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View Full Version : Ah, I'm getting used to Karl...


car_for_mom
01-02-2003, 12:04 PM
I've had Karl Bimmer (325i) for about a month now, and I have to say that having a BMW has made me think a lot more about how I drive - accelerating/declerating, braking, etc!

The other thing I've noticed is the really startling differences between the Bimmer and the Camry; I use the Camry for transporting kids and their friends, if I have to haul a lot of stuff, or if I have to move something messy (hey, it's a '96, with 171,500+ miles) My kids could not believe that I wouldn't get the Christmas tree in Karl, but forced them into their father's hooptie of a '90 Honda Civic Wagon! :rolleyes:

The Camry just feels a lot less solid; I used to think it had a smooth shift, but Karl has just spoiled me! :thumbup: The 325i just seems to be one with the road, something that I have to admit, I thought was just BMW advertising blather!

Also, my gas mileage is improving all the time, as I've adjusted how I drive and shift; I also find that Karl seems to be handling better the more miles I've put on (1500 so far).

It's something when you find that a product actually works as advertised: "The Ultimate Driving Machine"!

:thumbup:

PhilH
01-02-2003, 12:17 PM
I'm driving my mom's 2001 Accord EX automatic today and it feels like an economy car after my 525. Compared to the 1.8T in our Passat, the NA 4-cylinder engine might be a little more to my liking, but overall, the feel I get from the Accord is basic transportation and little else. The Passat has a slightly better, more fluid and connected feel to driving than the Accord, but my BMW has always been leagues ahead of the Passat.

There really is a difference in feel driving a BMW. Believe me when I say I wouldn't pay about $40k for a new car if there wasn't. (After studying some more old posts on bimmerfest a few minutes ago, I figure I should have my new 330i around January 24th-27th). :tsk:

machmeter
01-02-2003, 03:43 PM
I've been driving a 2001 325i sedan with sport pack and Steptronic for the last 2 weeks while my new car is at Service (phone/nav/hk problems - that's another story). I must say that the 325 has remarkable power / performance and the Steptronic is really quite fun! In Sport Drive, especially. My 330 has more torque off the line, but the 325 really pulls when you push it and get the revs up past 4000.

You made a nice choice! :thumbup: :thumbup:

bls
01-03-2003, 12:25 AM
Originally posted by PhilH
I'm driving my mom's 2001 Accord EX automatic today and it feels like an economy car after my 525. Compared to the 1.8T in our Passat, the NA 4-cylinder engine might be a little more to my liking, but overall, the feel I get from the Accord is basic transportation and little else.

I don't know if it's true of the more recent models, but my last car was an 89 Accord, and with the 5-speed, it was pretty enjoyable to drive. The automatic transmission in the same car really sucked the life out of it, in my opinion.

car_for_mom's experiences have been paralleling my own: we both had perfectly functional Japanese sedans, and we're first-time BMW owners who ordered and got delivery at about the same time. I almost bought another Accord, but I decided against them when I found out the V6 models don't (yet) ship with manual transmissions.

Initially, driving back and forth to work in the BMW wasn't particularly enlightening. But a couple of weeks ago I drove it to the coast, through twisty mountain roads (locals: highway 9, from Saratoga to Santa Cruz). I'd driven the road a lot in the old car. Driving at the speeds where the Accord was starting to feel really unstable and was plowing through the corners with terrible understeer and howling tires, the 325 felt like, to use the cliché, it was on rails. And this was on a wet, redwood-needle-covered road. I kept glancing at the cluster, ready to slow down when the DSC light flickered on, but it never did. The car is still way ahead of me. But I'm learning ;)

And I'm just about through the break-in period now, so I don't have to upshift at 4000RPM just as the car starts to really surge forward.

PhilH
01-03-2003, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by bls
I don't know if it's true of the more recent models, but my last car was an 89 Accord, and with the 5-speed, it was pretty enjoyable to drive. The automatic transmission in the same car really sucked the life out of it, in my opinion.
Part of the problem with my mom's Accord is the automatic transmission, but there's also the dead steering that has way too much power assist. The handling is kind of flat at slower speeds, but push it a little and it just kind of flops over with body roll. I think Accords are great cars, and not many other $23k family cars can compete in terms of fun to drive, but they're no BMWs.

Ack
01-03-2003, 08:34 AM
Your enjoyment will only increase as the car gets older. Mine is now almost 8 months old (1/7/03) and will be approaching 11,500 miles of pure driving bliss.

My sister and her husband both have a Toyota Solara. Before I got my Bimmer, I was taken back by the amount of passing power this car had. It seemed to handle well also. That was until I got my car. I have a chance to drive my sister's car everytime I go home and still like the car. The major difference is amount of float in the suspension. The car doesn't seem very well planted to the ground as my 330. Toyota's are nice cars, they are just not comparable to the BMW.

Either way, enjoy your new car and keep us up to date on your impressions. :D

car_for_mom
01-03-2003, 06:08 PM
Well, I'm becoming a little bolder in Karl; doing things I'd never think about doing in the Camry! :yikes: :


a: Acclerating to get ahead of trucks before entering into the
two-lane Carbon Canyon
b: Acclerating to get out onto Pipeline Avenue to take the
kids to school
c: Taking truns in 4th, even 5th gear: As you drive down the
71 to get onto the 91, there is a sharp curve. In the
Camry, I'd slow down and put it into 3rd gear. In Karl, I
actually found out what the DSC is for, because I hit that
curve in 5th gear! :yikes:

Okay, maybe I'm anthropomorphizing, but it seems to me that Karl likes when I accelerate; there is a responsiveness, like the engine is saying, "Ah, now I'm getting some exercise! I'm a finely tuned piece of German engineering that doesn't need to be coddled! :D "

A BMW is truly about driving (Bimmerfest.com: "Ah, another convert to the BimmerWay!" :thumbup: )

Desertnate
01-06-2003, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by car_for_mom
*snip*
Okay, maybe I'm anthropomorphizing, but it seems to me that Karl likes when I accelerate; there is a responsiveness, like the engine is saying, "Ah, now I'm getting some exercise! I'm a finely tuned piece of German engineering that doesn't need to be coddled! :D "



You are exactly right! I look at it this way

Through my oldest daughter's riding lessons, I have spent a good number of hours with horses over the last couple of years. At the stables there are horses that do OK when the riders are being put through the "basics" of riding, but when they start doing the more technical things like jumping/cantering or when the riders are playing games and splashing through puddles you can really see their ears perk up and you can tell from their demeanor that they are having a blast. I envision my 323 the same way...After a quick jaunt down a country road with shifts occuring above 4K, the car is begging for more! :thumbup: