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      06-18-2014, 07:34 PM   #1
franklin455
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European Delivery Trip Report - 335i M Sport

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Background on Car and Purchase
So a couple of months ago, I decided to do ED on a 335i M Sport. The specifications I decided upon were as follows:

335i M Sport
403M Wheels
Glacier Silver Metallic
Black Sensatec with Hexagon Aluminum/Piano Black trim
Tech Package
Sport Auto
Heated Front seats
HK sound

This would be our fourth BMW. My wife owned a 2006 325i Auto. I've owned a 2009 328i ZSP 6MT, and a 2011 M3 DCT. I’ll get more into comparisons later, but I was looking for something faster than the 328i and something more commuter minded than the M3. My daily commute is ~65 miles mostly highway. After driving the 335i for ~920 miles, I realize I should have went straight to the 335i and skipped the 328i and M3. I’ll explain more later.

As for buying the car, I would highly recommend dealing with Tom Herald at Momentum BMW in Houston. I got ED pricing on the spec's above from Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Houston and Dallas stores. Not only did Tom beat them all, but he was a pleasure to deal with. He constantly kept me informed regarding status, and checked in before I left and when I got back to make sure everything was ok. If you need a BMW in Texas, go through Tom. I will definitely be going through Tom for my future purchases.

http://www.momentumbmw.net/dealership/staff.htm
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Trip Planning
We planned to spend two weeks in Europe. We would leave Corpus Christi on a Friday, and arrive in Munich on a Saturday. We would spend Saturday and Sunday adjusting and sight-seeing in Munich. Monday was scheduled for the ED. We would then drive from the Welt to Prague, where we would spend 1 week. The plan was to drive back to Munich from Prague. We would then take day trips to Fussen, Garmish-Partenkirchen and Berchtesgaden. We would use the rest of the time to piddle around Munich


The Trip
I typically fly Continental (now United) domestically. However, I think you’ll find that the non-domestic carriers have a leg-up on the US carriers. We flew from Houston to Toronto, and caught an AirCanada flight from Toronto to Munich. Friendly staff, good food, free booze, more seat-room, nice entertainment centers in each seat…I’ll always fly AirCanada over any domestic if I have the chance.

We arrived in Munich at ~1030 local time. We’ve found the best thing to do is to stay up all day, and do not go to sleep until the evening. This can be very difficult, but I think it’s the best way to get acclimated. On Sunday, the weather was beautiful, especially coming from ~100F in South Texas. We visited Olympic Park and the Welt/BMW Museum. I would recommend going up into the Olympic Park Tower. The views are amazing. The pictures don't do it justice.

























I had a tough time going to sleep Sunday night. Monday morning was the ED, and that’s all I could think about. After a long night of tossing and turning, the time had come.

The ED lounge is pretty sweet. I tried my best not to see the car prior to delivery, but as soon as I walked into the lounge I noticed a Silver F30 M sport out of the corner of my eye. I couldn’t help but go look once I had caught a glimpse. We had plenty of time before ED, so we walked around the Welt taking pics. The ED process is really neat. After the delivery, we went on the factory tour. I would also do this if you have the time. It's a ~2 hour tour, but well worth it in my opinion. You will get to see the production line(s) for the 3 series and 4 series.



























Next, to Prague. I have heard many times that Prague is the most beautiful city in Europe. Based on my limited experiences in Europe thus far, I would have to agree. You need to see Prague castle, Petrin Park, Landa Park, and Old Town Square. The beer is great, and you need to try a roasted pork knuckle. Sounds gross, but it's delicious. My wife wouldn't try it. I probably ate 4 of them while we were there.

Prague is really neat.......however, I would not recommend driving in Prague. I consider myself lucky that I was able to leave that city with the car unscathed. Tight streets, people everywhere, bikes, crazy drivers, trains, etc…





















Back to Munich. We made Munich our home base for the next part of the trip. We would do day trips to surrounding areas. We started with Fussen to get the obligatory photos in front of Neuschwanstein Castle.

















Next, to Berchtesgaden and Eagle's Nest. BEFORE YOU DRIVE INTO AUSTRIA, be sure to buy the highway sticker. To get to Berchtesgaden, the GPS took me about 5 miles into Austria, then back to Germany. When I exited to head back towards Germany, there were police stationed on the exit looking for these stickers. 120 Euros later, I was pissed.

I highly recommend visiting Eagle’s Nest (Kehlsteinhaus)…..the views are outstanding. My wife is from South Texas, and has probably only seen snow twice in her life....so she enjoyed the snow covered peaks here.





















