For those of you to whom I’ve intimated the impending disclosure of a pleasing revelation, it’s time for the big unveiling. 

I am now the proud owner of a brand new consumer loan!!

Also, they threw this shiny little cutie in to sweeten the deal:

That whooshing noise that just ruffled the papers on your desk is the collective sigh of relief emanating from all those who’ve borne my seemingly never-ending griping over car trouble woe, and especially Jess and Traexy, who have generously assisted in rescuing and transporting my stranded ass.

As a long-time purchaser of cars I can afford to fork over a small handful of cash for, generally in the one to two thousand dollar range, this was a major mental hurdle for me to make. However, once I began pondering the idea seriously, the siren call of a working stereo, airbags, and an air conditioner I wasn’t afraid to run lest it suck my battery dry and leave me without functioning transportation became too strong to resist. Since last summer I’ve been plagued with trepidation every time I turned the key in the ignition – will Fiona start? Have I charged her up enough recently? When was the last time I tightened up the alternator belt? Am I planning to pick up perishables at the grocery store today, and is there a cooler along in case Fiona won’t go? Have I left enough time to get home for the news if I need to lurk in a random parking lot and flag someone down for a jump?

And though I am also not afraid to bust out the jack stands and wriggle around under the car, closely following the manual to do some repairs myself and shamelessly brandishing my grease-blackened fingernails for at least a week thereafter at unsuspecting members of the public, I no longer have access to a tidy garage with neat arrays of every possible tool imaginable, and have been correspondingly reluctant to just start dismembering things with my own holey tool sets (currently jumbled incoherently my spider-infested shed ’til I get out there and reorganize the damn thing) on the small concrete inlet to my driveway, exposed to the elements and ants and skeeters and with no back-up man hands nearby to give that extra bit of torque needed to dislodge particularly stubborn nuts.

So I did some research on the Honda Fit, which have always seemed like very versatile cars to me (especially for those Lowes/Home Depot trips, since I no longer have my Ford F150 pickup truck), and found a second generation model (produced beginning in 2009) that seemed to suit my purposes. I test drove an automatic just a couple miles from my house, but found that thromping on the accelerator did exactly nothing for a very pregnant second or two. Anyone who’s ever ridden with me knows that would not be suitable for my purposes.

I tested a stick the following day and found, despite its teensy 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine, that the car exhibited surprising pep once I was in charge of the shifting. (Furthermore, that petite engine translates into a very respectable 27 to 32 mpg fuel efficiency). So I did the paperwork and brought her home.

She’s fun as hell to drive, and has two different back seat configurations – up for tall items to ride in the rear passenger footwells, or with all seats flattened down, which yields a pretty shocking 57+ cubic feet of space in the back. I brought a normal sized man along on Test Drive One and stuffed him in the back seats to tell me if it felt sufficiently spacious there for comfy riding, which he affirmed it did.

the pilot’s seat…

yeah, it’s silly, but I do love a cobalt blue dash display.

cargo space in the back passenger row, with the seats up

rearview of her little booty

trunk cargo space with the back passenger seats folded down

awww! perhaps not the most beautiful car ever made, but adorable to me nonetheless.

So I am inordinately proud of my new little girl, and think she’ll be excellent transport for many years to come. Now I just need to think of a new name and find a good and appreciative home for Fiona…