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Going SUV (How a Camaro Lover Ended Up Buying and Loving Her Equinox)

Posted by Amy in All About Amy | General | Non-NASCAR

On a sunny Sunday in late March I drove my beloved silver 2008 Chevrolet HHR LT to my local Chevy dealership and left a few hours later with a bright shiny champagne silver…Chevy Equinox. Those who follow this blog or even my online social media are probably surprised that I didn’t leave with a Chevy Camaro. I have loved the Camaro since they re-debuted it and I continue to.  It’s a gorgeous car especially in that hot bright yellow color that I love.

So how on earth did I come out with a small SUV then?  Did I get talked into it by the salesman? Was it a last minute, impulse buy? The answer to both of the latter questions there are a resounding no. I went to the dealership with the express purpose of test driving a specific Equinox that I had already been discussing back and forth with the dealer through email and to see what they would give me for my HHR. As a matter of fact we had already done most of the haggling about the Equinox over email, and I had already been approved for financing.  It was just a matter of details. I went in knowing full well what an HHR was worth thanks to KBB.com as a trade in (you can also see what you can expect to get for it if you sell it yourself- something I did NOT want to go through the hassle of trying to do).

While it may have seemed like an impulse move it was actually anything but. The Equinox was probably the  most well researched and considered of any of my vehicle purchases.  I knew I would be wanting to trade in the HHR about a year before I actually did. I hemmed and hawed back and forth about what I wanted. My heart wanted a Camaro but head would routinely talk me out of it.  It would say things like You drive too much to own a Camaro- the mpgs and insurance on it alone would kill you. How heartbroken would you be when your beloved Camaro got a ding or a scratch because the people in the town you live and can NOT for the life of them seem to return a shopping cart to the cart returns not to mention all the rocks on your commute. And what about all those damn speed bumps at work- do you really want to drive your hot rod Camaro over all those freaking speed bumps? Stupid head- my heart would say, that Camaro is AWESOME. Just look at it. Hear it purr. You KNOW you want it.  And so I would argue back and forth with myself.  I even researched other makes and models of vehicles- thinking maybe I could find a nice sensible sedan that would satisfy that old dowdy head of mine that kept trying to talk me out of my Camaro ? Except nothing spoke to me AT ALL. I waited for the Chevy SS to come out thinking that might be the answer- a little bit more grown up but still a race car. Until I saw the MPGS for that. I was back to the drawing board.

Then last November Misty and I attended the Sprint Cup Race at Phoenix Raceway. While we were wandering about the midway- we stopped by the Team Chevy display- a large tent displaying several models of Chevy vehicles. I like to stop by the team Chevy booth because sometimes some of the drivers are scheduled for Q&A’s and they are usually listed outside the tent on a white board or chalk board.  I looked at the Camaro and the Corvette and the Silverado on display and then I saw the Equinox.  I loved the color of the Equinox on display so I decided to take a peek at it.  We then continued on with the rest of our day but my brain kept going back to that shiny golden Equinox at the Team Chevy booth. On our way out we had to pass right by the team Chevy booth again- so I stopped and they let me crawl all over it- answered any questions I had and gave me a card about it.  My head fell in love with the Equinox but my heart still wasn’t convinced that it was the vehicle for me. I continued to research other vehicles big and small, foreign and domestic but my head kept saying Boy was that Equinox at Phoenix a nice vehicle plus it seemed that everywhere I looked I saw Equinoxes.  But none that were as pretty as the one at Phoenix.  So I kept my eye out for one in that same color and trim package as the one at the raceway in Arizona. And then in late January one appeared in the inventory at my local dealership. Still I hemmed and hawed. My heart tried to convince my brain that it looked like a minivan- and what on earth does a single woman need with a minivan? Then March was Chevy Truck month and thus there instant rebate available on the Equinox. So I started emailing back and forth with an internet salesman at the dealership and eventually made an appointment for a test drive.

Still my heart wasn’t 100 percent convinced that the Equinox was the vehicle for me. I sat in his office and talked about my HHR.  They would have their mechanic drive it and take a look at it but based on a cursory look at it when he want out to get the mileage he gave me a ballpark price for it- it was close but still 600 dollars lower than what my bottom line price was. I told him straight out that I wouldn’t take less than his number plus 600. He said they would have the mechanic look at it and see what they could do.  I knew what kind of condition the HHR was in- it had never been in an accident. It was clean and with exception of some usual wear and tear it was in great condition.  So while they were scoping out my HHR (which by the way they had the complete service record on since they did every service except for the last brakes and the tires) it was time for the test drive.

I had brought my father along for moral support and he and the salesman were walking around the back side when I got in. It was the moment I settled into that chocolate brown leather seat that I knew my heart was convinced that this Equinox was the vehicle for me.  It sounds weird but my butt adored that seat and the moment I sat down in it I felt at home.  Yep this was my car…it just didn’t know it yet. (BTW- in my house- unless it has a bed like a pickup- it’s called a car).

I have had my Equinox a little over 5 months now.  It’s taken a little getting use to driving something so big (don’t laugh- it’s big to me). It might be one of the smaller SUVs but it’s wider and longer than anything I have driven regularly. I can see out of it way better than I could the HHR (one of my big complaints about the HHR was that it had HUGE blind spots). Not to mention the Equinox had the bluetooth integration that I really wanted in my next vehicle.  It just feels more rugged yet not like I am driving a tank.

My 2014 Equinox’s first road trip- the Valley Of Fire State Park in Nevada. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach)

Do I still love the Camaro? Absolutely. I would love to own one but it’s just not a practical car for me as an everyday driver.  I was driving my mom somewhere the other day- and I looked over at her and said “I am glad I didn’t get a Camaro because I think it would have been way to easy to get into trouble with that- since I have a tendency towards a bit of a lead foot.” But still…one day.

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