At the beginning of this month, I finally traded in my much loved ’96 Subaru Outback for a brand new fully loaded 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited Turbo with nav!

The main reason for the trade was wanting a newer car with more power, better fuel economy, newer technology, GPS built-in, more safety features, and just something nicer. 🙂

In many ways, this new car helped me accomplish all this and more, and yet I so love my old Subaru… so I want to do a nice tribute post to my beloved cars. 🙂

So first things first, let’s talk about my new baby.

2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T with Nav

I get to drive a TON of different cars at work and after a lot of going back and forth, I started narrowing it down to the 2012 Elantra Limited (smaller car, not as much technology, 29/40 mpg, 138hp), the 2012 Sonata Limited (larger 2.4L engine at 198hp, 24/35mpg, BlueLink), or the 2012 Sonata Limited Turbo (has power when needed at 274hp, 22/34mpg, BlueLink). Driving them all back to back, for me personally the Elantra felt a bit weak compared to what I was wanting, the 2.4L felt sufficient, but the 2.0T really had the extra get-up-and-go. The main thing I was looking for was not 0-60, but 60-90 for passing on the highway. Not that I ever drive 90mph, but the Subaru always felt like I really had to floor it (155hp) to speed up on the highway if necessary. In emergency situations, it didn’t feel like it really had the power I needed.

So without going too much more into the details, I settled on the indigo night Sonata Limited Turbo, giving me full leather, heated seats front and back, panoramic sunroof (whole top of the car is glass with two sunroofs), BlueLink (to control the car from my phone), backup camera, and navigation built into the car. (I’ve had my Subaru broken into again recently and they stole my GPS I had tucked under the passenger’s seat. That car must be really easy to break into without damaging as it’s happened twice now…)

So now I’ve got a newer, safer, much more tech’ed out car. 🙂

BlueLink iPhone App

BlueLink iPhone App

This is a screenshot from my iPhone app, allowing me to lock the doors from my phone (ever left your car and then realized you forgot to lock the door?), unlock the doors (ever get locked out?), flash the headlights and sound the alarm (ever lose your car in a parking lot and you’re not close enough for the keychain remote to find the car?), start the engine remotely with the doors still locked (so your car is nice and toasty when you hop in on a chilly morning), get notified if the alarm goes off (nice to know it’s secure), etc.

BlueLink does a TON more, like help you find the cheapest gas prices, contact emergency personnel in case of an accident, recover a stolen vehicle, voice text messaging, and more, but these are some of my favorite features.

In any event, we actually had the exact vehicle I wanted in stock on the lot for at least two months or so. Periodically I’d show a customer the car and in the back of my mind, with me wanting this exact car even way before I seriously considered buying it, it felt odd showing customers ‘my’ car. 😉

Hugging my brand new Sonata

Hugging my brand new Sonata

Driving this car the past few weeks has definitely taken some getting used to.

For example, my old Subaru and the 198hp Sonata with the standard engine can be driven like normal cars in that you can accelerate gradually. They’re both what I’m used to. The Sonata Turbo is an entirely different beast altogether. The slightest touch of the gas pedal and it jumps into action. It takes a little more finesse to accelerate the car gradually. Similarly, it rains a lot here in Seattle which makes it that much more likely for the wheels to spin out and lose traction, so you gotta be more careful off the line.

At 274hp, you’ve got a lot of power hitting the wheels and on a front wheel drive car, you get torque steer when you stomp on the pedal. So you gotta be careful when really putting power down because it can cause the car to swerve a bit, which doesn’t give me the same confident feeling I had when driving a Subaru with AWD.

Everything in life has trade-offs and the car is taking some getting used to. 🙂

Speaking of my Subaru, I really loved that car. Don’t get me wrong. I like my new Sonata. But I LOVE my old Subaru…

My Subaru and my Sonata side-by-side

My Subaru and my Sonata side-by-side

1996 Subaru Outback Legacy

My old Subie is like one of my best friends. Most of my 2010 nomadic road trip traveling was done in that car. For months I lived out of that car. Literally. We traveled through the western half of the continent together and had SO many wonderful experiences. I can’t help but admit that I got pretty attached to that car…

After trading it in, the plan was to turn it around and resell it back on the lot as Subarus are really popular up here in the northwest. However, after running it through our shop, we found out that it needed a new head gasket… Meaning that the cost to repair the car was almost as much as the value of the car itself.

