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Discussion Starter #1
Finally got a chance to stop by a local dealership and do a short test drive!

BACKGROUND:

I have an '04 2500 Cummins. Love it. Much more than I need, but I'm a huge fan of Cummins and diesel. I've had F250/F350s before, and liked the engine, but the truck didn't age well. Steering was numb, front suspension sagged, glow plugs were a hassle in the cold weather.

Also - I'm a BMW fanatic. I've done a bunch of track days in my BMWs. I value great handling, braking, etc. I really like great-handling cars. I want a FUN TO DRIVE car. Tight steering, great, firm brakes, great handling in the corners.

TEST DRIVE:

A small, local dealer had a 1500 SLT on the lot for test drive. Kudos to the salesman that handed me the keys and turned me loose.

Drove it a bit (30 minutes) and here's what I recall:

- Oh My God, Becky! I cannot believe how quiet this diesel is. I sounds like a diesel, but extremely quiet. Like listening to my 2500 CTD with earplugs AND earmuffs on.
- It's almost too quiet. I love the sound, but... I want MORE of it.
- Drives like a gasser. Power off the line is much better than I expected.
- Interior is really nice. Ergonomics, etc. are much better than my '04 2500.
- Great, small, steering wheel with very little play in the steering
- I didn't get a chance to drive it in the "twisties", but it seems to handle VERY well for a pickup truck.
- A bit more "Cowl shake" than I hoped for.

QUESTIONS:

- I'm intrigued by the "2WD" option under the shifter knob. Most of us only need 2wd 98% of the time. Is it TRUE 2wd? That should help with fuel efficiency, right?
- Middle seat in the rear of the crew cab was a bit cramped. Hoping my 10 year old is comfy back there.
- I'd opt for the 17" wheel option. Tester had the 20" wheels. I wonder how much of the great handling is attributed to the short sidewalls of the 20" wheels.
- As a beamer owner, I'm really scared of the warranty service. I really like the loaner vehicle program with BMW - if my car is in the shop, I really don't care because I have a loaner as long as it's in the shop. There's nothing worse than having to drop off a car with your wife and trying to figure out what to do while your car/truck is being serviced.


So.... there you go. I'm considering another (used) 2500 CTD or a 1500 Ecodiesel. So far, I'm very impressed by the Ecodiesel. As shallow as it sounds... I really wish it was LOUDER!
 

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It's true 2 wheel drive.
You'll have to take your kid down to the dealer to sit in the truck, but my 9 year old has ridden in the center of my 3500 and never complained.
Some of that handling you felt might be due tot he 20's, but the 17's also provide good feel and fairly nimble handling for a truck.
Dealers have discretion to provide a loaner vehicle during warranty work, but if you buy a Chrysler Max Care Extended Warranty they will cover the loaner vehicle.
 

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Bimmerpilot, when you say "Cowl shake", I wonder if that might have been from over pressurized tires. My 20" tires were inflated to 46 & 47 lbs. when the door stickers says they should be at 39 front & back.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bimmerpilot, when you say "Cowl shake", I wonder if that might have been from over pressurized tires. My 20" tires were inflated to 46 & 47 lbs. when the door stickers says they should be at 39 front & back.
Could be. Truck had the low-tire pressure warning light on during my test drive, but I didn't check it (of course). Low pressure may have cause the handling issue? Not sure.
 

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In response to 20" vs. 17" handling,I think my 2012 handles good with both.I run the 20's in summer and 17 studed in the winter.Even with the higher sidewalls and nature of soft studed tires,the truck handles well,under the circumstances.Of course the 20's are better but not a real fair comparision,tire to tire.One thing I like about the 17's is their ability to absorb the potholes better due to more sidewall.I do perferr the big 20" look though.At least they are a big 20's with a decent sidewall,not the smaller ones that Ford runs .
 

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Bimmerpilot, when you say "Cowl shake", I wonder if that might have been from over pressurized tires. My 20" tires were inflated to 46 & 47 lbs. when the door stickers says they should be at 39 front & back.
What do the 20" tires say on their sidewall? Heck with the door sticker.
 
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