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Cons: Cramped rear seat
Advice: Get one now while they lastThe BMW 330I fits like a fine glove. The optional sport package provides supportive seats, high performance tires and distinctive styling clues. The ride is quiet, well controlled although a bit firm and the handling is worthy of some sports cars costing much more. Road imperfections are swallowed with little fuss and the driver is always in tune with the machine. If a luxury soft ride is your goal, look elsewhere, but for a pure driving experience, the BMW is at the top of its class. Seats are supportive and adjustable for nearly any body shape. Outside mirrors are set with the seat memory feature for up to three drivers. Controls are laid out logically and are easy to use. The steering wheel incorporates buttons for audio, cruise control and telephone. Back seats are suitable for two adults, three in a pinch, but are short in leg room. The trunk is somewhat narrow but of decent length. Golf clubs DO fit! Load carrying is not a forte of this car. Materials in the cabin are of the highest quality and blend superior comfort with the driving experience. The Harmon Kardon audio system provides clear and natural sound. Unfortunately, the in dash changer only accepts one CD at a time. But the good news is that there is an optional six disc changer that fits in the trunk and is controlled by the radio/CD display. Bi-zenon headlights (optional) make night driving an enlightening experience. Our 2005 BMW 330I came with the optional sport package, premium package and cold weather package. The latter features folding 30/70 rear seat backs which dramatically increase utility. Also included are the cushy front seat cushion/backrest heaters that come in mighty handy on a crisp winter morning. Fit and finish measure up to the Teutonic standard. For a blend of sedan practicallity and sport performance look no further than the 3 series. A four year, 50,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty plus free four year scheduled maintenance sweetens the pot. Since the 3 series is being updated in 2006, we received a wonderful break in pricing. BMW is currently offering its US dealers a $3800 incentive to clear the 2005 inventory. Most dealers will pass this incentive on to their customers. We drove and tested many fine competitors to the 330I but always came back to the Bimmer. For a blend of most that's good and pure fun you can't beat the BMW 3 series.
Advice: good value/performanceThis car replaced a Mercedes E320. The BMW has been much more fun to drive with a muscular feel to it. IT has proven reliable and all maintenance covered under my 3 year lease. My only quibbles revolve around the looks (I think the Mercedes is more elegant looking). The dash is rather bland and the center console provides little storage space.
Pros: The exhilerating way it takes curvey roads
Cons: Limited seat-tilt controls
Advice: Buy this car if you like hugging the road at fast speedsI soured on this otherwise wonderful car early on for 2 reasons: seat comfort and the AC system (can't get fresh air, have to run AC all the time or the windows fog up). Now that my lease is up and I'm shopping for a new car, I'm starting to put things in a different perspective. You name it, I've tested it - TL, TSX, G35, ES330, C320 4Matic (I LOVE this car with the stunningly bad reliability ratings!), Camry XLE, Passat, and Subaru. My conclusion - nothing drives like like the BMW. I know I'm not a very good driver, but this car makes me feel like I am! I've had 3 years with no serious problems like some of these other cars - transmission, engine, electrical, etc. And all my routine maintenance has been free, except a replacement tire. Of course they couldn't fix the AC problem, but at least the 2005 3-series now has improved seat comfort. Very little else has changed from 2002 - 05 that I can see. Wish they'd get rid of the orange lighted control panel. I'll probably end up buying the '05, unless I can rationalize going with the impractical MB C320....
Pros: Handling, Tiptronic
Cons: A little more thigh support in front seats, please, and more room for CDs.
Advice: Haul your butt down to your BMW dealer before the new 4-series comes out in 2005. This car is a classic.OK, this Bimmer doesn't have much room in the back seat, nor an oversized trunk. If that's what you're looking for, another car starting with the letter 'B' (and I don't mean Bentley) is just the vehicle for you. If, however, you value pinpoint handling, more than ample (but not excessive) power, and terrific highway gas mileage, the 330 Coupe is just your Stein of Bier. Mine has automatic, and the shifts, in auto or manual mode, are as smooth as Schwarzewalder Kirschtorte. Ride with the standard 17' wheels (much better-lookng than last year's)is firm, but very comfortable. Unlike the Bangle-ized Bimmers with their big butts, this car is beautiful, especially in Mystic Blue. No reliability problems whatsover after 5,300 miles.
Pros: Handles like a go kart- razor sharp
Cons: Bugs me that a $41,000 vehicle with upgraded stereo is only average sounding.
Advice: Remember they spent the engineering money on the driving experience- not many bells and whistles compared to competitorsOne thing about the 3 series is that there is literally a model for every taste and budget. I bought a 330i with the Performance Pakcage (ZHP) I saved money- a 6 speed and no sun roof. The Hype is true- this car handles and drives like no other car. The combination of small-ish size, rear drive, 50-50 weight and a very good suspension, gives a firm ride that wont bounce you all over the place. But its not for everyone- small back seat, if that matters to you. And dont be fooled by only 235 hp- this car is fast. But it is VERY comfortable, great gas mileage, better resale value than all others in its class. More expensive but worth the money. Also great warranty and is not the wind tunnel 'flavor of the day styling'- will look good for a LONG time. These are almost 'retro'- grab one while you can- they will be updated in '06
Cons: blind spots
Advice: keep emotion out of it.This car exceeds my expectations. Handling and breaking are the best.
Pros: Best torque of any sports sedan.
Cons: Can be pricey.
Advice: Do your homework. Test drive other makes/models and then drive this car last. It will blow you away.This car is awesome. Been driving a sports car for ten years and never thought a sporty sedan would satisfy my 'need for speed.' This car has it all!