From 2015 to 2019, I drove a 2008 BMW 335i (with Sport package). I loved that car; it was just so fun to drive. Everything was stock but the sound was great, the handling excellent, the engine powerful, the controls well thought out, and the heated leather bucket seats comfortable for long drives. I even liked the orange lighting on the instrumentation. It’s been 3 years since we parted and I still miss my baby.

Let me go back to the controls for just a moment. Some cars, many cars—maybe even most cars—have controls that seem to have been an afterthought. It’s as if they were designed by someone who hates driving, tolerates driving, or doesn’t drive. They are maddening and confusing, with maddening and confusing symbols disguised as help.

The Bimmer was not this way. My E90 had the most delightful controls I have ever used. Every button and lever was in the most logical, practical place. My favorite example of a well-designed control in that car was the cruise control. Accelerating and decelerating could be done in multiples of 1mph or 5mph thanks to a “resistance point” – much like the half-click of a shutter. Resuming was a button at the end of the lever. To disable, simply push the lever up or down or brake. The car would resume cruise speed after passing and would engine brake going downhill.

I don’t miss the repairs; in fact, I traded it into a used car dealer that had a service center because of a major leak that was the last straw. Thankfully, they had a CR-V in great condition and I’ve been driving it for the last 3 years.