Well, car shopping is complete, and we are the proud owners (actually, lessees) of a brand-spankin' new Toyota Sienna. I now drive a minivan. Yup. I loved my Subaru and when we bought it just three years ago I figured we'd be driving that car forever. But as time has gone on we have come to realize that "SUV" title aside, it was really quite a small car. Cargo space was sometimes not enough for a big grocery trip, and fitting a 5th person of any size in between the two car seats was near impossible. For me and the kids just running around town it was a terrific, zippy, economical little car. But we live on a military base, and there have been a number of occasions when we've had family visiting and had to play all sorts of car games to be able to go places, on and off base, with our guests. A car for lots of passengers and cargo space for things like road trips - or moving (cats, fish, plants, suitcases, etc) - was starting to sound good.
And so I started shopping, knowing that later summer is typically a good time to buy a car. What I neglected to remember is that once setting foot in a dealership, it is really hard to make the process go slowly. I had done my research and Consumer-Reported till I was cross-eyed, but really needed to touch and feel a few cars to decide for sure if it was a minivan I wanted or a SUV with a third row. To make a long story short(er), I had almost decided to go the SUV route but then realized that such a car would be too much of a lateral move, and if we were going to go spending money, we might as well get something with as much space as possible. And when the Toyota folks told me they would happily get me the van in the blue color I wanted, well, I knew it was all done but the haggling.
To explain the financial end briefly, just so you don't think we are rolling in money: We decided to lease because we were able to get a relatively large sum of money back for our Subaru, and by taking a check and rolling only a small part of it into the lease we will be able to pay off other debt and get back on track with our savings. Yes, in three years we will still have to pay off the car, but being able to save for it now is better than paying interest on our existing debt. And between our excellent credit scores and my negotiating abilities I can feel confident in saying that we got a good deal all around.
William literally passed out after an agonizing three hours in the dealership over lunch time on Saturday (and that doesn't count all the other time I spent over the last two weeks getting the Subaru appraised, test driving, crunching numbers, etc). But otherwise the kids were thrilled. We were all sad to say goodbye to our (not so) old car, but now we are falling deeper in love with our new wheels with every passing day.
It is a good fit. And even more so considering the other big reason for needing a larger car.......
We are expecting another baby at Christmastime! Oh my! Not a Surprise or an Oops but definitely an Oh My, and I'll admit it has taken me a few months to wrap my head around this situation, despite all the reasons we had for going into it. I'll write more about all my cogitation in another post perhaps, but right now there are tiny little baby kicks and a big shiny new car that are making me very excited about our growing family. Eek!