With apologies to anyone who reads the forums at Edmunds.com, here’s a thumbnail of my search for a new car.
I need to replace my 2002 Chrysler T&C Limited minivan. Important background info: my 3 sons (13, 10, 7) are very tall. Wizard is 6′ tall, and all the boys are predicted to be well over 6’2″. WineGuy is 6’4″ and 300+ lbs. I do an equal combination of city and highway driving here in SW Florida … at least 16K miles/year. We tend to keep vehicles for a long time, usually 7 years or more; our Volvo 850 is 13 years old. I need a vehicle with 3 rows to keep the boys from fighting on long trips.
Until last week, I was absolutely certain I wanted the 2010 Flex Ltd. I like the style, the specs, and the features. Fully loaded, It has lots of great features for a reasonable price — less than $40K; I even have a contact for X-plan. I test-drove a 2009 and liked it. However, we need to have a tilting/telescoping steering wheel, and this won’t go into the Flex build until Job 2 (fall-late fall 2009). Additionally, the second row bucket seats do not have armrests; you must use the optional console (which blocks easy access to row 3) or do without. Dumb design.
Last week, the local MB dealer sent me a letter saying they were offering $7000 off any GL320 Bluetec (diesel) in stock. I test drove a gorgeous black/black 320 and fell in love. The SUV had plenty of pep, thanks to a turbo-charged diesel, had great stopping power, great turning radius, and good pick-up. The car felt like a rock when I closed the door and was temptingly luxurious. I’m hooked, except I don’t want black-on-black. I can find a better color combo, but who knows if they’ll deal down as low as the local dealer. The Bluetec will qualify me for the Alternative Fuel Tax Credit ($1800) this year.
I’ve been driving mommy-mobiles for 13 years, and I’m done. I have always wanted an SUV. The Benz fits the bill … of over $70K MSRP. The Flex’s boxy body really appealed to me. Yes, I’m a little car-crazy, but I come by it honestly. So was my dad.
What’s a woman to do? Speak up and give me your 0.02!