We're coming to the end of our patience with our fifteen-year-old, in-the-shop-every-month, speedometer-doesn't-work-right, rusty-as-hell Subaru station wagon.
This past weekend we got A's mom to babysit so we could spend a couple of hours shopping for cars together. (Amazingly, this still felt like a date. Must've been the quick parking lot backseat necking session halfway through the second test drive.)
We've got it narrowed down to a couple of options: get another (used) Subaru. Or go for something smaller—like a Honda Civic or (the much cuter option*) Mazda Protege—and use about two thirds of the gas we would with the bigger car.
Now, a Subaru station wagon is by far not the largest or least fuel efficient car a family can drive in this country, and the cash savings on gas if we chose a smaller car would probably add up to only a couple of hundred dollars a year (we don't drive much). But it seems like at this point in history if we have the opportunity to cut out a third of the gas we burn, we should.
Except we are so American. We've been driving this station wagon for so long, we've gotten used to taking off for weekend trips with way more than we need. And we get stuck on What if we get a dog? And What if we buy a tree? And Will we really be able to fit everything in that tiny trunk? What about camping?
For ninety nine percent of the driving we do, a Subaru is Too Much. And a great deal can be accomplished with a roof rack and some more frugal packing habits. Why is it so hard to suck it up and choose what someone in almost any other country in the world would do by default?
How about you? What do you drive? Does it work for your family? For the rest of the world?
*I am so not in the habit of seeing my car as an important part of my identity (see rusty fifteen-year-old Subaru). But driving the Protege, I felt so cute. And driving the Civic? I felt like I was 34 and cheap and covered with baby snot. (Which I am, on all three counts, I guess, but still.)