Michael gave me a lift early Sunday morning to pick up the car from where Xy had abandoned it on Airline Highway the night before. It wouldn’t start. While we were unloading her Xmas shopping a cop pulled up and chastised us for leaving the car there overnight. He waited while I called Progressive Roadside Assistance. They told me all their tow contractors were fully booked and accepting only police calls. So I had the cop call it in, and eventually we got the car to the Banks Street Service Station. I had to borrow a bunch of cash from Michael to pay for the tow. (Note to self: Pay him back.)
This morning James gave Xy a ride to work. I called the closest car rental place and reserved a vehicle, then went over to Banks Street Station with the girl on my hip and explained the situation to Tommie. He called me back a few hours later and said that in his opinion the car needed a new engine and should probably be considered a total loss. (We still owe $4,333.18 on it.) Progressive won’t be able to get an adjuster out until Wednesday. I picked up the rental a few hours later — about the last car available since so many people had cars flooded over the weekend — and so we are driving a Kia Spectrum for the next little while.
To be honest I’m hoping the Saturn is totaled. We have really come to dislike that car. The worst thing about it is the antitheft system which triggers improperly under certain atmospheric conditions, rendering the car unstartable for eight minutes at a go. Number two, it rides waaay too low to the ground, constantly scraping bottom over the slightest dip in the road, and as recent events illustrate that’s just not a good thing when streets are flooding. And we have numerous miscellaneous gripes over the rapid deterioration of interior details.
So I think we are going to be shopping for a car real soon. We hoped to do so anyway, but events are forcing our hand.
Our last two cars were slightly-used Saturns. I was never crazy about the product, but I liked the Saturn approach to sales: no BS, no haggling, the price listed was just the price. Alas, Saturn is no more, and I wouldn’t buy them again anyway after our frustrations with this vehicle.
Thus I feel supremely unqualified for navigating the automotive purchasing transaction.
I don’t even really know what we want. I’d kind of like something that rides higher than a standard sedan but is not so bulky as sports utility vehicle. And wouldn’t it be nice if that also could run off electricity. A hybrid hybrid if you will. I gather such things don’t exist. So we are setting our sights lower. An affordable compact wagon perhaps? Lee got an HHR and that looks pretty good to me.
Any advice is most welcome.