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      01-21-2013, 10:58 PM   #221
drob23
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Originally Posted by claykin View Post
No Michelin's in either size (18 or 19 in RFT)
Would like to know what goodies you use on your wheels. I've tried just about everything and cannot anything better than the following:

1. Mother's wheel brush
2. Mothers wheel toothbrush
3. Some microfibre random deep wheelbrush I got for cleaning well into the Rim.
4. P21S for normal washing along with lots of sudsy Meguiars Gold car wash on Mother's brushes.
5. Sonax Full Effect for every few washes. This stuff is amazing. Scary amazing.
6. Wheel Wax for every few cleanings to deflect sticky dust
7. Meguiars Brake Dust Barrier. Be 100% sure wheel is 1000% dry before applying, otherwise you'll regret it. It seems to help a lot along with #6. I washed my car today and it took 15 minutes to clean my wheels. Amazing considering these horrid dust bucket brake pads!
Wow, some great stuff there. As someone who knows nothing about taking care of a new car - you got any more advice for taking care of the exterior? I'm in snow country and the salt buildup on the side panel is killing me
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      01-22-2013, 07:10 AM   #222
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Would like to know what goodies you use on your wheels. I've tried just about everything and cannot anything better than the following.....
I've got some stuff from Chemical Guys for the wheels that works "OK". Yesterday I just use a heavy dose of their Citrus Wash in water + those Christmas-tree-shaped wheel brushes from Griot's. I normally take the wheels off and seal/wax the barrels, but I was running out of time yesterday.

A few more notes on my first days with the AH3:
This car seems to have better/harder paint than my E92 M3 (Jerez Black). There were very few fine paint scratches after pickup from PCD and the drive home. I did a two stage compound/polish with my Porter Cable + Menzerna, along with a sealant and wax. Looks gorgeous! I got the high-gloss B-pillars looking especially great. Those were the only parts of the car that showed obvious damage, before I went to work on the car. My M3 would get fine scratches just from breathing on it.

I also mounted a holder (ProClip USA) for my iPhone 5 just ahead of the iDrive controller. This includes a cable attachment to plug into the USB armrest port. Now I have better-sounding music (vs. Bluetooth streaming), charging, and convenient place to store my phone. I'll take a picture this weekend of the final setup.
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      01-22-2013, 10:25 AM   #223
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I'll take a picture this weekend of the final setup.

congrats SamS!
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      01-22-2013, 11:01 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by jdong View Post

Here you go. Go ahead and make fun of how slow I am at getting into my car!
Very good... told ya'll it's fast!

On my commute to work today (16 miles), I averaged 44.9mpg, I used Eco Pro. If I can hit high-30's as an average, I will be a happy camper.

A few other thoughts about the car, although most are just F30 vs. E9x observations:
  • Lane Departure Warning is basically worthless (good thing I didn't pay for it, ha!). Sure, it will vibrate the wheel a little bit, but by the time you've drifted that far you'll probably notice yourself. I keep it turned off so I don't have to to look at the lines and arrows in the center of the instrument panel.
  • Speed Limit Info is really nice. I thought there was a way to display this in the IP, in addition to the HUD?
  • The Automatic headlights seem more in tune with the time of day, than actual light outside to trigger. Even at 5pm, it is plenty light here and the sun is high in the sky. But the car seems to know that light is fading so it is aggressive when turning on the lights.
  • Auto High Beams work great! What an incredible amount of light they can throw out.
  • AH3 has a "secret" compartment on the left side of the trunk. I think this is where the Combox is, in the standard F30?
  • H/K stereo is not quite as good as the Enhanced Premium Sound I had in my M3. The default settings have too much treble, so I have to take everything down about 2-3 clicks starting at 2kHz to 10kHz. The EPS had stronger bass, and the Surround mode was actually enjoyable. The L7 just adds weird echoey processing.
  • The view of the gauges "through" the wheel is better than my M3. Ergonomics and comfort are improved in every way, especially the placement of the iDrive controller. The M3 seats are a bit better, but it's not by much over my Sport seats. Seating position and visibility is perfect.
  • NBT is fast fast fast. Scrolling through any list, or Navigation options just flies. The traffic data does seem more detailed than the older Nav. I haven't tried 3D views, yet.
  • Although my homemade (really ProClip) iPhone mount is great, I still miss the iPod Out feature I got with my iPhone 4. Navigating and searching through BMW's artist/album/song layout is cumbersome compared to the iPod Out manner.
  • I really like how incoming calls with name are displayed right in the HUD.
  • I did get the M-sport dead pedal... some of you did not with the M-sport package?
  • The exhaust isn't as muted as the car from my test drive. When you really get on it, or during a cold start, it sings quite well.
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      01-22-2013, 08:38 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by drob23 View Post
Wow, some great stuff there. As someone who knows nothing about taking care of a new car - you got any more advice for taking care of the exterior? I'm in snow country and the salt buildup on the side panel is killing me
If you're lazy I've found nothing better than Collinite's Insulator Wax. Goes on easy and lasts... Just make sure your surface is CLEAN!
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      01-22-2013, 08:48 PM   #226
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[list][*]Lane Departure Warning is basically worthless (good thing I didn't pay for it, ha!). Sure, it will vibrate the wheel a little bit, but by the time you've drifted that far you'll probably notice yourself. I keep it turned off so I don't have to to look at the lines and arrows in the center of the instrument panel.
My parents have this in their 2013 Caddy XTS and sometimes it can be so annoying. I think it can also distract from driver intelligence.

