January 26th, 2016 by Jan

We have a new car!

Actually in the last four days, we’ve had two new cars. It has been a bit of a ride and today I am happy to report the road is smooth again.

Ken and I have driven our little red car for quite a while now. It is a 1996 Toyota Trecel. It works just fine for us and has safely taken us from here to there and back again for a long time. It has served as a truck and limo for us, and we’ve been quite happy with it and it owes us nothing!

Still, I wanted a different car. We wanted one that we could also use to pull the row boat Ken built, rather than having to use the camping van to launch each time we wanted to go for a short row.

So, we’ve been looking. We are slow to act and long to think. Always have been — and then, when we least expect it — we just go for it.

My dream car is a Subaru Forester. Has been since five or six of them pulled up for Roughrider training weekends at the B.I.T.C.H. on Bowen. I think at least half of my students drive one.

Anyway – I always like the look of that car. But…. We don’t need that much of a car for how we drive now. Plus, any long trips we’ll take in the van. But, the biggest reason we don’t have a Subaru is location, location, location.

The Sunshine Coast does not have a Subaru dealer here and we like to shop local.

Our choices on the coast for car shopping are Ford, Chevy and Dodge. We’ve perused all three lots several times and would say, I like this one and that one, and then go home in our red car.

The other day we needed to go to Gibsons, so we stopped at the Dodge place. We kicked a few tires and sat in a few cars, and left to have fish and chips at Sharkeys. Before we got home, we pulled into the Chevy place for a look see.

Wendy greeted us and we said we were kicking tires and that what we were looking for was a four door, automatic, that could tow our row boat. We told her our budget and assumed she show us some used cars, but she took us to a 2015 Chevy Trax. It was a what they call a cross over. Looks like a small SUV. We like it.

Now, because it is the end of January and the 2016s were coming in — the 2015 new cars had good deals on them. Plus all the benefits of a new car like warranty , etc. and low and behold – Ken and I drove home with a new car!

As soon as we got home, Ken started reading the manual. That’s the kind of guy he is. The first thing he says to me is… This car is not built to tow anything.

Yup, this car is not built to tow anything.

I called Wendy and told her. I have to say, Wendy was probably more upset than we were, and she said she would talk to her manager, and see what we could do.

We waited. A service guy called from the dealer and told Ken that they were the ones who stood between the owners and the warranty and so, basically you COULD tow something, but maybe not a big something and that it would probably be okay.

I called Wendy again. She said come back on Monday when she and her manager would be there. We’d figure something out.

We parked the Trax and spent the weekend a little sick to our stomach at making such a mistake.

Monday morning — we went to talk to Wendy.

OMG! In the first two minutes, she put our worries to rest. “We’ll take back the car, no problem.”


She also said, she had done a lot of research, (she also had a couple of sleepless nights)  and had two cars that would suit our needs. Would we like to look at them, but no pressure to buy. We reminder her, four door, automatic, can tow up to 1,000 pounds and still in our budget. This time, she wrote it down!

She first showed us a 2013 big ass SUV that shook and rattled when it started. I said, uhm… no.

Then she took us back towards the new cars. A 2015 Chevy Cruze sedan. She pulled out the manual and showed us the specs of it’s towing abilities and then all the other features. (Some we like, others are a bit fancy for us, like bluetooth and such.)

We took it for a drive. We liked it. It’s a car. It’s nice, it has all the new car warranty stuff. And… it was $2,000. less than the Trax and it has more comfort and a few more fancy features. Plus it is built to tow up to 1,000 pounds, and we can get the hitch easy enough.

We drove it home. We are happy. It will take a little bit for me to get use to the bigger car, but we are looking forward to pulling our little row boat to a pretty place this Summer.

A Chevy was never on my radar when I thought about what type of car to get. I don’t know why — but it wasn’t. Still, I gotta say, there are good reasons to buy local and the customer service we got from the local Chevy dealer was better than good.

Now, who needs or wants a 1996 Toyota with only 162,000 km on it? 🙂

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