The Non-Enthusiast Blog: The Test Drive.

Posted by Tim W.

As you may recall from my first blog entry, I struggled a bit with the decision to purchase a BMW 328xi. That is, until I drove it.

With the possible purchase of a Toyota looming, I had to arrange a test drive of the Bimmer quickly. Late Sunday night I emailed the dealer. We met Monday on my lunch hour. I explained my thoughts and concerns (I’m sure he’s heard them all before) and he brought me out to a 328xi in the showroom to see how comfortably I would fit.

Shocked at how much legroom I had, I suggested it was worth taking a quick test drive.

I know there are a lot of arguments on the BMW blogs that the 328 engine is a joke compared to the 335. Maybe it is. But for someone coming from an eight-year-old 4 cylinder Subaru, the 328’s 230HP felt like a rocket ship.

Within 3 minutes of driving I was hooked. I really didn’t know cars could feel like this. I felt like I was in a cockpit. Everything fit perfectly. And the only noise was the rev of the engine (not the wind tunnel I’m used to at high speeds). The sales associate talked me through some of the features of the car, but I don’t think I heard a word. I could have driven until we ran out of gas. And then I would have simply used the BMW Assist feature to get some more (hey, maybe I did hear some of what he was saying).

Arriving back at the dealership, and late for work, we briefly discussed pricing, options and financing. I needed to come back with my wife so she could experience this car for herself before we signed on the dotted line. I also wanted to test drive a stick-shift which is what I was leaning towards ordering (I ultimately did).

After a couple of days, the order was placed as follows:

328xi, Black/Black Leatherette, with options:

– Xenon

– Comfort access

– Heated seats

– BMW assist w/ Bluetooth

At the end of the day, it all came down to this…while the emotional and rational side of me constantly battled on large purchases in the past…this one was no contest. Within minutes of pressing the ‘Start’ button, I had to have this car. There could be no “maybe next year” or “after we pay off the (fill in blank).”

The order was placed on 12/17. And that’s when the real hard part began. The wait.

This is the second in a series of entries about the BMW experience from a non-enthusiast’s perspective. Next up: Tracking the birth of your BMW.