I wish I could recall what made me want to own one, way back in 1999, just before I had bought my (used) Ford Explorer. At that time, I was down to a Honda CRV and a Subaru Forester, but the latter was going to be more expensive to insure, so I nixed it. Plus the Forester was boxy, so I don't know what the appeal was. In any event, the dealership I was dealing with did not have any CRVs in, and my lease was running out; then the Explorer presented itself. It was a good (large) car that served me well for many years. But then repairs started to pile up, and I started searching again. This time, I was down to, once again, a Subaru Forester, which was slightly less boxy, but still not "pretty," and a Hyundai Santa Fe and a Tucson. When Saturn offered 0% financing for 5 years for a Vue, I moved that car up from #5 to #1. It too served me well for many years.
My original plan was to keep the Vue for 10 years. But, as with my previous car, I was starting to put $$ into it, and the car was approaching 100k. And even though my mechanic found nothing wrong with my car when I had it inspected a few months ago, it continued to make noises. I figured the longer I waited, the less money I would get for my car, so I started to look, once again, at the Forester, which was now good looking! It is one of the safest cars, and the commercials get me every time.
So began a few weeks of intense searching for a used Forester, and along with it, much anxiety and stress, as I analyze (i.e., over-analyze) all purchases and often worry about money. Finding one with low mileage and a decent price was no easy task. I had nearly given up when I saw that the dealership (#1 Cochran) was offering 0% financing for 48 months on a new Forester or Legacy (the latter entered the race for that reason). Buying new was not appealing because of the depreciation factor, but considering how little Subarus seem to depreciate, I changed my tune. Plus, the last time I bought used, I had repairs before I finished making payments. (Lesson learned: Spread out your payments for no more than 3 years when you are buying used.)
I did more research, and I finally made it to the dealership last Saturday to test drive both models. I then had to decide between the two. The Legacy was a premium model (Heated seats! Heated side mirrors! Windshield wiper de-icer! Leather steering wheel!), so that tilted the odds in its favor, but I was not sure I could give up the height that comes with an SUV. But premium model! Then the hubs noticed the car was wider than the SUV. With my poor depth perception, I often struggled backing out of our garage, and scraped my mirrors more than once (my Vue was about an inch wider than the Explorer). Getting another car that was a 1/2" wider than my last one would not bode well for me. Once I realized the Forester was actually 1.5" less wide than the Vue, I knew my decision was made (though I was a little teary about giving up the "good stuff").
So, I told our no-pressure salesperson what I had decided, we talked about my trade-in, which was more than I expected, only thanks to a coupon that was missing fine print (which we had to fight for). The final price was slightly less than what edmunds.com suggested. (I very much appreciate the no-haggle policy: I think Cochran calls it "clear-cut pricing.") So I signed on the dotted line. Unfortunately, the dealership finance department was backed up, and I had to come back two days later to sign papers since I had some where to be. But they did let me keep the car in between, which was surprising to me (I think they felt bad that I had an appointment, and I was there 3 hours). The worrier that I am, I fretted that someone would steal my identity over the weekend and/or that my credit was not as stellar as I thought.
But when I came back in on Monday, much to my relief, all was in line. In fact, my lowest score was 838 and my highest was 870, which is all that and a bag of chips! So I am a Subaru owner! There are some things I need to get used to, including having to lock my doors and not having a leather steering wheel (never thought I would miss that). But I very much love having a backup camera and being able to talk on the phone via my car. But truly the best thing is feeling safe. Such an upgrade from a plastic car with only two airbags.
Just don't tell Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey that I bought new (but buying for 4 years instead of 5 might buy me a little of their forgiveness). I'd like to think they would appreciate my good reasons for doing so. :-).