Tag Archives: acura

Three-way on the Freeway: My Car Accident

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On July the 15th, I was innocently tooling down the highway, headed to a local event to hang out with some friends. Out of nowhere – CRASH! Someone driving a rental car behind me smashed into the back of my car, shoving me hard into the car in front of me. I was effectively the middle of a car sandwich.

Thankfully, no one was injured. Had I known I was about to be hit, I’d have probably tensed up and been hurt. However, I had no idea it was happening until it was over and done with.

Neither the car in the back nor the car in the front sustained much damaged. My poor little Vader, however, has several owies. It’s pretty crunched up, in the front AND the back. Needless to say, Vader now has to head into the shop and have just a tiny little bit of work done. Ok – so it’s a lot of work. The car was not drivable after it happened. I just am glad that I have insurance!

Gates, Dell, Ellison, Ballmer, Pogue, Jobs… Pirillo!?

Imagine my surprise when AutoMotoPortal decided to include me in their round-up for “What Cars Do Famous Geeks Drive?” I have no idea why I was included, as I’m (a) not famous and (b) NOT FAMOUS. I’m thrilled for the nod, but a bit disappointed that they didn’t hyperlink back somewhere into my known digital universe. Still, they’re 99% Acura-te:

Chris Pirillo is an Internet entrepreneur, book author, ex-TV show host and technology enthusiast. He is addicted to computer hardware and software -and the Acura TSX. According to him, the 2006 TSX is about as geeky as today’s cars can get. This car has an audio in jack, live traffic reports, Bluetooth connectivity, Zagat ratings and an excellent navigation system with voice recognition.

The car also has handsfreelink, keyless access system with driver recognition. The sound system in the Acura is a 360-watt system with AM/FM stereo, 6 disc in dash CD changer and eight speakers. There is also an XM satellite radio, MP3/auxillary input jack and home link. Other accessories include a dual zone automatic climate control system and heated front seats, theft deterrent system with an electronic immobilizer. The exterior temperature indicator lets you know what the temperature is outside.

And now, some editorial corrections: (1) I used to lease a 2004 Acura TSX; (2) I now lease a 2006 Acura RL; (3) My 2006 Acura RL was built with the “sport” package, since they were trying to get it off the lot right before the 2007s came in (as detailed in an earlier blog post); (4) The 2006 Acura RL doesn’t have an input jack – which I find wholly depressing.

Any other happy Acura owners out there?

Acura RL

With my 2004 Acura TSX lease ending on October 15th, we had not a moment to lose. It was time to find a new car to carry us through the next three years. I’ve been pretty happy with my TSX – enough to consider the newest model. The 2007 Acura TSX does not offer many improvements over the 2006, but it does have the an audio input jack, Bluetooth, and the wonderful nav system I’ve come to depend on. I thought traffic reports would be color coded on the screen, but that turned out not to be the case.

For grins, we decided to hop into the showroom’s 2006 Acura RL – a luxury class automobile, and the last on the lot. When the marketers say “luxury,” they’re not just talking about the ride. I can’t think of a more luxurious car for geeks than the Acura RL. It reminded me of the Millenium Falcon, with so many buttons and knobs – I didn’t know what to fiddle with first. Of course, Ponzi’s all about the outside of a ride – which this particular car had going for it, with the A-Spec Performance Package applied. Was it worth considering?

We asked to take a test drive “around the block,” taking it on a pre-determined course with the salesman riding shotgun. Smooth, quiet, comfortable – everything you’d expect. I wasn’t sure if I could feel the difference between the RL and my current TSX, though. The dealer was knocking close to $10k off this pimped mobile – to make room for the forthcoming 2007 RL. We could wait for the new model, pay the same amount, and get a car that looked far less finished – or take this one with a single addition (the rear-view / backup camera).

Ponzi and I left the location, driving away in our TSX. I could feel the difference immediately – and decided to, on the spot, drive the same course as we just had with the RL. The cruise felt constrained (not in cabin room, but in general maneuvering) – and I could feel so many more imperfections in the road. The difference, indeed, was night and day. The only thing the 2006 Acura RL was missing was an audio-in jack – but I wonder if there would be a way to add one?

Ponzi is a mean negociator – I’m glad she’s on my side. We returned to the dealership and started to talk shop. They really needed to move this car, and we used that knowledge to our advantage. We settled on a mutually amicable set of terms after a few “back and forths.” I will drive that 2006 Acura RL off the lot on Wednesday afternoon, after a few modifcations are completed.

The RL lease terms are fairly comfortable, and quite comparable what we had with Honda Financial Services and our TSX (including our monthly payment). I still don’t know if I can find a shop to add an audio-in jack, but… I’m wholly satisfied with our decision to go with this particular RL. Maybe I’ll name it “Vader,” since it has a black chassis?

Wanna sell me a car?

Okay, I think I want to lease a 2006 Acura TSX (with a few bells and whistles, like the navigation system and MP3/WMA add-in). My lease with Honda is up in another month, so I have to “scramble” to get my next car lined up before then. There have been fantastic suggestions in my Acura vs. Lexus post, including links to no-dicker resources and/or the idea of getting a car sponsored by any given dealership. I’m wondering if I should reverse engineer this entire car leasing process? Who wants to give me an offer I simply can’t refuse? I’m throwing my business out there – who wants it?

Acura vs. Lexus

My Acura’s lease is up in another month, and I just can’t wait! I love my 2004 Acura TSX through and through, but I’m anxious to get the 2006 Acura TSX. Ponzi says I should look around to see what other sedans are comparable. To my knowledge, the best contender is a 2007 Lexus IS 250 – but it’s ~$10k more than the Acura TSX. At least I’ll have a bit of leverage when I walk into the dealership. I hate dickering. I really do.

Why am I stuck on the Acura TSX? It’s been a great car for me. Plus, the 2006 TSX is just about the geekiest auto on the market today. It’s got an excellent nav system, Zagat ratings, voice controls, live traffic, XM Satellite radio, Bluetooth, audio in jack, etc. I got “hit” by a Geek Car:

TSX Reviews from across the Web are overwhelmingly positive in all the areas that matter most to me – and the car scores quite well on Informed For Life (an automobile safety index). Dunno. I’m going to have to make a decision come October 15th! Never did a lease before, so I’m not quite sure how this will work.