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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Test drove a 325i sport, 330i premium today



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      08-26-2005, 08:52 PM   #1
Mr.Abulia
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Thumbs up Test drove a 325i sport, 330i premium today

...and was pleasantly surprised by the 325i, whilst utterly disappointed with the 330. Reasons for this:

1. The 325 had good power, and the sports package is fantastic. Great grip, a little more body roll than I like, but overall fantastic handling. The sports seats were great! I loved the length adjustment.
2. The 330 was an automatic with no sports suspension. The fact that it was obviously a faster car was eclipsed by the fact that it didn't grip the road as well. Worse, the body roll nearly made me sea-sick. Admittedly, I am coming from a pure sports car, but for an ultimate driving machine the basic suspension leaves a LOT to be desired. The automatic transmission nearly made me cry: I could mash the accelerator, and then count to two steamboats before the computer decided to let me have the power. That frustrated the hell out of me.

In the past, I have also tried a 330i sports package. This car had better power than the 325i, but otherwise drove almost exactly the same. Even the power difference, at 40 hp or so, was only noticible under WOT. The 325i is certainly good enough for most driving, and would probably satisfy me if I was coming from any other car than my current ride: when downgrading hp, one needs to do so gradually, or one's right foot feels a sense of shame! The larger tires did affect the ride quality, but not as much as I would have thought; maybe my memory was just a bit hazy, but I was REALLY impressed with the 17s on the 325i.

Conclusions:
1. Don't forget to order the sports package, no matter what you do. If you have to choose between a 325i sport and a 330i base, take the 325i sport and pocket the rest of the difference. You will be MUCH happier; power is intoxicating, but not nearly as relevant as good handling.
2. Don't order the automatic, unless you REALLY don't like shifting.
3. The 330i will be a nice car for me if I can get a good delta from my current ride

The only problem is that I would really like an arctic white car with the terra interior, and the brochure/online configurator tell me no can do. Dangit. Second choice is the sparkling graphite, but I am really hesitant to get another dark coloured car, just from a maintenance point of view; I am sick of having to wash my car every few days or have it look terrible. Also, need to decide if I want to wait for the coupe or not. In any case, this car kicks ass, so nicely done to all the current owners out there

Oh, I also saw a Mysic blue e46 coupe. Nice colour...
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      08-26-2005, 08:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Abulia
The only problem is that I would really like an arctic white car with the terra interior, and the brochure/online configurator tell me no can do.
Arctic white? In the US you can get any combination, I didn't know it was different in other countries. Maybe you could buy one in the US?
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      08-26-2005, 09:25 PM   #3
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You can get Arctic (not "arctic white") with Terra.

Don't forget with the 330, it's more than just power. You get standard the upgraded stereo, xenons, bigger wheels (I think) and the "chrome package". (there really is no such thing as the chrome package, but you do get extra chrome on the 330 nonetheless)

It's kind of funny that the 325 does not get chrome, but then if you upgrade to the 330 you get chrome. Now if you decide to upgrade the 330 and get the M-tech sports kit you don't get the chrome!?!
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      08-26-2005, 09:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer4me
You can get Arctic (not "arctic white") with Terra.
No, I just cheked on the Canadian website and he is right. I don't know if he means Arctic Metallic or Alpine White, but I checked both and neither can come with Terra.
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      08-26-2005, 09:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikki
No, I just cheked on the Canadian website and he is right. I don't know if he means Arctic Metallic or Alpine White, but I checked both and neither can come with Terra.
I KNOW that in the US the bmwusa website will not allow certain exterior/interior color combos, like for the 5-series for example. But in real life you can go to the dealer and order whatever color combo you like as long as make your deposit. It's hard to imagine that a paying customer could not get what they wanted because of some imaginary color combo police.
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      08-26-2005, 09:51 PM   #6
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I meant the alpine white; arctic just sort of came out! I'm glad the dealer was able to order combinations not on the configurator, that gives me some hope: I love the idea of the terra on a white car.

As for the chrome, I believe the 325 and 330 have the same chrome here in Canada. And the radio seems to be the same on the 325 and 330, at least according to the brochure (I don't really care about the stereo much anyway... at highway speeds, I can't tell the difference anyway). The only additional equipment the 330 has over the 325 is the adaptive headlamps and the sunroof. The real differences are in the premium package, which I'm not interested in anyway. And the aluminum trim instead of titanium. Still, $6k CDN for an extra 40hp is likely a good deal for me
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      08-26-2005, 10:08 PM   #7
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I love positive reviews. With all bmw's, i don't think you can make a mistake with your choice.

