Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet Fiona!

Friends, I’d like to introduce you to my new best bud, Fiona Fit.

My new BFF
That’s right. I bought a new car this weekend! A couple weeks ago my old ’97 Camry finally bit the dust after our 7 years together, leaving me with no transportation for a week until my sister went back to college and I could drive her car around. My little brother will be driving that car to school starting today, so I was under a bit of a deadline to buy a new car.

While my Camry and I had a pretty good relationship, it routinely failed me in one regard: I had a really tough time feeding my furniture buying habit with the proportions of the cargo area. Example: I bought two patio chairs at Target earlier this summer, took them out to my car, realized there was no way they would fit, and had to call my roommate to come pick them up in her Ford Escape. So when I started contemplating a new car, I really wanted something that was more flexible when it came to carrying around bulky items. I had my eye on mini SUVs like the Toyota Rav4 or Honda CRV, but once I realized how much used ones were selling for and what my budget was, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. That led me to start looking at hatchbacks.

Originally I was planning to buy a used car, thinking that there was no way I could afford a new car that suited my needs. I was reading reviews of the Toyota Matrix and the Mazda 3 when I saw another car come up over and over again: the Honda Fit.

Exterior Photo of 2012 Honda Fit

What really sold me on the Fit were two things: great fuel efficiency and this brilliant thing that Honda calls “the magic seat”. I’m not sure why it took car makers so long to come up with something like this for a small car, but it’s brilliant. The magic seat allows the back seats to fold down really low so that the backseat and trunk form a completely flat surface. When the magic seat is folded down, the Fit has cargo space that rivals some small SUVs and definitely beats the Matrix and the Mazda 3. And the Fit can get over 40 miles to the gallon on a highway!

To see how the magic seat works, check out this every so slightly ridiculous video demonstration of it:

I learned so much by going through the car buying process. My dad helped me out big time by teaching me how to determine what I should offer on a car, and by going car shopping with me. The boy was also a big help by going with me to actually purchase the car (I shopped Saturday and purchased Sunday). I was totally in control of the process, but it was nice to have him there to add another person to the buying side of the table and keep me company during the lengthy purchase process.

I absolutely love love love my new car. It’s perfect for me—it will get me to and from work while saving me money on gas, and I’ll be able to pick up furniture on Craigslist without borrowing my parents’ minivan. Yesssss! The more I drive the car, the more I feel like I’ve made a smart decision, and that’s really comforting when I think about the thousands of dollars I spent and will continue to spend on this purchase. And so far my car has not been affected by the recall, but even if it is, that can be taken care of pretty quickly. I'm not stressin' it.

Oh yeah – I almost forgot to mention that to make this new car thing even sweeter, I got an amazing deal on Fiona. Seriously, I was collecting quotes from other dealers and communicating with them throughout the buying process, and only one other dealer came close to the price I got on the car. I even had one dealer say that if Honda of Tysons Corner was willing to sell me a Fit for the price I paid, I should “run, don’t walk” to snag the deal because the Fit is in such high demand.

Sarah and Fiona = Friends forever
I mentioned that I learned a ton by going through the car buying process, and I’m going to dedicate an entire blog post to the process. I know there are plenty of you out there who have already grown up and bought a car, but I’m determined to help out those of you who were like me two weeks ago: almost completely clueless.

So what happened to my dear old Camry? She’s still in my possession, but I plan on attempting to sell her on Craigslist in hopes that she might be a bit more valuable to a person who can fix her and drive her than she would be to a dealer. When I finish that process, I’ll be sure to tell you about that too.

I know Camry, I'll miss you too.


  1. That's the saddest picture...poor Camry!

    Hellloooooooo Fiona! ;)

  2. Sarah @Young, Hip and HandySeptember 10, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    I know! Poor Camry is sitting on the street waiting for the new love of her life to come restore her to her former glory. Fingers crossed her knight in shining armor comes soon!


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