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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Meet Jet Black, a 2008 BMW M3 Sedan

After yesterday's test drive of the 2008 BMW E90 M3, I had a lot to think about last night. I was pretty certain the M3 would be my next car, but I was really struggling over the color. In fact, you might say I was obsessing over it. Jet Black or Sparkling Graphite? That was the real question.

I was serious enough about the Sparkling Graphite color in the M3 that I called around the Los Angeles area trying to locate one with the similar options that the Jet Black M3 I test drove had. After a couple of calls, I located almost the identical car down at Irvine BMW. Now I really needed to make a decision.

What did I do? Of course, I turned to the Internet and Google.

Some visits to some common BMW / M3 boards revealed something that I did not notice in the showroom. The Sparkling Graphite color has a distinct purple tint to it, especially in direct sunlight. I then looked at several pictures and really started noticing the purple. Not that a purple car is a bad thing, just not what I was looking for in my next car.

Since I decided on the car color last night, all I needed to do was make the purchase today -- assuming the Jet Black M3 was still available. Waiting for 10:00am for the dealership to open was a little painful. However, I placed a call before we headed out of church to reserve / put a deposit on the car.

BMW E90 M3 2008 at Delivery time at Bob Smith BMW rear view
After attending church in Malibu, we headed over to make the purchase. I mentioned the situation with the Sparkling Graphite to our sales person -- to which he replied, I almost pulled it out of the showroom to show you it in the sun. Still, Sparkling Graphite looks awesome in the showroom.

We walked over to take a look at "Jet Black" as it was being detailed and confirmed it was cleaning up nicely. It had just about every option I was interested in, including:

  • Preium Package
  • Black Novillo Extended Leather
  • Cold Weather Package
  • Technology Package
  • 19" Wheels with Performance Tires
  • Moonroof
  • iPod and USB Adapter
  • Satellite Radio
  • Enhanced Premium Sound

I asked for a couple of additional details to be buffed out inside and out before delivery, and now it was time for the paperwork...

BMW E90 M3 2008 at Delivery time at Bob Smith BMW front / side view
I always have to laugh about purchasing a car. In most cases, I have known and been happy with the price I paid before I came into the dealership -- and this time was no different. Then it comes time to meet with the finance person and be "up sold" a number of options that you may or may not need. In the case for the E90 M3, here were the options I was presented with:

  • Gap insurance, or the difference between the "fair market value" and what is owed on the vehicle. And generally speaking, there is decent amount of money on the table should the vehicle be stolen or totalled the instance you walk off the lot. Let's just say that this was a significant markup over the $6 or so a month that Allstate charges me for it.
  • Tire / Wheel insurance, should I damage the tires or rims at a cost of $1300 for 5 years. Given that the tires on this vehicle will be lucky to go much more than 15,000 miles, it would only only cover the tires for a year and the wheel for the remaining 4 years -- pretty expensive even if I should damage the 19" wheel.
  • Lo-Jack, at a discounted price for the holidays around $800. And by the way, your new 2008 E90 M3 only comes "wired" for the security system and you cannot put any other system on it besides from the BMW one without voiding your warranty.

Near Stoney Point in the Santa Monica Mountains with the Jet Black 2008 BMW M3 Sedan E90

As has always been the case -- I never agree to any of these add-ons during the sales process. In almost every case, they are significantly marked up from where you can get them elsewhere (for example when I buy my next set of tires, Costco will cover them with their included road-handler warranty) for much less or even free as was the case with the gap insurance. I am still perplexed how BMW chooses not to include two things with their premium vehicles -- an alarm system and floor mats. Actually, I guess I lied -- I did buy the floor mats at a cost of $130, cannot really go with that those. As I finished up the paperwork, I was mainly annoyed about the alarm. Pretty frustrating.

But, as soon as I was done and walked out towards the vehicle, I choose the forget all about that and enjoy the rest of the day with the new vehicle. I took a few minutes with the sales person to review the settings in the car, setting up my Blackberry with the Bluetood and connecting my iPod.
Stoney Point in the background on this rear view of my BMW M3 Sedan, 2008 E90 model

And then I drove off the lot, with my new 2008 BMW E90 M3 -- which means, for readers of this blog there are sure to be many posts in the upcoming months about the new car!