Two Great Tastes That Go Great Together

Some of you know the only substantial complaint I have about my Audi S4 its its terrible navigation system. Aside from Boston being the worst city in the US to navigate (it’s about as friendly from a civil engineering perspective as it is socially), it’s also been under heavy construction since the 1970s. (“We’ll be finished next year, really.”)

I’m fascinated by this recent bit about VW and Google Maps teaming up.. and wondering to myself if this will show up in an RS4 or S6 in the near future? Dreaming, I know. But a setup like this would be awesome.

My Memorial Drive Scolding

I was driving quickly but safely up Memorial Drive last night and overtook a woman in a gold-colored Mercury because she was driving quite slowly. I then came to a stop at the Brattle Street light, and she stopped next to me, on my side, slightly ahead. She was middle-aged, maybe on the older side of it. She lowered both of her passenger side windows and it went like this:

MIDDLE AGED WOMAN (GRUMPY, SHOUTING SLIGHTLY): “You were driving very fast.”

ME: “I didn’t buy this car to drive like you.”

MIDDLE AGED WOMAN (EXASPERATED): “Excuse me?”

ME (EXAGGERATED, SLOWER): “I didn’t buy this car to drive like you.”

MIDDLE AGED WOMAN: “Well, it’s verry dangerous.”

ME: “Driving’s very dangerous.”

Then she rolled her windows up. And the light turned green so I didn’t get a chance to pull her out of the car.

Herb Chambers Infiniti

I am in the middle of a dispute with the service department of Herb Chambers Infiniti in Boston. This is for some work they did on my i30, which I recently retired for my new S4.

After doing some online research, I found that customer complaints against Herb Chambers‘ service department are quite common. Before I get into too many details, I am giving their service manager, Paul Dineen, a few more days to propose a way to make things right. Thus far they have been mostly ignoring me. Those of you who know me know how much I love that.

I suppose the best way to summarize things for the moment is that they sold me several thousand dollars worth of duct tape, and tried to blame it on me. “Wow, that’s a lot of duct tape!” you might say. But actually it really wasn’t a lot – just a couple feet of it. So, I guess it’s just really nice duct tape. *sigh*

EDIT: Herb Chambers update.

Because

I went out just now and took my car for a drive. You know why? Because it was there.

Now that the break-in period for the engine is over, I can drive it with fewer boundaries. It’s great fun and I am starting to feel like I am getting used to it. The harder I push it, the more comfortable I feel in it. I was a bit disappointed not to be able to take it up to my PopTech meeting in Maine this weekend, but the loaner Corolla from Clair delivered a solid second-place performance. 😉 Hell, at least I saved a few bucks on gas.

Made my flight and hotel reservations for my New Year’s trip to SC and also received a tentative schedule for the event. I am very much looking forward to the whole thing – seeing some old friends and making new ones. If it’s half as good as Monterey was, I’ll be thrilled.

C55 edges out S4 in Road & Track roundup

An extensive R&T review of two great sedans has the C55 winning by one point but the S4 kicking butt on the “subjective ratings”.

Something I can vouch for from the first night I drove mine:

“To the driver, wheeling the S4 is all the more satisfying, thanks to remarkably linear and reassuringly firm steering. It’s unflappable from corner entrance all the way through big power applications on corner exit, so the sensation is one of simply dialing in steering lock as required. This is uncanny when charging, as it feels the S4 will never run out of grip because the steering effort remains unchanged. Of course, the S4’s tires eventually approach their limits, as announced by a distinct notch of understeer magically appearing with Bela Lugosi flair at the stroke of cornering midnight. It’s as if the S4 gives free rein, then flips on the understeer switch just before any unpleasantness unfolds.”

Who loses? Volvo loses.

Now, granted, if I’d really loved the S60R the way I loved the S4, this issue might not have stopped me from purchasing one, even from dealers who were as numb as knobs. However, per my earlier post about the fact that e-mailing Volvo seemed to be a black hole, I thought that in fairness to Volvo, apparently they do indeed have at least one person who can use a computer. Unfortunately he appears to be powerless, clueless, and with no desire to repair any reputational damage.

Granted, my initial note is a bit snotty, but I started off pissed and didn’t bother to share in the feedback form that I’d actually gone into Boston Volvo and left my name, e-mail address, and that I wanted to drive a 2005 S60R and still didn’t hear back.

The thread between “Volvo Bob” and I can be found in the extended entry. Bottom-to-top, o’course.
Continue reading Who loses? Volvo loses.

Another reason I like my new car…

To the untrained eye, it’s just a dark blue Audi (edit: Audi calls it a “deliberately restrained appearance”). To the trained eye, it’s something special. For the second time in the three weeks I’ve had the car (in what I hope is the start of an ongoing pattern) I found a note on it –

“NICE RIDE! Enjoy!”

Those are better to find than parking tickets. 🙂