Thursday, August 03, 2006


Under the bridge downtown, I could not get enough

I have Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik currently in my CD player and that was the song I heard last. It's been one of my favorites for over a decade.

J and I played soccer yesterday. No, not at 2, we like not getting heat stroke. But we left the house at 6:30 and it had just rained a little and was overcast and was almost pleasant except for the 115% humidity. But I did enjoy the no sun thing.

We usually play with some international grad students and a few domestics but there was another group of guys out there so they joined our game too and brought the number of players up to 14. The most we previously had was 8. Lots of fun, but on the way out we overheard them saying that you had to change the day when you play and change the time so that not too many people show up. Huh? Why are you being so secretive? Did you not want us to play with you guys? Have you had 30 people show up to play before? It was odd.

Subject change!

So 2 weeks ago J and I went pseudo-car shopping. Pseudo because we have no money for a down payment let alone monthly payments. So we were just window shopping. I wanted to take a look at the new subcompact cars coming out: Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris. The biggest engine is a 1.8L in the Nissan and the Honda and Toyota have 1.5L, although the Honda has VTEC yo!

We also checked out the Toyota FJ Cruiser and the Honda Ridgeline. Oh, and the Toyota place also had 2 Priuses, and since those are very cool and roomy, we checked that out too. I'll go in order of what we looked at:

Toyota Prius-'05 I think, Roomy, comfy seats, decent trunk space and the rear seats fold down for more room, stupid gas mileage, big touchscreen that controls the radio and shows you which engine you're using, and right at $25,000. Definite possibility.

Toyota Yaris sedan-I'm a hatchback junkie but they didn't have one. Super not impressed. But the price is right at $13,000. They didn't have a stick either. Lackluster interior, center mounted instrument panel (I DO NOT like this new trend, so stop it!), roomy driver and passenger seats, cramped back seats, seats fold down but don't lie flat (not a huge thing but I'm sure would be annoying at some point). Probably not.

Toyota FJ Cruiser-Awesome retro styling, big tires, skid protection, 4WD option (comes with a 6 speed manual, yippee!), big comfy seats, almost Tonka truck like interior, but that's good, lots of room up front, decent space in the back, seats fold down (but you have to remove the headrests, that would get annoying real fast) tons of trunk space, full size spare on the back, trunk opens to the side (away from the curb, very important) subwoofer, and there is even a 120V, 400 amp outlet in the back (great for a TV or stereo, just no hair dryers or microwaves), 5000 lb. towing capacity, 16/19 mpg for the 4WD manual (I looked at this because I had never seen inside one and eventually I'll need a tow vehicle for my rally car, but if you ever see me drive it to the grocery store or around town, stop me, check that all my other cars are in the shop, and if they are not, please shoot me on the spot). Maybe as a tow vehicle.

Honda Fit-Blown away. There are no less than 4 different configurations for the seats (sleep mode where the front seats fold back, super long storage mode where the back seats and passenger seat fold forward, tall mode where the bottom of the rear seats fold up and out of the way for taller plants and such, and regular extra space mode where the rear seats fold down), VTEC, great instrument panel, lots of nifty knobs and little storage spaces, airbags freakin' everywhere (not that I give a crap about safety, just don't explode in a collision ala Ford Pinto), very cool styling, Honda handling, Honda reliability, Honda aftermarket (I mean turbos not neon lights or spoilers). Almost definitely. And it starts at $13,850 and the Fit Sport (which mostly adds a subtle body kit, paddle shifters for the 5 speed automatic [J loved this option], cruise, auxilary input for ipods and other mp3 players, fog lights and 15 inch alloys) starts at $15,170 for the manual, $15,970 for the auto.

I've never owned a Honda but Smoove loves his TL (technically an Acura but it's the same company, just don't try to convince the pretty boy in his Lambo Gallardo that his car is actually a Volkswagen) but if what you're looking for in a car is great gas mileage, lots of interior space, and even some decent handling, I would highly recommend the Honda Fit.

And I wanted to test drive the new Civic SI, but they didn't have any. They're supposed to call when they get one in, so I'll keep you posted.

Continuing the car theme, I'll answer the "What cars would I buy instead of dropping 100 grand on an Aston Martin Vantage?" We are going to assume a price of $120,000 for a Vantage based on this ebay auction.

Stay tuned.


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