Published on February 8th, 2013 | by Michael Mwai
A new beginning, a new dawn, a new ride
My beautiful faithful car is aging and I am worried. Born (manufactured) in 1996, it found a home in 1997 and I am the third owner. I am working hard hoping to get it a helper so that it can continue to serve me well. In the next few articles, I would like you to join me on a journey searching for a new ride. It is the year of the jubilee and that signals a new beginning, a new dawn.
While it will initially not be easy, change is the only constant in life. With an election coming, we will have new leadership and a fresh direction for the country. You must change with the times or have change forced upon you. I am generally a keeper and held onto my last car for more than eight years until it was written off in an accident. Now I am spending so much keeping this car on the road because I love the way it handles, its safety and how it makes me feelLoyalty is a great thing to have, but it can sometimes get the better of you. Friends tell me I need change and perhaps a new brand of vehicle will give me more joy and satisfaction to help keep my creative juices flowing. Perhaps they are right, but in the meantime, I will give my current car the best treatment possible before handing it over to its next owner. That is my responsibility.
Here are the vehicles I am considering and why:
2010 The Land Rover Discovery 4 TDV6
It has that boxy shape I love and the fact that it was designed from the inside out, makes it one of the most premium 4x4s in the market. While it is all right for a vehicle to look gorgeous and sexy from the outside, if you are not getting what you need from it, then it is just a pretty face with no substance. The Land Rover Discovery 4 seats six adults in comfort, and I intend to be around people until my last day. It can reach exotic places without breaking a sweat or costing a fortune in repairs on return. Due for replacement next year, it will be available in the used car market for a song.
2008 Mercedes E-Class – 270 CDI
While I have never been a ‘Mbenzi’ I think I have come of age and can justify the title and associated tag that comes with this brand. Mercedes is a premium vehicle I link to people who should have worked hard to achieve what they have, legally. Unfortunately, that is not the case in Kenya. That not withstanding, it is a well-built vehicle and drives like a dream although in most cases, it is more suited for those seeking to be driven while at the back seat. For me, I shall stay behind the steering wheel on the most part, but will occasionally need to catch up with work from back left. That is the sole reason I will take the Mercedes to those important meetings. I will settle for a powerful V6 diesel unit for the thrill of its pulling power.
Toyota Prius or Nissan Leaf
Everybody needs to downshift at some point in life — let go of everything you thought was important and could not live without. A little quiet time is important and brings clarity of mind. These two cars will deliver this environment. It helps to listen to your heartbeat and ears twitch, to know you are indeed alive and blessed. Try turning off everything and listen to your inner self. I love the world we live in, and feel responsible to keep it clean. While a good diesel vehicle is green enough for most, a true hybrid or electric car will be perfect for the short city commute. It will go a long way to keep our air clean. I hope for the day we will all jump into the train and leave our vehicles at home or at the designated parking bays at the railway stations. The Toyota Prius has a small petrol engine and a motor that uses battery power while in traffic. The Nissan Leaf is a full electric.
While I prefer to be on four wheels, I will consider seriously getting a pair for that added thrill. I will start with the Yamaha Crux because it is gentle and safer than a super bike for now. It will also help me qualify as having a midlife crisis that the other three above do not.