Let me explain.
I’ve grown tired of the hot hatch market. I currently own (owned?) a Ford Focus ST-3. It was a fun car, and I specced it relatively well, but it had issues from the start. The 19″ wheels I specced left little in the way of comfort, and the infotainment system definitely shows its age. Trying to zoom and pan around the sat nav map was infuriatingly slow. It also made my wife queasy on long journeys, and after a long journey on my own, my ears felt hot and pained.
The qualities that led to those issues, where the same qualities that made it fun to drive on dry, country roads. The car, assuming you understood its purpose, fulfilled its role in life. I have no real complaints about the car itself, but I feel i’ve outgrown that market.
I’m 28 years old now. I’m beyond trying to show off with wheels, badges, and exhausts. But, I still want some fun.
- Phytonic Blue
- All of my previous cars have either been black, or silver, with the exception of a dark blue Audi A3 for a brief period. I’m bored of cars that look no different with a B&W filter, and that blend in to the typically miserable British weather. The Phytonic Blue is different enough to be interesting, but not overly bright – I don’t want to stand out too much.
- Black with grey contrast stitching Vernasca leather.
- As much as I’d like a lighter interior, black is classic, ages relatively well, and effectively eliminates dye transfer.
- 20″ 669M Wheels, with fun flats
- “Technology package”, which includes:
- This consists of the Display Key. A largely useless key (apparently) with some occasionally useful features.
- Head-up Display. I’m not sure yet how good BMW’s sat nav is. If it’s pants, I’ll use Google Maps via CarPlay, and only use the head-up for media stuff. If it’s good, I’ll use it for directions too.
- “Enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging” – wireless charging for my phone (and that Display Key)!
- “BMW Gesture Control“. A fun ‘look at this’ feature, but not one I’ll use often I’m sure.
- WiFI Hot Spot Preparation – Everyone I know has data on their phones. Not useful to me at all.
- “Comfort package”, which includes:
- “Comfort Access” because I haven’t used a fob button to open a car door in about 6 years.
- “Acoustic glazing” – Hopefully this kills some noise on long motorways journeys. I know the car itself is going to be quieter anyway, may as tick this box to help it a bit more.
- “Exterior Mirrors – folding with anti-dazzle” – Why this is an option and not a standard is beyond me. The ‘anti-dazzle’ bit nice nice. You know the little switch (?) under the rear view mirror in most cars to stop you being blinded? This, but automatically, but on all mirrors.
- “Rear Seat Backrest Adjustment” – I’m sure the few people who’ll ever sit in the back for any significant time will appreciate this
- “Extended storage” – This adds a gas strut to the boot floor to keep it up when lifted. Given I’ll store some cleaning chemicals and microfibres under there, this is welcome.
- “Steering wheel heating” – It’s £170. Nobody likes a cold steering wheel art 7am on a February morning.
- “Adaptive M Sport suspension”, because it’s such a cheap option at £530 (comparatively) it’d be silly not to. I hope this gives the car duel personalities. Sport for me, comfort for everyone else.
- “Panoramic glass sunroof” because the black leather interior will need all the brightening up it can get. And, it helps the interior – whatever the colour – feel more open.
- “Sun protection glass” which, if you’ve read about the leather colour and pano roof, seems counterintuitive. It is, but it helps the outside look cleaner. The open glass roof counteract the slight loss of light from the side.
- “Lumbar support, driver and front pass” – I had this on my BMW 335i coupé a few years back, and it’s the thing I miss most about that car. Essentially, it’s some inflatable air bags in the seats which I can set to push into my lower back. Amazing.
- “Galvanic embellisher for controls” – A purely aesthetic option that changes a majority of the switchgear from black plastic to a metallic plastic (not real metal, I think), to lighten small parts of the interior and make controls stand out a bit.
- “Driving Assistant Plus” – Ah, this one is kind of experimental. It encompasses:
- “Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go”. I want this as a safer cruise control, as it’ll slow when it gets close to the car ahead of me. And in heavy traffic, it’ll even come to a standstill, and then continue on. Is this what dreams are made of?
- Lane assistance, because driving home from the airport after a 3am landing isn’t fun.
- A slew of tangentially related safety systems to help prevent me crash, and prepare the car fir being crashed into.
- “Parking Assistant Plus” – So, this one is mostly marketed as the “it’ll park for you” thing, but I want it for the 360° camera, which will be all sorts of run, and wheel-saving.
- “harman/kardon surround sound” (BMW don’t capitalise it, weirdly) – I listen to music through studio monitors all day. I know any car audio system is inherently compromised, but I wanted to give it the best shot.
- “Apple CarPlay preparation” – Duhh
So there’s my spec, with an explanation for all of it. I intend to keep this car for years after the 4-year PCP deal is up, so I wanted to make sure it has everything I want now, and what I may want in the future.
Delivery is expected mid April 2019. As I get some more interesting information, I’ll share it here.