A few months ago, I was sitting at a traffic light when I got a call from a friend, “Hey!” she said, “I’m about to pass you, there is no way I could miss your new car!” I was delighted, and still soaking in the bliss of being the new owner of a 2012 Ford Fiesta, one that is extremely hard to miss and practically glows in the dark.
I have been told by those who really know me well, that this car is totally me: easy going, bright, fun, sassy, small, eco-friendly and has a European flair (the Fiesta has been a popular car in Europe where I lived as a foreign exchange student during my junior year in high school).
I love my car. She drives beautifully, is great on gas mileage, is very safe (thanks to a slew of airbags, a boron shell and a blind spot mirror), has an amazing sound system and the high-tech Ford SYNC® system that lets me do all kinds of cool things like make phone calls hands free, dial in for directions or sync my smartphone up to my car’s spectacular sound system. I could not be happier with the result of my first car purchase and am very thankful for everyone who helped me along the way to make my new ride a reality.
Last summer started out on a rocky road when my previous car, a fire-engine red car that was not a Ford, broke down for what would be the first of three painful times in the course of three months. It became a running joke that I stocked my car full of good luck charms to keep it on the road, not on the side of it. While those good luck charms had the personal power to keep me safe in some sticky roadside situations when I was broken down (for which I am most grateful) their good karma did not extend to the car itself.
To make a long story short, the third time was a charm when to my bewilderment my car could only go 10 miles an hour in reverse! After a diagnosis of a transmission that disintegrated, it was time to face the music and seriously start looking for a set of new wheels. The thought of replacing what I already knew and loved crushed me, but my old car gave me a great idea of the kind of car I wanted: a fuel-efficient hatchback that was small and easy to park. To match my sustainable lifestyle, I really liked the idea of driving a car that was green in both functionality and form, so any car that came in that sustainable hue was a plus in my book.
My father was an award-winning automotive journalist for most of my life, and car manufacturers would provide him with a different new car to drive each week for more than two decades. Even with that kind of experience, I was still terrified of the thought of purchasing my first car.
I have been to countless car shows and rode in hundreds of new cars, and have even fallen for a handful of pricey high-tech hybrid fuel sippers. However, I knew I had to be realistic and leave these pricey cars parked in my driveway of dreams. Or so I thought.
As it turned out, I did not have to compromise and was still able to purchase a car that was in my price range, super stylish and with amazing gas mileage. And the whole dealership thing turned out to be really enjoyable!
After looking at several cars, I finally called up my father and asked him, “how do you like the Ford Fiesta?”
“Great choice, let’s go check it out”, he replied and later that week we went to look at them since he was good friends of the head of Koons Ford Baltimore in Baltimore, MD.
I test drove a Fiesta and was very happy that it had everything I wanted as well as other neat features for a car in this price range like heated seats and the SYNC system. My father was impressed with my choice and really thought it was a no-brainer with the sleek European design, high gas mileage, safety and advanced technology.
My father’s friend, Dennis Koulatsos, General Manager and Vice President of Koons Ford of Baltimore, told me he would hold the next Lime Squeeze Fiesta that came in for me. In fact, he even let me drive a new Ford Fusion sedan for the couple of weeks it took for my Fiesta to come in. Right on schedule, I got the call that my car had arrived and I rushed to the dealership right after work.
There were two Lime Squeeze Fiestas for me to choose from. One had a solid black interior another had a gray interior. Originally I was going to go with the black, but then I tried out the one with the gray interior with its cool two-tone fabric pattern that made the Fiesta look much roomier inside. That was it: I was in love with the green and the gray!
My new car is nothing less than gorgeous. Everyone at the dealership was very helpful and friendly and really put my mind at ease when having to make such a big decision. And, I was happy to buy a Ford and support an American company that is known for their green side.
I am so relieved that I now to have a car that is safe, efficient, fun and easy to drive. I am still overjoyed and love showing her off and taking her for a spin! Keep your eyes peeled, you may see me bobbing around Baltimore with my Lime Squeeze Fiesta — she’s kind of hard to miss. After all, the only thing shiner than the luster of her eye-catching exterior is my gleaming smile when I am behind the wheel of my new green dream machine!
Katie Peige is a young sustainability professional living in the Baltimore area. Having grown up a car girl, she credits the car industry in sparking her interest in alternative fuels, renewable energy, and ultimately sustainable business. When she is not working to make the world a greener place, Katie enjoys traveling either by Fiesta, bus, or plane to see old friends, make new ones, and log more travel stories in her book of adventures.