Our last few days in Munich were spent visiting the Zoo, Nymphenburg Palace, and other sites. We also spent a lot of time at the beer halls and beer gardens. My wife doesn't drink beer, but I got her to try German beer. No luck. Then came the day I had to turn the car back in. Like others, I stopped at the AGIP at the Munich airport to clean up the car. I brought my own wash mitt and drying cloths. Washing the car in the self wash bay cost me ~15 euros. I would recommend that you arrive way early for your drop-off. When I arrived to the Munich airport drop-off location, there were no parking spots left. I parked across the street and went inside. The people working there were struggling to keep up with customers. It took me ~30 mins before I could secure a parking spot and speak to someone to get the drop-off process going.


















Car Talk
I was very impressed with the F30 335i. It's got torque all over the place, and the sport auto transmission is outstanding. I find the M Sport aesthetics very attractive, and the interior is a big step up from previous BMW's I've been in (in my opinion).

I was a little torn on transmission choice, but the sport auto is excellent. It reminds me a lot of the DCT from the E90 series M3. I've always been an MT guy, but I'm glad I went with the sport auto. It just feels right in this car. The transmission is just so immediately responsive to changes in driving conditions.

For my day to day driving, this will be a better car for me than my previous E92 M3. I'm not saying it's a better car (and I don't want to argue about what's "better"), but what I am saying is that this car is more suited to my driving needs. Sure, the M3 has a much more sporty feel, but I never have and do not plan to track my car. The S65 is a great engine, but I personally found the low-end torque to be an issue. I loved how the engine would wind up into the higher RPM’s, but I felt like it wasn't really doing much under 4k. In most of my daily driving, I don’t have the ability to wind the engine up all the time like that. The N55 does not seem to have the same issue. For my day to day driving, I appreciate the lower end torque that the N55 provides. Fuel economy is also an issue for me with my commute, and I will obviously see a nice benefit there. Given the miles I will be putting on the car, maintenance costs will be much easier to swallow as well (assuming the N55 proves to be more reliable than the N54). Again I really don't want to argue the M3 vs 335i......I realize the M3 is a "better" overall car. To reiterate, I'm saying that the F30 335i is a better car for me than the M3.

In comparing the F30 335i to the E90 328i, there are three obvious differences I detect in driving the cars. The first is in the acceleration. No explanation necessary. The second is in the feel of the cabin. The F30 has a much more refined feel to it (controls, materials, displays, etc.), and it seems to be more driver oriented. The third difference is in the steering. As noted in many reviews, the steering in the F30 is a bit softer than in the E90. I find it to be quite comfortable and to have a nice weight to it, but I can tell it’s a little bit softer.



Wrap-up
So now it’s a waiting game. I dropped the car off at the Munich airport on 6/6/14. I’m figuring the car should be back in Houston mid-July timeframe. This was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. I would absolutely do it all over again. I’m a tad anal about my cars, so I did tend to get stressed out from time to time during the trip over the car (parking, road conditions, limited self-wash bays, etc.). If I were going to buy another new BMW down the road, I would definitely do ED again. It is quite the experience.

Last edited by franklin455; 06-28-2014 at 10:45 AM.
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      06-18-2014, 07:43 PM   #2
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its awesome hope you have fun
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      06-18-2014, 07:52 PM   #3
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Thanks for the awesome writeup and photos of your ED experience.

Beautiful car!

My wife and I did ED last summer and we had the best time. Sounds like you did too.

For those who are on the fence about an ED program, just do it already. The price break, properly negotiated, offsets a lot of the travel expense. If you have frequent flyer miles, its even better. The experience itself is priceless.

Anyway, congratulations on your new ride and thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.
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      06-18-2014, 08:02 PM   #4
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what an awesome way to buy a new car! coupled with a european vacay
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      06-18-2014, 10:11 PM   #5
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Awesome write-up! Nice car and looked like you guys had a great time, thanks for sharing. I definitely will try to do a ED if my next car is a BMW, sounds like an amazing experience!
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      06-18-2014, 10:26 PM   #6
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With stories like this, its gonna get harder and harder to get an ed allocations in a couple of years from now...

Thanks for sharing... see you didnt jave to worry too much, its all taken care of... just enjoy the moment, especially with the company you have ;-)
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      06-18-2014, 10:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin455 View Post
...
Prague is really neat.......however, I would not recommend driving in Prague. I consider myself lucky that I was able to leave that city with the car unscathed. Tight streets, people everywhere, bikes, crazy drivers, trains, etcÖ
...
Totally agree. We were able to park our rental Skoda off-street in the tiny garage in the B&B we stayed in. However I lost - or had stolen - my wallet there. Beautiful place, wholly authentic since it didn't get wasted in WW II.

Looks like you had a great time! Except for the Austrian ticket.
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      06-19-2014, 07:45 AM   #8
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very cool, thanks for posting up your experience and congrats on the new ride!
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      06-19-2014, 08:13 AM   #9
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Beautiful car! Thanks for sharing the pics and story with us!
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      06-19-2014, 08:29 AM   #10
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Great pics and great story, sounds like a blast.

