On the left is my 2013 Chevy Spark which barely needs half a parking space but believe it or not has four doors. On the right is car salesman Chris in front of some larger vehicles.
On January 2nd, 2010 I made an Internet inquiry for an inexpensive car at seven in the morning. Within an hour Des Moines Imports had emailed me an outstanding offer for a stripped down Kia Rio and I drove to Des Moines that morning and bought the car after a quick test drive. The car has been in a word OUTSTANDING. All I do is get the oil and tires changed and the Kia Rio has never left me stranded, unlike my Chevy Aveo (clutch), Geo Metro (Dashboard), and Chevy Cavalier (engine sensors).
With a track record like that, it was a no brainer for me to call Des Moines Imports and ask them if they had a stripped down Kia Rio for me, but the salesman told me they didn’t have any. That led me to request Internet quotes like I did in 2009, but the lowest price I could find was a $14,800 for a Kia Soul. That was so close to the list price that I felt I could keep on looking. 2 weeks ago I did another Internet search for a car, but this time instead of a Kia, I requested a quote for the cheapest GM car, the Chevy Spark.
Why would I pick another Chevrolet car after I just recounted the times I’d been left stranded? Well, I was hoping I’d have thousands of reasons and besides, Ben is still driving the Aveo (95,000 miles), Matt is still driving the Cavalier (110,000 miles) and our 2004 Chevy Venture is still running good at 85,000 miles so it’s not like the cars are lemons – they just had some problems and the crummy GM service (as recounted here) made me want to look elsewhere for a car.
I got an email from the Jon the Internet Sales representative from Bob Brown, the same dealer I had purchased my five Chevrolet cars from. Instead of getting a quote, I got a sales pitch asking me if I was familiar with the ‘programmable 7-inch diagonal touch screen’. I wrote back to Jon telling him that I was interested in a low price and not spending time being upsold and that if we had to discuss ‘7-inch diagonal touch screens’, I wouldn’t be getting a car from Bob Brown.
If you want a car that costs more than the Gross National Product of some countries, this Camaro has just had it's price reduced to a economical $64,250! I think they had to lower the price to make up for the fact that this Camaro has merely half the doors my Chevy Spark has.
The Friday before last we had our last chess club at St. Francis. I drove from club to the dealer, met Chris the salesman, test drove the car, and signed all the paperwork. Chris didn’t try to upsell me, but the finance guy tried to sell me a rust proof package. I said no and when he asked me why I told him that of all the Chevy vehicles I ever bought the only one that rusted out was the one I bought the package for but it didn’t rust out until the rust proof warranty expired. With all the power windows and power steering and power brakes, I did get the extended warranty and I hope they’ll honor it if I ever have to use it. I did mention my problems with the Aveo’s clutch not being covered under the ‘bumper-to-bumper’ warranty and also that the incident was featured prominently in my ‘award-winning blog’ so maybe if I have future problems I can get a little extra consideration.
The $43,000 electric Chevy Volt will save you almost $7,000 in fuel over five years.
Not the kind of green I was expecting.
If the base $47,000 Tahoe does not have enough luxury (even with four doors!),
don't fret - this $55,000 model comes with an optional luxury package including heated seats!
Once I was waiting for an attendant, Chris’s job was done. We said our goodbyes and I headed a few miles away to the Half Price Book Store. About halfway to the bookstore, Brenda the OnStar attendant started talking to me through my car’s speaker system. Brenda took my name and information, activated my account, told me about all the things OnStar could do for me (like call an ambulance in case of an accident), and tried to sell me some OnStar phone minutes. I only had one question for Brenda which was if it took over five minutes to get ahold of someone to activate my account, how long would it take to get ahold of someone in an emergency situation. Brenda proceeded to tell me that the emergency division was much better staffed than the activation division. I felt better hearing that since I don’t know how to swim and while I was waiting for Brenda I had a vision of being swept away in a raging flood and calling OnStar as my tiny car quickly filled with river water only to be told by the friendly automaton voice to please wait for the next available emergency technician and that my call was VERY important to them. Brenda then tried to sell me more phone minutes at which point I arrived at Half-Price Books and bid Brenda and OnStar goodbye.
I can open or close every window in my Spark with my left hand. On the right is a convenient beef stick tray. Both are standard options on the 2013 Chevy Spark without the need to buy an additional luxury package.
I’m sure people will ask me how I like my car and when they do I’ll tell them what I always say : ‘Ask me in a couple of years’. I will say now that the Kia Rio was the best car I’ve ever owned and will make a dependable backup for any of the other four cars we have. If anyone had ever told me that I would someday own five cars I would have said they were nuts but here I am with five cars. As I got home and parked my white Spark right behind my white Kia Rio and took a picture of both of them, a guy with a truck and a trailer pulled up and asked me ‘How do you like that electric car?’ and when I told him it wasn’t an electric car he said ‘Then why do they call it a Spark? Because it’s so tiny?’