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Economy++

Oh, Internets. We did a thing yesterday. It was an expensive thing, but it sure made us smile. We bought two (yes, two!!) new cars. And we officially became THOSE people. Schondy and I are now the proud owners of a shiny pair of Mini Coopers. We never thought it would happen, and certainly didn't set out yesterday to do this, but, well, there it is.

So. Schondy has his cute little commuter car for driving over the hill. It's a 2009 Mini Cooper S in Pure Silver with a black cloth checkerboard interior. When he took possession of it, it had 3 miles on the odometer. :-) It has built-in Bluetooth so he can talk on the phone without taking his hands off the wheel, voice dialing (still need to set that up), a built in iPod connector, automatic air conditioner, windshield wipers, headlights and rearview mirror, and (reportedly) gets 32 miles to the gallon.

I have a cute little commuter car, too, but mine can also haul groceries and carry passengers in the back seat comfortably thanks to the additional suicide door on the passenger side. I have a 2009 Mini Cooper Clubman S in Hot Chocolate with Hot Chocolate leather interior. When I took possession of it, it had 8 miles on the odometer. And I have all the same features he does, PLUS 9 more inches of length. and half an inch of headroom. Completely by accident, I also managed to match my car to my dog. :-)

The funny thing is that until a week ago, we both swore we would never even consider Minis. I had ridden in one once a couple years ago and thought it felt like two chairs strapped to the inside of a tin can hurtling down the freeway. Schondy thought they were just goofy little hatchbacks with no power and even less personality. All that changed a week ago, when we were out walking the dog and discussing cars. He had been toying with the idea of getting a Prius and I was thinking about getting a Toyota Matrix. He was really concerned about gas mileage and I really wanted something that was small and sporty, but also would hold people and groceries when necessary. I made an offhand comment: "have you considered a Mini?" and we decided that maybe we should swing by the dealership since it was on our walking route.

So we did. And we sat in a couple of the cars and both said, "hm. Perhaps things have changed and maybe we should come back minus Lulu to see how these things drive."

So we did. We traded in our old cars (a 2001 Limited Edition PT Cruiser in Inferno Red and a 2001 Saturn L200 in Navy Blue) for next-to-nothing, BUT we managed to milk the failing economy a bit so that we don't exactly feel cheated on that score. Funny things happen when you walk into a car dealership and tell the salesman you want... two of them. (We'll take two - they're small) Suddenly, they agreed to waive the dealer markup. And knock off an additional $500 from each. And throw in some floor mats. And pay for half of Schondy's bonnet stripes. And give us free theft insurance. And 80% off of Appearance Insurance (yes, there is such a thing). And 8 hours later, we drove off the lot with two shiny new cars.

We have a lot of configuration to do, but it was time for both of us to upgrade and it just worked out nicely that we both fell in love with the same type of car.

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