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The car search continues & concludes

From July 2021 to August 2022, I went on an epic # of test drives , 30 in total. I ended up purchasing a lovely Subaru WRX 2011 with a manual transmission. You can read more about my criteria / experience in my original blog post HERE

Some pix of the Subaru WRX . I added a nice Android touchscreen head-unit, and some ambient lights, else it was left stock

After driving the Subaru around for the summer into the winter of 2022, I realized that manual transmission was no longer for me. From a teenager into adult hood, my entire driving experience has been manual. I learned on manual, sat my driving test on manual, and owned 2 manual cars (two Honda Civics). At the time, manuals were more reliable and more fuel efficient, that’s just not the case in 2022. In fact, we probably crossed that threshold years ago, I just wasn’t paying attention. Automatic cars with paddle shifters / sport shifters are a lot of fun, and to be honest, driving around Montreal one way streets and manually shifting through 3 gears to get from one stop sign to the next feels dated. It’s like vinyl records, I ain’t dropping the needle or flipping the record to listen to my favorite Steely Dan albums. Spotify / Sonos all the way, son

Towards the end of my test drive process, I discovered something interesting. The cars I really liked driving had a “magic ratio”. As per my previous blog posts, I’m a big fan of MS Excel – even using one to vote in our ridiculously unnecessary stupid Canadian election in Sept 2021. Of the 20 individual models of cars I drove, I found the ones I liked the most had were light weight, with a horse power of 250 to 300. When I updated my spreadsheet to divide the weight of the car by the HP, I came up with a magic “thrust to weight ratio”. My final test drive in May of 2022 was a BMW 328i, which I found very disappointing. Why? THURST TO WEIGHT. The BWM 328i is 230 HP but 3600 LBs in weight, which isn’t very sexy. After finishing the test drive, and went home and updated my spread sheet with the new “thrust to weight ratio” , then reviewed against the cars I liked vs the ones I didn’t. The results were interesting, and certainly aligned with more subjective notes I made after each test drive. Prior to adding column “C”, I had just highlighted in green / blue the car specs I found important, as well as a note on the test drive. As you can, 5 of the 14 items I tagged had “thrust to weight” value less than 15. The ones I didn’t like so much had a value of 15 or more.

Over-all, the Lexus IS 350 F was my favorite car of the ones I drive, but I couldn’t justify the cost at the time, it occupies position 2 in the sheet. I bought the car in position 3, the Subaru WRX 2011, light weight with 265 HP, lots of fun!

Which brings me to a definitive week in Gulfport, Florida Dec 2022. I flew with my beloved beast to visit my parents. I don’t like Canadian winters, so it was nice to get away for Christmas at their Florida home

Whenever I travel to the states, I use Turo.com to book nice cars. Turo is like Airbnb for cars. You can rent all kinds of neat stuff. April 2022, in Arizona it was a Tesla-killer Hyundai Ionic 5 electric. October 2022 in Kentucky, it was a nice Honda Accord Hybrid. Dec 2022 in Gulfport, I went all out, booking a BMW X1 2018 and a Lexus IS 350 F. Both cars I had driven in 2021 as part of my test drives

2018 BWM X1 328i

2014 Lexus IS 350 F Sport, why 3 pix against the single pic of the BMW X1? The Lexus was 3 times sexier, thus the pic of me looking sexy against the murder red interior. I’ve since shaved the winter beard, as it was making me look oldddd

I chose these two cars, as they were two of my favorite test drives from 2021 to 2022, and I’m looking to sell / replace the Subaru WRX 2011 hatchback this winter. And so, I’ve started to scour the local buy/sell via FB MarketPlace / Autotrader/ Kijiji Auto for a 2015 BMW X3 (similar to the X1, a bit bigger, but with a 300 HP engine), or a 2014-2015 Lexus IS 350 F. I’ve chosen these years based on costs, each can be had on the used CDN market for in/around $23k at the time of this posting, based on selling my Subaru WRX 2011 for about $9-10k, the price difference is reasonable. Each would come without warranty, so the BMW is a bit riskier for yearly repairs costs

I’ll update this blog post with the end result, it should be one of the above , as the test drives were basically completed in Florida last month, but, but it’s TBD

UPDATE FOR JAN 18, 2023

A winner has been declared, and that winner is the mighty 3rd gen Lexus IS 350 F Sport

On Wed Jan 18, 2023, I traded in my aging Subaru WRX 2011 (at a CDN $3k loss against what I paid for in August of 2022) for a fully-loaded 2017 Lexus IS 350 F Sport

To be honest, the Lexus IS is the car I should have bought in 2021 when I was doing all those god-damn test drives. I had test driven 2 that year. I was stubborn, having only owned manual transmission cars prior, I thought going with manual was the right choice again, WRONG. All the of advantages / fun factors for manual transmission are gone. Hindsight is always 20/20. Here we are in 2023, and I’ve got my dream car. My second car was an Acura 1.7 EL which I nick-named ‘Silver bird’, as such, the Lexus IS will be ‘silver bird v2

Picture time….

Here is me with the beard trimmed as promised against the back drop of the murder-red leather interior which I 💓

Let’s go buy some booze to celebrate

Side-by-side against the Subaru WRX 2011 which I used as trade-in for silver bird v2

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