I sold my beloved '12 BMW X5 xDrive35d on Monday of this week as there was really no reason to have it anymore. That is about as blunt as it gets.
As many of you know, I am an automotive journalist. This means I get free cars (free gas, free insurance and no mileage caps) dropped in my driveway on a regular basis. Most of my peers don't own a personal vehicle, as they simply wait for the next "press car" to arrive. I was the exception to the rule, owning three cars and making payments on two of them!
Then I looked at my calendar and realized that I am booked back-to-back press cars/events through mid-January of 2013 (with more to follow):
- American Expedition Vehicles Brute Double Cab
- SRT Viper
- Airstream Interstate Mercedes-Benz Motorhome
- Hyundai Azera
- Aston Martin Vanquish
- Kia Sorento
- Subaru WRX
- Volkswagen Passat TDI
- Audi A4
- Audi A5
- Audi Allroad
With that in mind, the X5 would be parked in my garage unused until mid-January but I would still be paying for it.
No question about it, I absolutely loved the X5 (I still maintain it is the best five-passenger SUV on the planet). However, it was costing me $700/month on a lease and I was limited to just 833 miles/month (10,000 year) — keep in mind that my press cars are free/unlimited. The kicker was that California registration of $410 was also due this week.
Long story short, I didn't "need" the X5 and it was going to cost me $1,120 ($700 + $420) to keep it in the garage this month. I called BMWFS on Monday and my payoff was $46,450 (the vehicle had 10,204 miles on it and was literally in "mint" condition). I tried to trade it into two BMW dealers, but they would only offer me $44,000. On a suggestion, I drove over to a CarMax. They offered me $47,000. I smiled and gave them the keys. They cut a check to BMWFS for $46,450 and a check to me for $550 — yes, I walked away with cash in hand!
So, now I have a slew of free press cars. My wife is driving our '10 Audi A4 2.0T and I have my Porsche 930 for kicks. Plus, I have an additional $700+ in my pocket each month. I miss the X5 dearly, after just two days, but it can always be replaced... it is just a machine.
Oh, for the record... we owned the X5 35d for one full year and put 10,204 miles on it:
- Overall average fuel economy: 20.66 mpg
- Best fuel economy on a full tank: 32.25 mpg
- Worst fuel economy on a full tank: 18.22 mpg
- Best range on a fuel tank: 518 miles
- Cost of service: $0
- Oil consumed: 0 quarts
- Trips to dealership: None
- Problem areas: None