New car!

BMW 335i #1
BMW 335i #2

On somewhat of a spur of the moment, I purchased a new car. I have been thinking about getting something different for a while now. So, when I realized that I needed to replace all four of my tires and brakes, I decided that it was time. If I bought a car now, I could avoid having to spend around two grand for new tires and brakes.

I took a BMW 335i for a test drive. I liked the car. It was fun to drive: well balanced, responsive, and it telegraphed the road feel nicely. So I asked how much my trade in would be. They initially told me 12K. Which was disappointing. The blue book value for a trade in was 16K. But I eventually talked him into using 14K as the value.

I also looked at Corvettes. There is some serious deals going on there. For a 2008 Black Corvette with the Z51 package, the MSRP was 62,140. They were offering employee pricing of 53,029. Nine grand off! They too offered me 14K for the trade in. There was only one car in stock with that type of deal, though. It was black and an automatic.

While I have wanted a Corvette for a while now, I just don’t like their profile and how I fit inside them. The car is really low to the ground and relatively big. And I barely fit inside one. My head feels like it is dangerously close to the pillar and ceiling. Which is not a good thing since, in an accident, you are likely to go up and forward.

The BMW has a lot of refinements to it. It is very polished and civilized for a car. I like the fact that the radio was made for the iPhone. It connects via an accessory cable to it. You can charge it and it will transfer the phone book contacts and music play list to the radio. And the radio also acts as a blue-tooth headset as well. The car key acts like a fob. You only need to carry it in your pocket to lock/unlock or start the car. The car also comes with free maintenance for four years. All costs are covered.

I also learned that BMW offers an upgrade to the chip which controls the car’s computer. This upgrades the car’s horsepower rating from 332 to 384 and the torque from 325 to 421 lb/ft. Even better, the warranty is not invalidated. It is fully supported by BMW. When I asked that they throw in the chip for free (a 2500 value), the salesman immediately agreed. Damn. That was too easy. I wonder else I could have got. But it was enough to tip the scale towards buying the vehicle. It also helped that BMW was offering 0.9% financing.

Looking back in time, I paid $19075.72 in October 2003 for my F-150 Lightning which included TT&L. The MSRP was $33,310.00. I traded it in today for $14,000. Which meant that I only lost 5 grand? But the cost to me included my previous trade in. So I don’t think that would be a good way to remember my truck’s value. But it is better than the 19 thousand dollar loss (33K-14K). While my vehicle is a limited edition version (only 2500 were made), Ford makes a billion F-150s. And it probably hurts that my truck is only a two seater.

My total gas cost over the lifetime of the Lightning was $9126.50. My total maintenance cost was $3060.77. And the insurance cost was $6957.00. Over the 59 months of ownership, that makes it $324.48 a month to operate. Which seems like a lot of money.