3 Things I Like Most About the Subaru BRZ
A week into test driving the Subaru BRZ from Subaru of Wichita as my daily driver, I wanted to share a few of things I really like about the car. I’ll have a follow-up post later with a few things I’d like to see improved.
Unique Styling -
It seems like everywhere I go, whether it be to the grocery store, the gas station, the mall, or even the drive thru at a fast food place, people stop and stare at the car. If they’re really curious, they come talk to me. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been asked “What kind of car is that?” It happened against last night at Sonic when the carhop brought out my drink. The design of the BRZ is eye-catching. It’s aggressive with a hint of an exotic sports car, but yet, almost feels understated.
Sporty Interior -
As you can tell in the photo above, the interior of the BRZ is devoid of a myriad of buttons, switches and controls, even though it’s packed with features. You find the ones you need in the place you’d most likely expect them. It’s simple and clean. The sport seats have deep bolsters, which make for a comfortable, secure ride. If you head into a corner without taking your foot off the gas, the leather-suede seats hug you and keep you planted. As a tech geek, I also appreciate some of the technology features inside the BRZ. The touchscreen display in the middle offers navigation and full stereo capabilities, including Bluetooth streaming from your phone. I dig it.
Paddle Shifters -
In the spirit of F1 racing, the BRZ has paddle shifters in the automatic transmission models. What I like most about using them is the feeling that you’re really, truly controlling the car. For example, when you’re really accelerating hard, say, to merge onto the highway, you tap the right paddle to upshift and it shifts nearly instantaneously. When you’re slowing down, say, coming down the off-ramp exiting the highway, you tap the left paddle to downshift and the BRZ rev-matches for the lower gear. It really is great fun. I much prefer a 6-speed manual, and they have that option on the BRZ if that’s your thing.
More to come soon. If you want to check one out at Subaru of Wichita in the meantime, give them a call - 316-264-7777 or ping them on Twitter: @RideHomeHappy.
Related Posts: Checking out the new BRZ from Subaru of Wichita
Checking out the new BRZ from Subaru of Wichita
The fine folks at Subaru of Wichita knew I really liked the look of the new 2013 Subaru BRZ. So what’d they do? Set me up with one for a week! I’ve been enjoying the hell out of this thing. It’s sporty, it has a unique look, it’s packed with technology, and gets pretty impressive gas mileage.
I’ll have more pics and a few videos coming in the next week or so.
As I was talking to Aaron, their Social Media Manager, he told about several stories where people had flown in from different parts of the country to buy their new Subaru right here in Wichita, then drive it back home. Since I’ve done that a time or two myself (I went to Ohio for the Audi), that made sense to me. People do business with people they can trust, and I think it goes without saying that not all car dealers out there are trustworthy, reputable people. I’m actually having to get a bunch of work done on the Audi right now because of some sleezebag slimeball crap from the dealer I bought it from. But that’s another story for another time.
So how do you know you can trust doing business with Subaru of Wichita for a car purchase? Here’s a few things I’ve discovered.
1. Their sales people are all non-commissioned. That’s kind of a new thing in the car business, but it seems to be catching on. Buy a car or don’t, those guys are getting paid either way. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s pulling up to a car dealership and watching a flock of rabid sales guys descend upon me. As I stood around and watched, there’s none of that here.
2. They have this “Love it or Leave it Guarantee” thing. Sure, it sounds a little cheesy (and makes you wish you could apply it to other things in your life…..) but it’s the real deal. After you sign on the dotted line and drive away, you’ve got 3 days to make sure you “love” the car. Most people do. But if you don’t, drive it back to Subaru of Wichita and “leave” it — they’ll give you a full refund.
I’m not in the market to buy another car right now, but if I was, I’d be looking hard at the Subaru BRZ. It’s a blast to drive, it gets tons of looks at the gas station, grocery story and at the stoplights, and it’s easy on my wallet at the pump. These are just a handful of many reasons Subaru of Wichita’s website is www.RideHomeHappy.com. So, if you’re looking for a Subaru BRZ for sale in Wichita (or anywhere, for that matter), give these folks a call.
