I’ve lived in major cities where public transportation was accessible for all but one year of my adult life. The one year I spent back home in Delaware, my Mother passed on her Honda Civic to me and spared me the anxiety of trying to catch up with Sallie Mae payments log enough for my credit to be just decent enough to get a car loan approved. Then last week I kissed all things known as Metro cards & SmartTrips good bye and with a one way plane ticket to Houston, Texas, moved into my souther suburban home with no bus or train routes in site — does Amtrak even run here? So now I have to buy a car. But what is most curious about venturing into the world of automobiles it that I’ve largely been told that when I got to the car dealership I should bring a man and I’m trying to remember who told me that? Who or what ingrained in me that as a single woman, I need to call up the nearest manly man and have him walk me through the car buying process. But peruse any car marketing and very rarely is it marketed towards women, let a lone the invisible group of women of color, even though women make up over 52% of the new car buyers in the USA. Even when it is marketed to women, there is almost always a man or family include in the advert. Do single women buy cars? Do they buy them alone, without father, boyfriend, brother, cousin, or husband? Or do women really only buy cars when they are headed to pick up their 6 foot, full hairline, white teeth, good credit, no kids bae or once they have the 2.5 American dream of a family? Well let the car marketing tell it…
So as I advocate for the #SmartBrownGirl, and overall calling for women of all ethnicities to make a call to action for better marketing that pays attention to our dominance as consumers who move the market, I am also cataloging my experience as I set out to buy a car. For the first (two) stops @DriveSTI has been super kind in lending me vehicles to test drive. First time around I was given the Kia Soul (review: loved it!) which I used for my #BrownGirlsTravel tour of Austin and Houston, TX. Now to welcome me to my new home in Houston, I was given the newly redone Mitsubishi Mirage and I was the first person to test drive the vehicle!
The #MitsubishiMirage is a compact, hatchback style, economy vehicle that is a super saver on the gas and wallet at just $15,200 MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price). It is a super cost effective car with 40MPG (miles per gallon). I was given the car with a full tank of gas and only added a half a tank through the 400 miles that I added to the car in a week. Since it is a compact economy car, I expected the ride to not be super smooth, but I was concerned with how the car accelerates, it just doesn’t sound or feel nice. But I rode the car a lot and got pretty use to how the car speeds up. I really liked the color of the car @DriveSTI gave me, Starlight Silver, with an icy metallic overlay. I’m 5’7 with pretty long legs but had no problem with the leg room and having people in the back. I didn’t have to sit up on the steering wheel to give people room in the back.
- Gas mileage is great!!! 40MPG is amazeballs.
- Small & compact, so easy to parallel park and can squeeze into small spaces.
- Rearview camera when you put car into reverse.
- GPS is super efficient, tells you the amount of gas a trip will require, allows you to log trips, and tells you when you’re over the speed limit.
- Good safety features with seven airbags.
- Car engine is loud.
- Depending on the placement of the steering wheel, hides gas meter and there’s no notification for when you low on gas.
- Small storage space.
- Acceleration is throttled.
Would I buy this car? Nope, I’m too grown for it but I think this is a good fit for a teenager or young first time car owner. As a parent you can have the GPS log trips and it gives you a report with the route traveled + average speed. Be creeptastic, lol! I just need something that is slightly bigger, sits higher up off the ground and has more interior features, namely the usb on the dashboard (it’s in the glove compartment of the Mirage). But I did enjoy my ride!
Are you looking to buy a car? What questions do you have about the car buy process? What are your requirements for buying a car? Any tips to offer overall? Comment down below and join the discussion!
The author Jouelzy
Jouelzy is a #SmartBrownGirl, Author, Vlogger & Writer, addressing lifestyle issues that impact women of color from beauty, culture to technology. With 162k+ subscribers she’s reshaping the image of women of color, who honor their right to revel in their diversity.