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      07-09-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
RobUK's Avatar
United Kingdom

Drives: 340i EBII
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Sussex, UK

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
How did I choose my car and options?

When buying my F30 I convinced myself it was the right balance between ‘head’ and ‘heart’ for the budget I had (which I still blew by nearly 2K). Was I right? Who knows, but for your entertainment….

Model : 328i Luxury – Initially looked at the 320d and love the torque of a diesel but fed up with the noise and the smell at the pumps over the last 5 years. At the time (March 2012) the 330d wasn’t an option. The combined mpg of the 320i and the 328i didn’t seem so far apart so decided to treat myself and go for the 328i. Sadly BMW don’t sell a 328i Sport Line in the UK, the interior of the Modern Line is ghastly (tinned tuna is not on my list of favourite colours) and I'd have had to add more options to the SE, so Luxury won by default.

Colour : Melbourne Red – while the F30 seems to look good in any colour, the UK has lots of black, dark blue and silver cars. White shows up dirt, bugs and shut lines more (I’m lazy), and wasn’t brave enough to go for one of the metallic brown. As to the interior, well beige is hard to keep clean and while I do like Saddle Brown I was talked out of it (harder to resell in the UK?), so took the only other option - black.

Wheels : Style 398 18” – the standard alloys on the Luxury look difficult to keep clean, and the 19’s may have been too firm for our rubbish UK roads. The 398’s give you a slightly wider rear tyre too, plus they look easy to keep clean. Am I the only one who has a fixation about grubby alloys?

Sat nav : BMW Professional Multimedia (Navigation, BMW Assist, BMW online portal, Bluetooth telematics ‘n’ stuff, voice control, Black Panel Display). At one time I swore I’d not buy built-in satnav and stick with Tomtom, but built-in is so nice the inner-geek in me just caved at all those features!

Lights :Visibility Package (Xenons, wash, adaptive, high-beam assist). Was always going to get Xenons (a BMW without Xenons is like... well insert your own phrase here, e.g. [Angelina Jolie without her lips]), and have been impressed with the adaptive lights on my other half’s RX450h. Could live without the high beam assist but seeing as it was included in the package who am I to complain. (Tried it once actually with mixed results but I will persist).

Skipped – Advanced Parking Assist : I know it’s nice but I couldn’t justify 525 for something I guess I should be able to do myself (okay I admit the included front/rear PDC does help somewhat!). Besides, I try to avoid parking in tight spots, especially public car parks as sooner or later your doors WILL get bashed.

Skipped – Active Security Package (lane departure/lane change warning) : Again, couldn’t justify 995 for an ‘extra set of computerized eyes’. Hope I don’t live to regret it!

Skipped – Interior Comfort Package (folding rear seats, folding rear headrests) : The Luxury Line already has 2-zone AC and extended lighting (also part of this package) so didn’t want to splash 450 for the privilege of occasionally folding the odd item.

Transmission – Sport Auto : Ok the car might be the Ultimate Driving Machine but in my case the driver isn’t! Last 3 cars have been autos, besides, saw many reviews saying the new 8 speed Sport Auto in the F30 was really good, plus when I drove it changes seemed plenty smooth enough & quick enough. Plus for just 135 over the cost of the ‘standard’ auto it seemed like a no-brainer, you get paddles with Sport Auto and slicker changes (mind you, had paddles on my Audi and hardly ever used them).

Suspension – stock F30 : My bad here, I didn’t do my research well enough and got the impression this was more useful for ‘enthusiastic’ drivers. What I didn’t realize was that it is also handles our poor UK roads much better in Comfort Mode. My E81 was really 'crashy' and the F30 is a vast improvement although there's still some 'bump/thump' on pot-holed roads, so I’d almost certainly add it if ordering again.

Steering – Servotronic : 328i comes with Servotronic as standard. Decided not to spend 250 on Variable Sport Steering as I’d probably not miss it with my driving style.

Head-up Display : How could I resist. For 800 a passive safety feature I’ll consciously use every time I drive. Plus my Mrs. has HUD in her RX so this puts me on an even footing. (It’s a bloke thing!).

Speed-limit Info : Ok, maybe a moment of weakness here. 220 well spent? Probably not, except for bragging rights over the Mrs as she doesn’t have it! “I think I won that round dear!”.

Skipped – Surround View : Looks really cool in videos I’ve seen, but felt at 500 it was something I’d rarely use. Wonder if I’d seen it in person I’d have been tempted?

Seats : Went for Sport Seats, electric, heated + lumbar support. Preferred the ‘snugness’ of the Sports Seats over the standard ones, plus had them in my E81 and loved them. Electric because I hate it when the Mrs mucks up my settings – now my seat can forget her delightful curves at the touch of a button! Lumbar support and heating cos I’m not getting any younger. All in all, the seat is where you spend all of your time so splashed out on pretty much everything ‘seaty’.

Skipped – Comfort Access : My E81 had this and I got used to just knowing the key was on me somewhere, but for 400 I figured I needed to make a saving. Having to now find my key to lock/unlock the car is a bind (especially as I’m forgetful) but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. Besides I can always unlock the car via BMW Remote on my iPhone… that’s if I don’t forget my phone!

Exterior mirrors – auto folding/dimming : Nice not to be dazzled by cars behind you and who knows, may keep them out of harms way in some unforeseen parking event?

Sunroof : My first three cars were convertibles and this is my way of pretending that for 870 I still have 93 million miles headroom and some connection to the outside world while driving (then I guess there’s always the motorbike for that). Also helps brighten up that somber black interior!

Privacy glass : Because it makes it that much more comfortable for rear passengers… who am I kidding, it just looks more cool! At 235 it’s not so much more than having them professionally tinted.

Skipped – sun blinds : Hopefully the VIP’s in the back will be satisfied with my ‘privacy’ glass, even if they don’t have their own heated seats or cigar lighter!

Skipped – upgraded audio (BMW Business 400 or HK 650) : Law of diminishing returns really for my hearing. Doubtless they sound better but with tyre and a bit of wind noise I leave my serious music consumption for home. (My Grado SR60’s are probably one of the best investments I’ve made).

Skipped – BMW Apps (6NR) : Again my bad because for just 130 I could have got a bit more juicy gadget goodness out of my car (as an iPhone user), with potentially more things in the pipeline. Could get a retrofit (BimmerTech do it for 399, plus dealers may do it in future) but I shall see how badly I miss this first.

BMW Service Inclusive : At 350, Mr ‘Head’ decided this was financially sensible (saves me a bit in the long run?).

BMW Trackstar : Now I may have goofed here because I understand that BMW Assist gives you something similar albeit in a slightly different way. “Hello, my car has gone. Where is it?” as opposed to “Hello, you’re car has gone, here it is”. Still for 250 + 299 lifetime subscription it’s a little peace of mind. I’m one of those paranoid people who’d rather not have to claim on my insurance if I can help it (UK insurers seem to want all your money plus your firstborn these days).

There you have it, my logical and not-so-logical reasoning behind most of what I went for. If I were ordering again today I’d probably go for the 328i M Sport now that it’s available, possibly in red but I’d actually be torn with Moonstone (mainly because it looks unusual… and that after what I said about keeping light coloured cars clean). While I like Tanzanite Blue I just know I’d get swirl no matter how careful I was. Other bits, well I’d definitely add the adaptive suspension and my evil geek twin would tick the BMW Apps box.

Feel free to ridicule my choices and/or apply your own logic

340i in Estoril Blue

Last edited by RobUK; 07-10-2012 at 05:25 AM.