Yesterday I drove from Madison to Chicago to trade my leased 135is for a CPO Infiniti G37xS coupe. It didn’t happen. BMW’s over-inflated lease residual values, which are why you can get such low payments relative to the sticker price of a BMW, also make it really hard to get out of the car before the end of the lease. Unless you get another BMW.

The Infiniti dealer offered me $28k for my 135is. The payoff on my lease is $31,375. All they were willing to do to try and close the gap was knock another $500 off the sale price of their G37xS. I told the sales guy, “I came all this way, sell me a car!” But they wouldn’t do any better.

Accepting that offer would’ve cost me more than keeping my 135is until the end of the lease and getting another car at that point. So I walked.

To be honest, the more I’ve driven these G37 coupes, the less I’ve necessarily been thrilled with them. They’re...alright. But my excitement about the G37xS on paper doesn’t quite translate to the driving experience. I’d still buy one, but I certainly won’t waste money just to get one a couple months sooner than the end of my 135is lease.

The day wasn’t a total bust as I got a chance to spend some time visiting with assorted Chicago-area family, including springing my 92 year-old grandma loose from her assisted living facility and taking her to a Japanese restaurant where I got sushi, and she got udon noodles because I told her they were kinda like lo mein. When this udon turned out to be a giant bowl of soup, I served some into a smaller soup bowl, and she couldn’t really control the slippery udon noodles with her fork, so she’d pick up one bigass individual udon noodle at a time with her bare hands and eat them that way. But she kept asking for more of those noodles so hey, she must’ve enjoyed them. If you’re 92 you get to eat udon noodles with your hands!

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This was the only relevant photo I could find on a google image search for “grandma udon noodles.” My grandma is a tiny little Jewish lady, not Japanese, but I like this picture.

During the course of calling my gf for her thoughts on the situation, the topic of that E92 335i xDrive came up, and I asked her if she thought maybe I should hit up that dealer, but I would only do it if she was comfortable with the possibility of me having another BMW.

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Turns out, she doesn’t entirely hate the concept of me driving a BMW, her main thing she hates about my car is me calling it a Bimmer. I only do it because it’s shorter than saying BMW. I am totally willing to give up saying “Bimmer” if that will make her happy! But I didn’t go to that dealer to see that E92 335i xDrive, because I called them and they were similarly pessimistic about the trade value on my 135is as the Infiniti dealer.

On my way back from Chicago I was kicking around ideas in my head of what to do with this car situation. They included:

  1. Shit, I’m going to buy an E92 M3 convertible! It’s got a flippy hard top and with the LSD I can totally drive in the snow with Blizzaks!
  2. Hey, even though I really don’t want to have 2 cars any more, I should keep my Jeep and buy some cheaper sports car to go with it and keep juggling 2 cars, as long as it’s cheap. Let me get a Z4 M Roadster!

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Then I remembered a couple months ago my sales person from my local BMW dealer where I got my 135is reached out to me because if I were to get a new or CPO BMW, BMW would waive my remaining lease payments and disposition fee. At the time I told her I was planning to turn in the 135is at the end of my lease, and drive my Jeep for a while as my only car.

So when I got home, I emailed her that I’ve changed my mind to selling the Jeep and getting one fun awd car to drive year round, and said, basically, if she could find me a CPO 2011-2013 335i xDrive M Sport stick shift with low miles, and the options I want, like this one, and it’d get me out of remaining lease payments and buying more fucking awful run-flat tires, I’ll buy it.

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Well, I didn’t say “fucking awful run-flat tires” to her.

I guess we’ll see! But BMW has clearly stacked the deck in their favor with this payoff vs. trade value shenanigans. Sure, you could say I’m falling into their trap, but is it really a trap if it also happens to be the best deal?