Two weeks ago, I lost something that I loved so much…

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Features
Tags: , ,

Yes, after 13 years of faithful service, my grandparents’ 1997 Nissan Sentra Series III Super Saloon outlived its usefulness by developing serious engine issues. As a result, it was promptly sold.

Of all the cars that we’ve had, I was most attached to that one. I learned how to drive in the Sentra. It was also the easiest and most pleasurable to drive. And unlike the other cars, it provided absolutely stress-free driving: no breakdowns or close calls as far as I can remember. Cheesy as it may sound, I really felt a connection with the car. You know, the whole driver-being-one-with-the-car philosophy. So, I was a bit sad that it was disposed.

Nissan Sentra Super Saloon
(Seen here as the bridal car for my Tita’s wedding)

Anyway, the Sentra needed a replacement ASAP. So, we engaged in what I found to be quite an enjoyable experience: car shopping.

To summarize: the Civic, the Focus, and the Sentra 200 are too expensive, the Altis is as exciting as applesauce, the Mazda 3 didn’t have a manual transmission option (a requirement), the Accent was too small, and the Sentra GSX was just pathetic.

At the end of the day, the shortlist was trimmed to two cars:

Chevrolet Cruze
(Photo courtesy of

The first dealer we went to was Chevrolet Quezon Avenue. At first, my mom and grandpa had reservations on buying an American car. But, I insisted that we check out the new Cruze. And we all immediately fell in love with it. It was drop-dead pretty and it had the latest toys. And, it was more affordable than the Civic and the Altis. Considering the abundance of features, the style, and the freebies, it was quite a sweet deal.

Mitsubishi Lancer GLX

(Photo courtesy of

The last dealership we visited was Mitsubishi Motors Marcos Highway. The Lancer was not even considered at first. But, since we wanted all the bases covered, we checked out the base GLX model. Mind you, it’s the old generation and not the new EX variant. Since it’s quite a dated model, I was surprised at the features: dual airbags, disc brakes on all four corners, and so on. Not far behind the Cruze. And, its best feature yet: a sticker price that’s about P190,000 lower than the Cruze.

To be brutally honest, I believe that the Lancer is the smarter choice. However, I also believe that, when buying cars, you choose not just with your head but also with your heart. Even with a P190,000 premium, how could you say no to the Cruze’s attractive styling and flashy interior? Especially when compared to the Lancer’s dated design.

So it seems we’re getting the Cruze. Can’t wait to have a go at it. Ah, the thrill of a brand-new car (even if it’s not yours.) Nothing quite like it.


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