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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:04 PM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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BMW in the NYC area... are the roads too much here?

So I'm about to get into my first BMW (2012 3 series coupe) and curious about what seems the universal sentiment that Bimmers hard a harder ride then MB or Audis. Living in the NYC area, where the roads are sh*t and potholes everywhere with no one fixing them, is the ride too harsh here?

I took for test drive of course but it was on highways and smooth roads.. which isn't typical. I was driving my buddy's MB c300 and the ride was very smooth driving into city, even with bad roads. My concern is that everyone's talk of "really feeling the road" will translate into an uncomfortable ride.

True or no?
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:09 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Search "suspension" posts by CaptainAudio.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:16 PM
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lqaddict lqaddict is offline
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I don't think it will yield to uncomfortable driving rather than a major inconvenience if you hit a crater of a pothole. CaptainAudio, a member here, will have a more refined input on this question though. But he seemed to solve unbearable driving experience by replacing tires mostly.
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  #4  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:17 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
So I'm about to get into my first BMW (2012 3 series coupe) and curious about what seems the universal sentiment that Bimmers hard a harder ride then MB or Audis. Living in the NYC area, where the roads are sh*t and potholes everywhere with no one fixing them, is the ride too harsh here?

I took for test drive of course but it was on highways and smooth roads.. which isn't typical. I was driving my buddy's MB c300 and the ride was very smooth driving into city, even with bad roads. My concern is that everyone's talk of "really feeling the road" will translate into an uncomfortable ride.

True or no?
well, the 2011 and newer cars have revised dampers. pretty much took care of the "pothole explosions"

also, i see you are looking at an X drive, which has the standard suspension. you should be ok as long and you stick to 18" and lower rims.

i had a 2010 335i X drive and that car was harsh over bumps. recently had a 2012 328i X drive loaner, much smoother. my 2013 F30 335i with M adaptive is even smoother in comfort mode.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:21 PM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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I was in NYC last night to see a show. Afterwards, we were in a cab, headed to dinner and went down a road that was so bad, it was hard to tell if it was even paved. I think it was 73rd Street, around Columbus Ave. Awful. All I could think was "thank god I'm not in my car right now."

If you're planning on getting the sports package, you may want to think twice. The ride will be pretty crashy and loud, especially with the stock run-flats that come with the car. You'll feel and hear every little bump, even ones that previously were unnoticed in a "normal" car. It's unfortunate b/c the sports package gives you key features, notable the seats and steering wheel. It's a shame you can opt for the seats and steering wheel independently of the suspension.

As others can attest, if you do get a sports package in a rough urban area, you'll need to ditch the run-flats and look into some after market shocks, like Koni FSD, which offer variable damping. If you don't get the sports package, the ride will still be firm, but shouldn't be harsh or crashy.

I live in Philly and had an 06 330i. Ride was awful. Even with new tires and Koni FSD shocks, that car was beyond hope. The stock suspension in my 2009 335i (both cars had/have sport pkg), seems better. The ride was pretty bad with the stock run-flats, so I bought some Koni FSD. Before I had a chance to install them, I put my winter tires on. My winter tires are also RFT, but seem to ride MUCH better than the stock Bridgestone RFT. To me, the car feels perfect on all but the worst city roads. So, I'm going to get some non-RFT summer tires this spring and see how I like the car then. At that point, I'll decide on whether or not to move forward with the FSD install.

It's also important to note that any ride quality issues with these cars are 100% dependent on the quality of roads in your location. Whenever I take a vacation (even with my previous, very crashy 2006 330i), the car is brilliant, in stock form. Even with RFT, I only ever had issues when driving on rough city streets. That's why some people on here complain about the ride quality, while others say the ride is fine... if you don't like the sporty ride, get a Lexus. I've come to the conclusion that those who complain about the ride live in big cities with bad roads. Those who think the ride is great (and consider the rest of us to be a bunch of softies) most likely live in more rural/suburban area, where the car is great, even with stock suspension and RFT.

Sorry, I'm rambling. Yes, you can get this car in NYC. But you'll likely need to make some modifications to be happy, especially if you opt for the sports pkg.
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  #6  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:23 PM
Spagolli94 Spagolli94 is offline
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Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
well, the 2011 and newer cars have revised dampers. pretty much took care of the "pothole explosions"

also, i see you are looking at an X drive, which has the standard suspension. you should be ok as long and you stick to 18" and lower rims.

i had a 2010 335i X drive and that car was harsh over bumps. recently had a 2012 328i X drive loaner, much smoother. my 2013 F30 335i with M adaptive is even smoother in comfort mode.
I second this. I test drove a 2011 335i with a sports pkg on some rough city streets and the car was perfectly fine, even in stock form with RFT.

