Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Car?

I am going to buy a new car in the next 6 months or so. This car will replace our Carolla as our primary "family" car, the car we use when we are driving together, and will be my primary car.
The wife has said that I should get a "nice" car, because I am almost 40, and I should get a nice car... I'm not sure quite what that means, but I am assuming that it means that I am to stay away from the small cars.

So, I get to choose what I like, but it has to be acceptable to the wife. I don't really have a budget to work with, because I am still trying to figure out what I want. However, since I have whored myself out to the highest bidder job wise, I am able to afford pretty much anything I want. I will not, however, be stepping in to the range of idoticy. The car will need to be practical, reliable, and easy to maintain.
I basically have two "must haves," Cruse Control and air conditioning. Those are standard features on all "nice cars," so, I am trying to keep an open mind.

So, what do I like?? I am parshall to "sports sedans." They have subtle sporty features with strong engines. I would also like something that gets good gas mileage, because the primary mission of this car will primarily be short drives around the city, with the occasional long drive (>=2 hours) thrown in.
My main problem is that I don't really like much out there. I feel that styling has really fallen to the side of the road recently, and there isn't much that really floats my boat. Anyway, here are some cars that caught my eye.

Cadillac XTS

This car has 4 standard trims. I priced out the "Luxury" trim and added on the Navigation and the Moonroof options. All told it comes out to be about $51K. It doesn't do well on the gas mileage, with 17/28. Bleah. If I wanted better gas mileage I could go with the ATS, but I don't like the look as much.
There are lots of cool standard features like, parking assist, leather seats, Bose Stereo, power everything, blah blah blah.
I would really have to choke down the thought of buying a Government Motors car. I don't like the deal that was done to save the company, and I especially don't like the thought of my money going to support the majority owner, the UAW.

Volvo S60 R-Design

This guy has three trims, and I selected the T6 AWD R-Design. I added the technology package and the parking assist options bringing the car to about $50K. Gas mileage is 19/26, so not much better than the Cadillac. It has all kinds of pep though, 3.0 6 cylinder with 325 hp, means that it really can get up and go. I like that.

I really like the design and look of the car. It has a nav system built in with a Dobly sound system. It also has an "Adaptive Cruise Control" system that uses radar to automatically slow down or speed up your car according to the traffic ahead of you. So, if you set your car to run at 70mph, and you set a three second gap, as you approach the idiot in your lane that is going slower than the speed limit, and won't get over to the other lane, a VERY common occurrence in Oklahoma, the car will automatically slow down to keep your three second gap. A very cool feature. I don't know if it will apply the break, or if it just coasts to keep the gap, but I think I would like to try it out. Very cool feature!

Audi A5 Coupe

The Audi comes with three trims and two different engines. I chose the 2.0 TFSI Premium Plus: Eight-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission with quattro all-wheel drive, and a partridge in a pear tree. This has all of the cool features, so I didn't have to add much to it. It priced out at about $49K. Gas mileage is 20/30, so we are doing better in that department. It has less under the hood than the Volvo, with only 211hp. If I wanted more juice I would have to go with the 3.0T that has 310 hp, but that would bump my costs higher, and I wouldn't get all of the cool features that I want with the "nice" car.

The Audi is all about style and class. It says that you are successful without rubbing your nose in it. It is the guy who scores the touchdown and simply hands the ball off to the referee. It is the fighter who submits his opponent and then does a formal knees on the floor bow to thank him for the opportunity to fight.
This car is exactly the kind of thing I am looking for. Rock solid engineering subtle look and feel, navigation system, premium sound system, all the bells and whistles.

BMW 335i xDrive Sedan

The 335 comes with 2 different trims and is on the pricey side. I chose the 335i xDrive Sedan. It has a 3.0 liter 6-cylinder turbo all-wheel drive, putting out 300 hp. It gets 20/30 mpg. I added Active Cruse Control, the technology package, and sport automatic transmission with shift paddles, bringing the cost to about $55K.

The Beemer is a bit flashier than the Audi, but is comparable to the Volvo in terms of performance. I like the fact that you can add and drop options almost a la cart, but it seems like going with the package approach keeps costs down as the Audi and Volvo were able to supply more car with more features for less money.
BMWs are really en vogue right now, so you see a lot of them on the road. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it means that parts and service is easy to find, but... I would simply be just another yuppie with a BMW. I don't know if I like that... I guess I want to stand out a bit more than that. Whatever... That might be simply a psychological thing, because some of the roughnecks I work out with lease BMWs, so the... niceness? exclusivity? I don't know, something about those guys, who essentially waste their money, having the same car as I, who buys very reluctantly and always within my means, sort of taints the image of the car for me... Maybe I am just looking down on them. I don't know... I'll have to think on that.

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