Quote:
[*]AH3 has a "secret" compartment on the left side of the trunk. I think this is where the Combox is, in the standard F30?
Showoff. You can store your stash there.

Quote:
[*]H/K stereo is not quite as good as the Enhanced Premium Sound I had in my M3. The default settings have too much treble, so I have to take everything down about 2-3 clicks starting at 2kHz to 10kHz. The EPS had stronger bass, and the Surround mode was actually enjoyable. The L7 just adds weird echoey processing.
Agreed that L7 processing can be weird. I used a guide I found for the E90 HK stereo and it worked quite well for the F30 HK. No L7 and I'm satisfied.

Quote:
[*]NBT is fast fast fast. Scrolling through any list, or Navigation options just flies. The traffic data does seem more detailed than the older Nav. I haven't tried 3D views, yet.
Did I say showoff? Enjoy your speedy Nav.

Quote:
[*]I really like how incoming calls with name are displayed right in the HUD.
I get that too with my old school CIC Nav.

Quote:
[*]I did get the M-sport dead pedal... some of you did not with the M-sport package?
Only if you got the beige interior from BMWNA. Not sure what they do in Euro cars.
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      01-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #227
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I've got some stuff from Chemical Guys for the wheels that works "OK". Yesterday I just use a heavy dose of their Citrus Wash in water + those Christmas-tree-shaped wheel brushes from Griot's. I normally take the wheels off and seal/wax the barrels, but I was running out of time yesterday.

A few more notes on my first days with the AH3:
This car seems to have better/harder paint than my E92 M3 (Jerez Black). There were very few fine paint scratches after pickup from PCD and the drive home. I did a two stage compound/polish with my Porter Cable + Menzerna, along with a sealant and wax. Looks gorgeous! I got the high-gloss B-pillars looking especially great. Those were the only parts of the car that showed obvious damage, before I went to work on the car. My M3 would get fine scratches just from breathing on it.

I also mounted a holder (ProClip USA) for my iPhone 5 just ahead of the iDrive controller. This includes a cable attachment to plug into the USB armrest port. Now I have better-sounding music (vs. Bluetooth streaming), charging, and convenient place to store my phone. I'll take a picture this weekend of the final setup.
You are missing out. Trust me, I've dumped $$ on car care crap.

Get some Sonax Full Effect (about once per month or every other month if you keep car clean), P21S (for most weekly care), Wheel wax, and Meguiars Brake Dust Barrier. Use the Mothers full wheel brushes and the detail toothbrushes and you'll be pretty happy.

Good idea to remove and wax/coat the wheel interiors. Just get a deep brush to keep that clean too. BMW actually sells a decent brush at the parts dept. Griot is OK, its just they are $$$$ for the same "Made in China"..
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      01-22-2013, 09:39 PM   #228
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If you're lazy I've found nothing better than Collinite's Insulator Wax. Goes on easy and lasts... Just make sure your surface is CLEAN!
Good stuff, I'll look into this, thanks!
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      01-27-2013, 05:53 PM   #229
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Hi everyone.

