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      05-16-2011, 09:01 PM   #1
midlifecrisis
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1200 Miles in 5 days - initial thoughts

So, we picked up our F25 28i at the Performance Center last Wednesday, and it now has 1200 miles on it. Here are my initial thoughts and comparisons to other BMWs I've driven. ('00 E46 328i, '07 E83 X3 3.0si, '08 E90 M3, '91 E30 325iX)

This is by far the most luxurious of the bunch. I checked every option box except head up display, so there are lots of widgets and gizmos. The car is very quiet and comfortable. I'm prone to back spasms, and after a nine hour drive yesterday, I arrived home feeling rested and without any back pain at all. I'll never order a car without sport seats again.

It was still in the break-in period, so every 5 or 10 minutes I put the trans into "manual" and downshifted into 7th, or 6th, or 5th. I still got 27 mpg on the trip - including stop and go on the NJTP. The car was fully loaded with my son's college dorm stuff, and I cruised at 73-76 mph with the air on. Not bad for a green engine.

I-drive is fun to play with. It probably detracts from the focus on the primary task - driving. I suppose I'll get used to it and it will become second nature. For now, while I like all the features in the car - I still believe that the E46 control layout was the pinnacle of simplicity and common sense.

In "normal" mode, the suspension is nice and cushy, even with run flats. My 88 year old mother will like it. I have the "sport" mode programmed for stiffer suspension and normal drivetrain settings. I prefer the firmer suspension, although passengers may feel it's a little too "jiggley". I don't like the more aggressive shift pattern in the sport drivetrain setting, which holds low gears too long for my taste. (In fact, at 75 mph on the interstate, switching from normal to sport drivetrain settings will cause the transmission to downshift from 8th to 7th - even under light load on a flat road.) It's nice to be able to customize this stuff for my tastes.

Comparing this car to my E83 (which I loved), this one is much more luxurious. Very quiet. The transmission is much better. This is the first automatic I've ever purchased for myself (The E83 was my wife's), but in manual mode the shifts are very quick. I could get used to it.

The back seat room is great for two and OK for three. Again, much better than the E83. Ditto for the cargo compartment.

The sound system is fine. Very nice clarity and great bass at low volume. The hard drive storage of music is also great. (No more CDs cluttering the door pockets, and no need to bring an Ipod.)

Build quality appears excellent. Very high quality materials and rock solid assembly.

Like all recent BMW's, it feels a little less "connected" to the road. I want to make it clear that for me, the advantages listed above make it worth the tradeoff, but the handling isn't quite as sharp as the E83. (It might be impossible to get the perfect combination of ride and handling. The E83 was biased a little more toward handling, but people were turned off by the firm ride.) This car comes close to the E83's handling "feel" in sport mode, but can also be transformed into a comfy cruiser in "normal" mode.

The bottom line is that between this car and the E90 M3, I think I have all my needs covered. I won't need to buy another car for a while - unless they build something else I can't live without.

Finally, I've mentioned this on other posts, but Performance Center delivery is the best!! It's a fantastic experience that everyone should take advantage of. Special thanks to Donnie Isley and Jonathan Stribble for making the day special for us. My wife even admitted it was fun, and she's the last thing from a "car person".
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      05-16-2011, 09:15 PM   #2
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Great review. Thank you for posting that.

I have had my X3 35i since last Saturday. I had high expectations for it. My X3 has exceed them. I am impressed with so many aspects of this car.
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      05-16-2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting, these are great things to hear as I await my arrival soon.

makes me wish I would have picked mine up there as well, but it would have been almost a 3000 mile trip for me!

Congradulations on your new X3!
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      05-16-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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Sooo wished I could have coordinated a trip to the performance center! I would have LOVED it. Thanks for the great write up!!
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      05-16-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
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I wish PDC were available to Canadians... It sounds like a lot of fun. I guess it is technically difficult to implement due to import laws etc but it'd be great. In the meantime, I thank you for the great review.
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      05-16-2011, 10:49 PM   #6
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nice review
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      05-17-2011, 06:06 AM   #7
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Wow, from someone with a well rounded experience you seem to enjoy the X3 as much as I am. Outside of the heads up display I also have all of the bells and whistles and absolutely love the features, the build, the handling and the ride. Enjoy and thanks for the post.
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      05-17-2011, 07:34 AM   #8
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Great insights! I was concerned about comfort too w/ back spasms. Very reassuring! Best wishes with it! Thanks for your insights!
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      05-17-2011, 07:56 AM   #9
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What I understand from this review (which is great by the way) is that in US you can order DHP on a 28i as well, is that correct???
This is something you can only get on a 35i here in Canada. Which is surprising to my opinion...
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      05-17-2011, 07:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaw View Post
What I understand from this review (which is great by the way) is that in US you can order DHP on a 28i as well, is that correct???
This is something you can only get on a 35i here in Canada. Which is surprising to my opinion...
Yes, that's correct.....
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      05-17-2011, 11:07 AM   #11
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Good writeup, thanks for sharing.
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