First off, thanks for all your input and help on the previous thread I started about Aero private sale pricing, that was very useful indeed. I never actually got to see the Aero we discussed, as it was sold before the weekend arrived. Gotta be quick I guess!
Anyway, went down to Bristol to see, and subsequently buy, a lovely Anniversary instead. It's a two-owner manual 1998R 2.3 FPT with FSSH, Aero-style alloys, 96k on the clock, black with black interior, and has all the usual Anniversary extras like leather, half-wood steering wheel etc. It's in above average condition, bodywork is very good, interior OK but a little bit dirty and tired, something that will soon be rectified with a hoover and some elbow grease I ended up paying £3700 for it.
All the tips I've read here were very useful in test-driving and buying the car, so thanks again. Couple of first impressions for anyone interested:
As it's one of the last, it has the full-tilt 225bhp turbo engine. Far as performance is concerned, all I can say is "wow". And then perhaps, "wow" again. I'm a bit speechless. I was expecting it to be reasonably quick, but (and I appreciate that I'll get used to it) on first impression it goes like the proverbial bat out of hell. This is one party trick I will not tire of anytime soon
Apart from the above, usual 9000 positives apply. Very, very comfy and roomy, ACC is excellent and so easy to use, and the heated seats are a godsend when driving wife to work on winter mornings.
NOT SO GOOD
OK, coming from a 5-series, the initial driving impression is of a very, very fast bus. Steering is pretty lifeless and, in my opinion, over-assisted, especially around the centre. That does make for relaxing motorway cruising, so it's not too bad, but it doesn't inspire confidence when cornering.
The ride is pretty unforgiving, particularly on rough West London streets. Again, no big deal, and the upside is there's no body roll when cornering, but a "waft" car this is not.
There are a few rattles from the interior in various places, but I think I can sort some of them out, and it's not big deal really anyway - easy enough to live with.
So, all in all, I'm well pleased with the car, just hope it won't break. If anyone's still reading, I have a couple of questions:
1. I'm not interested in upping the power (yet ) but what difference would poly bushes etc. make to the steering and handling? Also what other general suspension/handling oriented tweaks would you recommend?
2. It hasn't got a CD player - can anyone recommend a cd-only unit that slots in under the radio, or a changer in the boot? And if yes, what do they cost and where can I get them?
3. The leather seats look quite tired, but I'm sure they'd come up great if treated with something. Can anyone recommend a suitable leather refresher product?
Sorry to ramble on so long, just wanted to share the experience, so to speak. Delighted to be back in a 9000, especially on as nice as this. I'll post some pictures if anyone's interested, soon as I get it cleaned up etc.