We have been talking for months about getting a new car when Eduardo gets his driver’s license. It is really limiting to try to have two people in two jobs with one car. Both of us want the freedom to get to work and leave work when we are ready as opposed to always having to wait for the other person. Both of us spend a lot more time out of the house each day because we share the vehicle.
Over the last few months, we have considered all kinds of cars as possibilities: Cavalier, Matrix, Spectra, Rondo, Mazda3, HHR, Focus, PT Cruiser, Aveo and so on. We looked at every offering that was below 20,000$. We looked at consumer reviews and poured over pictures and options on the Internet and walked by cars. We discussed, we argued, we made up our minds and we changed our minds. A few months ago, we finally decided on a Jeep product. Jeep came out with some small SUVs for their 2007 model year. He favoured the Patriot in Blue or Silver and I was leaning towards the Compass in either White or Blue. At least once a week, we would walk by the local Jeep dealership and check out the Compass and Patriot offerings. When he got his Learner’s Permit, we checked all of the online inventory for the Compasses and Patriots that were in our price range with the options that we wanted. We came up with pitifully few options. We wanted: 4×2 (better gas mileage), automatic (can’t drive manual), White, Blue or Silver with power windows and doors. According to one dealer, we were being way too picky. Maybe… buts it’s our money right? We came up with exactly 1 Patriot and several Compasses. The Patriot was more than an hour away which was a little further than I wanted to drive. We decided to call around to dealerships that didn’t have online inventories. We found exactly one more vehicle that fit our specifications: a white Patriot.
We decided to look at all three vehicles because I had my heart set on a Compass and wanted to go see it. First we hit the white Patriot because it was on the way. We discovered it was actually a 2008 model rather than a 2007. The sales guy was nice and wasn’t very pushy. He showed us all the options on the vehicle and then let us go for a test drive by ourselves (this is unusual because the other guys hopped in with us). This was nice because it let us discuss the vehicle as we were driving. We bargained our way into a lower price (we really being me with Eduardo helping out of the sales person’s hearing) and then headed out to see the other vehicles. It turned out that the Silver Patriot and the White Patriot were almost identical with respect to options. The 2008 model came with cruise control, automatically dimming rearview mirror and a rear cargo cover. The Silver Patriot came with satellite radio which we didn’t really care about. We hopped in the Patriot first to look at all the options as they were bringing up the Compass. We then got into the Compass and did a test drive. By the end of the test drive, the Compass was out of the running. The Compass and the Patriot are basically identical cars but they are shaped differently. The Patriot is more classic Jeep with its square edges and the Compass is more rounded and modern. More rounded meant a smaller cabin or at least the impression of a smaller cabin and it made us feel squeezed in. We didn’t notice this until we had sat in both cars one right after another. So… we pitched the idea of a Compass. This left us with Patriot vs Patriot. We managed to get the processing fee on the white Patriot waived and decided to go with the slightly more expensive car. We liked the idea of cruise control for long drives to Canada along with the automatically dimming rearview mirror. I also liked the idea of the cargo cover and to be quite honest… both of us liked the white colour more than the silver. It was a 2008 model so the vehicle was actually a newer vehicle as opposed to seeming like one year old immediately after we bought it. And something else to think about… we could get to the white Patriot by metro to bring it home. The only way the other Patriot was getting home was if I convinced a friend that they wanted to spend 2 hours with me driving my new car back.
We spend Thursday evening and Friday evening setting up an account at the credit union and getting a pre-approved loan. On Saturday, we spend 5 hours driving around looking at the three prospects and purchasing the finalist and then spent 3 hours on Sunday (I kid you not… 3 hours) going to the dealership by metro, picking up the vehicle (getting things explained to us) and then driving back home with it. Tonight, we need to head to the bank again to sign the loan papers.
The weird part about this whole deal was that the dealership did not ask us for proof of financing or proof of insurance.
WAAAAH!!! We just found out it comes in Orange!!! Not copper but orange! Here is the URL if you are curious about the vehicle: