As I stated before, I despised the Prius I took over from Leon after I wrecked my Mazda. I was resigned to driving it for the rest of my life, but swore at the car and its designers every time I drove it. So Leon made me look at alternatives. We decided to check out the Honda Fit.
To make a story short, I liked it. It felt like coming home. I dreaded the buying procedure. After an hour and a half and still not getting close to our bottom line with a trade-in allowance (mainly telling us the Prius was in "good" rather than "excellent" condition but their definition was there in black and white and the Prius was a hair away from "excellent"), the manager says "Let me check one more thing" and runs off to his office. Why didn't he "check one more thing" an hour ago? Well, that didn't get us to our price either. I reached my emotional limit and apologized for taking his time and said we are obviously looking at a car that's out of our budget (the Fit is one of the least expensive new cars) and we left. When we got home and found a phone message from the dealer...it turns out that he had met our bottom line.
So, a trade-in of the Prius and a small home equity loan got me a new Honda Fit Sport with manual transmission. With a 3 year Honda warrantee plus a 1 year Dealer extension. Plus some extras and options. Like floor mats, a hatch cover. Like a "personal assistant" that I'm looking forward to using somehow. It has real knobs, buttons and dials for the radio and heat/air condition. It has a fuel gage I can see. It has comfortable seats and great visibility.
Can we afford it? I really don't know. The price of this car is what some people make in a month, what others make in a day, what some make in an hour, what I make in 9 months, if I'm lucky. The Prius was out of warranty and we know any potential repairs would be expensive. The Fit should be good for 4 years under warranty and then another 10 after that. Then Leon will be taking my keys away anyway.
Now, when I get into the driver's seat, instead of swearing at Toyota's stupid accouterments, I find myself whispering to myself, like Brick in the TV show "The Middle", sotto il voce: "It's so much nicer, it's so much nicer".
As the oil gushes into the sea, we are all gushing mini oil-spills and the products of combustion into the environment. Every time we change our oil, fill our tanks, buy a plastic product, turn on a light, turn up the thermostat, crank up the air conditioning, throw trash into the dump, dispose of a computer, flush prescription drugs down the toilet or excrete their un-metabolized remnants into the sewer system, use Roundup or Weed and Feed, the list goes on.... So, here I am contributing to the problem, rather than being part of the solution. Despite composting, recycling, drying clothes on the line, growing vegetables...I'm thinking there is no solution.