I thought I'd report back after a solid week with my car, as I now officially have 1200 miles on it

MPG is a bit interesting. My trip back from PCD to Texas averaged about 32-33, which is what you'd expect based on the EPA window sticker. This week, I did a full run of "normal" driving, i.e. heavy traffic, some short trips, a few 'spirited' runs, etc. This tank pulled in at 25mpg. For some reason, I was expecting better. However, that is right in line with the EPA sticker of 25/28/33. I do use Eco Pro whenever I know I'm going to be in heavy traffic. This allows me to take off from stop lights up to a speed of ~20mph before the motor kicks in. And of course you AH3 owners know, this transition is seamless Passengers would never know, and I have to watch the tach to even realize when it happens. So to sum up, I was being optimistic to think I'd get 30+mpg in normal commuting. I think average driving will yield high 20's. Which is not bad! Based on what I read in the "what's your mileage" threads, I think the AH3 will get the same mpg as an equivalent 328i with regular use of A.S.S. Yes (!) it's a lot more expensive than a 328i. But two important things to consider: 1) Engage Sport/Sport+ mode and you have a real torque beast, and 2) You don't have think twice about A.S.S. because it's completely transparent in the AH3, while it's quite the distraction in a 328i.

The car is a lot more "solid" feeling than my 2012 E92 M3. My driveway is a bit steep, and when I back out into the alley, there is a bit of a U-shape, where the back neighbor's driveway begins. So the car effective backs down into a shallow valley. This would cause my M3 to creak and groan every time I reached the bottom of the driveway. Not scraping, just flexing of what I assumed to be the interior panels. The AH3 is rock solid, with not a squeak or rattle to be heard.

I also like how it is easier to get into, and out of vs. the M3. I'm not sure if it's the seats, the shorter doors of the sedan, or what.

My only niggle with the NBT Nav is the seeming inability to "push" iPhone app music (aka Spotify, Live365, etc) because the iPod/iPhone music wants to override when connected via USB. I had a little progress on this today, and inadvertently got Live365 to play without the iPhone music overriding, but I can't duplicate this behavior It has something to do with the sequence in which the car recognizes the iPhone as a music source, and how you start the playback. More to come...

BTW, my wife is not impressed with the AH3 The first two comments she made where in reference to the Nav screen not sliding down, and the fact that the ride (Comfort, mind you) was not "comfortable". Yes, she drives a CR-V and expects to float on a pillow down the road
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      01-27-2013, 09:22 PM   #230
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I agree with the average mpg of high-20's city and combined and low 30's highway. The best way of thinking about this car is that it has all of the 335i's power and refinement on tap with the ability to match or slightly exceed the 328i's fuel economy. And it makes ASS have the level of refinement it should have had in the first place.
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      01-27-2013, 10:52 PM   #231
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I agree with the average mpg of high-20's city and combined and low 30's highway. The best way of thinking about this car is that it has all of the 335i's power and refinement on tap with the ability to match or slightly exceed the 328i's fuel economy. And it makes ASS have the level of refinement it should have had in the first place.
Agreed with all points above!

OK guys, important information regarding AH3 specific warranty:

A few months ago, before I got my car, there was talk about the AH3 not having any additional warranty on the hybrid components beyond the standard 48mo/50K period. This is not true! Page 17 of the Service and Warranty Information Guide makes specific reference to "Specific Control Devices" have either 7yr/70K or 8yr/100K warranty, and directs you do a chart on page 28.

On this chart, we see specifically that the AH3 has 7yr/70K warranty on the following components:
  • DSC
  • Electric A/C Compressor
  • EME (Electric Motor Control Unit)
  • HV Battery (Traction Battery) <--This is the big battery in the trunk
  • SME (High Voltage Battery Control Unit)
  • SME Cooling Fan
  • Starter-Generator
  • Throttle


So, anyone considering keeping the car longer than 4 years can rest a bit easier knowing some of those expensive components will be covered for 7/70K.

Oddly, some components (Catalyst, HPBP, Intake Manifold, etc) are actually covered for 8yr/80k on the 328i/335i, vs. only 7yr/70K on the AH3 and 328i SULEV/PZEV. Strange.
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      01-27-2013, 11:00 PM   #232
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I think PZEV requires the longer warranty period. But indeed; the hybrid warranty is really nice and does make ownership less painful. I think the real risk of ownership is resale value if one plans on reselling in the 5yr window. At that point, I wouldn't expect the ActiveHybrid to compete well with the next gen of hybrids.
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      01-31-2013, 01:34 PM   #233
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Some further thoughts on fuel economy as I approach 1500 miles. I have to assume with break-in, engine management software and fuel economy should be fairly stable at this point.

Assuming I use Eco Pro 90% of the time I'm in heavy-traffic situations, I average 27-28mpg. I would like to see better, but I have to remember I'm driving a 3800lb car that can also zoom around when needed. Highway can manage 33mpg for extended trips.

I think the EPA estimates of 25/28/33 are accurate for this car. Although I've never experienced as low as 25mpg myself. If you use Sport mode more often, and get on the throttle, 25mpg for city might be appropriate.

