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      03-22-2010, 06:29 AM   #1
Jon D
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LCI E92 quality

I had been on the verge of ordering a new E92 335d to replace my current '08 330d, but I thought it prudent to wait a few weeks and see it in the metal.
I am extremely relieved that I did so, but I'm also VERY disappointed at the drop in quality.
Initially there's the ugly new mirrors, allegedly predicated on EU legislation, but if that's the case how do they get away with the sleek versions on the brand new Z4?
That aside, it's the reduced interior quality that really stands out - the heating control knobs have lost that expensive silky feel and look as if they belong in a car half the price, the lower centre fascia plastic seems thinner and cheaper and the sun visors are tacky vinyl. Additionally, the seat heating switches have moved from a perfectly logical position and are now on the air conditioning panel. Granted, this makes sense, but the panel was already busy enough.
Some might say these are trivial issues, but I rank a car's interior a very close second to handling and performance - it is, after all, the place you are when you're driving and it feels nothing like 45K's worth.
What a shame; I love my 330d and I've been hugely impressed with it's ability and the build quality. It was my 42nd car, but my first BMW; I thought I was converted for life, but I expect better for that sort of money.
The Audi A5 is obviously a serious contender in the quality stakes, but I've driven it quite extensively and it doesn't match the E92 in handling, so I'm now off to see if the Jaguar XF is as good as the pundits say...
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      03-22-2010, 06:51 AM   #2
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You will also find that the residual heat feature has been removed and replaced with an "All" button, the cool compartment under the centre armrest has been removed, the sound insulation under the bonnet, the secondary 12v socket (now a 35 extra), the nets on the back of the front seats, the cup holders in the rear armrest and, in 4 cylinder SE models, part electric seats and servotronic steering are now extras.

Lastly, for those with the under boot floor compartment, the fitted sound insulation insert has been ditched.
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      03-22-2010, 07:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanQS View Post
You will also find that the residual heat feature has been removed and replaced with an "All" button, the cool compartment under the centre armrest has been removed, the sound insulation under the bonnet, the secondary 12v socket (now a 35 extra), the nets on the back of the front seats, the cup holders in the rear armrest and, in 4 cylinder SE models, part electric seats and servotronic steering are now extras.

Lastly, for those with the under boot floor compartment, the fitted sound insulation insert has been ditched.
Yes, I forgot about the sound insulation and cool compartment, but I didn't know about your other findings - yet more reasons to look elsewhere.
As to the nets, I think you get them if you're prepared to pay the best part of 100 for the, now optional, front dash cup holders.
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      03-22-2010, 11:19 AM   #4
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No. You still get the front dash cup holders but the extended storage option which previously gave you cargo nets and 12v socket in the boot has gone up from 45 to 90 but will put back the rear cup holders and the nets on the backs of the front seats.
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      03-22-2010, 11:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanQS View Post
You will also find that the residual heat feature has been removed and replaced with an "All" button, the cool compartment under the centre armrest has been removed, the sound insulation under the bonnet, the secondary 12v socket (now a 35 extra), the nets on the back of the front seats, the cup holders in the rear armrest and, in 4 cylinder SE models, part electric seats and servotronic steering are now extras.

Lastly, for those with the under boot floor compartment, the fitted sound insulation insert has been ditched.
plus the glovebox torch delete
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      03-22-2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3-FAST View Post
plus the glovebox torch delete

That was deleted on my 2009 E92
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      03-22-2010, 01:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3-FAST View Post
plus the glovebox torch delete
Thought that went out with the ark?!?!?
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      03-22-2010, 01:11 PM   #8
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I think the torch disappeared in 2007
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      03-22-2010, 01:25 PM   #9
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When in 2007?
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      03-22-2010, 02:16 PM   #10
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I really cant believe BMW taking away all those little extras...as I think all those small extras really count...are things that tight at BM? maybe they should have kept the cool box and torch and ditched the 5series GT!!
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      03-22-2010, 02:22 PM   #11
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you guys really buying the cars for a glovebox torch....!!!!!???!?!?!?!
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      03-22-2010, 02:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by themetz View Post
you guys really buying the cars for a glovebox torch....!!!!!???!?!?!?!
Wish mine came with a rechargable torch!!
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      03-22-2010, 02:34 PM   #13
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All those 'little things' add up to big savings for a manufacturer at the end of the day, whether they are that important in the grand scheme of things depends on your point of view. But to 'give' then 'take away' is always noticeable and annoying imo.

