Day Fifteen: Current Grades Car*

I was an okay student in both in high school and university – probably with a B average – and that was well, 16 years or so ago and my grades are pretty much irrelevant (note to self to tell this to Clara if she is the worrisome type of teenager that falls apart if she scores less than perfect on a test – in 15 years, that A- or B+ or even C will be irrelevant).

So I’m taking the liberty to change today’s challenge to ‘Current Car’ and anyone playing along should feel free to do the same. Unless of course you’re 16 and want to brag about your grades.

We bought our Honda Fit three years ago (I blogged about it here) and the lease on it was up at the end of last month. In talking to the Honda peeps on the phone, they asked if we had any interest in trading in the car for something new – they were willing to lease us a brand new CRV with 0% interest (they were a bit to eager to get the Fit into their used car inventory and I don’t blame them – with less than 50k in mileage on the car it’d be an esy sell) and Tay suggested that perhaps I wanted to check it out since I’ve been campaigning for a new car for a while.

A few days before the lease on the FIt was up I popped into Honda and test-drove the CRV and as nice of a car as it is – not to mention practical – I was very much uninspired. The biggest thing it had going against it was that it’s transmission is automatic and I would have also been stuck with the base model (based on our budget). I don’t have a lot of criteria for what I want in a new car – manual transmission is first and foremost, but I’d also like leather seats (my skin doesn’t like dusty cloth seats, particularily in the summer when too much of my skin is against the material) and I’d also like to have a sunroof. My days of riding around in a convertible are long past (2-seater cars are not family-friendly of course) but an open sun-roof on a nice day gives me almost as much enjoyment. Almost. Oh and color is important too. I don’t want silver or black or gunmetal gray. Give me bright blue, orange or red.

I could have went with a pretty baby blue CRV with leather seats and a sun-roof (if I was willing to spend more money, which I really wasn’t) but ultimately the deciding factor was the automatic transmission. I couldn’t do it, no way, uh-uh. When I tried explaining to Tay my issues with driving automatic (the best I could put it was that I didn’t have the same confidence driving the vehicle as I do driving stick) he got it – and has since described my issue as having no connection with the vehicle. And that’s it exactly.

So we said no to the CRV and I wasn’t disappointed to keep the Fit really. As much as I wanted a new car, I do still really enjoy the Fit – it’s still a fun car to drive, it still suits me and my new lifestyle (gym-going-grocery-shopping-Mommy with kid on hip) and I still love the many configurations of the seats for storage and, three years later, I still like it’s bright orange color. So we bought it. And I was perfectly okay with that decision.

And then.

A week or so ago a friend of ours suggested that we check out the Kia Forte 5. And I hesitated, purely because I am SUCH a Honda girl, but then I saw a picture of the car, learned that a manual transmission was an option, and I could get both leather seats AND a sun-roof if I went with the higher end model which still worked out to less money than the base-model CRV I was considering. And my curiousity got the best of me.

We both test drove the Forte 5 on Saturday and even though the one I drove was an automatic, I was suitably impressed by the little car. I like the styling of the console (reminded me of the Audis we test drove last summer), the red accenting around the speedometer and the stitching on the leather seats. The cargo space is sufficient, there’s enough room in the back seat for Clara, the car handled well enough aroung tight corners.  It’s a nice car and even though it’s not a Honda, I think I prefer the styling of it over the Fit.

(No orange, but the car comes in a vibrant, agressive red (Racing Red) that reminds me of the red I’ve seen on Minis.)

I asked the sales guy at Kia to let me know when he’s got a standard on the lot that I can test-drive and, if it drives as well as I hope it will, and if we can find a buyer for the Fit, I might actually be driving something other than a Honda in the next couple of months.

Shocking.

*Making blogging fun (and easy) again by participating in this 30 Day Challenge.

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