Okay - yes, I got a new car. Those of you who know me know that my other car was only two years old, so let me explain.
I have been driving a 2004 Subaru Outback Sport Wagon. It's a lovely car, handles beautifully, great gas mileage, the works. Then, about 6 months ago, I was nearly hit head-on by a Tahoe. Only through the grace of Buddha did I not get hit. It TOTALLY freaked me out, because I know that if that big monster had hit me, I'd be dead, or at least really fucked up. Ever since, I've wanted to be back in an SUV - I know all the arguments against them, believe me - I'm one of the ones who has always spouted off those arguments. But I was scared, and then I was scared to have Joey and Mare in the car, and I was nervous taking it on road trips, and that's just not like me. I couldn't get the idea out of my head that I needed to get back into an SUV.
So I started looking around, checking prices, reading crash test results and safety ratings. It seems that short of a mini-van, I can't do much better than a 4Runner. I focused on the 2001 and 2002 models, they seem to be a good value. We found one at a dealership in Golden, and drove down last night after work to take a look.
The car was in good shape, no body damage, pretty straightforward. Alex surprised me by saying that he didn't think we should do it, because for $10k more, we could have a brand new one. You could have knocked me over with a feather! He never wants to buy things, much less spend MORE on anything. But that's what we did. We bought an '06 4Runner SR5 with 4-wheel drive. It's really a lovely ride. It's more than roomy for those of us who stand over 6 feet tall, plenty of cargo room for the Wonder Dog, and the back seat is comfortable, too. I am now in debt up to my neck for a car, but I'm doing well at work and have the ability to work more if I want, so I'll do that for a while and make extra payments. The best part (aside from the fact that I can plug my iPod into the car and listen seamlessly through the stereo) is that I feel safe.