We had to drive from North Carolina back up to Wisconsin to pick up some furniture, and the cargo vans only seat two. So I decided to get something fun as long as my discount is so steep.

The seats are pretty comfortable, and the engine has a lot of torque for a turbo 4. Haven’t really had to use the AWD, but it feels very tight and is always sure footed in terms of handling. Of this we are all well aware of.

But this is why I don’t really care for the 3 series, and why I was hoping I was going to be able to get the Q50 from work: it’s designed to handle corners so well that its performance when cornering is not required suffers. This car is not for crushing down the highway. It’s tight like a trampoline, and bounces down the road like a springboard the second the pavement breaks down. Wonderful for carving through the mountains in West Virginia, awful for running though Ohio and Indiana.

But I have nothing but good things to say about its EcoPro mode and BMW Efficient Dynamics. I never touched the brake in the mountains because the car was engine braking the whole way. In Eco mode, the car will shift out of gear to neutral and drop to idle so you can actually coast down inclines when the car isn’t under power, something I’ve never seen in an automatic car before. It’s all very smart without trying to be too smart. Or maybe computer technology has progressed to the point where it can handle this kind of condition based control over the car’s systems. Either way, I’ve never been this impressed with a performance car’s attempts to achieve fuel efficiency. Which this car needs desperately, because the fuel tank is the size of a freaking thimble.