Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cars I Have Owned

The first car I ever bought was a 1996 Green Saturn Ion, it was a 4 year lease.  The sales people at Saturn were great, no pressure, honest and I had my first new car at a cost of somewhere around $300 per month.  I never had any major problems with the car, and any issues were quickly resovled by the great service department at Saturn.  To this day it is by far the best service dept I have had any dealings with.

Once the Saturn lease came to an end in 2000 I was looking for a change.  For some bizarre reason I decided to buy a used (I think 1996) green Pontiac Grand Am at a used car dealership on Kenmount Road for $10,000.  Sure the car was a bit cool and fairly quick but it was basicially a problem waiting to happen.  Sure enough..... after about a year I think the engine problems started.  I paid for a few repairs and decided it was time to cut my losses so I traded it in on a brand new....

2001 grey Ford Focus, which was again a decent little car, nothing exciting about it but it got us around fairly well.  The Ford service center was not nearly as top notch as I was used to at Saturn however.  I really can't remember anything notable about the Focus other than the fact that I owned one.  I can't remember the time lines exactly but my third son was coming along so we decided we needed to upsize out ride so I made the worst car buying decision of my life....

Along came the dark blue 2000 (or maybe 1999) Ford Windstar, for something like $12,000.  I bought it used at City Honda ironically enough.  This thing was a monster, I mean you could almost put an entire house in the back of it, that was the only upside.  I had nothing but trouble with it, engine trouble and paint trouble.  The paint actually started peeling off of it right down to the sheet metal.  Of course I complained to Ford, of course they did nothing about it.  Apparently this is a common problem with these vehicles but Ford never took responsibility for it. 

It was around 2005 and I was getting divorced and decided a peeling dark blue monster Ford Windstar was not good for my image.  Yes I had the three kids to tote around but convinced myself I could downsize and pull it off.   So I returned to my roots and leased a 2005 Saturn Ion (blue this time).  I used the same salesperson I had 10 years earlier and the whole process went as smoothly as it did the first time.  Again this was a nice little car, it was the upscale model so it looked nice, had a sunroof, nice wheels etc.... but was fairly inexpensive, somewhere around $400 a month I think.

SO my kids were growing, I started a new relationship with a wonderful woman so I started to think the Saturn Ion was not going to cut it for family outings.  I can't exactly remember how it all happened but next thing I knew in August 17, 2007 I was behind the wheel of my beautiful 2007 Honda Pilot EX.  The salespeople at Honda are right up there with Saturn, by far the two best dealerships I have ever dealt with.  I'll just note that in my opinion the service center at honda is not as good as it was at Saturn so overall Saturn is still the best.

I don't recommend switching cars every few years... in fact I am not sure I ever actually paid off any of the cars I owned, I just kept rolling any remaining payments into the next car I bought.  But I have a short attention span so here I am none the worse for wear with my Pilot 4 1/2 years later which eclipses my previous record by about a year.

I originally leased the Pilot but ended up buying it at the end of the lease, my next post will be about how that all went down.

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