Well we bought a new (used) car. Today. After the last entry said we were planing on it in a few months. And after I was certain I wanted a pre 2002 model. No money has exchanged hands yet, and we wont get to take it home until after San Diego (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that we are going to San Diego next week) but I feel very good about the deal. It has higher milage, but it just had a lot of work put into it, the #1 being new head gaskets that are impossible to replace on these engines. The only problem I found was the alternator sounded like a bearing was going out, so that will need to be replaced some time. But that is an easy fix on these cars. Other than that, the entire car looks pristine inside, outside, and in the engine. Especially after mucking around the the nasty dirtyness of the Volvo engine with its oil leak, I think it is great! Of course it is 13 years younger than the Volvo.
So why the change upwards? Well the price was right and there were lots of changes in 2002, but the most important was in safety. They increased the body rigidity dramatically so in the event of a crash the car wont crumple. It also improves handling. Watch this video from the British TV show 5th Gear to see why this is important. And to see why the Volvo is far less safe than a smaller car with a body designed to crash.
Ok, now the goods.
- Active all wheel drive (shifts the power to where it is needed)
- Air Bags
- CD + upgraded sound system.
- trailer hitch
- power everything
- jumbo fog lights
- 15'' alloy wheels (chris likes)
- Roof rack (I plan on taking off the cross bars until they are needed to improve sound and aerodynamics)
- Rubber cargo area (for cargo or corgi!) + spare 12v outlet
- fold down seats
It is going to be amazing to have! The visibility is incredible, you feel like you are sitting on the edge of your seat over the road. And it handles like it is glued to the ground - just like a Impreza should. Sure it doesn't have the kick of a WRX but I asked it to go a few times, and it was happy to oblige with a nice strong even acceleration. It can haul stuff, and should make getting around the cabin a dream.
I can't wait to take it home!