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Discussion Starter #1
Well...my mom ended up getting a 2005 BMW 325i Executive Edition. The deal was great and better than what my Saab dealership could have given to her at the time.

Taking this into account, I phoned up the guy who sold the 325i to my mom and asked if I could take a scoot in a 2006 BMW 325i or 330i, but in a manual transmission.

Well....came there...he was busy with another client, but said....ok, he is the key to the 330i manual...take it on the usual test-drive. Since I know you, I will let you take it out on your own as I just don't know the other people as well as you even though the other car is less of a car then this one.

So....I said, cool and took it out on the streets and highway. First impressions:

- a hell of a lot better than my mom's 325i Auto.
- Stable in cornering
- body is rigid
- traction control is perfect and turns on when you want it.
- engine sounds awesome...
- excellent passing potential
- easy to get up to 160 km/h without even feeling it.

Negatives:
- The window controls seem to far forward
- not as much torque on the lower rev's as my car.

Overall, it is a nice car. If I were to buy a BMW, I would wait for the
M3 convertible instead and still keep my Saab. I am really leaning
towards a Vert. at some point and nothing beats the Saab and BMW
vert's. I just don't know which one to get, but I don't have to worry
about it for a couple of years.

But, who knows what will happen a couple of years from now. Maybe the V6 vert will attract by then. I have put to much into my car and just bought the foglight kit off GenuineSaab.com
 

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I test drove a BMW I thought that]they are a little under powered for the price, but the interior materials are a little more higher end than Saab's.

I liked the quality of the materials in the BMW but thought the Saab was more fun to drive, plus in the Metro DC area BMW's are a dime a dozen.
 

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On the similar subject:
Saturday I went to BMW Ulitmate Drive event in Chicago (White Sox park).
You could do two things:
1. Test drive: 745i, 645i (SMG), 530 (Auto), 330 (Auto), X5, X3, Z4 (Manual) on a 5 mile loop on city streets with just you in the car. It was fun at 8 am as there was no traffic and all the cops were still camped out at the coffee shops (they got the wind of what was going on later :))

2. Autocross with pro-drivers. During autocross you could drive a 330i and G35 as well as Audi A4Q for comparisson. All automatics with sport package.
The pro-driver was instructing you what to do, when to hammer it and when to brake, which cones to aim for, etc. It was so much fun. They said that on average tires on those cars (Bridgestone Potenzas 140 A A) last about 50 miles :). Impressions:
330i - 50/50 weight distribution makes the car very stable. New 3 series has some kind of new advanced steering system that lets you make a u-turn at slow speeds with only 3/4 turn of the steering wheel.....and at the high speeds is not very sensitive to small steering wheel movements. That system works great. During autocross in a 90 degree turn I did not have to let go of the steering wheel to keep turning it. Overall 330i was great.
G35 - for sure has more power. Rear end was much looser and you could definitely tell that steering was different.
A4Q - felt slow but stable. Quatro helped for sure, but it was just not as nible as the other two.
Granted we were doing autocross with ESP and Traction ON, one person still was able to spin out very well :).

But the best part came at the end.....we got to RIDE and the instructors drove..... our guy turned esp and traction off.....we were second car to start. He gave the first guy about 1/3 lap lead time and hammered it.........Wow. In 1.5 laps were were 10 inches away from the first car and that went for another lap like that.....

Here is a funny part: BMW leased A4s and G35 :)...so look out for silver and black A4s and G35s with very low milage and new tires/brakes :)

Next weekend event is in St. Louis and then in Houston. If you leave nearby.......it is worth a trip. It is Free and you can register at bmwusa.com
 

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330i is a great car, I almost bought one, went with the Aero instead. I just couldnt embrace the new design, and I see that I m not alone.
Do you guys see any E90s around you? Because around here they are so rare, and thats very weird since I live 20 minutes away from Germany. I dont even see many of them in Germany. Are people waiting for teething problems to get sorted out or just hate Bangle the way I do?

btw, I m very happy with the Saab.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
over here in Ottawa....well...all the first set of BMW 3-series with manual tranny are already gone.

The only manual's left are the demo models in the 325i and 330i flavour.

Don't get me wrong...I still like my car and I like BMW. Both are excellent cars and despite what people think, I like the new designs. The new 7-series is nicer though...the trunk is not as radical.

I will always buy cars based the features that the car provides. Right now, if I were to buy a car, I would lean towards the BMW wit hte Nav. option as it is a very rich interface and gives you the ability to integrate your steering wheel controls with your iPOD. This is something I will really want to have in the near future.

Paul
 

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The new 7-series ought to be at least nice, considering the price of admission!
BMW does a nice shifter, steering, and balance, no doubt about it. But they do make you shell out big money to get the oomph behind it.

I agree whole-heartedly about the BMW test drive. I've attended the Boston area Susan Komen BMW test drive twice now. It is a blast.
 

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I agree that the I-Drive system is very nice and intuitive, and all the people that say that is too difficult to figure out, just don't take the time to do it.

I am just not sold on exterior styling. Plus the new 3 is almost as big as E39 5 series.....
 
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