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      01-21-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
ssstraub
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Detroit M235i/228i first impressions and a LED rant

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(Yes this is my first post here but I'm not new to BMWs. I've just spent the last 8 years or so at e46fanatics.)

So I checked out the M235i and 228i at the Detroit auto show on Saturday and really liked the car. I love the modern BMW interiors, especially vs what was on the E90 3 series. I thought that gen was actually a step backwards from the E46, but that's just my opinion.

Anyway, the car is great inside and out and I can't wait to drive it. I was a little disappointed with the trunk opening as it's a bit narrower than my E46. I'm glad to see they didn't cheap out like many other brands and get rid of hydraulic struts for the trunk and hood. I think the rear seat is slightly smaller too, though it's not like the E46 coupe has excessive amounts of room in back either.

Now here comes the rant about a purely cosmetic feature that gets under my skin every time. Feel free to skip this part if you don't want to hear someone's opinion on an admittedly minor thing I find ridiculous about BMWs and I'm aware is not a new complaint. You've been warned!

One thing I really hated is that this is unbelievably yet another brand new BMW with incandescent turn signals. That M235i on the show floor had a big orange bulb for a turn signal in the headlight cluster and again in the taillight (though I couldn't actually see that one since the light is opaque). This even thought the car had xenons with LED eyebrows!

I was at the Detroit show for 8 hours (pretty much saw everything there) and it's getting to the point now that even non-luxury cars use LEDs for brake lights, but maybe not for turn signals yet. But ALL the other luxury brands such as MB, Audi, Lexus, Infinity, Acura, Porsche, etc are LED across their entire lineup.

How many times is BMW going to come out with brand new cars and purposefully leave off LEDs only to add them back again a few years later with the LCI? Can you imagine if suddenly a new 3 came out and they removed the option for iDrive/Nav and you had to wait until LCI for it to come back again? It makes no sense at all, especially since BMW seems to be the only manufacturer doing this.

Look at the unbelievable LED progression on the 3 series:
2001 E46 coupe/vert: incandescent turn signals
2004 E46 coupe/vert: LED turn signals

2006/7 E90: incandescent turn signals
2010? E90: LED turn signals

2012 F30: incandescent turn signals
Future LCI F30: LED turn signals?

And now the 2 series gets this same treatment as well. Going backwards intentionally to later give the LCI an upgrade in looks brings down the whole brand IMO. Such a cheesy and transparent move that adds a completely unnecessary flaw to an otherwise great new car.

If you think it's odd that I find this one cosmetic thing so annoying, think about it this way: One of the reasons I love BMWs is because they don't usually do stupid things that make no sense. Almost everything is done for a logical reason, even if that approach costs more, and usually I find it's a reason that makes perfect sense to me. This sticks out at a reason not based on any logic other than later marketing the LCI upgrade.

That cosmetic fetish/pet-peeve aside, almost everything else about the 2 series looks excellent and I'm more interested in it than any BMW since my E46.
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      01-21-2014, 02:00 PM   #2
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agreed

My '09 LCI E90 has undiffused LED turn signals on the Headlamps. I really like how bright they are. No other model has repeated this.
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      01-21-2014, 05:42 PM   #3
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How is the quality of the materials in the interior? i.e. which parts are hard plastic?
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      01-21-2014, 05:50 PM   #4
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I agree with all of your points, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssstraub View Post
One of the reasons I love BMWs is because they don't usually do stupid things that make no sense.
Emphasis on the "usually," right?



"We're going to call it WHAT? ... Hold on, let me get a pen."
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      01-21-2014, 08:11 PM   #5
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Is the all new BMW LUV X6 M50D Twin Turbo Diesel Xdrive Msport Coupe....wait what??

Its a "M" goddammit
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      01-21-2014, 08:59 PM   #6
ssstraub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unintelligible View Post
I agree with all of your points, but...

Emphasis on the "usually," right?



