A little over a year ago I traded in my Honda mini-van for a Toyota Corolla. We purchased the S model, a 5-speed manual. I did a lot of research online before hitting the dealerships. I was a Web Researcher at the time, afterall. Based on features and pricing, I narrowed it down to the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. When it came to test driving the vehicles, the Corolla felt much more comfortable to me and was more *ahem* visually appealing.
According to Max: She's beautiful.
She really, really is. We named her Roxanne.
There are many things I love about Roxanne. I mean, look at her. What's not to love. Right?
The practical side of me loves that my gas consumption went way, way down. She has an 11ish gallon tank and I usually get just under 400 miles between fill-ups. I see that as a 2-fer: good for the environment and good for my wallet.
We originally purchased Roxanne with the intent to move to Aruba and ship her with us. We knew that we would still have access to Toyota parts and service on the island. Unfortunately, another round of lay offs happened - this time around BOTH of our jobs - and that move is off the table, for now. So, do I regret my decision to downgrade to a smaller vehicle? Not at all.
I've been driving Roxanne for 16 months now. My initial concern: she would be too small for a family of 4 living in the US. In fact, I had a mild panic attack when my son started playing soccer last summer. I was accustomed to driving around in larger, 8-passenger vehicles. I had a Suburban before my mini-vans. My concerns were quickly dismissed.
Roxanne has enough room for the entire family AND all of our softball, baseball AND soccer gear. I haven't felt cramped once. AND, as a reader nicely pointed out: I get to say NO to carpooling everyone else's kids around because we have just five seat belts.
I'm sure you've all heard about Toyota recalls in the news. Yes, mine was included. However, I must say that our Toyota dealer has been very proactive. In fact, just yesterday while getting an oil change, they had me flagged for another gas pedal recall and took care of it right then and there. I hadn't noticed any issues. It was a "just in case" upgrade. I seriously have no complaints about my car or how Toyota has handled the situation with my family.
The Toyota Corolla is perfect for our family of four. The gas mileage is great. There is ample space for all of our stuff. An added perk: even when I'm driving around with my kids, I don't feel as if I'm driving a "Mom Mobile." The S model is sporty and has a sun roof and really helps me in my quest to steal small moments to myself. In fact, when I climb into the car sans kids, it's a much quicker transition from Mom to ME than the mini-van. Hands down.
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Disclaimer: I'm participating in a Toyota/TwitterMoms campaign, which inspired this post. My opinions, thoughts and feelings are my own. As a TwitterMom, I'm eligible for a courtesy gift of $50.