USA, 4: You really, REALLY need a car to get around. Hence, Cadillac!

This is the fourth post depicting me and my wife’s excursion to the USA. We are in the country to study, travel, business and leisure. Short version of the post: we went and got a car, because we didn’t have any other options.

So, what’s up?

We’ve been in the country for a couple of weeks. If there’s one thing, that’s become painfully clear, it’s the fact that you really need a car to get anywhere in this country. The only stores in Whitewater are Walgreens and Walmart, the latter being the worst kind of supermarket, where everyone goes by car. Even then, going to a supermarket by car is one thing, but getting to a goodwill or energy company or anything more excotic than a coffee shop gets borderline impossible.

Americans seem super nice, though, and we have received rides from Mari’s student friends, awesome folks at the CRU and of course our American friends Ben and David & Ellen. Having to bother other people to take you to a goodwill is pretty awful, though, so we wanted to get a car to ourselves. We had actually tentatively planned already before our trip, but things just got a more tangible when we actually got here and got to suffer from not having a vehicle on our own.

So, we did what any American would do, and bought a car. Cue, the…

Cadillac Deville 1995

When choosing a car, we had a few things we needed to consider. The car would have to have a lot of room (minimum 4 people + bags) for roadtripping, it’d have to be reasonably reliable, and if possible, it would need to be American. Fuel efficiency was not a huge concern for us, as gas costs around 50-70% less here, than it does in Finland. 

Cadillac Deville 1995. V8 engine, and drives like a boat.

I don’t know if getting the car actually made any sense or not. We did look for other options as well, but using taxis or rental cars seems absolutely hopeless, and getting a car seemed to be the only possible decision. I’ve got another blog post cooking about the unwillingness of anyone letting us buy anything (even anything as simple as a rental car), but at the very least the car dealerships weren’t the worst in that regard.

Pontiac Grand Prix
Pontiac Grand Prix at Beloitte. That one was clanky, but it’s younger 2008 brother was very promising and we kind of went to buy it.

What else did we consider?

Before finally ending up buying the Caddy we did take a look at multiple other options. Pontiac Grand Prix, some Dodges, and some Chevrolets at the very least were other possibilities. And of course we could’ve always backpedaled from the plan and actually end up buying a Kia or Toyota instead. However, the selection was somewhat limited (with our budget, geographical location and the time we had available), so after we were a bit hesitant and kind of lost a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix, we though this beauty would be a cool plan B.

A couple of my friends already kind of criticised the decision NOT to buy a Ford Mustang, or similar muscle car. Those were never an actual option, as we’d need to get a car with reasonably comfortable seating for 4 persons. Can’t say that one wouldn’t be nice, though – and the Pontiacs had a slightly sporty feeling, so they got that going for them. Driving a boat around isn’t that bad of an option, though, and Caddy drives well and feels fun to maneuver!

Refueling the Cadillac
Refueling the Cadillac is still cheaper than refueling our 2005 Citroen in Finland, even though this thing has double the fuel tank size! Gas is pretty cheap around here…

My father-in-law already called dibs on the car, if we happen to bring it back with us to Finland. We’ll see about that, I guess…

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Antti K. Koskela

Solutions Architect / Escalations Engineer at Koskila / Norppandalotti Software / Valo Solutions
Antti Koskela is a proud digital native nomadic millenial full stack developer (is that enough funny buzzwords? That's definitely enough funny buzzwords!), who works as a Solutions Architect for Valo Intranet, the product that will make you fall in love with your intranet. Working with the global partner network, he's responsible for the success of Valo deployments happening all around the world. He's been a developer from 2004 (starting with PHP and Java), and he's been bending and twisting SharePoint into different shapes since MOSS. Nowadays he's not only working on SharePoint, but also on .NET projects, Azure, Office 365 and a lot of other stuff. This is his personal professional (e.g. professional, but definitely personal) blog.

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