Car shopping

Maureen Corrigan
I wanted a new car. My Subaru Forrester was 13 years old. It was not as safe as most new cars. I also wanted more room for my mobility equipment. I made a list of all the features I wanted. I decided I needed a wagon. I went for a test drive in several different cars. I found an accessible showroom. The staff were helpful. But I had a bad experience at another showroom. The salesperson was rude. We decided to buy a Volkswagon Golf Wagon. It met all of our needs.
Posted by: 
Maureen Corrigan on 24/05/2011
A silver coloured Volkswagon Golf Wagon

The Volkswagon Golf Wagon

We wanted a new car. I had some new mobility equipment. It required more space in the boot. I also wanted better safety. My Subaru Forrester of 13 years had become outdated as far as safety features.

I thought about how I would approach getting a new car. What were my priorities? I left price out of the equation at first. But I kept the brands to investigate in the "modest" category. There were no Ferraris with large boots that I had seen anyway!

The criteria

  • My wish list of features included:
  • Boot space of at least 1000mm length and width
  • A low loading lip to the boot area
  • Driver and passenger seats with easy access, no step up and adjustable height
  • Lots of the latest safety features
  • Comfortable and good for long trips
  • Automatic transmission
  • Diesel fuel
  • Not too big or long
  • Snazzy looks
  • Second-hand or demonstration model with low kilometres.

I made a list with a table. The criteria were located along the top. Various vehicle brands were listed down the left side. I did some research online. I then headed out to test my selections.

I decided that it was a wagon that I was after rather than a sedan. There were lots on offer. But I also thought if I came across a snazzy hatch with a large boot I would consider it.

The shortlist

The wagons that we finally tested were:

  • Volkswagon Golf
  • Skoda Superb
  • Subaru Outback.

I went with tape measure, walker and travel electric scooter to test them all. I don't do much driving these days. My main interest was as a passenger with room for my equipment. My friend had to do the test driving.

The Outback was soon discarded when we found that the Diesel model is not yet available with an automatic transmission.

The showroom

The Volkswagon showroom I went to was accessible. It had accessible parking. The showroom also had a ramp to the entrance and an excellent accessible toilet. There were also comfortable accessible tables and good espresso coffee. I thought it would be terrific when waiting for a car to be serviced.

I decided to also test drive some more expensive cars. I wanted to see how they compared to cheaper models. We tried a Volvo V60. We also tried another brand that will remain nameless. The salesperson at that showroom was not friendly at all. That made our choice easier.

Our choice

Our choice in the end was a Volkswagon Golf Wagon. The sales person was genuinely friendly. The service area was excellent. The demonstration model available also had dual air conditioning controls. I thought the dual air conditioning controls would come in very handy for someone with multiple sclerosis. It helped clinch the deal.

All we had to do was organise some tinting to reduce the sun's rays and we were away. It has only been about a week since we first drove off in the new car. But so far the car has been perfect for our needs. We have also discovered the benefits of an iPod cable.

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