2009 BMW 3 Series Sedan User Reviews
- $17,251 - $22,482
- No trim specified for this review
- Superb handling, stylish looks, and comfort features
- Steering wheel button functionality, minor vehicle glitches
I traded in my '06 BMW 325i for the new '09 328i and noticed a few minor differences. The most striking visual difference of the '09 3 series is found on the hood and along the sides of the vehicle. Bold new "V" shaped styling lines accentuate the hood while more subtle styling cues make the new model appear slimmer and sportier. Dual brushed chrome exhausts came standard on the model I chose with the sports package.
At first glance, the interior looks unchanged but after fumbling with the buttons (especially on the steering wheel) and noticing different functions, I was a bit let down. The steering wheel buttons no longer allow customized functionality like the 06 model did. I suppose this is a minor trade off for the newly standard heated steering wheel on the cold weather package.
The new iDrive system on the 09 3 series became a bit easier to use but I was one of the few who praised the previous version anyway. The menus are now side scrolling and makes finding what you need a touch easier. What initially sold me on making the upgrade to the new model was the hard drive based navigation system. The navigation display far surpasses the '06 model in terms of resolution and detail of the maps but lacks in precision and refinement. I've noticed less than optimized routing instructions and the ability to turn down the navigation voice separate from the audio which is something missing from my previous BMW. I was also disappointed that the load time of the navigation system when starting the vehicle and after route selection wasn't any faster than the previous DVD based system. One new plus is the system now allows you to view DVD movies while the car is stationary.
The entertainment package of the '09 328 is on par with the previous models but now offers a unique new feature in the form of an onboard hard drive to store your mp3 collection. After the navigation maps have been loaded, I had 20GB of storage space for my music collection (about 2000 songs). Initially I was thrilled at the prospect of not having to plug in an iPod but the iDrive interface for managing your music collection is woefully lacking. Hopefully they get it right in future software updates. I was not aware of the usb input option when I ordered my vehicle so I've had to transfer my song collection via DVDs which is painfully slow. You are able to browse by song, title, and artist but little features like shuffling and playing a random song require you to make several iDrive menu selections and require you to do so each time the car is turned on.
I've had the vehicle in the shop once for a tire pressure issue on the run flats and once for a sunroof malfunction (both were 15 minute fixes). Overall, the '09 BMW 328i is still an elegant, finely balanced, and awesome car to drive.
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