A little over two weeks ago, I was in South Carolina trying to get back to Albuquerque. Going by plane was the cheapest option. I also seemed the riskiest option. There was no direct flight. I had a choice of having a layover in Dallas or Denver. Not exactly airports one wants to hang out in during a pandemic.
Checking out the car rentals, even the cheapest car was twice the price of flying. The only real benefit was being around people who mostly were local to small towns when stopping for gas and food (if done wisely).
The day before I left, I checked one more time for a car rental. To my surprise Car Rental Companies are suffering like every other transportation industry, and most of their their business has evaporated. I booked a Hyundai Elantra or something like it for forty dollars a day and change, no long distance or high mileage fees. It wouldn’t be as nice as flying, but should be less risky from an exposure point of view.
When I picked up the car, they told me, they had a BMW for the same price and would that be okay? After spending a second or two for a polite pause, I said yes, a BMW would be fine, trying to keep the gloat off my face. I drove a BMW 330i off the lot.
Up until that moment, I thought a Volkswagen Jetta was the greatest long distance driving car out there. The Jetta has a 900 mile a day seat, handles well, and is a pleasure for a drivers over long distances.
The BMW 330i is an easy step up as a driving machine. For the first few hundred miles, it felt like the car an I were fighting each other, The rest of the two thousand mile drive was a dream!
The BMW 330i has everything wanted for a long drive starting with the best speaker system I have ever heard in a car. The seat besides tilt, up down, forward and back has two more adjustments for your back, and two more for your legs. Plus if you have long legs, the bottom of the seat has a built in extension that moves the front seat length up to about three inches farther out.
Of course the few fast cars out there wanted a run, and all were disappointed afterwards. The BMW 330i may not be the fastest car out there, but it is a long ways from being a slouch (Wanna be’s take heed). You step on the gas and you move. Step on the gas harder and you move faster. Braking is superb too.
Handling is as crisp at thirty mph as it is three times that speed, or more. Also there were no rough roads sitting inside the 330i with one exception. I did hit a huge pothole in Nashville, TN. I thought the pothole was going to take the front wheel off. The pothole shook the car pretty hard, but all was well. I thought in a normal car, the wheel would have been ripped off. That pothole was a gross exception, and not the rule for rough roads.
If I had to drive long distances every day, I would seriously consider the BMW 330i, As a daily driver, I think it would be doing the car a disservice. The 330i is made to be driven, not idling to work at twenty miles an hour in traffic.
If you have the opportunity to drive a BMW 330i and you have the time for a very long drive, I think you will find you will have a really good time and appreciate the thinking, quality and skill that goes into building the BMW 330i.
If you want to drive a car only because it’s fast, I would rent something else. Like all things in life, after my drive it was time to turn in the BMW 330i so the next driver can appreciate all a BMW 330i has to offer.