Friday, October 12, 2007

Look Out, Binky

I did it. I just got back from Dave's, and for the first time in my life, I think I need a cigarette. This is obviously the biggest Christmas present I've ever bought myself. It only took 15 minutes to do and I'm sure I left Evanston Motor Co. looking white as a sheet. He's one of Bud's best friends, so he didn't even ask for a deposit.

Because I know you're going to ask: 2008 Dodge Caliber SXT, 1.8 L DOHC16 valve, 4 cylinder, 148 horsepower engine (built by Mitsubishi in Dundee, MI) with the manual 5-speed transmission, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl exterior
(built by Chrysler in Belvidere, IN), Light Pebble Beige interior, and 17" aluminum wheels with Firestone tires. The SXT comes standard with a ton of extras, including the infamous Chill Zoneā„¢ second glove compartment (I'll probably never use it) and rechargeable flashlight mounted in the roof, but I went for all the goodies, including the heated front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and power sunroof. And it's still under $19,000. I got anti-lock brakes, an engine block heater (another thing I'll probably never need, but why not, right?), and fog lamps, too, just because I like how they look. The rear seats recline and the front passenger seat lays flat, and the EPA estimates the gas mileage at 24/29 city/highway, but I bet I can get better than that. Hello, Vortex.

It's 45 days out, which means it should be here by Thanksgiving. Just try to imagine me in a new car. A hot new car. Dodge wants you to believe that if the Caliber were a person, it'd have a mohawk, tattoos, black nail polish, and piercings in very private places. (I've driven well-cared-for, sedate oldies for so long I probably won't know what to do with myself.) I saw these commercials before I ever added the Caliber to my list of Large Metallic Things to Covet. Enjoy.


Blogger a572mike said...

I don't think that first one ever played here in the US... The second one is a classic! I remember hearing how it pissed off certain people when it first came out...

I still say good for you getting one with a manual! I personally believe that our roads in this country would be much safer if more people were driving manuals. Driving a manual forces you to pay better attention to the act of driving, which is becoming a lost art it seems like...

October 15, 2007 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger A said...

That's a very plausible theory. I hadn't thought of that.

I drive an '87 Dodge Raider with a manual and a '91 Cadillac DeVille with an automatic. I feel much more connected to the road in my Raider, much more in control of the vehicle. I frequently slide in the Caddy in the winter; in the Raider, I just never do. Maybe because I've driven it longer, maybe because it has a different suspension, but most likely because, like you said, I'm paying attention.

I don't downshift to slow in the manual, which might be absolute sacrilege, but I get incredible gas mileage, and it doesn't wear brakes out as fast as you'd think if the vehicle is light and well balanced and you're not a total leadfoot. Dad's word for it was "finesse."

Plus, how much fun is it to pretend you're driving a race car in an automatic? Blah.

October 15, 2007 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Doolin said...

Congrats on getting a new car!! I'm about 3 months away from getting my motorcycle.

October 16, 2007 at 4:48 PM  

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