Cheap is good, free is better, but usually not a reality

We ended up buying a Kia Rondo.  Other than a jerky shifting issue, we’re pretty happy with it so far.  We were almost able to get the payments to where we wanted, but not quite.  Unfortunately, the 2 for 1 deal didn’t pan out, so we still have the van with no AC.  That will most likely become my work vehicle until it dies.  Hopefully, it lasts quite a while.  One new payment is enough.

The 2 for 1 deal turned out to be a joke in my opinion.  It’s just a gimmick designed to get you through the door, a bait and switch if you will.  From the way I figured it, I could have separately bought a Rondo and Sedona for the same price as the 2 for 1 Sedona.  I wasn’t seeing how you were getting a car for free.  Oh well, maybe I’ll be able to get a plugin hybrid once their price comes down years from now.

The big bonus with Kia, like Hyundai their parent company, is the warranty.  One annoying thing is after you agree on everything and you’re doing the paperwork, they offer you the option of extending the bumper to bumper portion of the warranty to match the engine.  I would have loved to have that, but we’re on a tight budget at the moment and it wouldn’t work.  Likewise, we would’ve preferred the Sedona, but the Rondo was more economical.  It’s what they call a crossover.  Smaller than a van, but I think it’s got enough room for the shopping expeditions.  I’m hoping that when the time comes to get rid the van, we won’t feel the need to replace it with another van.  Then I can get myself a flashy car!  The wifal unit was worried about us not having room to pack visitors in the Rondo beyond one more person, but it’s not like we’ve really done that with the van very often.

I messed up by not having checked into what kind of interest rate I could get ahead of time.  I guess I figured with the current state of the auto industry they’d be able to get the best out there.  Unfortunately, the rate they set us up with is higher than what I found when I checked after the fact.  I’m tentatively trying to find out if I can switch without paying an early payoff penalty but I’m not getting much cooperation at the moment.

Other than the loan, Kia’s been pretty good to us so far.  Our salesman picked up the Rondo tonight and dropped off a smoking ’09 Mustang loaner.  I’ve got to get a picture, this thing is so sweet!  Hopefully, they’ll be able to fix the shifting issue.

I was quite sad to see my Grand Am go.  It’s been with me since ’95.  I drove it to downtown Manhattan on my honeymoon, training classes in Cincinnati, back and forth between Indiana, it never let me down.  But it just didn’t seem to make sense to continue to pour money into it at the age it was.  The new car purchase wasn’t out of desire.  I’d still be driving the Grand Am today if it wouldn’t have been giving me problems.

The night I dropped it off at Kia, it still looked nearly as good as they day I bought it from Don Ayers.  It almost brings a tear to my eye thinking about it.  What a great car it was.  I hate to think what will happen to it now.



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