Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
 
New car

After over 5 months of waiting, I finally got the new car I ordered in January. Woot! My first new car, including new car smell and everything. Up to now I always had used cars, because buying a used car which is 1 to 3 years old is a lot cheaper, and still gives you a relatively modern car. I got my last car when it was 3 years old, for half the price of a new car, and drove it for another 6 years. But now that I'm middle-aged, I really felt I needed a new car this time, which is a common, but mild, symptom of mid-life crisis. Mild, because I only got a new Toyota Corolla, and not a Porsche/Ferrari/Jaguar. :)

The new car is a lot more modern than my last Toyota, but quite similar in shape and size. Now I got a CD player instead of a tape-deck, a fully automatic air-conditioning instead of a manual one, and a fancy LCD computer display showing me average fuel consumption and similar data. The only thing I'm not totally happy with is the color: I'm pretty sure I ordered the car in "blue metallic", but what I got was "light blue metallic". Okay, the light blue metallic still looks pretty good, and I'm so not going to give the car back and wait for another 5 month for them to give me one in the darker blue. But still it is a bit annoying.

The new car drives a bit more powerful than the old one, because I took the version with the bigger 1.6 liter motor. So now I have a few more kW for a car which is a tiny bit smaller (10 cm shorter) and thus lighter than the previous one. But the main difference I notice when driving is that the view is slightly different. Silly, but it seems I sit a bit higher in the new car, and the shape of the windows and frame around me is slightly different, so now the viewing angle and the blind spots are different. I'm sure I'll get used to that fast enough.

The car arrived just in time for the holidays, so I'll drive about 2000 km in the next month and see if everything is allright with the new car. Not that I'm terribly anxious about having gotten a lemon. Toyota is famous for boring, but reliable cars, and I have a free 5-year warranty, including Europe-wide breakdown service. So my main concern for the holidays is how to get all the suitcases in the trunk, which isn't terribly big, due to me having chosen the Sedan. But as most of the time I'm using the car just to drive to work, the trunk size wasn't as important as the looks, and I just don't like the look of a hatchback.
Comments:
Do you get Top Gear over in Germany?

If not keep an eye out for it, an excellent tv show from the BBC.
 
Congrats!

Plus, in a hatchback people can see your stuff and be tempted to steal it.
 
^- What he said. A hatchback has no safe storage like a car with a trunk does. I'd never buy another hatchback again.

Do you know what a pane of hatchback glass costs to replace if there isn't one available in a junkyard?

Anyway, congrats on the new car!
 
Congrats Tobold!!!
 
Whenever I've bought a new car I've always got one from the lot, never had to order one before. Why the 6 month wait to get a Corolla?

The only cars people wait for here in the U.S. are the Toyota Prius & Honda Civic petrol/electric hybrids, or your top of the line luxury cars and sports cars.
 
Why the 6 month wait to get a Corolla?

The 6 month wait is a local phenomenon. Every two years in January here in Belgium there is the "Salon d' Automobile", a big car exhibition. And during that time the Belgian car dealers give you substantial rebates on the new models. In my case 12%, plus a good price on taking back my old car.

Of course that means that nearly everybody in Belgium buys his new car during the Salon season, thus causing the long wait.
 
Aah, I see. I'd be willing to wait six months for a new car then, if it meant saving 12% or so.
 
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