My 6sp 325i w/ sports package is currently in transit. I CANNOT WAIT!!!!
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      08-26-2005, 11:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Abulia
...and was pleasantly surprised by the 325i, whilst utterly disappointed with the 330. Reasons for this:

1. The 325 had good power, and the sports package is fantastic. Great grip, a little more body roll than I like, but overall fantastic handling. The sports seats were great! I loved the length adjustment.
2. The 330 was an automatic with no sports suspension. The fact that it was obviously a faster car was eclipsed by the fact that it didn't grip the road as well. Worse, the body roll nearly made me sea-sick. Admittedly, I am coming from a pure sports car, but for an ultimate driving machine the basic suspension leaves a LOT to be desired. The automatic transmission nearly made me cry: I could mash the accelerator, and then count to two steamboats before the computer decided to let me have the power. That frustrated the hell out of me.

In the past, I have also tried a 330i sports package. This car had better power than the 325i, but otherwise drove almost exactly the same. Even the power difference, at 40 hp or so, was only noticible under WOT. The 325i is certainly good enough for most driving, and would probably satisfy me if I was coming from any other car than my current ride: when downgrading hp, one needs to do so gradually, or one's right foot feels a sense of shame! The larger tires did affect the ride quality, but not as much as I would have thought; maybe my memory was just a bit hazy, but I was REALLY impressed with the 17s on the 325i.

Conclusions:
1. Don't forget to order the sports package, no matter what you do. If you have to choose between a 325i sport and a 330i base, take the 325i sport and pocket the rest of the difference. You will be MUCH happier; power is intoxicating, but not nearly as relevant as good handling.
2. Don't order the automatic, unless you REALLY don't like shifting.
3. The 330i will be a nice car for me if I can get a good delta from my current ride

The only problem is that I would really like an arctic white car with the terra interior, and the brochure/online configurator tell me no can do. Dangit. Second choice is the sparkling graphite, but I am really hesitant to get another dark coloured car, just from a maintenance point of view; I am sick of having to wash my car every few days or have it look terrible. Also, need to decide if I want to wait for the coupe or not. In any case, this car kicks ass, so nicely done to all the current owners out there

Oh, I also saw a Mysic blue e46 coupe. Nice colour...

I disagree with your review. I found the E90 (non-sport) to drive like it was on rails....no lean at all....
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      08-27-2005, 12:25 AM   #9
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I am constrained to go auto because my wife will not drive stick.
I drove a 325i non-sport and auto for about 10 min. In full auto mode, there was a lag in engaging gears. However, when I moved to manual mode, the shifting happened quickly and I was quite satisfied with that. I believed other people in this forum have mentioned that it may take some time for the computer to adapt to your style of driving.
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      08-27-2005, 12:28 AM   #10
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I am constrained to go auto because my wife will not drive a manual.
I drove a 325i non-sport and auto for about 10 min. In full auto mode, there was a lag in engaging gears. However, when I moved to manual mode, the shifting happened quickly and I was quite satisfied with that. I believed other people in this forum have mentioned that it may take some time for the computer to adapt to your style of driving.
I have not driven the 330i. Would like something that offers at least similar performance to my current WRX or Boxster though. The 325i did not quite feel like it was going to cut it esp. with the auto. I hope the 330i can.
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      08-27-2005, 02:25 AM   #11
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Could not agree more

Dead-on post. Well reasoned and well written.

The horsepower junkies might remember that the 2002 appeared in a time of big V-8 engines.

And, I drive a Porsche, as well.

