Monday, August 20, 2007

Looky here

After 12 years and 185,000 miles, I have replaced this car with...

Behold the new Cho Mobile: The Honda Element 2007 EX.

As of two Sundays ago, my mind was pretty much set on the Toyota RAV4, but this guy from church murmured something about it being a "chick car," which pretty much did it for me. It was enough for one person in the whole world to think that for me to decide against it. So I chose the EleMENt.

Now before deluging my inbox with hate mail particularly in light of the previous posting about traditional gender roles, take a deep breath and hear me out. The RAV4's demographic target is young college girls, and this 41 year old man gracing it would be equivalent to hanging out at a Britney Spears concert. It's just wrong and creepy.

I absolutely love this car. It is not in me to "love" a car considering that the 1995 Corolla has been my mode of transportation for 12 years and given my general disdain for the car culture of Southern California. It can hold its ground against other big name SUV's on the road, has better gas mileage and is economical.

And it looks really cool. Call it whatever you want. A lego box on wheels. A toaster on wheels. Some guy asked me if I was delivering flowers. All the grief I've been getting inspires me to adore the car even more. Go ahead and fill the comments.

The Honda Element commands a rabid following. Element owners have their own online club and the local Southern California chapter hosts monthly meetups to get together and swap love stories. I am not sure about meeting these weirdos in person yet. Never imagined a whole subculture around a car model.

The Corolla's air conditioner died, which forced me to endure without one through two summers and several epic heat waves. Although it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I was ready for a new car.

Not having mastered the controls on the dashboard of the Element, I have yet to learn how to tame the powerful new air conditioner. Its potency incites my nipples to stand up instantly even in the sweltering August heat of Southern California.

I am so sorry if the unfortunate description triggers an unpleasant imagery. I don't know how else to get you to empathize with me.


At August 20, 2007 11:47 PM, Blogger Barbara (aka Layla) said...

Well Congrats on your manly new vehicle....I like it. I still drive a '99 Nissan Altima with about 100,000 miles on her. I am going to get at least two more years our of her, maybe more. But after seeing your new car....dang....maybe I NEED a new car now?

I chose to ignore your visual, couldn't go there.

At August 21, 2007 5:27 AM, Blogger Amber said...

Now that's a sweet ride. Congrats! I completely get the subculture around a car thing - remember I drive a Jeep. Jeep owners take their Jeeps very seriously and even have a "Jeep wave" to greet other Jeep drives on the road.

At August 21, 2007 7:04 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

What visual, barb?

amber, LOL! I don't know how E owners greet each others, but that is hilarious.

At August 21, 2007 8:17 AM, Blogger SUPER said...

The new "Cho mobile" eh? You're too funny!
Looks like a fun new ride though...

At August 21, 2007 10:27 AM, Blogger Gretchen said...

That is a VERY cool car! The silver is a great color that you won't get tired of. I remember getting my new Toyota after driving a very old Toyota for a long time. It was exilirating!
Have fun!

At August 21, 2007 10:42 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

Gretchen, I'm surprised that you were able to pick up the car color. In the photo, it looks white, but you are right. It is silver, and I like the color.

At August 21, 2007 11:15 AM, Blogger rubyslipperlady said...

Looks like you are going to have to go to one of those meetings after all. I mean, you want to make sure you get the E-wave right, don't you?

At August 21, 2007 2:56 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

Congratulations on the new car, David! Well deserved - and about time!

I'll never write you hate mail, but I'm surprised that you're not secure enough to buy whatever car you want, despite whoever it's being marketed to. That's a little disappointing.

But hey, you love your new ride, and that's the main thing. Enjoy!

At August 22, 2007 5:56 AM, Blogger Mike Y said...

When I first saw the Element, I thought it had to be designed by the guy who designed the Pontiac Aztec. I went to the Honda dealer to look at the Pilot and the sales guy kept insisting I look at the Element.

Well, I did and fell in love with it after the first ride. I've had mine for nearly 4 years and 65K miles.


At August 22, 2007 11:45 AM, Blogger J.OTIS MERSTER said...

That is one cool car.
Notice this is a hakiku-
a haiku for you.

I like Element.
Immensely practical.
You can hose it out.

Perfect for kayak
and very, very big dog.
My little dog, too.

At August 22, 2007 2:06 PM, Blogger Jake Belder said...

Nice ride. The new Elements definitely look better than the previous style. I wish I could upgrade my '94 626 with 180,000 miles to something new like that, but unfortunately, if I get another car, I might be able to afford one with 140,000 miles on it. ;) Hopefully one with A/C though. Mine broke, and in Florida the heat doesn't come in waves. It's constant.

At August 23, 2007 6:37 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Wow, I love the new car!! Looks great. :)

At August 25, 2007 7:42 PM, Blogger Oricon Ailin said...

Woohoo! It's wicked awesome!

I have a Saturn Vue, silver in color. I love my little SUV.

I've seen many Elements here in town. They are quite popular here in El Paso. I don't think I've seen a silver one like yours though. I see a lot of green ones around here.

Congrats on the new car!!!! Yea!!

At August 26, 2007 1:58 PM, Blogger Friar Tuck said...

Looks much more comfortable for potential passengers of greater size than yourself

At August 26, 2007 9:35 PM, Blogger Tony Myles said...

Don't let Ed Begley jr find out... he probably would want you to have a bike.

At August 28, 2007 6:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey David,
Love your new car! My nephews call them shoeboxes. When we are driving around Duluth, MN they will shout out "Shoebox!" and scare me half to death!
But I've got to stand up for the RAV4! It's a gender-neutral car. I can prove it because both I and the male youth pastor at my church have one. Both are silver and very cool looking. His is a little better, as it's 4wheel drive, which is a big bonus when we have slippery snow on our hills here.

I also wanted to give you a new blog -- it will show you about the Northern Minnesota culture, much more than I can describe :) He's one of my classmates from our 14 person class. I went to school with him from kindergarten through 12th grade. We just had our 20th high school reunion over the weekend and I found out that he lives in the same town as I just moved into last summer!

Hope you are well and SoCal is treating you well,

At August 28, 2007 2:13 PM, Blogger San Nakji said...

It's sad that you have turned your back on Toyota. Very sad :(

At September 25, 2007 1:53 PM, Blogger Mike said...

congrats on the new car. You will love it. I have had the Honda CRV for about 3 years and have no complaints!

Also, just purchased a Honda Fit...check out my blog and see how I blubber over having a new car!

Yeah....its fun...right! :-)


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