MikePirone.com

Test Drive Mania

It started as a hunt for a new car. It became a hobby. It progressed into an obsession.

"Test Drive Mania" pretty much sums up the spring of 2003, the last semester of my senior year at Villanova. I was looking to get a car for when I graduated, but then I found the joy in driving nice cars and comparing them. Between that new joy, my increasing taste and budget for a car, and for lack of better things to do, Test Drive Mania came about. Teamed with Andrew Keefe, what started as a handful of cars in the $19,000 range became over 50 configurations of different cars ranging as high as over $50k.

TDM evolved beyond cars I was considering buying and became a quest to drive as many cars as possible. I still test drive to this day, just for fun! If you want to know about any of them, just ask via e-mail!
 

Update 12/2003: It's the end of the "real" Test Drive Mania, and I decided to buy a 2004 VW Passat GLX
 

Update 04/2005: It's only been 19 months, I know, but since I continued with TDM, I sold myself after test driving the new Audi 2.0T, and ended up leasing one! It is a 6 speed manual transmission with Nav and Quattro AWD. Check it out in my photo albums.
 

Update 12/2007: TDM continued, but the first real car that means something was the BMW 335i. I knew I had to replace my Audi after its lease, and so I ended up with the AWD variant of BMW, and put down a deposit on a 2008 BMW 335xi! I plan on picking it up via European Delivery
 

Update 12/2009: My wife needed a new car, and we rather quickly settled on a black Infiniti G35-S sedan with manual transmission.
 

Update 10/2013: Repair bills on the BMW were becoming obnoxious, so I traded it in for a very unlikely alternative. A Fiat 500 Abarth!
 

Update 06/2015: Knowing that Infiniti Q-series do not have manual transmissions, we upgraded our 2009 G35S to a 2013 G37S.

 

The Reverse chronological list

 

Calendar year 2015

  • Tesla P90D
  • 2013 Infiniti G37-S, 6MT

Calendar year 2013

  • Audi S4 Prestige
  • Cadillac CTS 3.5
  • Fiat 500 Abarth
  • 2014 Ford Fusion SE 1.6T 6MT
  • Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T 6MT
  • Tesla Model S 65kWh
  • Fiat 500 Sport (Rental)
  • Toyota Prius
  • 2013 BMW 328i with auto start/stop (loaner car)

Calendar year 2010

  • BMW Z4 35i

Calendar year 2009

  • 2007 Infiniti G35-S, 6MT
  • Renault Laguna (International Rental)
  • Renault M├ęgane (International Rental)

Calendar year 2008

  • Nissan Altima
  • Mercedes C180 (International Rental)

Calendar year 2007

  • Acura TL Type-S (6spd, Sport Package, Nav)
  • 2008 BMW 335xi 6MT
  • BMW 335i
  • BMW 328i

Calendar year 2006

  • Dodge Viper (SRT10, owned by a friend)

Calendar year 2005

  • Audi A4 2.0T Quattro, 6MT

Calendar year 2004

  • BMW M3 (Convertible)
  • Volkswagen Touareg (V10 TDI)
  • Acura TL (6spd, DVD-Nav)
  • Mazda 6 (v6)
  • Pontiac GTO 6MT (via GM Drive Event)
  • Hummer H2 (via GM Drive Event)
  • Cadillac SRX (via GM Drive Event)
  • Chevrolet SSR (via GM Drive Event)
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (via GM Drive Event)
  • Saab 95 Aero (via GM Drive Event)
  • Audi S4 (Quattro, 6spd)
  • Volkswagen Jetta GLS (2.0L)
  • Volkswagen R32
  • Volkswagen Passat TDI (Diesel)
  • Volkswagen New Beetle (1.8T Convertible)
  • Volkswagen Phaeton V8
  • Volkswagen Touareg V6
  • Chrysler M300

Calendar year 2003 - The original event

  • 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLX (V6, front-wheel drive)
  • Volkswagen Passat W8
  • Acura TL
  • Volkswagen Passat GLX (V6, 4-Motion)
  • Porsche Boxster (5-speed, used (1999))
  • Audi A4 (3.0, Quattro)
  • Saturn L200
  • Mercedes-Benz C320 (Sedan)
  • Mercedes-Benz C320 (Sports Coupe)
  • Mercedes-Benz C240
  • Subaru WRX
  • Pontiac Grand Prix (GT2)
  • Toyota Camry (SE)
  • Volvo S60 (2.4T)
  • Acura TSX
  • Lexus ES-300
  • BMW 325xi
  • Saab 93 Aero (Sedan)
  • Mercedes-Benz C320 (Sports Sedan)
  • Nissan 350Z
  • Jaguar X-Type (2.5)
  • Lexus IS-300
  • Mercedes-Benz C240 (4MATIC)
  • Lincoln LS (V6)
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Ford Thunderbird
  • Toyota Solara (V6 XLE Convertible)
  • Audi TT (1.8T)
  • Nissan Maxima
  • Audi A4 (1.8T, FrontTrak)
  • Infiniti G35
  • Mitsubishi Galant (V6, 2003)
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor (Sports Sedan)
  • Acura 3.2TL
  • Audi A4 (1.8T, Quattro)
  • Honda Accord (EX V6 Leather)
  • Honda Accord (EX)
  • BMW 330i
  • Toyota Camry (XLE)
  • Nissan Altima
  • Volkswagen Passat GLS
  • Porsche Boxster (Tiptronic)
  • Toyota Camry (LE)
  • Honda Accord (LX)