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      04-27-2013, 10:24 AM   #1
Smooth 330i
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F30 328xi comments

My friend came over last night with the brand new 328xi w/premium pkg. I was very curious and checked out the ride, interior and exterior. This is not a tread of type"I don't like F30 because I have E90 (or other model)". However, I hope that somebody may find this info useful if they are considering the F30.

Drive-train:
1. 4 cyl turbo is very loud and unrefined. As an engineer, I feel that BMW rushed to market (maybe because of Hyundai). The power plant feels strong with nice torque.
2. xmsn is nice and smooth but there is no need for 8 spd auto in this vehicle (Lexus competition impact maybe)
3. Steering is numb and the driver is not getting feedback as in older models. Maybe the sport package is better.
4. This model had 225/50 RFT tires and they were OK. I am guessing suspension is tuned to work with RFTs.

Interior:
1. The cockpit layout is fine except for the awkward display position. It feels as an after thought as if BMW forgot to include it in the concept design and than just added it in. The dashboard line flow is "interrupted" but the screen that can't be lowered. I would understand the position/design if it can be lowered when not needed. I admit, I am picky with the design flow lines.
2. When sitting in the driver seat, the car feels much bigger than E90. The front overhang and hood seems much larger than e90. This is one of the reasons why I love the ed0 design, size and driver position.
3. Rear leg room is improved
4. The interior materials are cheaper than e90. The first thing that I noticed is the plasticky smell when you enter the car. My e90 has nice letaher smell even today and I get compliments all the time. Other areas are the dash, sun visors, interior roof and pillar cover material that is some cheap coarse mesh, glove compartment etc. Again, we are talking about the car that is $47K that smells and looks like Hyundai that is 20K less.
5. Engine on/off activation is unrefined but it was one of the main reasons why this vehicle was attractive to my friend


Exterior:
1. I popped the hood and couldn't open it. I went back to check the lever and it had "2X" label on it. I pulled again and it appeared that the hood latch disengaged. Why do you need to pull twice to open the hood?
2. The motor cover is cheap plastic. Several wire harnesses did not have protective covers
3. There was some kind of goo or oil in the engine compartment. Apparently the buyer did not bother to open the hood and did not know anything about the engine (who is buying BMW these days?)
4. Trunk pops open when you position your foot under the rear bumper on the side. However, if you try to close it by putting your hand on the inside of the cover and pulling down it will not close because the trung lid is very light and the arms keep it up. Also, the trunk can't be positioned to stay open mid-way as on E9x or at other angles.
5. This car did not have xenon lights; 47K?
6. The front bumper had very cheap plastic inserts in the openings
7. The trunk is larger
8. Dual exhaust pipes are tiny. They look really funny in the back compared to such a large bumper
9. There is a lot of room around the engine indicating that the vehicle was designed for various engine types and not for the 4 cyl. However, the engine is still positioned behind the front axle.


I will update it later if I remember more, this is just a quick observation. As Car and Driver stated, this model does not feel as "special" or if you will premium as e9x. It certainly does not ride like it or better either. Considering that new customers care more about fuel economy and interior space and don't mid paying $47K for plasticky smell and badge I can almost understand why BMW build this vehicle. If BMW continues down this path e90 might be my last BMW unless I buy another e9x, e46 or e36. e9x has it's own issues but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Maybe I got spoiled w/e90 ride and solid design that I can't digest F30 cost cutting. If F30 is a first BMW that somebody is buying (like my friend) they will never know what older models offered unless they test drive them. Again, this is just my 2c ...
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Last edited by Smooth 330i; 04-27-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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      04-27-2013, 10:32 AM   #2
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What a friend, you mock his car like this. What do you have to say about his wife or girlfriend. A friend like you would be easy to lose.
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      04-27-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
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I don't get the 8-speed auto comment. The 8 speed is raved about in almost every review. And most of the comparison tests knock the competition for not having an auto that good. It's a major reason why the car does 5.6 0-60 AND gets good mileage. They should have kept the clearly inferior 6 speed from the E90?
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      04-27-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
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My only comment... I doubt BMW considered Hyundai at all when designing the car...
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      04-27-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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"If F30 is a first BMW that somebody is buying (like my friend) they will never know what older models offered unless they test drive them."

