Archive for January, 2011

Finished the First Draft of Ambush, My Next Film

Just a quick update that I finished the first draft, or I guess the first words-on-paper draft of Ambush, my next film, close to 2 weeks ago, near the start of the New Year. I need to do re-writes and I received notes from my two film cohorts Grant and Jeremiah. I purposely haven’t read it yet, wanting to give myself a little space before jumping in. More soon.

I Bought A Used Nissan Rogue That Was Once A Rental Vehicle

My new (used) 2009 Nissan Rogue!

Happy New Year! 2011 is shaping up to be another great, productive year. I thought I’d start off by talking about how I bought a used Nissan Rogue back in December 2010, right before Christmas. As you may recall, I wrote about buying a 2007 Mitsubishi Raider that was once an Enterprise rental vehicle, back in May 2010. I didn’t know 100% it was a rental vehicle, but I had my suspicions, since it was used and I’d rented a couple of Raiders through Enterprise.

So why did I buy another rental vehicle? First and foremost, I didn’t know for sure it was a rental vehicle until I checked the CARFAX on the used car dealer’s website. Would I have bought it if it wasn’t once a rental car? Probably, but believe it or not, rental car companies really take care of their vehicles, and I trust them. That’s why I decided to purchase another one. Heck, my friend Wojo’s article on buying a rental convinced me it wasn’t a bad idea to do it again, and this time, I knew it was once a rental car, and I was happy to do so.

Anyway, I wanted to get out of the Raider due to the horrible city gas mileage, which was around 10-12 miles per gallon (MPG). I work from home, and I mostly drive around town, and rarely on the highways. I was spending about $200 a month on gas and barely driving anywhere! As a long-time Nissan guy (I owned a Nissan XTerra for years), I was happy to return to the family. However, the newer XTerras get 16 MPG city, or thereabouts, and I always liked the Murano and Rogue.

I consider the Rogue to be a mini-Murano and I did a ton of research on it, read reviews all over the place (like Consumer Reports) and checked up on Cars.com every day for price changes and new listings of used vehicles (I like buying used because I save money). I double-checked the value of my Raider on Kelley Blue Book, and even checked out possibly using Hertz Rent2Buy, based on Wojo’s positive experience (read his review and make sure you read the other related posts, if you’re interested in trying this used rental car buying model, which is still new and likely buggy), and even Enterprise Car Sales, but ultimately I went back to Autoshow Sales and Service outside Ft. Lauderdale.

They had two models, one black and one white. The black model went fast (it had around 32,000 miles), but the white one didn’t move for a few weeks. I test drove it on Black Friday 2010, and started making some serious moves in December, and right before Christmas, I was able to drive away with it! It’s been great to me so far, and even though white isn’t my favorite color, this is more of a cream/eggshell, so it’s grown on me (and it isn’t that nasty orange color). Down the line, maybe I’ll have it painted a different color.

I also bought an extended warranty, and the local Nissan dealership confirmed I’m good to go on all repairs, from engine to A/C to electronics, and everything in between! I like the security, but Consumer Reports doesn’t always recommend one. Wojo talks about it on his Fiscal Fizzle website.

So, am I happy? Yes! I love the looks and style of the Rogue, I get better gas mileage, I have a REAL backseat and while the cargo area isn’t as big as similar crossover vehicles, it’s perfect for me. Groceries, luggage and lightkits and pro videocamera gear seem to fit just fine, but maybe not all at once. Also, the rear window is slightly narrow, due to the style of the car. I also would eventually like to buy some cool accessories down the road. One last thing… while SUVs are usually built around pickup trucks (for example, the XTerra and Frontier are very similar), the Rogue crossover is built upon the Nissan Sentra. Interesting.