When the battery has sufficient charge, and I'm gentle with the throttle, I can take off from a light and hit 33mph on pure battery power. I think BMW says this can occur "up to 47mph", but I think anything over 20mph is impressive.

When I look at it overall, I'd say this car nets me 328i fuel economy, with 335i performance. Technically, the AH3 is currently a $3K premium over a 335i, but I would imagine any moderate negotiating skills would cut the delta between the AH3 and a 335i to ~$1500 or less, based simply on the high demand, low stock of 335i cars, currently.
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      01-31-2013, 01:44 PM   #234
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That's great to hear, Sam. My fuel economy numbers are very similar to yours. 33ish highway, and 27-29 when I drive it on my normal routes. This is way more than I used to get in my A4 2.0T driving the same routes (23mpg), and this car makes over 100 more HP and lb-ft.

It really is, as you said, 328i fuel efficiency with 335i performance (or even a bit beyond that thanks to the torquey personality eBOOST gives you). Plus as mentioned before, a heavy duty starter motor that is able to kick on the engine so smoothly that it makes ASS a pleasure to have.

As far as running on electric, in Eco Pro I find the best use of electric power is for takeoff and for coasting. Once I'm at 45mph, if I'm light on the throttle the engine shuts off and the electric motor is able to maintain my speed with no issue. Usually for takeoffs, I like the motor taking me up to 15-17mph before the engine kicks in. Remember that the ICE is the least efficient in that 0-1500RPM range that's exercised in low-speed takeoffs. So this in effect avoids the ICE's least efficient zone and by the time the ICE kicks in, it's as if the car were cruising already.
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      01-31-2013, 01:58 PM   #235
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Interesting comparison to your A4. My previous daily driver was a 2006 Accord with the 166hp I4. The AH3 has 2X the horsepower and torque, and averages 10% better economy than my Honda!

Speaking of A.S.S....it is kind of unfair to compare the AH3 fuel ecomony numbers to the 328i/335i. I think to get respective mpg out of the 328i/335i, you'd have to use A.S.S. With the AH3, I really can't notice ASS. The engagement is so smooth I never notice unless I deliberately watch the tach. Passengers don't notice either. They just plain cannot tell. When I'm in a 328i (especially), the ASS transition is terribly distracting to me. I only recall a light shudder a single time recently, while at a light on low battery the ICE kicked back on while stopped at a light. This is less intrusive than what happens in the normal F30. During normal driving, I never feel it. Seriously.
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      01-31-2013, 05:42 PM   #236
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Yeah, it's amazing how smooth it is. If you're moving faster than 5mph when the transition occurs, the road noise covers 100% of the ASS event. Seriously. Blindfold a passenger and they won't even be able to tell you when the engine turns on and off. Most of the times too, that's when the transitions happen.


The only time you notice the transition is when it happens at standstill, which generally is only when the air conditioning drains your battery to 7%. In that case, you hear the starter motor, feel a really faint vibration as the engine kicks in, and that's it. My passenger's reaction was "Hey, I could actually notice it that time!"

It really surprises me that BMW didn't put this sophisticated a start-stop system into the regular 328i/335i. The low voltage system in the AH3 consists of 2 12V batteries. Ordinarily they are connected together in parallel, but during starting, the car will disconnect one of the 12V batteries, use it for starting, then reconnect it. This prevents the sudden voltage dip when starting from affecting vehicle electronics.

If you pay attention to the engine starting in a 328i/335i, you can notice cabin lights and electronics dimming a bit during the start. In fact some people on this forum have reported their music volume changing / popping.
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      01-31-2013, 05:52 PM   #237
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An Addiction That Cannot Be Satiated....

I am addicted to eBoost and not ashamed to admit it. I have never owned a car so powerful. I'm out of the break-in period and seek opportunities to fully experience eBoost. The other night in second gear, I floored the car and watched how long the car remained in eBoost mode. On dry and smooth blacktop, the thrust was so powerful that the rear wheels spun during the 2nd to third shift.

I have yet been able to stay in eBoost well before my courage escapes me. I've always wanted a car that could be frighteningly quick. I think I need some track time to fully experience the limits of this car

Does anyone have experience driving a car with overwhelming midrange performance?


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It really is, as you said, 328i fuel efficiency with 335i performance (or even a bit beyond that thanks to the torquey personality eBOOST gives you). Plus as mentioned before, a heavy duty starter motor that i
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      02-01-2013, 09:42 AM   #238
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Yeah, it's amazing how smooth it is. If you're moving faster than 5mph when the transition occurs, the road noise covers 100% of the ASS event. Seriously. Blindfold a passenger and they won't even be able to tell you when the engine turns on and off. Most of the times too, that's when the transitions happen.


