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Thing #70: This may not have been the wisest move August 15, 2012

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, random stuff.

Hey, look, another Thing!

Remember back a couple of years ago when I upgraded the Honda and bought my Tank?

Boy, I’ve put a lot of miles on that thing!  Back and forth to work every day (18.6 miles each way), several trips to my parents’ house (80+ miles each way), not to mention a few trips to Jersey (350 miles each way) – I spend a quite a bit of time in the car, and it just makes sense to drive something comfy, you know?


Thing #70 is “Test drive a car I’ll never buy” and, once I worked up the nerve, I decided I could do that!  Of course, my intention was to test drive something really cool – a Mercedes, maybe, or even a Porsche.

Wouldn’t it be cool to drive a low-slung, bright red Porsche along the Parkway?  I remember when I took the Tank out after I replaced the turbo – va-ROOM!

But I didn’t test drive a Porsche, or even a Benz.

I tested a Honda Element.  And a used one at that – Honda has, for some reason, discontinued production on the Element.  And it’s kind of a shame, too.  It’s a really cool car.  SUV.  Van.  Something.  (Do you suppose maybe that’s part of the reason they stopped making them – identity crisis?)

You’ll recall that I drove an Accord before I switched to the Volvo – I loved that Honda.

But here’s the problem.   I test drove an Element, and, well, now I want one.


Badly enough to call the bank and pay off the Tank.

See, here’s the thing.  I love the Tank – I love it a lot.

It’s comfortable as all get-out.

And roomy?  Heck, we transported not just one, but TWO 100-pound (plus) beasts at the same time – and I never once heard “Mom, she’s touching me!”

Unlike the typical SUV, the wagon is low enough to the ground that Mr. Limpers is easily able to clear the tailgate – most of the time.

And the Volvo is safe – and it’s built to last.  I’ll probably get several more years of pleasurable driving out of it.

But it’s expensive to drive.

Well, not expensive to drive, really – the mileage, while not what I was used to with the Accord, is certainly not bad.

But it’s a ten-year-old car, and ten-year-old cars have a way of needing repairs.  Unexpectedly and with some disturbing frequency.

And the new, extended extended warranty is set to run out in just a few months.

Now, I could take the position that, heck, I’ve already replaced the turbo, the head gasket (ouch!), and the catalytic converter (ouch plus!) – what else could go wrong?  Only I’m pretty sure lots of stuff could go wrong.

Or I could make haste to the nearest dealer and tell him to FIND ME AN ELEMENT.  But it seems that, as a trade-in, the Tank is worth about a third of what I could get if I sold it outright.  And really, do I want to fiddle around trying to sell the wagon AND find another car all at the same time?

I don’t know, actually.  I might.

So what I’m going to do right now is wait.  Sounds like a plan, no?

The Tank is paid for, it’s not due for inspection until January (or February – ha!), at which point it will need tires.  So I guess I can bank those monthly payments for a few months and see what happens, huh?


1. Kimberly - August 15, 2012

Not that I want to encourage spending… but I have to add in here that a friend of mine has an Element and she LOVES it. It is not for everyone, as you already know the interior is a little industrial, but the fact that you can take the back seats out and get all that flat storage space is pretty neat. Can’t you hose out the inside, too?

Toy Lady - August 15, 2012

I know – and yes, you can hose it out! Perfect for a vehicle full of dog hair and beach sand. . . plus the back seats, even un-folded, are far enough back that I can put the dog bed on the floor between the front and the leaving plenty of room for Mr. Goofy Face.


2. The Innkeeper's Daughter - August 15, 2012

I love, love, love the element and spent three months last year trying to buy one. No luck, why did they discontinue? My trials in finding one were that i wanted stick, and they stopped making stick in 09. Good luck in whatever decision you make.

Toy Lady - August 15, 2012

Ah, I didn’t realize they’d stop making the stick in 09 – that would explain why they’re even MORE few and far between! And I don’t know WHY they stopped making them – from what I hear everyone who drives one loves it.

My position on that is that I’d prefer a manual transmission, but if everything else is perfect, it wouldn’t be a deal breaker. After all, I do know how to drive an automatic! 😉

3. Anne - August 15, 2012

Oh, no, really? The Honda Elephant? It’s so homely! They couldn’t decide if it was a van or an SUV, so they shaped like the crate it was shipped in.

Go for the red Porsche. Seriously. Or stick with the Mr. Goofy mobile. Anything but the Elephant.

Toy Lady - August 16, 2012

So. . . not a square car fan, huh? 😉

4. Rebecca Webb - August 15, 2012

Oh, you should have no trouble selling a Volvo if you really want to. I have a used 850 which I would gladly trade for my old 240. I miss that car…

Toy Lady - August 16, 2012

Hi, Rebecca – you’re probably right. I did see a couple of comparable Volvos out there for sale, though I don’t know how quickly – or even if – they’ve sold. The good thing, I guess, is that I’m not going to lose much more value if I wait a bit. . .

And I know what you mean about missing an old car – I had an old Pontiac that I loved to pieces.

5. Judy Norton - August 16, 2012

I will be interested in what you decide to do but have no real input here. Make it work for you.

Toy Lady - August 16, 2012

Hey, Judy, I was just thinking I hadn’t seen you in a while! The good thing, I guess, is that I can do nothing right now – as long as the Beast keeps running, I can keep procrastinating! 🙂

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