Tag Archive for 'suv'

How much does the peace of mind cost?

mazda-mpv.jpgHow far will you go for your safety when choosing your new car? Just several years ago I would not have given it much thought.

My first car was Toyota Corolla which I drove for 5 years before trading in for a bigger Accord. There were two reasons really. One - I am tall and there is simply not enough leg room in small Corolla. Second, and it took me a while to admit this to myself, I felt pretty scary each time standing on a highway in the left turn pocket and feeling how passing by cars shake my Corolla as if it was a small boat in the middle of a storm.

We bought our second family car in 2003 and it was a Mazda minivan. This was also mostly a financial decision - Mazda is smaller than the competitors and has slightly better fuel economy. That minivan was declared a total loss by my auto-insurance earlier this month after my wife got into a multiple car accident involving a drunk driver. You can see the van (or what is left of it) on the photo above which I took right after the accident.

Overall in the past two years we have been in a few accidents, every single time reevaluating our life priorities. All the accidents were due to the other driver fault and we consider our driving habits pretty safe. The only variable we can really control is the kind of the car we drive. So one of our priorities became an intention to drive safer cars than what we currently have.

Being a bargain hunter and an overall proponent of everything ‘green’ I did a seemingly irrational thing last Saturday. I bought an SUV as a replacement to our family van. Of course this is not just an SUV. I have done everything I could to make it a bargain among SUV’s. It is a base model cross-over SUV (no bells and whistles to pay for) but it does have All Wheel Drive (safer winter driving) and has good safety ratings. It is one year old and I did haggle like a crazy. For the curious types, it is 2008 Mazda CX-9 and we paid 22.5K.

Now, tell me please. Am I overreacting? Is the peace of mind (even if imaginary for the most part) worth the money I have paid and will be paying for the extra gas to feed this monster? What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Share your bargains