My husband and I have been talking about our need for a second car lately. My mother moved out a couple of months ago and took her car with her. We didn’t need it often, but it was nice to have it available if and when.
But once I finished school and started working on my internship, going to meetings and applying for jobs it became pretty clear that sometimes a back-up is a necessity more than an option.
We live in the suburbs. It can take me an hour or more to get downtown by bus. There are days that Joe needs our car at work because of meetings or events, because he’s teaching or some other reason, and that means that I am home without it. In an emergency, or if the kid got sick and had to come home from school, I would be stuck. It means I can’t run errands all day. I can’t arrange meetings because I need to be back in time to get the kid off the bus.
Right now she’s in summer camps, so I have to keep the car home to be able to drop her off and pick her up on time, which leaves Joe on the bus to and from work, and to campus when it’s a teaching night. He’s also taking classes now, working on his Masters now that I’m done mine.
It’s becoming more and more clear that we’re not going to be able to be everywhere we need to be with one car.
The first week we rented a car, but this week Ford Canada was kind enough to let us test out a Fiesta.
The first car I ever had that was mine was only sort of mine – my grandfather broke his leg, my mom took over driving his car and I took hers back to Belleville with me. It made life much easier, especially since I was in journalism school and needed to go places to cover stories. I seem to remember that buses in Belleville either didn’t run on Sundays or stopped mid-afternoon. The first car I actually bought myself was a 1995 Pontiac Firefly. I didn’t so much choose it as it was the only car in my price range in the town I moved to, population 9,000. It was a decent car with low mileage, no air conditioning, no power steering and one back door that wouldn’t open. When I eventually sold it, I found out it was illegal for them to sell it to me that way.
When we started dating Joe had a Suzuki which he then traded in for a VW Jetta he fell in love with, which we together traded in for one Tiguan and then another. I love the Tiguan, it’s a good size, fun to drive, it’s a great car to parallel park, but it still feels like more his than mine.
This time, if and when we start shopping for a second car it will be the first time I’ve ever really gotten to choose for myself. I am very excited. I get to choose a car that feels comfortable for me, that I like to drive, that has all the features I want in a colour I get to pick.
There are three real options based on my wants and my research – the Hyundai Accent, the Ford Focus and the Ford Fiesta. All three are small, not too expensive and come with features I want.
We have seat heaters and I’m never going back.
The first car I ever drove was a Hyundai Accent, back when it was a brand new model. My sister owns one now, and my mother moved up to the Elantra, so I’m very familiar with Hyundais.
I was lucky enough to drive a Ford Focus Electric last year and found it an awesome car to get around it. This year when we had the opportunity to take the Ford CMAX to Washington I got to learn more about Ford’s SYNC system and I’m a fan. And with the history, it’s hard not to trust the Ford brand.
I wanted to test drive the Fiesta because I know it’s a big smaller than the Focus, and a bit less expensive, but it still has everything I’m looking for. I thought it could be the one. (Also I’m a fan of the ‘Molten Orange Metallic’ colour. Who wants to drive another grey car?)
I’ve now been driving the Fiesta for almost a week and I have decided that I don’t want to give it back. At first I wasn’t sure because it felt so small, but once I got the seats and steering wheel adjusted it started to feel better. I find the Fiesta does not have quite as user-friendly a console as the CMAX and Focus did – it took my a while to find the button that unlocks the doors, but once you get comfortable it’s fine.
The biggest discovery for me is that the voice recognition hears me. It hears me and gives me what I’m asking for. This is super rare. I have always had terrible luck with those automated phone systems – they’re more likely to hear Joe in the background than to understand me talking directly into the phone. But the voice recognition system lady in the Fiesta, who I will name if I buy one, understood me and go me un-lost when I took a wrong turn.
Also a big fan of the rear camera to help me judge the space behind me, because I’m not so good at that.
Soon my pet, soon we will be together.