I never thought about this. Very true. I guess the badge will give new buyers a placebo effect of how it might feel better. When in reality its a piece of shit. A very expensive one at that.
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      04-27-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormE91 View Post
My only comment... I doubt BMW considered Hyundai at all when designing the car...
They definitely didn't. And they should have. Hyundai is putting better materials in their cars.
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      04-27-2013, 11:35 AM   #7
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I'd take the new N20 over the N52 any day. Such an awesome little engine. (N52 will still go down as a great engine)
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      04-27-2013, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormE91
My only comment... I doubt BMW considered Hyundai at all when designing the car...
I am pretty sure they did. As with many manufacturers when building a car in a segment the pick a reasonably priced car manufacturer's option, strip it down to bare metal and calculate the cost of materials. And then say how do we achieve the same or better for less money?
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      04-27-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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Yeah that two times pull to open the hood is ridiculous. I couldn't open the hood on my loaner car to fill up the windshield washer fluid during some pretty bad weather this last storm we had. Here I was thinking WTF are they locking the loaner hoods down now?
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      04-27-2013, 01:01 PM   #10
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Interesting observations op. you do mention your post isn't meant to compare the E90 and the F30 but it reads extremely bias quite honestly.

I had a f30 loaner and thought it was actually a decent ride overall.
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      04-27-2013, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BOBKUR View Post
What a friend, you mock his car like this. What do you have to say about his wife or girlfriend. A friend like you would be easy to lose.
You probably took this comment the wrong way. We all appreciate different things. That has nothing to do with our friendship. Somebody likes Iphone other people like Samsung. She always makes fun of me as a car nut. That being said don't judge before you get to know people. The value is in the eye of beholder - that's the point of this comment.
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      04-27-2013, 01:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugeinus View Post
Interesting observations op. you do mention your post isn't meant to compare the E90 and the F30 but it reads extremely bias quite honestly.

I had a f30 loaner and thought it was actually a decent ride overall.
Obviously it is natural that we always compare current and new models. I used e90 because it is the previous model. Honestly, I just wanted to understand if there is a value in F30 compare to the previous models and also other brands. Overall, I feel that the 3 series is trying to cover a much larger market than before and it sacrificed some of the features that made it special. Maybe the new 2 series will be the new 3 series.

Also, about 8sp transmission, nothing wrong with it and it is very smooth but I just don't think that this engine can really take an advantage of all the gears. I could be wrong though as I did not have time to drive over 500mi. I drove in the burbs.
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      04-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #13
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Being honest, 2 cars I don't like as far as design. F30 and New Lexus IS. Loving the F10 and New GS tho. It's just my opinion.
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      04-27-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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Yeah, you don't sound at all like someone heavily biased toward the e90 :roll eyes:

You make a few valid points but they sort of get lost among the idiotic comments.
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      04-27-2013, 06:02 PM   #15
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I agree that the stop start system is pretty rough. We have a Honda CRZ and the start stop is so smooth you don't even notice it. It's great technology and I'm sure BMW will improve it in the future, like anything else. Same with the electric power steering. It's required so you can turn the wheel while the engine is stopped. It also saves hp; the engine doesn't need to turn the ps pump. I don't know why you lose so much steering feel though...
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      04-27-2013, 06:16 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatNinja View Post
Yeah, you don't sound at all like someone heavily biased toward the e90 :roll eyes:

You make a few valid points but they sort of get lost among the idiotic comments.
+1 things are going to be different. some may see these differences as good, some may think its the worst thing BMW could ever do.

