Car talk

Posted By on April 12, 2008

Katy had a pretty bad accident today, driving the 2001 Honda Accord EX I bought her last night into the rear of some high-end Ford product, which in turn hit the rear of one of those mercifully rare new Chrysler Sebring convertibles. Hope I don’t get sued for this by angry Chryslerians.
There’s been a lot of car movement lately. I bought Katy the Accord so she could have more mobility, driving her sister around and getting to work at Stone Oven. But she’s been feeling mono-depressed for a bunch of weeks, and she was definitely off today, not feeling good at all; when she called to say she’d hit someone, she said her car was “fucked up.” I was on the toilet at the time; this did not go down well. She apologized later, when I said that was OK and her description was accurate. The car looks totaled to me, though it drove onto the tow truck. Nobody was hurt, thank God.

In other car action, I traded in my four-year-old Acura TL last Sunday for a, would you believe, Scion XB with a manual transmission. I didn’t realize I’d missed a stick shift until I imagined, what the hell, probably feels real good. It did when I went to a Mentor Toyota dealer, told the salesman I wanted to trade straight up—and two-and-a-half hours later, drove away with a stick-shift, boxy silver Scion, a kind of mini-minivan, a box with high-tech stereo and display, enough power appointments to comfort me, and a radio I’m going to add XM to next weekend. I like driving it; I miss the cushiness of the Acura—my only quarrel with it was its mileage—but this offers its own, future-retro pleasures.
Best thing about the XB: it gets 25 to 31 miles a gallon, so a tank in the Scion lasts 140 miles longer—on regular—than the Acura did on premium or midgrade. Kinda matters these days, when it’s all about getting back to basics. If Karen trades her 2005 Odyssey Touring (bargelike, amazingly appointed, still high-tech after three years, but gets only about 16-18 mpg city) for a Scion XB, we’ll be a two-toaster family. And actually save some money. Which would be nice these days.
Pearl Marie, our Newfoundland puppy, is growing fast. Maybe that’s why we’re downsizing on the car front. If you’re looking for sequiturs, you’ve come to the wrong place.

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I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CarloWolff
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