What a dilemma

I appreciate labeling "choosing a four-seat cabriolet worth twice the average Australia annual wage" as a dilemma to be somewhat cheeky, but that's the truth.

Follow my logic here:
  1. I like convertible cars primarily because of the opportunity on great days & nights where the weather conspires to deliver a truly brilliant experience - especially in Sydney; and
  2. My partner wants to get a second Beagle, which means we would need four seats if we're to legally and comfortably get them A to B.
And it's therefore quite early in the process that it starts to unravel.

If you are going to get a four-seat car, surely logic dictates it should be able to handle four adults? Now, I'm tall so generally need the drivers seat positioned a reasonable distance from the pedals and steering wheel.

At this point, we can start eliminating some of the 109 different four-seat convertible models found on drive.com.au, including: Aston Martin DB9, Audi A3, old Audi A4, BMW 1 & 6 series, Ferrari California, Ford Focus, Citroen C3, Holden Astra, Jaguar XK, Mini, Peugeot 207 & 307, Porsche 911 and Volkswagen EOS.

Next, we can prune objects that don't qualify as 'cars' because either they are totally crap quality, handles like runny manure, and/or have the soul of a kitchen appliance - i.e. anything Chrysler (PT Cruiser & Sebring), Lexus (SC & IS), the Renault Megane, the Saab 9-3, Volkswagen Beetle and the Volvo C70.

Now I'm acutely aware our American friend staying with us over New Years might be upset with the Chrysler inclusion, and work colleagues whom are senior to me will be upset with the Saab & Volvo inclusion... but deep-down, you know I'm right and if you don't, I'll have to avoid publishing a CLM online.

Then, we need to prune cars that I can't afford without either a sudden deal where I can make 1000% of my annual target, a lotto win, or the sudden death of a wealthy relative I didn't know I had. Therefore, we need to kick: the Bentley Continental GTC, a potential Aston Martin Rapide convertible, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead and the Maserati GranCabrio - the last at excruciating agony because it's almost affordable and ever so sexy.

Which leaves us with: Audi A5, BMW 3-series (barely - those back seats are questionable in their utility) and the Mercedes E-class (previously the CLK).

I want to like the BMW 3-series - especially the 335 or the M3 versions - but the one thing holding me back, aside from those questionable rear seats, is the styling. The exterior looks like every other 3-series on the road, and there are a lot of them in Sydney. The interior seems to have followed Volkswagen's strategy of making every car in it's range identical inside so you are completely unaware of which car you are in... and both manufacturers seem intent on inducing their passengers into a coma with their mundane style. I don't think it's actually possible to have made it more boring inside - it should come with a shot of adrenalin to avoid causing more road fatalities.

And both the Audi and the new Merc (according to the pictures from AutoExpress) look like barges with their roof's down.

Which leaves me wanting neither.


posted by Lee Gale @ 1:51 AM,


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