Transplant Athlete
Saturday, December 20, 2008

ABL and I bought a MAZDA5 last night. As I was driving home, I thought about all the features I'd write about it. I'd gush with pride as I'd describe the seating for 6 in a car about the same size as my cavalier, the cruise control, the silky smooth manual transmission. Instead, I'm going to tell you about my son gushing...with vomit...in my brand new car.

Really RJ, you couldn't give me any warning???? We were 2 miles from home and I heard a soft gurgling coming from the backseat. I asked if he was ok as I made a turn onto Hiddenbrook from Dranesville. In the middle of the turn, he spewed all over the back seat...The car had 40 miles on it. ABL wants to trade it in on a different car or skip the payments until it gets repossessed. jk

I had been looking at the Chevy Cobalt, but my best friend's parents bought one and they weren't happy with it. I had very low expectations for a car, so the Cobalt would have been fine, but ABL and I still would have been bumping up against the space limits in a small car like the Cobalt. We really should have bought a minivan back in 2003 when Q was born (instead of the Escape).

In these troubled economic times, I wanted to buy American, but the big3 make it so hard. For instance, here's what Edmunds had to say about the Grand Caravan during a long term evaluation: "We encountered a host of problems, from a finicky radio and passenger sliding door to constant creaks and rattles. Build quality was terrible -- the "+" marking on the shifter was wiped off by someone's finger, the tan leather quickly showed signs of discoloration and the rear bumper plastic warped to the point where we couldn't open the tailgate. This was all after only six months, and you'll find similar experiences in our consumer reviews of the Grand Caravan." Considering any vehicle ABL and I purchase will be around for over 10 years, it's obvious Dodge's minivan wouldn't work for us. GM doesn't even make a minivan, you've got your pick of a full size van (over $30k) or an SUV...Same deal with Ford, I'd have to spend over $25k for an 8 passenger full size van that get's such horrible gas mileage, Ford won't even post it on their website.

When I started looking at the MAZDA, they were still majority owned by Ford, so I felt like I was buying American. I know in this day and age, a lot of foreign brands build cars in the USA (a BMW I once co-owned was built in the US) and I shouldn't penalize those American workers just because they work for a foreign company.

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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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