TodayApril 17, 2022

Help Alli decide which car she should buy

What car should I buy?

Lou Ann,

This email will come across as scattered and confused, but that is because my brain is like a scrambled egg after researching and looking at cars. Plus it is about to rain and I have a terrible migraine headache. I have no idea how you do this “car thing” for a living! Maybe this process is easier for other people because they know exactly what they want.

HELP!!!!! Make this easy for me, frankly, I would rather go have another baby without drugs because it is less painful than purchasing a car. Now, with that said,

I have been all over your website researching cars today (very impressive)! Tell me what to buy. My 2002 Chevrolet Suburban had its 3rd transmission put in 2 weeks ago, just hit 60,000 miles, and it has become apparent the car and I need to end our relationship due to the financial demands on the car’s part. And did I mention how it sucks down gas faster than I can fill it up to the tune of $75.00 a tank (once or twice a week)? I feel the need to start “turning Japanese”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A car is just a car to me. I hate looking at them. I hate buying them. I only own one because I must; it is a necessity with 3 kids. I am attempting to do the entire (search, negotiating, transaction, etc.) all by myself without spousal interference. Although the dad is handy to take out with me on test drives. I have read and looked at a lot of stuff on the Internet, but there is just so much to chose from, I get a headache. Seriously, there are too many types of cars, too many models, too many options, etc. Do I care if it has a vortex engine or wood trim? A GPS system or a t.v.? These are all so not important factors.

John wants me to but a Nissan Murano new, for the warranty, (I liked the way the Maxima drove better, it sucks itself down to the ground on the freeway…way cool). I LOVE the way a (used-2006) Cadillac STS drove. Daddy made me go look at Lexus (ES 330 & RX330 used) they were just OK and overpriced, and a used Toyota Avalon (has the room I need, but it is so grandma looking, this one was BLACK but the size was SOOOOOO right for my group).

So, this should be easy for you. What is the best car for me? Factors in order of importance: (1) Reliability (2) Driver comfort, (3) Room for 3 or 4 plus driver inside, I rarely have all the kids & John in my car these days, (4) Price -trying to stay under 30,000.00, and (5) Gas mileage. Additionally, I drive about 60 miles a day, spend hours in the car, so comfort is what I noticed most when driving the Cadillac STS – felt like it “floated” on the road. Trying to get away from that “truck-like” drive that makes me feel beat up at the end of the day. Not really into the European feel of BMW’s, etc… Type, brand, appearance and all that stuff are not important either, I just want reliable and good value for the $$$.

I hate test driving and looking, and I cannot stand having to talk to car salesmen, so can you help me narrow my list down to say, two or three to go test drive. So, what do you suggest? And don’t’ suggest a bicycle!

Love ya,


I finally broke down and purchased something.  The a/c compression went out on the POS Suburban, so I traded it in rather than continue to throw money into a black hole!  I ended up with a Cadillac STS.  Now we get to see if this GM product is any different than the POS Suburban.  I really like the car, comfort, style, features, etc.  But I must say, the car is way too smart.  All this computerized stuff, I think the car is smarter than me….and that is so NOT POSSIBLE!


Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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