Luxury, Power, Technology, Comfort, Appeal and Self Respect!

As our family continued to grow, we realized we would need another vehicle that would accommodate that fact on top of many other wants and needs that we had. We find that so many families are too quick to dismiss self image and join the mini van club. As if this is the only thing that can accommodate the needs of a growing family or the gathering of groceries.

Monica and I have been looking for a vehicle over the past 2 years that would not be a mini van but also not be a huge monstrosity of an SUV. Monica being vertically challenged could only see over the dashboards of very few vehicles. She did not want anything that was excessively large but would also include enough towing capacity to pull a larger cabin cruiser (that was naturally my need LOL). Not many options fell within this criteria. You have your Yukons, Suburbans, Crew Cabs, Navigators, Escalades, Explorers and a few other super large SUV's that could pull over 7,500 lbs but unfortunately for us, they would not fit in the garage and we felt the quality just was non existent without an absurd price increase.To be open minded, we looked at all these vehicles just to make sure it was not what we wanted. We even looked into Audis, Porsche, BMW, Infinity and Lexus and the ability to tow 7,500+ lbs was not a feature that was included with these brands

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We had been eyeing the new Dodge Durango for at least 2 years since the 3rd generation new body style dropped. Specifically the 2014 - 2015 Dodge Durango RT because the rear light were (for a lack of better terminology) BAD ASS. We were looking for black on black with all the options and the Hemi. The problem we ran into was this vehicle is a unicorn. If it existed, we were not finding it anywhere. We would occasionally find a used one or new 2014 for the same price as the brand new ones.

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We were currently in a Hyndai Santa Fe Limited which we loved very much. It was in immaculate shape as this is how we took care of it. We had even customized it with an in dash DVD player with backup camera and 22" custom wheels. We could mirror our iPhones to the 7 inch in dash double din head unit and play Hulu, Netflix or whatever else was of interest. Because we traveled so much for Real Estate photography, this was an essential addition. You can see the full video tour of our 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe limited here. It was our plan to use the money as a down payment on the Dodge Durango RT.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84cU1zT6cn4&w=640&h=360]

We were on our way home from Panama City Beach when a teenager immediately pulled out from a side street  in front of us. There was no room to react fast enough to avoid the collision. We T boned the mid 80's F-150 in the rear drivers side tire. Thank the Lord that everyone was ok. Even the Hyundai (while looking quite bad) was still running smoothly. After exchanging info and having the police write up a report, we drove back to Atlanta.

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It took 2 months to go through the typical bullshit you get from an insurance company. After 2 weeks of going back and forth with GEICO, we went up to their office to get a check for $14,000. About 10 minutes into our meeting they look at us and say "we have some bad news". Apparently in Florida you only are required to have a minimum of 10,000 in property damage which would not cover the value of our vehicle. GEICO could only cut us a check for that.

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After immediately walking out we contacted our own insurance company Nationwide. Talk about being put through the ringer with GEICO, it was worse with Nationwide. They did not want to give us the value of our vehicle. They came in at $11,000 which was $3,o00 less then what GEICO was willing to pay before they realized their clients were underinsured. Long story short, I had to provided more documents to back the value until we eventually got the price up to $13,000. Lets just say it made Monica cry how evil both insurance companies were about this process. I honestly do not know how people that work in that industry sleep at night.

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But after all that, we always try to look on the bright side of any situation, and the luck of it all is we were in a position to now get our current dream vehicle! The 2015 Dodge Durango RT! We originally were looking for a Citadel, because it was chromed out and super sexy looking but came to find from our buying experience at Chrysler, Dodge Jeep of Gwinnett that we could have everything we were looking for in the RT! It was black on black leather with red stitching and red embroidered RT seats. This is the most sexy, masculine piece of SUV on the road period. It even has the black out 20" rims and sub in the trunk from the factory! The rear end looks like something out of the movie TRON.

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We were amazed at how much technology this car had. You could locate the lowest price gas station, or see what is playing at the movies with the in dash technology Uconnect system. Heated and cooled seats with heated steering wheel. You have 2 settings on the seat that would adjust the seat to each driver, but not only that, it would adjust the seat, radio, temperature settings and all that you wanted to program to match the driver! The dash is equiped with a 7inch customizable dash cluster. When you set the cruise control, you can set a 1 to 5 car length distance so when a vehicle in front begins to brake, so does the Durango. It will come to a complete stop and start back up to speed with traffic all on cruise control. You just have to hold the steering wheel! Don't forget the power lift gate, easy third row access, keyless entry and remote start.

For safety the Durango includes many aspects like blind spot warning, backup camera with sensors, front end sensors with brake assist. The brake assist is a very cool feature. Lets say that same kid pulls out in front of us again. The Durango will instantly brake faster then your brain can react to aid in avoiding a collision.

Now, I could go on and on about the technology they put in this beauty but the Dodge website does a great job already, so check out this link to see what else is included (click the image)

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Our wish list did not originally include all this technology, but it was super cool to find out it was included with the Durango. We were looking for something that would seat more than 4 to 5 people, without taking the dreaded MINI-VAN path! The Durango could seat 6 to 7 passengers. In addition to that we needed something that could tow a cabin cruiser, to continue the "dream!" The Durango has a towing capacity of 7,400 lbs. This proved to pull a 25 foot Regal Windows Express cabin cruiser quite well! With Standard Trailer Sway Control+ applies brake pressure on alternating wheels and may adjust engine throttle to help eliminate sway and maintain vehicle and trailer system stability.

