Well, I got my car a week and a half ago but I spent all of last weekend with a stomach bug so I was unable to spend much time behind the wheel. No matter though, I still needed to get my CD changer installed and I was still waiting for my navigation CD. With all that taken care of this week, and with the opportunity to finally log some drive-time I am able to post a few opinions.
First, the good:
When I first drove into the dealer lot my car was sitting right out front -- all washed and ready to go. "Wow, sweet!" was the only thing I could say. Sporty from front to back with an unmistakable touch of class you can only get from a premium nameplate like BMW. I administered the first of a long series of pinches to my arm.
The power of the 3.0 engine is thoroughly exhilarating. It begs to be pushed and seems to be experiencing about as much frustration with the break-in period as I am.
I haven't really put the suspension to any significant test yet, but the car is extremely tight, but not too harsh on the road. I nice compromise between sportiness and functionality.
Everything inside the car is perfect. All the gauges, buttons and knobs are well-placed and easy to use. The power sports seats are extremely comfortable and supportive. I didn't give much weight to the steering wheel controls when I ordered the car, but it didn't take much use in the real world to make me appreciate them a lot already.
I didn't opt for the Xenon headlights, but the standards are just fine. I was amazed at the brightness of them and, for a while on the initial drive home, thought maybe the factory goofed and installed the Xenons by mistake.
I finally got the CD changer (Alpine S630 + adaptor) installed and working properly on Wednesday. Aside from the typical HK front door speaker rattle on certain songs the sound is outstanding. I read a lot of complaints about the HK system (beyond the correctable rattles) so I was worried it wouldn't hold up to my audio standards, but this is definitely an option well worth the investment.
I've been playing with the navigation a little bit for the past few days and I love it! Unlike others, I have no problems with the volume settings are anything like that. Everything is absolutely perfect so far. Some people warned that the BMW nav system was far from user friendly, but I figured most of the features out quickly without the use of the manual, and inputting addresses -- while not quite as easy as some touchscreen models -- is a pretty painless process.
One thing that started out as a negative, but has actually moved to the positive side is the clutch. It's like no other clutch I've ever driven. It has a very unique feel, and the travel is really high. However, I remedied the second problem by moving my seat back an inch, and after a week of driving it, now the clutches on my other cars feel like stiff little pieces of crap. It took me a few days, but I now fully appreciate the engineering behind the clutch.
Here are some negative comments:
Like everyone else, I'm being victimized by two common BMW problems. :tsk: The rattling in the front door speaker panels is irritating as hell and must be fixed immediately. Once I get them fixed I'll probably be able to push the system a little further which will probably just uncover more rattles. This is obviously an epidemic, so why doesn't BMW fix this problem at the factory??? Damn cheapskates.
The other problem is the breakdust. Ick! I thought most of the people saying the wheels needed to be cleaned once a week were just clean-freaks, but it's obvious that the wheels will definitely need to be cleaned with that kind of frequency -- at least. After only 250 miles my wheels were caked with brake dust. Absolutely caked! And I haven't been doing any hard driving whatsoever. Compounding the problem is the difficulty in getting them clean. I thought I'd just be able to spray the dust off with a high powered stream of water, but it took some real rubbing to get it all off. Very annoying.
Aside from that, most of my complaints are minor quibbles. The cupholders are in a horrible spot for a 5-speed. It's a constant challenge not to knock over the drink with a forearm. I'm not real wild about the seatbelt setup. The "seat tilt forward" mechanism doesn't do a very good job of keeping the seatbelt up front, so you're constantly reaching to the backseat area to find the seat belt. Furthermore, the titanium trim is right where the metal part of the seatbelt can hit it everytime you take it off. I'm carefull, but I worry that the passenger side trim is going to get scratched all to hell. Is this something I need to worry about? :dunno:
I think that about covers my first impressions of the car. I'm about as happy as I can be with it so far. It's nice to have a car so nice that people actually ask you about it. I haven't had a car like that since my old '64 1/2 Mustang back in high school. (same exact color, by coincidence). I think my neighbors have concluded my wife and I are crack dealers or something. :lmao: One of them came over while I was washing the car today and he was an unmistakable shade of "envy green". I love it.
You can see more photos here