a particular day

February 04, 2007

headroom

I believe this was inside the Toyota Yaris with the whack interior

I spent a good part of Saturday exploring ride alternatives. If repairs on my car are too high, I'd like to have a backup plan. As much as I don't want to say goodbye or take on a car payment, I need options.

Went from dealer to dealer answering their, "Can I help you?" with, "I'd like to sit in _________ (insert entry level car)."

Sidenote: I'm 6'5" and largely torso, finding a car where I don't catch flies like Dino out the sunroof or steer with my knees is hard.

I made a chart of my initial impressions.

Next steps: call bank, await repair costs, consider used.

Oh, and go to bed. I need to go to bed.

Current music: Antony & The Johnsons "Spiralling" [ site ]

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Comments

After having done similar car shopping, myself, I must say I love our Scion xB. If the 2008 had been out in time, maybe we would have waited--ours has lots of room in the back when the seats are down, but a lot of that is *vertical space.* When we're transporting stuff, it usually requires more horizontal space than vertical (which the 2008 will soon have). I might be mistaken but I think the Honda Fit is actually quite comparable to the space factor of the xB especially when the front passenger seat is down too. xB's mpg beats most of these too.

Interesting tidbit about the Prius: it takes something like double the amount of energy to manufacture the Prius than the xB, which winds up calculating out to the equivalent of something like 130,000 miles driven.

Posted by: Kell | Feb 11, 2007 5:27:15 PM

Raybob : Car roofs are almost always getting in the way of my line of sight. I feel your friends pain. I wish the Element was hybrid though.

Cristin : I've added the whole Scion lineup to the search. Now to get in a dealership and "try them on"...

Alex : VW is in my blood. I realized this just last night asking myself, if I was a millionaire, what car would I drive. The answer is: a 2000-2004 Passat Wagon with low miles. I think the Rabbit is right up there, just smaller.

Ben : I can't figure out why I don't love the Matrix, but I have a few notions.

1.) The interior has some gaudy touches. Big circular air vents of faux metal plastic. I realize now that I can soften some of these Toyota/Scion interiors with aftermarket kits.

2.) It's long overdue for a refresh. The Matrix and sister (the Pontiac Vibe) haven't changed since introduction as an '03 model.

Posted by: Chris Glass | Feb 11, 2007 12:05:01 PM

We're just beginning a similar search to yours, replacing a '98 VW Golf. Have you looked at the Toyota Matrix? Haven't driven one yet, but from the outside they sure seem roomy.

Posted by: ben | Feb 11, 2007 8:52:39 AM

Just did almost the exact same car shopping a few months ago. My wife and I looked at the Mazda 3, VW Rabbit, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Subaru Impreze, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Spectra5.
I'm strangely obsessed with car shopping and made tedious lists comparing the vehicles similar to yours. We decided to go with the VW Rabbit and couldn't be happier. It may be the most expensive of the cars you are looking at, but I assure you it's the best value. You get A LOT of car for the money.
By far the VW is the most comfortable car to sit in, either as driver or passenger. Everything is laid it nearly perfectly, like the care was truly designed around a human being. You'll spend more time sitting inside your car than anything else, and being comfortbale obviously is a high priortity for you.
But the car is a pleasure to drive. Very responsive, yet smooth and quiet. The MPG is not the best on paper, but it seems to be pretty accurate, which is more than you can say for a lot of those ratings these days.
Consumer Reports did have something to say about it, just nothing in terms of reliability, and that's because it's new. Older VWs did have reliability issues, primarily associated with the 1.8T engine, which has been replaced by a 2.5 liter 5 cylinder. The fit and finish of the car is unrivaled, which does a lot to make me trust the build quality. I can't say enough good things about this, car. Though I;m sure you'll make your own decision, and t'd be hard to pick a bad car from the lot that you're looking at, I'd be more than happy to answer any other questions you might have. Good luck and enjoy the car shopping.

Posted by: Alex | Feb 9, 2007 5:36:56 PM

Check the Scion XA (Toyota) which is comparable to the Honda Fit. It's not the boxy, toaster looking one.

Posted by: Cristin | Feb 7, 2007 4:17:00 PM

My "singing wife" is 4'11". Her husband is 6'7". The only car that fits them both is a Honda Element which they bought a couple of years ago when one of their other cars died.

He said that some new cars now have headroom and/or legroom, but in most the roof slants down in front leaving him with occluded vision.

Posted by: raybob | Feb 7, 2007 12:12:54 AM

Jim: I haven't hit a Hyundai dealer, but it's definitely on the list. And I hope it warms up in Detroit... or at least you might get snow. What's cold without snow.

Rachel: Agreed. Anthony is without peer. His voice is mesmerizing

Thomas: I have a heckuva commute, 2 hours on the road each day. As much as I want an SUV, I just can't imagine seeing a gas station that much. But boy I'd love to be able to fit comfortably.

Michelle: I _so_ want to try out a Fit. It reminds me of what the Civic _used_ to be: cheap, entry level, hatchback. I'm going to see how long I can hold out. First things first, I still haven't heard back from the repair shop. Who knows, maybe I can make it for a while longer.

Posted by: Chris Glass | Feb 6, 2007 1:58:43 PM

My partner had to wait two months for her fit. And actually the first time we went to see one on the lot we couldn't test drive it because the woman who had just test driven it was buying it that instant. My girl said to tell you "it's well worth the wait. Keep looking!"

Posted by: Michelle | Feb 6, 2007 1:50:58 PM

I just don't think the Japanese engineers designed their cars for giant Americans. I am 6'1" and have found trucks and large SUV's (gasp) fit me perfectly. The one thing I really hate about little import cars is having to fold my legs in the lotus position just to get inside of one that is 4" off the ground. Unless your doing just a ton of driving and great gas mileage is a total requirement I say "Think Big!" Besides if you get in "God Forbid" a major accident, large cars tend to fare much better increasing your odds of not getting seriously hurt. Just my two cents worth...

Posted by: Thomas | Feb 6, 2007 11:28:56 AM

antony and the johnsons are amazing... i just wanted to say that.

Posted by: Rachel | Feb 5, 2007 8:09:00 PM

I own a VW GTI and love it. Pocket rocket power is very nice. I will have to sell mine soon though because a 2 door with an 11 month baby sucks... The Rabbit will definitely be the first car I check out, followed by a used Jetta or Passat wagon. Our "family car" is the Hyundai Elantra GT which was a great bargain. It was the cheapest 4 door hatch with nice interior, leather, Kenwood MP3 stereo, sunroof, we could find. It has sport-tuned handling and feels nice on the road. Plus the 10 year warranty sounded really good. We plan on beating that car to the ground!

Love your sites BTW and the Facial Hairshirt rules. Waiting for it not to be -2ยบ here in Detroit, to show it off.

Posted by: Jim | Feb 5, 2007 10:18:20 AM

If only I could FIND a Fit, Michelle! They're flying off the lots it seems (for good reason).

So the Fit is still on the list. Fingers crossed.

Posted by: Chris Glass | Feb 5, 2007 9:14:20 AM

You're missing the Honda Fit on your chart. You definitely should check it out. My partner bought one in September and she absolutely adores it. It has way more space than you would think a car of it's size will have. I'm 5'11 and sit more than comfortably in it and we've had my 6'3 brother and another 6'3 friend sit very comfortably in both the front passenger and back seats.

Posted by: Michelle | Feb 5, 2007 8:27:30 AM

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