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April 27, 2006

And A Brand New Car

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*Here it is, our new car. It’s a 2007 Toyota Camry LE. Not the top of the line but well within our needs and budget. The Automatic, 4-cylinder LE gets 24/33 MPG and seats 5 adults rather comfortably. Most importantly, it doesn’t feel like I’m driving a clown car.

In comparison to the 2006 Camry, this is a HUGE step up in style for both the interior and exterior and blows away the minor upgrades that were done to the Accord for the ’06 model year.

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The new Toyota Camry is smooth and quiet over a variety of road surfaces, and handling is precise without punishing occupants with a harsh ride. The four-cylinder engine has adequate power for family chores and delivers 25mpg/34mpg (city and highway, respectively) fuel economy with a standard transmission. All instrument trims feature backlit Optitron displays and an oil change reminder. All audio systems have MP3 and WMA playback capability, digital sound processors, and an auxiliary input for iPod and other portable audio devices. Bluetooth and GPS navigation are available as options. – CNET Review

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I wish I could say more but in reality, this is my wife’s car so I don’t drive it much. But when I have, I really liked it. At 6′-4″ cars and I don’t get along too well. Yet I feel very comfortable in the Camry and look forward to taking it on our next long drive. One thing I really enjoy is the audio jack in the console that allows you to hook up your iPod to the car stereo system and the volume controls built into the stearing wheel. This may not be a new feature in the industry but one I’ve never had the pleasure of using. With the spacious back seats and huge truck space (even bigger with rear folding seats) this vehichle will make for a great family car when the day comes (not currently scheduled).

Now as to why and how we got ourselves a new Camry in the first place…
We had been talking about upgrading our Cranberry (purple, not red) 1999 Plymouth Neon “Expresso”. Neither it nor my our 2004 Toyota Tacoma would serve as a very family friendly car (despite the extended cab). So we were trying to save up for a nice down payment should the Neon suddenly die on us (it had 150, ooo+ miles).

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So there we are, perfectly content to live with the Neon until such time as we had to replace it. Enter Sock-Her-Mom** and her honkin’ SUV-o-Death. The short version is that SHM pulled out of a WalMart parking lot and tried to cross to the the far lanes before my wife (in the near lanes) could stop her. Well, SHM lost but my wife’s Neon paid the price. Basically, when SHM pulled out she pulled out in front of said wife who in turn did not have enough time or room to stop and thus t-boned the SUV. The Neon hit the side-step and left little to no damage while the Neon buckled like a (insert clever analogy here). Since Neons are so small, the engine compartment is very tight. As a result, the little fender-bender would cost the Insurance company over $5100 in repairs. Blue Book value was around $3500 max. Luckily, online market value (4 similar cars within 110 miles) was closer to $5000 – which is what we got when they totaled the Neon. Good news – that’s more than the trade-in value of the car. Bad news – we werre hoping to get more life out of the car before upgrading.

Later on, I’ll give you some tips on negotiating with the dealership and some tips to not get screwed afterward. But for now, I’m going to get back to work and earn some money to pay for the added expense of another car loan.

*This photo is actually a place holder until I upload some decent shots of our actual car.
Additional images courtesy of Familycar.com

**She was actually very nice at the time and so doesn’t deserve this negative title but I can’t use her real name and this just sounds funny – and funny always wins.

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  • At 2:34 pm on April 27, 2006, Teri M. commented:

    Oooo, pretty car! I went from a ’91 Geo Metro to 2002 Passat. Salesman irritate me, so my spouse went and got if for me, as a surprise. He went over to Drew in La Mesa and they were totally cool and not jerks.

    thanks for visiting me! :-)

  • At 8:38 am on April 28, 2006, Grins commented:

    Congrats on the new wheels! That new car is always a fun thing to introduce into your everyday life isn\\\’t it? Oh and hi, Michele sent me.

  • At 10:40 am on April 28, 2006, Angela commented:

    I think this is a very important lesson that we have learned from you today. Indeed, funny does always win.

    Michele sent me!

  • At 12:51 pm on April 28, 2006, craziequeen commented:

    nice car :-) Hope you have many crash-free years with it!

    Michele sent me…

    cq

  • At 12:52 pm on April 28, 2006, OldOldLady Of The Hills commented:

    Looks like a very nice car. I’m glad I don’t have to buy a new car at this point in time–I wouldn’t know what to get! The Prius maybe with Gas Prices what they are? But…..like I said, Thank You I don’t have to do that! (lol)
    Here from Michele today…

  • At 1:27 pm on April 28, 2006, presentstorm commented:

    Nice car :) My brother is 6’5″ so I totally understand your situation with cars…lol He drives a van now..lol

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier.

  • At 7:26 pm on April 28, 2006, Radioactive Jam commented:

    I was *so* not mental-picturing 6’4″. Not something different in place of this reality; just… not, I guess. My former boss was like, 6’6″ so above-average height seems relatively normal to me. Congrats on the new wheels!

  • At 2:36 pm on April 29, 2006, Rebecca commented:

    Looks like a nice car. I believe they get good gas mileageage, which is definitely a plus these days.

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