Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Love-Hate Relationship

This "relationship" of sorts has been weighing heavily on my mind the past few years. On the one hand I really want to move on, and yet on the other hand, I just can't seem to let go. But I fear I must. Because if I don't let go on MY terms, I fear the worst -- that it'll sneak up on me and leave me feeling stressed, anxious and out-of-sorts. I mean, although my relationship with "the Beast" has been fairly good for the most part, I see that in the long run, it's doomed to fall apart.

It's true - we've seen a professional about a dozen times over the past few years and it's certainly kept things going. But like I said, that day of reckoning, when everything falls apart or beyond repair -- that day is coming, my friends. And the Beast has a history of bailing out on me at the worst possible times. So -- I've been thinking that perhaps one day soon, sooner than later, I need to move on. Stop procrastinating. Move ahead, trade up so to speak.

It's time dear readers... It's time to introduce you to... the Beast....

Yep. My 1997 Chevy Astro mid-size van. It looks like this. I have a love-hate relationship with my van.

I love that I haven't had a car payment in over 7 years.
I hate driving a van.

I love that I have cargo room for when I get groceries or go camping or on a road trip.
I hate driving a van.

I love that there is plenty of leg-room for the kidlets when we travel, which adds to comfort and lessens the fighting (just a tad).
I hate driving a van.

I love that we can take friends with us places.
I hate driving a van.

I love sitting up a little higher than the cars and feel I can see better when driving on the freeway.
I hate driving a van.

I love being able to watch fireworks or a drive-in movie or a hot-air balloon race from the back, sprawled out with blankets and pillows.
I hate driving a van.

I love that my way-amazing mechanic keeps it in tip-top shape so I can do all of the aforementioned things.
I hate driving a van.

I love that I can hitch up a trailer (if I wanted to).
I hate driving a van.

Did I mention I hate driving a van?

It's not that I want a new (to me) vehicle because I am just plain sick of driving a van. But it would be nice to have something a little newer, that would require less maintenance. I would like to be able to take a road trip without the fear that I am going to break down in the middle of nowhere. The Beast is 14 years old now and has around 199k miles on it. Even though I've had to have a handful of repairs done over the years, it was still far better than having that monthly car payment.

In looking around at available inventory of pre-used vehicles and planning to use money from tax returns and from savings, I am hoping that sometime within the next year this goal of getting a new (to me) vehicle can be realized. I don't have tons of money, mind you. But here are my criteria in my next vehicle purchase:

1 - Not a van.
2 - Something that sits higher up than a car.
3 - Not a van.
4 - Something with plenty of leg room.
5 - Not a van.
6 - Something with plenty of cargo room.
7 - Not a van.
8 - Something that has 4-wheel drive for these nasty winters.
9 - Not a van.
10 - Something no older than 5 years old.
11 - Not a van.
12 - Something with less than 80k miles on it.
13 - Not a van.
14 - In my price range as I hope to pay with cash, eliminating need for monthly payments.
15 - Not a van.

I am hoping that I can find SOMETHING that meets these criteria, that - you guessed it - isn't a van.

In the online search I conducted mere minutes ago, here is what I have found.

The 2006 Chevy Trailblazer...

The 2006 Chevrolet Equinox...

The 2006 Saturn Vue...
So, I am wondering dear readers, if any of you have any insight to these vehicles, or if there are others you think I should look into.

I am open to suggestions as long as... it's NOT a van. :)


The Willeyes said...

I don't have a trailblazer, but my blazer has been the best car! We just hit 250K miles...and being grateful for your aforementioned mechanic...we are still in a love relationship with it. BUT...I'm scared of the same thing now...will it leave me before I'm ready! Good Luck...and I don't blame you for not wanting to drive a van :)

KiennaP said...

OOH! I know I know! How about a van???? Oh wait, you don't want one do you? Oh darn... hmmm, I don't know, but I like how the Saturn View looks~:)

KiennaP said...


Paige said...

I know people that have all three. I personally would not have a Vue--they feel like tin cans to me. I ride in a TrailBlazer several times a week, and it is nice.

As long as it is not a van huh?

Sometimes you just have to cut ties with old reliable--have fun finding a new one

ann said...

we just got rid of our suburban that we have had for 10 years i know how you feel!! BUT it was time! you will know when!! good for you for NOT wanting those nasty car payments!!!

Michelle said...

We're headed toward the 'dreaded van' but really there are lots of mini vans that aren't that bad. (AKA Not as beasty as yours!) In my opinion, mini vans are the way to go for comfortably seating up to 8 people without having to crawl over or behind half moved seats to get to the back. Plus luggage room. Plus better gas mileage. We have a Ford Escape right now, a smaller SUV, and it's loud and rough on the freeway and not roomy enough in the back, I won't miss it :) Good luck!

okeydokeyifine said...

Go through Costco to get a car, saves thousands sometimes. And if they cannot or do not have one, get a quote and see if a dealer will match it. Happy hunting.

Tulsi said...

My very favorite vehicle that we had was Kass' Honda Passport. It sat up high, narrow so I could park like a car, three teen boys could set in the back with room and LOTS of leg room. That's what we bought it for. He could put sports equipment in the back and lock it up. It was the greatest. He used the 4wheel all of the time when I didn't know. We traded it in when he left on his mission. I miss it.

Cassie the Sassie Lassie said...

A truck. Definitely. A Dodge Ram (that's what I WANT, anyways)... if not, I'm liking the Equinox, Chevy's not my favorite 'brand' of cars, but, I guess it would do.

KiennaP said...

2011 ford edge? idk

iheartbowheads.blogspot.com said...

Well I am no help because I am in just a van that we affectionately refer to as "the roach coach" ;) this is a great post!!!!


dorneys said...

I miss my van. You sure have some memories with your van. Brandon gets to mad at me when I say "I miss it" Lots of room and no one is sitting right on top of you. I love my VW too. Good luck with the search, thats a tough one. I like the Edge.

RhondaLue said...

I'm looking for a Nissan Murano.. EXCELLENT gas mileage, sits higher than a car, pretty roomy....but I haven't been able to sell the BURBAN yet and I have to so I can stick that money with the little I have to get something newer with less miles. I hate driving a suburban like you hate driving a van! (also the GAS MONEY!! AHHH!!!)

I REALLY like the Chevy Traverse but they are brand new and I have to buy something 5 yrs or more older as well. Good luck!

Kim + Danny said...

I wish I didn't have a van either, but it works best with all our kids. My dad sells cars and he would be able to help you if you want. If you have time to wait he can find what you're looking for in your price range. Just a suggestion. Don't feel like you have to call but thought he could help if you wanted it. Just a warning though, he may give you his opinon on cars your looking for even if you don't want to hear it (just his personality.) In my opinion he does know everything there is to know about cars. He's AWESOME!!! If your interested let me know and I'll give you his #.