checking out replacement cars
Cyclists and cars have a mixed relationship. We need cars to get to our cycling adventure start points, but the rest of the time they suck, and are a hazard to the enjoyment of the bicycle ride.
However, a car is a necessity for the recreational cyclist with a habit of exploration. Therefore we consider the automobile as the most expensive (and sadly essential) bike accessory.
We presently have a 95 volvo wagon, bought second hand after seeing how cavernous these things are. We admit we had a fever, and it was a bad idea, since every old euro car has a reliability rating not dissimilar to the Lada brand. In fact we call it the crapwagon. It's only redeeming feature is that it also serves as a garage for some bikes!
So we are checking out small wagon-ish cars under 20 large after tax, mainly the Honda Fit and the Pontiac Vibe. We think that the Honda is the better car with better fuel consumption, but the vibe is sold under cost (GM ain't making money on any car it sells!) and that is an attraction, as well GM is more motivated to make deals to sell and keep factories busy, a problem Honda does not have. As well the Vibe is built in a Toyota factory, which can't be a bad thing. The vibe, however, is hideous. Not as hideous as the Versa hatch, but up there.
We are testing out the dealer experience, and no decision is made. We have an open mind about buying a north american made car (the vibe) although we know two close friends who are very satisfied with the Fit.