Saturday, January 29, 2005
Prescription: A physician's guess at what will best prolong the situation with least harm to the patient.
My search for a new Proprietormobile took me to the local Audi franchise yesterday, where I checked out the A4. While a good friend swears by his A4, I was not so impressed with it. The driver's seat was singularly uncomfortable, perhaps some manipulation of the various supports and other gadgets might've made it a bit more user-friendly, but when one's lumbar and hindquarters immediately protest upon ensconsing oneself in the car (knee problems aside), it isn't a good sign. I tested the four cylinder 1.8 liter turbo model, which had a reasonable amount of pep, only a slight turbo lag when I accelerated to get on the highway. The highway drive was unexceptional, one exit, less than a mile, and gave no clue to the car's capabilities. The return drive took us back on a parallel road with plenty of traffic and no twists and turns to see how the car handled (the Bimmer dealer found a nice set of back roads for us to test the car with). The sound system, well, the quote unquote premium sound system is from Bose. I well remember cringing at the sound of Bose 901 speakers the first time I heard them, and my usual reaction to Bose is that their sound is mushy and muddy. This system didn't disabuse me of that notion. The six CD changer in the dash looks like a good idea at first, but then I remembered the ghastly multi-CD drive I put into my wife's PC years ago. That beast jammed and lunched several CDs, including the OEM software CDs from the PCs manufacturer that the Mrs. conveniently kept in there to avoid having to look for them in case of an emergency. It's not a bad car, not by any means, but as another friend pointed out, it's basically a gussied-up Volkswagen, and not that great a buy. The due diligence will continue with tests of the Acura TL and Mercedes C240.
Also, anyone got a Gmail invite to spare? Not for me, but a friend in need. Post a comment if you do.