View Full Version : BMW Ultimate Drive!
Who is going? I'll be heading over to the dealership tomorrow. I'm going to be driving a 330ci and the wife's driving a Z3 manual.
10-23-2001, 01:58 AM
I remember this! Where are they having it at?? I wanna join!
10-23-2001, 12:38 PM
So how was the Ultimate Drive?
I'm going in about 2 hours.
It's all over. Go find one in your area.
It's under News -> Events -> Ultimate Drive - Susan G. Komen
Well, got back from it. It was fun. Here's my take on it:
1. It was great to do soemthing good while blazing around in someone else's BMW(s)
2. The 330ci convertable is (and I feel bad saying this with hapoo around somewhere) disappointing. Unfortunately, I drove their 5 speed auto with "tiptronic" shifter. Man, that thing shifts slowly. The acceleration was very disappointing too. Unfortunately, it's over 3700lbs and only 225lbs (214lb/ft torque). I think the 330ci at under 3400lbs (under 3300lbs in stick) would have been much better. Alas.
3. The 330ci convertable's chassis is rather stiff for a convertable, but it's nowhere near the hardtop's. It still jittered over uneven roads. Also, the wind isolation is poor with the top down. I couldn't imagine driving it without a hat if I was tall (and not bald).
4. The engine sounded great. Didn't pull hard, but sounded very smooth.
5. Ergonomics were reasonably good. Build quality wasn't as good as the IS300 we drove right after.
6. The HK sound system was really nice.
7. Braking was very good on it, even after 25k miles (that car I drove had 25k miles on it already.)
Anyhow, the wife drove a Z3 2.5 Manual (the only two manual cars they had there were that one and the 525i...yuck). We both went to drive the IS300 5-speed manual right after. Man, the IS300 absolutely blew both of those BMW's away. The IS had tighter handling (should be similar to a hardtop bmw though), was faster (should be close to 5-speed 330i or 330ci, probably faster than 5-speed 325i and 325ci), and had a nicer interior. Similarly equipped, the IS300 and 325ci came within spitting distance of each other.
10-23-2001, 11:34 PM
Sounds cool Apex! Wish I knew about it earlier, I definitely would of gone. I'd have to agree with you on the IS300 performance. Its no sloucher. And for price is comparable to a 325 even though the IS is more up against the 330i. But when I test drove the 330i and is300 . . . I like the 330i a lot better. I personally hated the is interior, too much plastic, that metal shifter. . . leave ferrari alone lexus is all I can say, and I felt that the instrument panel was too busy with the chorno style. The seats are pretty comfy though in the IS. But when all the clouds cleared, I ended up getting an Audi A4, eheh. I couldn't resiste those two other cars were going for about $36k+. I got me a A4 1.8t for $26,000 after tax and license. True its a 4 potter, but 5 valves and turbo helps it. And I did only get the sport package added. But for about $2k more, a chip, new intake and exhaust and I can get like 300hp and 340 torque out of it. So, too make a long post not too long, for under $30k, I can get a car that will outperform the competitors. Granted the shifter on the audi is a lil' rubbery but not bad and the breaks fade a lil' but only under hard braking. Also, personally I love the looks of an A4 over a Bora. . . er I mean IS300. Anyhow thats my long and cheap two cents.
The 330i and IS300 are both woefully underpowered. A 300/340 A4 would be much more impressive. Personally, I like the way the 330ci looks better than the IS300, but I do like the IS300 better than the 330i. I guess the proportions of the coupe suit that car much better.
The great thing about the IS is the engine comes straight from the normally aspirated supra. I wonder how much a twinturbo engine is to drop in there? :)
10-24-2001, 12:31 PM
Sounds like you where pretty disappointed. I would have expected more from a 330i though. That's a downer. We'll I'm glad I didn't forkout 35k+ for one. Haahaa.
So you thought the IS' interior was better? Really...my impression of it was that it had too much plastic. I don't know, I felt it looked kinda cheap. And the ecsane seats kinda killed it for me. (not to mentioned the interior space). But I did like the engine though. Fairly powerful for a little fella like the IS300. Did you check out the sportcross? Heh, it looks kinda funny to me. :heh:
Yeah man. A convertable and an auto. That's just too much for that 330 engine. Great engine, but you're asking too much from it with that combo. The hardtop stick would have been fastly different I'm guessing.
I did actually like the IS's interior better. This mainly centers on 4 areas:
1. The center dash: I like the nav system location, and round dials for air conditioning. The 6 disk in dash cd changer is also nice. I also like how the console extends further down towards the shifter.
2. The instruments: I like the chronometer instruments as they look nice and are pretty easy to use. Maybe when I'm an old man, I'll like this less.
3. The steering wheel is MUCH better looking on the IS.
4. The seats are more comfortable. I haven't decided if I like the leather or the ecsaine better. The leather looks better, and the ecsaine grips better, kind of like the suade seats in the RX7 R1. They both have better lateral support than the bmw seats. The leather is about $300 more than leather/ecsaine. The leather is perforated and much more supple than the leather of the 330ci
I do like the sweeping lines of the doors of the bmw better, and there's more rear space and trunk space.
The sportcross looks pretty nasty to me. I'm not much of a stationwagon person though. I think the only stationwagon I really like is the RS4.
10-24-2001, 08:14 PM
I actually chose an automatic 323ci over a similarily priced IS (both used) Basically, you are putting your money into the engine. The engine on the IS feels GREAT - just like my pops' GS300. However, I just couldn't get over the interior that felt shockingly cheap and un-LEXUS to me (besides the corrola-ish general feeling). I choose the 323 because it just felt like it was more "worth" 30K. But that's just me-
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