Saw and drove my 323i for the first time on Friday at the dealer. It's not getting delivered until NEXT Monday, however, since we've decided to pay for the car up front, and the money won't clear until then, and we went through a broker. Eventhough we went through a broker, we didn't get a good deal- only $500 off, but the broker offers to install ANY accessory (rims, tires, audio, alarms, trim, etc) for wholesale, and not charge for labor. The car won't be at the broker until Tuesday, so I'm going to have him install the arm rest, Nakamichi/BMW CD changer in the glove box, and the alarm. This way the car will have everything done when it gets picked up. I really don't mind waiting, since I'm at school, and the broker is close to home, about 110 miles away. I probably won't see it until the 10th or 11th. My parents or my brother and sister are going to have to drive it down.
Well, anyway, about the drive. I REALLY like this car. I drove it around the dealership- Nick Alexander in downtown LA- and the ride was great. The roads are horrible around there- I haven't seen roads this bad since the last time I was in India. Still, the sports suspension soaked up everything nicely, and it was real smooth. I think I'll be QUITE happy with this car. The leatherette is nice too- I don't think I'll miss the leather, save for the initial smell. The sports seats are WONDERFUL. With the power seats, they were simple to adjust and easy to get into a comfortable position. I love power seats. My brother sat in the back seat, and he had enough leg room. The 3 spoke steering wheel is perfect, too. It has a nice, thick rim, with well-contoured grooves, making it a joy to grip. It takes an effort to turn, like all BMWs. It was a bit odd at first, since I usually drive either my mom's Q45 or a ES300 (both of which have very light wheels), but it was easy to get used to, and very pleasant once I did. I have the steptronic, and for those who worry about power on the 323 with auto, I found there was ample. The car's got some serious GO. Sure, I'd like a 328i, but I think I'll be quite satisfied with this machine. It's a very quiet car. I was hitting 5000 rpm (with it in 'manual' mode), and I didn't hear too much whine. All in all, I think I made the right choice with this car. It's solid, and I cannot WAIT until I get this car for good!
I'll post another description after I finally get the car here. I should be able to get some photos on my computer, but I don't have a website (yes, I'm HTML illiterate), but I'll be able to e-mail anyone photos.
Have a nice week.
Power front seats