May 5, 2009

Loaner.

Got my car serviced today. The loaner was a Mercedes GLK350.

IMG_0081

I'd never driven an SUV before, and it wouldn't have been my choice. But it wasn't bulky and horrible. It was kind of fun to drive. And black cars are sleek and elegant. Still, I was glad to get my Audi TT back.

resting the car on the Big Horn scenic byway

It's so much more fun and comfortable and so much more my style.

47 comments:

rhhardin said...

The shifter cable on my bike broke today, so I am feeling very manly having powered up the hills to home in high gear.

NKVD said...

"And black cars are sleek and elegant."

I see why you like Titus - your writing is similar.

Ok, you would have to replace "cars" with "guys", but there you go...

Sully said...

quite surprised no offered any psychological theories explaining why an old lady drives an Audi sports car.

something about insecurity or manhood or something like that.


whatever.

rhhardin said...

Sleekness in the supermarket parking lot today, next to my bike-leaning lamppost.

Dr. Jennifer Fligiel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Jennifer Fligiel said...

It's interesting that you drive a TT in Wisconsin. Is it at least a manual transmission? You must put it away for the winter.

And there is never a good reason, ever, to replace "cars" with "guys", but there you go. . .

Elliott A said...

You mean STICK, not manual transmission. Cars are guys.

Ann Althouse said...

Dr. Jennifer Fligiel, clearly you know nothing about cars. The Audi TT Coupe is fabulous on the snow and ice. And, yes, it's a stick shift. I love the stick shift. I love to drive.

chickenlittle said...

I drive a sleek and elegant black car too.

Elliott A said...

Hard to call a boxy vehicle "sleek", even if black. Once you drive an Audi or BMW, the other cars feel very pedestrian.

Theo Boehm said...

The Audi TT Coupe is fabulous on the snow and ice.

So is the slightly rusty '99 Subaru Legacy wagon I drive. But, before the advent of the Prius, that was the official car of Vermont and Concord, Mass. Using a Macintosh computer and wearing L.L Bean boots completed the image.

Unfortunately, the world has moved on, and, to be cool again where I live, I need to buy a Prius.

The MacBook Pro still counts for something, though.

Theo Boehm said...

Not to put Althouse down in any way, but around here, Audi TT's are the official car of businessmen from Wellesley with mid-life crises.

Ron said...

Driving is mittelbrow boring! If it were like a bombing raid during the Vietnam War during a monsoon -- (then she'd be driving an Olds, nudge, nudge) fine! One slight miscalculation and poof! You're crispy! And if driving were like, get in the car, tell it where to drive and it does the scut work while I read the paper, snooze, have breakfast in the back, equally fine!

But just to be semi-engaging, more boring than fun? Forget it!

Theo Boehm said...

P.S.—We have kids. Our other car is a Chrysler minivan. Rotten on ice & snow. Great for moving soccer team.

Theo Boehm said...

Oh, Ron. You're full of beans. Driving CAN be fun.

Just not in Massachusetts.

Elliott A said...

Sadly, most of us live in crowded places where there is little opportunity to enjoy driving. Yet there are still country roads to be found!

Ann Althouse said...

"most of us live in crowded places"

Really?

Elliott A said...

I guess it depends on what your definition of "us" is.

chickenlittle said...

Driving CAN be fun.

Fahrvergn├╝gen!

Jen Fligiel said...

Ann:

Actually, I drove a Honda Civic hatch (stick) in Madison for 8 years and it was fabulous in winter. I'm sure the TT is perfect in the snow. Especially with downshifting as an option. I would worry about an Audi body with all the Madison street SALT in the winter.

I've been on the West Coast for too long apparently. Out here the transmission is called "manual" and never "stick". It's the bubbler/water fountain thing. Also try asking for the nearest Tyme machine in Seattle instead of an ATM.

I'm looking for a BMW right now and you'd be surprised that no one has manuals (oh. . .sorry, sticks) on the lots. I LOVE the stick shift. I love to drive.

I recently drove an A4 and it was nice, but not that impressive. I think the TT is more my speed.

Jen

Cedarford said...

The Audi TT is a real nice car. Never drove a German car, even a VW that wasn't somehow - a better driving experience than most domestic and Jap stuff (my RX-7 turbo a noted exception..)