Flash.
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      08-27-2005, 02:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cxcheng
I am constrained to go auto because my wife will not drive a manual.
I drove a 325i non-sport and auto for about 10 min. In full auto mode, there was a lag in engaging gears. However, when I moved to manual mode, the shifting happened quickly and I was quite satisfied with that. I believed other people in this forum have mentioned that it may take some time for the computer to adapt to your style of driving.
I have not driven the 330i. Would like something that offers at least similar performance to my current WRX or Boxster though. The 325i did not quite feel like it was going to cut it esp. with the auto. I hope the 330i can.
have you considered being a man and having a car for your wife, and a car for yourself?????? why make the sacrifice when you've already got a slushbox in the fleet
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      08-27-2005, 03:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
have you considered being a man...
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      08-27-2005, 11:21 AM   #14
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I guess you guys must really be finicky about your suspensions if you think they basic suspension on the e90 is THAT bad. I have a base 325i nonsport e90 and yesterday I took a 20mph hairpin onramp at 70mph without any sliding and very little body roll. If the sports suspsension is better than that, guess I'm happy I saved the money since I'd need to be on a track to enjoy it!
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      08-27-2005, 11:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer4me
Now if you decide to upgrade the 330 and get the M-tech sports kit you don't get the chrome!?!
Therefore 325i>330i :rocks:
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      08-27-2005, 06:17 PM   #16
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I think that was a pretty fair review and see how it will be helpful to those who are still contemplating which to order.

I thought your perspective on the suspension and the automatic were a little harsh, but I understand some have higher tolerances than I do. I still see the e90 as a sedan, not a sports car.

I traded my 996 Carrera 4 for my new 325 non -sport (due to disability related comfort and practicality issues). I have been extremely satisfied with the 325 driving dynamics, but will never be a Porsche and I don't expect it to.

Now it's just a wait for the 335 or M3 to come out.
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      08-28-2005, 01:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petercat
I think that was a pretty fair review and see how it will be helpful to those who are still contemplating which to order.

I thought your perspective on the suspension and the automatic were a little harsh, but I understand some have higher tolerances than I do. I still see the e90 as a sedan, not a sports car.

I traded my 996 Carrera 4 for my new 325 non -sport (due to disability related comfort and practicality issues). I have been extremely satisfied with the 325 driving dynamics, but will never be a Porsche and I don't expect it to.

Now it's just a wait for the 335 or M3 to come out.
I will admit I am a bit harsh on suspensions: I loathe body roll. That being said, both suspensions were good; its just that I did not feel nearly as confident with the non-sport suspension as with the sport. That is personal preference, and a lot of people will gladly trade the extra bit of body motion for the price of the sports package, happy in the knowledge that when their car leans them that extra little bit they will hear all the money they saved jingling in their pockets! I have no doubt that the regular suspension will hold very well; in fact, I took a long, tight curve at 75kph in both suspensions, and neither flinched. The only difference was in the roll, and even with that you have to REALLY be into performance driving to have it bother you. Most people I know would not notice the difference without having it pointed out to them.

I do hope my opinions help some people in their choices; if nothing else, I hope they highlight some things to look at when driving the cars themselves. It was very helpful for myself just to have the chance to type it all out and let me feelings and impressions gel.

I'll miss my 996, but I don't think I'll be disappointed with the bimmer. I need to get some extra cash for housing, so I know I'm making the right decision financially.
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      08-28-2005, 11:27 AM   #18
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sport

My car arrived at the dealership yesterday, and I took it for a quick spin with the cardboard and plastic still inside.

The sport package does feel stiff...no question. There is a noticable difference between that and the standard ride...specifically, a tighter butt-end. The wider tires and lower stance look about the best of any combinations I have seen, including the 330 Sport. They appear to be made for eachother.

Personally, I think I will like it, even on a daily commute.
My wife? Hard to say but she probably won't.

I love the seats...beige leather in a graphite car.

Nor did I miss the larger engine. Plenty of revs and torque BELOW 4000 rpm, and a great subtle sound from the exhaust.

Should have the car by tomorrow...and I must tell you.
It rocks. I couldn't sleep.
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      08-28-2005, 05:27 PM   #19
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Mr.Abulia, I think you will be happy with your choice in the end. I too sometimes miss the 996, It's a Porsche for goodness sake. On a daily basis though, the 996 really doesn't compare (at least for my needs).

With a comfortable drive to work on a daily basis with a great balance of comfort, handling, convenience, sport and luxury... You should be very happy with the BMW.

This is my first BMW and I had only considered the 5 series previously. When I had the chance to drive this new e90 and find out how great this car was, I had to have it.

If I'm too impatient to wait for the 335 or M3 to come out, I may have to upgrade to something with more toys. I hate hearing about all the cool features you others have (i.e. Comfort Access, iDrive, Logic7, etc.) Also, if I were to go with another, it would be Alpine over Terra, jet black is beautiful but a pain. Mr.Abulia, go with the Terra, you'll love it, here are pics of mine:
http://www.losingtime.com/bmw/terra/
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