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      05-18-2011, 04:10 AM   #1
phil3103
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Help needed - BMW newbie

Hi Guys

Firstly, good forum. I've learnt a lot already.

Secondly, I'm in the process of chopping in my Audi S5 for a 330d M Sport. Having seen my friend's 320d M Sport Bus Ed (2009 I think) I just thought it was better than the Audi on interior build quality and with the torque of the diesel engine didn't actually feel that much slow. However I've gone for the 330d as I'm still after really good performance - but with 45mpg rather than 13mpg!

The question is this, should I order the manual version or pay the extra for the auto. My main concern is residual value. BMW couldn't find a single 330d manual demonstrator in the UK for me to drive. So I've driven the manual box in other cars while getting a sense of the engine i a 530d (which btw is awesome but too big for me right now as the largest thing that I'll be carrying around is a set of clubs).

What do you think? Clearly the manual will be a rare car in 2-3 years when I change it. But then if I want to trade it in I don't want some dealer to be able to knock me down a lot and say 'ahhh it's the manual, nobody wants them mate'.

My own thoughts are that the manual will be a more involving drive, but this is a purchase of the head rather than the heart.

Other spec I'm getting it: LMB, Black Dakota, visibility pack, Media Prof, F&R parking sensors, internet, auto dimming mirrors and folding, folding rear seats and Harmon Kardon.

That reminds me, has anyone actually listened to the standard, or BMW Business speakers next to the HK ones? The sales guy said the HK blew everything out of the water, but thinking about it for the cost of the HK I could have the Business speakers (which he said were also very good and much better than the standard speakers) and the DAB. At the moment that's the choice I'm making, do without DAB and get HK.

Any thoughts/opinions welcome. Please don't worry about offending me. I've still got time to change the spec if necessary.
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      05-18-2011, 04:18 AM   #2
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I had a manual 330d M Sport (56 plate) and it was awesome but it's this age old manual vs auto debate once more. IMO the trade-in isn't affected at all, they are more rare obviously, but there are still plenty of buyers out there waiting for one to come along (and the Dealers know this). It would be damn hard to actually quantify whether a trade-in figure is effected as they massage the figures anyway on the new car.

I'd try not to let the future residuals affect your decision, no point in getting an auto, just to maybe get 1k more come resale to not enjoy the car to the full for the whole ownership (3 years?).

I'd say manual all the way, it's much more involving, and allows you to really extract the power from the car instantly. But, that's just me .

Oh, your car sounds the dogs-danglies too, nice spec, as for the sounds, I'm always one for upgrading, at least by one notch, but I've no real experience of the new cars basic system. People do say it's improved since what I'm familiar with but I reckon I'd still make an upgrade (by how many notches is a difficult one).
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      05-18-2011, 04:32 AM   #3
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Just checked the upgrades available. If it were me, I'd defo go for the 'loudspeaker system - bmw business' at 400. My wifes X3 has this and it adds a huge amount to the quality & depth of sound. The HK system, at 940 does seem pretty steep, and I'm not too sure I'd go for that personally (maybe I'd help my own accounting by saving money on the auto box and going for HK ).

I had the Logic surround sound system in my old 335i coupe and that was awesome so reckon the HK system is its natural successor.

Depends how much you like listening to music in your car. No point if all you listen to is radio 4 .
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      05-18-2011, 04:41 AM   #4
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On here you will find quite a few enthusiasts who like the manual and quite a few who prefer auto. In my opinion in the real world of car buyers who aren't as knowledgable the preference seems to be for an auto and the sales figures would back this up big time as so few manuals about.
Ultimately it down to what you prefer, I do reckon you could take a bit of a hit at trade in because its manual but if thats the car you prefer to drive then that should not be a major consideration. As Roger says the dealer will also shaft you on a trade for some reason either made up or genuine anyway.
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      05-18-2011, 04:44 AM   #5
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Yes, I got the business HiFi and I regret not getting the HK/Logic 7 system. The Biz HiFi is still good and better than 95% of other cars on the road, but when you spend 35k+ on a car, the extra few hundered for HK audio should have been a no-brainer. If you are pushing the top of your budget, I would dump the front parking sensors and DAB radio before downgrading the stereo system. Whatever you do, do not get the base audio as it is really, really crap.