So, being that you're shopping at 2012, you might be just fine keeping it stock.
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  #7  
Old 01-06-2013, 12:26 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Originally Posted by lqaddict View Post
I don't think it will yield to uncomfortable driving rather than a major inconvenience if you hit a crater of a pothole. CaptainAudio, a member here, will have a more refined input on this question though. But he seemed to solve unbearable driving experience by replacing tires mostly.
Actually, I think he'd say his new shocks were the biggest key. OP, keep in mind he has a heavy a$$ 'vert, not a coupe.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:10 PM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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thanks for pointing to captainaudio's nightmare post tturedraider! Know all those roads and what a drag that must have been. Some interesting info and opinions about these run flats and suspension. I had no clue. thanks

I remember when I first bought a 2004 MB coupe with Pirelli low profiles and lived in midtown I blew out my tires 5 times in first year hitting potholes!! Luckily it came with the cool blowup spare and MB in city were always fast to come do it all for me (once in entrance to Lincoln Tunnel.. fun). I also think these cars are made for places with great roads. In comparison I have an old Ford ranger that I drove cross country twice and had in city for 13 years and never had a flat once.

Orient if you're downtown you must be on those cobble street roads alot.. you never blow out a tire?

Spagolli, since I'll be leasing I don't want to put any money into tires or suspension. I have a set of Blizzaks I use to use on my MB which 'might' be same tire size to fit. Those tires were awesome in snow and ice.
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  #9  
Old 01-06-2013, 02:02 PM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
thanks for pointing to captainaudio's nightmare post tturedraider! Know all those roads and what a drag that must have been. Some interesting info and opinions about these run flats and suspension. I had no clue. thanks

I remember when I first bought a 2004 MB coupe with Pirelli low profiles and lived in midtown I blew out my tires 5 times in first year hitting potholes!! Luckily it came with the cool blowup spare and MB in city were always fast to come do it all for me (once in entrance to Lincoln Tunnel.. fun). I also think these cars are made for places with great roads. In comparison I have an old Ford ranger that I drove cross country twice and had in city for 13 years and never had a flat once.

Orient if you're downtown you must be on those cobble street roads alot.. you never blow out a tire?

Spagolli, since I'll be leasing I don't want to put any money into tires or suspension. I have a set of Blizzaks I use to use on my MB which 'might' be same tire size to fit. Those tires were awesome in snow and ice.
on my 07 i was running stock 19" sizing and blew out/bent a few rims.

on my 2010, hit a construction plate by wtc once, blew out the tire and cracked the rim. that was running on 19s, non runflats. put on my temp spare and drove back home. i bumped up the tire size to 245/35/19 and had far fewer issues.

i pretty much have the fdr between the battery and 63rd street memorized at this point.

resist the urge to get upgraded wheels. i know they look good, but in NYC, you'll be bending 19s like no tomorrow. it gets aggravating really fast. 18s are OK, but i would bump up the aspect ratio. bmw did that for the F30-- i have a suspicion to reduce complaints. they went from 225/45/17 (25") to 225/50/17 (26")
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2013, 02:40 PM
mynycbimmer mynycbimmer is offline
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I have a E92 328xi with 17 inch RFTs but still suffer from "pothole explosions" and a very harsh ride. I can't imagine how bad the ride is with sports suspension and 18s. Even with my setup I've had to replace two tires in less than 3 months of ownership.

Many parts of the city (e.g. 10th ave) are just not drivable beyond 5 mph without risk of damage IMO.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:35 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Since I am being quoted here I will chime in.

I have a 2007 335i convertible with sports package, the car was purchased in Palm Beach Florida and was fine on South Florida roads. After I had it shipped to New York City (we live in Manhattan) I found the car to be undriveable on New York City streets. The RFTs were replaced after 2 weeks in Manhattan. This helped a lot but I still was plagued with "Pothole Explosions". I destroyed 4 rims (I have stock BMW 18s - the standard size the 335i sport package) and 7 tires in 40,000 miles. Two years ago I installed a set of FSD shocks and I recently installed a set of Conti DWS tires. At this point the car is fine, the ride is firm but not harsh and I have not had a Pothole Explosion since I got the FSDs. The car still retained its driving feel with the new shocks and tires and I now have the car I thought I was buying in 2007.

I maintain that it was a very poorly engineered suspension. With the poorly calibrated OEM shocks, the stock RFTs and the low profile tires BMW created the perfect storm. The good news is that it was easily fixed with new shocks and tires although it took me a while to figure that out.

