Test Driving

As you may know, Bethany and I are in the market for a new car, looking to add a crossover to our personal fleet.  We are looking to buy by the end of October, so as the month is half over, we probably should set out to test drive. Bethany had the day off of work, so I took a day of vacation and we set across the Front Range, visited 8 dealerships and ended up only driving 3 cars.

The test drive experience has been an interesting one. The environmentalist winds have blown into the auto industry, pushing fuel efficiency standards.  Unfortunately the result of that is that 4-cylinder engines rule the crossover class of cars, bringing fuel efficiency at the cost of power.  However, as Coloradoans know, the terrain of the Rocky Mountains isn’t very friendly for 4-cylinder engines.  If you’ve driven in Estes Park in a 4-cylinder car full of people – you know what I mean by being underpowered.  With our V-6 requirement, we’ve apparently limited our select – this is why we went 8 places and only got to drive 3 cars.  There was no shortage of 4-cylinders for us today, one of them which we drove.  I’ll admit that there was decent acceleration when I slammed the gas, but it still felt underpowered, especially when you consider going up a mountainous hill.

We don’t seem to be the only Coloradoans who think this, because the dealers for these cars that have V6 engines – they don’t have any of these cars in stock – yet they have plenty of 4-cylinders of that model on hand.

One pleasant surprise (at least or us): the salesmen weren’t as pushy as I remember from 6 years ago.  I’m not sure if it’s because they’ve unfortunately been beat down in this economy that they’re now changing their tactics, but it was nice to not have to fight our way out of the dealership. There were a few Jedi Mind Tricks thrown at us, but they were more comical than stressful.

We think we have it narrowed down, but we’re going to let some time and another test drive pass before we draw a conclusion.