2013 BMW 3 Series Convertible 328i 2dr Convertible (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
The switch from a zippy Honda Civic Si to a 328i Convertible may have taken away the rush of the Civic's K20 engine acceleration but it replaced it with a vehicle with refinement and class. At every turn it feels like someone back in Munich really thought about that feature and refined it.
The convertible's big feature is of course it's transformational hard top - a feature guaranteed to mesmerize passing 6 year olds and still cause heads to turn for older observers.
The 3.0 liter inline 6 is not the eager peppy Civic engine, it's more the competent "I got this" super smooth pour on the power superior alternative.
The biggest surprise as a 4 person family is that you actually can take this car on driving vacations. Top up you can fit 1 large and 1 small suitcase. Top down you lose the small suitcase.
We opted for the sat nav and base model music system. I would recommend this combo. The sat nav makes the car - giving better visibility into what's playing and how to get from A to B. The stock stereo is more than good enough and by getting the sat nav you get to rip and store an immense amount of music on the car's hard drive.
The ride is amazing - you feel wofted along yet cornering and driving is very precise. When I switch to my wife's Honda SUV I realize just how precise the BMW steering is.
The biggest negative is the car was clearly designed for iPhone users. You can still play music from your Android phone over the bluetooth and most of the time you can skip back and forth on Rdio, Spotify or Rhapsody. Only Pandora's track information shows up on the sat nav and you'll never see album art (perhaps only a feature for iPhone users?). Contacts show up but emails never appear.
There's not much to improve here. Sure you could ask for more trunk space, but the amazing lines and sporty feel might be lost.
Mileage is 22-32mpg, I use typically premium grade gas but BMW also indicates mid grade is acceptable.
Emissions are almost the same as my old 4 cylinder Civic Si.