First thing to say is that the car that I drove had a list price of.....wait for it.....£23,000!!!!!
The main reason I wanted to try the CS was to see if it had that BMW mark of quality as thats the one thing that lets my car down (been to the dealers 9 times to get rattle etc sorted - perfect now though). And to my surprise as soon as I drove the CS of the forecourt it rattled and sqeekedlike crazy, it really was appalling!!! (though to be fair the car had probably been ragged to 9/10ths of it life) - very dissapointing!
The driving position and gearbox is superb though a tad noisy. The car had exactly the same number of miles as mine (7000) and in 1st and 2nd gear it was SLOW! 3rd was much better, on par with my clio and then it faded away a bit in 4th, 5th (not counting 6th). When I first drove the car the car felt really slow but once you got used to it felt better and better and quicker (dont ask me why). So we tried them next to each other (straight line) me in mine and my dad in the CS, 1st and 2nd was no contest after that the CS couldnt catch up but the gap was maintained until about 4th when I eased away ever so slightly. Same results when we changed cars.
The best thing about the CS is that its so easy to drive on the limit. Its taken me 9 months to know mine but the monent you step into the CS you know you can drive fast and you know where the limits are and you imediately use them. Id hate to have to race one round B roads!
If sounds nice to up to about 4000 revs and then its just a constant whine that really annoys after a while. But it does sound more aggresive than the clio!
There has been a lot ot criticism about the seats in the 172! but the seats in the CS cant even IMO be classed as sports seats the is hardly any support at all, and when theyre leather you end up sliding all over the place...the 172 seats are far far superior - though they do like the shoulder support of the CTR seats!
I got back into mine after a good 4.5 hours in the CS my car actually felt like a quality machine (amazed - think ive been a bit harsh on the clio build quality)
So would I change mine for a CS?......No!
If I hadnt bought mine would I have bought a CS Now?.....Maybe! (If I could get over the image thing)