The rookie is nice: safe and reliable, shiny and new in all the right places, great mileage and more than enough air bags to make this mother happy. But it's got a long way to go before it fills the shoes of its predecessor.
The car above - a 1986 Nissan Maxima - was in our family for 24 years. It was a one owner vehicle, until my mother trusted it enough to give to her only grandchild for a first car. It was an amazing car that ended up running 225,000 miles. It was alive. Plus it talked.
And it had the Voice.
On the way to the dealer this morning, we stopped to drop off a videogame. She ran fine, until I tried to restart her, and then she was completely dead. She KNEW that we were about to turn her in at the dealer for a younger model. Fortunately my husband came with his car and jumped the battery (which is almost new, and had nothing wrong with it). The Maxima started up, having sent us the message that she was perfectly aware of what was going on.
Being shiny and new isn't everything. You've got to earn your spot in the family.