Howdy everyone! I feel like it’s been a long time since my last blog post, but the reality is that a lot has changed and it is time for an update. In my last full post I got the car blues, I talked quite a bit about my beloved Audi TT and the issues it had during the month of October. Prior to the October issues I was having, the shifter cables snapped and I was able to do complete circles with the stick shift and not lock the transmission into any gear.
After getting all of those issues resolved, I had a good week or two before the electrical gremlins started to surface throwing my car into limp-mode with the traction control light popping up and rendering my car even more unreliable. So I decided to park the Audi and start driving the car that we had purchased for my son…a 2005 Mazda 3.
I used the little Mazda to get me back and forth to where I needed to be, but the looming thought of more costly repairs for the Audi was causing me unnecessary stress. I checked the Audi and the traction control light had turned off after a day or so. I was able to get my hands on a scanner tool, but when I scanned the cars ecu there was no error code present. Ugh, this is crazy!
So, after some thought and a very brief (which in hindsight should have been muuuuuuuch more detailed) conversation with my wife I put the Audi up for sale and began shopping based on my list of needs, wants and desires for a replacement vehicle. Do I want new, CPO, upgrade in class, stick with euro or go back to a JDM platform. I really liked the Audi S5 I test drove.
Unfortunately they are more than what my budget would allow this go round. 😔
Should I give Acura another go and get into the TLX V6? I really loved my 2005 TL. I miss that car.
How about the new Accord Coupe Touring Edition? Only thing is I’m not really a fan of the automatic CVT’s in Honda’s, but they do come with a 6-speed manual. I really want a car that looks good enough in factory trim that doesn’t beckon me to alter the appearance in any way (lower, body kit or change wheels). I do like the Scion-buru FRS/BRZ, but too small and it begs for a better looking set of wheels. I do want a sunroof and HID’s. Oh, how about a RWD V8 like the E46 or E90 BMW M3. An M3 is one of my dream cars, although I’d take a 335i with no complaints. Maybe AWD and turbo/supercharged with over 300 hp. The replacement car should wear a STi or Audi S/RS or VW R or Focus RS badge. So many choices! Basically I want a car that is hella fun to drive and can bend corners and handle a track and canyon roads 😎.
But what do I need? Hmmm. Room for 3 or more passengers, 4-doors, better on gas than the 18mpg the Audi is getting. A steering wheel, windows, a gas and brake pedal. It needs to be reliable, have a very low monthly payment and cost of ownership. In other words…practical.
Hoping to sell the Audi private party I posted it for sale. Forums, Cars.com, craigslist, wherever I thought someone would look for a modded TT.
I did receive a few inquiries but decided I should prep the car for a possible dealer trade so I removed the wheels and raised up the car by adjusting the coilover suspension. While showing the car to a potential buyer one day, the rear window motor took a crap on me as I was holding the button to lower the window back down. Now this stupid wind buffer window thingy (that I never really used) was now jammed halfway up/down…but at an angle! “Uh, I’ll get back to you.” No deal and now I have more repairs mounting! Ugh!
To turn the corner on this whoa is me story, I finally decided on a vehicle. Now I just needed to choose a color and find a dealer willing to do good on my trade-in value. It was coming up on the end of the year and as usual dealers are offering potential buyers the moon and the stars. “Just come on down. Can you make it in today? What time can you be here?” They all ask. I emailed all around and a dealer provided me a quote with the perfect price, but it was a typo. I held onto that quote and used that as my bargaining tool against other dealers.
Now this car that I had decided on was a car that I had not yet driven, nor had I seen the colors that I was considering in person. Did I want a white, gray, blue, or a black car? Out of those four colors, blue was the only color I had never owned. Always wanted, but never owned. So that made it tough as the car looks good in all those colors.
One of the local dealership had a red one available and made me a great offer on my trade. I drove the car and really enjoyed the driving dynamics and being a hatchback I was pleased with the extra space. Functional, fun to drive and decent on gas are all winners in my book and that solidified I was making the right vehicle choice. Although this dealer was offering the right price for my Audi, they could not produce the car in the trim level or price that I wanted, so I kept looking.
After test driving a few more in the trim level I wanted, I showed the car to my son in the different colors and he said he liked the blue the best since I had already owned cars in the other colors. There was one dealer with the a blue one in stock and they were very persistent in contacting me and trying to get me to come down. So after blowing them off a few times, I took my son’s advice on the color. I drove out to the dealer and after some dealership sales negotiations, I took delivery of this…
Hid projector headlights with cornering. A sunroof. A perforated leather wrapped HEATED steering wheel! Ford’s Sync 3 system operated through a giant touchscreen with navigation and a nice Sony sound system that includes a subwoofer.
New for the 2016 model year, the ST3 trim level gets a carbon fiber interior trim package. The carbon fiber accents are on the door handles, boost gauge cluster, e-brake lever and a nicely done shift knob with ST branded on there.
The car also has a black headliner. Very important for anyone who loves a dark interior. Very nicely packaged and sorted vehicle for being a $30k car. Even better when you get the end of the year deal that comes with a hefty discount that undercuts lesser equipped competitors vehicles.
Based on all of this, I am very satisfied with my decision. So far nothing but smiles from every mile I’ve put on it. A more thorough review of this and the content editors Focus RS.
Check out this video I edited using my GoPro app.