Sunday, September 7, 2008

Car Search

Chrysler 300. Our rental on Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas trip.We’ve reached a point when we realize that we don’t want to have episodes with cars loosing brakes anymore. It’s sad, but we have to admit that our trusty Caprice is starting to show its age. It served well and we’ve got well our money’s worth at 220K on the odometer and going.

Went looking at cars today. Sadly didn’t get to GM dealership yet, because of heavy rain, but got to Dodge / Chrysler, BMW and Mercedes.

Buick Lucerne. Our rental car on our Utah road-trip.Dodge people didn’t have a single V8 (R/T) on the lot, even though they had SRT8s. I decided not to drive those in order to avoid being disappointed too much by R/T version.

Didn’t like Charger inside at all. Looks and feels cheap and very bland. Chrysler 300 on the other hand felt bigger and much nicer inside. I actually feel good sitting in that thing.

They didn’t have any Magnums on the lot, but I guess it’s going to feel more like Charger inside. Either way they are going to bring 300C and Magnum R/T from the storage for me next week, so I’ll try driving those. The only thing that I don’t really like is the lack of manual option. Sad.

Then we went to BMW. We set our budget to 40K which pretty much prices me out of 335i version, unless I want to get bare-bones version, which I don’t. We test drove 328 sedan and I must say that I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Yeah, it felt decent. The power was OK, the interior design was OK. But there was absolutely nothing special. The car was auto, maybe that has something to do with it. I also didn’t like the feeling of sitting in a tiny car at all. It really is tiny. The version that I like (with options that I want) came out to about 36K.

After that we went to look at MB C300 — the only version that comes with a manual. The price comes out to about 40K with options that I want. I think I like the exterior design more than that of a 3 series, but it felt small as well. I like the interior more too. The weather screwed us, so I’m going to go back for a test drive on Wednesday, but I don’t expect to be impressed here either.

Now Infiniti G and Lexus IS are probably direct competitors of these cars, but Lexus only comes with a stick at 250 version, so cross that off the list. Infiniti actually has an option of a stick with a decent engine and the price is in the right range, but I just hate how that fucking thing looks. Plus there are 2 of these on every corner in Brooklyn. So…

Now hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to take a look at CTS and G8 GT and we’ll see if I like those. Also might look at Buick Lucerne. We rented one a while ago for our 2,000 miles road trip and it served us well and was very comfortable. It has a V8 option (although a not very appealing one I guess), but as others — no stick.

At this point I’m leaning more towards Chrysler 300C. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

P.S. Yeah, we’re keeping the Caprice, for now at least. This way I’ll be under less pressure to fix it up and won’t have to worry on my work commute.
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