December 02, 2009
Our Long-Term 2009 BMW M3 is nearly flawless in its execution. Refined. Comfortable. Dynamically thrilling. It's hard to fault the car. But I love a challenge.
In this case the challenge was finding a way to secure my iPhone while keeping it easy to access. Most cars offer multiple pockets for such duty between the front seats, but not the M3. Initially I tried putting it in the small, shallow ash tray ahead of the shifter, but that resulted in an iPhone lost beneath the driver's seat after one semi-aggressive right turn.
My next attempt involved one of the elaborate cupholders that deploy above the glovebox (shown above). But like the ash tray this storage bin is too shallow, and I eventually relocated the precariously shifting iPhone before it fell out.
Eventually I stuffed it in the console pocket under the armrest. It fits in there, and I can technically answer incoming phone calls by hitting the main iDrive button. But if I need to do something more elaborate, like find an address in my address book or let my wife use the Zagat appliction to find a restaurant, I have to dig it back out. This has been an issue with BMW's for years -- no easily accessible storage bins for cell phones, sunglasses, access cards, etc.
Maybe it's like iDrive, and I "just don't get" the design brilliance of an interior without storage bins.
October 29, 2009
Picked up this little number from the local furniture store recently. For a second I thought about running home to get a bigger car, but I figured it was worth trying to squeeze it in to the M3 first.
Sure enough, with a little adjustment of the front seat I wedged it in there. Could I have done the same in the M3 coupe? Maybe, but to me this was just another instance of why the M3 sedan makes more sense.
Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 11.055 miles
June 17, 2009
I spent the past few days with our 2009 BMW M3 sedan. And we spent more time at Lowe's than an M3 ever should. I dropped the 60/40 back seats and stuffed it with 8-foot lengths of door trim, furniture, plants, a small tree and compound miter saw. But all you get to see is this stack of boxes. Try doing that with an M3 coupe.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 4,444 miles
May 12, 2009
The current (E9X) BMW 3 Series comes standard with a shallow storage cavity aft of the shifter on the center console. It's kind of a joke, but at least I'm able to squeeze my cell phone and wallet into it. Our long-term 2009 BMW M3 sedan has the iDrive option, which replaces that storage cavity with the iDrive controller.