BMW 328i - 12,000 Miles of Very Nice
Elle is 14 months old and has clocked in a bit over 12,000 miles. No, fuss, no muss, all very nice. In fact, a bit too nice. Texas roads tend to be wide, flat, fast with long, slow-sweeping curves. Mustangs, Chargers, Challengers, Corvettes, Camaros... they are all over the place. Texas roads are just fine for American muscle cars. Elle finds these roads boring.
Trading down from the inline 6 to the 2.0l proved to be a very reasonable trade. The new engine spins a lot more, but with the transmission in Sport mode it moves along just fine. With the addition of Auto Stop/Start the gas mileage is 5 MPG better than my older 328ix. I give the improvement almost entirely to AS/S. I've never been able to accumulate significant savings under ECO-Mode. Where my normal commute is about 20 minutes, it can stretch to 30 depending on stop lights. AS/S means I'm not burning fuel during most of that 10 minute pause.
- Eco-Pro Mode seems to be ineffective. With the exception of releasing the transmission to allow "coasting" this feature seems weak.
- AS/S yes, it provides fuel efficiency, but rough restarts and engine turn-offs while waiting for let turns are still annoying. Parking in the garage has proved exciting on several occasions when the engine restarted... BMW provides more than a few ways to defeat this feature, but some logic tied to engaging hand-brake when at a full stop wold be nice.
- The phone book and contacts feature forced me to reconsider and change my telephone usage. The trade-off of Stereo pre-sets for telephone numbers is merely OK. See the links above for longer discussion.
- There is not enough open road in the entire state of Texas. And, I don't have enough money to pay for any exercise of speed that would equate to "fun".
- I didn't get the xDrive. Totally blew it. Unlike Alex, Elle is willing to slide around under hard acceleration, especially in right turns - going uphill. In Texas we might go weeks between rain. Then we get inches of rain and the street become very slick. xDrive is the answer - probably my biggest disappointment.
- The engine Double-Tap to turn off - hate it.
Eagerly waiting for June 2017 to take European delivery of an M2 with xDrive. I want smaller, faster and more fun... will all four wheels on the ground.