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      01-21-2011, 01:36 PM   #1420
New Member

Drives: 335i convertible
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Hampshire UK

iTrader: (0)

BMW Virgin

Hello all this is my first post so please be gentle with me.

In the past I have owned Mercs (E class estate) and Audis (A6 Quattro) amongst others but when the kids left home I got rid of the big car and bought a Boxster S (mid life crisis and all that bollocks). I have owned this for a number of years and the delight of driving it on a sunny day on a country lane has never worn off but for long distances on the motorway it not ideal. I toyed with the idea of getting a Mondeo or similar and keeping the Boxo but 3 cars (wife has shopping car) for 2 people seemed too much.

Then I saw a 2010 335 convertible, sold the Porsche and bought it. This is my first BMW and my story so far (I have had the car 3 weeks).

Comparing it with the Boxster is a bit silly as they are very different cars. The Boxster cannot be faulted for sticking to the road; in the dry I would chicken out before the car would show any distress at going around roundabouts at speed. The car’s capability was way beyond my own but I found that you didn't have to go fast to enjoy the handling; there is always some plonker in a 1 litre diesel white van who can and will go faster but come to a roundabout and he is dust. It was also surprisingly good for luggage space with the 2 boots. Downsides were expensive to service and boring on a motorway.

So to the BMW. Well the engine and and gearbox (it has the DCT) are amazing, very quiet and refined so much so that one can easily get illegal. Handling is not as direct and immediate as the Porcshe and (so far) does not bring as bigger smile to the phizzog when going around corners.

I did have concerns about the ride with the run flats but it is OK. The car I have is an SE spec but it has many sport options added so I am not really sure about the suspension. As I am getting old the ride/handling compromise is ok for me. The Passenger has not moaned and she is not backward in commenting on ride quality.

So drives ok, refined for long journeys, nice place to sit etc etc. What are the downsides? MPG not brilliant; I am getting 20 (from the display) but I have been using the engine a bit; I am not too concerned as you do not buy a car like this if you expect fuel economy. The headlight washer covers fell off on first use. Common problem I hear; and BMW are to replace them under warranty. Clunky satnav input although mitigated somewhat by being able send the google map coordinates to the car from a phone or pc. But the biggest disappointment was the mediocre audio (the car had the base system). I have read about the Alpine upgrade kit but the dealer quoted almost £600 for it + fitting; to be fair to them they said that a local car audio specialist that they use would do a better job. So had the following done; speakers replaced with Hertz units + tweeter added (the speakers in the back left alone), plus a Hertz 2 channel amp with a doberry between the head unit and the amp. Got car back yesterday and it was what I wanted, sounds great, seamlessly integrated with all the bings bongs and radio working ok and no one would know it was there;. Fitting bloke said I need to run in the speakers a bit and it would get even better; he knew what he was doing and said he would always get a base system because you can get better sound for less money. (but he would say that wouldn’t he).

I have enjoyed reading the forum and I thought I would put something back with this post. So far so good and do not regret anything.

Still miss the boxo a bit though.