After over 5 years and 90000 miles, the time has come to replace my trusty Toyota Aygo. As is often the case with me, the replacement vehicle has little in common with the outgoing vehicle.
- Petrol => Diesel
- Small => Large
- Hatchback => Estate
- 4 seats => 5 seats
- Manual => Automatic
- 98 MPH => 155MPH+
- 0-62MPH: 14.2sec => 6.2sec
- Basic => Luxury
I've fancied owning a BMW 5-series for a long time as it is something of a legend amongst car enthusiasts and is well known as a 'Driver's Car'. I researched for a few weeks and although I had originally intended to buy a petrol model, it became clear that there were many more diesel cars on the road, and thus on the second hand market. Sticking with a petrol car would have reduced my options substantially. I also decided from the start that I didn't want a 4 cylinder engine or an entry level car so that steered me in the direction of a 525d, 530d or 535d. The 530d seemed the most likely choice although the 535d was an intriguing prospect but was relatively rare and owners seemed strangely reluctant to part with them...
So after a lot of searching nationwide on sites like Autotrader and the BMW AUC (Approved Used Cars) lists, I noticed a 2009 BMW 535d for sale at Carbase near Bristol. It had full BMW service history and was an ex-fleet car, owned from new by the general manager of a large medical company. It was well equipped and looked to be in excellent condition. It was also white! I had never considered buying a white car until I saw this one but somehow it just looked right!
I enquired in great detail about the car before I arranged to go and view it, contacting BMW to verify the service history, doing an HPI data check and MOT history check. I flew from Glasgow to Bristol and was collected from the airport by someone from Carbase and driven to see the car in Lympsham. It was a pretty intense experience as I only had about 60 minutes to thoroughly inspect and test drive the car before the dealership closed. I was equipped with tools, gloves and a torch and an extensive checklist of things to inspect which I had prepared using advice gained from online forums such as BMW Land and Locostbuilders. There were a few minor defects which I negotiated some discount for but nothing to cause me to walk away. The deal was concluded around an hour after the dealership should have closed and I must extend my thanks to all at the Lympsham branch of Carbase for their patience. The car comes with a 3 month RAC backed warranty although I intend to inspect it carefully myself and perhaps get an early MOT done before the warranty expires just for peace of mind.
The drive home
The 414 mile drive home was enjoyable and uneventful, which is a good thing when you've just bought a new car! The car performed faultlessly and to keep myself out of trouble I set the speed limit warning gong to 80MPH as it is just so easy to forget what speed you are travelling at in this car. I averaged around 40MPG which I thought was pretty good going at fast motorway cruising speeds and in the rain. I spent most of the journey playing with the various controls and equipment and just generally chilling out after a long, stressful day. So far so good!
Final thoughts on the Aygo
The Aygo was traded in along with my wife's SEAT Altea against a new Mazda 2 Tamura. Over the last five years it served me well but in the last few months it was showing some signs of age. My commute is on motorways almost from door to door and this isn't really the type of motoring that the Aygo is designed for. I had recently replaced the exhaust system, two tyres, carried out a full service and replaced the water pump and auxiliary belt although there was still a strange noise coming from the engine. It might have been as simple as an idler pulley or bearing but could have been something more serious like the camshaft or VVTI system. I had hoped changing the water pump would have fixed it but sadly not. The dealer I sold it to has plenty or margin to work with to put this right for the next owner so I have no doubt the Aygo will continue its journey.
Here are the last couple of pics I took as I dropped it off at the trade in.