Since AOL was nice enough to give us the day off today (well, I hope they did, because I’m not at the office), I decided to go test drive cars! Here’s what I drove and my impressions of each (in chronological order):
- 2002 Volvo S60: I loved it, roomy, comfortable, gorgeous ride and a great looking car. It’s a little older than I wanted, and a few more miles, but it’s in the price range and absolutely a joy to drive. The interior is amazing.
- 2006 Honda Civic EX: Not bad. It’s roomier than I’d been told, and pretty comfortable to drive. The ride is pretty rough and it feels under-powered. Interior’s not bad.
- 2006 Toyota Yaris: It’s cheap and feels like it. Totally underpowered, cheap interior, but oddly enough, a better ride than the Civic.
- 2006 Toyota Matrix: Nice ride, much nicer interior than Civic or Yaris, the right amount of power and a lot of interior room. I kind of drove this on a lark, but it was worth it. Better than either the Civic or Yaris.
- 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit 4-door: Loved it. Better interior than anything but the S60, great ride, peppy and a lot of fun to drive. Right in the price range too.
- 2006 VW GTi: I shouldn’t have driven this one, but I’d seen a great review on Top Gear last year that I had to try it for myself. I love this car. It’s got amazing amounts of low-speed torque and the paddle gear-shifting is way too much fun. The VW sales guy was really cool as well, and loved showing off all the neat touches in both cars. I’m hoping I can talk Jen into this one (it’s a little out of the budget and it’s only a two-door), but I’ll probably go with the Rabbit.\
So, it’s down to the G6, which I’m renting next week, an S60, a Rabbit or, if Jen goes for it, a GTi. I had a lot of fun today, and was really impressed by the attitudes at Don Beyer Volvo and Lindsey Volkswagen. All the dealers were friendly, but the folks at those two dealerships were better than the rest by far.\
I’m hoping to make a decision after I get back from Mashup Camp.
Aren’t the G6 and S60 on the opposite end of the size spectrum from the Rabbit and GTI?
Yep, they are. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. I’d read good things about the cars I test drove and wanted to check them out. I’d been driving the Blazer so long (and a crappy station wagon before that) that I really wanted to see what kind of car suits me before settling on something.
We just bought a Volvo and we may end up being one of those “1 car manufacturer” households. I absolutely love it and I find myself making up crap to do just to drive it. Next year we’ll need to replace my car and I won’t be at all shocked to see another Volvo in our driveway. While pricey, the first time I turned up the stereo to rock to my favorite DMB jam as I cruised down the tollroad, I knew my money had been well spent. The wife and I justified the extra money spent by deciding to give the car to our oldest daughter when she graduates from high school.
Kevin, go for the Veedubs…either will do but of course the GTI rocks! I love the 2.0T engine in my wife’s Passat and can only imagine what it can do in a GTI (haven’t driven the new ones). The Rabbit is a great deal and VWoA did good to bring it back to North America.
Hey, why you calling my old car “crappy?” And why did you buy it for me if you thought it was so crappy? 😛
It wasn’t when we bought it, but it’s 11 year old now. Cars crappify over time, sweetie.
There is, in fact, a ‘crapification’ index in the Kelley Blue Book. It’s little known, but it’s there.
You mentioned Top Gear, my new addiction. Thanks to Porter and you, I’m downloading every episode I can. What a hoot!
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