The New Ride

My beloved 1994 Chevy S-10 unfortunately drives very much like a 1994 pickup truck with 200K miles on it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my truck. The thing is, now that we’re in the city, when I commute to work in the morning it feels very much like I’m going to die at any moment. My truck shimmies, it rocks, it skids, and its safety features are pretty much non-existent. I’ve almost rear ended several vehicles because old Betsy just doesn’t stop like she used to. So, it’s time to get a new vehicle. And I LOVE my new vehicle.

Pictured here is my new 2013 Dodge Dart SXT/Rallye Sedan. The cool blue color is nice, but honestly is just a bonus, as the stuff inside is really what I was worried about. Here’s a quick rundown of the specs:

  • 1.4L Turbocharged, 16 valve, 4 cylinder engine
  • 6 speed manual transmission
  • 17″ Aluminum wheels
  • Eleventy hundred airbags (estimate)

The 1.4L engine with the multi-air turbocharger makes for interesting driving. I’ve never driven a car with a turbocharger (it actually still sounds like something fake to me), but it takes a little getting used to. The “turbo” kicks in when the car reaches a certain RPM, so with gentle driving it’s rarely engaged. Give it a little gas, however, and you REALLY notice the difference. It makes for a very VERY fun drive. 6 gears is a lot to shift through, but even that I’m getting used to.

Here is a photo of the inside. Doesn’t that look fun?

Along with the drive train, the technology was something I was very concerned about. I’m going to have this car for 10+ years, so it has to be worthy of such a long relationship. Along with the 8.4″ UConnect touchscreen entertainment panel (pictured above), I insisted on having Bluetooth connectivity. If I’m going to be driving 90MPH 70MPH on the way to work, I can’t be fiddling with my phone. So, the Dart has handsfree built in. It also has Bluetooth audio streaming, which is really cool — but in practice it’s a little underwhelming, because it lacks tools like fast forward and such. Still, in a pinch it’s pretty neat.

While it wasn’t a feature I was really concerned about one way or another, my car does have Sirius Radio with a year of service included. It turns out this is actually kinda nice, and while the stations aren’t really up my alley, a few are nice. For the most part, however, when I commute to and from work, I listen to audiobooks. At first I did this by connecting my phone to the car via USB (cool feature), but now I actually just loaded up an SD Card with a bunch of audiobooks, and leave it plugged into my car. It remembers where it left off, even if I remove the card and put it back in later. Oh, my car has an SD Slot, did I mention that? :)

At the end of the day, this $22,000 car is a big investment. I feel so much safer driving to work now, however, so I think it’s worth it. And at 39MPG on the highway, it will practically pay for itself. In about 300 years or so. :D

5 Comments

  1. Janiece says:

    Did you guys replace the van, as well?

  2. Shawn Powers says:

    Yes, before the possibility of me getting a new car was ever considered. :)

    We have a 2013 Dodge Journey, with the same safety features and handsfree phone stuff. It’s a 7 passenger, but not a van. We’re tired of the van.

  3. gamerchick02 says:

    I WORK ON THOSE!!!

    I work at Chrysler now, and you have pretty much the exact car that I want to buy when I save up some more money for a down payment.

    You got the Premium line and it’s pretty awesome. I love all the tech that’s in the car and now I *really* want one. :)

    It’s 10 airbags standard.

    Amy

  4. Tom says:

    Cool! I’m with you on the 10+ years. I just finished the 6th year with my RAV4, and plan at least 4-5 more. I love the 4WD, the remote start, and the heated leather seats. Can you tell it’s a winter car? And I had my previous car, which was a van, for 12 years. Get good stuff, treat it right, and it will stay with you for a long time.

    And I love the plate, too! :)

  5. Carol Elaine says:

    Ooh, pretty car! I think I want one! If I can’t get my dream Tesla, that is…

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