Buying a car is even stranger right now


If you are looking for a new or used car, I am sorry for you. While prices for your vehicle are at an all-time high, a shortage of microchips means new cars are in short supply and used cars are expensive. This means those advice I have given to current and future car dealers they were thrown out the window in a frenzied attempt to sell cars. It should come as no surprise to those who follow my writings on the Hooniverse, or my social media, who are once again out shopping.

Oops, I did it again

Obviously the good part about all these inflated used car prices is that you can get the top dollar for your car. Again, I entered a VIN for one of my cars, this time my 2016 BMW M4, in the search bar on Give me the VIN, and once again they made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. Again, I don’t have any affiliation, I don’t get any benefits for mentioning them, it’s just a great site with good service. I left the car about 25 minutes away, signed a couple of papers, and walked out with a check. Great control.

So, the time has come to do a car shop. And I fucking love buying a car, it’s like a drug. Only this time I received a faulty batch. Since the sale of the BMW not even two weeks ago, I have been scrambling to decide what to buy next. I literally spent hours hunched over various automotive aggregators., GarGurus, AutoTrader, AutoTempest, whatever I could find. I also set notifications to Japanese classics. The criteria looked pretty simple, but it wasn’t.

Tracking speed (comfortable)

At first I thought I was I knew what I wanted. The M4 was too small, so I wanted something that could fit five people relatively comfortably, that was fast (or at least interesting) and reasonably reliable (or at least with a guarantee). On paper, I was initially pretty sure it was a Kia Stinger.

This was a very popular post on Twitter with almost unanimous support!

Even if I was there in Detroit when it came out, I had never actually driven a sting, the press loan I was supposed to take went to a colleague when I tore my Achilles tendon. So my first test drive was a brand new Ascot Green Stinger from 2022. I was warned that apart from the dealership experience, there was no reason not to!

The image above is a visual representation of the dealership experience. But it was worse than that. Apart from “adm”, which means “Additional Dealer Mark”, it took me a while to find my salesperson, and of the three or four employees in the showroom, no one asked me if I needed help. And then … it literally felt like someone was living in it. The salesman opened the hatch … and inside was a tie. I opened the center console, another tie, plus some random crap. I guess someone at the dealership was taking him home at night? They certainly did not earn “adm“.

The biggest problem was that the sting didn’t give me the “bubbly” feeling at the bottom. It’s fast, it’s nice inside, it generally had the room I was looking for, but even in “Sport” mode it was too quiet. Too boring. So it was removed from the list.

As you can see in the tweet, at one point my wife said “literally review cars for a living (ish), how hard it is to choose something”. He was right, he was clearly afraid of better options, or more. FOBO, FOMO, YOLO, whatever the kids are saying. I started a spreadsheet on his order, listing the criteria in order of ranking. I’ve also spent too much time on Twitter asking for advice. That was a mistake.

Bernie is back and needs your help.

Twitter of a strange car offers

Advance tip …
Technically this Fiero occupies five seats
Thanks Zerino …
I like this.
Tempting …
Come on Jeff!
OK, I actually looked seriously at that Aston Martin, just a little damage that was “mostly” fixed.

Then I took some good ones

Car shopping continues

So where does all this leave me? Well, it leaves me without a car. Luckily, I just got a press loan that will take me to the beginning of December. I did some driving tests and literally wandered around the lots of new and used cars looking for options.

  • Mustang Mach-E 2021 – I called her recently “The best all-round car I’ve ever driven“And I support it. But they’re hard to find, at least at the premium trim level, and those available are well above budget.
  • 2018 Audi S4 – very clean CPO, decent price. The back seat was a bit small for three kids (one of whom is taller than me) and while it felt as quick as sting, it still lacked some panache.
  • 2021 Charger R / T Daytona – Sounded good, lots of space and (surprisingly) $ 6,000 off the sticker, but I didn’t like it. With all the noise, it actually didn’t move that fast and it didn’t feel right.
  • 2018 Porsche Macan – Nice looking CPO option, but the rear seat was too small. Also difficult to commit to a four-year car at new car prices.
  • 2021 Mercedes CLA 35 AMG – Large interior, has the latest large screen from MB. But in the end it was expensive for the size and not that fast.
  • 2021 Genesis G70 – I really enjoyed it, just drove it to a press rally. However, it’s still a bit subdued like the sting (no surprise). I’ve also driven the GV70 and it’s damn good, but not cheap and I’ve never seen myself loving it in the long run.
  • 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti – A little small, and I always want it to be the Quadrifoglio.

That last bit was important to my car buying brain. I looked at the Audi A7 CPOs and they were great, but it wasn’t an S7. I didn’t want to spend $ 50K and have no regrets.

Well, stay tuned. I am still carrying out this process. It was actually quite enlightening, and not just because I realized most of my Twitter friends are idiots. I realized I was chasing comfort, reliability, speed on a budget, and that’s the hardest thing to do. What would I get, money without an object? Probably an M5, maybe an E63 tank? And those can be under $ 50,000, but I really don’t want a blueprint, I don’t want to fiddle with engine lights, broken parts, or major mechanical failures at that price (or any price right now).

The knowledge that I would not satisfy my need to go fast, comfortable, with room for five, Other be reliably set this weekend. So I went to try out a Land Rover Defender. I’ve owned several Jeeps and honestly would have bought another if I wasn’t looking for something a little better. Well, the Defender is doing very well. They have a basic 4 cylinder coming in December in Pangea Green. It’s not fast, but it’s definitely interesting and satisfies every other category (ok, it’s a little over budget).


Stay tuned …


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