I told my wife that I wanted a motorcycle (which I did) and she said, "how about a sports car". That seemed like an acceptable compromise.
When I mentioned that I could get a sedan which had performance that would keep my inner-racer happy (with a bunch of airbags and a back seat) she really got excited... so much so that she was literally pushing me into the dealer to put down the deposit.
She wasn't big on the manual tranny, but I made it clear that I wasn't buying a slushbox in any car I bought.
After driving a few BMW's, she's looking forward to trading in her Acura 3.2TL for a 328... I mentioned the M3, but she likes smaller cars and automatics. We'll see if that changes when she learns to drive the M5.
When I turned 40 I suggested/observed/noted/hinted/mentioned/mused/indicated that maybe it was time for me to:
Buy a Toy (Z3 as car #2 for me)
Have an Affair
I got the Z3
Now, (at 44) with two little girls 3 and 5, the trade in of the Z for a back seat full of airbags for our treasures was a great selling point. The 6 speed, the fact that it is the fastest sedan in the world, the nick name (Beast), the $80k, the 14 month wait, the 150mph and this message board, that I don't discuss. Enjoy!!!!!!!
About the rear airbags. I have heard that they are good for decapitating small kids skulls in the rear seats.
I was asked specifically by my best friend to have leave them turned off (factory default in Canada is deactivated) as his wife is expecting in less than 3 months now.
My sister is a pediatric opthalmologist. The most frequent cases she sees are children's eyes being maimed by airbags. In fact, it is illegal for a child under the age of 12-14yrs (I'm not entirely sure) to sit in the front seat of a passenger airbagged car. That includes the back seat.
So please, all of you with children, check with your local authorities to find out what the law is. I've heard stories directly from my sister, of 10 year old kids, being blinded for life after a fender bender.
I'm pretty sure that you're supposed to leave the back seat airbags disabled if you have children.
I'm sorry if this post may discourage your wives from this car, but I'd rather your children never have to deal with this horrible trauma.
My M5 came with rear airbags (not ordered) and my dealer informed me they are shipped "disabled" and are only activated if you request it. I too have kids (15 and 10) and do not want the air bags operational because of the reports I have read. They are dangerous if the kids lean and sleep against the door. Besides, the car is as safe as an automobile can be made to begin with. Good luck.
P.S. May be nice to have installed for resale value? Not everybody has small kids!
All M5 comes with rear seat airbags, although in North America, they are all deactivated by factory default settings.
In order to turn them back on, all you need to do is to sign your child's (or your rear seat passengers' ) life away (you need to inform your favorite BMW dealership of such intention and they will provide you with a disclaimer form to sign. ) and your dealership will be happy to re-activate it for you completely free of charge.
As I say, my friend will be expecting and I am in no position to compromise someone else's kid's vision
I realise that this is a touchy subject, but I was talking to an automotive engineer the other day, and he said that the US couldn't take advantage of the latest airbag technology because of all the lawsuits that could arise after triggering them.
What people don't think about is the consequences of a side impact without airbags. If a child is asleep leaning on the C pillar with no airbag when the car is T-boned at a junction, death would almost certainly result. If however the car has rear side airbags and the child survives with severe injuries, the parents may sue.
We certainly get a lot of people now in trauma units in the UK with *severe* lower leg injuries (broken femur, tibia, fibia, ankle, foot etc.) after frontal impacts causing the footbox area of the passenger cell to collapse. These people would have been dead before with no airbag from impact on the steering wheel.
Don't forget the car has to be involved in a pretty drastic impact before any airbags are deployed.