New Car!

After more than 12 years, I’ve finally acquired a new vehicle.

An SUV was the answer, as the family needed something with more room, and I needed something which could transport more gear than my tiny little Toyota Paseo. With a nod toward alternative energy, I wanted a diesel, since biofuels interest me. Unfortunately, we have a dearth of new cars in the US which use diesel, with most manufacturers succumbing to the allure of the stop-gap hybrid. Essentially, my choices were limited to the larger pickup trucks and panel vans, and smaller passenger sedans. VW had a V10 TDI Touareg in 2004, but they are hard to come by and very, very expensive. Really, the only choice was the Jeep Liberty CRD.

I was worried it wouldn’t be peppy enough, but a test drive alleviated that fear. Finding the one I wanted proved to be a challenge. While there are plenty out there with the diesel drivetrain, I chose a package of accessories which was apparently pretty rare.

After a couple of attempts with Ferman, where they found the exact vehicle I specified only to find that it wasn’t available anymore, I had steeled myself against the discomfort of ordering one and waiting six to eight weeks for delivery. In a late-night fit of last-minute madness, I picked through, dealer by dealer, the clusterfuck that is Jeep’s inventory search. Apparently, to prevent some sort of cannibalization of sales between dealerships, Jeep has made it impossible to search all dealers for exactly the configuration you want. I widened the search diameter to 300 miles around Tampa, and searched each dealer’s inventory. Finally, I found one at DeSoto Auto Mall near Arcadia, FL, 120 miles away from me.

Monday I called them and they determined that the vehicle was actually on the lot. Today, Joann and I drove down there and she dropped me off. I drove home in a red 2006 Jeep Liberty CRD.

My new Liberty

Interestingly enough, after letting Ferman know that I ended up buying the Jeep from DeSoto, they told me that the Liberty I bought was the one they had found in their search, but that DeSoto had told them it was already sold.

The iPod integration kit arrives in a couple of days, so I’ll probably document that project.

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