It was a fun weekend. Went to Indianapolis to help our friend finding her new apartment and a new car (She successfully found both she really like!).
I got to test drive several cars, and I had a great fun. Starting from very wide range of cars, Small SUV, Midsize Sedan, Small Sedans and Hybrid, we narrowed it down to Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy (Accord/Camry didn’t fit her taste).
2013 Nissan Altima
It is a very highly rated car, and I was very looking forward to test drive. Over all, it was a good car, much better than the previous Altima. It handled well, and has good torque when you are on the road. The only problem I had was the throttle lag. It has tiny lag when you hit the gas, and car responds. Once engine catch up, it has very smooth acceleration, and it is not as noticeable if your car is already moving, but from dead stop in intersection, the lag is bad enough feeling uncomfortable.
2013 Subaru Legacy
This is the car our friend ended up buying. It is the first time I drove legacy (or any Subaru in this matter), and I was very pleased with them. Like most other cars in this class, the 4 cyl model is a bit underpowered for its weight. It is not slow or unsafe, but it’s not for the fun ride. However, the Legacy has the best response among all the cars we drove this weekend. When you hit gas, it moves, when you turn the steering wheel, it turns. Very simple thing all car does, but the response time between the input and output is what matters, and very important to me. In this sense, I felt it was like my Mazda. Except for the heavy feeling because of the weight as well as all wheel drive. What I really liked about was the quality of its interior; very well made, slightly better quality material (at least looks like), and very rigid structure. Now I really like to try their Impreza STI some day, (though it is not quite my cup of tea… I’m more toward light weight, small sports car… like Miata ^^;)
Beside Car Shopping, we visited 8 apartments, and she picked really good one that comes with her own garage! Her company hired a tour guide (?) who planed the route and drove us to each apartment that our friend picked as well as a few more that fit her criteria.
The guide lady was really nice and helpful. It made our apartment hunting 100 times easier and more fun.
On the way home, I was driving my RX-8 since my wife needed to go up to Michigan for a business trip. Right around the area I was going to get off of the Highway I-70, I saw a few potholes, avoided first couple, and then hit the largest one. I was already slowing down, but still was going 60-65 mph. I could feel the rim was bent as I had slight vibration from the steering wheel, but I could feel the air in the tire still. I get off of the highway and checked the wheels, and yes.. it was bent. not just one, but both front and rear on the passenger side. I checked air leak, and it seems to holding up, so I proceed my way back home, driving very slow around 30 mph. Bad decision… about 15 miles or so from home in the back country road, middle of no where, I start the vibration getting worth, and I figured that tires are loosing air. Pulled over, and found my rear is almost flat. Good thing with low profile tires with stiff wall, with almost no air, it is still holding the shape. Now slow down to 15 mph, crawling back home…
Luckily this is my cheap daily wheel, with cheap all season tires. Got my rims long back when I just got my Solara, and I have another set of winter tires that I can use for now. It’s sad to see it gone since It held up so well for these long years despite not so good reputation of ADR rims. Now I need to contact Indiana DOT to see if I can get replacement (or the money for it)….