The Fit is go!

That is, our two-for-one even trade on a new 2009 Honda Fit is (a) go! We love our orange 2008 Fit (which we’ve only had for about 8 months), but our 2000 Civic has been sitting in the garage untouched for about three months now. Clearly, despite juggling transportation for SLP’s job, kids in kindergarten and Montessori school, and my own freelance work, we are still a one-car family. Convenient access to the light rail and my own scheduling flexibility (and willingness to shuttle people around) definitely help in that regard.

So, with winter fast approaching and a single-car garage, we’ve decided it’s time for the Civic to go. It has served us well for nearly nine years, despite nearly meeting its maker (which the deer did, alas) about 4 years ago. But now, what can I say? We’ve moved on.

As I said, we love the Fit. So when I made the mental leap that a possible way to rid ourselves of the Civic would be to try to get an even trade of both cars for a new one, there was no doubt that the new one would also be a Fit. Honda’s made a few of our requested improvements (not that we actually requested them, but they must have read our minds) to the standard package this year, including a USB iPod interface, a passenger-side vanity mirror, and ten — count ’em, ten — drink holders. You wouldn’t think a car that seats five would need that many drink holders, but I can tell you, when you’ve got two kids in the car, the drinks-per-person ratio is higher than you might expect.

I checked Kelley Blue Book for the trade-in values on our cars, and determined that we should be able to pull off an even trade — zero dollars exchanged — including a few additional (entirely utilitarian) dealer add-on accessories. No clear coat though.

We went with Inver Grove Honda and were extremely happy with the whole process… and we got our deal! Our new red 2009 Fit will be arriving in a couple weeks.

Now, about that new car…

Honda FitIn my previous post (written an hour or so ago) I mentioned car dealerships calling me.

That’s because, as I prepare to start a new job in the suburbs, I find I must, with regret, say goodbye to light rail transit and return to the world of commuting by car. Since we presently have only one car (the 2000 Civic I bought the last time I started a new job in the suburbs), and with the added scheduling complexity of life with kids, it’s time to get another one.

Thinking “family,” we had been eyeing the Subaru Forester for quite some time. It has lots of room to haul kids and their attendant necessities, and it’s not a minivan or monstrous SUV, which we’ve tried to avoid. But then we took a really close look at one for the first time and fell out of love. The salesman mentioning, almost in his first breath, the “significant depreciation” they suffer the moment you drive them off the lot didn’t really help either. So we kept it in mind but decided to take a drive through the lot of a nearby Honda dealership.

We’ve owned a total of four cars in our dozen-ish years of marriage, and they’ve all been Hondas. So with Honda, we know what we’re getting, and we like it. But we don’t want another Civic, and we don’t really want an Accord. We considered the Element and the CR-V, but then we saw…

The Fit.

The Fit is it! (The only thing I don’t like is “The Fit is go!” But I expect slogans to be stupid.) So unbelievably small (looking) on the outside, but get inside and it’s like the tents at the Quidditch World Cup in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (OK, maybe I shouldn’t admit how easily that reference comes to mind.) It is truly a marvel of design. There’s just about as much passenger and cargo space in it as in the Forester, but it is small and low and unobtrusive (which is how we like it, contrary to many Americans these days, it would seem). And it gets an extra 10 miles per gallon. Besides, it just looks cooler. I mean, come on. You can take a picture of the Forester in every picturesque city on the Adriatic that you want, that doesn’t make it look any better. (Even if that seaside village seems to be straight out of Project Gotham Racing 2. Am I right?)

So, the search is on. I’ve talked to a few dealerships in the area. Soon the test drives and the purchase and the financing and the payments. And the driving!

Ah crap, I wanted to surprise my parents with it though, like they always do to us when they get a new car. Dad, stop reading this! Too late.