Bought this car from a dealership second hand & although I paid more than the suggested (Whatcar website)price for it,I do feel like I got an excellent deal as it was immaculate.If you drive in a sensibly running costs will be manageable but the car begs to have you slam your foot down whenever the situation allows in order that you unleash the roar of the 3 litre engine & the incredible acceleration. It provides you with confidence &quiet smugness when overtaking that you will definitely make it before the rapidly approaching corner/lorry/tractor/brick wall.Steering is always comfortable but occasionally when going over small ridges at reasonable speed wakes you up from the serene world inside the car & makes you twitch as it seems to try to correct for it.It doesnt happen often but keeps you on your toes.I have back problems &this car is the only one that is comfortable for any length of time thanks to the multiple ways to adjust driver and passenger seats.At 6ft I fit into the back comfortably but wouldnt want to be taller.Storage is ample.The available gadgets are a little boys dream,ET would be proud of the car at night when you open it & white LEDs illuminate the exterior door handles.Such a minor thing but impresses everybody.Check phone bluetooth compatibility on bmw.co.uk before you assume it’ll work.Overall an awesome car in which longer journeys fly by in incredible comfort with an engine like the bellows of a Blacksmith waiting to be fired up at any opportunity.
I've had this car since March08 as a Company car. As usual, excellent build quality and fantastic road holding. Also regularly getting 40mpg (probably a better choice vs diesel with current prices at the pumps). The downsides - I chose a cloth interior and it's very poor; put to shame by Audi and VW interiors. More importantly it's (allegedly) 168 Bhp is weak unless hammered in every gear, to the point where my previous (old model) Passat 1.8T felt much quicker.
Overall, it was a very involving drivers car. Quick, handles well, looks okay (wasn't too keen on the back end), and smooth/quiet at speed. On the downside, the ride is highly intrusive, you feel every bump, pot hole, and road surface. The car also being a manual involves messing around with 6 gears (should have got an auto)and after a long day at work, I dont feel relaxed and chilled out.
The major thing that put me off it was the fact the every Tom, Dick and Harry has one. I thought getting a 5 series would repair the common-phobia, but yet again the Boss(es) of every Tom, Dick and Harry has that one too. I work hard for my money and I'am not paying >25k for a car that another guy drives and abuses for free (as a company car).
I got myself an near new E320 CDI mercedes. (couldn't afford a new one at 40k). It's what you could call a taxi, very very quick but not as involving to drive and too big to push around the edges. You feel more special being in an E class though, and everybody thinks you are loaded (I know I'am not) and dont consider you as just another sales rep in a gold plated mondeo. The women check you out more too, since I'am a quite young guy, and the car is quite uncommon.
The merc really is a sofa with wheels, but overall feels more accomplished and better rounded up, even if you think I'am an old man.
5 years and 125,000 miles and it has never managed 30,000 miles without breaking down, 5 times with the same thing (ignition coils) which BMW say is a regular thing..well thats ok then! Once on holiday in France what an episode that was. Its only the 1800cc 115BHP engine so power delivery comes in sharply at 2500 revs so it needs driving quite hard unfortunately thats not me so it makes for jerky and uncomfortable driving. Should have a got a bigger engine. After 5 years not a rattle or sqeak in the cabin and everything shuts solidly and as new, steering has never wobbled and until recently hand brake barely needed adjustment between services. Brilliant handling, throw it into a corner and it goes round like its on rails but still soaks up bumps and pot holes wihtout complaint. Managed 37.2 MPG on the petrol unit and never ever turned the aircon off. Overal great package let down by atrocious reliability.
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