Sunday, June 25, 2017

2014 BMW 320i

I never thought I would ever have a BMW on the payroll, but here we are. We ended up getting this with the FR-S funds because at the time it was hard to make a good decision on any car and I wanted more time to figure things out. Long story short, we got the cheapest CPO BMW with a White/Tan color scheme.

Pros
  • The car isn't as fast as the Volvo, but it does have a much smaller engine in comparison. With that being said it's still pretty peppy and gets 29 MPG mixed, which is pretty darn good considering.
  • The ride is silky smooth; it seriously feels like a Mag-lev train at times, so good job on the suspension and handling.
  • There are no stability issues the faster you go which is much different from other cars I've driven. Usually you will 'know' when you're going near 85 MPH on a decline or something, but in this BMW, the car still has such a solid feel with the road that you don't even notice it.
  • I dunno if it's standard or an add-on, but at night time the door handles have a downward pointing LED on all doors and the inside doors have a hidden, amber LED string that subtlety illuminate the cabin. These are very functional and convenient perks.
  • CPO is cool since you get more years of supported warranty, but the dealership does try to up-sell/scare you will pre-paid maintenance and a tire replacement deal. I'll get to this later.
Cons
  • Everything about this car is expensive. We had to get a tire replaced recently and found out why RFTs (Run Flat Tires) suck ass. Essentially these tires are designed to be resilient-enough to be totally flat and still ride-on for 50 miles at 50 MPH. Bad thing is that they aren't fixable/patchable and can only be replaced. Then you actually have to find a tire shop that is cool with replacing it with non-run flats since some shops have differing policies regarding this matter.
  • We opted out of the pre-paid maintenance and tire package, but I'm guessing it's gonna be hella expensive for even an oil change.
  • The steering-wheel controls for the infotainment suck so much ass. How hard is it to have a 'next' and 'back' button? You instead have this wheel contraption that you rotate around and then you have to press in to select. WTF? So in order to change a radio station or skip to a next song, you have to do 2 steps instead of one. It really isn't intuitive.
  • And lastly we get to the reliability. We've had the car less than a year and we've already had to go into the shop a few times to get things looked at. I'll continue to have a running tally on this page and update it when we bring it in since I'll be interested in a few years what the total will look like after we get finished with this car and eventually move on.
Ongoing Maintenance/Service
  1. Out of nowhere the rear brake light unit broke off of one plastic hinge and was pseudo dangling down. We had to take it in and the dealership replaced it under warranty and said it was a manufacture defect.
  2. An alert came up on the dash saying that the parking light failed. I think this was a bulb that went out somewhere.
  3. An alert came up on the dash saying that we had low tire pressure. I pumped up all tires to the recommended spec and continued on. 1 week later the alert came back up and we went to the tire shop for them to look at. This is where we were schooled on the terrible RFTs. Luckily Big-O was cool with replacing it with a normal tire. AND they didn't try to be punks and sell us 2 tires, just one. I have a feeling that the other 3 tires will get nails in them as time goes on...
Overall
I for one know what a BMW is...my better half may not share the same concerns though. I'd never really get one of these cars if it was only up to me. Renting one temporarily is OK but long-term? Hell no. This car just reeks with the smell of an expensive upkeep.