As far as test driving a 530d, was this the new F10 530d or the just superseeded model? The new F10 530d has an 8-speed box, so it is not a valid comparison to the 6-speed 3-series auto box. The superseeded 5-series has a 6-speed auto.

Auto vs manual in general, get the box you want not the box you think some potential future used car purchaser you will never meet may or may not want. Cars depreciate, the value is going down regardless of auto or manual.

You forgot the sunroof Black seats + M-sport = dark interior.

Spend 150 or whatever it is for extended storage, since BMW are now too tight to put nets on the back of the front seats or install rear drink holders without it.

M-sport instead of SE is IMHO, pointless as it makes the suspension uncomfortably firm and it is just a body kit for several -thousand extra. But this is personal preference and if you are coming from a sporty Audi, then maybe M-sport is for you. If you can do with out M-sport, you would get a LOT of goodies for the same price like sunroof, radar cruise control and full electric seats. Also if you get SE trim, you still get a sport steering wheel with paddles as standard and you can still spec sport seats as an option for about 400.

Last edited by kaishang; 05-18-2011 at 04:49 AM.
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      05-18-2011, 04:46 AM   #6
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Currently, the plan is to switch off analogue radio in 2015. If this went ahead then clearly DAB would be a big bonus when selling in a few years time. That's just the plan though, take up of DAB has been slow, and is slowing so can't see that happening. Think it will be replaced by internet radio anyway TBH.

The Business speakers are much better than the standard ones (got them now & had them in the 335i) although not heard the HK You could spend the diff on DAB & USB

As for the box, get the one you want - you'll be driving it for years Most of my driving is pottering about in traffic or motorway cruising so auto seemed the better choice (for me).

PS. LMB/Black is a great combo, had that on my last car
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      05-18-2011, 04:48 AM   #7
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ive always found it hard to justtify spending 1k on a car audio upgrade. the in-house audio maybe but in-car hmm, but thats just me.

i got the hifi upgrade in mine and i can say that im pretty pleased with that. as rogerxp says def go up one notch, the other is dependant on preference/budget

good spec anyways
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      05-18-2011, 05:07 AM   #8
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I read somewhere that DAB will eventually be superseded by DAB-2 thus rendering original DAB equipment obsolete! This is supposed to be happening in a couple of years or more. If it's important to you then it might be worth a google to find out how accurate this is.
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      05-18-2011, 05:23 AM   #9
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I was lucky enough to find a 330d manual to test drive - very rare indeed.

I wasn't massively impressed however, I found the change action a bit awkward.

In the end though, I had no choice to get an Auto because on the used market, it's pretty much all you can get (like you say).

I'd always wanted a manual as I thought that an auto was the 'non enthusiasts' choice. However, I've found that the Auto suits the 330d really well, and the manual controls are adequate to be able to have a bit of fun.

So, don't feel put off by the Auto, but in the same breath, as the manuals are rare, you probably won't have a problem selling one.

RE: options, don't forget the 6FL which is the USB socket for playing music off a memory stick, or an IPOD - cheap but essential option IMO.

I've also heard that the business system is really good, and for the price, is probably the best value sound option to go for.
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      05-18-2011, 05:41 AM   #10
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Also you probably will not get 45mpg out of a 330d for your overall average.

You will get 45-50mpg on the motorway at 70mph but overall my average is about 32mpg with mixed driving. Motorway driving at Lane 3 speed is 40mpg. I've even got 65mpg on a long lengh of 50mph M1 motorway roadworks. London suburban driving is about 24mpg and I can get it down to 16mpg with Central London driving, which may involve going nowhere on Piccadilly for 10 mins at a time.
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      05-18-2011, 06:11 AM   #11
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I would choose whichever gearbox you want, as you are the one thats going to be drivng it and dont think it will affect the residual value of the car. The fact that the new 3 series will be here next year will have a bigger effect than the choice of gearbox.
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      05-18-2011, 06:21 AM   #12
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Have you considered looking at a 335d and removing the manual/auto choice?! Real life mpg for me was 34mpg.

