of Cars and Choices …

I started out so well, maintaining my two ‘blogs everyday … and then life got in the way … and I’ve been on the go non-stop with a dozen different things … but, alas I have a breather, enough time to scribe a little something …

So, what’s been happening? I’ve been doing the whole domestic thing – you know, building a retaining wall, cleaning, cooking, etc … pretty boring, mundane, yet time consuming tasks.

Oh, I’ve been looking at new cars! After spending a small fortune on fixing a broken gear on my current sporty number, I decided I need to look at new options. So, a few weeks back, I started researching vehicles, and taking lots of test drives.

I’ve discovered quite a fair bit in this time … the most important lesson is what you think you want may not be what you actually want – nor need in fact.

Having almost always had sporty cars (short of my original Humber Super Snipe, or the company/lease vehicles) I started looking at the Mazda RX8, Nissan 350Z and Honda S2000 almost without thinking … So off I went down the comparison path.

On paper, the RX8 comes out on top, good balance of sporty and comfort features, reasonably priced, etc … but when I went out and test drove it, I was so disappointed! Earlier in the year, I had test-driven the RX8 Special Edition, and that was pretty good … but the standard model was clunkier, not as responsive, etc …

It was seriously a case of great body … and that’s it … Now, I’ve driven and run a number of old RX3’s and RX7’s … and I’d happily replace this even with the issue bound RX7 SII! Heck, my current MX6 performed better in almost all arenas!

This caused a pause in my search as I stepped back and re-evaluated my requirements and my desires. I’ve enjoyed my sports cars, loved the feel, the rush, the cornering, etc … but a new element has come into my thinking – no, not petrol pricing, although it is now a higher priority factor – but comfort. I spend a minimum of two hours going to and fro work. Sports seats are great when you’re zooming around a 75-degree bend at 80+ clicks an hour … but have you ever had to spend an hour and half in one in stop start traffic?

For that matter, have you ever been stuck in a “drivers car” during peak hour traffic? All of a sudden, you get bored, uncomfortable, irritated – and all your muscles ache as all of this mounts up and you’re changing up and down between 1st and 3rd while moving less than 20-clicks an hour!

So, for the first time in my life, I’ve put comfort above performance. With this new direction in mind, I started looking at anything labelled “luxury”.

So, off I went, and drove, and looked, and drove some more … and finally was taken in by the new Lexus IS250 (or colloquially named the baby-GS). Even put down a deposit!

So, happy with my new choice, I go off to my Novated Lease provider and tell them the news, only for a couple of realities to be thrown back quite hard.

  1. Based on my 40,000 clicks a year Odometer, a five year lease is BAD
  2. In their opinion (and, coincidentally, that of my accountant) anyone who needs a five-year lease can’t afford the car and shouldn’t be looking at it …
  3. Based on a three-year lease, I’d have 120,000 clicks on the clock – most cars won’t support a resale anywhere near equal to the residual value …
  4. The Lexus loses the most value of almost any other car in it’s range.

Well, damn!

So, I went off and did some more research – this time on cars that were three years old with over 100,000 on the clock. And you know what? There were only two car types that consistently maintained a reasonable value in comparison to others in the same range.

The two? Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Quite honestly, I never thought I’d ever be the owner or driver of either type.

So, I looked harder at the lower-end offerings from both, the Mercedes-Benz C180 Avantgarde and the BMW 320i Execuitive.

In the end, I liked the Beemer more, althought the Merc will probably hold it’s value better.

So, I’m in the process of getting quotes, messing around with figures, driving my lease company rep mad (sorry Luke!) and going a little nuts myself.

Anyhow, I’ll let you know how I go in the end.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s