I myself would use the voice control system. It works most times as long as road noise isn't too loud and it saves you having to look at the screen while driving.
Dialing the telephone is a doddle and switching to map view in the navigation is simple.
Can't fault the car.
Additional comment from the author of the original review - the ventilation/heating fan started making "my bearings are about to fail"-type hooting noises in cold weather and kept its promise last week by failing completely, meaning the car mists up in humid weather (I live in Glasgow, which means it's humid pretty much all the time, so it's like driving in an icy sauna). The car spent today at a BMW dealer who said there was a complex technical problem which required parts to be ordered specially (come back next week). The ventilation fan worked perfectly on the way home.
Second thoughts on the High Beam Assistant, too - it's a waste of money. When you're driving along a dark country road it mistakes the reflections from road signs for oncoming vehicles and dips the headlamps accordingly. Just what you need when you're approaching a hairpin bend...
I was given a courtesy car when my E46 Sport Coupe left me mid journey. I have to say I was surprised, or a better word shocked. I have a 2.5 petrol engine and I thought that was quite adequate, but believe me and I never ever thought I would ever say this, my next BMW is going to be a diesel. Hand on heart I was left astonished by the acceleration of the car, it made my 2.5 petrol look like an ordinary diesel. Whoever has not test driven a diesel, I suggest you do, they go like a rocket.
I agree when you start them from cold they sound like a mini tractor till they warm up and the run flat tires are poor, it is my personal opinion that they grip less than a standard tyre which is more comfortable and less noisy as well.
The interior is a bit less driver involved and there are many nice features like little lights under the door handles and cup holders in the dashboard, but the main jewel is the turbo diesel, honestly I never thought I would say I want a diesel, but I do the engine is just sublime.
Even the 320d is rapid for what it is. I recently had a go in an 08 plate with the new 177 bhp engine, and in terms of straightline speed, it's easily a match for my 2.0T Volvo S60 while returning over 50 mpg. A very appealing combination in its own right. Doesn't sound as good as the Volvo, but not much does ;-)
Just a lovely road car engine - power everywhere, excellent response, hardly any lag, and never feels sluggish. Efficient Dynamics takes some getting used to as well. The engine stops whenever you put the handbrake on and take it out of gear, and then restarts automatically when you depress the clutch. Quirky until you get used to it. Personally think i-Drive is a pointless gimmick too.
Car itself is a gem. Must be a serious tool with the bigger diesel in it.
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