August 18th, 2014

Macbeth the Usurper

Car Radio Shopping

Now that I have a new-to-me car in hand, as the Ford Five Hundred (FFH) having arrived over the weekend. (My father in law bought a new car, so we are the recipients of his generosity.) The big winners for this car are AWD and traction control. As I am required to report to work in inclement weather, the ability to move about is critical for me. I know what it takes to replace my current AWD commuter, and the price on the FFH (free) was just too good to pass up.

I've gone radio shopping for the FFH. I want very specific things from my head unit: 1) USB MP3, 2) HD Radio, 3) Non-obnoxious colors, and 4) a sound adjustment knob. The result is that I can get an acceptable head unit for $99. I could also replace speakers, but at the moment, I only have pocket money for a head unit. I'll have to spring for speakers later on. I'm avoiding Bluetooth simply because it gives me no bang for the buck. I am also not getting an adapter for the steering wheel controls as that's another $60 that I don't have. When it comes to gadgetry vs. simplicity, simplicity almost always wins for me.

Driving the FFH around, performance and size match my Subaru well enough that driving it felt normal. My dad used to own a car about this size when I was in high school so I think that my brain tapped into those 70's cars that I used to drive. I mostly adjusted to automatic, I did have one incident where I slammed the brakes instead of the clutch, but hopefully from now on I remember then when I'm driving. While the car feels less snappy, it is a far smoother rider, so taking this beast on family visits should be a no brainer.

I'm not sure how I feel about auto gadgetry yet. I am a dial person and the setup for this dash is more electronic/button oriented, but some of the automatic controls might be handy. Mostly likely, I'll adapt and stop thinking about it. The seats are electric, and they may have "memory seating" available, which means that I can hit a button and my preferred seating returns to my preferences. Useful. The driver side window has a one-button down. That's useful every day.

I have no plans for pimping my ride. That would take work. (Except a hula girl for the dashboard.)