Well, just as we hemmed and hawed over which car to trade in, the decision was essentially made for us.

The dreaded “Service Engine Soon” light illuminated on the dashboard of the Land Rover. Again.

Shoulda traded it in last week…

We took it to our local garage to see if, by chance, it was an easy, err, inexpensive fix but, not surprisingly, the repair costs very clearly dwarf nay possible trade-in value.

Something about some gaskets and solenoids — doesn’t really matter…

We need to trade the Land Rover in…NOW!

It’s kind of bittersweet.

Land RoverWhile I won’t miss having to worry about hitting the ceiling in parking garages or having $90+ fill-ups as the gas station every week, I will definitely miss driving one of the few cars I’d always wanted.

Hey, at least I can say that I owned one.

And hopefully Duncan is old enough to remember that we owned one too.

On that note, before I was born, my parents drove a BMW Isetta. Wicked cool car. Look it up.

Of course, the first car I remember having was a Chevy Malibu which we traded in for a Ford Crown Victoria station wagon (with the fake wood on the side). Yeah, really cool memories… Sigh…

Anwway, before getting rid of the Isetta, my dad removed the headlights and the taillights and pretty much everything else that could be removed — I still have them in my attic along with the owners manual.

Following suit, I’m likely going to take the tire cover with the rhinoceros off of the Land Rover tonight as a souvenir (and proof) of my formerly cool self.

On the bright side, I think I’ll really enjoy taking the Scion xA back from my wife as a daily driver. I know I’ll enjoy the $30 fill-ups that last nearly two weeks.

So, barring any unexpected circumstances, the Land Rover will be traded in tomorrow night for some measly sum on the edges of unfair and we’ll drive away in a nice new (to us) Toyota Sienna.

Regarding the entire Land Rover ownership experience — well, it was, hmmmmm… I’m not sure I can sum it up in one word.

We purchased it (used) a little over two years ago just before the birth of Henrik because it was essential that we have two cars that could fit two adults and two HUGE car seats.

It wasn’t a luxury — it was a necessity (says the guy who already had 3 cars at the time…)

While it had a few mechanical problems along the way, and a few fender benders as well, it got the job done and it lasted just as long as it needed to.

It survived two major road trips which was one more than I’d expected it to.

Sure, I wish I could have squeezed another year out of it but, in the end, this is the right decision.

Comparatively, the Scion has a lot more life left in it.

And I can honestly say that I feel I got my money’s worth out of the Land Rover.

I don’t regret the experience one bit and, if they ever have a great looking body style again in the future (they currently do not), I’d love to buy another one at some point down the road when we’re done with the minivan stage of life.

It’s swagger wagon time.

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