I’ll have more on the BRZ later. Make sure you’re following along on Twitter for the play by play!
Related Posts: 3 Things I Like Most About the Subaru BRZ
The 2013 Lamborghini Egoista makes 800hp and has only one seat.
Petition to Verizon: Contracts Explained
As the petition I started on Change.org has gained tremendous momentum this week, I’ve been flooded with questions and comments about it. “What exactly do you want them to do?” and “Can’t you already get service without a contract?” and “Do you think everyone should have to pay full price for their phone?” and several others.
So, I wanted to expound upon what I originally wrote and answer those (and other) questions.
As I wrote in the petition, I want them to get rid of contracts as the default way for selling service and create a way for consumers to purchase their phones affordably. It’s true – right now, you can purchase a phone without contract, but not without being badgered about why you won’t renew your existing contract (or sign one as a new customer). Why? Because Verizon’s salespeople ONLY earn commissions on new and renewed contracts. If you go to your local Verizon store and pay $650 for your phone, they get nothing. All of their business metrics revolve around contracts because it makes it easier for them to forecast future revenue.
Not only do I want them to make it more affordable for people to purchase a device and service without a contract, I want them to come up with a way for existing customers to buy out their existing contract for a pro-rated fee. Right now, if you cancel your service two months into your 24 month contract, you pay $350 – the same amount you’d pay if you cancelled your service 23 months into a 24 month contract. That Early Termination Fee (ETF) is part of your contract so they can recoup the subsidy – the discount they gave you when you purchased your device – if you end your contract early. They’re a for-profit, publicly traded company, so we know they have to turn a profit. But even AT&T realizes the error in a flat-rate termination fee; they deduct $10 from your ETF (which starts at $325) for every month you maintain service. When you’re 20 months into your 24 month contract, for example, your termination fee is now just $125. That’s much more reasonable, considering they’ve made back that subsidy as you’ve paid your bill for the last 20 months.
But here’s the problem – if you never leave Verizon, even after your contract has expired, you’re still paying the same monthly cost for your service. That monthly cost – your rate plan – was designed to make back that discount they gave you on your phone two years ago. Put another way, the subsidy they have to recoup is built into your plan. So after your contract is over, you’re still paying for that subsidy. That phone you paid $200 dollars for when you signed your contract ends up costing you hundreds more, the longer you keep it.
Can everyone afford to pay full retail price for their phone up front? Of course not. At least not with the way Verizon prices them now. Most of today’s smartphones are $550 - $650 outright. Since I started this petition, Verizon has announced a device payment plan to let you make monthly installment payments (over 12 months) towards a phone at full price, as long as it’s over $350. That’s definitely a step in the right direction. A lot more people can afford an extra $50 a month than can afford $600 all at once. Let’s hope there’s more progress on this to come.
Even still, we get back to that monthly cost for service. If you buy your phone at full retail price, why should you pay the same amount as the person who signs a contract, which Verizon has to slice off a portion of to recoup their phone subsidy?
For the fun of it, let’s do some simple armchair math here, to give you an idea of that cost. You sign a two-year contract which forces you to pay $350 if you cancel early. You pay $200 up front for your phone, which has a listed retail price of $650. That means Verizon “subsidizes” $400 of it. To recoup that $400 over two years, they build $16.66 a month into your rate plan. Problem 1: Once that two years is up, your bill doesn’t drop by $16.66 per line, does it? Absolutely not. Problem 2: Like the example earlier, if you go 20 months into your contract and decide to cancel, you’ve technically paid $333 towards that $400 subsidy. In order for them to make it back, you should have to pay $67 bucks. Instead, they still charge you the $350 early termination fee and profit an extra $283.
So, that’d be third thing I want them to do: once your contract expires (or if you pay full price for your phone), your monthly service should cost less, because they’ve already recovered the subsidy for your phone (or there’s no subsidy to recoup if you paid full price).
My petition and those who sign it aren’t driven by a sense of entitlement. We’re not asking for something for nothing. We’re asking to be treated fairly and given reasonable options, especially since most of us aren’t going anywhere, anyway.