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It’s a car!!

At the helm

At the helm

And not just any car; it’s a Honda Fit.  And not just any Honda Fit; it’s an orange Fit Sport! 

Coolest Car Ever

Coolest Car Ever

This is a car I have had a crush on since it first came to this country in April 2006 after having been enjoyed in other countries since 2001.  It’s funny actually, because right before this car came out, I went to the Honda dealer just to browse.  I was disappointed to learn they’d redesigned their Civic Si so it was no longer a hatchback.  Unlike the rest of the car-buying American public, I like hatchbacks for their style and their cargo-gobbling ability.  The salesman tried to sell me a regular Civic (fail) on the spot rather than tease me by telling me a new hatchback was due in a few months.  Well, as Mr. Apron said, he probably didn’t know, and he’d rather make a sale that day than hope I’d come back later for a Fit.  I’m amazed how many times the car dealers just don’t know their cars.  I was told by a Toyota dealer that the 5-door (Canadian) Yaris I saw (before we got that body style in this country) must have been an Aveo or I was just mistakenly looking at a 3-door.  They don’t know, they don’t care. 

But I digress.  I have lusted after the Fit since day 1, and my crush has only intensified as other meh cars have come and gone, and as, time after time, Car and Driver has sung the praises of the Fit.  Review after review, test after test — they’ve all lauded the Fit’s styling, handling, safety, and cargo-holding prowess.  Yet I had to wait.  I was but a grad student in 2006, when I first went to a dealer to ogle the car.  The vulture salesman approached me at the lot, and asked if I was interested in the car.  “Yes,” I admitted, “but not for another 5 years.”  He left me alone.  It was my most effective car dealer rebuff to date.

I told myself that after grad school, when I landed my first real (professional) job, I’d go buy a Fit.  Of course, I graduated last August, and shortly thereafter, as the housing market was tanking, we started looking for homes to buy.  When we closed in February, leaving a large chunk of our savings behind, I closed the door on my Fit dreams.   

Then, earlier this summer, as I lamented to my mother how awful it was driving Mr. Apron’s boring black Ford Focus in the heat, and how we were getting itchy to trade it in for something less mundane, and less heat-absorbing, she advised us to wait.  Wait for our tax rebate, that is.  Wait — what?  Oh, the $8000 from the government because we bought our first home in 2009?  That’s the one.  We hadn’t really investigated this rebate yet, seeing as we were waiting for our accountant man to tell us what to do when we filed our taxes next year.  We didn’t even realize what it mean.  I thought it meant we got a refund on $8,000 of the house, or something.  Mr. Apron called our CPA, and he said we could file an amendment this year, and get the money, and use it as a downpayment on the car this year. 

Well, boys and girls, the check arrived on Tuesday of this week, and we rushed to the bank before it could get buried under a pile of paper, used as a bookmark, slobbered on by Finley, or forgotten in a wallet.  And then Mr. Apron did what he does best — he looked for cars. 

Mr. Apron gets whims.  I mean, unlike my 3-year long devotion to the little Honda, he falls in love with a new car each month, or week, or daily.  A testament to this fact is that he is now owning his 9th car, and I have just acquired my 3rd.  I drove my first car from age 15 (Minnesota law = awesome) until I left home after college when I was about to turn 21, when my 1987 Cadillac Sedan deVille was a mere 15 years old.  My sister drove it after that until it finally dragged itself off to be donated to public radio, kidney disease, war orphans relief, or Esperanto awareness.  At that point in its life, only 2 doors opened, only 3 windows rolled up and down convincingly, and the radio had to be switched off separately or else the battery would die.  My family drives cars into the ground.  Mr. Apron’s family leases.  ‘Nuff said.

He set out on his quest.  We ran some numbers into the financing calculator, and since we were determined not to drag out the car payments too much beyond our initial payment period for the Focus, we decided to try for a 36-month term.  Still, the payment was kind of scary when we put in my ideal Build-a-Fit from the Honda website.  Though the stated entry-level price is $14, 750, it’s not actually, unless I didn’t care if I could drive it (automatic transmissions adds $750) or be able to pick it up from a dealer (delivery adds another $710).  We don’t even have keyless entry, and it’s already over $16,000.  In typical Honda fashion (they used to do this with ABS on the Civic — not offering it unless you bought the LX), you can’t get stability control unless you buy the Fit Sport with Navigation (over $19,000).  Again, still no doormats. 

I decided to try to find a used car.  I figured it might be a couple of thousand less, and might have more features that they wouldn’t nickel-and-dime us for the way they do on a new car.  Unfortunately, as all the dealers had been telling us, used Fits are very hard to find.  And I only wanted one in orange or red.  And it had to be an automatic.  Mr. Apron got on the phone with dealers in the Delaware Valley.  He searched new dealers, he searched all 3 CarSense locations.  He looked on every virtual lot in the tri-state area.  Yes, even in New Jersey (where my brother and sister have both found their used Hondas).  He started to try to convince me to suck it up and buy a new one.  A nice base model in red. 

Finally, Thursday, in a last-ditch effort, he widened the net to include the Lehigh Valley and environs West of this part of the state.  Success in the state capital.  Harrisburg had one orange Fit Sport, 2009 model year, with 4,000 miles on it.  That’s right, folks.  A pre-owned car that was practically new.  Features I would never have asked or paid for (USB connection in the glove box for my non-existent iPod, tinted windows, fog lamps) were in this car.  We asked the dealer to  hold it for one day.  They said they couldn’t.  Friday went so quickly at work, I forgot to worry that someone had bought the car out from under us.  I vacuumed out the Focus during a break from work.  At 4:30, we set out for Harrisburg. 

They tried the usual bullshit on us, pretending the Focus’s air conditioning was broken, undervaluing it, handing me the keys prematurely, trying to buddy up to Mr. Apron, and then getting frustrated with him when he kept asking about fees left and right.  In the end though, I survived the car dealer, and drove home my brand-new used car.  I still can’t believe I get to keep it.  I still can’t believe it’s mine.  It’s the coolest car on the road.  Don’t believe me?  Take a look:

Cuteness!

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I’m of course just going to tease you with exciting news without actually telling you what has happened.  I didn’t want to write about it before it happened for real because that would jinx the whole operation.  But I’ll have pictures tomorrow when there’s daylight.  For now, a tease will have to suffice:

It came in Orange Revolution Metallic.  (so, you know it’s not a baby/fetus)