Got my sporty back
June 21, 2012
Been a big BMW fan. Went from M3 to 550i. I loved my M3. It was the most fun I've ever had in a vehicle. If it wasn't for the stupid rain, I would still have that car. The 550 didn't compare. Granted, the 550 was big, luxurious, and fast (had the sport package), and handled very well. But I just couldn't get over the fact that the 550 was still kind of sluggish compared to the M3. And what gas guzzlers these BMW's are. I was lucky to average 20 mpg on the freeway. And filling up the 18 gallon tank easily cost me $75 per tank.
I test drove a 2012 A3 with the sport package and 18" wheels and loved it. I pretty much had the M3 feel back, but so much smoother and quieter, which seems to become more important with age. So I went searching, cause I don't believe in buying new cars. Found a very low mileage 2011 A3, premium plus and the all important and rare Titanium Sport package. Wow, the rare 18" monza wheels are nice, the car grips like crazy, the paddle shifters give you instant passing ability, alcantara leather seats don't get as hot, and the black roof liner gives it a custom touch. It's quiet when you want it to be, yet very powerful and just throaty enough when you step on it. It does have a little bit of turbo lag, but nothing that you can't get used to. And being able to fill up for $40 and go further, yes, well worth it.
So enough of the pros, now for the cons (cause nothing is "perfect").
-at night, with headlights on, even stopped, when you open the driver door, the car beeps at you constantly and there is no way to turn it off, annoying
-the HID headlight casing reflects a yellowish tint
-lower gears shift too early, causing slow starts
-car features are not as adjustable as BMW's
-empty buttons below the radio are unsightly
So the cons are mostly superficial things. The pros definitely outweigh the cons. I've gotten a lot of looks in the A3, and I just love driving it. Decision well made.