As you know, some things in life are just impossible or just hopeless.

Like the Buffalo Bills winning a Super Bowl, the USA building an AutoBahn or Lindsay Lohan inside a Baptist Church on Sundays.

And ME holding on to a vehicle long term.

As you know back on Black Friday 2010, I got a 911 Carrera S which was one fine ride!!

I would say one of the greatest.

But because I'm always on the road testing cars or getting review cars here in San Diego, my normal daily drivers end up sitting and not getting much use.

And sad to say the 911 only had 2k miles put on it in six months.

An absolute sin if you ask me.

Plus, it's a lot of dough going out the door for something that isn't getting used very often.

So I went through my usual process trying to figure out what to replace it with.

And as the top '00' who gets paid to give his opinions and make the right vehicle choices, it HAD to be the RIGHT decision.

So my first choice that I pursued was the gorgeous all new Audi A7.

Amazing style (I think it's the best looking car under 100k right now), new lightweight Audi technology, Google earth based nav and useful with the hatch style trunklid.

But unfortunately for 001, the Audi dealer couldn't step up on the 911 trade and the lease was MORE money and a longer term than the 911.

And as a testimony to Audi's meteoric success lately...their leases are NOT subvented like the competitors and people are paying full $$$ because the new stuff is so good.

Alas, the white A7 with two-tone beige interior was not tot be for Agent 001.

So what's an Agent to do then?

The goal was a great daily driver, sexy looks, excellent performance, usefulness, great mileage if possible with a monthly outlay that didn't break the bank seeing the car sits in a driveway most of the month.

Hmmm, not a lot out there that has all that that excites me.

So WHAT brand do I recommend to others when they need and want a LOT of car for the money?

Always at the top of the list in that conversation is BMW/MINI.

Their leases are usually subvented, so the lease term will be short and the payments will be lower than the competition because of their excellent resale value figured into the lease payment calculation.

But I've had MANY BMW's.

The car before the 911 was the 335is convertible which was also one of the best cars ever.

So how about a new MINI Countryman?


Countryman's aren't leasing well right now and although mileage and utility is awesome, sexy isn't in the picture there.

Plus I would have to deal with my ultimate nemesis.


Unless I got AWD but that isn't needed in SoCal.

Plus, after riding in the MINI (equipped with run flats) in NYC with 00R, I found the ride harsh and the interior noise level quite loud for my liking.

So scratch the Countryman.

So while i was still in car research limbo my tester for the Bimmerfest show arrived at the SpyCave's door.

The 2011 BMW 335d sport in striking Red with beige interior.

I had remembered driving it in Europe and falling in love with the torque on the autobahn and the wicked long range fuel economy.

And after driving it to Pasadena, my memory was right.

0-60 time super close to the standard 335i but much more torque (YUM!!!) and a superlative 39MPG on my trip to Bimmerfest.

So did I have my answer?

Not yet.

As good as it was, SOMETHING was STILL missing.

Loved it in Red, sport package looked good (not great) but the base options and old fashioned all beige interior left me lukewarm on the idea.

ESPECIALLY, after dreaming of being in that AMAZING A7 driver seat.

So the 335d fit the bill except it wasn't sexy enough and the interior left my cold. (See the Sport/M-Sport comparison pics in the gallery and you make the call)

Fast forward one week...Still no decision...

Normally, when I'm at this kind of an impass I go back over my choices and do configs on their internet sites, i visit more dealers to look at their inventories and I keep my eyes open driving around to see if something perks my eye.

So during a normal after midnight iPad session I wound up dreaming again at the website and started configuring the 335d again...


As I was choosing options, something new was there that I hadn't seen before.

The M-Sport option.


You can get 335d in the USA with the M-Sport package?

Full 2011 BMW 335d M-sport Photo Gallery

Why didn't I see any at dealers?

So first thing in the AM, I call a BMW dealer and ask if they have one that I can see in person and the salesperson says they don't have one and the ONLY one in all of SoCal, is at the port and won't be at the dealer for a week.

I ask why and they say because the sales managers are AFRAID to order them because the stereotype is that diesel customers are foreign doctors that don't car about looks, ONLY about price/value.

I say sooo 1980 and wrong-O.

In Europe, you can get the M-Sport pack on even the lowliest of BMW's.

And you see them that way all over.

ATTENTION sales managers. People are TIRED of plain black interiors. And for BMW dealers, the reason you're losing so many deals to Audi is becuase you NEVER stock the interesting colors and the buyers see a plain black interior then hop over to Audi and see a Cashmere Beige two-tone and you're DEAD.

Plus the buyer goes and tell a hundred people that the BMW looked cheap that's why they bought the Audi.

If they only knew BMW made beautiful interiors like that too.

They WOULD if you STOCKED them and DISPLAYED them on your showroom floor!

Back to my deal...

So I started calling dealers to get a bid on my car and Sterling BMW in Newport had the strongest number.

Then I called my salesguy there, Derick Mitre (the guy wearing the Bell & Ross BR01-94 Blue) and had his manager dealer trade for the car (White with Saddle) and I drove it home (with a dinner stop off at my favorite place in Corona Del Mar Bandera).

And how about THIS for the kicker?

BMW is offering a $3500 ECO-Credit on TOP of the discount you get at your dealer!

Now THAT's an incentive I can love!

The car only had 20 miles on it for delivery and still got 38MPG on the ride home averaging a speed we don't recommend to our readers.

What I've learned so far:

1. It's sexy in M-sport garb only.

2. Torque is AMAZING! 425 FT. LB's. and you REALLY feel it when you need it.

3. Over 2000 RPM's you can't tell it's a diesel.

4. Saddle M-Sport interior is world class and as nice looking as Audi.

5. I LOVE thick M Steering wheels!!!

6. I've had a 335i before and I know going forward I would pick the diesel every time. I wouldn't go back to the gas engine after my experiences with this car.

7. This could be the best all around car on the planet for the money. I dare you to tell me another that is better.

And lastly, Hybrids and Electric's take THIS! 335d ANYDAY for me!

Full 2011 BMW 335d M-sport Photo Gallery

Aston Martin V12 Zagato Photo Gallery

Fiat 500c Convertible Photo Gallery

BMW 1M Part Two Photo Gallery

Bimmerfest 2011 Photo Gallery

BimmerFest Preview 2011

2011 BMW 1M NA Launch Photo Gallery Photo Galleries

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Has 001 Bought The Best All-Around Car On The Planet?

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