My first car was an '89 Ford Probe. It was April '93. Yes, that's right. I had to wait two whole months of my 16th year without a car of my own. The horror. I'm not quite sure how I ended up with that car. We were looking at used Hondas because they were safe and reliable. I think I ended up with the Probe primarily because my mother--with her one, small income--could get credit at that dealership. I loved that car. It had a digital readout that told you mystical things like your gas mileage. It had a CD player. I didn't even have any CDs yet. And it just seemed cool. Oh, and had pop-up headlights.
In April '97, I decided to send the Probe on its way. Mom had died months before so I had the money to buy a car. Since I was planning on going to grad school up north somewhere (anywhere), I decided to buy an SUV. Ah, the good ol' days of cheaper gas prices... My '94 Toyota 4-Runner was da bomb. (Are you seeing how I'm matching the lingo to the times? Who says "sweet ride" or "da bomb" nowadays?) I didn't miss my old car much. This one was so much fun and so manly. I felt tough. Like a lumberjack. Well, at least I did when I bought my Christmas tree and strapped it to the top of my red SUV. I could off-road if I wanted to. I could move furniture. It was the first time I had leather seats and a sunroof. It was a nice car. Nicer than a 20-year-old needed. But I drove that thing into the ground.
November '04 rolled around. The 4-Runner hadn't had any major problems, just a few things here and there. I was coming up on the end of my two year sentence at UTMB and was hoping to move into what I'm doing now. I knew I'd be making lots of trips to the airport and didn't want to end up missing a flight because of an old, broken-down car. Out of necessity, I bought my first new car. An '05 Honda CR-V. This was the first car I bought on my own. With my own money, not money I inherited. I did the wheelin' and dealin'. I made the payments. It was a decision in practicality. I didn't love it but I liked it a lot. It served its purpose.
Not long after buying it, though, I was already dreaming of other cars. What's that about? I had loved my first cars so much I didn't want to get rid of them for several years. This was a new car--my only new car--and yet I liked it the least. I stuck with it because I had cheap payments, the car worked well, and I was determined to buy a house. Why would I want any more of my income to go towards a different car when it could be getting me one step closer to my very own home? Then I had the house but was a bit freaked out about the payments. Turns out I really can afford it. That's a nice feeling. So I started thinking more seriously about a different car.
Kind of on a whim and kind of not, I bought the '04 Saab 9-3 on Monday. Yes, it's a year older. However, it has 11k fewer miles. Go figure. I really do like this car. It was a compromise between the very practical side of me and the side that wanted to just be young and fun. The other cars I pondered before were very small. Most had no backseat and little (if any) trunk space. Like not enough to fit my luggage. The Saab has more luxury than the CR-V for sure. Leather seats like the 4-Runner, a similar fancy digital readout like the Probe, some other stuff I'm not yet sure how to use... But it has a backseat and a reasonable size trunk even with the top down. It's fits people and luggage. And, like cph told me, it's sassy. I can live with sassy.