Saturday, January 2, 2010

German cars.

Everything was fine. I liked American cars. Visions of CTS-Vs filled my dreams, I lamented that if I could just get a G8 GT with a manual I'd be in sedan heaven, and I thought a new Camaro SS would just be the best toy to find under the tree this Christmas. I still like American cars. I still think all the vehicles I just listed are swell indeed, but my wife just sent my life careening down a path that is really nothing new to me. We went to buy a BMW.

The signs had been there for months. My wife would lament that she never drove a car anymore (we had recently become a two-truck family), and she'd lament the passing of our dearly departed 330xi that gave its life to save hers. She'd hear the sound of a BMW straight-six start up and her heart would go all aflutter with glee. I can't say I was unaffected, but I was enjoying our newfound automotive simplicity too much to care.

Finally, it all came crashing down with the latest, end-of-year blowout, ad blitz by car companies. The BMW one seems to haunt us, invade all the shows we actually watch live (vs. DVR). How do they know? Well, it worked, and we went BMW shopping earlier this week. I went along because she needed me to sign stuff, and I figured I'd get dinner out as part of the package. Great.

Funny thing happened while we were there; I drove some BMWs. For those who don't know, I started my driving life with a German car. It was a VW GTI which, while a far cry from a BMW, is still a car that captures the sporty, teutonic driving experience. I loved that car, and even as it got old and worn-out would still put a smile on my face when I got behind the wheel. The 335i I drove on Monday was like all that GTI goodness (along with me) strapped to a scud missile. Fast, fun, and had a service history a mile long and no warranty. Next! We drove an automatic 335i, flappy paddles and all. Funny how the wrong transmission can ruin things. Next! Salesman asked if we had considered a 5-series. We hadn't ruled it out, and sure enough just like the story of the three bears, this one was juuuuust right.

It's a 530i with a manual trans., sport package, leather, navigation, and they are installing satellite radio for us. They gave us a nearly-identical car to drive while they prepare ours, and I've been trying to think of excuses to drive it (and buy it). I know prices, renewed my bimmerforums account, researched curb-weights on edmunds, and traded my cole slaw for sauerkraut.

I'm hooked, again.

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