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2009 BMW 3-Series

1235713

Comments

  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    BMW's auto windshield wiper is neat, but should you turn it on in normal mode (non auto sensing), it's a non trivial experience turning the darn thing off.

    You might find it a non-trivial experience, I didn't. A quick flick of the stalk does it.

    After 3 years with BMW's fancy turn signal invention (started in 06 models), I still fall victim to an induced back and forth left/right juggling of the lights. It's very embarressing since people behind you can see the lights. Still I like the idea but they've got to improve the interface.

    Took me two turns to get used to.

    With my 06 330, I enjoyed the compass meter embedded in the mirror. I also enjoyed the electronic folding mirror. This time however, with my new 335i :blush: , I've opted to live without these items that come with the $2000! Premium package. Walmart sells a $15 electronic compass that mounts smartly on your mirror. Life isn't so bad without the folding mirrors..and BMW's black leatherete is quite a good, if not superior, substitute for its leather seating.

    The leatherette is in no way superior to the leather. The leather has a feel, touch and smell the 'ette' can't come close to.

    Unfortunately,... I found BMW's navigation / iDrive interface too cumbersome and most importantly, too intrussive to the driving experience.

    I was able to grasp the most important functions, while driving the car. It wasn't rocket science. What was really bothering me, is that it took me a while to figure out how to turn off the seat heater from idrive, even though the heat icon was clearly visible to me. :blush.

    The thing doesn't shut up. The screen is always on..even when blank, it dominates the cabin. Such devices should hide themselves away or be way in the background IMO

    I can't remember which model, (135, 335, 550, X5, X6, 535, 650 or 750, missed the M3 and Alpina), did what. But I seem to remember BMW is not the only manufacturer to provide a 24X7 nav screen. But I really liked idrive with nav, I paired my BT phone to the unit while driving without a problem.

    I like the clean upfettered look of the BMW dash, it was a smart move to stick all this stuff into i-drive.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    Unfortunately,... I found BMW's navigation / iDrive interface too cumbersome and most importantly, too intrussive to the driving experience. The thing doesn't shut up. The screen is always on..even when blank, it dominates the cabin. Such devices should hide themselves away or be way in the background IMO. That's why I feel a portable Navigation device like a Garmin would be more effective, much cheaper, and less distracting from the experience (you can turn it off and tuck it away). BMW has a long way to go to convince otherwise.



    In contrast, I like the screen to be on all the time. You can change it from showing the nav.map, to the sound system info., to traffic info., etc. If I didn't like it I wouldn't have gotten it. iDrive keeps getting better with each iteration update.
  • You're right iDrive has gotten "better"....well, less worse at any rate. :P Maybe someday I'll even grow to like it.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,251
    Maybe someday I'll even grow to like it.

    Only if you could yell at it and it would listen! :cry:

    Regards,
    OW
  • That and a dip stick.
  • imaroun, the atlanta dealers said all the leatherette models that were available were sport suspensions. Just the luck of the draw. With the rft's I dont want the spt. suspension. It is harsh and noisy enough, then add the dumbass rft's it gets too much. Did you find a leatherette with normal suspension? Maybe the overall answer to the harsh and noisy rft's is to get a normal suspension. If enough people do that maybe they will drop the rft's.I personally like a stripped car with the biggest engine. Its lighter. I dont need a computer on wheels.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    "Maybe the overall answer to the harsh and noisy rft's is to get a normal suspension."

    Don't chop off your arm because you cut your finger. Just buy a set of proper tires.
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    hello rchardqa,

    actually, I've never considered a 3 series without sports package for the following reasons:

    1.) never test driven a non-sports package car to compare them back to back.. I guess I'm inherently wired to get that option.
    2.) i remember a couple reviews commenting on how the sports package is definately worth it.
    3.) I find the ride quality quite tame.. very comfortable for me.
    4.) 2008 rims that come with sports package are nicer than non sports package rims
    5.) run flats saved my rear a couple times... I was able to basically continue driving for a couple days after getting a flat.
    6.) the 3 series is famous for its superb handling. One of the main reasons why I buy these cars is for experiencing the joy of how they can take you around a curves with confidence and balance. Also, the benifit of experiencing the road without it being over-bearing. I honestly think the sports package, which comes with an optimized suspenssion along with the rfts, is something important to invest in. But having never compared a non-sports to a sports packaged car.. I can say for sure that there is a significant difference.

    I'd like to also re-state that, IMO, the leatherete is just as good, if not superior to leather based upon fit and finish and especially durability! My 330's leather driver's seat got worn out near after a year and half and looked terrible after 3 years.

    I wish you good luck getting an 08 to your exact specification. You'll save at least 3k getting an 08 as apposed to an 09.

    Good Luck,

    Joseph
    San Diego
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    My 330s leather seats looked like new after years of use. The leather thankfully was not soft, supple and prone to tearing and age as it is on other cars. Of course I used leather cleaner and treatment but I've used those products on every car with leather seats.

    While it is said the 'ette' is as good as the leather, it's a true statement only if you can''t afford the leather. The leather smells better and feels better.

    With proper care leather seats will last a long time.