But what I am envious about is Althouse getting a Mercedes as a loaner.
I only got crap anytime I get a loaner. Last one was a "Hispanicized" 14-year old TransAm with bad brakes.

Ralph said...

It's so much more fun and comfortable if you're well under 6 feet.

I'd be driving a Pontiac Solstice if the windshield header weren't at my eye-level.

That is one of the cheaper Mercedes.

KLDAVIS said...

Professor, could you see taking a road trip in the GLK350? We are looking to get an SUV next year, and planning to take European delivery, which kind of limits our choices.

Currently driving a sleek black Volvo sedan, but it gets so lost in Hyde Park where every car that isn't a Prius is a Volvo...

KLDAVIS said...

Jen Fligiel said...

"I LOVE the stick shift. I love to drive.

I recently drove an A4 and it was nice, but not that impressive. I think the TT is more my speed."

See if you can find an Audi S4...the best of both worlds. Granted, at approaching twice the price.

Jen Fligiel said...

Thanks for the tip! I'll try to find one to test tomorrow. I don't know much about Audi, I'm mostly involved with BMW right now. 330ci convertible. There's just something about German engineering and stemware (Riedel) that a girl should experience before she's 37.

Maggie45 said...

I have a 2002 5-speed Mitsubishi Lancer, which I totally love. I'm partial to driving also. I hate, hate, hate automatics. They have those wide brake pedals, and my left foot is on auto pilot for the clutch, and once in a automatic rental car I almost put my passenger through the windshield as I hit the brake while accelerating. Well, actually several times. Poor thing was gripping the seat with her eyes closed.

I live in Bisbee, Az, altitude 5300 ft, so we do get the occasional snow, but it's gone in a few hours usually. We're about 12 to 15 degrees cooler than Tucson, and 20-25 degrees cooler than Phoenix in the summers. June hovers around 100, then when the monsoons come it's usually in the 70's and 80's the rest of the summer. The run up the mountain is about 8 miles, and I've caught myself doing 85 at times when It's all clear. There are bikers all over the place right now. Love it.

Jen Fligiel said...

I appreciate that drive. I drive for thought frequently. I recently drove from Seattle across Deception Pass Bridge and then down Whidbey Island to the ferry and then back home. It was a GREAT drive, even sans Beemer.

Nolanimrod said...

Gee, I'd never driven a covered wagon before. The oxen didn't fart much, and ...

Bissage said...

(1) That patch of turf could use a little love as could that garage across the way.

(2) Perhaps our hostess has still not driven an SUV as that looks like a crossover or “CUV” and we apologize for our pedantry as this recovering know-it-all falls off the wagon yet again.

(3) Look at the “grill” on the Mercedes. If you squint your eyes and use your imagination, it’s a watch.

(4) tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

goesh said...

Yes, I always thought of you as a Mercedes kind of woman

traditionalguy said...

Your Audi TT looks fast, low to the ground, nimble on turns, and is very cute. It is you.

knox said...

So is the slightly rusty '99 Subaru Legacy wagon I drive. But, before the advent of the Prius, that was the official car of Vermont and Concord, Mass.I've got one of those, and you're right, it is great in the snow. Furthermore, we bought that car off ebay and it came down on a car carrier from Massachusetts!

rhhardin said...

It looks like a station wagon to me, needing only the wooden sides.

1950.

dbp said...

Jen Fligiel said...

"...I recently drove from Seattle across Deception Pass Bridge and then down Whidbey Island to the ferry and then back home. It was a GREAT drive, even sans Beemer.

So true; I used to make that drive a lot (Marine Reserve at NAS Oak Harbor) and all I could afford then was a Toyota Tercel. I highly recommend the North Cascades loop--no matter what you drive, you will have fun.

k*thy said...

As for the TT, the first time I saw one, was 9 or 10 years ago in Milwaukee. I was driving a mini-van at the time (blah) - the TT really looked sweet with its symmetrical, space-aged look.

We’ve had two sticks (front wheel drive) and they are great for winter driving – so much easier to control. I love to drive, too, and overall, sticks are just way more fun to drive – they give you something to do...

Ann Althouse said...

"That patch of turf could use a little love as could that garage across the way."

