Monday, February 13, 2006

An automotive interlude

A couple of years ago I traded in the then family car for a 1993 Honda Prelude VTEC SI. I'm sure psychologists could make something of the fact this move happened about a year after the birth of my youngest son! It's a lovely car: 0-60mph in just over 6 seconds, with excellent handling, a great dashboard and the perfect colour: black. Since I bought it, I've had the best driving experiences of my life and I've been driving since 1984; I definitely don't regret getting the car at all.

Now the downsides: although the boot space isn't great you can still get a family-sized shop in there (just) and there's plenty of legroom for the driver and front passenger; however, the "occasional" seats in the back aren't too bad if you're only going 10 minutes down the road or you don't want to use your legs for a few hours afterward!

Now the size of the rear passenger seats hasn't really been a problem until recently, when the kids started to grow (and unfortunately kids do complain if they can't use their legs after a ride in the car!) It's starting to get to the point where it is adversely affecting my driving experience. I've tried a lot of things, including ear plugs, loud music ("sorry, can't hear what you're saying!"), not having kids in the back seats, but none of these solutions are long term enough for them! So it's getting to the point where I'm either going to have to trade in the Honda or buy a second car. I object to the latter option because I really don't think we'd use two cars sufficiently, plus I want to do my bit for the environment. OK, I admit that the Prelude probably isn't that good for the environment as it stands, but let's not get too carried away.

Anybody have any good suggestions? One that springs to mind is that I buy bikes for the kids: it lets me keep my car, helps the environment and it's good for their health! I've toyed with the idea of a Land Rover of one sort or another, and I have several friends who rave about them (like Greg), but none of them give me the buzz I get from my 'Lude.

8 comments:

Greg Pavlik said...

I know this doesn't solve the seating problem, but if you're willing to get gouged for a range rover but you'd rather have something sporty (and British), how about the new XK Jag? A lovely car, fast and with four seats, albeit no solution to your kids complaints....

Mark Little said...

I have been thinking about a Jag. There's a TV program they make over here called Top Gear (been running for as long as I can remember), and one of the recent re-runs did a tour of the various options. They looked good, but they're gas-guzzlers. Plus, I hate buying new: maybe it's different over in the States, but if you drive a new car off the forecourt over here it's already lost 20% of its value!

Greg Pavlik said...

well, you can buy a one/two year old. But in the US, there have been very, very aggressive price wars. I bought a new, loaded 05 volvo for less than the cost of a used, less equipped 05; ditto on the Land Rover; ours wound up being less than a Ford Explorer. Since Ford owns Jaguar, Volvo, and Land Rover, perhaps they may be just as aggressive with Jags. I haven't looked since the Jag is way out of my price capacity.

Thomas Rischbeck said...

if you want environmentally friendly, what about hybrid? eg toyota prius or lexus: http://www.lexusrx400h.co.uk/

Mark Little said...

Unfortunately they're not that popular over here yet, and the lack of mass market makes them more expensive to produce and maintain. Apart from that, I'd seriously consider one: Savas was thinking about going in that direction when get got to Seattle, but didn't in the end.

Brian Daglish said...

Forget about that Jap' rubbish Mark and buy British - get yourself a nice Rover 45!

Stylish good looks (if a little 'cheap mafiosa') and a comfortable interior with plenty of leg room.

Got a nice one going cheap if you're interested ;-)

Mark Little said...

Buy a car from you? You've got to be joking ;-)

Brian Daglish said...

Ok forget about the car, how much would you pay for a test harness? Or how about a set of Moose antlers (brand new)?

Emmm, A photo of a dog wearing a cowboy hat?

No??