New Car, Virtual Shopping

Last week I went out and bought a new car. It's our second car, so I didn't have a huge budget for the thing and I was pretty much sure I wanted to buy a Jeep Liberty. I also had it in my head that for the same price I might be able to pick up something really interesting like a Mustang. We shopped around a bit and to my dismay I discovered that I couldn't fit three kids into the back of the Mustang. So the woman showing us cars suggest a Ford Focus. I didn't think that sounded the least bit interesting, but I drove it around and it was fun. I didn't buy it but I decided to do a little research that night.

What I found when researching the Focus was a really active online community; very helpful people and some great online forums. The Focus it seemed had a serious fan base. It didn't hurt to see pictures of Colin McRae driving the thing around either. So it's got a great fan base and it's a cool rally car, what's left? How about a few test drives on Project Gotham Racing 2 and RalliSport Challenge? Yes, it's definatly a fun car there too.

So the next morning we headed to the Jeep dealer to buy the Liberty. At the very last second I decided to go back to the Ford dealership and buy the Focus. I mentioned to the people selling me the car that I did some test driving on the Xbox and they thought that sounded pretty cool, though I'm not sure they understood what I was talking about.

The two big takeways for me in this were that community made a difference in my buying decision, and that having the car available in a video game gave me a chance to really play with the car before I bought it. After a week I'm really quite happy with my decision.