Humans > Family

Of demo vehicles and leisurely joyrides with my family

The joys of a luxury car are best shared with loved ones

This BMW 520i Sport is one of the many demo units that the author will get to test-drive. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

It’s part of our job to review different kinds of cars. From fleet-spec models to rare supercars, these vehicles are lent to us for varying amounts of time so we can make the articles that our readers enjoy. We usually receive them on weekdays, but sometimes we get lucky with a weekend schedule that gives us more time with the car.

You think that we’d show these cars off to our family and friends, but that’s simply not always feasible. We’re all busy with work, and the pandemic just doesn’t make social interactions safe.

There is plenty of room inside—perfect for a relaxing drive with the family. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

In my case, I’m excited to show the cars to my parents. But since they’re often exhausted by the time they get home, I just usually start a quick discussion of the rides’ redeeming features over dinner. If I’m lucky, I get to bring these wheels to my folks’ workplaces (which aren’t far) so they can have first impressions as passengers. But to be honest, I would really love to have my mom and dad experience the car for longer.

Definitely no complaints from the author's mom about the legroom. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Needless to say, I was quite happy with how the stars aligned a couple of weeks ago. I had a BMW 520i Sport with me, and my family had nothing to do for most of the day. It was the perfect time to bring them out on a long drive (within the confines of the NCR+ bubble, of course) to scratch that traveling itch that they had developed in the past year.

The man of the house gets to ride shotgun, of course. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

I will no longer go into the details about the car; we have a dedicated review for that, if you’re curious. But what I can tell you is that the 5-Series is quite deceptive. Many people see it as an executive car. For me, however, it’s simply a solid luxury vehicle and an excellent one to drive.

For one, my family was thrilled not to be crammed into another sports car. There was a lot of room in the 520i, and it had some of the most comfortable car seats my parents had ever sat on. The ride was smooth and silent as the excellent suspension made cruising around rough tarmac a lot more enjoyable. Couple all that with three-zone climate control and rear sunshades, and the BMW is the equivalent of a “mobile staycation.”

Going for a short drive with your family isn't just about simply experiencing the vehicle. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

My time with the 5-Series might’ve looked like “just” a leisurely drive. But to me, those few hours behind the wheel with my family meant a lot. Through all the car shows that they had brought me to, and all the hours they had put into work to send me to school, they’re the main reason that I’m even in this job right now. So, if there’s any opportunity where I can share the blessings I get from having this gig, I’d gladly take it.

Every second you spend with your family—at home or on the road—is priceless. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

It’s not every day that you get to spend time with your folks. If the opportunity does arise, take it. Sit down with them, have a meal with them, take them out (responsibly) for a short drive. They’re not going to be there forever, so cherish every second you’re able to experience with them. Life is short, after all.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.