To put things in perspective:

1. My issue was not simply that the car (as it came from the factory) was unpleasant or uncomfortable on NYC roads or other poor surfaces as I had issues in areas other than NYC. The issue was that the car would break (destroy rims and tires). Due to this I considered the car dangerous and did not like the idea of my wife driving it by herself as there was such a good possibility of become stranded in the event of a tire failure . The E93 is a weekend car and is not really driven in New York City other than to get to and from my apartment on trips out of the city. When it became necessary for us to have a car that would be used in the city and that had a comfortable back seat we leased a 7 Series which in comfort mode is completely oblivious to NYC potholes.

2. A while back I test drove a 2011 335is. Ride quality was much better than my 07 was with the stock setup but not as good as it is on my 07 with the non RFTs and the FSD shocks.

3. BMWs are very common in NYC. If I stand in front of my apartment there will be at least one stopped at the traffic light virtually every time it turns red. I would assume that the vast majority of the people driving them do not have the issues that I did.

4. My mistake was that I did not test drive the car (the 335) in the environment I was going to be using it in. If I had I never would have bought it or if I knew then what I know now I would have driven the car directly from the dealer to a shop where I would have had Koni FSD shocks and non RFT tires installed. Before I leased the 750 I was able to arrange an extended test drive and I drove the car for 5 days and 500 miles in NYC and the surrounding area. I would strongly recommend that you test drive the car in the environment that you will be driving it in before you make a decision. My 335 test drive was at Prestige BMW in Ramsey, NJ. That test drive and the 2,000 miles I drove the car in South Florida left me completely unprepared for what I experienced on the ravaged roads of NYC.

CA
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  #12  
Old 01-06-2013, 04:55 PM
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1985mb 1985mb is offline
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If you are living in the city and this will be your only car, I would suggest looking at the new (F30) 3-series sedan.

The extra practicality will come in handy. People are saying the F30's ride and ability to handle road imperfections are greatly improved. It will also have the latest gen of RFTs now and during your lease period. The 8-speed AT, N20 engine and Auto Stop/Start will also help your city MPG.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:04 AM
spicytofu spicytofu is offline
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If you are living in the city and this will be your only car, I would suggest looking at the new (F30) 3-series sedan.

The extra practicality will come in handy. People are saying the F30's ride and ability to handle road imperfections are greatly improved. It will also have the latest gen of RFTs now and during your lease period. The 8-speed AT, N20 engine and Auto Stop/Start will also help your city MPG.
That auto start/stop was getting on my nerves. But if you must save every drop of gas, its a good thing. Be prepared to fork over for a new starter...
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
So I'm about to get into my first BMW (2012 3 series coupe) and curious about what seems the universal sentiment that Bimmers hard a harder ride then MB or Audis. Living in the NYC area, where the roads are sh*t and potholes everywhere with no one fixing them, is the ride too harsh here?

I took for test drive of course but it was on highways and smooth roads.. which isn't typical. I was driving my buddy's MB c300 and the ride was very smooth driving into city, even with bad roads. My concern is that everyone's talk of "really feeling the road" will translate into an uncomfortable ride.

True or no?
I highly recommend following CA's advice about test driving the car in the environment you will be driving. No matter what our experiences the only thing that matters is what you think of the car in the environment in which you will be driving it on a regular basis.

Last edited by sunny5280; 01-07-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:31 PM
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1985mb 1985mb is offline
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That auto start/stop was getting on my nerves. But if you must save every drop of gas, its a good thing. Be prepared to fork over for a new starter...
AS/S can be disabled if the OP doesn't like it. It's been around in Europe for a while, doubt they are changing starters left and right, but in any case it won't be any issue during the OP's lease period.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:35 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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I highly recommend following CA's advice about test driving the car in the environment you will be driving. No matter what our experiences the only thing that matters is what you think of the car in the environment in which you will be driving it on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that all E92s come with the sport suspension.

I was one of the most vocal critics of the ride quality on the E9x with sport suspension. I was at the point where I was about ready to push the car into the East River. Now that the shocks and tires on the 335i have been replaced I have no major issues although as I said it is not driven on NYC streets a lot.

Test drive the car and see what you think if you don't have an issue on an extended test drive you will probably be fine with owning one. I would recommend that you be prepared to replace the tires and the shocks just in case. You may not need or want to but I would make sure that I had the money to do so set aside just in case it proved necessary,

CA
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:24 AM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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Damn

I didn't know that they all had sport suspension!! Does that include Xdrive? I didn't see that listed anywhere on my Vehicle List report dealer gave me or on the BMW website. The test drove I had was around local NJ streets and route 80. Don't think I can really take it into city on a test run. I live in NJ and wouldn't be driving into city all that often (I commute by bus in)... but the roads out here in northern NJ are crappy enough. Sometimes I'll be going over the GWB with my MB coupe and 'bang' hit a friggin nasty pothole that almost throws the car.

