Another thing I learned on the trip: I can see why Ford retired the Taurus. (Though I guess they’re bringing it back.) I didn’t like ours from the moment I sat down in it, mainly because I felt like my head was banging against the ceiling. I realize that I like to sit farther forward than most people do in cars – otherwise, my arms start feeling like they’re getting RSI twinges – but if my Saturn Ion can give me plenty of headroom, why can’t a larger car? And I far prefer the acceleration and braking in the Ion, though admittedly I thought the Ion’s brakes were overly sensitive when I first started driving the car. Fortunately, I got used to the amount of braking required by the time we started to run into Boston drivers doing stupid stunts. (Otherwise, we would have run into them literally instead of just metaphorically.)

Liesl, however, is getting thoroughly sick of our older Saturn, with good reason: it’s required way too much maintenance. And, even when it works, I don’t enjoy driving it as much as the Ion. So we’ll be buying a new car this year, and one from a manufacturer whose quality we trust, which means Toyota or Honda. Not clear yet which model, though.

One question: do we want a slightly wider car, for those few times when we have five people in the car? Another question: how much do we care about mileage? A third question: is it posisble to find a Toyota dealer who isn’t a complete asshole? I think a Corolla would be too small, but a Prius, a Camry, a Civic, or an Accord would all be plausible choices.

Any recommendations?

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