Out with the old…In with the new

Out with the old…

…in with the new!

Well, it had to happen eventually. The old trusty 1992 Toyota Corolla had become the victim of fairly serious rust issues over the past few years. One brake line had to be replaced last May, and the other one was failing. Most of the exhaust system had to be replaced recently. The radiator was fairly shot. It was a simple question; was I willing to put the amount of money into the car to keep it running reasonably well for another year until I bought a new car, or was it time to put this one to rest?

After test driving a 2008 Toyota Corolla at Kari Toyota’s huge sale at Wessman Arena last week, I was sold in an instant. When they offered the car to me at under what I was going to offer, it made the transaction a cinch.

Initial thoughts on this new purchase follow. Keep in mind that any comparisons I draw are between this car and my old car. Plans to test drive other vehicles such as the Honda Civic and Mazda 3 were blown up as soon as I drove the Corolla. I mean, what was the point? The alternatives were more expensive and didn’t afford the same level of comfort I’d found with the Corolla. I’ve had the opportunity to drive three 2007 autos during this past year (during our Hawaii trip last spring); a SubaruImpreza, a Chevy Cobalt and a Chevy Monte Carlo.

So….

1. The Corolla handled better than the other three vehicles, and obviously better than the old Corolla, even taking into account how comfortable I was with the old car.

2. Instrumentation was a snap to figure out and acclimate myself to. A couple of brief forays into the extensive owner’s manual answered the few questions I had.

3. Pick up is superior to the old car; the 1.8 liter engine (compared to 1.6 on the old car) had a lot to do with it.

4. I understand that some of these features are standard on many new cars, but c’mon, we’re comparing my experience to what it’s been for the past fifteen years with a ’92 Corolla! The driver seat can be raised or lowered. There is a lockout feature on the trunk which prevents entry using the lever inside the car. The outside mirrors can be adjusted from the inside of the car without rolling down the windows. The rear seats fold down (60/40 split). Two cup holders in the front, two in thereae. Plenty of various pockets to store things outside the glove compartment.

The old car featured none of these.

5. Stereo system; my ’92 Corolla came without a stereo system, which was perfect. I simply drove up to DADS the day I picked up the car and had a Alpine stereo system installed. This system has superior sound, due in large part to larger speakers. The single-disk CD player (which is standard) is nice, but there is no Pause button. This is a fairly significant oversight in my opinion. Other than that, the stereo system is very nice.

Overall, this car is a pleasure to drive. It’s a far quieter ride than the old car, with better handling and better gas mileage. I consider this an excellent buy for someone looking for economy and dependability without flashiness.

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