Had the business audio in the 335 and the Logic 7/HK in the M3. Business is better than no upgrade, but the HK is way better.
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      05-18-2011, 06:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaishang View Post
Also you probably will not get 45mpg out of a 330d for your overall average.

You will get 45-50mpg on the motorway at 70mph but overall my average is about 32mpg with mixed driving. Motorway driving at Lane 3 speed is 40mpg. I've even got 65mpg on a long lengh of 50mph M1 motorway roadworks. London suburban driving is about 24mpg and I can get it down to 16mpg with Central London driving, which may involve going nowhere on Piccadilly for 10 mins at a time.
I got an average of 36mpg in mine and that was completely hooning it around permanently; hardly ever saw a motorway (another benefit of a manual box )
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      05-18-2011, 07:34 AM   #14
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Thank-you

Guys

Thanks for the replies. And so quick and unbiased too.

As I've got 2-3 weeks before spec is finalised (apparently) I'm going to see if anything comes up, or is BMW get something in, with the HK on it. For now, my mind is made up - HK all the way. I do enjoy my music in the car and I'll be up and down to Manchester once a week for the foreseeable so it'll probably be worth it. And no, I don't just listen to Radio 4!

My gut says I want the manual. I've really enjoyed the tiptronic box in the S5 but I want to get back to basics as it were. I don't want to push the budget to the 335d. The idea of this exercise for me is to save a bit on running costs but to retain some fun in the driving experience at the same time. From what I've learnt, the 330d will do that. I think I do need the M Sport as coming from the S5 (and I have an RS4 before that) I need to retain the firm ride I'm used to and enjoy.

Interesting that you're talking about the claimed mpgs being not quite reality. I've always found the figures on the Audis to be spot on. Obviously if you leather a car you'll get less economy but given the claimed combined cycle is 49mpg I'm surprised that you're saying 35mpg. However, either way it beats the 18mpg I currently see as an average and given that I'm spending north of 35k fuel economy isn't my biggest worry if you know what I mean - not trying to sound flippant.

One further question: what options do I need to use my iPhone and iPod. I want to use the iPhone as a phone (look up contacts and dial from the iDrive) but then to use my iPod as the main source of music. BMW said that with the prof media pack it'll have everything I need without getting USB etc but having read what you chaps have said I'm now not convinced?

Thanks again, Phil
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      05-18-2011, 07:42 AM   #15
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Don't forget of course, if you do ever feel you need that 335d performance, you can always remap the 330d which makes quite a difference.

You can attach an ipod to virtually any BMW via the standard line-in socket (if that's the right phrase) but you have to control it via the ipod itself and no names will be displayed, etc, but to improve things you need the proper USB interface (code: 6FL or something) then you control via the steering wheel and tracks are displayed on the screen.

The latest version of idrive may have moved things on and may already be prepped for full intergration without the need for options (like the Dealer says). Someone will confirm who has a newer LCI car...
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      05-18-2011, 07:43 AM   #16
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I went from an S5 to a manual 335i and love it. Go with what your gut instinct. You wont regret it
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      05-18-2011, 07:45 AM   #17
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I'm not normally a great fan of autos, but in our 330d it's the 'right' box to have. It's a great gearbox and a 'must have' in traffic with the paddle shifts there to play with if you want to get more involved.

I have the business upgrade speakers and again - a massive and essential step forward from the standard. Unless you are a real hi fi buff I would put the 500 difference between that and the H&K elsewhere.

An earlier post suggested a USB port - if you plan to run a i-pod yes. USB is fantastic and well used by me in cars in the past, but if you have Prof Nav you have plenty of hard drive capacity to store music (there is a separate USB port for downloading in the glove box), or you can just burn from CD into the HDD.

DAB - may be a good plan - pointless for me in Cornwall due to the poor signal caused by too many hills, but if reception is good where you drive, it may be worth a punt.

One final thing, consider an SE with a wheel upgrade, Sport seats - you may well be able to afford all of the above and have a better ride to boot - unless the look of the M sport is a clincher.

