So, first off, I'm really appreciative of all the great information in this forum. I've been doing a ton of searching and reading and so far, all of my questions have been answered. Terrific knowledge base.
So I finally pulled the trigger on a 2011 335i Coupe. I bought an HPFP buyback from Donohoo in Pelham, AL. Good experience there and have had no regrets whatsoever. I got a pretty good deal (branded title considered) and with the remaining factory warranty (12/2014) and the extended warranty (72Mo/100Kmi) plus the additional BMW warranty on the HPFP, I felt any risk with ongoing issues was substantially mitigated. I do consulting work from my home office, so I dont have to do any commuting. This car is mostly for fun and weekly runs to the grocery store.
I just thought I would give a newb perspective on this fantastic vehicle.
I flew out to Birmingham to pickup the car, then got underway for a 10 hour drive home to Wilmington, NC. First impression was how absolutely stunning the Black on Black color combo is. The pictures looked great, but the pictures make the interior look alot more grey than it does in person. Kind of felt like I was borrowing Darth Vader's car. It has that slick, slightly evil look.
So I left Pelham at around 6PM and hit the highway. Next observation: there are no rattles or squeaks in this car... none. Not even going over rough roads. Some tire noise on the grooved pavement, but none of that resonant chatter that you get from glove box doors, dash panels, ashtrays, consoles, etc. that dont fit right. Great build quality.
Getting on the interstate, I put the pedal to the floor and let it do it's thing. At that point, I knew I was going to love this car. Beautiful sounds enveloped the cabin and my back was firmly pressed into the seatback through second... though third... though... holy $hit, I'm doing twice the speed limit... wow... nice brakes!
I pulled over at the next rest stop to hook up my radar detector. While I was stopped, I entered my address into the iDrive to set a course for home, then paired my phone (easy) and called my dad to gush about how awesome this car is. He couldn't even tell that I was talking to him on the car mics. Clear as day, no garbling... quality.
Grabbed a cup of coffee on my way back to the highway... so... where do I put this? This slide out cup holder thingy cannot possibly work. I'll just put it in there and be really careful. Hey... seems to be doing fine. Let's try it at full throttle... yup... it works... hmmm.
So now it is starting to get dark and the automatic headlights come on by themselves. This is not a new feature to me, but the brightness and clarity of the road ahead was fantastic. Everything looks bright and crisp... a white, purpleish kind of glow... the street signs and reflectors really pop out at you. The driver's side headlight seems to be aimed down a bit more than I'd like but not overly annoying. There are no overhead lights on I-20... hit the high beams... these things are ridonculous!
Recline the seat back a little bit, put some chill out music on the stereo... not at all bad for a stock stereo. I dont have the top of the line option, but was quite pleased with the sound quality... as good or better than the Bose system in my old Maxima.
Set the cruise control and hunkered down for some late night driving. Check the fuel gauge... can this be right? Still have over half a tank after more than 200 miles. Clicked around on the dash display button to see what my current MPG was cruising at 80MPH... 29MPG? Seriously? You mean it's economical, too???
Anyway, this car is amazing. I dont know how I've gone through life for so long without owning one. And with as much reading as I've done trying to find a car that I would love, nothing actually captured the feeling... the zen... of driving this incredible machine.
So much more to say, but I think I'll just take a drive to the beach... looking forward to contribute to the community!