Trying to Define What Makes a Luxury Vehicle

At what point does a regular vehicle become a luxury one?

It’s tough to pin down! In trying to find one defining element, instead I came up with a bunch of what it’s not –

  • it’s not price,
  • nor number of units sold,
  • it’s not the type of gas it uses,
  • it’s not the number of features it’s equipped with,
  • nor the type of materials it’s finished with.

Plus! People’s benchmark of luxury can vary greatly.. what’s really nice to one may not to another, like – they’re happy with jewelry from People’s, I prefer Piaget.

Read it online at Autonet.

Favourite line:

The only argument that seems to hold is in regards to the one thing that can’t be held or touched – perception. Perhaps that’s it, then – luxury is defined by whoever’s advertising dollars are better at convincing us that something is high-end.


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The 2005 BMW 325Ci that was Almost Mine

At an auction north of the city I found one of my dream cars. Remember when I almost bought that Dodge Magnum?  Same place. That 279 is my bidder number, that’s how close I came.

This 3-series BMW is one of my all-time favourite cars, specifically the E46 body in production from 1999 – 2006.

So beautiful.  Even the colour I want, windows already tinted good and dark.

And manual obviously, I would only.

230 hp
221 ft·lb
6-speed manual
0-100 km/h in 6.5 s

It’s ridiculous how good I am with this car.

No touch controls, no dash screen, so minimal inside, so me.

When I climbed inside though, it had an overwhelming feeling of having had the crap driven out of it. So those 220,000 km were likely very hard ones.

Plus there were several buts…

Clockwise from top left: 

– oil looks okay
but those rust spots found all around do not
– winter tires okay fine
but the car’s history report says thousands of work done, likely from an accident, and that’s the front bumper’s pressure release not sitting flush.

After leaving the auction floor Friday afternoon I stopped to take photos of my Land Rover outside an abandoned log cabin, when a stranger with a huge moustache pulled up and warned me against the car. It was weird.

Auction was Saturday morning, and still late into Friday night I didn’t know what to do, until I realized I was breaking my own rule – when there’s doubt, there is no doubt.

So I let it go.  And declared I am done with car auctions.

The end.



Fake Engine Sounds, it’s Happening

It’s a dichotomy – a quieter engine is a more technologically
advanced and efficient one

But the problem is we consumers still associate noise with power, so automakers are faking it.

Who’s doing it? The list includes BMW, Ford, Lexus, Porsche, Toyota, VW and more.

Read it online at Autonet.

Favourite line:

My proposed compromise:

So to the automakers – not sure this is your best idea, guys. Buyers aren’t happy, and the lack of information on your sites makes you seem shady.

I propose a compromise: keep adding the fake engine sounds, but also tell the buyer that you did. Then add an FAQ to your website on how to disable it, or better yet, add in an “off” switch.


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BMW is 1st Automaker to Admit a Security Flaw

Hat tip to BMW – they may be one of the first automakers to publicly admit to a security flaw in their vehicles.

What Happened

The potential breach was found in BMW’s ConnectedDrive infotainment system.

In Germany, the ADAC (their CAA) discovered a potential security gap during data transmission.

It would have allowed an attacker to use ConnectedDrive to remotely unlock the car’s doors, then potentially access the SIM card to control some of the vehicle’s functions (not critical ones though, like steering or braking.)

What BMW did

They promptly sent out a mass software patch to over 2.2 million vehicles, switched to using HTTPS (like a bank) to encrypt traffic between their servers and the vehicles, and then even posted a press release about it, here.

Why this is meaningful

It’s not the first time an automaker has experienced some sort of potential security breach.

What’s different is how they handled it – swiftly, and openly talked about it, something which often only happens when the manufacturer is publicly shamed.



Read the Manual

It’s basically a comic book about the sophisticated machine you own, written using a funny “legalese” type language.

Bet you learn something you’d no clue your car could do!
See 3rd last paragraph.


Read it online at Autonet.

Favourite line:

It’s the second most expensive object you own, why not invest time learning about it? 



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