I absolutely plan to do ED next go around...this time for an F80 M3 hopefully.
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      06-19-2014, 08:41 AM   #11
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Great writeup and beautiful shots.

Thanks for sharing!
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      06-19-2014, 11:01 AM   #12
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Congratulations! But did something happen to your driver side angel eyes? There were a few pictures where it appears to be broken.

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      06-19-2014, 11:18 AM   #13
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Once you get the PPK, you'll absolutely love the throttle response EVEN MORE!
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      06-19-2014, 11:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dL. View Post
Congratulations! But did something happen to your driver side angel eyes? There were a few pictures where it appears to be broken.

dL
+1 to that.

Wondering if it was just the camera?
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      06-19-2014, 01:51 PM   #15
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Thanks for all of the comments.

I am very tempted to get the MPPK. I figured I would get the car back and drive it for a while to see if I felt like I really needed it. Odds are I will end up with it.

Regarding the angel eyes - it's odd but there are several pictures that show both illuminted, some that show the passenger side only, and some that show the drivers' side only. When I was looking at the car in person, these "pulses" were not visible to the eye. I don't know if that's normal and the camera just caught this, or if it's a problem. I do know that when I upgraded the bulbs on my E90 angel eyes I could detect these "pulses" in person. Is this normal on the F30?
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      06-27-2014, 02:27 AM   #16
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This should be featured on bimmerpost! Awesome write-up on the trip.
I really like the picture that you two took next to car with the N castle in the background.
Perfect angle!
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      06-27-2014, 02:33 AM   #17
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Great write-up. I did my ed back in May and had a great time
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      06-27-2014, 03:30 AM   #18
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Awesome journal. Thanks for sharing! I'm gonna have to reference your trip when I plan mine in about a year. Your car is a beauty!!!
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      06-27-2014, 05:55 AM   #19
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Would love to hear more about actually driving (toll roads) and the language barrier in Europe.

Aug. 28 is our ED.
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      06-27-2014, 07:00 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin455 View Post
Thanks for all of the comments.

I am very tempted to get the MPPK. I figured I would get the car back and drive it for a while to see if I felt like I really needed it. Odds are I will end up with it.

Regarding the angel eyes - it's odd but there are several pictures that show both illuminted, some that show the passenger side only, and some that show the drivers' side only. When I was looking at the car in person, these "pulses" were not visible to the eye. I don't know if that's normal and the camera just caught this, or if it's a problem. I do know that when I upgraded the bulbs on my E90 angel eyes I could detect these "pulses" in person. Is this normal on the F30?
It's a common thing when taking photos of LED based lights (which the angels eyes are)...it's the same reason why in videos it looks like things are flickering when showing led light sources...
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      06-27-2014, 11:51 AM   #21
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Its like refresh rate from your tv ;-)

LED are not lite all the time... they flicker... really fast, faster than your eyes can perceive... but can be caught on camera...
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      06-27-2014, 12:17 PM   #22
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Thanks again for all for the comments.

On the language barrier:

On this trip, we spent time in Southern Germany and the Czech Republic. We speak no German or Czech. It was very rare that we went somewhere that English was not spoken. There were 1 or 2 occasions that we had a difficult time ordering food or something, but for the most part people were basically fluent in English. Last year, we went to Italy and found the same thing (in Rome and Tuscany). Although if you go to Italy, it helps if you also speak Spanish....as there are many similarities in between the two. My wife knows Spanish, and was able to understand most of the Italian that we came across.




On driving and toll roads:
I don't recall coming across any toll roads in Southern Germany or the Czech Republic. To drive in the Czech Republic or Austria, you need to purchase a sticker to display on the windshield. These can be bought at gas stations around the border. I think they are like 5-10 Euros.

Driving in Europe can be quite a bit different than the states. For one, you donít see people talking on the cell phone, texting, eating, etc. while driving. You also donít see people going slow in the fast lane. In Germany, there seems to be road construction and detours all over the place. I donít see how I could have made it around without NAV. As one could expect, the Autobahn is a blast. In general, highway driving is very nice both in Germany and the Czech Republic. I would say that itís comparable to the states (with the exception of speed limits in Germany).

Driving in the cities is where things get tricky. Prague was a challenge. Munich wasnít too bad. Based on last yearís trip, Rome looked way worse than Prague. I do not think I would attempt to drive in a place like Rome. I spent several years living in downtown Philadelphia, and found the driving/traffic/parking situation to be better there than any big city in Europe. If you are going to be driving much in the cities, youíll need to be patient. Also, be sure to scope out parking garages prior to your trip.
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