Some of you here probably know being good friends of ours or maybe seeing a hint or two on my instagram feed about the news of my wife and I becoming future parents. Of course one of the first thoughts being a car enthusiast was "we get to go vehicle shopping"
I've been flirting with the FRS/BRZ for sometime and now I guess its good no trigger was pulled considering this news of an expanding family (though I honestly have no issue but my wife feels differently). We have been on a wagon "wagon" at Vossen (2014 Audi Allroad and 2014 BMW 328xi) so I was thinking of maybe the Mercedes E350 Sport Wagon (with the rear facing 7 seat option) but that was shot down by you know who.
Every suggestion I made she kind of was like "meh" unless it had Maserati in it.
We spoke to our friends who had kids and most said for one a car is fine and a SUV is not a necessity but it would be much better to get a SUV or Van with 2 ore more kids. I no longer fear the van seeing what the VanKulture guys have been doing, but my wife is opposed to a van. I don't mind driving one but its too much for just one child for now. Still though I was actually leaning toward SUVs (my how tables have turned!) so everything from the GX to Cayenne to X5 etc etc was evaluated.
With news the 2015 RX 350 F-sport now comes with red leather I thought that would be the winner and my wife would choose that car (her GS has red leather and was one of the main reasons she loves it) and I would start driving the GS F-sport more. To my wonderful amazement she honestly loves her GS and told me she doesn't want a SUV and wants to keep her car.
With this news I ordered some parts for her car that she does not know about yet.
I honestly damn near wept b/c that is something a car enthusiast would say.
The IS is a project car (down currently getting some new parts), the GS 430 is currently being parted out and the GS 450h simply has too small a trunk and it perfect to drive to and from work but not for daddy duty. My wife and my boss are two of my biggest supporters so they both suggested separately that I go car shopping. How could I let them down.
While I was thinking something more intermediate they both suggested getting a more elite vehicle.
So the quest began and I also went from SUVs to Coupes to Sedans to Wagons and everything in between. I also went from used to new. This was a very personal shopping experience for me since this was my first child and I envisioned me grinning driving while looking back and seeing the baby in the back seat. It was the first time that my car is really all about someone else. Weird.
I didn't want anything cramped. Parents told me that a large rear seat is good to have in regards to getting the baby seat. My small experiences with getting kids/babies out of car seats confirmed this. I also wanted something that was large enough for adults in the rear with the baby in good comfort.A rear drop down seat would be nice.
This is natural for the baby stroller and other items. A large trunk is essential. I really like the German trunks that are almost like rectangles with the trunk hinges removed. They have really well designed trunks. A rear drop down seat would be nice.
As many of you know its hard to go back to not having features you have gotten used to. From parking sensors to Blind Sport Monitoring to huge NAV screens. Its really hard to drive a car with a smaller screen after driving a GS or LS or BMW with the the large screen let alone a Tesla. It does make a difference. Also just being older, I like gadgets, they are cool, I like talking about them even if I don't use them.
As I've gotten older seat comfort for myself and my passengers is important. The new seats in the IS and GS are amazing and the massaging seats in the CLS 63 and new S550 are awesome. I need a leg extender if possible. I would like my rear passengers to have rear seat control options and treat them like front seats but many cars with those options only seat 2 in the rear (really frustrating especially on larger cars). Cooled seats are a must in south Florida. I want my wife to be super comfortable as well and since she drives her GS most of the time she likes nice seats now. This also meant I wanted a comfy ride. I don't need the kid bouncing up and down like a pogo stick.
It matters to me. And while there are some cars that I can understand a difference of opinion on, some cars are just flat out ugly and some are just gorgeous and that is a fact, not an opinion, deal with it
. Life is too short to drive ugly cars, sorry. I wanted something that would make me melt every time I see it. There are a few vehicles that do this so they were front runners.
I wanted something that drove sporty when needed. For this vehicle a 800hp fire breathing dragon was not needed. For the most part my driving on public roads has changed substantially and with a baby in the car I will drive like one of the Golden Girls.
Performance to me also doesn't mean peak HP figures, it means the overall performance of the car, the brakes, the suspension tuning, etc etc.
Another thing was not having a car that everyone else had. Since I was given the
:thumb up: by my wife especially. Clearly not LFA or Ferrari Exclusive (its funny actually how many Ferraris I see daily though) but something slightly different.
Considering this vehicle will be a higher level I expect amazing quality, fit and finish and reliability. In my experience with German cars and driving them, some for weeks, they never broke down on me or gave issues and I feel the newer models are much better in quality and JD Power confirms this. Clearly Lexus is the leader here and our experience with the new models so far has been pretty flawless.
7. Interior color
I am really hoping for a red leather interior. I love it in the GS, Panamera, IS, BMW 3/4/6 series etc. Every time I sit in our red leather GS it feels like an event.
9. Badge Power
Sorry but it matters, that is what I want and I'm not paying for a new car from a confused or struggling brand especially above the 50 grand mark, let alone 40 grand, let alone double the price. Its about reaching higher and being aspirational. Owning a Lexus well it can only go up from here, not down.
This has never been something I've thought about in cars and the vehicles I've been searching are all very safe. However it did come up a couple of times with my wife. You might ask why it isn't higher in the search criteria and no vehicle considered was unsafe so it kind of is an automatic thing.
So something was ordered over a month ago....