2007 Saturn Sky

I've seen a couple of 2007 Saturn Sky convertibles on the road and parked and I've done a double take each time. I'll bet the Saturn Sky is the "it" car for 2007, replacing the VW bug of a few years ago and the Mini Cooper of late. It's like the 1989 Mazda Miata and maybe it'll do the same for the Saturn brand that it did for the zoom, zoom Mazda brand.

The Saturn Sky photo gallery is pretty neat too. They've done a great job with it.

2008 Mercedes C Class

Not sure if I like the 2008 Mercedes C Class, it may grow on me, I don't know. They still have a stupid foot brake for their manuals. The design seems kinda mish-mashed, BMW 3 + Acura TL + their CL. The interior is kinda whacky too, copied some things from BMW's interior and kept some of their old weird dial interior. I don't know what's going on with Mercedes. It's still a Mercedes though — safe, fast, good engineering (w/ suspect reliability).

Photos and more photos

the 2007 C Class for comparison

BMW X3 in Consumer Reports

my BMW X3 w/ matching snowboard

I bought the Consumer Reports copy that reviewed the BMW X3 pretty favorably (ranked #2) except for the "predicted reliability" part which was unfavorable. I'm not sure how they come up with predicted reliability, I think that's bs. I guess they're saying that BMWs in general are not reliable though a bunch are out on the road doing pretty well though aren't they.

Anyway, my BMW X3 is doing fine, 30k+ miles and going strong. In the report, they highlighted handling, interior, and overall drive (and even the best gas mileage in the bunch) as some of the advantages over the others in the small SUV class.

They looked at the Toyota Rav4 (their top choice), Toyota FJ cruiser (which they didn't like at all), the new Jeep Wrangler (the car I previously had and loved but too rough a ride), the new Acura RDX, and the Mazda CX-7. I think the Lexus 330/400H isn't considered a small SUV and interestingly they didn't review the Subaru Forrester. The real competition to the BMW X3 are the Audi A3 or A4 Wagon or the BMW 3 or 5 series wagons.

I like my/our BMW X3 a lot. It's been good to us so far and it's pretty fun to drive. Ultimate driving machine, you know it. :)

the fancy loaner – 2007 BMW 328i

Cute right? More photos here.

One of the cool things about driving a fancy car, when you have to take it in for maintenance, they give you another fancy nice car to drive. [Life is just too hard. Whoa is me. :)] The dealership hooked me up with a 2007 BMW 328i with 1000 miles on it to play around with for the day. They call it Sparkles because the exterior color is a Sparkling Graphite Metallic.

It's pretty freaking fun to drive. It handles unbelievably well, the acceleration is crazy, and everything works just really nicely. The car isn't equipped with amenities like power seats or iDrive. And it is an automatic, manual would have been preferred. I do see why people love this car, the drive is pretty awesome.

So I drove this thing on a windy freeway and up and down the Oakland/Berkeley hills. Pretty bad ass. I'd get the 335i Coupe if I had a choice and could justify spending over $45k for a car (you can't do it, unless maybe it's for the Tesla sports car). The 335 coupe and this 328i is very much "a boy's car" (based on the drive and the exterior styling). For the most part, the BMW series of cars (3, 5, 7, and M series) are manly except for the convertibles.

the new car to be – Lexus IS 250


"the passionate pursuit of perfection"

We're looking to get a Lexus IS 250 rear wheel drive manual in the matador red, it's not quite perfection but close enough. We're looking to get it before the end of the year but ordering a Lexus is fairly tricky, you just can't order the car it sounds like. It'd be great to get the IS 350 or the 250 with all the bells and whistles but apparently people don't like to make manual cars anymore (nor do people know how to drive them). Supposedly only 1.9% of all Lexus IS's are manual.

The drive is quick, interior is really nice, the technology is slick, the styling is ok, the color is awesome, the gas mileage is great, the reliability record is great, but room for people in the back seat sucks.

The other car that we're looking at is the Mercedes Benz C230 in a manual and in a barolo red. The best thing about the C230 is the styling (and well, availability). The IS trumps the C230 in just about everything else, but styling is pretty important and the differences save for the gas mileage difference (about 9mpg difference) aren't that big.

super cool modes of transportation

I've stumbled on a bunch of cool (cool to me anyway) modes of transportation.

Here's that list:

Tesla Motors: the electric sports car that looks like a Lotus but gets 135 miles per gallon, 0-60 in 4 secondsĀ 

The Mark V bicycle from Iro Cycle. It's very old school, fixed gear bike used a lot by the messengers in San Francisco. What's extra cool are the bikes w/ the horn style handle bars. These bikes are pretty cheap too about $550.

Another bike, the Xtracycle. It's basically a bike w/ huge panniers. They call it the sports utility bicycle.

The new Segways have been out for a while. They're cool I guess. You can see 'em around the Google campus or in San Francisco w/ tourists on them. They're great except when it rains. Then you're s.o.l.

I'd love to get one of the Tesla cars. I wouldn't get anything else on this list even though it's all very cool. We've already got an BMW X3, a Trek Madone 5.2 SL road bicycle, rollerblades, snowboards, and that's really much too much already.

new car at the dealers…

Yea. Our BMW X3 is at the dealers. We'll be paying the Cars Direct price thank you very much. It will be nice to have real windows, leather seats, and a stereo system where I don't have to carry around the damn face plate.


I love writing about this car, more for the image than anything. I emailed the people at Weatherford BMW. I guess they can get me one of these for $38k. Can't wait to get it but still need to wait to finish (re)-painting the house, some other external house work, and I still have to pay taxes too.