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I know this might be less useful given that the new 2015 is here, but it still may be an interesting read to those making the move from the original F25 to a newer version. I've seen the new 2015, and maybe we could have found a way to hold onto the lease return a little longer, but we got a really great deal on a 2014 and when I was reading about the updated changes they didn't appear to be all that significant.

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So this week we turned in our loyal and problem-free since delivery 2011 X3. In return, we were presented with a brand spanking new custom-ordered 2014 X335i. Big differences with the car's specifications are the option choices. New one has M Sport Package, DHP, and pretty much every other option available. The 2011 had Tech and Cold Weather Packages, not much more.

So first off, you notice the difference right away. The 2014 M Package exterior gives the X3 a more sporty and aggressive/angry look. The M exterior also provides full colored body moldings, which I think look a bit sleeker. And by the way I don't think the 2011 looked bad.

Secondly: SEATS. Yes, I yelled that. I yelled it because I absolutely despised the non-sport seats in our 2011 (sport seats were only available in the "sports package" at the time, which we did not get - mainly because we were coming from a 2008 X3 with sports package and the suspension was horribly sensitive). Anyway, my distaste toward the non-sport seats had been seriously exacerbated on a trip to Italy where I drove around the country for a week plus in a 5-series that had them. And those guys destroyed my back. I'm 5'9" about 150lbs and I just slide right out of them. Imagine driving around Lake Como constantly trying to keep yourself pinned in a seat by pinning yourself in via left foot on the dead petal. For hours. LAME.

Third: iDrive. Obviously a much-needed upgraded processor is at the heart of the speed increase. It's zippy. iDrive is still pretty much annoyingly and really poor UX design, but they have made small interface adjustments that do make it a little more user-friendly. Tiny example: adjusting the volume knob brings up a virtual meter on the NAV screen so you know how much (before I felt like I was just turning and turning the little knob with no idea what was happening). M Sport and DHP add some features to iDrive, including drive settings and some neat sport displays (HP and Torque). Beyond speed, not sure what else has changed, if anything.

Fourth, and the big one, is the actual drive: I've driven mainly in Sport mode for the last two days. The car feels complete different than in comfort mode. Tighter, smaller, more nimble. Additionally, I would have thought the ride would have been harsher in sport mode of the DHP vs the 2011 stock suspension, but it feels not only smoother but absorbs the roads of LA much better. In fact, it handles more like a car. I really like the sports transmission and how it's holding gears properly. Comfort mode, on the other hand, feels like the outgoing 2011 model. A little sloppy. Much less precise. (Sorry for this) Less BMW-like.

Now I did notice that I was unable to import my old 2011 profiles, but I suspect it is because the new one isn't re-coded yet and wouldn't know what to do with some of the profile settings. I'll report back after it's probably setup.

More to follow.

Rob
 
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