My munich delivery of E90 M3 (LCI Facelift version)
Picked up our 2009 M3 sedan last Saturday in Munich. I very happy to see that the space gray and red fox novillo leather combination worked well together, as we had not been able to see a good example of it in person (a couple of shots attached). Delivery at BMW Welt went well, the building is really impressive and since ours were the first delivery that morning, I had the place almost to myself for about an hour. As some others have noted, the technical briefings and the like are not very sophisticated, but the technology employed to make the show is pretty neat. Ours was one of two M3’s being delivered that morning, along with an M5. It was really nice to have the keys handed over and drive it down the ramp inside the building and out to the parking garage to complete the tour of the BMW Welt and have breakfast.
From there I drove toward our new home in Paris, using at first mostly the B (secondary roads from Munich to south of Stuttgart and then on to Ramstein for a short stop at the PX/base). This was a couple of hundred miles done gently and off the autobahn. From Ramstein though I was mainly on the autobahn until crossing into France, to the autoroutes. Although the autobahns may be less speed restricted than the autoroutes in France (which are 130km/h, observed more in the breach), the road quality in the (expensive) French toll roads is about the best in the world that I have driven and lane discipline is excellent. For about the last two hours of the trip I was accompanied to two new 911 Turbos with Luxembourg plates, who, had they been more willing to brave the occasional photo-radar, would doubtlessly have flown away from my self-restrained break in speed limit, but they seemed very taken with the M3 as were many of the French and Germans at the frequent fuel stops along the way.
Impressions of the car now being able to drive it in Europe (versus my test drives in the U.S. before ordering): an ideal long-range cruiser for the European roads. And once in Paris, it was fantastic in the dogfight traffic of the peripherique. The DCT is really quite impressive and I really liked the EDC soft-setting for the cobblestones (and was also appreciated by the wife when we drove to Belgium the day after). The wipers worked well at high speeds (a pet peeve of mine with our previous E46 M3). And having the four-door is a boon with our son and the child seat. The front seats are really fantastic, and the only thing I would improve is to add memory to the lumbar and the side bolsters.
The new iDrive is very good (my first experience with iDrive), and the Navigation displays are excellent. Most of the other gadgets (Bluetooth, PDC) worked well too. I did find that if we switch drivers in the middle of a trip, and we tried to continue the same route, it would sometime reset the preferences for avoiding highways, and would try to send us through some other strange route. If we put in the final destination anew, it was fine then. Odd. Another nit: the display brightness control is not very good; it doesn't seem to vary the brightness as well as the ones in the E46 dash.
Some other things that I noticed: there is an option for a night display in the navigation, but it did not seem to modify the display at all. Anyone got it to work yet? Hopefully it does work and does so like our Garmin GPS did.
As others with US-spec M3s in Europe have noticed, I found the GPS traffic info system did not work. I have emailed BMW International Sales to ask about getting that fixed ASAP. I’m also hoping to find a way to have BMW assist sorted out for here as well (the car is a U.S.-spec model, the European spec ones, are absolutely crazy expensive even without factoring in the euro-dollar rate).
I was surprised that the rear seats don’t have storage nets like those in our E46 coupe M3, and the tool kit was missing several tools as well as no flashlight in the glovebox. I’m hoping these are oversights that BMW will correct.
Between the trip back from Munich and a trip to Chievres, we’ve logged close to 1200km already so, with a couple of more short trips we have planned we’ll soon soak up the remaining km to the break-in service. For the time being the only work planned on the car is installation of the alarm, wheels locks, and a GPS tracker, and when December rolls around, mounting the winter tires we shipped from TireRack for ski trips.
If there any other M3 owners in Paris or nearby interested in meeting up at some point (Le Mans in June or Spa later on?), let me know. Also will be making several trips to the ‘Ring over the next couple of years that we are in Europe and would enjoy connecting with anyone planning to head there as well.