Our family has been fairly predictable with car purchases: the last five vehicles have been Volkswagens, with three out of the five being wagons (aka estates in some parts of the world). Six, if you count the Karmann Ghia my dad shuttled me around in when I was a kid. They’ve been solid companions from the daily grind to our summer family trips, and if I may, are fairly good looking and on the sporty side of the spectrum. Alas, mine was starting to show signs of age, and we figured it was time to begin a semi-serious search before the eventual stranded-at-the side-of-the-road-come-pick-me-up scenario.
Not that any of the current VW line up was not attractive, but we also felt something different was in order. Being a bit of a motoring enthusiast actually made the choice more difficult. Sure, it was easy to rule out the sea of silver appliances, but after that you’re left with progressively more difficult decisions. Throw in the wild card what ifs and why nots – and choice means stress.
In the process I did discover that rear seats and working air conditioning are mandatory (she put her foot down on that, so no classic Fiat 124, Triumph TR6, or MGB GT); low-mileage, well maintained 90’s icons are OK (an almost-concourse E36 328is I was considering sold while we were on vacation), but in the end it was decided that something newer, fun, and under warranty would fill the gap in our car line-up between now and a planned purchase further down the road. Hint: that one begins with a “V” and can be picked up in Sweden. Story on that much, much later.
With luck, the right car presented itself at the right price and off we went. A mere days into MINI ownership and I was wondering why I waited so long. Yes, I considered a classic Mini as well, but you know, airbags. It certainly has the fun aspect down and has its own quirks (for one, you have to grope blindly for the light switch) but combine all that personality and heritage and my daily drive is now measured in smiles.