Friday, February 15, 2013
Patch readers will remember Angela Youngblood from her "Patch Drives" test-driving series last year. Read about her new vehicle — and about how her big, old van turned into a teachable moment for her whole family.
Editor's note: Rochester mom Angela Youngblood chronicled her car-shopping adventure across Oakland and Macomb counties last year for a series we called Patch Drives. Patch readers went along as Youngblood test drove a Honda Odyssey, Ford Flex, MINI Cooper, Chevy Suburban, Dodge Journey and Chrysler Town & Country. Here is the long-awaited ending to her research and travels. Last spring, I was van shopping. I was searching for the right fit for our family. You all went along for the ride while I tried out different SUVs, minivans and even a MINI Cooper. Eight long months have passed and I finally got my new ride. Let me back up a bit. Since we last talked, the van has been falling apart little by little, sort of like my pride. After …
Thursday, June 21, 2012
You can, indeed, relate a fear of getting older and a love for '80s hair bands to shopping for minivans.
Editor's note: This is the final installment in a two-month series. To read the full report, including all of Angela's car reviews, see our Patch Drives page. I began this car-shopping, test-driving experience as a total non-car person. I couldn’t even tell you the year, make or model of my current ride. To be honest, after two months of car talk, I still couldn’t tell you the year, make or model of my current ride. But I can tell you that this experience has taught me so much. It’s taught me that you can indeed relate a fear of getting older and a love for '80s hair bands to shopping for minivans. It’s taught me that there’s a reason that we are somewhat auto-obsessed in America. It’s taught me that a stay-at-home mother who just …
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Have you voted in our poll to help Patch Drives writer Angela Youngblood decide which vehicle should replace her aging full-size van?
Thursday, June 14, 2012
She's taken six different vehicles for test drives. Now it's time for van-driving-mom-of-4 Angela Youngblood to get serious about her next ride.
By now, you've probably fallen in love with Angela Youngblood and her endearing family as they've taken us along on their car-shopping adventure. As you recall in our launch of the Patch Drives series, Angela is in search of a replacement for her full-size van that's on the fritz. She is looking for something roomy yet stylish; practical yet talked-about. Here's a recap of her test drives: Now it's time to hear from you. Which vehicle do you think best fits Angela and her family? Are there any other she should try? Any she should try for a second time? What do you think of her reviews? Should she make a purchase?
Thursday, June 7, 2012
This week I just might have driven THE one. You know how it is when you just know?
So I am starting to feel a little like Goldilocks. This car is too big. This car is too small. These leather seats are too soft. Okay, I never said that. It’s been a long road of testing, driving, braking, synching, car looping and more. All in search of the perfect car for my larger-than-average family of six. I’ve come a long way, baby, since my first test drive (a Ford Flex) so many weeks ago. I’ve been impressed with hands-free technology, reverse-sensing systems, those amazing leather seats and more. But this week I just might have driven THE one: a Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L Minivan. You know how it is when you just know? When I met my husband we fell madly in love and we knew it was different. I knew he was the one. We…
Thursday, May 31, 2012
I'm shifting gears — and shifting into gear — in a two-seater. Because a mom can dream all kinds of movie-scene cool, right?
Editor's note: This is the latest in a series; Angela, a mom of four, is writing about her search for a replacement for her full-size van. So far she has driven a Ford Flex, a Honda Odyssey, a Chevy Suburban and a Dodge Journey. My 20th high school reunion is this August. Not to go all When Harry Met Sally on you, but I will be 40 ... someday. Except my someday is only a couple years away. I still expect to see my 28-year-old self when I look in the mirror. And if I’m totally being honest, some days it’s more like my 15-year-old self. Some days I get overwhelmed with all this aging. Not because I can see every bad sunbathing decision in the form of a new wrinkle on my face. No. More because I feel like someone else should be in charge…
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Angela has driven a Ford Flex, a Chevy Suburban, a Honda Odyssey and now a Dodge Journey. What do you think of her tales from the driver's seat?
Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Dodge Journey helped me accept the fact that maybe 'soccer mom' isn't such a bad label after all.
Editor's note: This is the latest in a series. Read all of the Patch Drives installments here. This car-shopping, test-driving experience is changing me. As I search for a replacement for my full-size van, I’m caring about things I never thought I would care about. I know things I never thought I would know about. I want for technology that I didn’t even know existed: Whatever car I end up choosing must sync with my iPhone, for starters. This week, when I walked into the dealership with (dare I say) a bit of confidence — or maybe it was cockiness — I declared “I’m here for the Patch Drives series” and waited. I waited for the “Oh, of course my lady, let me get your car for you.” Alas, they didn’t know me. And the one person who was …
Thursday, May 17, 2012
I thought I wanted to ditch the big ride – until I drove a loaded 2012 Chevy Suburban.
Editor's note: This is the latest in a series. Read all of the Patch Drives installments here. Here’s the thing: I thought I was ready to ditch the big ride. I thought I was looking for something more compact — well, as compact as you can get while loading four kids and all their stuff. I thought those things until I drove a loaded 2012 Chevy Suburban. Two days in the Suburban rekindled my passion for extra large cars (and big hair bands, too, courtesy of SiriusXM Radio). When I drove my giant custom van into the parking lot of Matthews-Hargreaves Chevrolet in Royal Oak, I admit I got what is becoming a familiar twinge of nerves. Like I’m going on yet another first date. Will they like me? Will I like them? Before I jumped down out of …
Sunday, May 13, 2012
When our van-driving writer drove a Honda Odyssey last week, she heard plenty of pleas to "Buy American." But she also heard arguments that questioned the validity of those pleas. Join the conversation.