Car Replacement Therapy

In order to properly deal with our vehicular disability, Laura and I purchased a new car. We had previously been car shopping and evaluating with the idea that we would need to make the purchase at the end of Summer. However, that time was pushed forward to this week. We had some specific criteria when it came down to chosing a new [new to us, that is – we weren’t just looking at new, but used as well] car. Those critera were: 1) the human-driver interface [seat] must be supportive and comfortable, 2) it must be dependable and have a good longevity record, 3) have all wheel drive, and 4) be blue. [the last one was somewhat negotiable, but, hey – it’s on the list.]

In the course of the last 10 years as a travelling consultant, I have had the opportunity to drive quite a large range of cars from a variety of makers. One or two of these makers we have eliminated on philosophical grounds [due to issues the companies support and promote that we do not] or based on bad service/reliability records. Many more, however, we have eliminated due to the fact that sitting in the seats for any length of time made my back hurt. There were a few, however, that both Laura and I found acceptable: BMW, Subaru, and Mitsubishi [although they don’t have many all wheel drives, their seats were quite comfortable]. Having owned a BMW before and driven Laura around it in, we were both in agreement that those seats were at the top of the list.

So, first stop was the Subaru dealer. While the seats we okay, they were not stellar and the car she liked, the Outback, was somewhat hesitant off the mark. So, with the immediate demise of the car, we didn’t have much opportunity to look elsewhere, we knew a place that sold certified “pre-owned” BMW cars. We had long been looking at the X3, which is their small SUV and took this as an opportunity to drive it. The seats were wonderful, but for some reason, the X3 was not built as solid as is usual for a BMW vehicle. We had to pass.

On our way out, Laura suggested we test drive the 330xi, which is the small 4-door sedan with all wheel drive. I was a bit surprised, and immediately agreed [I am a fan of the 3-series and just love them]. We took it to lunch. There was no denying that it was extreemly sollid, no rattles, very stable and in all ways a BMW. The seats were so comfortable and included a power height-adjustable lumbar support and had seat memory [bonus!]. Laura loved it, so we bought it. It’s a 2002 and has 40,000 miles on it, but the lifetime on a car like this will go well past 250,000 miles if treated properly.

It’s not what Laura had her mind set on, and I told her that I would take this one as a hand-me-down so that in due time she can get her some kind of wagon/hatchback car. Oh, the things I must suffer…

3 thoughts on “Car Replacement Therapy”

  1. Hey, congrats. Glad you found something you both can deal with. And many happy more years motoring in Bavarian splendor.

    BTW, on what criteria did you eliminate other European makers of 4 wheel drive cars?

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  2. Well, I’m not sure of all the European car makers of AWD models, but Volvo for one is Ford and we eliminated them on philosophical grounds. Audi is another, and after driving an A4, I was unhappy with where the center console hit my right knee – it left it feeling bruised in my driving style. Mercedes was never an option as I don’t in general like the M class. We did not try VW, though. We really didn’t have too much time to go shopping extensively. Any others I haven’t mentioned were most likely out of the price range. We wanted something fairly reasonable.

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