It's taken me a while to get round to this but here's the new car:
It's a 56 plate on 57k, 330i Auto. Not much in the way of options tbh, but crucially has the nicer lemon leather and heated seats.
I'd seen 2 cars, 1 in Shrewsbury at a dealership and this one in Exeter at an independent. Only difference was the dealership one had Nav and AUC, oh and was £3k more!
Given the distance to this one I only really want to make 1 journey, and that would be to collect it. So I employed the services of our forum superhero Mr Flew, as he was relatively equidistant between the two and would be able to give me a clear comparison of the relative condition.
In short, everything about this car suggested it was in much better condition. It was a massive bonus having Dave go and see both and hear his honest opinion of each. In the end it was an easy decision - Nav & AUC along would've always been difficult to justify paying £3k for, but given the car wasn't in the condition I'd have wanted, I did a deal on the one in Exeter.
Beyond that it was easy. I already had deals on the table from either so it was just a question of agreeing a time to take the Clio down and collect the BM.
By way of a comparison, we did a steady (indicated) 80 on the way down in the Clio, with virtually no interruption to progress and the OBC reported 30.2mpg. On the way back, stopping in to see Dave, and enduring the tail end of rush hour traffic the BM returned 28.2mpg (OBC).
I'll hapily take that given the relatievly low mileage I do (<10,000mi). On the very stop/start 8mi commute I'm currently doing that's dropped to about 22mpg, where the Clio was returning 24mpg.
Loving the car so far. It's a much nicer place to be especially on cold mornings - it gets warm quicker, has the heated seats, and doesn't kangaroo down the road for the first 5mins. Changes are smooth 99% of the time, and goes much better than I expected as everything I'd read suggested they were highly strung and need to be revved. When you do nail it it sounds I've already left a few 1's up the road outside work.
Only niggles are:
1: Tramlining - even worse than the Clio.
2: The rear passenger door pin doesn't drop for some reason, although it does lock.
3: There's a broken plastic flap around the boot catch - although I don't understand what purpose it serves.
4: It seems to leave the light lit on the gear selector when locked - do they all do this?
I'm going to treat myself to some darkline rear lights and a full boot-liner seeing as the condition is so immaculate. It will get filthy if I don't as it's going to be used for lugging bits of house to the tip when we start ripping out bathrooms and toilets etc.
Does one ever get bored of booting it out of junctions?