The only time you notice the transition is when it happens at standstill, which generally is only when the air conditioning drains your battery to 7%. In that case, you hear the starter motor, feel a really faint vibration as the engine kicks in, and that's it. My passenger's reaction was "Hey, I could actually notice it that time!"

It really surprises me that BMW didn't put this sophisticated a start-stop system into the regular 328i/335i. The low voltage system in the AH3 consists of 2 12V batteries. Ordinarily they are connected together in parallel, but during starting, the car will disconnect one of the 12V batteries, use it for starting, then reconnect it. This prevents the sudden voltage dip when starting from affecting vehicle electronics.

If you pay attention to the engine starting in a 328i/335i, you can notice cabin lights and electronics dimming a bit during the start. In fact some people on this forum have reported their music volume changing / popping.
I don't think the standard F30 can ever be as smooth with the ASS, because the AH3 has the electric motor sandwiched in between the N55 and tranny instead of a torque converter. The motor can start the engine and smoothly sync it up.

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I am addicted to eBoost and not ashamed to admit it. I have never owned a car so powerful. I'm out of the break-in period and seek opportunities to fully experience eBoost. The other night in second gear, I floored the car and watched how long the car remained in eBoost mode. On dry and smooth blacktop, the thrust was so powerful that the rear wheels spun during the 2nd to third shift.

I have yet been able to stay in eBoost well before my courage escapes me. I've always wanted a car that could be frighteningly quick. I think I need some track time to fully experience the limits of this car

Does anyone have experience driving a car with overwhelming midrange performance?
I have only experienced eBoost a handful of times. You really have to be getting on it, and have plenty of road ahead of you

No doubt about it, this car is fast.
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      02-10-2013, 12:57 PM   #239
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Crossing the Atlantic on the Athens Highway...

My ActiveHybrid 3 is on K-Lines "Athens Highway", just west of Spain. The next scheduled port stop is Baltimore, Maryland, then on to Brunswick, Georgia by about February 20th where my vehicle will disembark and be processed in at the BMW Vehicle Distribution Center and prepared for delivery to BMW of Austin.

I ordered a Sport line in Mineral White Metallic with Black Dakota Leather sport seats. Extras include Premium Package, Driver Assistance Package, Technology Package, HK Audio, and Heated Seats. I also specified all season tires, as I hope to drive it across a good bit of the country over the next few years.

I wanted good performance in a car that is fun to drive, and look forward to driving it on the open highway (new 85 mph toll roads in Texas are great!) or through the twisting back roads in Texas hill country. In the last decade or so I have been equally intrigued by the advanced technology being integrated (not always well) into new vehicles. That is what drew me to the AH3, and I ordered mine after a several test drives of various 3-series and learning more from posts on this site. Thanks to Sam S, BMW Cali, jdong, Boosted John, MotoEV, and zon (among others) for all the information you shared. It helped me decide to pull the trigger and has kept me entertained while I am waiting for my car.

Over the last decade we have owned a 2006 330i, a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, a 200? Jaguar X-Type, the last model year Thunderbird convertable, and a Lincoln MKX. My wife presently has a 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, and I have been driving a 2011 Infiniti EX that I bought after considering a 2011 BMW X3. I look forward to adding thoughts and experiences from my perspective after logging some miles in my AH3.
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      02-10-2013, 03:07 PM   #240
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^^^ Another AH3 in Texas! You have had some interesting cars, I'll be anxious to read your thoughts about the AH3 compared to your other hybrids.

You probably only have 3-4 weeks to go. This part is the hardest
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      02-10-2013, 08:35 PM   #241
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Does anyone have experience driving a car with overwhelming midrange performance?
It's great you are enjoying your car. Sadly, one very quickly gets used to the power of any car.

As a matter of perspective, there are many much more powerful cars. The F30, in any variant, is nicely a bit over mid-pack.
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      02-16-2013, 11:15 PM   #242
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Posts: 320
iTrader: (1)

Im locking in the programs this month to lease an Active Hybrid 3 that is at the VPC. I will probably buy it early next month and do a Pull-ahead on my 550xi GT lease. My gas savings will be alot 18mpg vs. 40-42mpg. I will be picking up a Silver/Black Msport with Drivers Asst, Premium, Technology, Sport Auto, Lane Dept, Alum trim, Prem Sound, Blk Grills - I cant wait!
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DJ
Driving 2013 AH3 - Retired 2011 550xi GT - 09 335i Vert White/Red - 08 M3 Sedan - 08 535i - 04 330Ci ZHP - 04 M3 CIC LSB
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