O/P - as for the A5. You didn't just test the FWD models did you? Can't imagine for a car enthusiast they would be as involving to drive as the BMW varients.

Audi know what to charge though in all honesty but you do get all those little things and more when you have a good look around. Depends on what you want.

I still like the look of the LCI M sports though.

I used my cool compartment all the time in my Beemers..........wish the Audi had it!
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      03-22-2010, 02:48 PM   #14
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Concentrating on the 4 cylinder models (my specialty), the m-sport did not suffer as much as the SE because BMW was already charging a 2k premium and not giving you much for it - so they could afford to keep some stuff - e.g. the partial electric seats and the servotronic - after all, you only ever got sports seats and 18" wheels for your 2k - the other differences cost BMW sweet nothing!
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      03-22-2010, 05:22 PM   #15
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I suspect this has a lot to do with the value of the Pound against the Euro. With the Euro strengthening UK cars are very cheap compared to prices on the continent (bit of a turn around from 10 years ago!). I haven't done an exact spec comparison except to say that that the UK spec as a basis is usually higher than the base model in say Germany. Just on the configurator without any extras a 335i SE Coupe is shown as 36,130, in Germany a base model 335i Coupe starts at EUR 46,150 which at an exchange rate of 1=EUR1.1 makes it a mere 41,954.

BMW's business model must be Euro based but they cannot afford to shift UK prices up in line with the falling pound (they are not the only ones) ; based on those figures, if like for like, it would be a UK price hike of 16% so the way to offset the exchange penalties is to make savings in the margins by gradually dropping the base spec.

I work in Belgium and an Italian colleague has just ordered a LHD Audi Q5 from UK - he cannot believe how cheap they are!
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      03-23-2010, 04:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon D View Post
I had been on the verge of ordering a new E92 335d to replace my current '08 330d, but I thought it prudent to wait a few weeks and see it in the metal.
I am extremely relieved that I did so, but I'm also VERY disappointed at the drop in quality.
Initially there's the ugly new mirrors, allegedly predicated on EU legislation, but if that's the case how do they get away with the sleek versions on the brand new Z4?
That aside, it's the reduced interior quality that really stands out - the heating control knobs have lost that expensive silky feel and look as if they belong in a car half the price, the lower centre fascia plastic seems thinner and cheaper and the sun visors are tacky vinyl. Additionally, the seat heating switches have moved from a perfectly logical position and are now on the air conditioning panel. Granted, this makes sense, but the panel was already busy enough.
Some might say these are trivial issues, but I rank a car's interior a very close second to handling and performance - it is, after all, the place you are when you're driving and it feels nothing like 45K's worth.
What a shame; I love my 330d and I've been hugely impressed with it's ability and the build quality. It was my 42nd car, but my first BMW; I thought I was converted for life, but I expect better for that sort of money.
The Audi A5 is obviously a serious contender in the quality stakes, but I've driven it quite extensively and it doesn't match the E92 in handling, so I'm now off to see if the Jaguar XF is as good as the pundits say...
This kind of summarise a lot of posts over the last few months.....not good

In temrs of the XF, its far more of a GT so a totally different car to drive. Think more mature 5 series with very hushed engine note and quiter ride. You are gonna feel every one of those 200 kilo's over the 3 series.....

Quality inside is indeed stunning, with thick, plush materials e.g leather dash, lots of wood and even aluminium / rubber cup holders (like those insulated stabuck drink cups) BUT it is soooooo old man inside.