Maybe I need to rethink. It was just a very good lease deal but if it's going to cause headache then I'm not really interested. The only reason I'm getting rid of my little MB coupe was it's started to have issues and I'm not into dumping money or time into fixing it all up.. or being stuck somewhere. The main reason for getting a new car was to AVOID issues and having peace of mind driving.

Jeez.. crazy to think you buy a new, fairly pricey new car and you can't drive it. lol

Maybe I'll check out a few SUV's with big tires.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:04 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
I didn't know that they all had sport suspension!! Does that include Xdrive? I didn't see that listed anywhere on my Vehicle List report dealer gave me or on the BMW website. The test drove I had was around local NJ streets and route 80. Don't think I can really take it into city on a test run. I live in NJ and wouldn't be driving into city all that often (I commute by bus in)... but the roads out here in northern NJ are crappy enough. Sometimes I'll be going over the GWB with my MB coupe and 'bang' hit a friggin nasty pothole that almost throws the car.

Maybe I need to rethink. It was just a very good lease deal but if it's going to cause headache then I'm not really interested. The only reason I'm getting rid of my little MB coupe was it's started to have issues and I'm not into dumping money or time into fixing it all up.. or being stuck somewhere. The main reason for getting a new car was to AVOID issues and having peace of mind driving.

Jeez.. crazy to think you buy a new, fairly pricey new car and you can't drive it. lol

Maybe I'll check out a few SUV's with big tires.
The E92 coupes come standard with sport suspension, but not with the sport package which includes sport seats and some other features. The sport suspension is not standard (or available) on the XDrive. Sport package on the E90 Sedan and and the E93 Convertible includes the sport suspension which is not standard on those models. The E90 (Sedan) is out of production and replaced by the F30 which from all indications does not have the same suspension issues the E90 did. The new models of the coupe and convertible have not been released yet so the models in sale now are the older chassis.

I test dove at Prestige BMW in Ramsey, NY and drove on Route 17 and the surrounding streets. That test drive did not prepare me for what I would experience driving in NYC. The pothole explosions issue was not exclusive to NYC. I bubbled a tire and bend a rim on Route 46 in New Jersey and had issues on Route 95 in Connecticut and in upstate NY on the way to Watkins Glen. I have not had an issue since I changed out the shocks for Koni FSDs.
Keep in mind that my E93 is an 07 and that BMW has made some changes to the suspension on the newer models.

Only an extensive test drive will let you know if the car will meet your needs. See if you can arrange a test drive at BMW Manhattan which is at 57th St. and 11th Ave.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-08-2013 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:37 AM
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Orient330iNYC Orient330iNYC is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
The E90 (Sedan) is out of production and replaced by the F30 which from all indications does not have the same suspension issues the E90 did.

CA
i can confirm this. even in sport mode (i have the adaptive M suspension) there are no more pothole explosions.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:02 PM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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Tire Insurance?

I was told by a friend if I were to move ahead with BMW to definitely get the tire insurance. Not sure how much they charge for that but he says it's expensive but worth it once you start messing up your tires.

Does anyone have opinion on tire insurance through BMW?

Side note - I test drove a MB C300 4Matic and it wasn't as 'soft' as many people seem to say. I thought it was pretty agile and had more pickup then I would have thought. I think I would prefer regular tires with a spare after reading and hearing some BMW owners horror stories being stuck with blown out tires.

The BMW has a better lease deal so still leaning towards it... just wish their tires weren't such an issue in this part of country.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:16 PM
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hufington hufington is offline
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That's why I ordered the non M car. 19+ inch rims are too big for NYC roads.
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  #22  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:19 PM
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1985mb 1985mb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreggBrent View Post
I was told by a friend if I were to move ahead with BMW to definitely get the tire insurance. Not sure how much they charge for that but he says it's expensive but worth it once you start messing up your tires.

Does anyone have opinion on tire insurance through BMW?

Side note - I test drove a MB C300 4Matic and it wasn't as 'soft' as many people seem to say. I thought it was pretty agile and had more pickup then I would have thought. I think I would prefer regular tires with a spare after reading and hearing some BMW owners horror stories being stuck with blown out tires.

The BMW has a better lease deal so still leaning towards it... just wish their tires weren't such an issue in this part of country.
There are a million threads on tire insurance. Search is your friend.

The only thing not mentioned in those threads is people like me, who drive around NYC w/o it and (in retrospect) didn't need to waste their money on it. There is probably more than a little moral hazard involved.
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  #23  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:21 PM
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pointandgo pointandgo is offline
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Nobody's going to drag out the famous movie for the OP?
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  #24  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:36 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pointandgo View Post
Nobody's going to drag out the famous movie for the OP?

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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-10-2013 at 07:10 PM.
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  #25  
Old 01-10-2013, 07:11 PM
GreggBrent GreggBrent is offline
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lol

That's great. who's the artist?
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