In Reply to: Re: My first and last words on C&D test posted by PA on March 03, 1999 at 17:48:48:
I guess those were not really my final words on the matter, but I need to respond to this comment.
You could also make a similar argument that the A4 1.8TQ tested had the optional $460 Cool Shades yellow paint job (normal metallic paint is a no-charge option). They could have also picked a 323i with metallic paint. So the more realistic price differential could have been even higher. I agree with you that the MF steering wheel and the $600 15" alloys are not the best options to get on a 323i, but the sport package would have pushed the price way above the other competitiors, some of which were priced in the $23-$24K range. BMW should offer a cheaper sport package (like Audi's) that includes 16" alloys/tires and sport suspension for say $800. That would have done the trick for the 323i in this comparison test
Most of the E46 328i test cars given to car magazines for testing have lacked some of the options you simply cannot go without in the $35-40K range (such as moonroof, wood and leather). One could argue that BMW is trying to make the 328i appear more affordable than it is by only including performance options (sport package) in their offerings to the car magazines.