Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bill's new car?

A colleague is shopping for a vehicle to replace his 2000 Dodge Intrepid R/T. The R/T is a nice car--lots of power, plenty of space, very nice overall driving characteristics--and it seems like it has a lot of life left in it. But he's got car fever, which means he's a lost cause. It's only a matter of time before he writes a check, if you know what I'm saying.

My friend says he's on a mission ("mission" is car fever code word for "vision quest") to find a vehicle that has all of the performance attributes of the R/T (250hp, great handling, etc.) in a slightly different form factor.

He says the two immediate front-runners are the recently facelifted 2006 Saturn Vue (good to keep things in the GM family) and the new Mazda 5 (the do-everything vehicle built on the well-reviewed Mazda 3 platform).

As of yesterday, he's leaning toward the Vue--being a loyal GM employee and all. Plus, Bill is a power thirsty driver--he absolutely loves that sweet-revving 250hp Honda engine they stick in the Vue (it's the same engine found in the Honda Pilot and the Acura MDX). He's also enamored of the facelift on the '06 models, which was intended to fancy-up the exterior and make the interior look slightly more refined than say, a 1985 Ford Escort. (Frankly, the interior of the previous Vue models was dreadful--plasticky and cheap).

But as much as he likes the Vue, he didn't write a check yet. See, he likes the Mazda 5 a lot. He says it has an "incredible fun factor" and is as flexible as any vehicle he's driven. He also likes the $18,500 price.

Right now, Bill seems tormented by the decision--which is sort of fun to watch. I'll keep you posted on his agonizing decision and, if I decide to start car shopping too--it's only a matter of time--I'll post some of my own surely uncomfortable decisions as well.


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