About our new car

Jennifer and our new car

So we picked up our new car last week: a 2004 Subaru Forester with about 71,000 km on it.

We had decided to buy a new car some time ago. Not only was our 1998 Mazda Protégé, with 211,000 km on the odometer, growing rust, Quebec’s new law mandating snow tires comes into effect this winter — no sense buying new tires for an aging car.

We’ve been doing our homework for a while; our original thought was a small wagon — we decided that we needed cargo space — and our working theory was a new Toyota Matrix or Pontiac Vibe. In the end, however, we decided to buy used again. We wanted a Forester all along, I think, but it was too expensive new. This one presented itself, and we leapt at it. A Forester is less fuel efficient than a Matrix, but most of our driving is highway driving, and we drive less than 20,000 km a year, which is nothing for country folk: I carpool and Jennifer walks to work.

It seems to be in pretty good shape — better, in fact, than the Mazda was when we bought it five years ago. I’m hoping to get seven years’ use out of it. And for something marketed first as an SUV and now as a “crossover,” it drives like the jacked-up compact car it essentially is — which is to say, surprisingly nicely.

I also like the fact that “Subaru” is the Japanese name for the Pleiades. Dig the astronomy reference.