Over the weekend, a good friend of mine bought a stunningly beautiful new 2011 “BMW-Titansilber Metallic” 328Xi. From the name alone, I had assumed that it was a 3 Series BMW, 2.8L engine , all wheel drive, with fuel injection (that’s what the odd lowercase “i” means believe it or not). However, it’s a 3.0L! Apparently the “28” in “328” is a total lie these days. The other thing that I didn’t know was that I may actually be a fan of BMW’s? Gasp!
Naturally, the first thought in my head was jumping in, turning the key to light the fire in the legendary straight 6, and test out the awd launching capabilities. Back in reality, she handed me the key and I quickly realized that this was not the same technology and luxury that my 1989 Dodge surrounds me in. The BMW key isn’t a key at all. In fact, it is a fancy plastic Chicken Mcnugget that plugs into the dashboard. (Two of my favorite things by the way – chicken & dashboards.) Once the Mcnugget is fully latched in, there is a start button that immediately makes you feel like a really big deal. This button is surrounded by a clean dashboard that lets you know you aren’t in a K-car. There are buttons, knobs and switches that probably do things that I have never heard of. I think I may have turned on the neighbors sink, and reset their alarm clock, but I can’t be sure. With one swift push of the race inspired start button, you hear all 3.0 liters roar to life and idle smoother than anything I have ever owned. I’m not sure what BMW puts in between their drive train and body, but its magical because you know that the engine is running, but it’s smoother than a freshly waxed dolphin.
With the proud owner beside me, I eased it into “D” which said “Can I take this thing for a spin?” without actually saying it in human words. I didn’t immediately get punched in the mouth, so I continued out the driveway and down the street. It drives like you would expect a beautiful new BMW to. Everything is tight and responsive, including the automatic transmission. It had zero body roll with 4 people inside, and didn’t even think about losing any grip on sandy roads. I would have loved to write about whether it under or over steers, 0-60 times, top speed, etc. However, this is real life, which doesn’t allow that sort of thing. (Though if BMW offers me a car for a test for a week or three, I’d be willing to do it in the name of science.)
Overall, I don’t have a bad thing to say about it. The fit and finish of this car is top notch, as I would expect. It’s comfy as all heck, and I would imagine it moves right along when the pedal is securely planted in the floor. These are probably the reason why these BMW’s are constantly voted “the best thing evah!” by every magazine editor that drives one. I have long since been “blah” on BMW’s as a whole, but this 3 series is as classy as can be, and you really get a lot for the price. It definitely makes me wonder why I drive such crappy cars when I could be enjoying heated steering wheels and 17 additional switches that may or may not do cool things. Not to mention, some of the German words under the hood make me smile.
“BMW-TITANSILBER METALLIC” = +1
Everything Else = 0