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That's a lot of car... - Elf M. Sternberg
That's a lot of car...
Saturday, Omaha and I tortured a sales guy. Not enough, in my opinion, but it was clear between the two parties that negotiations were at a standstill. They'd knocked almost 15% off the "we're desperate" price, at least according to them, but we were still several percentage point above the median market value for the car we were looking at. And let's face it, when you're buying (and selling) a car with a manual transmission, you both know where you stand: he's not going to find many buyers like me, and I'm not going to find many sellers with what he had.

I had driven the Forester and the Outback, and I kinda liked the Outback better. It felt more like the Escort, it felt more like the car I already owned. But in the end, the Forester won because it had better mileage (if you can believe that; I still have trouble doing so) and better cargo space.

That's Dr. Forester to you!
So we bought it. A white Subaru Forester, 2009. It has only a few options: an iPod hookup, a sun roof, power windows. The previous owner bought an extra-stiff suspension for it, which is surprising considering that it has the smallest engine available in this model. That's about it. None of the super options, like the Winterizing package (heated seats, remote start-up), power windows, or digital radio.

Oh, and whoever owned it last, they put a Flying Spaghetti Monster sticker on the back. I approve.

We drove it home. It's a lot of car, compared to the Escort, especially with the suspension. The deck is fully four inches higher, and the seats add at least an additional six. That high from the road, I don't feel the speed so much. I'm going to have to learn to gauge the car's speed all over again.

When we got home, we realized that we'd driven off the lot with no tags. A state patrol officer drove right past us and he didn't notice either! In the morning, Lisakit gave me a ride back to the dealer, who gave us a temporary tag, and a letter stating that the permanent tags would be available within 15 days. I certainly hope so. They were very apologetic, made clear it was their responsibility to check the car for road-legal status before we left.

Anyway, like I said, it's a lot of highly computerized car. It makes me pine for the days when I could fix things myself on my '72 Chevy. It feels like I'm sitting in a spaceship, which has its coolness points. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it's a bit like upgrading from close-fitting powered armor to something in a vehicle class; I no longer know exactly where the extremities of the body are.

Current Mood: satisfied satisfied

6 comments or Leave a comment
ionotter From: ionotter Date: March 7th, 2011 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
WHOO-HOO! Welcome to the Club! You won't regret it, not one bit! I'm going to guess that the extra-stiff suspension had a reason, so have a look under the rear bumper. There's probably a trailer hitch there, or a slot for one.

If there isn't, GET ONE! You will never regret having a good, strong trailer hitch on your Subaru. It really expands so many options! Boat trailer, moving trailer, equipment trailer, and just plain hauling someone out of a snow bank.

The wiring harness is so easy, even a Marine can do it. It's literally plug & play, the Forester is designed to accept it.

Some things you will never regret having in the boot:

Tow strap
Tow chains (for attaching the strap)
A small, 12v air pump
Pen-type tire pressure gauge
Tubeless tire repair kit (worth it's weight in gold)
German folding shovel with leather carrier (The tri-fold and US models are crap)
Strong, sharp hunting knife, or an auto extractor tool.
Roll of duct tape
1 Pair of ratchet straps

I also have a fire extinguisher, but I carry that in the back seat, just behind the driver's seat. If I carry passengers, I move it to the back. I just recently found a 20lb extinguisher at a pawn shop and paid only 20 bucks for it! They retail for $150! It fits right behind my seat, good and snug.
wyrdone From: wyrdone Date: March 8th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll second the welcome to the club. (Just bought a 2010 Subaru Forester in Silver back in October.)

Second on the tow hitch, make sure you get a 2" reciever though. More stuff is coming with 2" hitch receptor than 1".

Make sure you get the heavy duty tow strap. I forwent the chains for some locking steel D-biners rated to 100 kilo newtons. (If the tow point can handle 25,000lbs I'd be suprised.)

My trunk kit also has:
small folding paratrooper machete (I hike alot)
small shovel like ionotter, old WW2 folding one with full size handle and pick
Jumper Cables
Road Flares
First Aid Kit (And get a good one, don't skimp here)
A good small flashslight with batteries disabled (peice of tape over the end of the battery till it's needed for use).
Bungie cords and ratchet straps.
Some rope.

Edited at 2011-03-08 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 7th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

learning the car

One of the biggest problems I have with driving my small car (05 Kia Rio) is that I learned to drive on a 85 Mercury Grand Marquis LS. This is a car with an aircraft carrier deck for a hood - you could lay down in the back seat with your head against one door and your feet would just barely touch the other one. I learned to judge corners on this thing by parking it with the lights on - the headlights would reflect off of the bumpers of the cars in the spaces next to me, and then off of the wall in the head-in space in the garage. This also worked for parallel parking the thing once I moved to Boston for a year. Unfortunately, the car was from Florida and the northern winter killed it, but it was a good car. I still use these tricks when I drive my wife's minivan.
rick_bannerman From: rick_bannerman Date: March 7th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope you love your Forester as much as we love ours.
edichka2 From: edichka2 Date: March 8th, 2011 04:34 am (UTC) (Link)
Of course I agree with your choice.
- E
gromm From: gromm Date: March 9th, 2011 08:37 am (UTC) (Link)
it's a lot of highly computerized car. It makes me pine for the days when I could fix things myself on my '72 Chevy.

Oh, come now. They let you plug laptops into the ECU now, you know.
6 comments or Leave a comment