Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Bella Mobile Arrives!

You ask what is the "Bella Mobile?" Answer: A Pacific, Sky-blue 2008 Hyundai Entourage Mini-van.

Yep, you read correctly. Last night, we purchased our first, ever new car as a married couple (and, even when we were single for that matter).

Since Ella was born, we knew the time would come where the need for a family car would arrive. In the last few months, it has become evident that such a need was transitioning into a necessity. Katie traveled the last two weekends with Ella and Gi Gi to a friend's wedding, and to her sister-in-law, Gina's, baby shower, and both trips were over 3 hour drives. Those of you who have kids know that kids travel with an enormous amount of gear (pack-n-play, bags, clothes, toys, etc.) Our small Toyota and Saturn, although great for mpg, just were not cutting it.

When my 1996 Saturn failed inspection last week, we knew the time had arrived to pull the trigger and see what the Mini-van market looked like. A few months back, we were on the brink of buying a SUV, but then realized that with our large extended family visiting so often , a 7 seater-Mini Van was the way to go. On Tuesday, I stopped by a Hyundai dealer in Alexandria, and liked what I saw in the Entourgage.

The Entourage is the similar model to the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna--to the untrained eye, they are twins except that Hondas and Toyotas have a few more bells and whistles and cost 10-15K more. The Entourage received terrific safety, performance, and overrall reviews. Most importantly, the sales guy wanted to earn our business and offered us a deal we could not refuse at an afforded monthly payment price.

Hence, Katie and I strolled over to Hyundai of Alexandria in my '96 Saturn (for the last time in that car), and took our mini-van for a spin. Katie will brag to all that she was the first one to drive our Entourage. We were laughing when we saw that the odometer read "5 miles." Wow, it really was a new car!

We had our reservations about buying a new versus an old car because conventional wisdoms is such that it makes more sense to go with a pre-owned car for devaluation purposes. Yet, our research showed that mini-vans are a unique market--minivan purchasers do not relinquish their minivans as often as purchasers of other makes sense, since most minivan purchasers are in our situation (parents with young kids). They typically drive their minivans until they die. Hence, the pre-owned market we found showed minivans with less than 20-30K miles with a sticker price in the $18-$20,000 range. Well, the Entourage was offered to us at not much more than that price. Plus, they offered a great 10yr., 100,000 warranty on major repairs. All this to say, is that we went new and love it!

We quickly named our mini-van the "Bella Mobile," since Ella is the one who got us thinking about a minivan and the color of it matches the color of Ella's beautiful, bold eyes.

We look forward to having you take a spin in it with us!

Note: This is not a commercial advertisement for Hyundai, and we are not receiving any incentives to blog about their products. Heck, though, if you are in the minivan market, we suggest you give them a look.


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