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      02-19-2012, 11:29 AM   #77
111R
First Lieutenant
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Drives: Lotus
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I would have gone for an E91 instead of my E90 last year if it had been offered with a stronger engine, brakes, and so forth. The fuel efficiency of a 328i touring was no better than a 335i sedan, so that was a minus as well. The N20 engine may be a game-changer for the US market, as the performance and fuel efficiency have both been improved. This might have narrowed the gap enough for me had it been available at the time.

Another big minus on most of the E91 tourings sold here is the GM-sourced automatic. Most tourings come that way unless special-ordered with a manual in the US market. The new 8-speed automatic that will likely be offered on the F31 is a much more responsive unit, offering a good compromise between performance and efficiency.

Another issue I had with the US-market E91 was that it came standard with the sunroof, which adds weight where you need it least - on the roof. I asked around about a sunroof-delete option and was told that it was not likely for US-bound cars, as a separate model would have to be crash-tested without a sunroof. It also adds cost, which doesn't help the case in the US market. The cost premium for a base price E91 touring over a base price E90 sedan in the US was something like $2,500. This was also a deal-breaker for me, as by the time I added eqiupment I wanted to a 328i touring, it came up too close to 335i sedan pricing for me to justify it.

Finally, I hope that BMW doesn't saddle the F31 with x-drive as the only choice like they did with the E61. This is great if you live in the frozen wasteland, but for those of us in warmer climates, it makes no sense at all - just added weight that isn't needed.
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'11 BMW 335i (Alpine White) M-Sport, Premium, Heated Seats, HK, Ipod adaptor, 6MT, dealer-installed PPK - Euro Delivery 5/11/2011
'05 Lotus Elise (Arctic Silver) Sport, HT, Stage II, Odyssey PC925, Lotus Cup 240R Wheels
'87 Nissan Pickup (Burgandy) King Cab, 90k miles
'13 Audi A3 TDI (Ibis White) Cold Weather Package, Bluetooth - Wife's car - Delivery 9/12