I did a real-life grown-up thing all by myself last week, you guys! Well, not entirely by myself. I had RJ tag along to entertain the kids while I was busy signing papers, but other than that I did a real-life grown-up thing all by myself last week! I BOUGHT MYSELF A NEW CAR! …and we’re all really excited about it!
So, it’s not exactly brand new brand new, but it’s newer than my old SUV (a GMC Acadia) and it’s new to me. Besides, the only prior owner was the federal government, who used it as an embassy vehicle and took amazing care of it, so it pretty much looks and runs brand new, which means it basically is brand new. Or something. Whatever. After the piece-of-shit Acadia, it’s good enough for me.
I’ve been wanting to get rid of the GMC for awhile now, and for a lot of different reasons. Mostly, though, to save money (you wouldn’t believe how much money I wasted on the POS GMC) and to have something real and grown-up that’s mine. Not mine + RJ’s, like the GMC was. MINE. You know, part of that whole moving on and separating from each other as much as possible even though we still live together thing.
Anyway, after almost a week of driving the new car I’m still really happy with my decision to buy it. I won’t be able to get a solid feel for its true fuel economy until my work/commute schedule returns to “normal” at the end of January, but I can already tell that the Tucson is wayyyy better on gas than the Acadia. I’m going to write a separate BROKE series post breaking down all the financials of this deal, but here’s a little taste of the money I’m saving: I went from a vehicle with a 22 gallon tank that averaged 300-ish miles per tank in highway miles (that’s a measely 13-ish MPG) to a vehicle with a 14.5 gallon tank that averages 280-ish miles per tank in city miles (about 20 MPG) (the only full tank of gas I’ve driven in the new car has been city miles; I’m stoked to see how much more better the MPG will be when I get back to my regular highway-miles commute). You don’t even have to be good at math in the slightest to realize that’s a huge savings.
There are small adjustments I’m still getting used to (first world problems, for sure), but there are a bunch of little bonuses, too. The headlights don’t turn on automatically when I start the car (which apparently I came to rely on thanks to the GMC), but the interior dash lights are a really calm blue instead of that gross green that the GMC had. The new car isn’t equipped with remote start and the key fob doesn’t have a button that opens the trunk for me when my hands are full or when I’m feeling lazy, but the trunk’s locking mechanism is functional, which means the trunk actually stays open without slowly shutting on your head (like the broken-ass GMC would do). The new car isn’t as smooth of a ride as the GMC was, but it has a helluva lot more kick to it and doesn’t take an hour to accelerate to 55 MPH (or waste 20 gallons of gas in the process).
There’s no DVD player in the new car to keep the kids entertained while on the road, but there is Bluetooth connectivity, which is infinitely more important (from a safety perspective) than the kids being able to watch movies in the car. Besides, I imposed an “On Friday ONLY” rule for DVD-watching in the GMC weeks ago to cut back on the kids’ screen time, so this isn’t really an issue for them anyway. The Hyundai’s dash display isn’t as comprehensive as it was in the GMC (no temperature, no direction, no ‘current fuel economy’ or ‘tire pressure’ or ‘miles remaining in tank’ indicators), but the charging ports actually work and there’s built-in USB connectivity. Plus: heated leather seats. SCORE!
Like I said, I’ve been ready to downsize from the Acadia for awhile. RJ and I bought it when I was pregnant with Madden, and when Emma was still in a huge carseat and Briseis was still in a booster seat. We needed a shit ton of room to cart around three kids, and two sets of everything baby related (travel cribs, strollers, diaper bags, changes of clothes, snack packs, toys, etc.). Madden is the only one left in a clunky carseat, and we’ve been over strollers and cribs and diaper bags for awhile now. It was nice to have optional third row seating/huge cargo space, but we rarely utilized it and with all the mechanical and superficial problems the GMC had, I couldn’t justify keeping it. So I didn’t. And I couldn’t be happier.
Turns out that bigger is not always better, guys. Especially when it comes to a big vehicle with a big price tag and a big gas tank that doesn’t get big miles. But more about that in the next BROKE post.