$1,000,000 Dream

Calling all car geeks! This post is for you.

Last week I was having a discussion with a friend that every car enthusiast in the world has had at one point or another in their lifetime, probably multiple times. The gist of our discussion went like this, you’re given 1 million dollars and you have to spend it on 5 cars, what do you buy? There are thousands of different possibilities to this questions and the fact of the matter is, they’re all right, as it’s purely based on personal choice.

But I thought I would extend the discussion, have a little fun and make post out of it. Before I go into my selections there are a few ground rules that we need to cover:

  • Whatever you don’t spend, you lose.
  • These would be the only 5 cars that you would be allowed to drive. This is important, mostly for people that live in cold climates, as you may not want to pick 5 super cars and have to end up driving one during a snow storm.
  • Taxes are exempt from vehicle pricing estimates.
  • Only current year stock manufacturer vehicles are eligible.

Here are my 5 selections:

My first choice was easy and was made without any hesitation. Although Ferrari decided to turbocharge this model, I still believe it is the epitome of a super car. A mid-engined 3.9-litre, twin turbo V8 pushing out 661 hp. That’s sounds like a whole lot of fun to me. Not to mention it’s a Ferrari and is absolutely beautiful.

1- Ferrari 488 GTB  – Approximate price: $275,000

My second choice was just about as easy as the first. Porsche has been working on making the 911 better and better for over 50 years. It is a timeless everyday super car and no car collection is complete without it. I’ve chosen an all-wheel drive version because it would allow me to drive it year round with confidence. Nothing looks cooler than a 911 4s in the snow with a roof rack!

2- Porsche 911 4S – Approximate price: $150,000

My third choice took some reflection. I figured I needed an SUV. There is no substitute for ground clearance when the snow is a few feet deep. I also tend to enjoy driving off the beaten path from time to time. For some reason, I’ve always had an interest in the Ford Raptor, yes, I know, it’s a pick-up truck, but it’s awesome, unfortunately there isn’t a current model available. The 2017 Raptor will only be available this fall. Disqualified. Now, what SUV looks at home next to a Ferrari and a Porsche? In my opinion there are three options, first, the Bentley Bentayga, but it’s so ugly that I had to discard it. Second, the Mercedes G63 AMG, I’ve always loved this truck, so much power, so capable, but for some reason, I find it’s a little too much Rodeo Drive and not enough muddy back road drive. Finally, our winner, the Range Rover. Not the sport version that can be seen on every street corner these days, but the real one, the big boy. It’s supercharged, it’s fast and it can go anywhere. I just need to hire my own mechanic, but that’s in the details.

3- Range Rover Supercharged – Approximate price: $120,000

My fourth and fifth choices are interlinked as it was becoming a numbers game. I felt I needed to add a daily driver that looked great, had power, all-wheel drive, space and wouldn’t look like a scrub next to the other cars. I also wanted something special, a car that you may only see on the roads once in your lifetime.

My first combination was an Audi S6 and a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. I love the F12, it’s beautiful and has a monster v12 in the front, but due to it’s unbelievably high price tag, I would be forced to downgrade with my daily driver. The Audi S6 is a fast and capable sedan, but lacks some of the space that I would get from my other option. My second combination was a Mercedes E63 AMG wagon and an Aston Martin Vanquish. The E63 checks all the boxes and does it with an exhaust note that Pavarotti would be proud of, plus it’s a wagon! The Vanquish is just about as beautiful as the F12 but just doesn’t have the same ”wow” factor. Than again, nothing does compared to a Ferrari, but I do already have one in the garage.

After much deliberation, I selected the Mercedes and the Aston Martin. I figured I’d be spending the most time in the Mercedes, so it’s best I make it the first priority.

4- Mercedes E63 AMG Wagon – Approximate price: $125,000

5- Aston Martin Vanquish – Approximate price: $310,000

honestdrive.com Mercedes e63 amg wagon.png
Mercedes E63 AMG Wagon

I’m really interested in knowing what you think about my 5 choices and even more, what your 5 would be? Don’t be shy, chime in!

