Four years ago I stepped into a 325i sedan and fell in love.
I had recently graduated from college and was getting ready to start a new job. Excited by the newfound prospect of an income, I decided it was time to do some shopping. Not being much of a car guy at the time, I test drove a variety of brands: Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Acura, and finally BMW. I was hooked from the word go.
Through some rare combination of galactic awesomeness, it just so happened that the BMW dealership I was visiting was:
- Tucked up against the hills of Southern California, with plenty of open road.
- Staffed with a car saleswoman who taught sports car racing on the weekends.
The next 30 minutes were some of the most fun I’ve ever spent in a car. It was the first time I realized that there really is a level of quality, craftsmanship, and iterative progress that goes into the world’s best cars. From the gorgeous, open cockpit with the best visibility in its class, to every control surface exactly where I expected it. This was a car that was obviously designed with the driver in mind — and has been for generations.
Back at the dealership, sticker shock set in. I was going to be making a decent salary, but the monthly payments just didn’t seem doable. My heart sank.
Over the next few days I ran my personal budget every which way. All signs pointed to Not Happenin’. Combine that with my parent’s extremely generous offer for me to take their 1996 Ford Explorer off their hands and the decision was sealed. There would be no 3 series for me that year. But the seed was sown.