Calling Inspector Gadget

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Day 270

Earlier this week we made plans to drive an hour south to a larger town to do some shopping. Today was the day.

We wanted to try a new BBQ place our son-in-law raved about so we headed there first. It was our first time visiting so we mistakenly walked through a door which housed the ‘pit’. The gentleman smoking the meat simply smiled and said, “First time here”? We chuckled and said yes as he offered to walk us to the restaurant. He explained the menu and the pricing and welcomed us to the restaurant.

We both had beef brisket sandwiches with a couple of sides. It was SO good. The food was cooked to perfection.

Once we had eaten, we decided to test drive a couple of cars. There is only one dealership in our little town, so this was a chance to see and drive a few other options. We drove (and by that I mean hubby drove) four different cars. They were all very nice current models which means they were packed to the brim with gadgets and new safety features.

On-screen displays, navigation that displays the posted speed limit, lane change assist, safe driving distance monitor, weather alerts — heck your car can even find you a hotel room for the night. It was a bit much for my liking but it is the thing now for most new cars.

Both the sales people were great and there was no pressure at all at either dealership. We left with a lot to discuss.

After a couple of other brief stops, we headed home. I looked up a few reviews on the cars we drove. These safety features have some major glitches. Do I want a car that can stop me of its own accord? One reviewer complained that in fog, the lane assist features do not work and the cruise control gets completely disabled. The more I read about the features, the more I questioned having a computer in so much control. One car will center itself in a parking spot. The cars beep at you and brake for you if you make mistakes (and most of the beeping cannot be turned off). A person once crashed a car because he thought the car would stop itself when it was parked. It didn’t. Two cars got hit that day.

One of the cars had so many buttons on the steering wheel there was scarcely room for your hands to rest.

Too many gadgets for me! Inspector Gadget would have a hard time.

Luckily, we are in the early stages of looking and driving. Much to think about.

And, oh, yes, I failed to mention how expensive new cars are. There will be much research before any purchase is made.

23 thoughts on “Calling Inspector Gadget”

  1. And you know, the cost of the car is just the beginning. The taxes on new cars in horrendus. We don’t get new cars, but we are probably in a lower income bracket from you all, and that is ok with us. We are seniors, so our main concern is just trying to have a peaceful and joyful life with what little we do have. The barbecue sounds so wonderful. We both love it, especially my Richard. We have both been ill with spring bronchitis or similar so not eating a lot, but we have a free thank you barbecue at the end of the month for having been volunteers. We enjoy being volunteers and always looking for some new free training or volunteer event that might be fun and low or no cost. We are always happy with whatever we get to do. Thank you for your great share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne, I am not sure we will buy a new car. Much research is needed before we make that decision. We are both very tall and long-legged, so we need a car that fits us above and beyond all else.

      The BBQ was wonderful. We will go back I am sure, but I will also say it was not necessarily budget friendly.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lauren, it is a challenge. You had an idea what you wanted before you went to the dealership — we are trying to narrow our choices down. Still not sure we will buy new.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Exactly why Joe and I won’t buy new cars! I just can’t handle all those bells and whistles and sometimes consequences of the computer “stuff.”. My friend bought a jeep and it actually stopped the engine at traffic lights! She went back to the dealer, who explained it really wasn’t totally stopped and how to shift peddles or,something to avoid it! NO THANKS!
    when we rent cars because of traveling, we always ask for bare bones cars! I have a feeling we will soon be in trouble with those requests! But then, you all are WAY more savvy than we are!!


    1. Nancy, that sounds horrible. A couple of the cars had crash avoidance systems which will brake the car for you but only at low speeds. Time will tell whether we go with something that has all those features or not. I am not even sure we will buy news. I need to read some long-term reviews from people who have owned the cars for several months at least.


  3. I am still struggling to nurse my 12 year-old car, as I neither want nor can really afford a new one. My wife has a 2015 Korean car that has a few ‘extras’. Like a warning that tells you the tyres are flat when there is noting wrong with them, and lane warnings that only work where there are lines for it to recognise. The one useful device is a beeper that tells her when she is too close to another parked car.
    I would like a ‘retro car’, with nothing like this on it. Just a car that starts and goes. I haven’t used a Satnav, as I still have a map. And I have never even turned on the air-conditioning on, as I open the windows.
    Cars in Britain are at least 20% more expensive than in most other countries, due to increased taxation. In some families here, paying for the car costs as much as buying their house.
    Best wishes, Pete,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pete, buying a car is a stressful proposition for me. Especially with all the extras. It is getting harder and harder to buy older cars here as everything pre-computer is considered ‘classic’ and therefore costly for the age.

      We have so many accidents and construction here that GPS can be a real benefit. Coming back from my son’s house last week, I was re-routed around an accident I did not even know existed. That side trip saved me an hour and a half of sitting on the highway.

      I cannot imagine the cost being 20% more! It is still possible to buy a small house near here here for $100K. If we tried to buy the same model car we have now (it’s 12 years old with 200,000 miles), the price is almost $70K. No way that is going to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m hoping my 12-year old Volvo, bought as a year-old car from a dealer, will last a lot longer. It has a great rear-beeping feature that detects people and things, but is otherwise free of excessive gadgets. Volvos are known for high-mileage, and I have a great mechanic in Asheville, so I’m hopeful!

    Good luck with your research!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have a Volvo, too, Lisa. It is nearing 200,000 miles. We really would like an AWD but the gadgetry is overwhelming. I hope yours lasts a long time.


  5. These vehicles are getting crazier and crazier in price and all the things that will eventually break and cost more. I love older Impala’s so I just keep buying the same car lol – makes my husband nuts but they are so comfortable, never break down, they go like snot when you have to pass, nothing talks to me or is listening to me and all I have to remember is where the wind shield wiper knob is LOL Wishing you the all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d much rather think about BBQ than buying a new car, although we are about to start that process. I don’t want much in the way of features, but it seems you really get option A,B or C, unless you want to pay more and wait forever. Good luck yo us all.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would like to have a truck again, but I don’t need one. I am looking at a small-ish crossover. I don’t need much in the way of passenger or cargo room, but I like a little flexibility. Good hunting!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. We totally lucked our way into getting a new car in 2017: a Mazda 3 hatchback. Love it! We both think the rear view camera is a godsend, and I like the collision avoidance signal, though Himself tends to ignore it half the time. He can connect his smartphone to it and stream Pandora when the local stations are too bleh.

    Himself is something of a techie, and I’m comfortable with tech, so I suppose that would help explain why I love the new car.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Victoria, I am good with tech things, I just do not want so much gadgetry it interferes with driving! 🙄

      It is always nice when opportunities appear in our lives. I am glad you were able to get a new car!


  8. My car, small crossover, Blanche the Chevy Trax, has seemingly the right amount of features. When I bought her, Mentor bought a new small crossover Honda which apparently has too many features. She has taken that thing in more often than I’ve filled the bird feeder the last 14 months. She has had many almost collisions because of its safety features. She won’t let her 17 drive it, because, she says, “It’s not safe.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh, that’s what worries me. I do not want something that beeps at me constantly. One we test drove beeped if you do not use your turn signal. Some features you can turn off and others cannot be overridden. It’s maddening.

      Liked by 1 person

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