I arranged with the garage supplying my new company car to deliver it to the client offices I have been working in for the last 6 months or so. This is located near Heathrow, the opposite end of the country from the supplying garage.
It arrived shortly after 7 this morning. It was scheduled for 7.30 which is when I got there from the hotel.
Today is the first day of a holiday over the Easter period and a great day to get a new car. I had arranged things so that I could work late the preceeding day in case of any problems getting away for a holiday and also allowing for me to stay on an extra day if needed. As it happened, unlike my previous break, this time everything worked out okay and so I was able to jump straight into the car with my bags once I had done a quick hand-shake and signed a couple of straight-forward documents and head off towards home.
Having first tried out the model I was acquiring back in January and as I was in many ways coming down-market from my past few cars, I was nervous when I drove off this morning. The car is a little more cramped that my past few cars but after a hundred-fifty mile drive home, I now know it will not be a problem. Getting seats to exactly the right position will also take time (and this model, whilst adjustment is all electric, lack a memory – should be fun when swapping between myself and my wife driving).
The car is a Ford Mondeo Estate with a 2 litre diesel engine. I could have gone for a smaller engine but frankly, I wanted to retain at least this level of power. This is the same level as my last Ford (a Focus estate around 7 years ago). I do not know how much things have improved since then but I doubt it will be so much that the extra weight of the new car will not slow it down compared to the Focus. Still, performance wise it seems much better than the larger engined Volvo XC90.
I went for automatic again – do not think I could face going back to manual (I would curse each time I got stuck in a traffic jam around the M25). The Focus was a Ghia model, the height of luxury back then. Ford now have two routes to luxury: Ghia and Titanium with the former having a traditional style and the latter a much more modern style. I went for the modern look with a Titanium X version.
One advantage of going for something like a Mondeo rather than a BMW or Mercedes, is that price advantage gives you sufficient headroom to add plenty of options without worrying too much about the tax hit. I went for a lot of options significantly increasing the list price of the car to around the 27K mark but I have a lot of additional comfort, safety and convenience to enjoy. Trivial though it may seem, I especially like being able to get into and start the car without touching a key (as long as the key is on me, I don’t need to use it) – my family will especially like this feature as it means they do not have to wait outside in cold/rain for me to hunt through 6 or more pockets trying to find the key.
Naturally I had roof bars and a tow-ball to support our camping activities. I also upgraded suspension options, lighting (brighter and with cornering features), and the ICE (including excellent blue-tooth integration).
At the moment I am still in the first-flush of enthusiasm for a new car. Let’s see how I feel in a few weeks.
In the meantime, I have to think about preparing and selling the Volvo XC90. Gulp.