I married a self-proclaimed "car nerd," a product of Southern California's legendary car culture, and I've learned quite a bit from him in the nearly five years we've been together. But I think he's learned that when it comes to a car that I'm going to drive myself, I'm not necessarily looking for car-nerdy things. It doesn't matter to me how fast the car goes from zero to 60. I'm not all that interested in high horsepower numbers, and I really don't care about tires (as long as they're not flat).
I'm looking for safety and reliability; I keep cars for a while, and I'd like the odds that they'll still be in decent driving condition five to seven years from now to be pretty high. I care about getting good gas mileage - I was deeply influenced by the energy crisis during my 1970s childhood. I want a car that's comfortable to drive, handles well, and is easy to park. I don't care all that much about luxury, but at this stage in my life I would like certain amenities. And I like my cars small. I'm small - I like cars that are my size. My dream car is a Mini Cooper, not a minivan.
But since something in me balks at the idea of paying much more than $20,000 for a car - which I guess clarifies that I'm neither a car nerd nor a native Californian - my dream car remains a dream. (And a minivan remains a vehicle I'd never dream of owning - along with not having a Costco membership, it's one of my little acts of rebellion against the suburbs.) I recently went out shopping for a car...
...and you can read the rest of this at the Los Angeles Moms Blog.