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UDATE AUGUST 2002 -----------------------
The time has come for me to hand back by Beamer....and I'm gutted. For three years this car has been a real joy to drive...everyday! The fact that I have to hand the car back makes that drive even more enjoyable. Unfortunately, my company has changed its company car scheme and BMW is no longer an option. Really bad news for me. If I was in the position I would either buy my exisiting car or better still buy another. Unfortunately for me, the company car scheme works out better then privaste motoring. So it's hopefully gonna be a Mazda6 next or more likely a Renault Laguna. Neither will come even close to the BMW 3 series!A few updates to the original Op. Since purchasing my 3 series, the SE now comes complete with the following options as part of the SE package:
Rear parking sensors
Improved alloy wheels
Stereo controls on steering wheel
Rear electric windows
Automatic air circulation
The 3 series has also had a minor face lift which has greatly improved the look of the 3. Changes were made to the front light cluster and grill, side indicators and rear light clusters. Even more reasons to buy a 3 series.ORIGINAL OP ---------------
Why, you'll save some money and basically get the same car. Both are powereed by the same 1895cc engine. The difference between the two is 13 bhp. Downsizing will save you a over £1300. BMW told me the difference was down to cam settings (or something like that). I think its just 'chipped' differently. Simply go for the 'No Badge' option, and nobody will ever know :) Either bag the savings or splash out on leather.
Always go for the SE if possible. All the extras (climate control, cruise, reverse parking sensors, etc) are all worth having. I went for the automatic gearbox myself (not steptronic). This is very impressive. You have two modes - standard and sport. Once in sport mode, the engine holds those revs that little bit longer. Real grunty drive. Very impressive for a 1.9. Also handy for those overtaking moments. Apparantly, the gearbox learns your driving style in order to respond and perform better. My 'Beamer' seems to know me now.
Excellent road handling and a very smooth drive. There are very few cars that can compete with this model. Servicing is on average after every 15K. I've just gone over 31K and just had my Inspection I. Won't get to see an Inspection II service until 50K. Fantastic!
Things I would like improved:
1. Better sound system - MORE BASS! 2. Slightly more legroom at the rear 3. Accelerator and brake pedal too close, could do with more space in-between (applies to automatic model only I guess) 4. Improved sound proofing for motorway driving
Precise opinion, accurate and informative. Well written and structured.
sarsons 31.10.2002 23:27
Not bad intro, but info on what the car has to offer would have resulted in a higher rating (eg comfort, ride, equipment, insurance costs etc.). If you ever redo this op, please let me know and I'll reread it and review my rating :)
Hedgehog 02.08.2001 03:12
Tried rating this but the rating system is down - Will be back to re-rate - Thanks! Bob:)