Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My New Wheels

On the last day of April, we traded in my red Ford Explorer for a 2008 Honda Odyssey EX-L. Now, I've always felt more comfortable driving a bigger, higher up vehicle - ever since my Dodge Neon got wrecked in rush hour traffic back in Raleigh in 1996. And I have no qualms about driving the family vehicle, especially one designed for long car trips and such.

My Odyssey has gray interior and silver pearl exterior. For all you technical folks, it has: 241hp 3.5-Liter SOHC 24-Valve i-VTEC V6 engine with variable cylinder management (VCM), 5 speed automatic transmission with grade logic control, 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic brake distribution (EBD), front MacPherson strut suspension and rear double-wishbone suspension. Whatever all that means. I'm not into the technicals.

What I enjoy are the features: the power moonroof with tilt feature, the heated power door mirrors, the leather trimmed interior, the heated front seats, the folding 3rd row seating, etc.

The built in XM satellite radio was a bonus as now I can listen to commerical free music of specific styles and genres without having to hunt for radio stations on long trips. My son is a big fan of the rear DVD entertainment system with 9" display and wireless headsets. There are even ports for him to plug in a game system for long car trips (I forsee the Playstation2 coming on long trips).

I also really like the rearview camera for backing up. The must-have for me was the MP3/auxiliary input jack - that and an automatic transmission were my two must haves. The other really nice feature is the built-in navigation that can store addresses and compute travel routes quickly. The pleasant voice also reminds you when turns are coming up, etc. For guys, it is perfect - since we never like asking for directions and would prefer a computer to tell us where to go rather than having our spouses/significant others to do so. :)

So this weekend we finally got everything rearranged in the garage so I can park my van inside. It's a tight squeeze as the van is a bit longer and wider than the Explorer, but it fits fine.

As my brother said to me over the phone after I got it - "so, you're a soccer Mom now?". Yeah, I guess so (okay, not the Mom part...). I'm okay with that. A comfy functional ride is important to me, and it allows us to take a lot of stuff for trips or for camping with relative ease. I'm happy with it.


Jim McClain said...

XM Radio is a big benefit, not ony for the music channels, but for comedy as well. My wife and I listen to XM 150's explicit comedy when Sera is asleep on long trips. You get classic standup comedy from Richard Pryor and Steve Martin from back in the day, plus newer stuff from Lewis Black and other talented comedians. It really makes trips go better. I personally listen to XM 175, which is Major League Baseball talk 24/7. You should also check out the Old Time Radio channel, XM 164. There's even a channel for movie soundtracks!

We considered the A/V device, but after we saw the price tag, we went with a $200 portable DVD player with two screens that slip over the headrests of the front seats. They also have separate input jacks so that my wife can watch a movie from our video iPod while Sera watches whatever DVD she is watching on her screen. I can't imagine what it's going to cost you if yours goes out, but I'm guessing it will be more than $200. The deductible on most warranties alone is $100.

Congratulations on your new ride!

Martin said...

Jim, thanks for the XM channel suggestions. I can certainly use the comedy one when my 12 year old has his iPod on or something.

We kind of went with what was in the car, DVD and all. My wife smartly shopped on the last day of the month, so they were eager for a sale. They gave us what we owed on the Explorer plus knocked off a bit on the Odyssey sticker price as well. Win-win.