They arrived last week in San Jose. I told the lease/remarketing guy to go ahead and order mine today. The lease on my current 2002 325i ends in June, we'll extend it for a month, and I should be in the e90 (330) by July.
Jet black on Grey Dakota Leather with Alum. trim, sport and premium, steptronic. active steering, rear sunshades (it looks so cool going up!), satellite. Didn't haggle on price...now, in Silicon Valley, is not the time
Test drove the 325 6er with sport suspension and the 330 with standard suspension on Monday, and was pretty happy with both.
I'm excited for July! The only thing gnawing at me is the decision to go auto, but I have to be honest with myself that in the last three years, the number of times I've really been able to enjoy the stick is much, much lower than the number of times I've been stuck in stop and go traffic (on a hill!). I've never had an auto before, though, so am purposefully going with a two year lease, just in case I can't stand it.
Both cars felt great. The transmission on the 325 was gorgeous (can you tell I still have doubts??). The dash is more linear than in the e46...cuts straight across rather than carving out two distinct spaces for the passenger and driver. I noticed enough roll in the corners on the 330 to convince me to stick with the Sport susp. The dealer did mention that Dinan should be coming out with a front anti-roll bar for it fairly soon, which would be another option.
Even at 220 hp, the 325 still felt like it was straining a bit, which is why I moved to the 330 (although at 255, the auto may subtract enough "feel" that I'll be back where I would have been!) Still, looking forward to the boost over my current 187, which just doesn't cut it sometimes.
Two things that haven't been much publicized or that I just didn't notice if they have been:
- Turn indicator is fully electronic. Bump up, bump back, but no actual mechanical movement into or out of position. A bit disconcerting during the test drive and honestly, seems to me to be taking drive-by-wire further than needed
- Center console includes a 3.5mm input jack for those who don't want to mess with an iPod adapter, plus a second lighter socket
- For the smokers out there, you still won't be able to use the ashtray
Out of conscience, I test drove the 2005 A4 last night. Honestly, these two development groups must make a living out of watching each other. I had a lot of fun with the Audi guy saying "yep, BMW's got that...yep, BMW's got that." (Shocker...Audi wins in the "shopping back hook in the trunk" department! It's also got an mp3 smart card slot, but see above about the input jack, which seems more practical to me)
In any case, as happened three years ago, looks and that certain driving feel kept me loyal to the 3. If only I could have afforded the A4 when it had the square butt...I could have gotten it out of my system!
Anyway, I'll let you all know.
BTW, I'm not coming completely out of the blue. Posted a few times a few years back under a name I've since forgotten, and lurk fairly often.