While driving home from Christmas vacation, I was coming down the east side of Lookout Pass in Montana. The road was icy in the shady places, and my Suburban was only in RWD. I would eventually do a 360 and tag the guard rail with both bumpers before coming to a stop. During the wild ride, the only worry I had on my mind was how much damage I’d do to the truck, so I tried to keep it in the lane and away from the guardrail. Fortunately, the GMC Suburban has all-steel bumpers, and I drove away with what appeared to be only a few dings and scratches… in 4WD. When I got home and made a closer examination, I noticed that the “Blue Beast” was really a rusty old ride. I should be thinking of what my transportation plans would be if she got too damaged to repair.
I began searching the local online car ads again. I still wanted an AWD car, under $10k, nicer features than a teenager’s car, and dark blue if possible. My search led me to the usual Subaru’s and crossover SUVs, but then I noticed the BMW section. Sure, there was the X3 and X5, but I also saw a few “xi” models. I researched the model trims and grew fond of the BMW 330xi. Naturally I wanted the Oriental Blue exterior with Sand Leather upholstery. That’s a rare combination, not to mention the 330xi is rare to find listed at all.
As a stroke of coincidence, one day I was watching an old episode of Fifth Gear (a British car show) where the presenter, Tom Ford, prophesied, “everyone wants a hot hatch in their twenties, a fast Bimmer in their thirties. In your forties, anything in a short skirt and a pulse, and in your fifties you always end up wanting a Jag.” I guess that seems true for me, at least for my thirties.
What I like about the 330xi is that it is essentially the Outback LL Bean Edition but in a luxury sedan model. It has a straight six engine which is the top of line without getting the M3. And it has a sunroof!
Another interesting feature is the auto-stick transmission that comes standard. I’ve never driven one before, so that would be interesting. Some added bonuses include a similar insurance rate to what I pay now (most available models are around 10 years old), better gas mileage, and it’s a sedan. I haven’t driven a sedan for a couple of years now. Oh I still have Duke, and I intend to eventually make him a summer driver. But he’ll need a cash infusion before completion, and the purchase of a newer car would push back that project.
Missed the first part of the story? Check out part 1 here.