27 June 2013

The changing of the guard

I have often said that, traditionally, significant events have occurred for me during odd-numbered years. This year has been no different. On Sunday, I finally bought a new car - a white 2013 Prius c - and said goodbye to my trusted 2004 Scion xA. To many, this may not seem like a very important or significant event, but for me it was as it marked the end of a very long and incredibly significant chapter of my life.
The Scion was my very first car. For anyone who has had a car, you're first car seems to always be the one that you remember the most. Since I was a full-time college student just out of high school, I could not afford to buy a car on my own, and with some convincing, my parents graciously bought it for me since I needed something to help shuffle me back and forth to college, and later, work. My Scion also represented my freedom, allowing me to go places at any time I wanted, and allowed me to socialize a lot more than I ever had. I had done my absolute best to take care of that car, and it had done the same for me. Year after year, mile after mile, she got me safely to where I needed to go and with unparalleled reliability. Everyone was amazed that I had still had the car even after nearly 10 years of ownership and that she was still nearly as peppy and sporty as she was when I first got her.
Tons of memories were made in that car: I went though all of college in that car; it took me to my different jobs, including the one I have today (which I recently saw my 6th anniversary at); she took me from my best friend's wedding to a party where I finally asked Ashley on a date; she took Ashley and I on our first date, and every date thereafter, including our trip to PF Chang's where I proposed to Ashley, and even took us home as an engaged couple. She helped us move into our first apartment together; she took us and our siblings every year to Six Flag's Magic Mountain and even took us on our first vacation to Las Vegas without grief. So, with how many memories she had given us, why then would I give her up? Well, the answer was as a simple as it was unfortunate: age and money.
Though she was quite reliable (a lot of her was still original stock parts), she began to "nickel-and-dime" me for increasingly more expensive parts that I was not, nor ever likely to be, qualified to repair. Also, despite the almost guaranteed 32-36 MPG I would get from her, the combination of long commutes and rising cost of gas made it painful to buy a full tank of gas every 3-4 days. And, finally, it was just time to let her go. Even though she had 207,612 miles at the time I last drove in her, I still thought she had plenty of life left in her. In fact, that morning, she was spunky and lively, quick off the mark and did not resist me while I drove her around town. But I knew that it would not be cost-effective for me to keep maintaining her and it was only going to get harder for me to keep her working smoothly as time wore on.
For the last two and a half years, I passively searched for a new car. Nothing seemed to appeal to me much, either because of design or fuel economy. Unlike my desires 10 years ago where I just wanted a fast car with a sporty look, my needs had changed, and I now needed something with fantastic mileage and very low maintenance. With that in mind, the Prius appeared as the vehicle of choice. But I was never really a fan of the Prius, mainly because of its bulkiness and decidedly very unsporty look. I have always been a fan of smaller cars since they often were more economical, sporty and practical. They are able to maneuver quickly and fit into virtually every parking spot. I also believe that they are safer than larger cars, SUVs and trucks because they are typically more stable (less prone to rollovers and loss of control), faster to stop, more agile in collision avoidance, and designed with strict safety standards to compensate for their diminutive size.
Then, in late 2011, I heard rumors of a hybrid Scion and got excited to see if the rumors were true since I loved Scions, especially since I had such a positive experience with mine. After some time, the rumors disappeared and it appeared instead that a smaller hybrid for the Prius line was actually coming down the pipeline. Those rumors proved true as first reports came out about the smaller Prius, and I immediately became very interested: it was a Prius that was about the same size as my Scion, significantly less expensive than a full-size Prius, had much of the same features of a full-size Prius, and was similarly powered to my Scion. So, after researching the Prius c for a lengthy 2 years, I finally decided it was time to buy one. And I did.
Face-to-face: My Scion xA passes the torch on to my new Prius c
Buying the Prius c proved to be a much more emotional day for me than I originally thought. Though I was proud to have finally bought my own car, stressed to try to figure out how to afford everything, and happy to have managed to get a pretty good deal on it, it was very tough to see my Scion go. As I said before, it was my first car, and with how long I had owned it, I had grown very attached to it. It is quite amazing how attached you can get to material things you have had for a long time. But, in any case, Ashley and I were happy to welcome the new car into our lives. My only hope is that as my Scion leaves our lives, the new Prius c will take its place and enable many new memories and protect my family as I move further into my adult life.
Celebrating my new Prius c; my Scion in the background :'-(

1 comment:

PrasangaD said...

Hi!!

Your story is very very similar to me except that im still 2-3 years behind of yours.. I have a white Scion Xa (2004) and I too am looking for a Prius C, preferably white too!! (not that im fed up with this baby)

Thank you for sharing your story, while reading it I remembered all my memories with my Scion .. :-)