Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Car Talk

My husband and I don’t disagree about much.  But a current point of contention is the old Volvo.  It is clear that at some point we will need to replace it.
He has long refused to drive it and hates to even ride in it, declaring it unsafe because it doesn’t have airbags.  He firmly believes station wagons are for people with young children who do lots of home repairs.  He also tries to claim the brakes are bad and it performs poorly in snow, both patently false.
It is true that it’s old (25 years) and the body is falling apart quite literally.  But at 169,000, the engine has at least another 100,000 in it and it is quite reliable now that it has a new battery.
We really haven’t put much money into the old car over the years, but I’m thinking soon there will be “the big one” that even I know we shouldn’t repair.  
I’ve gradually been contemplating what to get when that time comes.  My first thought was a zippy, little sports car that would be fun to drive and fun to show off.  Then I considered a more modern station wagon.  I’ve been noticing all sorts of makes and models that fit those descriptions.
But today I realized that fuel efficiency and the environment need to be higher up on my priority list.  I started learning about electric cars that are just rolling off the assembly line.  There’s the Chevy Volt, the Ford Focus (pictured above), and the Nissan Leaf to choose from.  
They won’t be a bargain.  They won’t go too far without the need to be plugged in.  But they also won’t be gulping down gasoline.  It seems like the perfect option for short distance driving, like most of mine is.  What I read tells me these cars are just the beginning of our liberation from petroleum products, and none too soon.
Right now I need to keep the old Volvo going because it will be a while before electric cars will really be available.  
I guess I’ll just have to drive someone else’s sports car!


Blogger Gary said...

Timely post Barbara dear as I just picked up my zippy little sports car last night. It is a red MINI cooper. Not a hybrid or electric car but it does get good gas mileage. You are officially invited to zip around in it so go ahead and get your station wagon. You'll have the best of both worlds. xo

6:39 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I've almost talked Rez into a SMART car - two seats and zippy. But now I wish we had a bigger car so that I could take both sets of parents somewhere. Surprisingly, it's not always the smallest car that gets the best mileage. I got just slightly better mileage with the jeep than I did with my Chevy Astro Van. I saw a really cool short movie on cars that move on compressed air. Nifty! BTW, my sister, who only drives Volvos (my mother calls them Woewoes) has had nothing but trouble with her new one (but it is truly a thing of beauty).

3:18 PM  

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