new car

After going 'round and 'round about our car situation, we finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a new car. Last night we brought home a 2007 HONDA ODYSSEY.

It's very scary signing off on such a big purchase, but the plan is to try to pay it off as quickly as possible. We decided that while we could have gotten a cheaper minivan of a different type, the Hondas hold their value so well that it makes the whole idea of buying a new car less intimidating; in the event we ever need to scale way back financially, we could easily sell the Honda without taking a huge bath on it. The hope is, however, that we will take excellent care of the Honda and drive it for the next 10 years.

I did consider a station wagon with the third seat, but those seats looked really uncomfortable to me for anyone over 3 feet tall. And whatever the experts say, the idea of a kid riding facing backwards sounds scary to me in the event of a rear end collision. And the only big-enough station wagon that holds its value at all is the Volvo. I do like those boxy old Volvo wagons, but we decided we wanted the reliability (and warranty) of a new car if we would be making a car payment anyway. And we couldn't afford a new Volvo.

We bought the cheapest new Honda Odyssey on the market, both because we wanted to spend less and because neither of us wanted all the fancy electronica that comes with the higher end models. I know that if I had electronic sliding doors, I'd be squashing children via remote -- before the doors stopped working altogether. Nope, give me regular old doors anytime. We also didn't want DVD players or navigation systems or any of that stuff. I'd rather the kids listen to music, look out the windows, read, or even (gasp!) talk to each other while in the car.

But even this cheapest of all Odyssey models is much nicer than any car I've ever owned. It's incredibly comfortable and well designed in inside. It has an unbelievable amount of available and concealed storage (E. loves the under floor "boot" for storing stuff), and every seat is really comfy and nice. Plenty of room for all 5 of us to ride together, and still plenty of room when NewBaby comes at the end of the summer.As an added bonus, it has tons of safety features. I know I will feel safer driving everyone around in it, as opposed to my VW (which we traded in).

I do feel guilty about getting a bigger car with worse gas mileage though. And that seems to be the biggest consumer complaint I've read: that the Odyssey doesn't get the mileage it's advertised to get, which isn't that spectacular anyway.

Time to buy some carbon offsets and go vegetarian to make up for it...

Having a new car is shallow fun, I must admit. I can't wait to take our first family roadtrip in it. It will also be great for camping at Bonnaroo in June.

By the way, be sure to tease Jon about having a minvan now ;-) He's definitely got that family man vibe happening these days.



Denette said...

Woot! Hondas are great cars. Hope you enjoy it!

Les Jones said...

Congrats. You'll love it. Hondas are very friendly cars and Honda is really good at giving the warm fuzzies in the customer service arena. We've been very happy with both Honda dealers we've been to (Airport and West Side).

Anonymous said...

What would our family do without Robert and Nicole - the best negotiators/deal-makers on the planet?

Kerry Woo said...

I have the original 1995 Honda Odyssey and they are great cars! We all drive Hondas in our household (4) and have been pleased for a number of years - Did you consider the Element? Seems to me that would have more child friendly loading the car seat with the rear opening doors.

Anonymous said...

Can you share if not the actual price you paid, the ballpark figure? We're thinking of getting a Odyssey as well, and have begun the search for finding out what's the best price. I know you final figure was influenced by the trade-in, but could you give a sense of the best price?

And congrats on the new car!! The first road trip will be great fun.

kayla said...

I'm very envious. Congratulations!

Kelly said...

I love my Odyssey. I have to defend the DVD player, though. We don't use ours around town, but we regularly make a long car trip to visit family. We don't have anyone old enough to read yet, and before we got the (used) van with DVD, our record was 5 out of 6 hours of straight crying. Minimum was 2 hours. After DVD, we haven't had more than an hour. Very young children are much more difficult to occupy on a long car trip than older ones.

We do intersperse the movies with audiobooks, because we don't watch that much tv at home, so the children get bored with movies after a while.

We do use the headphones around town, though. I like being able to put in a Wee Sings for the children, while I listen to Gun's 'n Roses. :)

mamalife said...

I don't think you'll be sorry. You truly will need all that room when you have 6 people to drive around! Hondas are very reliable and hold their value well. I bought a Civic a few years ago. After owning it only a couple of years, I wanted to sell it (I'd taken out a 5-year loan) after I had my baby as I was staying home for a few months and two car payments were killing us while I was not bringing in any income. I thought I'd take a huge loss on this deal, but was pleasantly surprised when I was able to sell it for the amount to pay off my loan! Since we've bought a CR-V and another Civic. My Civic is the mid-line (the cheapest version has no A/C - NOT a possibility in FL!) and drives super nice with lots of nice features. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

You will love your Honda. I've had 5 of them, and have driven a couple of them into the 200,000. My husband is driving a Civic with 150k on it and it still runs like the day I bought it new. He recently took it on a 1500 mile trip (round trip) without so much as a hiccup.

I also opted to go new when buying a Honda, because the price difference between a slightly used one and a new one really wasn't that much. I have mine dealer serviced every 7500 miles (did that with the Civic, too), which is very reasonable with the exception of the "biggies," whic come about every 30k miles. Well worth it, though.

I also needed a bigger vehicle, but for business purposes, and in the grand scheme of things I think the Hondas aren't as bad as many, with most of them being ULEV. Sure, it sucks to be going through a lot of fuel, but if you need a bigger vehicle, you need a bigger vehicle, and a Honda is a smart choice.

Leslie said...

Congratulations! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who is anti-DVD player. When we have to get a new car it is going to be a Toyota Siena and it will have a DVD player over my dead body.

CarExpert said...

Nice! I like Honda. But, I still more like Volvo. Having distinct Volvo performance parts around the market gives me the assurance of a good running Volvo. They are one of the safest. Honda is my second choice. Anyways, congratulations! I’m wishing you all the enjoyment you could have, like most of my friends with Honda had. You’d surely have fun with it, especially when you take care of it like a child. Maintenance would be really important to make it go well more than 10 years.

Anonymous said...

Anon -

The price was $23,700 plus tax and title out the door including all mystery fees. You might be able to get it about $400 lower if you were paying cash with no trade in.