I Bought a New Car! Part Three: The Search

(Last week, we left KHG dangling on Budgetary Cliff hoping for the perfect car to rescue her.)

All right, so after budgeting and following my own advice, a new Crosstrek hybrid was out. But I still had a healthy used-car budget to work with, and I did still like Subarus, so I delved into the local dealerships’ inventories to see what was out there.

Not much I could afford, it turned out.

So I went online. I checked eBay, and KBB.com, and Edmunds, and AutoTrader. It was useful to see what was available, even if it was outside my price range. And it was useful to see what other makes and models I maybe hadn’t considered. That blew open the doors of perception.

I work in automotive journalism. I have driven so, so, so many cars over the years. Suddenly, I was able to consider them seriously. I did kind of like the VW Touareg. Oooh, Acura made some nice SUVs; maybe I could afford a used one? I found a couple of Audi Allroad wagons I could afford, but there might be a VW wagon in our future, so that would be ridiculous. I considered a Volvo XC70, since we’d had a beloved V70 years ago, but all I could find were XC90s, which are massive beasts.

Then I found the Land Rover. The big, bad-ass, totally awesome with a roof rack on top 2003 Discovery for cheap. I would look so cool in that. The dog would look so cool. We could start fording creeks rather than using bridges like wimps. We could drive to Baja. Fuck that — we could drive to Patagonia. ZOMG, the dog’s going to need goggles.

I knew I was being ridiculous. Proof of that was in the fact that I put the question to Facebook — convince me not to buy the Land Rover, friends. Tell me to stick to my reliable Subaru guns. They did, though one automotive journalist asked which I’d rather have owned when I was on my deathbed. That did give me perspective, though not the kind Basem intended. I mean, come on. Neither of these are death-bed cars. They’re drive around with the muddy dog cars, not Aston Martins.

Part Four: The Deal