I've been so busy with preparing for college and stuff and so anxious about it and stuff for the past few weeks before college started(September 1st), that I haven't even had time to read or post anything here or even surf the web or watch tv at all. My dad said he was willing to pay $8000 max for a car even though he spent much more on my brother's cars and he's spent a lot more money that that for my sister on a whole bunch of other stuff. My dad said that I should pay at least $3000 down or 25% down if the car is more than $8000. I wanted us to go to New York and check out a few Volvo S80s over there because cars were much cheaper over there, but my dad said that it had to be a car that was LESS than like 5 miles from our house. We did go to a Volvo dealership 2 miles from our house and check out the prices, at first we went to the "non Volvo" part of the dealership. The guy was trying to tell me how safet didn't matter and how if you get into an accident it really won't make any difference what kind of car you have. The guy tried to sell me some old Altimas, and relatively new Grand Ams, and Malibus, all of which didn't have side airbags. The guy told me that NO cars that were not brand new or very expensive had side air bags. That was basically just a flat out lie that he told me. Well, then we went to the Volvo part of the dealership. The guy showed us a 1997 Red Volvo 850 Wagon for like $8500 I think, that would have been fine(although I didn't like the color or the fact that it was a wagon), but my biggest problem with it was that although it did have side airbags, it didn't have side airbags that protected the head(the side airbags only protected the torso and hips). Well, then we looked at some cars that did have side airbags that protected the head. We looked at like a between red and maroon color 2000 Volvo S70 that did have the side airbags that protected the head, but the price was $14,775(for that kind of dough you can have a pretty large selection of safe cars to choose from if you just go beyond the 5 mile range limit that my dad insisted on. My dad wanted me to increase my down payment to $5000 for the Volvo S70, for which the final price would probably have been lower than the $14,775 quoted. I told the guy I'd sleep on it. Previously I had only searched online for what I considered to be EXTREMELY safe used cars such as the Volvo S80, 2002 or newer Saab 9-5, 2002 or newer Lexus ES 300/330, etc. Well, it seemed like it just wasn't in my destiny to get an EXTREMELY safe car, so I started looking at cars that I considered above average in safety, but still not in the same league as a Volvo S80. So I searched for cars like the 2001 or newer Chevy Impala with optional Side Airbags, 2001 or newer Lincoln LS, 2001.5 or newere Volkswagen Passat, 2001 or newer Buick Lesabre with optional Side Airbags, etc. I did find a 2002 Passat for $12,495 online that was only about 3 miles from our house at a Chrysler/Jeep dealership. I had ALWAYS never considered the Passat for what I considered a VERY good reason. One of our neighbors has a Silver Passat. I has always never considered buying a Passat because I would be so ashamed and embarassed of what would be considered "copying the neighbor". Well I changed my mind and I though that being ashamed and embarassed and getting in an accident while in a Passat is still not as bad as if I were to get into an accident driving a car that didn't even have side airbags like the Grand Am or a Malibu, or having to pay $5000 or more down for the 2000 S70. So my dad and I went down to the Jeep/Chrysler dealership and I paid $3000 down and the final price of the car was $11,995. My dad claims that he'll make all the payments like he did with my brother's cars, but it would really suck if my dad was just lying and then he expects me to make all the payments because I made what a I consider to be a pretty big compromise in safety compared to a Volvo S80. If you get T-boned at an intersection by a Hummer H1 or a Ford Excursion, or an 18 wheeler, the Volvo S80 is arguably one of the safest passenger cars to be in in such an accident. The Passat is significantly worse than an S80 in side impact crashes, weight, as well as injury rates, and Volvos have historically had the lowest death rates. That being said, I'd say that the Passat is still significantly safer than the average car and I feel much safer in it than I do in a Lincoln Town Car. I can now even make that left turn I was always afraid to make in the Town Car because cars were whizzing by the side from behind just inches from the car while they were doing 45mph+. I do love the Passat, and it's has average reliability, while a Volvo S80 has bad reliability. I can sense that my neighbors are pretty mad and the neighbor that already had a Passat, she's probably furious. My neighbors(especially the ones with older cars) must really resent me and stuff and think I'm a spoiled brat and stuff. In a way I had wished that the old Volvos with side airbags(such as the 1995 850 Turbo) had head protecting side airbags, because if that were the case, then I would have been happy with a 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo since it's pretty safe in every way with one exception(its side airbags only protect the torso and hips, but they don't protect the head). My Passat isn't an S80, but my 2002 Passat does have the 2 regular front airbags, 2 seat mounted side airbags(for protecting the torso and hips of the front occupants), and it has 2 ever important HEAD protecting Side Curtain Airbags that drop down from the celing and extend all the way from the A pillar to the C pillar so they provide head protection in side impacts for front and rear passengers. So even though technically there are 6 airbags, it's like having 8 airbags since rear passengers get 1 airbag each also. The car is a 2002 Champagne(Beige/Tan) Volkswagen Passat GLS with a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder turbo engine with 170hp and 166lbsft of torque, and it had just under 78,000 miles on it when I got it. One thing I was REALLY REALLY mad at, but I didn't say anything about was the fact that my dad picked his nose for like 20 minutes before HE test drove the car and refused to let me test drive the car or to even drive it home. My dad has a real bad habbit of always scratching himself(not even over his pants) and always picking his nose in public and not even washing his hands afterwards. I was really mad, but I guess if my dad's really going to make payments on the $8,995, then I guess that gives him the right to put his boogers all over my first car, and I mean he touched EVERY SINGLE BUTTON, KNOB, LEAVER, and HANDLE in the car. Anyway, here are a few pics.