Ta-Da! After photo...first new car in 22 years! (Weatherdude's was ALMOST new 12 years ago, only 11 months old.)
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VW Turbo Diesel Jetta Wagon...they've only been making them since 2010 and this is a 2011 (2012 not in production yet). 114 miles. Came up from Richmond that day (driven there) and we bought it because it was "not black" our only color specification. We also thought we might like the roof. It's an automatic, which is a weird thing to get in a VW, I know. But oh man, it shifts itself like I shift! That's been fun. It downshifts. It has torque at low speed. It has get up and go. We like cars that accommodate my maniacal driving skills (testimonials available upon request). Weatherdude picked this one out and it meets a lot of my requirements, though I didn't think it would. And oh what heaven to have a turning radius again! (I used to have a mercedes and grew up with merc and VW.)
So the ride is a bit harder than our Volvos, but they're full of shake, rattle, and roll these days, so it's hard to say this is much worse. The new Volvo version of my car is simply everything I hated in my Volvo and not enough of what I loved to compensate.
We get to take this baby on a really long road trip in August. And yes, someone will be here watching house, chickens and many useless cats.