By the way - mixed driving - we get about 39 MPG. However, 49 is quite 'doable'. The other week I did a 180 mile 'round trip' to Exeter, so mostly dual A road, but hilly (over Bodmin and Dartmoors). Set the trip at the start, from cold and spent the day in Exeter so cold start on the return. Some urban driving too. Kept to 70 - 75 MPH and hit 49 MPG dead when I got home. And rememember, mine is an auto.

Last edited by Falmouthboy; 05-18-2011 at 07:53 AM.
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      05-18-2011, 07:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerxp View Post
Don't forget of course, if you do ever feel you need that 335d performance, you can always remap the 330d which makes quite a difference.

You can attach an ipod to virtually any BMW via the standard line-in socket (if that's the right phrase) but you have to control it via the ipod itself and no names will be displayed, etc, but to improve things you need the proper USB interface (code: 6FL or something) then you control via the steering wheel and tracks are displayed on the screen.

The latest version of idrive may have moved things on and may already be prepped for full intergration without the need for options (like the Dealer says). Someone will confirm who has a newer LCI car...
Yep, you must get 6FL.

So, with the Iphone, I'd imagine that the 6FL would allow you to control all the tracks via Idrive (and charge the phone too), and the bluetooth (which I understand comes as part of the nav) will allow you to make calls and access the phone book, and maybe even your text messages.
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      05-18-2011, 08:17 AM   #19
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Can you use your iphone to play/access music and use the phone simultaniously??? I know I've not got a Beemer but I use my iphone via bluetooth to speak and have a separate ipod in the arm-rest dedicated to music. I thought his was the best option in a Beemer too or has it progressed...
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      05-18-2011, 08:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil3103 View Post
As I've got 2-3 weeks before spec is finalised (apparently) I'm going to see if anything comes up, or is BMW get something in, with the HK on it. For now, my mind is made up - HK all the way. I do enjoy my music in the car and I'll be up and down to Manchester once a week for the foreseeable so it'll probably be worth it.
Don't waste your time looking for a car with HK to try out. If you like music, you want HK, that's the end of the story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phil3103 View Post
I think I do need the M Sport as coming from the S5 (and I have an RS4 before that) I need to retain the firm ride I'm used to and enjoy.
This is a suggestion, since you seem to be reaching the limit of your budget:

Decide if you want the M-sport look or you just want the M-sport suspension and sports seats, but don't care about the bodykit.

With the SE spec, you can still have:
- any size wheels you want
- sports seats
- M-sport suspension (yes, you can spec M-sport suspension on an SE)

You also get the flappy paddle sport steering wheel standard on SE

If you spec sports seats and M-sport suspension on an SE, it is still a lot cheaper than buying an M-sport. So the question is if you want the M-sport look or not.
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      05-18-2011, 09:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaishang View Post
Don't waste your time looking for a car with HK to try out. If you like music, you want HK, that's the end of the story.



This is a suggestion, since you seem to be reaching the limit of your budget:

Decide if you want the M-sport look or you just want the M-sport suspension and sports seats, but don't care about the bodykit.

With the SE spec, you can still have:
- any size wheels you want
- sports seats
- M-sport suspension (yes, you can spec M-sport suspension on an SE)

You also get the flappy paddle sport steering wheel standard on SE

If you spec sports seats and M-sport suspension on an SE, it is still a lot cheaper than buying an M-sport. So the question is if you want the M-sport look or not.
And try one, but I'm sure that with 18" wheels you will find the SE ride plenty firm enough!
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      05-18-2011, 09:32 AM   #22
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I don't worry about resale values. Get what you want and i would recommend the autobox. It suits the 330d and 335d well.

Mine is just a quick waft mobile and the autobox makes the journeys a lot easier and even more relaxing.

Its quick when it wants to be but i do really miss the manual control when i want to open it up. The current autobox is a little sluggish when using the paddles. Having said that its a diesel so there is give and take.

I dont think i will ever go back to manual now that we have DCT which i will spec on my next car if its a BMW. M3 DCT mmmm
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