    --the 335 with the sports package is an amazing car.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    My ....leather seats looked like new after years of use. The leather thankfully was not soft, supple and prone to tearing and age as it is on other cars..........While it is said the 'ette' is as good as the leather, it's a true statement only if you can''t afford the leather. The leather smells better and feels better. With proper care leather seats will last a long time.............

    My experience and opinion, as well.
  • The "problem" with leather, which is a nice thing to behold and which CAN be made to last a long time with basic care and feeding, is this----it's an organic material after all (just ask a cow) and it is vulnerable to accident, especially spills, dye from clothing, sun damage, and of course kids and pets. I had a car with black leather and that was pretty easy (I don't live in a hot climate) but a white/ light beige leather requires you to be careful with it. And you have to "feed" it and treat it like the fine thing it is.
  • jmarounjmaroun Posts: 139
    Based upon 3 years with leather and now with leatherette, I personally find the ette superior in every way.

    1.) Leatherette is Cheaper..and no that doesn't mean I can't afford it..It's just not worth the extra $1.5-$2k! to spend. Heck, my entire 8 piece Lazy Boy leather sectional couch cost that much.
    2.) Leather can be sticky were the ette seems more resistant to this.
    3.) Who likes the smell of Leather? I much prefer the nuetral (non existant) smell of leatherette.
    4.) Leatherette is more durable with less or no required maintainance.
    5.) Looks wise, the ette seems to have a sharper fit and finish and will look like new forever.
    6.) No one has ever complimented my 330's leather seats..and no one yet has noticed that my 335i has leatherette.. in other words..they're practically identical in function and form.

    Just my observations and opinions. I only wish someone could have pointed this out to me 3 years ago when I leased my 330i with ~$2k Premium package. (folding mirrors and compass aren't worth $2k either..and if you need lumbar support.. use a $3 pillow :) ).

    Joseph
    San Diego
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    And you have to "feed" it and treat it like the fine thing it is.

    True enough:

    1. My expensive suits are treated much differently than my wash and wear clothing, why wouldn't leather be treated differently than vinyl.
    2. Leather doesn't emit those toxins, which the 'ette emits.
    3. There is a reason organic materials make better clothing than artificial materials. Sure polyester and rayon may not need starch, but they don't look as good or feel as good as the finest cotten or the finest wool.

    So while it's easy to make a case that artificial is better for your needs, the reasons are usually negative not positive; e.g. a 10 year old Honda is a much better car than a 335i because I don't have to worry about it being stolen That's the type of reasoning where the 'ette wins over the leather..
  • Yeah but one cup of spilled coffee on certain leather types and colors and that's it, you're screwed.

    It really depends I think on a) the level of care you are willing to give to leather interiors, b) your lifestyle, i.e., do you eat a lot in the car, have a dog, have kids, etc..

    Given that you can get leather on the most humble of cars these days, I don't think prestige enters into it anymore. Unless you are a sensualist (which is great actually) I'm not sure 85% of the world even notices your leather interior.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Unless you are a sensualist (which is great actually) I'm not sure 85% of the world even notices your leather interior.

    I have a Matrix style 'ette coat and long leather dresswear. They are not the same and not even close. Sure the 'ette takes more abuse, but the leather feels better, smells better and wears better.
  • I totally agree on feel and smell, but on "wear" or "use"---I think that really depends on circumstances of lifestyle. For instance, wearing leather while riding on a motorcycle? Good. Leather on a bicycle? Bad. Leather coat on a fall evening? Good. Leather coat on a cold rainy night? Bad.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You hit the nail on the head: you can change your coat but you can't change your seats. In an entry level vehicle, I would choose leather over 'ette given the choice of materials by the manufacturer.
  • Ain't that the truth. We do see people here occasionally that ordered cloth and now want leather, and sometimes those who ordered leather but don't like it. It's probably a decision that requires more thought than most people give it.
  • xeyexeye Posts: 162
    Although they weren't BMWs ('08 328xi & '07 335xi now in the driveway), I had '95 & '99 Mazda MX5 ragtops with leather seats. In a restaurant parking lot in Chino Hills, CA, some inconsiderate person flicked a burning cigarette butt without regard to it's landing pad. As it turned out, the landing pad was my driver seat. When I returned to my car after dinner, I found the burnt out butt and a 1" scorch mark in the leather. Needless to say, I was not happy.

    The good news is that I had kept the leather well-conditioned against the California sun, and within a couple of weeks, the natural action of driving had rubbed out the mark with no trace of any damage.

    I really doubt that "ette" would have survived so well. It's all in how you take care of your ride.

    In my college years in Montreal summers, I drove a black Dodge Omni with a red plastic steering wheel and red vinyl seats. I can't even tell you how hot those seats and wheel got sitting in the sun. Do you know what burnt thigh leg hair is like?!

    "Ette"? No thanks.

    And I have to believe that there is nothing so nice as the heated leather seats on a cold morning. It was 29 degrees F here this morning, and it was Nirvana before I'd even backed out of my driveway!

    xeye
  • yeah but heated seats and leather don't like each other. This is why your conditioning treatments are even more necessary now. (leather dries out faster, and if untreated, one day you or someone plops down on that hard dry leather and....you know the rest).
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