I feel as if I have been car shopping FOREVER now! My current ’03 yellow Ford Escape (a.k.a. the crazy taxi) has been an amazing car these past 8 years but her time is winding down. She has endured more that most cars can handle! She provided transport throughout my years at Texas A&M and I have many favorite memories with her. Yes, I am referring to my car as a person. It seems that I am one of those crazies that grows uncannily attached to their vehicle and am having trouble letting her go. She is my baby and I am going to miss her dearly. (I partly blame Disney for instilling ideas of inanimate objects with personalities and feelings. It’s crazy, I know!)
Back on topic! I have known what kind of vehicle I was in the market for for awhile now, a small to mid-size SUV. I just did not know the make or model. Being the designer that I am, I have a specific taste and am almost impossible to please. So I created a spread sheet to help me. Not just any spreadsheet though, a spread sheet so intense that it makes my head spin every time I open it. It includes 23 different makes and models with info on engine types, trims, MPG, MSRP, pros, cons, rankings among various institutions and a whole lot more. It just became so tedious and NOT fun! I went and test drove my top choices by myself one weekend and it was a nightmare! I was actually called “little lady” and was bombarded with “deals” and incentives to no end! (I am not very good at just walking away.) So, this deterred me from car shopping for awhile.
My ideal car, should money not be an issue, would be a brand new, fully loaded of course, BMW X5.
My budget just won’t allow that sort of frivolity at this point in my life. (And it probably won’t ever.) So I began to dream realistically and came up with a TOP FOUR : 2012 Kia Sorento SX, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2011 Ford Explorer, and 2011 Cadillac SRX. They are all very similar yet each offer something that one or the other does not.
One of the most hyped SUVs to hit the market recently in the newly design Ford Explorer. And it does not disappoint!
While I think the Explorer is an awesome car, it just seemed too large for me at this point in my life. (I’m single with zero kiddos. I don’t need a TON of space, just enough for my friends/family and the occasional road trip.)
Next I drove the Caddy.
It was super nice inside; beyond anything I have ever had in a car before. I basically felt as if my Escape was Flintstone’s car compared to the Cadillac. (Shh, don’t tell her I said that!) During the test drive though, I just could not see out of the back and the blind spot was killing me. One of the same problems I had with the Ford Edge.
But the first car I test drove was the newly design Kia Sorento.
They made a HUGE overhaul. They are made in the USA now, have Audi designers and are a great deal for what you get. Sure it is not BMW quality but you really just can’t beat the price for what they offer. So it just naturally became the sole SUV I was looking at buying. But then, on a whim, I drove a Jeep Grand Cherokee and fell in LOVE.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee has had a history of lackluster reviews. So much in fact that I initially ruled them out completely. For some reason, the Jeep Grand Cherokee just kept popping out at me though! So I took one for a spin this past weekend…. *cue Ace Ventura voice* “LIKE A GLOVE!!!” I feel that it is somewhere between the Kia and my beloved BMW. The quality is amazing and could be classified as luxury. The price is decent, of course I want to spend as little as possible for as much luxury as I can get! I would clearly love to buy the Overland trim — piped heated/ventilated saddle leather seats, real-time navigation + Uconnect in the media center, panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, memory seating, blah, blah, blah… I could go on forever. The Limited is also a possibility as is offers almost as much as the top-of-the-line Overland costs a bit less.
I have gone with very little bells + whistles in a car for so long that every blinking light and exciting feature gets me going!! The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokees are already on the showroom floor so there are some attractive incentives to take on the 2011 models. There just aren’t many left to choose from. As far as colors go, I guess I am partial to black, white and the dark charcoal gray (I have had a YELLOW car for 8 years, which I love in a packed parking lot, but c’mon!) If a badass deal comes along, I could really care less about the color of the paint. My salesman was awesome and is currently on the hunt to find my perfect Jeep Grand Cherokee! To be honest, I am just glad I have settled on a make and model.
But let’s be honest, it’s me we’re talking about and I can change my mind at any time like I usually do!