I would have to go at least Porfolio spec, and add in the dymaic body kit with sports seats (standards are like armchairs and not very supportive) plus piano black trim (wood, especially the burr walnut is not my cup o tea). Or you can spec the XF-R trim....or hell just get a XF-R
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      03-23-2010, 07:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghb View Post
I suspect this has a lot to do with the value of the Pound against the Euro. With the Euro strengthening UK cars are very cheap compared to prices on the continent (bit of a turn around from 10 years ago!). I haven't done an exact spec comparison except to say that that the UK spec as a basis is usually higher than the base model in say Germany. Just on the configurator without any extras a 335i SE Coupe is shown as 36,130, in Germany a base model 335i Coupe starts at EUR 46,150 which at an exchange rate of 1=EUR1.1 makes it a mere 41,954.

BMW's business model must be Euro based but they cannot afford to shift UK prices up in line with the falling pound (they are not the only ones) ; based on those figures, if like for like, it would be a UK price hike of 16% so the way to offset the exchange penalties is to make savings in the margins by gradually dropping the base spec.

I work in Belgium and an Italian colleague has just ordered a LHD Audi Q5 from UK - he cannot believe how cheap they are!
I don't think it has anything to do with exchange rate differentials; I wasn't talking about the price of add-ons. The basic car is presumably the same throughout Europe and I can't imagine that they have different A/C control knobs and thinner plastic, etc. for UK models.
Whilst I was in the showroom I had a look at the new 5 series and - wow, what a classy interior. In quality terms it was almost as if it was made by a different manufacturer and get this: spec for spec, the 5 costs about the same as the 3.
I reckon it's all down to marketing and making the 5 that special has, presumably, forced economies in other areas. It's a shame that I can't act my age, but at 61 I don't think I'm old enough for a 5. The same applies to the XF, so I might just have to reappraise the A5 3.0 TD Quattro, but I already know that I won't exit corners with as much of a smile on my face.
I can only hope that BMW will take heed and redress the balance in the next totally new 3 coupe - that might tempt some of us back to the fold. Dynamically, it has all I could wish for because it can handle twisty fun and relaxed cruising with equal aplomb. Every journey is a pleasure, but it wouldn't be the same with the cheap interior.
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      03-23-2010, 08:11 AM   #18
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      03-23-2010, 08:19 AM   #19
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Are we talking actual quality, or perceived quality? I know sometimes this issue gets a bit confusing. Especially when we compare one car with another. Different materials don't necessarily mean a dumbing down.

BTW, I've tried the XFand must say, it looks a good car in many ways, initial impression is a perceived high build quality and finish. But give it a closer inspection and I'm not so sure it is any better than a lot of car builds.

Specification and pricing, that is a different issue. Suppose it depends if we want a more basic car with a wider choice of options, or an 'all in' price and stuff we don't really want or need, but have to buy it.

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      03-23-2010, 10:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Are we talking actual quality, or perceived quality? I know sometimes this issue gets a bit confusing. Especially when we compare one car with another. Different materials don't necessarily mean a dumbing down.

BTW, I've tried the XFand must say, it looks a good car in many ways, initial impression is a perceived high build quality and finish. But give it a closer inspection and I'm not so sure it is any better than a lot of car builds.

Specification and pricing, that is a different issue. Suppose it depends if we want a more basic car with a wider choice of options, or an 'all in' price and stuff we don't really want or need, but have to buy it.

HighlandPete
I'm talking actual quality determined by the way I perceive it - I find it the most objective way to arrive at an informed conclusion. How others perceive things is something I couldn't possibly comment on.
To go back to my original observations viv-a-vis the comparatively flimsy A/C knobs, the perceptively thinner plastic, the vinyl covered sun visors and as per AlanQS's observations: the ditched cool compartment, power socket and bonnet sound insulation - those add up to an actual drop in quality as I perceive it.
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      03-23-2010, 11:04 AM   #21
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As a Brit living in the U.S we seem to forget that in the UK car prices are ridiculous compared to here, so any little feature etc is worth bitching about, especially when your paying $64,000 for a nicely loaded 335 coupe.
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      03-23-2010, 11:13 AM   #22
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Your 61? Oldest UK Member?
I hope not, but I guess the only way to find out would be to have an HONEST poll - ha ha
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