No, we didn’t buy a BMW. I test drove one, though.
It was nice, fancy; had all kind of tricks and baubles. Kyle was totally giddy at the thought of possibly buying a real, live BMW (his very favourite kind of car). He was out of town when I test drove it, and he was calling me every five minutes to see what the status was, how it felt, what it looked like, if I liked it.
Of course I liked it. It was a BMW. It had a beautiful interior, fancy buttons, and an in-dash navigation system. And a BMW insignia on the steering wheel:
I’ll admit, we were totally beguiled by that little blue-and-white checkered circle. There’s something so…California about the BMW insignia. So beachy. So trendy and cool and everything nobody really needs in life, but everyone secretly wants. At least, Kyle really wants.
In the end, though, we made what I think was a much better decision.
See, the BMW was five years old, with high-ish mileage, and after reading about that particular year and model combination online, (including posting it to my Dooce™ Community account [by the way, that is a very useful thing to have for such questions]) the general consensus was BMWs are one of life’s greatest gifts, but also one of a car owner’s greatest nightmares. We were advised to expect between two and three THOUSAND dollars in upkeep EVERY YEAR at its ripe “old” age, and I’m sorry, but I don’t even plan on spending that much money to upkeep my own OFFSPRING at the age of five. Milk and crackers, and an occasional drive-through car wash, that’s what any kid of mine can expect to get from me until he starts kindergarten. Children should be under warranty for at least that long, right? Heck, I’ll even spring for an extended warranty if I really end up loving the kid (when that expires, and not a day sooner, we can look at renegotiating terms of our parent-child contract).
But I digress.
Suffice it to say that the BMW, while certainly exciting and seductive, was not the right car for us. We decided we should stay away from high-end German repairs and maintenance, instead opting for lower-end German repairs and maintenance:
At $4,000 less than the asking price of the BMW, with more than two times better mileage, we opted to go with a used Jetta, which we test drove yesterday morning and purchased from our dentist (don’t you love small towns?) yesterday evening.
Now, it should be noted that Kyle owned a Jetta when I married him, a much nicer one than this, in fact. But we sold it a year into our marriage when he got a work truck and our two-person family became a four-car family. Ridiculous. The Jetta was much more expensive than the Camry (R.I.P. Tamra), so it was the obvious candidate. We made out well, though, selling it for much more than we owed, and driving the Camry until that fateful day when she met her demise. Then, for a year, we enjoyed the life free of car payments, with me instead driving Kyle’s monstrous truck in which he has made out with every single girlfriend he has ever had (my theory, not a verified fact) and let me tell you, it has not been the best year for me. I can still smell their perfumes—all of them.
Anyway, the real motivator to get a new vehicle was the fact that Kyle’s back driving truck again, and with a diesel Jetta I can practically drive to the moon and back on one tank of fuel, which means I am free to explore this country to my heart’s content while my husband is gone for days at a time.
You can’t put a price on that kind of freedom. (Actually, you can, to the tune of $xx,000, but who’s really counting?)
Kyle’s kicking himself for selling his first Jetta when in the end we just went back to a cheaper model of the same thing, but I don’t regret it. We had a nice year of no payments, even if that beast of a truck did take a hefty chunk out of the ozone in the process.
But I’m glad to have a vehicle with a dependability radius of wider than 25 miles again. It’s been a long, long time.
So? Road trip? Arizona? You ready for this?
ETA: Second week in May.
Be there or be not there.
p.s. Just a tidbit of random information: I’m not naming this Jetta. I’ve been over the naming of inanimate objects for a long time, and I always knew that once Tamra Camry was done for, I wouldn’t keep up the practice. It makes me too attached to STUFF, and I don’t like that mentality much anymore. For me, anyway, it’s become kind of silly.