This is not an article debating the leasing vs. buying talk that many of you have had in your head.
Instead, this is one thing that you can do when you go to the dealership to test drive, haggle and debate with your significant other on just how the free coffee should have chemical spill warning signs.
I may assume that most of you reading this website are enthusiasts of one sort of another when it comes to cars. Some may love liquifying tires into carcinogenic smoke, others may want to have their hind end massaged while creeping through rush hour traffic. Even still are the subset of folks that want to creep over boulders at lean angles that would make a Moto GP rider cringe, and then there are the people who put 20" rims on a Prius.
My wife and I recently went on a new car buying/leasing adventure. Our current vehicle (2007 MINI S) was getting rattled apart on the streets of Seattle, trim pieces falling off, leaks spouting from the head, turbo and various other places that you want the oil to stay in. Over the 4 years I owned the car I put about $7,000 dollars into it above and beyond the purchase price (used), and it was time to move on.
On the short list, 2014-15 VW GTi, 3 series BMW, and an Audi A4. All with manual transmissions.
I went to the local dealerships, having read as much car buying advice as I could fit in my head unwittingly stumbled across a 'want' that I had never thought about before. This is a car dealership, with lots of cars and some I would never ever think to ever drive or own right at my fingertips. I had checked out the inventories online, and at each dealer I went to, there seemed to be some interesting metal sitting on the lot.
I off-handedly said that part of the deal was contingent on getting to test drive a vehicle I knew I would not drive expecting to be told to take a hike. We made sure that they knew we were serious about a vehicle, and we always made the point to drive the car we actually were interested in first. Each time the sales person was more than happy to hand over the keys to the following vehicles:
The VW Dealership has a 1986 AM General H1 plotting to crush every Passat CC it can lay it's 37 x 12.5 radial tires on.
Next up was BMW, where they had a lovely
2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe, manual transmission with an interior color that can best be described as 'NBA'
Finally though, Audi, where they had this absolutely amazing 2015 R8, V10. And while the website said coupe, this one was a convertible. Launch Control is a wonderful thing
My wife getting to drive the R8 out of the parking lot, apologies for the nighttime cell phone movie, but it does sound lovely-
Sure, you could get floor mats, window etching, a tank of gas thrown in, but why not try for something a bit different.
Finally, for full disclosure, we ended up leasing a 2015 S4 manual, I got to drive the R8 before the paperwork, my wife got to drive after, everyone left happy.