Monday, May 9, 2016

#1 - The Decision

I have always liked cars.  From my first ride in a go-kart at the outdoor Richmond Go-Kart track as a kid to the jalopy cars I owned in highschool, I have loved to buy, ride in, fix and customize cars.  Once I started working and was able to buy new cars I ended up owning some nice ones.  A factory order 2001 BMW X5 and BMW 323Ci Convertible that I still own.  But I always wanted a Porsche 911.  I even had the make, model, colour and features written down for over 10 years before eventually getting to the point I was able to buy it.

Then, finally, I was ready.  I went to autotrader and started looking at my dream car - a Porsche Carrera 4S Targa or Cabriolet.  I even set the year range so I could get Bluetooth.  The searches I set up sent me notifications almost every day and soon I had a spreadsheet of more than 80 cars that fit my criterion. 

Time to take the next step so I called a dealer to get a quote.  Well, I figured I may have to deal with some attitude but nothing prepared me for the pure, class-A pin-heads I had to speak to.   In almost every case the sales person I spoke to was not willing to set up a test drive "until they had a signed offer to buy the car".  Seriously?  So basically, that means they only want existing Porsche owners, or idiots, to come agree to buy the cars they have.  What an ass.

And if that was not bad enough, it got worse.  When I started to talk about a trade-in I was told my existing BMW 323Ci Convertible, which I had owned since I drove it off the lot, was only worth $6,000.  "Try selling it on Craig's List and you might get $8,000" says the Porsche pin-head.  It may have had over 125,000km on it but everything was original and I had taken care of it like it was one of my children.  I was not about to give it away for $6k.  That's it.  I'm keeping it.

Now, wait a minute.  That means I'll still have a convertible so I can look at some other kind of car.   How about I test drive that Tesla I have been reading so much about?  The next thing I know is I am on their website booking a test drive, reading more about the car (and the cost, of course) and I figure out why I am attracted to it.  Of the top five reasons I chose to buy a Tesla Model S, "no gas" was 5th.

  1. Performance: By far the most surprising thing about a Tesla is the pure, unrationed acceleration.  And to find that in what is a 5,000 lb beast of a car that carries 5 adults with luggage is truly unique
  2. All Wheel Drive:  I live in cold climate (at least during the winter) and I like to go skiing so all wheel drive has always been a priority - well, perhaps not when I bought the 2-wheel drive BMW 323, but ever since then
  3. Advanced Technology:  The car is loaded with technology, but like a giant iPad, it is all easily accessible, intuitive to navigate and completely contained in the giant central console screen
  4. Virtually Zero Maintenance: No oil to change, fluids to monitor (except the washer fluid and brake fluid) gears to worry about or moving parts to replace.
  5. No Gas:  I have almost forgotten how to fill a car with gas
And after owning the car for less than a year, I remain completely in love with it.  It is not enough that the thrilling ride means I now never (truly) complain about picking up and dropping off my kids for their many programs, every few months I get a completely free upgrade from Tesla.  It is like downloading a new operating system for your iPhone.  New features, a new look, and every once in a while a whole new thing - like Autopilot or Autoparking - comes through and it is like getting a new car all over again. 

1 comment:

  1. Sold! It's clearly a quantum leap. It's sort of like: it is to what we think of as "car" and what a car can do, as the Model T must have been to the horse and buggy.
    A car that never needs to go to the gas station! I am not a fearful person, but as Whistlerborn accelerated his Tesla I was grabbing for the dashboard to hang on. Having just visited Playland on May 10, I can only describe the Tesla's acceleration as having a "Hellavator-esque" quality!