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I was cruising around the BMW site last Thursday and noticed that the Susan G. Komen event was at BMW SF the next day. Clicked for availability, found a slot late in the afternoon to drive a 530i manual, and signed myself up.

I'd never been to BMW SF before (I bought at Weatherford in Bezerkely). It's a pretty nice dealership, with a BEAUTIFIL red 2002 and a racing-spec 3.0CS located upstairs.

On to the drive....

All the cars had Jersey plates on them, so I'm guessing the staff treks the cars all over the country. Well, they told me that all the manual tranny cars were out of service, but had plenty of other cars to drive. I managed to get some time with the Z3 and X5, both with the 3.0 liter engine. Some impressions:

The 3.0 liter engine has NOTICEABLY more power than the 2.5, even with the step tranny. Don't get me wrong... I love my 325, but GEEZ is that engine sweet! :thumbup:

The Z3 is WAY too much fun, and would actually be a perfect city car, given it's diminutive size. The ride is acceptable, if a little choppy (shorter wheelbase, perhaps?) I will say, however, that for a $38K car, the interior plastics are CHEAP. I mean c'mon, my '97 Civic had a better interior.

The X5 is GREAT. I'm not an SUV fan, but if I had to have one, I think this would be it. Nice ride, beatufully laid out interior, and a VERY agressive throttle tip-in. Just tap that bad boy and you're in the next zip code! One interesting thing: The X5 has the 3-spoke steering wheel similar to the E46 sport package, but a different rim. It's rounded instead of "cut", and felt MUCH nicer. Guess I'll just have to upgrade to the M3 wheel!

Hey Jon S. I looked at the entire California schedule for the Ultimate Drive event and noticed that Cutter Motors isn't one of the stops. What's up with that?
 
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