Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Case of the Jukes? Let the Used Car Buyer Beware

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A Case of the Jukes? Let the Used Car Buyer Beware

Article excerpt

Our family has a collection of ragtag automobiles that, while they still run, have seen better days. My wife and I each need a car to get to work, and our two daughters in college have to have cars or they could never leave campus. As a result, we all spend much of our time riding around in vehicles that may or may not get us where we want to go. For our cars, every mile could be the Green Mile.

About three years ago, my wife and I went looking for a car for her, bringing along our oldest son. My wife had her eye on a model she'd seen on the street, the Nissan Juke. She thought it looked cool and powerful, much more "sporty" than the sedans she'd been driving. We might not be able to get her a new car, but at least she could get one that looked "new-ish."

Our son had other thoughts. The Juke, he said, was about the most revolting car ever produced. My wife would be a laughingstock, riding around in a misshapen circus attraction that would call attention to how out of touch she was. He even pulled up a news story on his phone saying that the Juke was actually getting uglier with each passing year.

We drove the car, but it was hard to concentrate with my son making snarky comments from the back seat. By the end of the test drive, even the salesman was convinced that no one should ever be seen in this monstrosity. My wife decided to go with an old Volvo sedan, safe, comfortable . and boring. Ever since, when we pass a Juke on the street, she lets out a longing sigh.

Then last month, my car was totaled. I was heading to work on the highway when I saw an accident up ahead. I slowed down to pass safely, wondering whether I needed to call 911. The person behind me chose not to slow down - at all - and slammed into me so hard that I was sent skidding a hundred yards up the road, leaving bits and chunks of Subaru along the way and leaving me with aches, sprains and minor cuts. …

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