Thursday, November 11, 2010

European Delivery, 2010

I'd had past experience with diesel vehicles, owning a 1981 Rabbit Diesel (great mileage, but no fun to drive), and renting a Volvo in Europe in 2002 (which I loved). One reason I did a three year lease on the 2007 335xi was that a diesel version of the 335 might come out soon, and my financial models showed it just as cost effective to lease back to back as to buy and hold. (The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this post, but perhaps another time.)

I liked my 2007 335xi enough that I was prepared to just keep it, but before making a final decision I ran the numbers again and found that buying a 2011 335d would work out to cost less, due largely to an additional $4500 "eco credit", plus $900 energy tax credit. Bottom line, due to these incentives plus European Delivery discounts, I was getting over 20% off MSRP.

So we planned another trip to Germany on the way to visit Bridget and her family in Dubai. I'll give details of the trip in subsequent posts and focus more on the car for now.

We flew out of Portland on Wednesday morning, Oct. 13, and arrived in Munich the morning of Oct. 14. We would have liked more sleep but there were things to do and places to go, so we headed right to the BMW Welt via S-Bahn and U-Bahn. The BMW Welt is a fabulous, futuristic building on the site of the BMW Munich factory where they deliver new cars to customers. They really roll out the red carpet for you and we were pretty impressed with the whole delivery experience. We were provided complimentary passes to the BMW museum and a factory tour, plus vouchers to use at their restaurant and gift shop. Here is our first view of the car coming down the stairs from the premium lounge.

Here I am driving the car around the "victory lap" to exit the building.

We drove that afternoon to Austria, went to bed early, and got up early to continue on to Budapest, and then on to eastern Slovakia the following day. Lots of fun driving on freeways and rural highways.

We were worried about car theft in former eastern block countries, and had it parked securely in Budapest behind a locked gate. But in Slovakia there was no secure parking available. We stayed two nights at Hotel Alibaba in Humenne just parked in their lot out front. The hotel staff assured us not to worry, that they had never heard of a car theft in Humenne. Still, I was relieved each morning to see the car safe and sound in the lot.

We didn't get a lot of pictures of the car in scenic settings. But here is one parked by the cemetary in Poruba, where Suzanne has cousins and ancestors are buried.

While there were speed limits elsewhere, Germany is famous for its high speed autobahn. We did get a clear stretch of autobahn on our final day, and with the car now broken in we sustained over 100 mph for a while, and peaked at 125. Sadly, that experience is unlikely to be repeated in the USA.
Five and a half days ended all too soon, and we had logged over 1400 miles. Note the 34 mpg average, despite some spirited driving--love that diesel engine!

We dropped the car off at the designated location just north of Munich on Tuesday, Oct. 19, and took the train to downtown Munich, then the airport.

The car was loaded on the ship Maersk Wind in Bremerhaven on Nov. 6, will squeeze through the Panama Canal in a couple of weeks, and is due to arrive in Port Hueneme, CA, on Dec. 1. I figure I should have my new toy in our driveway as a birthday present around the 14th, inshallah.

1 comment:

  1. You should have posted what the Slovakia hotel clerk ACTUALLY said.