"We're going to call it WHAT? ... Hold on, let me get a pen."
Yes the naming scheme is a headache and I'm only talking about the volume car line when I think "BMW".
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      01-21-2014, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The J-Man View Post
How is the quality of the materials in the interior? i.e. which parts are hard plastic?
I'm a big fan of the most recent BMW interiors. I was mostly concerned with:
- the steering wheel: GREAT in M Sport
- Instrument cluster: functional and fine, thought I didn't see it in person I bet the base non "extended contents" version is a bit lame.
- seats: at least as good as my leather ZSP E46

I didn't think at the time of pressing on the dash or door panels, but they looked nice. I didn't notice anything obviously cheap (except those damn incandescent turn signals ARGH) and I did notice some cheap interiors elsewhere at the show.
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      01-22-2014, 12:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssstraub View Post
I did notice some cheap interiors elsewhere at the show.
New mustang and camaro interiors were same ole crap plastic and door rattles i noticed

The new IS350 also had cheap (faded looking) black plastic console. Highly disappointed especially when the instrumentation cluster is KILLER.

What exactly did you notice?
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      01-22-2014, 12:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miiipilot View Post
New mustang and camaro interiors were same ole crap plastic and door rattles i noticed

The new IS350 also had cheap (faded looking) black plastic console. Highly disappointed especially when the instrumentation cluster is KILLER.

What exactly did you notice?
The Mustangs were locked but from the window I thought it at least looked better than the prior gen (low bar to beat). It was hard to tell the quality from looking through the window. I thought the F150 looked nice in/out too though that was also locked.

I noticed the Chevys had some wobble to the door liner when you would close the door. I think 3 separate cars had that: Camaro, SS (why does this car exist?), and sadly even the Corvette Stingray. Though the Corvette interior was majorly improved since last gen.

I also had a good chuckle at the Corolla's dollar store quality digital clock complete with H/M/SS buttons on it. I'll never understand why they do this. Yes, ok have a dedicated clock but why such a cheap looking POS? Couldn't be a stronger contrast between that and the nav screen right below it!


I didn't check out any other Toyotas--Had to leave that display quickly so as not to fall asleep.

I liked the new Honda Accord quite a bit as far as the quality of the interior. I find their layouts can be somewhat questionable but IMO the quality is high.

The Tesla Model S I thought was well put together, if spartan, though there's nothing wrong with it being spartan since most the functions are in that massive display.

I'm always a bit disappointed in the sea of hard plastics in the VW interiors even on top trims because I tend to like their cars otherwise and the new GTI sadly doesn't improve anything there. It's too bad because I like their interior designs.

I've never really liked any Lexus interior. Maybe the GS at one point because it was like a living room on wheels. I don't know about the quality specifically--I can't get past the design on most of them enough to care. For some reason they make really high tech looking instruments then throw a puke green radio and/or climate display in there like no one will notice. I think that may be the minority case these days but even without that the designs are just not my taste.

Last edited by ssstraub; 01-22-2014 at 12:25 PM.
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      01-22-2014, 12:18 PM   #10
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Looked through some more pics and had more comments on interiors.

BMW i3: Locked but wow I really like the look of the interior. Not white/tan 2-tone color scheme but just the new age layout and spaciousness.

MB CLA: Far prefer the nav display situated on the top of the dash on the bimmers than that little floating screen in the Mercedes that looks like an aftermarket addition.

Caddy ATS: Eh. I think it was ok but not on the level of BMW yet. Some of this is just my subjective preference for the design.

Audi (all of them): Interior feels like any Audi from last 5-7 years for better or worse. I think they're easily better than average but I prefer BMW's design language.
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      01-22-2014, 12:59 PM   #11
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Back on topic...

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      01-22-2014, 01:06 PM   #12
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Some more pics I took.

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I am not in love with this wheel design. I wonder if the gunmetal color is to help hide all the brake dust?

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Best steering wheel of any sub $100k car at the show IMO.

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BMW owners lounge was a nice perk.

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