The car is capable of a faster or equal 0-60 than an 06 330. yes the f30 cost is more expensive. its called inflation! The ZF 8 speed is smarter, quicker, and more efficient. I dont see how anyone can complain about it. if you drove the car, you could see that the shifts are fast and each gear change put the car in its powerband. people complaining about the engine LOL it has won engine of the year the first year it was introduced. yes its a 4 banger.... so it doesnt make exotic noises. we should all know and expect that if you know anything about cars.
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      04-27-2013, 06:20 PM   #17
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Good point about the 4 banger. Great engine, just doesn't sound as sweet as the six.

People forget that the 3 series used to be only 4 cylinder... The 2002, the 320i, the 318i... It's almost like they're going back to their roots.
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      04-27-2013, 07:21 PM   #18
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Mock(ing), Idiotic, Extremely bias(ed)... wow. guys. Go easy!
I did the exact same comparison on the exact same two models for myself and found (for the stuff I noticed, OP's is more thorough) EXACTLY the same observations.

At the time I had no other references to compare to, effectively a "blind" test - and in all reality I *expected* to like the F30 more. Not only was I completely unimpressed, I was shocked it presented as it did.

Yes, these are my opinions.
Yes, those are the OP's opinions.
But calling them mocking, idiotic and biased is a bit harsh, think!

But of course... that is also just my opinion!
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      04-27-2013, 07:32 PM   #19
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I had an F30 328xi loaner as well, and I agree with most points of the OP. To me, the car looked really nice (aggressive) and I also liked the interior. The plastics/materials didn't bother me as much, I though the dakota leather was fine, and the dash looked appealing. The new, bigger LCD on the bottom of the gauges was a cool touch, and I loved the new iDrive (though I have an 08 "oi'Drive", so I'm biased). Overall, the car was great... until you drive it.

Eco, eco, eco, and almost nothing beyond. Yes, it's 8 speed, but unless you're in the sport mode you'll be in 8th by the time you reach 30mph. Comfort mode felt slow and rubbery, with a wallowy suspension not unlike a new Camry. The ECO PRO mode was the worst - no downshift (even when needed!), and pedal response even worse than a Prius. This engine must be really tough if the gearbox is determined to pull it uphill at 1100rpm in 7th gear at 25mph. Honestly, I don't get it. And, if you push on it, a lamp goes off saying "Take Your Foot of the Gas!"

The sport mode was the only one that felt "ok", but not great. I thought it held the gears a little to high (~2800rpm even when coasting), but at least it was more responsive. It also tightened the suspension a bit, not anywhere close to my e93 w/sport but better than a toyota. Putting it in DS didn't make sense either, with rpm now hovering around 4k all the time you just get jerkiness instead of responsiveness. Just felt like it wasn't quite thought through. And yeah, the stop/start system is ridiculous - just an abused starter that shakes the hell out of the car when you take your foot of the brake. Even the manual states that "excessive wear will occur", and I doubt the starter will make it pass 10k miles if someone uses it all the time.

So, great tech, good looks, but not very good driving experience. I drove a brand new Nissan Altima recently and honestly, I don't know why you would choose F30 over it considering the premium, as they don't really handle much different. They replaced "True Dynamics" with "Efficient Dynamics" to please the Ecoists, and, as an enthusiast, I don't think it was a good move.
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      04-27-2013, 07:51 PM   #20
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". 4 cyl turbo is very loud and unrefined. As an engineer, I feel that BMW rushed to market (maybe because of Hyundai)."

Which Hyundai are you referencing? The Genesis? (The Genesis is a sweet car, but it's huge compared to a 3-series)
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      04-27-2013, 09:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilbur_the_goose View Post
". 4 cyl turbo is very loud and unrefined. As an engineer, I feel that BMW rushed to market (maybe because of Hyundai)."

Which Hyundai are you referencing? The Genesis? (The Genesis is a sweet car, but it's huge compared to a 3-series)
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      04-27-2013, 09:13 PM   #22
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Sonata? Wow - OK to look at, but I found it as boring to drive as a Camry.
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