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      06-12-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
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2014 328d Loaner and great service

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I had a ton of fun yesterday with an extended "test drive" with a 328d loaner car while my 13 328i was getting taken care of by my dealership. I took the car in for a folding seat that didn't actually fold (likely from delivery, I hadn't tested that side) and for a persistent steering column rattle.

I got some resistance from my SA at first about the rattle. They hadn't been able to reproduce it last time they tried (when I brought it in for the vacuum pump recall) and he gave me the usual "we have to reproduce it for BMW to pay for it". The problem is that it isn't actually reproducible unless you get over 60 mph, which you really can't do in Portland during the business day very consistently. We had a nice chat about it, as I understand their point of view on it.

Off I went in the 328d loaner (base 17" wheels, but with the premium package, I think) to drive out to the hinterlands of Portland to visit a friend. I had zero expectations when I left the dealership that they would take any action on the rattle. I was totally prepared to just have this be something negative about my BMW experience for the rest of my lease. On the positive side of it Kuni BMW is stellar when it comes to taking care of its customers in so many ways. There is never a question about getting a loaner, their communications are good, and I never, ever, feel like the customer they don't care about because I bought one of their cheapest cars.

Getting to play with the diesel was a bonus. I have been very curious about them, especially considering how much so many of you folk adore them. The power delivery at low speeds was way different, and I think a bit more usable than my turbo-4. Actual speed never felt like it was increasing as fast as I'd have liked, though. There was a significant disconnect between how fast the car felt like it should have been going and how fast it was actually moving.

Performance-wise, and please don't be offended if you love your diesel, it felt like a lot of cars with "high torque" that fail somewhat in regards to translating the torque into actual mechanical work. I'm assuming that's just because I'm not used to how the diesel engine feels.

The engine does really well at holding speed on the highway. This would be a fantastic choice for a car that you're going to spend a lot of time at cruising speeds. On-ramp acceleration was not impressive, but not painful (like some other lower-priced cars I drove recently). The fuel consumption was certainly impressive. I drove about 82 miles with the AC on and often in Sport mode, but only put 2.6 gallons of Diesel in it before I turned it back in (and I doubt it was really full when I got it...they usually aren't).

It had the thicker steering wheel all of you rave about. It really was nice. Sigh. I will make sure I get it next time. Steering effort was heavier than my '13 but actual road-feel was about the same as mine was when I had the 17" wheels. I had also forgotten how much I dislike the un-modified HiFi system.

So, long story coming to an end, I get my 328i back and while they weren't able to get her up to speed to verify the rattle, the Service Manager decided the plastic on steering column didn't feel right when he poked it. So they took it apart, foam-taped the crap out of it, and put it back together. They made an effort despite, possibly, still not believing me that the problem exists. Total sweeties. And all my folding seats now actually fold. Weeee! Now I just have to go drive and see if the rattle is gone. If it isn't, at least they tried. I still mostly blame the RFT's.

My little red girl is 8 months as of yesterday and the folding seat issue is the only real problem I've had with her. Not a shabby experience so far.
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      06-12-2014, 12:36 PM   #2
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      06-12-2014, 12:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bri1042 View Post
The power delivery at low speeds was way different, and I think a bit more usable than my turbo-4.
I'm in a 328d loaner right now as well and yes, very useable torque down low which is great for commuting and most mundane driving but it just doesn't do it for me in the upper part of the rev band.
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      06-12-2014, 06:30 PM   #4
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Also, there was an M-Sport 228i sitting in the showroom yesterday. Red with black interior. I'm pretty damn sure I just saw my next car (in 2016 when my lease is up). If I could trade my 328i for it, I would probably end up doing it. It was SO pretty.
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