So… We’re buying a car Part 5 (updated)



The long and arduous task of deciding on a car for the lovely “Mrs. Car Guy” has concluded. I will not disclose what Mariko has decided on until Sunday evening, November 20 so folks who haven’t guessed can still play the “home edition”. After some serious searching we’ve found a suitably equipped car in the right color and I’m heading off to the dealership tomorrow with plans to purchase said vehicle.  If you want to get in on the fun at the last minute, get your guesses in below or at the original post that has the three choicesand the rationale behind them. For the record it was recently narrowed down to Kia Soul !, Subaru Outback Limited, and Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen SE.

A few months back I put my guess in an envelope, sealed it up and put it in our hutch. I was pretty confident I had nailed it, considering I’ve lived with this wonderful woman for quite a few years. Check back on Sunday to see if I was right or very misguided in thinking she secretly wanted a Ferrari California.

I’ll also go over some of the discussions Mariko and I had plus the research and buying process too. I must admit, it’s much easier to evaluate a press car in a clinical way than to help your wife choose a vehicle she plans to live with for at least 7-8 years. That’s real pressure.  Our current Volvo V70 is 11 years old.

An update- The purchase went very smoothly.  Put down a deposit since it turns out the car she wants is not in stock.  It looks to be in sometime in mid-December.  This is pretty familiar, most of the cars we’ve been looking for were simply not in stock.  Interesting to be on this side of the business for a change.    

I’ll let you all know on Sunday evening.  If you like NBC’s show The Office you might get a kick out of the announcement.  Just saying…   TV


  1. langleyhs2013 says:

    what happen to the update?

  2. crash says:

    She bought a 1988 Firebird?!

  3. tailfin61 says:

    Although the Outback is a great choice, the very orange fake wood is a distraction and the styling is not as clean as the previous version. The Jetta has a great interior, and of course the giant sunroof that TV mentioned they would get. My vote is the Jetta Soprtwagen SE (not TDI) with sunroof.

  4. pereflight says:

    Outback :)

    Excited to hear what you guys end up with!

    This has been great fun. Thx Tom!

  5. kty0608 says:

    I would say Outback as well.
    I got the Office reference.
    Even in the earlier seasons, Jim drove a Saab 9-2x (essentially a subaru impreza)

  6. TV says:

    Really? I didn’t know that they drove a Subaru. Seriously. Sadly, this job doesn’t leave much time for watching TV. You’ll see what I mean when the video posts…

  7. Jake02 says:

    I hope you bought the Jetta, but somehow know you bought the Outback. Either are a top choice (apart from the Outback’s styling)!

  8. josegt says:

    I’m still betting on the Subaru Outback Limited. We recently went through a similar scenario with my wife and daughter. And we finally decided, as a family, on the Ford Edge SEL with My Ford Touch. And let me tell you Tom, that your review on that car was the key to our decision. We even wanted the same color (Earth) but the dealer didn’t have it. So we chose it in silver. Keep the great job and God bless.

  9. faceless_el says:

    I’d still say she picked the Subaru Outback Limited… :)
    That’s my guess and i hope she did decide on the Subbie

  10. im4GMG says:

    I’m guessing a VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI. :) It sounds like you and Mariko both appreciate excellent interior materials and build quality, and you’re accustomed to a wagon already, and the TDI would provide better fuel economy (although the higher cost of diesel would almost negate the monetary savings vs. a gas engine, it still has more torque and greater fuel range). Whatever car y’all get, having spent as much time as you have actually driving the cars, I trust y’all will enjoy it. Congratulations!

    • motorstreet says:

      The TDI actually makes up for its price premium very quickly. I have a Golf TDI and I average 43-45 mpg in 50% city driving, meaning that I save $850 a year compared to a Golf 2.5 and $980 a year compared to a GTI. The price difference is only a little over $1000 with the same features, so the payoff time is around 14000 miles. However the TDI is a much better car than the 2.5, because it has GTI suspension and brakes (meaning it’s much more fun to drive), better transmissions, and performance that at least matches the 2.5 and in the Passat TDI is actually better than the 2.5.

  11. kay3460 says:

    Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen SE, because Mariko values good interiors if I am not mistaken. The Subaru is a great car as seahag & motorstreet mentioned, but you can only the best interior with the limited trim which is a bummer. The Subaru also has the lowest fuel economy amongst the three, something that concerns my relatives a lot with their current cars. The Kia maybe an okay car, but it does not seem practical enough. Also by the way Tom wrote the pros & cons for part 4, the Jetta has the least amount of concerns – the biggest concern with it is its looks which is subjective and therefore subject to change and fuel economy – not sure how to address that though TDI or not I mean.

  12. seahag says:

    She chose the Outback. AWD, practical, and the new style is a decent size.

  13. motorstreet says:

    I think she chose the Outback because unlike the Soul and the Jetta Sportwagen it doesn’t make her give anything up. Both of the other cars are smaller, as far as I know the Soul doesn’t offer leather seats, and crucially the other two cars don’t have AWD. If you did get the Outback I think you will be very happy with it. I test drove an Outback Premium with the 6 speed manual before buying my Golf TDI and I thought it was a fabulous car, but too big for me. Currently 5 of my relatives drive Subarus (a ’09 Forester, ’10 Legacy GT, 06′ Outback GT, 09′ Impreza, and an ’02 Outback H6) and have owned countless others before. They all love their Subarus and the cars are unbelievably reliable.

    • motorstreet says:

      I just didn’t notice the part about NBC’s The Office. It’s definitely the Outback, because Jim and Pam drive an Outback in The Office.