That's not my yard, btw. It's somewhere in Middleton.

"Perhaps our hostess has still not driven an SUV as that looks like a crossover or “CUV” and we apologize for our pedantry as this recovering know-it-all falls off the wagon yet again."

Yes, this is an SUV-like vehicle, more of a car. Probably why I didn't hate it.

There's really nothing about the style that appeals to me, but if I needed more verticality in a car, I'd consider it.

As to why my car place has loaners like that, it tends to make me want to have my maintenance done there and it might make me decide to buy a new car that they sell.

Bissage said...

Oh, I didn’t think that turf belonged to you, Professor.

I’ve been visiting here for years.

Anthony said...

once in a automatic rental car I almost put my passenger through the windshield as I hit the brake while accelerating.I did that once, too. I'd been driving a stick for 2 months and then got into my current old Mustang automatic and got off the interstate and mashed the "clutch" which was actually the brake.

These days I code-switch a lot because my spousal unit's car is a stick and I still have my Mustang and haven't done it since. Of course, I drive my car two-footed anyway.

Smilin' Jack said...

My BMW Z4 may be the last manual I buy. The automatics are just getting too good--they know when to shift, and do it faster than the hand can move.

A couple of days ago the NYT reviewed the 2009 Porsche 911:

When ordered with the $960 Sport Chrono Package Plus, PDK gains Sport and Sports Plus settings for even faster shifts. That option also adds Launch Control, which helps the 911 do naughty things from a standing start — like 0-60 sprints in less than 4.3 seconds. Without leaving those telltale twin strips of rubber on the pavement behind you.

In Sport mode, the PDK is 0.2 second quicker than the 6-speed manual getting to 60 m.p.h., Porsche says; in Sport Plus mode, the margin doubles to 0.4 seconds.

former law student said...

We are looking to get an SUV next year, and planning to take European delivery, which kind of limits our choices.

Most European SUVs are built in the Southern US, making European delivery kinda pointless. The BMW X3 is built in Austria however. Have you looked at the VW Touareg or Routan?

It looks like a station wagon to me,

It looks like a European hearse to me. Unless you're all about the pompes funebres, I wouldn't drive one.

And the Audi TT is a proper chickmobile, the lineal descendant of the Karmann Ghia.

Ann Althouse said...

How about an Audi Q5?

KLDAVIS said...

"former law student said...

Most European SUVs are built in the Southern US, making European delivery kinda pointless. The BMW X3 is built in Austria however. Have you looked at the VW Touareg or Routan?"

No, we haven't considered VW. Mercedes, Volvo and BMW all manufacture SUVs/Cross-overs in Europe, and that's who we've been focused on.

The point is to get then 5 - 10% break on the price of the car and a semi-subsidized European vacation (Volvo includes airfare, for example) where we can drive our own car, not one of the toasters that they pass off as a rental.

KLDAVIS said...

"How about an Audi Q5?"

I forgot to mention Audi...funny, given the topic. I like the look of the Q5, but I think it may be a bit overpriced...

Also I don't believe their Euro delivery program is as generous as some of the others.

Jen Fligiel said...

"My BMW Z4 may be the last manual I buy. The automatics are just getting too good--they know when to shift, and do it faster than the hand can move."

Since driving a manual (jesus. . .stick) is for pure driving pleasure, to be better connected to engine and road, it doesn't matter how good automatics get. They are just a big snore. Fine in a wagon. But what's the point of a sport car with no stick? I just don't get it.

Theo Boehm said...

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to drive a stick?

former law student said...

How about an Audi Q5?Looks too much like that GLK. Mom, dad, two kids, with the dog in the back.

Looking at the Audi line, I think the TT is the best match for the professor.

The GLK is the only Mercedes SUV available for overseas delivery. Volvo crossovers and the BMW X3 are the other choices.

KLDAVIS said...

former law student said...

"The GLK is the only Mercedes SUV available for overseas delivery. Volvo crossovers and the BMW X3 are the other choices."

My wife tells me there's a new Mercedes SUV for the 2010 MY that will be available for delivery in Stuttgart as well...can't recall the name at the moment. Also, as mentioned about, the Audi Q5, or the Q7. I suppose the Porsche Cayenne, too if you want to be picky.