So this past Monday night, I bought a new car, as you probably know from my previous blog entry. It's a nice, blue, 4 door Honda Accord EX V6. This is basically the top of the line Honda Accord with the exception that it doesn't have a navigation system. The navigation system was a $2500 option that I thought would be pretty useless to a guy who doesn't travel for most of the year. Considering how my commute to work is only 5 miles each way, I think I can find my way!
The way I've been looking at it is, this is my 'cheap Acura TL'. The Acura TL is basically a souped up Honda Accord with 30 more HP, nicer headlights and a built in Bluetooth connection for your cell phone (allowing you to use your cell phone hands free in the car). The Bluetooth is a neat feature, but I can't justify the extra $7-10K worth of cost to myself for these minor little differences. As it is, the Accord has 240HP, versus 270HP in the Acura TL and 300HP in my old Camaro Z28. Yes, I traded in a sports car with 300HP for a 'family-mobile' with 240HP, but I'm OK with this. The Accord still accelerates pretty well, even without 300HP and being able to run it on regular gas instead of premium like the Camaro is a nice cost saver, especially in these days of $2.50/gallon premium gas! This is also the first time in 8 1/2 years that I've actually had a car with more than 2 doors! It's amazing how much things have changed in those 8 1/2 years...
The Accord also has XM satellite radio built in to the stereo. In my first blog about the XM a few days ago, I said I wasn't impressed with it. That impression is starting to change. I'm starting to like it. I've found several channels I like on it, and have programmed them into the stereo. Gotta love those steering wheel controls for the stereo! One of the channels I've been listening to lately is the comedy channel. It has a lot of funny stuff, but it is strange to hear cursing like that coming from your radio. Since the XM is not a broadcast radio, it doesn't fall under the FCC 'decency' regulations, so they are free to say whatever they want. A lot of disc jockeys like Howard Stern are starting to find this freedom appealing and are switching over to satellite radio. I've also been listening to CNN Headline News, the heavy metal channel and various other channels. I like it, but I'm not sure it's worth the $12/month that it normally costs. Interestingly enough, it's not costing me a cent (yet). As I understand it, when you buy the car you get a free 3 month preview of it. It was already working when I bought the car and I never even signed up for it! I never left a credit card, or my name or anything. I have to wonder whether the XM is working by mistake, or if it will just shut off by itself after 3 months. Either way, I'm going to enjoy it while I can.
Yesterday, I took my car by my parents house to show it off. They oohed and aahed over it. I think they liked it, but I think they were more happy about the fact that I got rid of the old, beat-up Camaro at last. I'm sure my mother is relieved to know that I'm no longer driving the 300HP rocket ship (right Mom?) Another nice thing that happened last night was that my brother gave me this plastic trunk liner for the Accord. My brother used to own a 2003 Honda Accord and this trunk liner used to go to his Accord. He doesn't have the Accord anymore, so he has no use for it, so he gave it to me. It's a nice liner. It's molded exactly to the size and shape of the entire trunk. Now I don't have to worry about getting any dirt, etc. on the trunk. This was a very nice move by my brother and I really appreciate it.
One big complaint about the stereo I have is that it just doesn't have the sound quality that the Delco 'Monsoon' stereo system had in my Camaro. It's a great stereo. It has all the features I want - FM, AM, 6 CD in dash changer, XM Radio, but the sound quality itself leaves much to be desired. It's pretty bad when my 6 year old Camaro from another millenium has a better stereo than my spiffy new car from 2005! Fixing the sound quality on this stereo is going to involve replacing all 6 speakers, adding 1 or 2 good amplifiers to the system and probably a decent bass box to the trunk. Toss installation into this, and no doubt this won't be cheap. I was planning on waiting a few months to do this, but I don't know if I can last that long! I miss that stereo on the Camaro most of all right now. I'll probably end up doing this sooner.Of course I also have to tint the windows (this being South Florida, that is a necessity). That will probably be done this weekend.