New shuttle in the landing bay

Those of you who follow me on the social networks know this already, but for those of you who missed it: Dara and I bought a new car!

We’ve been planning this for some time, with some scouting expeditions to local dealerships to do test drives and such. We were going to take a little longer and save up a bit more to add to our down payment–but our credit union wound up running a special Autos event this past weekend, which involved a bunch of tasty low interest rates. So we jumped on that this past Friday, and brought home a brand spankin’ new Honda Fit.

It’s silver–or, as the paperwork claims, “Alabaster Silver Metallic”. La-de-la. ;) It’s also a four-door and a hatchback and manual transmission, six speeds, which’ll take a little bit of getting used to after having a five-speed stick in the Accord for so long. We decided to go with the Fit since it’s got VERY impressive cargo space as well as good mileage and Honda’s generally decent track record of reliability.

We were at the Honda dealer for almost all day Friday, and once we got far enough along that we were clear that yeah, this is going to happen, they advised me to warn our credit union that we were about to make a large transaction via our debit card. So I called up BECU and did that thing, which turned out to be the correct thing to do, because they had to temporarily adjust our daily debit transaction limits so we could actually make our down payment. Fun!

And it was very lollertastic to bring home a car that, at least as of when we signed the paperwork, said “9” on the odometer. By the time we got it home it said “10”. Dara took a picture, but was a little sulky that we weren’t able to get a single-digit snap of the odometer in time!

Saturday, we took it to the nearby Park-n-Ride so we could practice getting used to its controls. It’s significantly more maneuverable than the Accord, with a tighter turn radius–it doesn’t quite turn on a dime, but it does turn on a quarter, maybe. You can do a U-turn in three lanes in this thing. And yowza, the controls. Lots of fiddly bits on the dash, including all the various options on the touch screen that let you link up phones to talk to via Bluetooth. We figured out how to get it to talk to both of our phones, although at least for my purposes, this’ll mostly be useful for playing stuff over my playlists. We are NOT likely to use it to try to actually make calls or anything, although the capability for hands-free calls is apparently there. There are controls on the steering wheel to manipulate audio and calls, too, and to activate voice commands as well.

It’s also pretty nifty to have a car with modern safety features, too. Not only the airbags, but also things like the system that helps you out when you’re on a hill by holding the brake for you for a couple of seconds while you’re switching over to the accelerator. VERY handy for driving in Seattle. There’s also a system that kicks in if it senses the car is out of control, and slams on the brakes for you with better force than you can do all by yourself.

This car is complicated enough that I spent a good chunk of yesterday just reading the manual, so that I can have a general idea of everything it can do. Because yeah, all these fiddly bits? Let’s read the manual for once, shall we?

We’ve been asked if we’re going to name this vehicle. Historically Dara and I have not named our cars, although this is really only the fourth one we’ve owned together; we don’t go through cars very quickly at all. That said, we’ve decided it does rather look like a shuttle, particularly since it’s silver. Specifically, a Raptor-class shuttle from Battlestar Galactica. The Raptors don’t have names in the series, but they do have numeric designations. We’ll have to see whether this thing winds up being Raptor 1 or what.

And since it’s shorter than the Accord, we’ll have to get used to different parking clearances in our garage landing bay. Dara’s taken helpful steps to let us be able to measure where we need to stop when coming in for a landing!

New Raptor
New Raptor

So yeah. This is all exciting and a bit nervous-making and HOLY CRAP WE HAVE A NEW CAR. Now that this is a done deal, too, we need to sell the old car too. So if you’re local and think you might be interested in our Accord, go take a look at the Craigslist ad that Dara put up. Dara’s done a lot of work this past weekend to get the car cleaned up and ready for handoff, and we’re pretty happy to report that it’s in very good condition for its age. If you know any local-to-us people who might be interested, spread the word, too!

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