Oh, no jumping for joy yet.  This is just a status report.

Some of the running around we did this past week was to visit a little car dealership up the road from our house.

King’s Auto Mall consists of forty-leven dealerships providing about a hundred vehicle brands.

At least, that’s what it looks like as you’re driving around.  I wanted to visit the Nissan place to pick up information on the Juke, my current car of choice.  On the way there, we went by the Subaru store and stopped in to say Hi and pick up literature.

We spoke to Bill Jacobs, a friendly and non-pushy man who got us interested (which is his job).  We didn’t take a test drive, but picked up several brochures and sat inside one.  Looking through the stuff afterwards, I’d like the WRX car

(from formulaphoto), but that’s only available in manual transmission.  I plan on having this car for many years, and I don’t want to buy a problem.  I am ready for automatic transmission.  And besides, the WRX high-end wants 93-octane gas, which is locking myself into high fuel payments throughout the life of the thing.  Instead, I am leaning towards the 5-door Impreza.

(from the Subaru site).  Having four doors is really helpful for getting things into the back seat, versus the stretching we have to do now.  We built our house to be a ranch, with washer and dryer on the main living floor, in order to avoid the hassle of stairs as we get older.  Makes sense to do it with a car.  And the hatchback is more appealing to me than the sedan.  Price: around $21K.

Then we went to the Nissan dealership, where Kelly Omeish showed us around.  He couldn’t figure out how to turn on the lights in the garage, where their only Juke was, but we could see some of the details, and sat in the passenger seat.  The car still looks like a high school kid’s drawing of a zoomy drive.

(pic from saebaryo)  Nothing we saw scared us off.

The literature we picked up, from both Subaru and Nissan, did not include ground clearance.  That’s something I want to know, and part of the reason I got dead tree information.  Bzzzzt! on both brands.

But now I have some decisions to make.  I’m going to drive my car into the ground, but I don’t know when that final odometer click will happen.  I’m still deciding my choices, pondering alternatives.

The Impreza has about 10 cubic feet more storage inside.  The Juke is reportedly fun to drive.  That’s hard to quantify, but I like that.

The Subaru is 4WD (all the time), the Juke is AWD (switchable between 2 and 4).  There could be advantages for running at 2WD, there could be complexities introduced with switching between 2 and 4.

Subaru does nothing but 4WD, so they’d be used to working on the car.  The Juke, not so much.  There are only six for sale in Cincinnati, and only one of those has the AWD I’d need.  Not a big comfort there, knowing that my service guy may or may not have seen any given problem before.  Advantage: Subaru.

The Juke is about $5K more expensive than the Impreza.  What am I getting for that money?  One thing is a rear view camera system, to help backing up.  That’s handy, but I doubt it’s five grand handy.  As far as the prices, I haven’t sat down to dicker with anybody yet.  These prices are from the web, and are not firm quotes.

I know that I’m not going to flip a coin to make a decision.  The choice will be intentional (and hopefully not hurried).  What I’d like is the fun factor of the Juke with the reliability and durability of the Subaru.  I bought my CRX the first year those came out, and enjoyed it for a dozen years.  I’m at 16 years on my Acura.  The next car will have to last.

I’ll keep watching for a blinding light from above.  God works in mysterious ways.

(from CBS_Fan)