Converting my wife into a car enthusiast was the best and worst possible gift to our relationship. On one hand she engages in thoughtful conversation about anything car related and enables my hobby, on the other she is no longer willing to dutifully drive an econobox.

Riding shotgun and helping to pitcrew for a friend’s car at BMW Oktoberfest 2016 - Laguna Seca

Arriving at her current car, a 2015 BMW 228i MSport (MT) in Estoril Blue was a long and laborious process that included window shopping or test driving a Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Ford Fiesta ST, Ford Focus ST, Mazda Miata, Audi S4, Fiat 500 Abarth, Subaru WRX and VW GTI. Upon seeing a 2 series in Estoril Blue with a dakota brown leather interior she promptly declared “this is IT” - a woman that likes what she likes and does not like all other things (true quote). Her BMW 228i required a custom factory order due to the sparsity of options and manual transmission, moreover when it arrived 8 weeks later it matched perfectly sans manual. After 20 minutes of getting the hard-sell (DCT is better), the dealer agreed to a re-order in the proper spec with a discount. She had her car 2 months later and began the joyful err. painful process of learning manual.

The gold old days - pre BMW Z4M life

A seasoned manual driver she now appreciates a perfect downshift, well-sorted gearbox and the ability to drive unique cars. At the time of purchase she was unable to perfectly articulate her desires, however as of late it is a mixture of luxury, exclusivity and general “sportiness” wrapped inside a beautiful unique color. Unfortunately my wife, like many people, is afflicted with a short consumer attention span and is always seeking a new gadget, purse, shoe or car to complete her life.

The look of perfection - downshifting in a 991 911 Carrera S

Advertisement

Now we arrive at the need to find a suitable next car for my wife, even though the 2 series is a true gem in it’s ~$35K price range that I would like to keep in the family. Over coffee I teased out a few requirements…

  • Luxurious - nice interior space preferred, heated seat option, bluetooth, a nice place to be
  • Exclusive - not a run of the mill car and/or color that everyone will have
  • Manual
  • “Sporty” - driver feels engaged in the driving experience, will not see track usage beyond spirited backroads
  • Reasonably priced - keep payments below $500 or out the door price <$45K
  • Open to new, used (<4 years old she says), or a lease given her propensity to want something new

Advertisement

She has also tossed around the idea of something less practical, seeing as I am not allowed to have all the 2-door sports coupe fun - dual income no kids (DINKS). Conversations to date have found a few contenders - 981 Cayman or new Cayman lease, ND Miata, E92 M3, VW Golf R, Ford Focus RS and M2. Only the first two really seem to fit the ethos or budget.

Returning from a successful ND Miata test drive

Let me know your thoughts and recommendations!