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This just in...excited but tired to share about it. More later (just in from the airport)

Took ED of my 2002 330ci a few days ago. Wonderful car, and can't say enough about the BMW ED program, their professionalism, process, and integrity. Kudos.

That said, here's my early take for those also considering (again, my opinions only)

The Good
-02 v 03...from what I hear, not much of a change, and I saved $$$, insured earlier delivery, and also have a little psychological edge since I drive a lot of miles--in a few years, the average miles/year will be a little less heartbreaking
-ED...no bones about it. Seamless and professional. A money-saver and great experience. All players top notch--from Cutter so far, to Munich BMW, to drop-off folks. Better than expected.
-Options chosen...sport, titanium silver, leatherette, stick, sunroof, xenons. Waffled on the leatherette, but it is quality upholstery with a good feel in my opinion. No, it wasn't 120 degrees Europe, but so far so good. The stick is sure and fun (really wanted Step). The roof just seems like a necessity on a higher end car. Xenons are fabulous--functional, classy, and distinctive. Also like the titanium trim v metal (personal preference) on my car.
-Price...Cutter did okay, but ED is great (see above)
-Service - so far, top shelf
-330 v 325 loaded: wrestled with this but opted for a more minimal 330 package. The 330 drives strong and got GREAT mileage (over 28 on the autobahn, and low 20s mixed) Wow! Better than my Honda! Like others say, too...the 3 series is BIG in europe (size wise). And, a lot of people have them debadged but have 318, 320 and 325 type engines. Few 330s and very few Ms. Performance here, boys! Saw a fully loaded 330ci at the Frankfurter Ring showroom for $59,000 Euros or so.
-Rims...stock sport rims looked good and are ample. Worried driving those rough cobblestone roads. I would have been nail biting on those 18s...even though they do look great!

The Bad / Second Thoughts
- Did 4 countries in 6 days. Yes a rush, but did get lost trying to out of the way places/hotels in Brussels and Amsterdam. NAV would have been terrific and would have cut stress. Was trying to save $$$ and also thinking that in a few years, the NAV would be the first option that is obsolete due to technology. Helpful when traveling, but I know the roads here where I do 98% of my driving.
-Park Distance Control - I seldomly use here, but in those tight spaces, itwould have been helpful. I still think I did the right thing.
- Sound system. Decent, but not earth-shattering. Have an Accord with an Alpine amp, sub, and Boston Acoustics. Far superior to the HK system--which still is okay.
- Floor mats. Yeah, thrown in upon ED, but not the highest quality. Hoping Jon and Franco kick down some better ones.
- The wait. It's a love/hate thing. It builds my anticipation, but now I am waiting for a second time. Not complaining, though. Will fine tune insurance and maybe sell my 2000 accord for a beater.
-Europe gas question: saw 95 and 98 octanes. 98 came in super and super plus. Which one did those of you who went there use? Chris at BMW Munich just told me to do the more expensive. I think one has a lead substitute.

I took a ton of pics. Too tired to sort through all of them, but here's a teaser.

Best-
Lansing
 

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Sounds great! Lansing. Once you get your pictures up, why not post a link to them over on the Edmunds 3-series ED experience board?
 

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Congratulations Lansing!

:D

Btw, did you try to get the people over there to
activate your clown nose? Is it flashing???
 

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Lansing,

Thanks for the info. I pick up my 2003 325xiT in Munich next Wednesday (09 Oct).

I'm flying from Newark to Zurich Monday night, arriving Tuesday morning (the closest cities to Munich that the airline I work for fly to are Zurich & Frankfurt).

Wednesday morning, take the train from Zurich to Munich & pickup the car in the afternoon.

After that, two nights in Munich, two nights in Füssen, one night in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, two nights in Rudesheim, drop off the car in Frankfurt, and the last night in Frankfurt before flying back to Newark from there.
 

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mbushnell said:
After that, two nights in Munich, two nights in Füssen, one night in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, two nights in Rudesheim, drop off the car in Frankfurt, and the last night in Frankfurt before flying back to Newark from there.
My wife and I took our first trip to Germany earlier this month, and we were in a lot of the same places you mentioned. Here were some of my impressions:

Rothenberg -- Obviously, the wall and the night watchman were the things to see. We went on the night watchman's tour when he was speaking English, and he sort of sounded like Howard Cosell in his cadence.

Rudesheim -- We were there briefly because we were going to nearby Assmannshausen (I can't help but think of Seinfeld) to eat at the Hotel Krone. The Krone is definitely the place to go to for a special, expensive meal. If we had more time there we would have gone to the great Riesling wineries in the area. We did enjoy seeing some wineries on the Mosel beforehand, however.

Frankfurt -- We stayed here our last night in Germany, too. We left the hotel early to have plenty of time to get to the airport, and we needed it, because we took a wrong turn and got stuck in horrendous morning traffic.

Anyway, it sounds like a fun trip you've planned. Maybe for my next car I'll do ED. Have fun!

Andy
 

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Andy,

In Frankfurt, we are staying not too far from the Hauptbahnhof. The current plan is to drop the car off the day before, then take the train from the Frankfurt Hbf. to the airport on the day of departure.

What I am not sure about is whether to drive from Ruedesheim to the Drop Off location, then the train from the airport to Frankfurt Hbf (along with all our bags), or to to drive from Ruedesheim to the hotel in Frankfurt, check in & drop off the bags, then drive to the Drop Off location, then the train back to Frankfurt from the airport.

I quess what I'm getting at is: How bad is it driving around in downtown Frankfurt? My best quess is that the best time of day to do this (it will be a Wednesday - 16 October) is sometime in late morning/early afternoon, between the rush hours.

Any Thoughts?

Mark
 

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Mark,

We stayed at the Kaiserhof Hotel, which is near the Hauptbahnhof. We got there late at night, and I found it tough to drive around Frankfurt at that time for a few reasons. One was the difficulty of finding some of the street signs. Another was all of the one way streets in the area. Finally, the hotel didn't have its own parking, so we had to park in the street to unload our bags, then I had to park in a garage at the train station overnight. The next day we walked our bags to that parking garage (that wasn't so tough) and drove to the airport.

Now, some of those things may be mitigated by driving in the middle of the day (although the parking situation might be worse). But, if I were you, I would go from Ruedesheim to the Drop Off, then take the train from there to Frankfurt. I don't know how much of a pain it will be to have the bags on the train, but I would probably trade off walking around a little bit more with my bags vs. trying to drive and park a nice new BMW in Frankfurt.

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Clown Nose Dark (for now)

Thanks for asking, Jon.

I didn't ask...have all the faith that Cutter will take care of the rest!

Lansing
 
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