On buying a new car - a rant about car manufacturing

The other day, I purchased a new car from the car company down the street. This was a small boutique shop, and their marketing brochure was slick -- 0-60 in 6 seconds, heated seats, a good safety rating -- and the technical reviews were amazing -- "Never seen anything like it! Really novel!" The car was specifically for road trips, and had all sorts of whiz-zy GPS functionality and binoculars and good visibility and a built-in porta-potty. So I thought I'd give it a try. The price was right, and I'd been looking forward to a road trip through the Upper Peninsula.

When I picked up the car, though, I was a little confused. One of the doors had to be held closed, although the company helpfully provided a rubber band. The gas tank leaked like a sieve, although (per the company's manual) "while you need to fill up a bit more frequently than normal, your road trips will still be fun -- just plan more restroom breaks at gas stations!" And the steering wheel had a pronounced list to the left, but that was easily dealt with by applying the rubber band, again.

All in all, though, I was pretty happy with it. My road trip went really well while I was on the highway, and let me tell you, this car was built for road trips - very comfy and streamlined. I did encounter some trouble on a dirt road -- more specifically, all four wheels fell off at the first pothole -- but, when I talked to the company, they pointed out that (a) it was for road trips, not off-roading, and (b) they had provided full technical specs as well as a toolbox and spare parts, so what was I complaining about? And how could I argue with that?

All in all, I rate this car a solid B-. Would not buy again.

--titus

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