Saturday, January 22, 2005

I may have hinted at it, but I never really came out and said it. Over the past week I was researching the web and print materials, sussing out people's opinions and opened discussions with June about it. Yesterday I took a test drive in a 1.3l Getz. Never let anyone say I am indecisive. Today, I just signed my life away for a 1.5l Mazda 2. Oooh, yeah! Zoom-zoom.

It's amazing that when I initially raised the idea of possibly becoming a car owner, June didn't seem too keen. But through the week we've been doing our math, and though I've wiped out a significant part of my savings, I have taken this opportunity to purchase something I had never thought affordable in my lifetime.

It's odd that both June and I have been independently eyeing the M2 for a while already. She took a fancy to it when she saw the display model near her workplace. Me, I've always liked Anthony's Mazda 3 for it's design and driveability but his model I know is way beyond my means, so when the option to examine a lower-end model came up, I was all eyes and ears.

June adapts quickly. From her initial resistance, one week later she's bubbling with excitement over what weekends could be like with our own transport. I guess the biggest winner would be Q-tip who can't come out with us on public transport because of people's intolerance to man's best friend. For me, there're advantages too in terms of convenience but mostly what I'm paying for is independence and direct control over where I'm going and how I'm going to get there.

After looking at the Getz last night, I intended to test a couple of other similar 1.3 to 1.5l models from other manufacturers, such as the Kia Rio and Cerato (a really affordable 1.6l) and the Suzuki Swift but when I got behind the wheel of the M2, I was immediately comfortable in it and it did everything I wanted it to on command so that it really did feel like an extension of myself on the road, unlike the Getz which had to pause to consider what I wanted before taking its time to get it done.

Throughout the drive I felt confident handling the M2. It responded well and it felt stable, controlled and ready to give an added burst of power as the situation required. Even parking (though still needing a bit more practice on my part) wasn't such a problem as yesterday, so it was the drive that really sold me.

Good thing June was with me. She handled the aesthetic decisions while I was only interested in the performance. She chose the colour -- Brilliant Black -- and opted to upgrade the cloth upholstery to sports leather. The sales rep let us do the upgrade at only half the cost as his "freebie" incentive to us. Honestly, I could have made myself difficult and asked for more, but really it's already quite a sweet deal and asking for more would just be asking for the sake of asking.

So, the new 'baby' is due in March. It's taken me to the brink of my 40th year but I've put my money where my mouth is and now I'm ready to join the grown-up world.

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