Peter, it must have been tough protecting us all during the cold war from the comfort of a Hilton hotel Yes, I was army.
I never buy new so was able to get the extras I wanted with a bit of shopping around. Ford heated windscreens are great but no complaints with the BMW as it warms up quickly and clears the screen. After the Octavia anything would be better. Once got it in the car to find ice inside the windscreen, waiting 10-15 mins for the screen to clear was quite common. In the end I had two dehumidifier bags inside the car to try and keep the condensation under control. I'm pretty sure the electrical problems were down to the condensation too. Quite a common problem in Octavia's with people checking everything from damaged seals and door membranes to now avail as it just bad design.
I've been impressed with the BMW. Everything is just right and the grip, as you said, has been amazing not what I was expecting at all.
My wife has had an M Sport 1 Series Coupe for a few years and I never found it uncomfortable at all with the low profile run flats and sports suspension. The 3 Series I bought has 19 inch and rides better than the Octavia by country mile and comparable to the Mondoe TiTx with it's Koni FSD but totally out classes either in handling and grip.
Not sure if it's the same with yours but the F30's have a second power outlet under the glove box, still only comes on with the ignition though.