Features | She Speaks She Speaks: Saying goodbye to a well-loved ride By Celia Downes email@example.com April 28, 2019 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! COURTESY NISSAN Even as sensors went haywire and the automatic windows got stickier, my Versa saw me through thick and thin. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. In my mind there are two kinds of people — the kind who have no qualms about buying or leasing a new vehicle every few years and the kind who will drive their old clunker around until there’s more rust than workable parts. Or, as my dad likes to say, when the cost of repairs finally outpaces the cost of a new(er) ride. I fall firmly into the latter camp, probably thanks to my dad’s outlook and our family history of car ownership. All the vehicles I remember growing up seemed to last well into their golden years; even after we kids got our own cars and left home, my dad still drove our trusty white van until it got too pricey to fix. Before this year, I’d only driven a couple cars in my life. The one that lasted the longest was my beloved Nissan Versa, which survived an accident not long after I purchased it to become my trusty partner in transit. I logged many, many miles in my Versa even though it had a jarring (I called it endearing) post-accident-repair rattle that I could never get diagnosed. Its lack of window tinting turned the interior into a sauna most days. Minor scrapes here and there left spots that began to rust as the years passed. Even as sensors went haywire and the automatic windows got stickier, my Versa saw me through thick and thin. It didn’t complain when I neglected to wash it for months on end, or when lacquer started peeling off the door handles, or when dog hairs began to outnumber dust particles. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and it was becoming clear that my dear Versa’s days were numbered. Two costly repairs in the span of a few months — plus an obvious, and ominous, escalation in that rattle — had my husband and me seriously thinking about the pros and cons of a new car. Everything came together when, while casually browsing used-car options at Nissan dealerships across the island, we spotted my car, only better: a Nissan Versa Note, just six years younger than my Versa but light-years ahead in terms of technology. I was drawn to the newer car because it was just like my old car, only a little shinier. The new features weren’t overwhelming or completely foreign to my amateur tech brain, and it boasted “luxury” details like cushy seats and an armrest. The best part, though, was that it was a realistic all-cash purchase. Another thing I learned growing up is that while money is good, no debt is even better. My original Versa was also an all-cash buy, and not much beats having one less monthly payment to deal with. So, after a few visits to our local dealership, I became the proud owner of another Nissan Versa. It’s been a little over a month since the purchase and I have to say, it wasn’t a bad decision. I’m more confident in the smoother ride, and the technology updates have been fun to navigate — except for the cameras designed to aid backing up, which are a pain to someone who was raised to use mirrors and common sense. Despite all the new goodies, sometimes I do wish I still had my beloved Versa. I secretly adored that obnoxious rattle, even if nobody else did. “She Speaks” is a column by women writers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Reach Celia Downes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous Story Five-0 Redux: Making peace with past is tough lesson for ‘Hawaii Five-0’ Next Story Health Options: Can you ‘beet’ high blood pressure?