Monday, April 30, 2012

Civic review

The following is an excerpt from a review of the Civic by a Kelley Blue Book editor. After our trip up the coast yesterday, I can say it's pretty accurate.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Honda Civic is not the smoothest or quietest car in the category. Nor is it the most fun to drive. Curious, then, that we'd rate it tops in driving dynamics in our shootout of the four newest cars in the category. How does it do it? With the help of steering and pedal response that other automakers could only dream of delivering. It's easy to overlook excellence in these areas, but just as driving feel is a big part of the magic in a Porsche, the way the Civic gracefully listens and responds to a driver's input is a key reason we consider the 2012 Honda Civic the connoisseur's compact sedan.

-=Elden=-

Saturday, April 28, 2012

His and hers

Shawna and I had talked a bit about the idea of his/hers Honda Civics. While we both thought the idea was interesting, she wasn't really having much of it. Her Chrysler 300C HEMI was quite a bit nicer than a Civic. We also felt we needed a four-door car for occasional passengers.

But then I found out that the Civic EX-L version has leather and heated seats! Once I mentioned that, she was all over it. So we threw out the idea of having a four-door altogether and decided on a second two-door Civic. The EX-L model comes standard with an automatic transmission. So hers is an automatic and mine is a stick. I'm sure that will at least mess me up once in awhile with me either trying to hit the clutch in hers or forgetting to in mine.

The vehicle pictured is identical to the one we got for her today. I call it the "princess" edition. And her Chrysler 300 is going to find a new home somewhere.

While two new cars at once would normally be a little unreasonable. We had very good trade-ins. I think we traded both cars in at a very good place in their lives. And we got a fair price for them.

Actually it really seemed that the two-door EX-L was just meant to be hers. These are very hard to find in the two-door models. We went to the only dealer in the area who had one. We arrived at 10:10am. And when we arrived our salesperson told us that she had an appointment with a man to buy this very car at 10:00am. But he was late because he got called into work. We literally bought it out from under him. He showed up while we were finishing up our negotiations.

-=Elden=-

Friday, April 27, 2012

New car

A few days ago I parted with my 2006 Mustang in favor of a new 2012 Honda Civic.

Things change a little bit when a single-person one-car situation turns in to a married-couple two-car family.

When we got married, Shawna had a nice 2006 Chrysler 300 with 90,000 miles on it. And I had a 2006 Mustang with just over 80,000 miles. Both great cars. But as I was thinking about practicality and the future, I sort of figured that one really nice car is enough. Our other car should be more sensible and more economical.

While a smaller two-door car would be ok for us most of the time, we know there will be times when we need something larger with four doors. So the logical choice was to trade in my Mustang on an economy car. Then just keep the Chrysler 300 for those times when we need a four-door.

So I started thinking about trading in the Mustang on something more lower-end. I was initially leaning toward a Nissan Versa or a Toyota Yaris. But we decided to go a notch or two up with the Honda Civic. We found one online at a local dealer that was two years old and "certified pre-owned" with only 12,000 miles on it. A four-door Civic with an automatic.

We went to the dealer with a pretty solid plan for negotiating. We decided if they didn't meet our price requirements that we would just flat walk out. Turns out they had sold the car we wanted. So instead we started eyeing a brand new bright red two-door Civic with a 5-speed.

Oddly enough, the price of a two year-old used Civic was not very different at all from the price of a new one. After talking to a number of people about this, it seems to be true. The used car market is weird right now when you're looking for low-mileage cars.

Their asking price for the new car wasn't bad. But they initially made a pretty low offer for the trade-in allowance on the Mustang. However we knew exactly what it was worth. So we held firm and sent the sales person back to his boss about four times before they finally came back and gave us a good price.

While we said yes on the deal, we said no on virtually all the options and extras they wanted to sell us. There was an extended warranty, undercoating, clear bra, and a bunch of other things. We said no to everything except one. That was the theft protection where they etch a serial number into all the glass in the car so that it makes identification and recovery easier. Since Honda Civics are near the top of the list of cars being stolen these days, it made sense.

So far Shawna has been driving the new Civic to work each day since she has the longer commute. And we'll probably take the Honda on most longer trips like up to the Portland area. Should work out rather well and also prevent adding too many miles to the Chrysler 300.

Yippee!

P.S. The red car in the picture is the exact car we ended up with.

-=Elden=-