QOTD: Of The Cars You’ve Driven in 2016, Which One Was Your Favorite?

Well folks, it’s that time of year again, the close of one year and the dawn of a new one. Time to take down the Christmas decorations, pledge the same old New Year’s resolutions that will last all of two weeks, and become hermits for the next two months as the cold weather sets in and our bank accounts slowly build themselves back up. New Years is also a time to reflect on our experiences from the past 365 days — experiences that I hope were by and large positive for our readers.

Although 2016 is a year we can lament over in many ways on a global scale, at least for me, it ended up being a quite exciting and rewarding year on a personal and professional level. First and foremost, I’m thankful for all the people who’ve come into my life this past year, whether they be acquaintances, friends, or more. I’m truly grateful of the new friendships and relationships I’ve made and strengthened, and I’m looking forward to see where some in particular go.

I also started a new job as a sales advisor for MINI, and I’m quite happy with this career move. I bought my very first new car, thereby obtaining my lifelong dream of owning a BMW (which all-around is obviously my most favorite car I’ve driven this year, but I’m ruling that out as it’s my own and my daily driver). On another note, I’m proud to say that I’ve mastered the art of driving stick shift, and it’s just second nature now. Who knows, could my next car be a manual?

All in all, 2016 was a year of forcing myself to step out of my comfort zone and take a few risks I normally would’ve shied away from. In the end, I’m happy to say I have no regrets, and I can only wait for what 2017 brings. But enough about me and my life story. The reason I’m writing this post is because 2016 was a year in which I had the fortune of driving more cars than I ever have in any other year of my life.

Between the many new MINI and BMW models, friends’ cars, and numerous trade-ins, I’ve been blessed with a full-spectrum of driving experiences, ranging from a dreadful bucket of bolts ’05 Ford Focus to a thrilling four-hour round trip drive on a beautiful spring day in my co-worker’s Yas Marina Blue M4 convertible. The latter of which was probably the most exciting, and while it was definitely an awesome warm weather cruiser, the M4 convertible is not a car I could live with on a daily basis.

Among some other interesting, first-time drives included a Toyota FJ Cruiser, a 240,000-mile Jetta, Nissan Juke, BMW M5, Subaru WRX, Volvo XC70, Audi A3 (seen below), and a RAM 1500. But at the end of the day, or year I should say, which car did I enjoy most?

Well, for me it’s actually quite an easy question. Seeing one of the guys from detail make a U-turn with one in the parking lot this very morning as I’m writing this reminded me of the 2008 BMW 328xi Touring that my clients traded in and I got to drive this past August. Despite being a 100,000-mile vehicle, it was meticulously cared for by its original owners, and boasted superior comfort and driving dynamics than any X1 or X3.

There was just something so perfect on an well-rounded basis about this baby Bavarian wagon, and I truly would’ve loved to have purchased it as a second car, if only I hadn’t just taken on new car payments. One other minor caveat: I wish it could’ve been a manual.

I know the number of different vehicles driven in 2016 will vary for all of our readers, but I truly hope each and every one of you had the chance to drive at least one vehicle you’ve never driven before this past year. Which one brought you the most joy?