I didn't even mention the fact that on Monday the missus and I signed the lease for a new set of wheels! Perhaps it was the long and drawn-out process preceding our finally getting the car that made me disinclined to write about it -- our credit being less than sterling, it took the folks at the dealership a lot longer than usual to put together a finance package, but in the end fortune smiled our way and now we're the proud owners of a 2005 Kia Sportage:
Having long since outgrown the family sedan but wary of saddling ourselves with some behemoth SUV, we originally wanted to get one of the Subaru wagons, only to find ourselves completely priced out of even the most stripped-down models of Outbacks and Foresters. Kia's Rio Cinco looked like a possible alternative, but even with a hatchback it seemed smaller than our Honda. But then we stumbled across the redesigned Sportage and fell in love with it.
Properly speaking, it's not an SUV, as it's built on a car base and engineered to perform like the new generation of station wagons, but it does ride almost as high as an SUV (at last we will no longer be blinded by the headlights of oncoming traffic!) and offers a little more head room than the Subaru wagons. The mileage is comparable to most mid-sized sedans as well -- twenty miles per gallon, give or take. We could have eschewed the four-wheel drive and stuck with a four cylinder engine to make the car even more fuel efficient, but what with the winters we've been having 4x4 capability seemed more of a necessity than an option, and without a V6 under the hood merging onto Route 128 every morning would have been a life-or-death crapshoot.
Yes, yes -- I know I'm rationalizing. But it's a really nice car! I've never bought a car before, so this is all still fairly new and exciting to me. Second-hand new car smell doesn't seem nearly as sweet as that of the automobile you've just mortgaged your soul for the privilege of driving around.