Maxim: Get The Best

‘Get The Best’ is a maxim designed to make sure that your car purchase can pass the sleep test.

Are you prone to lying awake at night thinking about the car you should have bought? If so, then make sure you get the best.

The Maxim:

You should always endeavour to get the absolute best model variant, or the best option package you can when you buy a car.


Well, it’s not simply a case of badge snobbery, though I have to admit there’s a certain element of that in this maxim. It puts a certain steam in a man’s strides to know that he’s got the best the factory had to offer.

I know I definitely enjoyed my Saab 9-3 Viggen more than I enjoyed my Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo (which is not to say I didn’t enjoy my Monte Carlo, I just enjoyed the Viggen more).

The Viggen vs Monte Carlo is a good case in point, actually. Both were 1999 model year Saab 9-3s.

The Viggen was a factory built madman with wonderful styling, a massively potent engine and several fundamental flaws that can be remedied with some aftermarket fixes.

The Monte Carlo was also a factory built special edition but featured a less potent engine. While it had some unique styling cues, they weren’t as refined or as ‘finished’ as the Viggen. I managed to tune my Monte Carlo to the point where it was more powerful than my Viggen but it never delivered the same satisfying driving experience.

You CAN modify a car into what you want it to be and it’s true that doing so can be a wonderfully rewarding experience. But IMHO – most of the time – you will fall short of producing what the factory is able to produce.

Automotive engineers, when they put their mind to it, are capable of producing a total package that is greater than the sum of its parts. You can try and reproduce it bit by bit but most of the time you’ll fall short. Alternatively, you’ll spend so much money doing so that you may as well have bought the genuine article in the first place.

Modifying a car can be great fun. It can make a car your own. But my advice, having done it both ways in the past, is to start from the best base you can.


Another point related to this Maxim is that the extra $500 or $5000 you spend buying a car with the sunroof/seats/audio you want will prove to be money well spent in the long run. You’ll continue to appreciate that item you craved long after you forget the extra money you spent to buy it.

Be financially responsible and be mindful of your circumstances, by all means. But if it’s worth it, then it’s worth it. It sure beats the crap out of seeing your car in the driveway every morning and thinking about the car you could have bought.


It goes without saying that this Maxim is for those for whom cars are a passion. If a car is merely a transportation appliance to you (and there’s nothing wrong with that, per se) this Maxim is much less relevant.

Saab 9-3 Viggen
My Viggen in its finest photo
Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo
Saab 9-3 Monte Carlo

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