Time for my mid-life crisis

The Auto Show is here! Tonight after work Brett and I walked and fed the schnauzers and headed downtown to take a look at new rides. Mostly for Brett as his lease is up soon, I'm driving the beater until it won't go any further. Which could be any minute. Here are some favorites.

My best bud drives a Lexus GX 470. I've driven the car a number of times and I love it in every way. Wonderful handling, great lines outside, comfortable and beautifully appointed inside. This is the car I look for deals on just in case a bucket of money drops from the sky. Lexus makes gorgeous vehicles, but I will say that they put the tan leather interior in too many cars. The model on the floor tonight was black, which I liked, with a tan interior that I didn't. I've had tan leather and carpet and it's impossible to keep clean. Silver with a black interior would be my pick. Speaking of colors, while I don't remember the particular companies, a couple makers are painting cars brown again. Deep, dark, metallic browns that look nearly black. It's been a while and I like that it's coming around again.

Available in May of this year in the US, Nissan is introducing the Cube, which has been sold in Europe and Japan for years. The base model starts around 14K, and the top of the line Krom version starts at 19K. I wanted to hate this car. It's tiny and funky, but more than anything it reminded me of the odd little cars you see all over Europe. Like Scion, it comes with lots of available accessories that do nothing more than funkify the look. Cargo bungees, colored floor lighting effects, color plates that fit over door handles and knobs and the like.

This car was up on a platform so we weren't able to sit in it, but the spokesmodel (wearing a cool patterned pencil skirt and tight black leather motocross jacket) pointed out the interior headliner, which is sculpted into a concentric ring pattern like ripples from a drop of water. She said the interior was designed by an interior, rather than automotive designer, and the motif is repeated discreetly both inside and out. It's a 4-cylinder engine which isn't great, but it's just so different I can't help but dig it.

In the actual realm of possibility, I really like the Toyota 4Runner. The model I sat in was white, and was the UrbanRunner model. I'm not sure what all that package involves, but it was a comfortable SUV, roomy enough to use, but not freakishly large, and nicely appointed. Not a ton to say, it's a handsome, solid ride that I would absolutely consider.

While we're on the topic of SUVs, some thoughts: I know many people blame them for a host of issues, but I really do use mine. I move large things on a nearly weekly basis, so I need the room. GM, I love the new Suburban, I really do. It's huge and roomy and useful and I'd love to have one. I totally believe you can build solid, reliable cars...but you don't. After all the trouble I've been through with this Blazer, there's no way I would cough up 62 grand for the Suburban, even if I had it. I'd buy a Range Rover Sport for 60, and with their legendary un-reliability, that's saying something.

And finally, the surprise: The 2009 Dodge Challenger

This car is SO not me. As an adult I've had 2 Blazers, and before that a sensible Honda. I'm not a muscle car driver. I need enough speed to get on the highway or out of the way of other cars, past that I'll never use the extra power. But this car is just plain sexy. In a long-haired, tight jeans, 70's kind of way that I cannot resist. Up on the platform was one in orange with black accents. The one I sat in was white with a black interior. I'd seen the orange before and thought it was the best choice. It's good, but for me the white was perfect. I don't need the Hemi engine, and I certainly don't need the insurance rate that comes with it, but it comes with more sensible engines, and I couldn't love this thing more.


Mrs. Blandings said...

Um. The Cube is really cute. Probably not all that practical for you or me moving furniture or children, but jazzy. This is coming from someone who likes VW buses and the new Ford craziness as well, so... Other than the last, the other choices seem quite grown up and mature. No real midlife crisis to be seen.

Raina Cox said...

Last one - YUM! If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd collect muscle cars.

hello gorgeous said...

When I was in high school, my dad bought me a '65 Mustang fastback from Calif. It was white with red leather interior. It was the only time I've loved a car. But it was short-lived; he sold it after a year because he wanted me to drive it to school and park away from all the other cars. Right. So it started to get car dings on it and he couldn't take it.

P.S. You still haven't come over for your award. :-(

Karena said...

David, the Mecum Auction here in KC is coming up veryy soon. It is on a FRiday and Saturday I believe. It would be fun to check it out. I have been before, here and in Florida.

Decorina said...

I love muscle cars. Had a '62 Ford with a 427/4 barrel carb - it would pass anything except a gas station...

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