As for me, I drive a 2007 Ford Focus ZX3. I’m on my third ZX3. For those of you who don’t have a subscription to AutoTrader, the ZX3 isn’t as sporty as those catchy letters and numbers might imply. It’s a two-door hatchback. Edmunds.com tells us that this ’07 economy car is “several steps behind the class leaders” but its “fun-to-drive character could still make it an acceptable choice for budget-minded enthusiasts and commuters.”
Yawn! But that’s me, budget-minded. Not the status that I aspire to being labeled with. But to me, my car isn’t a status symbol. It’s a part of the family.
I got my first ZX3 in 2000 when they first came out. I thought it was one of the ugliest cars I’d seen, but my husband liked the 0% financing that Ford was offering, so we bought it with the understanding that I would only drive it while wearing a paper bag over my head.
My feelings about that changed rather suddenly one day when I dropped my daughter off at school and one of the junior high school boys asked – with obvious awe and admiration in his voice – “Wow! Is that your car?” Yep! You betcha. That’s my car. The paper sack came off, for good.
Since the car was green and was a little “puddle jumper” compared to other behemoths we’d been driving, we named it Kermie after Kermit the Frog of Muppet fame. Kermie served our family well, until one day my oldest daughter decided to take up cello playing. Alas, Kermie couldn’t hold me, two daughters, and a cello for the daily commute to and from school. With a tear in my eye, I traded Kermie in on an SUV, my status statement there being, “Hey, my daughter plays the cello. Take that and move over, all you piccolo piping pipsqueaks!”
The cello playing didn’t last long, and it was a happy day when I traded the gas-guzzling SUV in for my second ZX3, this one a red ’07. Kermie II couldn’t replace Kermie I, of course, but it landed a place in my heart nonetheless. I vowed that this would be the car I would drive forever, until the end of barbed wire and duct tape. Last May I proudly made my final payment on the car (thank you Ford for yet another 0% interest loan). Life was good.
Last Tuesday, I got T-boned in an intersection while driving Kermie II. Thankfully the driver of the other vehicle was uninjured, and my injuries will eventually clear up. That’s the important stuff. But sadly, poor Kermie II was a goner. It’s on its way to totaled-vehicle heaven.
While waiting for the final verdict on whether my car was going to be totaled (although it seemed obvious to me when the front of the car is facing north and the rear is heading northwest), I went scouring online to find a suitable replacement. And what should I find? A 2007 Ford Focus ZX3!
Kermie III is gray, automatic (unlike its predecessors), and - best of all – has side air bags, which have suddenly become an important selling point for me. And it already feels like part of the family.
As with Kermie II, I hope that Kermie III will be the car I grow old with. And if I take up cello, I will buy one with a retractable neck. Do they make those? They should. Otherwise, there’s really nothing wrong with the piccolo.