Beemer for a day

I drive an Acura TL, normally, but had to take my car into the shop to fix up some damage from a minor fender-bender the other day.  When talking to the rental people, I was asked, "Do you want a beamer?"

I wouldn't have guessed that a neighborhood Enterprise would even have one, but said, "Ok."

When they brought it out, it turned out to be a five-series (528i, maybe?).  By this point, I was shocked.

Now, I've had a few days to play around with it, and it's mostly very nice.  The only thing I don't like is how wide it is, because it's hard to get in and out of my garage.  Oh, and I'm a little annoyed that there doesn't seem to be a lock/unlock button (to get all doors) on the inside.

But, on the road, it's really nice.  It took only a couple minutes, with no manual perusal, to get it to sync with my phone.  It automatically downloads the phone book when I get in, and automatically starts playing music from it, too.

Adjusting the seats was quick and mostly painless.  The only small pain point was not realizing that the headrests were powered as well, so it took me a little bit to figure that out.  But fully-powered seats adjust pretty quickly.  And, of course, there's memory (I think every car with power seats now has this).

The power part is kind of a running theme, and leads to a couple things that are ... odd, but only because of that to which I'm accustomed.  Everything is powered.  Turn signals, paddle shifter, emergency brake; as near as I can tell, everything.  The turn signals, since they don't have the manual catch for releasing them after the turn, feel weird, but they work a little better.  The paddle shifter is a bit odd, since Park is a button rather than a position.

A weird consequence of that is that, to go from park to reverse, you push the shifter forward.  I think I like it, but it certainly feels weird.

Thanks to the width of the car, though, stability is pretty amazing.  I had to push it pretty hard to get the tires to squeal even a little bit (on dry pavement; I haven't driven it in rain, yet).  Most people would not find it comfortable to be in a car turning that hard (though my kids love it, of course).

Anyway, it at least gives a feel for what you're getting for all that money.  Oh, and another thing you get for it.  The console will tell you what version the firmware is (and has the owner's manual, which is pretty cool).  It can also be upgraded.  Mixed feelings about that, for sure.

Update: typo fixed.

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