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To pull a boat that size you need power. Well the 5.7 liter Hemi has power and an exhaust sound that will make any dude smile like a joker! As Dodge would say "So don't do it. With the Dodge Durango, you're getting the triple threat of Best-in-Class power+, towing capacity+ and standard fuel economy of 25 highway mpg+. You're getting a vehicle that doesn't wait around for anyone or anything. It's the left lane or bust."

  • 360-HP 5.7L HEMI® V8 Engine with Fuel Saver Technology and 390 LB-FT of Torque
  • Performance Steering and Sport Suspension (Lowered 20mm)
  • Class-Exclusive 20-Inch Hyper Black Aluminum Wheels+
  • Dual Rear Exhaust with Bright Tips
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlamps with Black Bezels

The moral of the story is you no longer have to settle, sell out, ride the mainstream, lower self worth by driving a mini van. You can have your cake and eat it too. We love our new 2015 Dodge Durango RT. You need to check it out for yourself. Smiles per gallon baby! Now we are officially a Mopar family!

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Need more? This is a great video covering the Durango RT

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6nVQd4q8m8&w=640&h=360]


Paul's Mid-Life Challenger

Paul turned 35 on January 20th, and this will be a big year for us as we are expecting our first little one. But 2013 is the year of more than one "baby" coming into our life!

The day of Paul's actual birthday, we didn't have much going on. We met up with his Mom and sister at an Antique Mall in Cumming, and from there didn't have much planned. SO, Paul wanted to go test drive some cars for fun. We decided to go over and look at what Curtis (one of Paul's best friends) was working with at Rick Case Hyundai in Duluth. I think it was a pretty quiet day for Curtis anyway, so we were able to check out a couple of cars! We started with the Hyundai Genesis Coupe - a small sporty ride. While it handled nicely it just didn't feel like it had the comfort and quality we were expecting. We both have Hyundai's and LOVE them, but this was nothing compared to our XG350L and the Santa Fe. And, yes I know, the Genesis Coupe is a sports car so it's not got the kind of luxury of the other rides,  we wanted it all!

Next we test drove a 2011 Dodge Challenger... a sexy white muscle car with power, handling and surprising luxury! It's a sports car yes, but it's big and ironically quiet! Both Paul and I drove it, and we were absolutely enamored! It's comfortable, yet handles well. It's quite the looker, and quite spacious too!

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Now I know what you are thinking... "They are about to have a baby and they are buying a sports car?!" Yeah, we thought about that too, but the backseat is roomy, and we already have my car which is a perfectly good "mommy mobile!" And after our little man arrives, what are the chances we can enjoy a vehicle like this?! We took an extended test drive, and literally fell in love!

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Monday, Paul called the insurance company to see what we'd be looking at there, and you know what? It was actually less expensive than our 4 door XG350L because it has better safety ratings! Another sign we were leaning towards moving forward with the purchase!

Pros:
Spacious
Quiet
Handles Great!
Better Fuel Economy
Less on Insurance
Better Safety Ratings
And SUPER SEXY!
 
Cons:
Hmmmm... the only one we can think of is 2-doors instead of 4, but what can you do, it's a sports car!
 

Later that evening we headed to the dealer and a deal was made! We couldn't be happier and we've already gotten a lot of use out of it! I'm hopeful this baby could be a collectible we can give to our baby one day! ;)

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Curtis Wilson Sold Us a Hyundai!

Not more than four months ago, Paul sold his beloved Subaru WRX, and made a nice profit on it, so it worked out! But since then he has driven around his little 95' Honda Civic (aka the Caribbean Queen) full-time. And while it is a very nice car, it gets great fuel economy, and has been a great trip and around town car, he's not gotten the most respectful and positive feedback on it from business clients as well as friends and family.

And if you know Paul, you know he has a very strong love of cars, and very much identifies with them. So when he isn't driving something that speaks "Paul" he's just not quite as happy!

Now before we get to the new vehicle we have purchased, I have to give a little more back story about Curtis! Curtis has been a life-long friend of Paul's they grew up together, and have continued to stay friends. Paul and I have had the pleasure of living with Curtis not once, but two different times, and have thoroughly enjoyed his great character, personality and stories. For the longest time both Paul and I thought that Curtis would be an AWESOME car sales rep. He's worked in countless sales and labor intensive positions, but never before had he tried out cars. It seemed like a no-brainer for us because Curtis also has a love of cars, and not only that but he's an AWESOME salesperson!

Paul and I worked our magic with Curtis' resume, and he went out and of course sold himself! He started out at Ford, but has recently moved to Rick Case Hyundai! And he's making a killing, teaming him up with a car like Hyundai was a perfect fit. The cars generally sell themselves and Curtis generally sells people, it's a match made in heaven.

Now onto our new "pre-owned" car! It came into Curtis' location, an 05 Hyundai GX350, and immediately he sent a picture to Paul, the same day Paul was test driving it, and the following day they were working the details of the deal out! For being six years old, this car is in immaculate shape! It's absolutely gorgeous Everything went fast, but now Paul's happy because he's got a presentable vehicle, Curtis' happy because he made ANOTHER deal, and I'm happy, partly because Paul's happy, partly in consideration that in the future we will have a family, and of course because I can actually drive it too!

Thank you Curtis for hooking us up with this awesome deal! I'm glad it worked out for all of us!

If you're looking for a new or used car (doesn't have to be a Hyundai), definitely call or message Curtis! Check him out on Facebook at Curtis' New Deals or call him at 678-770-2175, or just stop in to see him at Rick Case Hyundai in Gwinnett!