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As alee posted, there were a few Festers that were lucky enough to attend the gala event on Wednesday night at the Javits Center. I have a ton of pictures too, that I'll add to that thread. I just wanted to start a new one for the purpose of letting you know what I saw and was able to feel.

There was a premium packaged, step, 325i (bread and butter car), and a sport premium 330i at the show. The 325i was artic, which looked like a cross between fern green, and gray-green. I didn't see that many blue hues under the Javit's lighting.

First, no pictures I have seen do the car justice. Pete Teoh's, alee's, (older pics) Alex Baumann, and my pictures are far better than I've seen so far, but even they fall short. The exterior car is really nice looking, especially with the 330i ZSP. The car is immediately recognizable as a BMW, and more importantly, a 3 series. It just plain looks like the next incarnation of the e46, given BMW's styling departures. The lines that look really flame surfaced in some pictures, are not that way in person.

The wheels look great, albeit heavy. I did check to see that the back side of those big blocky spokes were hollow, and they are. That may mean a PITA to clean, but it makes them a lot lighter than they appear, I'd assume. The tires on the 330i were Bridgestones. So, I know they weren't PS2's, as mentioned in other threads. I have pics of them at home, where I can make out the detail of the model of tire. I'll post later.

The front fascia looks not that bad at all, and the cut lines kind of make sense, in person. They do need to take into account world license plate sizes, and the front accommodates it well. I wonder about the little bubble like covers for the fog lights. They don't look that sturdy or ding resistant.

The tail lights still take some getting used to, but the view from the side is SAAHWWEEET! To be honest, the C-pillar cut line didn't even draw attention, and I didn't think about it until after I left the cars that I should have taken notice to it.

The interior plastic materials seem to be of a better quality than the e46, and the leather feels nicer.. almost nappa nice. The driving position seems to be very close to the same feel, and I closed my eyes to see if there was any visceral "I'm not in may car" feelings, and there were none. However, neither car had the nav/iDrive display, possibly on purpose, and I am not a fan of the slab dash direction they've taken. Controls are still very easily reachable by the taller driver (I'm 6'2"), but they are nearly as accessible to the passenger, who I think has no business futzing with my settings. The view from inside appeared to be on par with the e46, visibility-wise, and I did not notice and bad blind spots.

The switch under the armrest, in the console, does turn on and off a gate that cools the area. It just feels like it just opened/closed a gate, and didn't feel like an electrical type of switch.

I can't comment on the drive until Monday, when I go to the 3 across America...

So, in summary, I think that it is a nicely done next-gen 3 series. The interior of the 3 with nav (in pics) looks nearly identical to the e60 dash, which looks better to me than the non-nav e90, and I'm glad I ordered my configuration with the nav, solely on appearance. I was pretty mesmerized when I first started studying the exterior of the 330i sport. It was that good looking to me. I would take it over the e46 design in a second, exterior-wise, but the e46 interior is more nicely laid out, but the e46 has slightly less quality materials all around.
 

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LarryN said:
The interior plastic materials seem to be of a better quality than the e46, and the leather feels nicer.. almost nappa nice.
...
but the e46 has slightly less quality materials all around.
Wow, surprising. I would have anticipated just the opposite.
 

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LarryN said:
I am not a fan of the slab dash direction they've taken.
IMHO, simpler is better. I hate the Tokyo by night effects. Looking foward to Monday. :)
 

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ObD said:
IMHO, simpler is better. I hate the Tokyo by night effects. Looking foward to Monday. :)
Is that your way of saying you like the E90 interior better than the E46 interior? :dunno:

(If so, I wholeheartedly disagree)
 

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Plaz said:
Is that your way of saying you like the E90 interior better than the E46 interior? :dunno:

(If so, I wholeheartedly disagree)
The E46 dash curves remind me of the previous generation Mustang. :stickpoke The tilt/telescope lever and that lower area around the steering column I've always felt was cheesy.

The E46 layout I like and LarryN says the E90 layout isn't much different as far as reach.

Some of the OBC functions have moved to the radio face plate in the E90 so there may be some useful nuggets of guage info there.

I'll see it live for the first time on Monday, but from the pix, me likey. :D
 

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Donnalee said:
Would like a definate answer, since we know the Croatia car definately has Michelin PS2 and BMW always has 2 tyres available
Until people start taking delivery, you're not likely to get a definitive answer. In the meantime, Larry indicated the NYC car has Bridgestones and we know the E90 is equipped only with runflats, so that doesn't leave too many tire choices from Bridgestone (like it leaves one choice as far as I can determine).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cliff3 said:
Until people start taking delivery, you're not likely to get a definitive answer. In the meantime, Larry indicated the NYC car has Bridgestones and we know the E90 is equipped only with runflats, so that doesn't leave too many tire choices from Bridgestone (like it leaves one choice as far as I can determine).
It did have Bridgestones. I think they were the RE runflats, as Cliff said. I have my pics at home though, so I can't look at them here. I'll post them tonight. :thumbup:
 

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sunilsf said:
same here-- this is the first comment I've heard like this... almost all have been to the contrary.
I can also say that I had the same feeling about the E61 vs E39.

The interior, vs the E39, is completely different, but I will admit that I like it (E61).

The sound of closing the driver's door (on the E61) is amazing.

Solid.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ObD said:
The E46 dash curves remind me of the previous generation Mustang. :stickpoke The tilt/telescope lever and that lower area around the steering column I've always felt was cheesy.

The E46 layout I like and LarryN says the E90 layout isn't much different as far as reach.

Some of the OBC functions have moved to the radio face plate in the E90 so there may be some useful nuggets of guage info there.

I'll see it live for the first time on Monday, but from the pix, me likey. :D
The Tilt/Telescope function is the same on the new steering column. I didnt get a chance to grab the 330's steering wheel, but it's nicely chunkier, like the M3 wheel is, but lacks the thumb holds. Also, the show girl moved the electric back/side bolsters for me (wouldn't let people in the 330), and they operate just like the e46 M3's.

As far as the leather goes, it's a bit more grainy, not to the extent of the some Z3/Z4's that I've seen - with the basketball-like grain -, but it feels a bit thicker and softer.
 
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