2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Sharp Shifter
January 20, 2015
File this one in the "Mark's a whiny little wuss" folder. When I'm driving in normal conditions, I tend to fiddle with things. I'll tap incessantly on a shifter emblem, push the parking brake release button, scratch at the stitching on the steering wheel. Hey, it's better than digging for gold or putting on makeup, right?
In my restlessness, I started tapping on the paddle shifters and discovered a minor misstep. And by minor, this isn't even a first-world problem. The edges of the paddles are sharp. Boo-freaking-hoo, I know, but here's my point (finally): For something that drivers would potentially be touching on a regular basis, the finish should be excellent.
The sharp edge seems to be a byproduct of the manufacturing process. This excess material left over from the casting is called flashing and it could've been removed in a matter of seconds by a buffer wheel.
So being a compulsive fiddler, all I did all week was scratch at this sharp edge. No, this scratching didn't wear down the flashing. It just kept gouging tiny little ridges in my fingernail. It's slightly more annoying that other manufacturers get it right with their paddles. C'mon BMW, step it up.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 20,164 Miles