Monday, April 1, 2013

Cold Feet

If you're married, you might have experienced the last minute jitters. You could leave, right now, drive off into the desert, and avoid making this decision, good or bad. That's how I felt this weekend with the odometer promising to tick over 36,000 miles in April, the warranty shot.

The logical thing to do, with such worries, might be to get an extended warranty, a kind of vehicular prenuptial, to riff off my previous metaphor. Extended warranties aren't logical though, otherwise they wouldn't be profitable to those who sell them. The logical thing to do is buy the right car, with a strong reliability record, and have some confidence.

So my thoughts went to alternatives, kind of like a guy thinking of all the people they might still have a shot with, if they avoid putting a ring on it. The BMW 128i was top of the list, due to its pure, rear-wheel drive driving dynamics.

Euro Delivery sounded tempting; I've done it twice before. A stripped down 128i sounded perfect: sport package and probably another after market NAV system when I got back. They're too damn expensive though, but used ones are about the same price as a new GTI, and with a 100,000 mile CPO warranty. The 328i is probably a better choice, but it's harder to configure with just the basics, plus I've kind of done that already, and I hated that car (E46, 330i Sport).

I also considered the Subaru BRZ, since my research already told me it was a better choice for me than the Scion FR-S. By the end of the weekend, I had read a bunch of reviews, including people contemplating this exact switch, and the conclusion? The GTI is the best car for me right now. It's roomy, has four doors, has just enough cargo space, and, most importantly, it's sitting in my driveway.

So my feet are warming and I'll likely perform this exercise again when it's paid off in a few years. By then, I've read, BMW is likely to have new 1-series models to take on its core competitor in that segment, the GTI and the various Audis, although the trade off for more room and possibly a hatchback will be a loss of purity, as turbo fours take over basic sixes in the 128i.

Mileage: 35,600

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