Not worth the worry

September 8, 2011

Picked up a new rental today. The Dodge Charger was costing too much in gas. It was a nice car to drive, even though it was larger than I like a car to be. I sat up higher than normal in a car. I got more respect. And lots of people looked when I pulled up to the lights! It’s too bad about the gas.

Now I have a Chevy Malibu. This is one classy car. My condition about each car that I get is it has to have a large trunk, the back seats have to fold down, and there has to be decent leg room in the back. The Malibu met all those conditions.

I was excited when I drove that car out of the parking lot. Brand new, 2011, with only 57 kilometres. The interior was clean, no chips or cracks in the window, and no little scratches or nicks on the outside.

As I drove around completing my errands, the fact that the car was in such great shape became a detriment. Small bits of dirt starting to fall down onto the car from the dump truck beside me. That was worrisome. One of those could contain a rock large enough to chip the window. Or the dirt could be dragged across the hood by the wind and I’d have to explain those scratches.

Then as I passed a semi on the freeway a rock flew up and hit my window. I could not believe it. First day in a new car, and I already have issues. As soon as I stopped for my next errand, I carefully scrutinized the window. Thankfully, no chips or cracks. Safe this time.

Whenever I parked the car, I made sure I was not near anyone. That way, I wouldn’t have to worry about someone hitting my car with their door. When I came out of one store, I hurried over to my car in dismay. Someone had pulled up right alongside. As I sat in the driver’s seat, I looked at their passenger door. It was full of nicks. Not a comforting site. But these were old damages and I knew my car was okay.

I’m not a nervous driver. I have many years of experience, driving under a variety of conditions, and behind the wheel of diverse vehicles. Today was different, however. Every red light was a cause of concern. I nervously watched my rear view mirror. Is that person going to stop? Are they coming too fast? What would I do if the person in front of me all of a sudden started to back up?

If I was in the left hand turning lane, at a red light, and a truck was turning left, right in front of me, I worried that the back end of the truck would swipe my car. I worried that the branches along a friend’s driveway would scratch the sides. I worried that the branches of the trees lining my street would drop onto my car and leave a gooey sap. It was not a relaxing drive around the city.

Note to self: don’t buy a new car. So the next question is, will this Malibu replace my Fusion? The answer: no. The Malibu is a beautiful car. Unfortunately, the driver’s seat is too tight of a fit. My legs hit the steering wheel whenever I get out of the car. And, even though I am a short person, I hit my head more than once on the doorframe as I exited the car.

(A photograph of my 2007 Ford Fusion, sitting in my driveway. This car still outranks all the rentals.)



Not only that, but I can’t get the seat to fit me as well as the seat in my Fusion did. The headrest is too far forward and I feel like my head is being tilted. Everything is too close and I feel cramped.

Whenever I described my Fusion to someone, I would always make the motion as if I were riding a motorcycle. I’m not sure why that would be a natural reaction for me. But it was the only way I could put actions to the words I was using to explain how well the Fusion fit me. “I sit well in it,” was my usual response. “I sit into it.” As if that explained it better. “I sit back and just cruise.”

So, four cars later, my Fusion still ranks as number one. I wonder what car I should try next week?

See my blog titled, “Test driving the options,” for my musings on the other rentals that I’ve driven in the past three weeks. For details about the accident that resulted in my having to drive rentals, see my blog titled, “Third time not so lucky.”

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