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Car-buying in the Pacific Northwest

Farewell to my little teal Concorde! She has served me well over the last few years, and most importantly during the 4,500 mile move to Washington. She has scooted me back and forth from holidays in Virginia and Myrtle Beach. She has braved the Florida tropics, yawned across the tedious Texas plains, and breezed the Nevada desert. She has conquered the mountains of Northern California and the freezing fog of the Pacific Northwest. She is being retired with 156,000+ miles on her. Adieu, mon ami :)

Now for the fun part… Let the games begin!

Any great adventure starts with the right tools. If I’m going to be scampering around on the snowy hills, I need the right machine for it. I need a vehicle that works and plays as hard as I do. My priority checklist as I shopped for the new wheels:

1. Cargo capacity
I will be hauling about 1,000 lbs of wine every couple of weeks to keep the tasting room in Spokane well-stocked. While I’d love to someday wrap myself in a sporty little Carrera, it certainly won’t further my life goals right now.

2. Great gas mileage
I do a lot of distance traveling, and it’s a good three hours and 157 miles one-way from the Walla Walla winery to Spokane. Finding a vehicle with solid hauling capability and good gas mileage was quite a challenge. The Mazda CX-5 boasts 30+ miles per gallon but was rather sluggish in power, and I had visions of heading uphill with my heavy load like the “little engine that could” – I think I can, I think I can… no thank you. Especially not in the snow.

3. Reasonable financing
I’m not willing to carry a car payment that rivals a mortgage, and the money I have saved needs to pay for my entré into Spokane. The Ford Escape was a powerful machine for hauling at 28 mpg on the highway, but with the sticker of $32,305 and interest rate of 4.5%, it was just too much bank for me.

4. Bells and whistles?
I have become a big fan of heated seats :)

2013 Subarau Forester from McCurley Auto in Pasco

My adventures took me to McCurley Auto in Pasco, where I met Jacob and my new 2013 Subaru Forester. It was all I was looking for and more:

  • The best All-Wheel Drive performance you can buy and still reach 27 mpg
  • All-weather package including heated seats, heated side mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icer
  • Panoramic power moonroof – about as close to a convertible as you can get
  • Bumper to bumper extended warranty for seven years/100,000 miles with free roadside assistance
  • Zero dollars down, zero percent financing for 63 months
  • All for about $28,800 (before taxes, title and tags)

I was super impressed with the staff at McCurley’s and with the Subaru company as a whole. Check them out the next time you are in the market for a new ride.

A few tips in closing: Knowing my needs and priorities was important for narrowing my search and helping me compare “apples to apples”. Shopping around helped me understand my options and gave me confidence in my decision. I found the sales team ready to deal at the end of the month – they all have quotas to reach.

I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of my silver Forester as I continue Adventures in Wine Country. Beep-beep :) Oh and to celebrate… Patit Creek Cellars '02 & '04 Merlot

2 comments on “Car-buying in the Pacific Northwest

  1. Sweet! Dont forget to check out British Columbia, and post some pics would ya? Miss you.

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