Originally Posted by mapezzul
It has little to do with the design of the car- it is selling well outside the US. From sources in Germany I have heard that there is no understanding as to why BMWNA chose to package cars as they did during the initial launch in February and why they have chosen to add more luxury to the car as standard while decreasing the sportiness.
I agree that packaging is the main culprit, but I also think it's the overall lack of sportiness in consideration of the high price. These factors are conspiring to make the F30 simply seem "not worth it."
Previous 3 Series have substantially differentiated themselves from the competition by having better steering, better brakes, better handling and sweeter engines -- building the better driver's car was BMW's forte. But the F30 is less distinguished from its competition, and that makes a big difference in the U.S. market.
Consider: the N20 is a efficient engine, but it's not a sporty engine and it makes the 328i easier to compare with an A4 or C250 because they look more comparable on paper. Add in the newly lifeless F30 steering -- another differentiation point gone -- and the 328i just seems like one of many cars with little distinction. Then layer on the 10% price premium and you have a recipe for slow sales.