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When I was looking for cars, there was one undivertible restriction: It had to be a hatchback. Why? Well, over the years, I accumulated various experiences regarding different types of cars--experiences which eventually cornered me into a hatchback love affair.

I remember my father getting a Saturn sedan when I was a young kid. Maybe it was all the waiting around while they haggled, or maybe it was the (then) appalling new car smell, or maybe it was just the look of the car itself, but I took an instant dislike to the car. By extension, I suppose, I've always thought sedans were kind of uggerz.

So no sedans for me.

In high school, I remember some gas hike or another, and all the discussion of gas-guzzling SUVs. I remember the Hummer especially, that ghastly monstrosity, and all the shame thrown at their owners. I recall how an opinionated friend's despised those particularly, and SUVs generally. (He even wrote a short story about a possessed SUV killing its owner or some such.) I "learned" how unnecessary and even unsightly they were.

So no SUVs for me, either.

But what really did it for me was the Mini Cooper. I remember the new generation's launch in the early 2000s. I was an avid anglophile, then, and instantly thought Minis were the greatest thing ever to car. I recall, too, an article in some magazine lauding its safety features and fun driving. (I have since, as an adult, found out the many drawbacks to owning a Mini--they're especially cramped, overly expensive, and difficult to repair on the cheap.)

So no Minis for me (for now at least), but something about tiny cars with personality still enthralled me.

As I began looking at cars last summer and actually learning about different makes and researching pros and cons, there was an ever-present mandate for a small, peppy hatchback. I didn't even look at anything else.

I didn't end up getting a car then because I realized money existed (or didn't, in my case), but I came up with a short list. Initially, the Ford Fiesta topped that list (in fact, it basically was the list), but eventually the Honda Fit became a close second.

Right near the end of my car search, though, I discovered the Chevy Spark. It was instant enchantment. You could even say it ignited something in me. (I'll just show myself out...)

As I said, I ultimately couldn't get a car that summer, but the Spark lingered in my longings, and--eventually--it worked out. And she's every bit as adorable and fun as I'd hoped.


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