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Monday, November 23, 2015

Why do I own two cars despite being too blind to drive anymore?

Raiju 2016 Subaru Crosstrek and 2011 Toyota Landcruiser in front garage workbench

PHOTO: A 2016 Subaru Crosstrek all-wheel drive automobile is shown, in the foreground, beside a 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser 4-wheel drive motor vehicle, and are shown parked in the garage of my private residence. I've named the Subaru Crosstrek Raiju (Japanese for thunder beast), which is a legendary creature from Japanese mythology, and I named the Toyota FJ Cruiser Kaiju (Japanese for strange beast), which is a race of amphibious creatures genetically engineered. Although I am too blind to drive anymore, I am fortunate to still be wealthy enough to own both of these cars, which I let other people use when they drive me to the store, doctor or dentist appointments. If I need to save money in the future, I can use the Dial-A-Bus service or the city bus, but the nearest bus stop is nearly a mile away and I have become too paralyzed to walk that far. I bought the new Subaru for its fuel efficiency and reliability, after considering buying a less fuel-efficient van with a wheelchair lift, but my optimism gives me hope it won't be necessary before I die. (see Subaru Crosstrek 2016 model year brochure (PDF 26MB) accessed Jan. 19, 2016)

In my experience, buying a new automobile is always more work than it needs to be. Similar to most states in America, local car dealers in Oregon have successfully lobbied both Federal and State legislators to pass laws to protect their businesses from buying a car from Amazon. While I agree it is nice to have local car dealers and service, and I am willing to pay for it, I still believe the buying process should be easier than the many times I've bought new cars in states wide apart as Virginia, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, California and Oregon. Hopefully, I will be able to blog some more on my experiences and suggestions for how it could be improved. (See New 2015 & 2016 Subaru Inventory in Corvallis, OR accessed Oct. 12, 2015)

2016 Subaru Crosstrek driver's side WeatherTech floor mats

PHOTO: gray color WeatherTech all-weather floor mats are shown installed on the driver's side of my 2016 model year Subaru Crosstrek all-wheel drive automobile. The standard factory installed ivory cloth seats, with orange stitching, and the black interior, work well with these gray colored aftermarket floor mats, which also are available in tan and black colors. The black mats would also work, but the interior is too dark to begin with. These mats look like they will keep the mountain snow and Oregon rain from flooding the floor better than other mats.

UPATE 1/27/16: The Subaru Crosstrek is a considered a small sports utility vehicle, which is not as huge as a standard SUV because it is built on a all-wheel drive car chassis instead of a truck frame. As a result, it can't climb over as big of things as a big four-wheel drive SUV can do, but it has much better fuel efficiency. In fact, my first city gay mileage reading was more than 22 miles-per-gallon doing short three-mile trips, and my first full tank highway drive at 60 MPH got over 34 miles-per gallon of gasoline fuel economy. This is the most fuel efficient car I've ever owned. Many people call these small SUVs "cute-utes" short for cute utility vehicle. (See article by Keith Naughton, "SUVs Are T-Boning the Family Sedan," Businessweek, Jan. 18-24, 2016, p. 31, "Small SUVs, Once Mocked as Wimpy, Are About to Rule U.S. Market," posted Jan. 11, 2016 and Keith Naughton, (c) 2016 and Bloomberg, "Once mocked, small SUVs are set to rule U.S. market," posted Jan. 11, 2016)

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