Friday, September 2, 2011

The Ultimate Driving Experience

Headed to the beach for our 4th of July vacation, my 10 year old Expedition died.  No flames of glory.  No death rattle.  Just a silent giving up of the ghost and subsequent death on highway 64.  The official death proclamation was one week later when our mechanic called to give us the fatal news--she had metal shavings in the oil pan.  She had fought the good fight for over 200,000 miles and had left us for the great junkyard in the sky.  

After a decade of driving a vehicle the size of a third world country, which cost more to fill up than the GNP of said third world county, I knew I wanted a small car.  I grew up the daughter of an American muscle car fanatic, constantly surrounded by classic Corvettes and 60's era Mustangs and all their parts.  After driving a land yacht and before that, 4 cylinder vehicles which are the engine equivalent of hamsters on a running wheel, I was ready for some ponies under the hood.  And no, that's not a euphemism for something.  I wanted some unbridled horsepower.  This chick is no mini-van driving mom!  I'd be caught in a Pinto before I'd ever cast a second look at a mini-van.  To me, the mini-van is the vehicular equivalent of a tankini.  It just screams that you've given up and have settled into a life a mediocrity and PTA meetings.

Despite my previous disaster of a German engineered car (yes, I'm looking at you, Volkswagen), I was drawn to the BMW's.  We had done our research online, but had decided to wait until the sale of the shop was finalized before acting.  While busy goofing off making copies at the Winston Salem Open, I flipped through the pages of a newspaper in the media room and saw that Flow BWM was running some sweet deals on their 3 series.  Sweet deals that we simply couldn't refuse.

Tuesday night, we met with Flow's salesman Brent and despite his UNC alum status, we liked him.  I made it clear right off the bat that I was no "mirror and cupholder" woman.  I wanted to drive the daylights out of it.  Never before had I been on a test drive where the rep drives as you sit in the passenger seat.  When he warned us to sit tight and hold on, I knew he got it.  He had me at "brace yourself".

We had gone in knowing we wanted a black model.  I was as sure of that color choice as I am sure of my addiction to Starbucks and Sephora.  However, when we got back to the lot, I spotted the sweetest Duke blue 328i.  There was absolutely no way that I was going to leave that car on the lot.  My alumni card would have been revoked had I opted for the black.  After a mere 14 hours of paperwork (maybe it just seemed that long because I was starving--2 chicken McNuggets I stole from the Sound and the Fury do not a proper lunch make), it was ours to take home.

This is one sweet ride.  The suspension is so good, it turns the passenger cabin into the motorized version of Xanax--that smooth and easy.  It handles tight--no more breaking and slowing way down as I head into curves.   I wanted power & I got it.  I can actually pass people now with confidence, not  fear and doubt that the hamster would get too tired and call it quits mid pass.  I had to set the cruise control on the way home from the dealership just to be sure that I didn't speed--that engine purrs like a large jungle cat (just not a panther, because the Carolina Panthers suck and therefore that cat has been sullied in my mind).  I find myself longing for some backwoods, winding country road to really test her out.

Breaking it in right.

The most important interior feature--MP3 hookup.

Even I will admit that the cupholders are pretty ingenious--you press the button like a CD player to get them to "eject" from the dash.

I have threatened the Gruesome Twosome within an inch of their lives if they mess this car up.  I have drilled them like a drill sergeant.  I think I heard Pey mumbling about keeping her feet off the seat in her sleep.

You will never see the backseat this clean again.

Even the details that I have no idea what their actual function are seem cool, like this one of four things that appear on the roof:
Looks like a CD should eject from here too.

To paraphrase McD's, I'm loving it.  Thanks to Brent and the rest of the staff at Flow.  We'll be headed back your way soon to take advantage of the free Saturday car washes (and free oil changes and other free maintenance--how awesome is that?).  And by the way Brent, GO DUKE!

If you want to contact Brent for any car requests (he says he can sell them all in Flow's fleet, not just BMW's), here's Brent's email.  If you want to look at Flow's website, go here.  If you do talk to Brent, throw in a Go Duke! just for us.

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