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Archive for October, 2014

CAC BMW 328i

Luxury, power and superior craftsmanship. The 2015 BMW 328i at Chapman BMW on Camelback is a standout in the luxury sedan market, deftly beating the Lexus IS 250, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-300 across the board.

The 2015 BMW 328i, powered by a TwinTurbo engine that makes 255 lb-ft of torque at just 1250 rpm is also fuel efficient: It makes an estimated 35mpg on the highway, compared to the less-than-robust 27mpg the Mercedes achieves, or the 32-mpg of the Audi A4. And the Lexus IS 250? Its puny 185hp is no match for the BMW.

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Standard safety features on the BMW 328i include Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Active Blind Spot Detection and a rear-wheel drive system that grips the road when you need it most. The heads-up display is standard, as is Automatic Climate Control and Full Speech Recognition. What’s that, C300? You don’t understand? Oh. You don’t have full speech recognition. That’s an “available upgrade.” And not even available on the Audi A4 or the Lexus IS 250.

BMW Hands free trunk 328i 2015

The 2015 BMW 328i has all the refinements you would expect of a precision German automobile. Comfort Access, the standard keyless entry system, allows key fob holders to open the trunk when in proximity to it. And the BMW 328i includes as standard real leather seats, instead of those pretend, faux “NuLuxe” seating surfaces of the 2015 Lexus IS 250. Because luxury is standard on the BMW, but only an upgrade on the Lexus IS 250, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-300. So choose the Luxury Standard. Choose the 2015 BMW 328i.

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When the new BMW i3 models were delivered to Chapman BMW on Camelback, the plug-in electric vehicles were missing one thing: AM radio channels. BMW is the first manufacturer to discontinue the AM radio band in its i3 and i8 electric vehicles, which begs the question: Is free radio nearly extinct?

The answer, for right now, is no. And to its credit, BMW has explained the loss of AM radio signals in the i3 and i8 as an interference problem with the vehicle’s electric motor. According to Kenn Sparks, BMW Manager of Business Communications, in a letter to the National Association of Broadcasters and the National Alliance of State Broadcasters Associations, BMW “values the relationship we have with radio stations across America. We provide our customers with many listening options while in their cars but we know that radio is among the most favored choices.” Last year, the BMW group, which includes BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce, sold more than 375,000 vehicles in the United States, “and every one included AM/FM radio, said Sparks. “Only the i3 and i8 will not include AM because the interference from the electric motor would make the quality of AM broadcasts far less than a premium listening experience,” he explained.

Other vehicle manufacturers have “hidden” the AM/FM selectors on secondary screens, and many have pumped up “connected” entertainment choices as opposed to traditional over-the-air information sources in their vehicles. Every manufacturer, from BMW to GMC to Mazda, has their own infotainment suite of apps, including HD radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio. Nearly every new 2013-and-on vehicle has a USB port to plug in your MP3 player or iPod, allowing the driver to stream music straight from their device.

With so many choices, will drivers miss the AM band on their BMW electric vehicles? So far, Phoenix BMW buyers have not mentioned the loss of AM radio on their new electric vehicles. In fact, BMW sold more than 1,000 i3 vehicles in the US in August, and is rushing to fil back-orders on it and the ultra-premium i8. These sales figures prove BMW has hit on a winning EV formula for the masses, and is poised to overtake other EV makers such as Nissan and Chevrolet. As for sports fans in the Phoenix area, 98.7FM broadcasts sporting events, so Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns or the ASU Sun Devil games won’t be missed.

What are your thoughts on AM radio being eliminated from new vehicles? Will you check out the new i3 and i8 at Chapman BMW on Camelback? Let us know in the comments below!