BMW 3 series quick drive
A little while ago, I was invited by BMW to spend the day driving a few of their cars.
I was really curious about the 3 series.
I had not driven one yet. And here in L.A, these cars are everywhere.
I must say, I find them really, really boring.
But I was really curious about how good they are to drive. “The ultimate driving machine” right?
The one I drove was pretty loaded. A 340 model with a 3.0 Liter 6 cylinder Turbo.
And, as far as I could tell, lots of options. Including a “power kit performance exhaust”
The final price was well above $60 000 . (It stars at around $47 000)
Which is a lot of money for a car the size of Honda Civic.
The interior is fine. If looking a bit confused, and busy.
Everything feels solid. Well put together. But that’s the feeling you get in most cars these days.
Inside, it’s really not better than cars costing less than half.
The back seat isn’t great. but that goes for most other models in its class.
The BMW automatic shifter is a bit fusing at first.
And it actually never feels great. More like a video game joystick.
Not really the stuff that should be part of “the ultimate driving machine”.
As far as the drive is concerned, I was surprised how light the steering was.
I really was expecting something a bit firmer.
The ride is very smooth and solid.
The exhaust kit does sound great. but again, not that sporty. Just very refined.
But there is quite a bit of turbo lag. And that is pretty annoying. All the time.
You pretty much have to push your foot down, a lot, to get a sudden rush of power.
For that price, the lag shouldn’t be that noticeable .
The overall feel of the car is more “luxury” than “sport”.
The exhaust kit is actually very quiet. The steering is very light and the ride smooth.
I did play with settings a bit. But it didn’t change things much.
So this is more like a $60 000 Compact luxury car.
One that you see everywhere… So this isn’t exclusive at all.
The 3 series does start at “just” $34 000 for the 320. (or $359 a month lease)
But that’s with a 180HP 2.0 Liter engine. So we are talking about Jetta specs here (The 2018 is getting the new 2.0 Liter with 184HP)
And zero option. No sunroof, leather etc…
(The 340 sedan lease starts at over $500 a month!)
I actually don’t get it. I know that BMW badge means so much to a lot of people. So I guess that’s what they are paying for.
The 340 is a very nice drive, but so many other cars are about as nice. Many look better, are more reliable, roomier.
And most cost less. A lot less.