Monday, July 13, 2015

2014 BMW 328i - 10000 Mile Review

2014 BMW 328i - 10000 Mile Review

My current BMW, Elle, finally rolled over the 10,000 mile mark. Lessons from previous reviews remain (mostly) intact. I had the chance to drive a couple other cars - an older Pontiac G6 and  and new Jetta SE, while on vacation. This helped sharpen my opinion. 

First, the other cars: The G6 was one of the last, best Pontiacs. The seats were firm and deeply bolstered. The G6 has a smooth, strong engine, efficient transmission, and sporty suspension. On the curvy roads in PA it was a pretty good ride. 

The second car was a Jetta SE. The VW driving experience was tight, but the small engine always seemed to be hunting for the correct gear. On the freeways of PA, NJ, NY and MA the Jetta was much quieter than the Pontiac, and the VW handled the expansion seems much better. The Pontiac delivered a strong report at each seam. As a long-time VW driver I know that I have my bias, so add a grain of salt to my preference for the VW.

As an aside: Texas toll roads make sense - fully automated, wide-open, 80 MPH limits. Toll roads back east are crowded, poorly maintained, and have people in booths to collect $1.70 tolls(?). Advantage - Texas.  

Alex - my first BMW. 

The Good

The first 10,000 miles were totally uneventful. Elle notified me when her oil needed to be changed (about 8500 miles). Acceleration is still great, gas mileage is still great, and overall ride is still smooth and luxurious. Sport mode is fun. In fact, BMW should only ship cars with Sport Mode. 

2014 BMW 328i - previous posts: 

The Bad

Two features just need to be dropped from future versions. ECO mode isn't worth the savings. In one of my previous posts I called it "Corolla-esque", which might be disparaging to the Toyota. Much like the Jetta, ECO mode forces low RPM and a lot of shifting in heavy traffic. The second feature that should be dropped in the rotation of the passenger side mirror when backing up. It seems logical to want to see the curb, but most of my backing is not into curbside spaces.

When the seats are compared to the Pontiac and VW the BMW seats seem a bit flat and un-supportive. The seats in the 2011 328i were better. 

The Ugly

While Elle gets a clean review, Austin BMW does not. A basic oil change led to preemptive windshield wiper replacement ($100+). And the only part that I actually requested, the small circular sticker that holds the floor mat in place, is still outstanding -- 2 months later. 

Redmond BMW has their stuff together, Austin BMW still needs work. 

Bottom Line

Elle is a nice car. But I miss Alex. 

I'm not even a full year into the lease and I'm lusting after the new 340ix.