok"
3. " It comes in a really cool shade of black" Red is banned, much to my disappointment.
4. " Watch this clip" cue a you tube video of a 4x4 being thrown safely around a snow filled landscape.

We had a lot of snow that left us flat bound as we couldn't get the car out and the trains were, shockingly for the UK, "affected". So the new criteria for this car is something called "All Wheel Drive" which is by far and away the best way for the wheels to all share the load.

Husband explained on the way to work the difference between front wheel and rear wheel drive and I have to say my response had him laughing his head off. Very reasonably I didn't think it was fair that one set of wheels were either being pushed forward or pulled along. Everyone should have a fair go in my opinion!!

Wish him luck, he's going to need it!!

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, what did you get? What did you get? I'll stop being jealous of Viego then. I always thought he was rather lovely. We're definitely getting a grown up car next, even if it is fun to burn the boy racers away from the lights.