I had no idea and while it kinda sucked for my managers who were generous and gave me a great trade-in value for the car, it was admittedly nice for me to trade-out of that car and get into a beautiful new one. 🙂

We don’t sell any bum cars on our lot and since the car had issues, we had to send it off to auction. It sat in the back where cars wait before they get wholesaled for a little while and was always a sad sight to see whenever I walked past it. On one of my days off work, I drove down Aurora, one of the main streets here with a bunch of car dealerships down a stretch, and went inside a bunch of car dealerships just to learn more about other cars and experience what it’s like for salesmen to turn around and try to sell me a car. 🙂 It’s amazing what you learn by being on the receiving end of that!

Anyways, I was driving past my dealership when I noticed that there was a truck parked in front full of cars. “Woohoo!!” I immediately thought, “We got more new cars!” The closer I got, the more I realized they weren’t new Hyundais. Wait… my Subaru was sitting up on top!!

I immediately pulled over and went to go look at my car.

The last time I'll ever see my Subaru

The last time I'll ever see my Subaru

Even seeing this picture now almost makes me want to cry. 🙁

I really loved this car… and so just to honor it, I want to share some pictures of the good times we had together in memory of my beloved green Subaru. 🙂

In the clouds in the Los Padres National Forest, CA

Driving in the clouds in the Los Padres National Forest, CA

In the mountains of the Los Padres NF, CA

In the mountains of the Los Padres National Forest, CA

Driving off road

Driving off road

Shooting a beautiful sunset off a highway in Oregon

Shooting a beautiful sunset off a highway in Oregon

Pulled over to see some cows :)

Pulled over to see some cows 🙂

Leaving Mt. Shasta

Visiting Mt. Shasta, CA

Mountain climbing

Mountain climbing

Drivelapse setup

Drivelapse (driving timelapse) setup

Driving timelapse (drivelapse) setup

Drivelapse setup with tripod

Loading up my Subaru at Rey's when leaving CA for AK

Loading up my Subaru at Rey's when leaving CA for AK

Setting up camp with my French friends near Lake Tahoe, CA

Setting up camp with my French friends near Lake Tahoe, CA

Driving under Tunnel Log in Sequoia NP, CA

Driving under Tunnel Log in Sequoia NP, CA

Waiting for sunrise atop Crater Lake, OR

Waiting for sunrise atop Crater Lake, OR

Can you believe I was at 4,441 feet when this photo was taken? :)

Can you believe I was at 4,441 feet when this photo was taken? 🙂

Me finding myself in Washington :)

Me finding myself in Washington 🙂

As you can probably tell, I really loved this car… and I feel like shedding a tear now that it’s gone…

While I’m going back to remember my old cars, I have to give a shotout to the predecessor to my Subaru, the car that I started my road trip in, my ’97 Toyota Camry.

1997 Toyota Camry

This is the car I drove in college and started my trip in. This is the car that I had been wanting to somehow trade-in for a green Subaru Outback but didn’t know how. When I got rear ended in California and my car was totaled, the insurance money helped me get the car I wanted.

So without further ado, let’s go back in time a bit more and pay my respects to my beloved ’97 Camry. 🙂

Leaf covered Camry in the Smokies

Leaf covered Camry in the Smokies

Getting snowed in in the Big Frog Wilderness right before leaving for my road trip

Getting snowed in in the Big Frog Wilderness right before leaving for my road trip

Packed trunk ready to leave home to 'move' to Colorado

Packed trunk ready to leave home in Georgia to 'move' to Colorado

97 Camry in Colorado

97 Camry in Colorado

Camping outside Buena Vista, CO

Camping outside Buena Vista, CO

Snowed in for privacy one morning

Snowed in for privacy one morning

Snow covered car looking goofy

Snow covered car looking goofy

Snow mohawk after a snowstorm in Boulder, CO

Snow mohawk after a snowstorm in Boulder, CO

Ah boy… That turned out to be WAY more pictures than I thought it’d be. Oh well. 🙂

At least now I can feel like I can move on and welcome in the new car, now that I’ve had a chance to say my goodbyes.

I love you cars… 🙂

One Comments

  1. martin marek
    on November 13th, 2011
    1

    hey I really like your story thanks for sharing it. It Is defInItely fun gIvIng cars a life lIke personality! WoW the hyundai sounds really good I remember about 10 years ago I thought this car was a big joke but look at it now… congratz on your big purchase martin

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