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2016 Ford Escape 1.6 Ecoboost

I just picked up my new car from the dealership.

My journey begins. My objective is to provide an on-going long-term analysis of this vehicle that can help potential shoppers make an informed decision. I plan on owning this car for at least 2 years, over which time I should do about 120,000 km.

For starters, as you can see from the title, I’ve opted for the 1.6 Ecoboost this time around. The main reason for this choice is fuel economy. Be sure to read my initial review on this engine once I’ve completed a few thousand kilometers.

Other than the engine, the only notable difference in the 2016 model is the new infotainment system, now known as Sync 3. I think that the previous infotainment system, MyFord Touch, wasn’t too bad, however many reviews thought otherwise.

The new Sync 3 system has received great reviews, so I can’t wait to start playing around with it and see what it can do. Expect a detailed analysis in the weeks to come.

That’s all for today, I must go play with my new toy.

2013 Ford Escape 2.0 Ecoboost

I wanted to write a little about this car because I’m sure I’ll often compare it in future posts to my eventual 2016 Ford Escape.

When I first took possession, it had about 110,000 kilometers already, it was in great shape, a single owner, regular maintenance was done at the dealership and it was mostly highway mileage on record. I had my doubts about the reliability of American vehicles, my dad had always told me that American cars were not to be trusted, but the car’s history and the positive reviews on this car made me pull the trigger.

Here are a few things that you need to know about this car if you’re thinking of buying one:

First and foremost, this car is fast, well at least compared to what I had previously driven. With a 0 to 100 time of about 8 seconds, it’s no slouch, and it’s true about what you read, it actually feels much faster than that. Unfortunately, it has quite a bit of turbo lag and torque steer upon heavy acceleration.

Second, unfortunately, some parts of the car were definitely made with a dollar-saving mindset. The steering wheel plastic has begun to peel off. The plastic panel inside the trunk is screwed on with plastic screws that aren’t long enough so it has fallen off on more than one occasion. Same thing for the protective panel underneath the engine, it is currently hanging on by a thread grazing speed humps as I drive along.

Third, prepare to shell out at least $1000 for a new set of tires, even with the smallest option, as the car runs 235 / 55 / 17.

Fourth, the fuel efficiency numbers are not as advertised, over its life I averaged 11.5 L / 100km which is about 20.5 mpg doing mostly highway mileage. The Ford Canada website advertises 10.9 L / 100 km in the city and 7.6 L / 100 km on the highway. Switch those over to mpg and you get 26 city and 37 highway. Not even close.

Finally and rather surprisingly,  in terms of reliability, it was perfect, with a little over 180,000 kilometers now, I did not have a single repair to do, other than the regular maintenance.

 

Where am I coming from?

For my first post,  a little about my vehicle history. Since I was a kid my father was a big fan of Japanese cars and an even bigger Honda fan. So I started driving cars like a 1989 Honda Accord, a 200o Honda Odyssey, a 2003 Honda Civic and a 2006 Honda CRV. Not the most exciting cars but nevertheless, the pinnacle of long-term reliability and low cost of ownership.

Not straying too far away from what I knew, my first car was a 2001 Acura EL, a car made only for Canadians, basically a fancy Honda Civic, when I sold it a few years later the odometer read 385,000 kilometers.

My second car was my pride and joy, a 2007 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. Some might say I’m a Subaru fanatic. The all-wheel drive system on these cars is wonderful, nothing felt better than leaving a car for dead on a snowy road when that light turned green.

My third and current car is a 2013 Ford Escape 2.0 Ecoboost, a crossover that is surprisingly fast, but a little more on that car in my next post. And now, in a couple of weeks, I expect to be taking delivery of my fourth car, a 2016 Ford Escape 1.6 Ecoboost.

Stay tuned!