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Registered Drooler
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finally took the plunge today and went over to BMW of Sterling for a test drive, the next step along my road to purchase. I wanted to test a manual 330i with sport. All they had in 330i was automatic and no sport. Of course. The rep kept saying they had plenty of E46s available to test ;) I was bummed I didn't get to drive either the manual or the sport, but I wanted to just drive the car to see what it felt like. I drove a couple of manual E46s about a year and a half ago and it didn't feel like the "ultimate driving experience" though it was fun. So I didn't know what to expect, especially after reading here for the last year.

I drove it up and down rt 28 as well as some twisty, unoccupied back roads between Waxpool and Old Ox. Some highway speed, some twisties, some traffic, some the only car on the road. I drove it like I stole it, I think my gf had white knuckles. The sales rep didn't come with me so I didn't have someone pointing out stupid features every 15 seconds. Overall I drove the car for about a half hour.

Things I noticed:

- I thought i would hate the turn signals, but I love them. Sure, I was still fumbling with them by the end of the test drive, but it's a really cool idea. I now wish my Celica had them.
- This thing just goes. Always enough power, wonderful torque at the low end (something totally missing from my celica). I could feel myself sinking back into the seats with the acceleration. I was at 60 before I could say "holy sweet jesus!"
- Even with non-sport seats, I felt held in place.
- I kept wondering where the rails on the road were. I couldn't see them, but they had to be there. They just had to be.
- I looked down and I was going 65 on a 2lane twisty road. Whoops. I didn't even care, I felt totally in control.
- The brakes stop on a dime. Wow.
- I love the engine note when accelerating from a stop, and when you press the start button. Very sweet.
- I could tell why this is the ultimate driving machine from the first minute I sat in it. It exudes "get out of my way, I need to drive!"
- The car was deep green, and I never knew it until it was in the sunlight. Under the awning of the dealership it looked black. It's only visible as green in total direct sunlight, which is unfortunate.
- Cupholders are hecka cool (the way they slide out) and don't feel half as flimsy as everyone reports, though I don't doubt for a second that they are.
- The controls on the driver door are way, way, way too far forward. Way.

I'm planning on getting navi but this car didn't have it. I had the dealer fire up a 6series in the showroom that had it so i could play. I like the force-feedback, but as I was navigating around (such as the FM tuner screen), it would only respond if I really spun the wheel hard. Just turning the wheel one "click" at a time didn't move the needle at all. Very weird, is this normal?

So as you can tell, I'm in love. I can't wait to put in an order when I get back from california in a couple of weeks. I guess my only regret is that I waited so long...

-Mike
 

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E90 330i is a fantastic car and better than previous gen IMO. Although I ended up getting an E60 525i (E90 was a bit too small for me) I still crave for sporty demeanor of 330i.
E90 has it all. Go for it, you will have many days of driving enjoyment ahead.
Just one note: if you want an even better handling and don’t mind firmer ride go for sport package. While the ride comfort is not sacrificed too much this package will add a lot of ‘adrenaline’ to day-to-day driving. :thumbup:
 

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Registered Drooler
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Discussion Starter #3
I plan on getting ZSP, I was bummed the dealer didn't have any on the lot. That wasn't going to stop me from taking a test drive, though.

-Mike
 

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As for the iDrive controller comment, no, this is not normal. Every time you feel a notch, you are scrolling to the next item in a menu, there is no wait there.
 

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i couldn't agree with you more mike, i have a manual non sp and it handles beautifully, the ride borders on firm, but acceptable, no one needs more limit on the street.
 

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Yoyo Mama
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mikepinkerton said:
Finally took the plunge today and went over to BMW of Sterling for a test drive, the next step along my road to purchase.
First - congrats - I don't have my e90 yet - still waiting but your 1st impressions were dead on!

BMW Sterling is ok but some of their fees are high - I shopped around there. You'll get a better deal at the MD dealerships (Passport, VOB) so make sure you shop around before signing.
 
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