Many of the threads on AO concern themselves with the occasional downsides of car ownership. That's human nature, and it's why we come together to discuss and address these issues whenever possible.
In this climate, however, it's easy to get into a negative mindset and forget the positives.
I have just got back from a fantastic trip to see my in-laws for Christmas. We took the Brera: it's not even a discussion point as to whether we take the Golf or not. Therein lies my first positive for the car, but its one that even my wife and I forget.
On the way there, we took in the usual route of A-roads and Motorway, stop-start and all manner of pre-Christmas driving "fun". The Brera felt planted, poised and with huge presence; I got lost in our CD collection on the excellent BOSE sound system with no distractions from the pleasure of just being in this wonderful car.
Pulling into my in-laws, I thought I'd check the MPG to see how we'd done. 39.7 MPG without trying, or thinking about it.
Over the break, we saw family, friends, acquaintances etc, as you do at this time of year. They all loved the Brera: the styling, the quirks and the difference. Most have little or no interest in cars, but one trip made my day. I went to collect my wife's Grandfather who, at 95 years of age, is an inspiration to me with a pin-sharp mind and an equally quick sense of humour. Having spent many years in the City, he was around Lancia and Alfa and other fine machinery in earlier times, and remembers the cars of that era with fondness and clarity.
After our drive, he commented that he has enjoyed many drives over the years, but of the modern cars he'd travelled in, none matched the sense of occasion and style that we'd enjoyed on our Christmas drive in the Brera. As we both sat looking at the car outside, I took a moment to drink in the design, proportions and detailing as the thin sun lit the panels and glass.
Arriving back home, we had friends over to stay. Once again, the comments were hugely positive, with one close friend texting afterwards to check the exact model as she's been busily telling her
family about the car.
Taking a step back, I've been guilty of posting negatives about my car. If I look at it objectively, however, my Brera is without question the nicest, most sorted and simply most engaging car I have ever owned or driven. Everyone has different circumstances in life, but I for one feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to own one.
No car is perfect, but for me right now, the Brera is pretty close.
Happy New Year to everyone, and I hope it's a successful and peaceful one!