Picked up the car yesterday. Think I did really well, even the guy in finance who was writing up the lease kept telling me what a great deal I was able to get. Yeah I know he works there but on the finance side not the sale side, he could just be blowing smoke up my @$$, but still comforting to hear. The MSRP was $51k and the price the lease was based off was $47k. Another guy was there trying to negotiate the price on one that was 6k cheaper than mine and he couldn't get them to even go under $600/mo before he gave up and left, their first offer to him was $750, which made him really mad but they were barely budging. None of the other dealers other than one could get under the mid $600s either. Sure if I kept calling around maybe I could have shaved another $10-15 off a month tops or maybe a couple hundred off the fees, but it's not worth the time I would have spent trying and who knows if they would have even had the package I wanted or if the savings would have been eaten up by shipping charges. Overall I'm happy with the deal I got, and it's about $100/mo cheaper than my last lease was on a cheaper car (yeah I got screwed on that one).
I had a 325 in 2001, I loved that car, I used to get excited every time I got in it. Then traded it in around 2010. Wanted to get another 3 series, but BMW was having some bad days back then. I test drove a 328 and was utterly bored by it and went for an Audi A5 instead. The A5 was a gorgeous car when it came out and it drove really well and made heads turn, but was pretty soft for a sports car at that price point, and the electronics were so dated and glitchy that it felt like using a computer from 10 years ago. Great car, but I never really loved it and was not sad to see it go at all. Then when my lease was up I was gonna go for a 5 series but then thought I'd check out a 3 series for the hell of it, not knowing how much they changed it. I was blown away by how far along the 3 series has come in just 3 years since I last drove one. I didn't even bother looking at any other cars, I knew this was the one for me. They retained everything I loved about my original BMW but really updated it with a ton of great features and an incredible engine. I really forgot what it was like to own a car that is such a joy to drive.
Considering it's a 4 cylinder and that it's the M sports line, I really expected it to be louder and a rougher ride, but it's incredibly quiet and smooth, it just seems to float on the road but still give the perfect amount of road feedback. I kept catching myself breaking 100mph driving home from the dealer without realizing. It's so solid, it doesn't bounce or sway on the highway like my prev 325 did. I love the heads up display, combined with the nav, this thing is really amazing. Didn't know this technology was even available in cars yet. It makes following directions so much easier and also doesn't let you forget how much over the speed limit you're driving. I am so glad to be back to the elegant BMW interior, it just screams class, unlike the Audi, which always felt cheap. Hopefully BMW doesn't drop the ball in the future, I hope to not have to have to stray again. The iDrive is a much better system than the Audi, works really well, very intuitive and easy to use, and I love the big screen on the nav and the ability to do split screen.
Now a few things I don't like. The Harman Kardon system is not as good as I expected. Granted I came from a Bang and Olufsen in my Audi so the bar was set pretty high, but this sounds as bad or even worse than a lot of stock systems I've heard. Maybe I need to give it more time, but so far I'm not impressed. I am also really missing the backup cam that I had in my Audi, I feel like I'm parking blind now. I wish they had included it in the options when they built the car I got, but they had none with it. Better yet, I wish BMW included it standard in the technology package like most other car companies do, it's a crucial feature that I feel should almost be standard these days. Or at the very least they should include a backup alert standard. Next I don't like that the car doesn't chirp when you unlock it, this is how I used to find my car so often. I heard a dealer tell me back in 2001 that they used to do this but some lady sued BMW basically saying that it sounded like a catcall and it was sexist so they removed it, so lame if true! Other than that this is a really amazing car. I'm more than satisfied with the engine in the 328, I'm actually glad I didn't try the 335, this is more than enough power for me and I think that money was better spent on all the options I got. The M-line really looks slick. There's soooo many 3-series on the road these days that I wanted something a bit more unique. Nobody wants to be driving a $50k car that looks exactly like a $34k car.
Thanks for everyone's help, I'm happy to be back in the club!