Monday, May 2, 2011

Vroom. Vroom.

Okay, so we finished our test drives. I was a little less enchanted with the Rogue after driving it a second time. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good car. And I was still on the fence.

The driver seat wasn't uncomfortable, but it wasn't terrible comfortable either. I hadn't noticed the rear window much when I test drove it the first time, but when I got out of the vehicle I noted that it was on the small side. So this time I paid particular attention it. If definitely has some substantial blind spots, which the salesman told me was somewhat intentional as Nissan had put more emphasis on styling and felt that the driver could easily compensate with the side mirrors. And that was really the biggest drawback with the Rogue.

Then we headed to Subaru and they had the 6-speed manual transmission pulled forward on the lot and all ready to go. I was a little surprised when the salesman started giving me directions and realized he wouldn't be accompanying us on the test drive. Kinda nice if you ask me. Although, if it had been my first time test driving the Outback I probably would have had a lot questions and no one to answer them.

But since this was our second go round with the Outback, I was glad to be left to my own devices and felt much more at liberty to aggressively put the car through the paces. Wheeee! The 6-speed manual was fun!

Now when I test drove the Rogue, I thought its acceleration was pretty wimpy and even though I could coax the Rogue's CVT to give me a little more oomph when I wanted it, like for passing, it was nothing compared to dropping a gear in a manual. Anyhow, I actually remembered being impressed with Outback's CVT when I test drove it last week, so when we returned to the lot with the manual, I took out a CVT. Again, they gave me the keys and said bring it back in one piece. (Talk about low-pressure sales.) It was still fun!

I didn't have to coax the Outback like I did the Rogue. The Outback's CVT actually has a "manual" mode that lets me drop and shift through gears for more oomph when needed. It's heavier and has a wider stance than the Rogue and I could really feel that in the handling. I flat-out accelerated through some turns and it handled awesome. I noticed with the Rogue that I was timid on a left-hand turn. I couldn't pinpoint any particular reason, but nevertheless, I seemed to swing wide when turning left every time.

Anyhow, when we left Nissan I was on the fence. But now that I've driven the Outback again I've kinda forgotten all about the Rogue. Now my biggest decision in manual or CVT.

There aren't many to choose from if I go with the manual. They were able to locate a dark grey one with black interior with the options I want (and a ton I don't). It was a special order that a customer backed out on. But because of the options on it, it's definitely more than I'm wanting to spend. Since they don't move many manuals, I was hoping that dealer might be willing to negotiate in order to move it out of his inventory. But as the salesperson told me, if there's someone like me looking for a manual and there are only a few out there, it'll be found and will move out of inventory fairly quickly.

On the other hand, I'll have a huge inventory to choose from with the CVT. And Scoob thinks I had more fun driving it anyhow. It was fun, but there's something that just doesn't feel right about it. And I've realized that it's me.

Somewhere along the way I equated automatic transmissions with luxury, fussiness, and dependence and manual transmissions with practicality, down-to-earth-iness, self-reliance, and independence. And that's how I see myself (or want to see myself); I'm a manual.

I've always known that people often choose cars they think reflect their personalities; I certainly did when I chose my Forester. But I guess I thought that it was limited to body and interior styling. It was a very self-aware moment when I realized that I also identify with the transmission. Yeah, I'm goofy like that.

So anyhow, I think it's time for me to let go of the "I'm a manual" label. I'll be no less practical, down-to-earth, self-reliant, or independent if I drive a CVT.

1 comment:

  1. It was TOUGH for me to accept an automatic. We needed a minivan; it suits our purposes. I thought "OK I can do a minivan *sigh* but I want a manual." Yeah that combination doesn't come together. So I got the automatic and it took a couple months but I did begin to see the upside of the automatic. Now on my 2nd minivan I can say not all automatics are created equal!