Discovering she had won first prize in CAR’s competition to spend a year’s motoring in six brand new BMWs had Tracey Lee of Oxfordshire doing a victory dance mid-grocery shop when our associate editor Tim Pollard telephoned with the good news.
At the end of June 2012, the start of an unforgettable year’s motoring began with the delivery of a well-specced Deep Sea Blue BMW 640d Gran Coupe, powered by a twin-turbocharged straight-six diesel and good for 309bhp and 465lb ft. The lucky recipient liked the spec: ‘Cream leather seats, cream carpets, lots of gadgets, and built-in sat-nav’, but admitted ‘I almost feel I should be driving this in my slippers!’
Starting life with the BMW 640d
Stepping seamlessly into a hefty four-door coupe after four years motoring in a Toyota Yaris is no mean feat, so BMW’s delivery bod also assisted with a run-through of the car’s functions and an accompanying test drive. Thankfully, the 640d tries to make life as easy as possible for its driver, as Tracey explains: ‘It’s quiet, automatic, easy to drive, and has sensors and a reversing camera – it’s so helpful I could not reverse without it!'
It seems Tracey could get used to the luxuries onboard a £60k BMW. ‘I’ve been driving for 30 years, and never had a BMW, or anything as large as the 6-series. But they’ve made it so easy to drive, it leaves me thinking “why aren’t all cars like this?”
‘Overtaking in my Yaris used to involve driving with my foot almost flat to the floor. I did that it the 640d, and it felt like it was about to take off! It reminds me of a racehorse a little, like it’s straining at the reins, because it wants to (and can) go so much faster’.
Goodbye Yaris, hello BMW
Tracey's faithful Yaris has already fallen victim to the influx of new Beemers. ‘With my sons and my husband all having a car, the arrival of the BMW meant we had five cars on the drive. And, with a year of brand new BMWs, the poor Toyota wouldn’t have got a look in, so it’s been sold.'
With the Toyota off to a new home and BMWs very much in vogue in the Lee household, Tracey reckons that she’ll be considering one in the future. In the meantime you could forgive the neighbours for being more than a little jealous of her latest car, but it’ll soon be swapped for another brand-new BMW, the second of six in this amazing package. 'It would be nice to have something slightly smaller next time.’
It'll be a secret almost until the day it arrives. 'Thank you so much CAR magazine and BMW – can’t wait to see what the next one will be,' says Tracey. 'Watch this space!’