Friday, April 08, 2011

Lessons Learned at the Denver Auto Show

Despite all the press and the ads mentioning global warming and the importance of decreasing our carbon footprint and our reliance on foreign oil, most cars still have very poor gas mileage. It is not just the SUVs that fail miserably in this category. I walked the entire floor of the Colorado Convention Center. I saw many cars. As I arrived at Subaru’s section of the floor I thought, now here is a make of car that will have good mileage. Nope. Not even the Outback had any impressive numbers. Our Highlander’s gas mileage is technically 17/24. Although we get a little better than that, it isn’t great gas mileage, but after walking the floor at the auto show, I feel much better about what we get in that car. You mean I could be driving a granola-lover’s Outback, be sacrificing legroom, style, speed, and other space and get one more mile per gallon than a Highlander? No thanks. (And I do apologize to anyone who drives a Subaru. I am sure you love your car and that you get better gas mileage than the Subaru I saw. The thing to keep in mind when you are at the auto show is that every car is fully loaded and typically has the most powerful engine they put in the car. But still, I was expecting much better from Subaru and everyone else.)

Hyundai’s display wasn’t good enough to even get me to step on their section of the carpet. *This lesson wasn’t really learned at the auto show, just reinforced.

Since childhood I have eyed BMW’s 7 Series, thinking, now there’s a sedan I can fit in. The only problem being, it’s a BMW 7 Series and way, way out of my price range. Now there are two problems. One, the price as I’ve already mentioned. Two, I don’t fit in the 750. As is, the $107,000 BMW I sat in does not have enough room for me. The backseat has tons of room, air-conditioning that shoots up into your butt, and heated seats, but who wants to be in the back seat of a 750? Not me.

I do fit in a BMW X5. Again, the price is an issue, but I had to try. I’ve always been curious about the X5’s legroom. That said, when I was sitting in the driver’s seat, there was approximately one inch between the back of the driver’s seat and the end of the second seat. The car turns into a four-seater when I am driving.

Driving an expensive car means you’ve made it, you’re happy, satisfied, and successful. At least that’s what a lot of people think after talking with a few car-crazy nutters on the showroom floor last week. It really made me just want to walk out of the convention center.

People spend beyond their means. Not really breaking news, but the number of people interested in BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and the like, drastically outnumbers those who can actually take on that financial burden. But, note the last point. People have drunk the Kool-Aid.

The most surprising lesson: I fit in a Mini Cooper. No lie. I could actually drive one if I needed to. I fit better in this car than in some SUVs and most sedans. Love this.

1 comment:

Rachel Larson said...

Wtf, you really fit in a mini?!?