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Today makes it one year (and 18,855 miles!) since I picked up my 2001 Topaz Blue BMW 330Ci in Heidelberg, Germany. I am in the Air Force, stationed here in Germany, so all these miles have been on the autobahns and/or German country roads. What a treat!

The BMW, although not my first new car, is my first new NICE car. I came out of a 1991 Toyota MR2, which is a marvelous little car in itself. I didn't order the BMW. In fact, I test drove a manual 325 and an automatic 330Xi and had decided that the 325 was sufficient (heck, its 184 horses were a LOT more than my Toy's 130-ish!). I went in to place the order and the first thing the salesman asked me was "what do you think about options?" Well, I had decided to get everything the 325 came with except the navigation system. After I told him that, he showed me the sales sheet for this 330 that was a 2001 model, fully loaded, that the buyers had passed on (they had decided to get a 5-series instead). Then, he told me they were knocking $3000 off the price as it was a 2001 and the 2002s were being sold/delivered. So, for the same price (ish) that I would have gotten the 325, I got the 330. Oh, and the navigation system has been a lifesaver for an American trying to wander around this German countryside!

First week - hated the car and was furious with myself for buying it (the Toy was paid off - and I truly loved the MR2). The BMW (comparatively-speaking) was way too big and I was scared to death to be driving around in such an expensive new car. Plus, cannot remember how many times I stalled it as I tried to learn how the BMW clutch worked Very embarrassing - stalling when I go to leave the gate to the air base (among other places). Could just read the security policeman's mind, "Stooopid woman driver." And I have been driving manual transmission cars for over 20 years! But, I finally got over my fear of the car and learned to drive it.

And what a pleasure it has been to drive! I won't go into details - y'all know what it is like. Just a few thoughts: I still love the sound the engine/exhaust makes when I step on the gas. This car has phenomenal reserve power! And the little conveniences BMW has built into the car, such as the center console lights, the control knobs on the steering wheel, one-touch up/down windows. One feature that truly impressed me is that the button to open the trunk (in the foot well area) also lights up when the lights are on. And the smell of the leather keeps getting better - even after a year. Oh, but the best option? Heated seats!! Especially now as this morning the temperature was 36 degrees (yes, it beeped at me). The seats warm up faster than the car heater and that is a marvelous thing at 4:30 in the [cold] morning!

The wee beastie and I have racked up the miles in the year that I have owned it. Thanks to the navigation system, I have successfully completed several trips to Heidelberg, Frankfurt, Neuschwanstein and Paris (now THERE is a story all in itself!). As of October 1, I also have a 50-mile daily commute to work. Which doesn't bother me. I still enjoy driving this car and cruising along the autobahn at 100+ mph for my commute is not a bad thing. Man, I am going to miss this country!

Mechanically, the car has been a dream. The shift knob broke (the plastic retaining washer inside the knob had snapped a few "teeth" on a [relatively] hard shift - guess I don't know my own strength!). But, easily replaced by the dealership. Then, about 2000 miles ago, I started seeing the coolant light (also there was a lot of what appeared to be coolant over spray in the engine bay). Car never overheated (I kept adding coolant until I could get to the dealer) but the dealer ended up replacing the water pump and the thermostat. I had to wait 10 days for the appointment - but the car was back the same day. No cost to me - was under warranty.

Other than those two incidents, I have had no problems with the car. My Harman Kardon sound system has no rattles. In fact, nothing rattles (that I notice - when on smooth roads), and everything works just fine (knock on wood). The past year has flown by (for various reasons), but I continue to enjoy the prospect of driving my car every time I get into it.

I have been spoiled. Although my plans are to keep this car well past its "paid for" date, I am afraid my next purchase will be another BMW. This is indeed "the ultimate" and although I don't drive it anywhere near its maximum capabilities - it continues to impress me every day. The most depressing thought is that soon I have to leave the land of the autobahn. Sigh....

Thanks for reading my ramblings and for participating in this forum. I am a regular reader [lurker] and I have learned a lot about the BMW marquee in this past year, mostly because of you folk here at bimmerfest. I knew nothing about this car until the day I bought it. Thanks to y'all, I know a heck of a lot more (almost enough to be dangerous!). I appreciate the opportunity to "brag" on my past year's experiences. Here's hoping for another great year with the ultimate driving machine. Enjoy your driving and "keep the shiny side up."

Marilyn
 

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Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm. Nice read. :thumbup:
 

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Great post . . . enjoyed it and glad to hear your so happy with your 330Ci . . . I had a 91 MR2 also and it was a blast to drive !!
 

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Great post, I feel kind of that way about my car too, have for all three in fact.

I really miss the European roads, not so much for the roads themselves, but for driving behaviour.

You should see the morons here :banghead:
 
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