I am "in the market" for a new car, but admittedly, I've been in the market for about 5 years. I guess I'm a lot like the customers that visit our booth that are "in the market"...who come to see us 5 years later and still haven't purchased a new Arai. :) I think my problem with buying a new car is that I've been pretty spoiled with having a car that has been running great since I purchased it 8.5 years ago, and I've really liked not having a car payment for the past 7 years. Not sure I want to go down that road again. However, my car is starting to show it's age, with little things going wrong here and there, that are starting to add up to become big things. Part of my problem with replacing my current car is that I am apparently rather picky and haven't found anything out there (that is in my price range) that I like as much.
I did find a few cars at the auto show yesterday, however, that have piqued my interest. I have always said that just once in my life, I would like to purchase a brand new car. I have to admit, though, I wish I would've done it back in the day when that "new car smell" was a lot stronger and longer-lasting. Now that the smell has been deemed unhealthy, it seems that it's a lot less apparent in new vehicles...bummer. I know I'm weird. But I love smells. Particularly that one.
Anyway, I know that a new car is one of the worst investments you can possibly make, but it sure would be nice to experience a brand new vehicle just once! Plus, I'm driving a car that is 13 years old, so if I am going to put myself in the position of having a car payment, I feel like I want to update to the latest and greatest technology I can get. Which is kind of ironic, because I am certainly not someone that is particularly interested in technology (let's be honest here...I just got a smartphone 6 months ago, and only because it was cheaper than the plan I had with my "dumb phone"). While I am still a little dumb when it comes to Bluetooth (don't laugh, I know that's not even considered "new" technology), I do like the idea of handsfree phone calls while driving. I've gone the route of using the earbud/mic thing that comes with my phone, but my little ear canals are not big fans of the earbuds after about 5 minutes. I also thing the usb port and auxiliary jack would be nice features to have. But what I am most eager to have....heated seats. How nice that would be for the cold PA winters...
So...what did I like? Well, I really do like the Mini Copper Countrymen car. But, since a big part of what I want with a new car is more space, I think I have to cross that one off my list. I first test drove a Mini Cooper about 5 years ago, and I really liked it. But back then they only offered a 2-door car, and since that's what I currently have, I was really looking for 4 doors. I love the idea of totally customizing the Mini, but I think I have to let go of that dream.
I used to LOVE the Mazda-6 vehicles, but, when Mazda totally changed the body style, I completely lost interest. I do not find the new body style attractive at all. Bummer.
I am intrigued by Volkswagens..most likely the Passat, but possibly the Jetta. I like the way they look, I like some of the features they offer, but I have serious reservations about the reliability. I have heard such mixed reviews from completely opposite ends of the spectrum. I've heard they are the most reliable car out there, to the are the most UNreliable car out there. What? So..I don't know.
What I have now (and love) is a Toyota. I would really prefer to stay with Toyota, but I do feel that their cars are marketed towards an older demographic. I have been waiting...and waiting...and waiting for them to bring out something a little more youthful. I do notice that their recent advertising seems to be geared towards a younger demographic, but I still don't feel like the cars themselves have that youthful feel or look. And yes, I know they offer the Scion series....but I am anti-Scion, for reasons I won't get into here. All of that being said, I think that Toyota is the route I will most likely go. The Corolla is definitely in my price range, and I could get it with every feature I want at a price I am still comfortable with. My only concern with the Corolla is I think it may be a bit "slow" for my tastes. :) Plus, the Corolla seemed quite nice until I sat in the Camry. I REALLY like that car. They had one on their fancy rotating display at the show that was pretty much exactly the one I would want. I definitely thing the car looks like it's for an older person, and the payments would be more than I was hoping to spend, but boy, do I like that car. I haven't done any test drives yet (though they were offering them at the auto show, to my surprise), but I do think some test drives are in my near future.
After the auto show, we decided to stop by the Reading Terminal Market. I had literally only ever once rushed through that market on my way to the convention center and had always wanted to go back. What a great market! As you would guess, they had tons of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, etc. But they also had tons of eateries, with an awesomely broad range of choices. One stand had "Frickadellen" - which is basically German meat patties. I have not had these (except for when I've attempted to make them at home) since high school, 15 years ago. My friend ended up ordering the Frickadellen sandwich and let me try it - YUM! They had some yummy sauce on it, and the roll was fantastic.
I ended up going to the Cajun stand and ordered some Chicken and Sausage Gumbo. Boy, was that tasty. Very flavorful with just the right amount of spice for me (not so much for my friend, who found it a bit too spicy for her tastes!). They also had Beingets, which I have not had since I was in New Orleans a few years ago. I desperately wanted to order some, but managed to resist. I bet they were fantastic, though. Rob ended up getting some yummy Chicken Masala (which he and I just refer to as Chicken Curry), with rice and cabbage. I loved the broad range of global food choices that the market offered. I was definitely tempted by the Greek food stands, and will have to go back to the market sometime to give them a try! I also spotted Bassett's Ice Cream stand there - which was yet another temptation that I managed to avoid. I didn't even go near it, because if they had had "Gadzooks" ice cream there, I definitely would have ordered some! If you have never had it, and live in the Philadelphia region - you need to find it and try it. One of my favorite ice creams!
After the market, we all headed home. Rob and I enjoyed a relaxing evening at home watching the Superbowl. We both had a team we were rooting for, but I honestly just enjoyed seeing a good game - and would've been happy no matter what the outcome. But wow, what an ending to the game! It was definitely a fun game to watch.
So that's it! Nope, this blog was not at all motorcycle related. Just me blabbing about a fun day that I had. Sorry if you kept reading in the hopes that it was going somewhere. Maybe next time! :)