Q: What exactly is CelloMom Rating, and what do those little cellos mean?
A: The cello scale is CelloMom's highly personal, completely subjective rating of the cars she reviews.
That said, perhaps it's useful to state where CelloMom is coming from, when looking at cars. CelloMom's family has just one car, so that car had better be able to do a range of tasks, from the school run (including cello and a few friends), the usual household runs (including pickup of compost and straw bales for the yard), to road trips, and the occasional hauling of construction material for when CelloMom has her contractor's hat on. For large items, such as 4'x8' sheetrock, CelloMom depends on the kindness of her truck-owning friends, or on the delivery services of the stores.
Function comes before form. CelloMom does care about aesthetic, but cares even more that a car is dependable (as she is the one doing the minor maintenance / repair and the liaison with the garage in case of more serious trouble). CelloMom has no patience for most bells and whistles, and is bemused at the use of a car as a status symbol.
A car purchase is one of those occasions where CelloMom can simultaneously indulge her green leanings, and her tendency to frugality (allright: her stinginess), both with an eye to the long term. She is willing to invest a higher initial purchase price if it returns a higher savings of energy / expense over the lifetime of the car. A car should be able to deliver at least 150,000 miles of reliable service before returning to the recycling stream.
With that in mind:
CelloMom would buy it. 'Nuff said.
CelloMom would buy it if there were no better alternatives, and would probably be happy enough driving it but would drive around with that feeling that she could do better.
This would be a compromise buy.
CelloMom might rent it for a specific purpose and a limited time.
This is not for CelloMom.