I wasn’t going to buy a car today I wasn’t going to buy a car today I wasn’t going to buy a car today.
I test drove both a Corolla and a Matrix. There were some embarassing moments: I did, in fact, forget that when driving a stick shift, one has to press the clutch to turn the vehicle on. They both had a very tight turning radius, and the greater elevation off the road (as compared to the Celica) made for a smoother ride.
In the end, I preferred the Matrix. While the Corolla had a few more bells and whistles (the only one I really would’ve liked were the fog lights), a six-disc CD changer wasn’t enough to compensate for the far more comfortable driving position in the Matrix (I felt like I had to reach for the shift knob in the Corolla, which made me uncomfortable). In addition, I liked the greater size of the Matrix (it gets 26/33 mileage): now if those tailgaters ram me, I won’t be a pancaked Snay!
I still wasn’t ready to buy. My dad had offered to cosign so that I could get a better rate, plus, I was on the fence as to whether or not to wait until my check from the insurance company arrived so that I could make a downpayment. Carmax Financing and Bank of America offered ridiculous rates, and I was ready to wait a couple of days, but I guess Toyota likes me.
After a quick call to my dad to confirm a.) that their interest rate was what I thought it was (which is to say “killer”), and b.), that even with his signature on the application, I wouldn’t get a better interest rate, I signed on the dotted line.
So, with an interest rate of 4.9% (four point something percent, anyway, I don’t have the paperwork right here at the desk), I drove off the lot in a 2008 Toyota Matrix. It’s “indigo ink”, which is a fancy way of saying “navy blue.” It doesn’t have all the goodies, but it has its fair share: cruise control, power windows, remote entry, a panic button! Best of all is the “Anti-Deer Avoidance System” at the wheel (aka: me!*).
*One deer hit in five years, estimating a minimum of two deer avoidances per week (probably higher) gives us a failure rate of 1:520.