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  #1  
Old 01-31-2002, 10:36 AM
hts hts is offline
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Location: ATX
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
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Mein Auto: 2011 Acura MDX
Ho-hum: E46 (330) wins another C&D comparo...

First Place
BMW330i

Highs: An unabashed driving delight.

Lows: Noisy, unpredictable climate control and feather-light steering.

The Verdict: If this is not the best $40,000 sports sedan in the world, show us a better one.


Here we go again. Yet another paean to BMW in the pages of this magazine that might have been written by the editors of Roundel, the BMW Club's monthly magazine tribute to itself. But what are our options? The 330i is only the latest of a long line of dazzling high-performance sedans from the Bavarian Motor Works. Look at the numbers. The 330i either dominates or contends in all categories.

It is a *****cat on four-laners and a cougar in the tight stuff. It is driver-friendly to a fault and seems capable of performing in every form of motorsport—except perhaps the Baja 1000—with only minor modifications, and it will haul groceries without complaint.

We wish it were cheaper. At $38,972, the Bimmer is the third costliest of the seven after $1450 worth of leather, a $1200 Sport package, $475 fold-down rear seats, $500 xenon headlights, a $200 sound system, and custom paint at $475 are added to the base price along with lux tax of $37. We wish the steering effort were a bit higher, although the factory promises that will be corrected on 2002 models. We sense a slight downgrading in the striking gray and red interior quality, although that could be entirely subjective. But none of these complaints, however niggling, can blur the fact that the 330i is the undisputed champion of this group.

One of our ace testers wrote the following after a lusty drive in the mountains: "The chassis calibration is simply superb. It is unflappable over all road surfaces, maintaining traction and stability. As usual, the engine and the gearbox are top drawer, and the brakes are powerful and linear." Another, reaching for Zenlike hyperbole, put it this way: "At speed, the car shrinks around you."

So BMW scores another win, adding to its long tradition of victories at this magazine. We found the other cars in this test to be quite appealing: the Saab for its zany personality and power; the Caddy, the Lincoln, and the Jaguar for their surprising manners; the Lexus for its untapped potential; and the Audi for its overall quality and packaging.

But when the driving stopped and the brakes cooled, there was one clear choice. Live with it.

Man, I love my car...

http://www.caranddriver.com/xp/Caran...36.xml?&page=6
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Current: 2011 Acura MDX
Previous: 03 540iA M-sport, 07 Porsche Boxster S, 01 BMW 330i SP, 97 Acura Integra GS-R, 89 Toy Supra, 73 Datsun 240Z
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2002, 11:22 AM
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legend700 legend700 is offline
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Location: SC
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 601
Mein Auto: 2008 535i
Can't agree with comment about climate control being unpredictable. Mine is programmed at 70 degrees all year 'round and always feels comfy. Manually adjust it when the top is down and temps are below 65 and a/c is off. Re-enter car and everything is back to program.
Obviously feather-light steering does not seem to prevent "an unabashed driving delight". I agree with that. Light or heavy steering is subjective and you can adapt to either.
Don't know about noisy. Hey, I am driving a convertible!
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2002, 12:28 PM
JPinTO JPinTO is offline
2001 M3:Stick, what else?
Location: Toronto
 
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Posts: 3,301
Mein Auto: ///MMMmmm good
And what a surprise, the Saab didn't come in dead last!

I love the concluding words: "live with it!"
  #4  
Old 01-31-2002, 12:52 PM
Dean325Ci Dean325Ci is offline
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Mein Auto:
I can't wait to get my hands on my 2003 330Ci, Orient Blue, Gray Leather, Bi-Xenon, Moonroof, Sport Package, Heated Seats (depends where I wind up living), 18' Hartge Classics, ECIS intake, UUC Twin Silencer or AA GEN3 Exhaust, UUC Competition EVO and....and...and...I think I need to go clean myself now.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2002, 12:55 PM
Guest84 Guest84 is offline
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Someone posted it over at Audiworld. "A4" forum.

Last edited by Guest84; 01-31-2002 at 01:16 PM.
  #6  
Old 01-31-2002, 02:31 PM
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Mr. E Mr. E is offline
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Mein Auto: A 333 Horse Chariot
Why were they reviewing a 2001 model? The 2002s have been available for months now. In fact, I've had my 2002 325ci since mid-december, and I ordered after there were already 2002s in the dealer's lot.
  #7  
Old 01-31-2002, 03:51 PM
ALEX325i ALEX325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. E
Why were they reviewing a 2001 model? The 2002s have been available for months now. In fact, I've had my 2002 325ci since mid-december, and I ordered after there were already 2002s in the dealer's lot.
Sometimes comparos/reviews are done months before they get published...
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  #8  
Old 01-31-2002, 06:00 PM
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Mr. E Mr. E is offline
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It's just too bad potential buyers are going to see "light as a feather steering" and go "ewwww!" Then again, BMW deserves more bad press for even screwing with their steering that way for 2001 (lest they forget the outrage).
  #9  
Old 01-31-2002, 08:11 PM
Mystikal Mystikal is offline
Kickin' it old school
Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,077
Mein Auto: E30 325is
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. E
Why were they reviewing a 2001 model? The 2002s have been available for months now. In fact, I've had my 2002 325ci since mid-december, and I ordered after there were already 2002s in the dealer's lot.
In the text it read that the test was conducted in November, so even if they got an '02 out it would have been a bug-riddled pre-production car. The fact that BMW won with a now-defunct model is sure promising though.
 

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