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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 > New F30 328i "Luxury" as loaner vehicle



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      03-27-2012, 07:34 AM   #23
axztx
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After driving 100 miles round trip home last night and back to work this morning here's my final take. Let me preface this review by letting everyone know I've owned an e90 330i (non-sport) and now own an e92 328xi with ZSP. I've never owned a 335. Also, I've never driven my cars on a track, I do however like to drive "spiritedly" and spend 2 hours a day on the road. My drive is 1/3 country roads, 1/3 highway (55mph speed limit) and 1/3 stop/go city driving. I live in Jersey so no mountains were climbed during this review.

2012 328i Luxury Line, with Premium, Technology, Cold Weather Packages

First- Steering

VERY light steering. This car does not drive like my e90 or e92. Even when I have all season non-RFTs on my cars the steering is night and day better on my e90 and e92. Only when in sport mode does the F30 have any steering vaguely similar to e90/e92 steering.

Second - Engine

Like my previous posts, this car feels like a 4 cylinder car. The engine sounds like a 4 cylinder, and doesn't feel as powerful as my e92 328xi. I really have to put my foot down to feel the acceleration. The only time I felt the 240hp and 250 or whatever torque was when the car was in Sport Mode. Driving in Comfort and Eco-Pro Modes felt like driving in any old run of the mill 4 cylinder car.

Third - Suspension

SOFT suspension. Granted this was not a Sport Line car but this car felt like a boat. It's a bigger car than e90/e92 and it feels bigger. This F30 328i changes previous the title "Sports Sedan" to just "Sedan."


Fourth - Exterior

From a distance the F30 looks very similar to the e90. When I first saw the F30 reveal I did not like the front. After seeing in person it looks better. The grill design is still kind of awkward but looking at the entire front it fits together nicely. I like the headlights - especially the angel eyes. Very bright and crisp. Hood line and hood look awkward to me. I prefer the smooth line of the e92. Rear is decent. Looks very similar to LCI e90. The additional reflectors and chrome on the bumper look like a Buick. Exterior styling is very subjective, some may prefer the F30 but I'll take the e92 styling over the F30.

Fifth - Interior

Feels cheap. Lots of shiny plastic in the F30 compared to the e90/e92.
My biggest complaint is the door storage sticks out way to far. I like to lean my leg against the door in my e92 when I drive but the F30 storage sticks out too far to do that. That's a big comfort fail for me.
Idrive display looks like an afterthought. My wife asked if you could retract it into the dash. Nope. Also, the idrive display would look very enticing to some crackhead to break in and rip the thing off the dash. The dash is not as deep in the F30. Seems weird. Center dash speaker sticks up and is not flush with the dash. I do like the instrument cluster. A lot of a "computer like" feel to the instruments than the e90/e92. I also like the HUD. HUD speed display is white during the day and amber at night.
Interior size is obviously more roomy in the F30 but I didn't feel as connected to the car as I do in my e92. The non-sport seats in the F30 are super FLAT. No side support whatsoever. I liked my non-sport seats in my e90 and love the sport seats in the e92 but the F30 non-sport seats are terrible. They are flatter than the non-sport e92 seats. Feels like you're sitting on a park bench with these seats.

Overall -

I'm not a fan of this F30 328i. The 4 cylinder engine feels like a 4 cylinder, steering is light, suspension is boat-like, and interior feels a little cheap to me. I do like the technology - HUD, instrument cluster. I think if I were going to buy the new 3 series I would definitely need to move up to the 335. This 4 banger is not doing it for me. Sport Line or package (the lines are packages to me since you have to pay $$$$ to get them) would be an absolute must with this car. I haven't driven an F30 Sport Line but the Luxury Line doesn't do it for me. The main reason I'm driving a 328 is I didn't want to deal with the HPFP and turbo issues related to the 335 but with the F30 328 having a turbo I would opt for the 335. I'll wait until the F32 comes out but I know I won't be buying this F30 328 and won't be buying an F32 328 either.
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      03-27-2012, 08:08 AM   #24
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That was well written, bravo. It is dissappointing that you have to put everything into sport for it to feel like a BMW, and it still isn't close.

One thing that I want to know, how was the Stop-N-Go for city driving, or did you turn that off?
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      03-27-2012, 08:12 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axztx View Post
After driving 100 miles round trip home last night and back to work this morning here's my final take.....
Thank you for the review! I sat in one at the dealership while buying my CPO e90, and definitely agreed with your take of the interior. Never drove it though.

For all of the people saying that the engine is better. Yes, it gets better mpg, better torque, and better hp. But you'll have to rebuild that turbo. That's one reason I'm very happy with the I6 in my 328... none of this rebuilding turbo, leaking turbo, etc business that I see all the time in the n54/n55 threads.

::flamesuit on::
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      03-27-2012, 08:13 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by ndog14 View Post
That was well written, bravo. It is dissappointing that you have to put everything into sport for it to feel like a BMW, and it still isn't close.

One thing that I want to know, how was the Stop-N-Go for city driving, or did you turn that off?
I forgot to mention it. It was horrible. I turned it off after the first 2 or 3 times. My SA told me about before I drove it off the lot and I'm glad he did. The engine actually shuts off. It's very strange. When you lift off the brake at a light it turns on pretty quickly but I did not like it one bit.
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      03-27-2012, 08:47 AM   #27
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Nice writeup, thanks for the perspective.
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      03-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Dr.GumbyM.D. View Post
Thank you for the review! I sat in one at the dealership while buying my CPO e90, and definitely agreed with your take of the interior. Never drove it though.

For all of the people saying that the engine is better. Yes, it gets better mpg, better torque, and better hp. But you'll have to rebuild that turbo. That's one reason I'm very happy with the I6 in my 328... none of this rebuilding turbo, leaking turbo, etc business that I see all the time in the n54/n55 threads.

::flamesuit on::
I totally agree, an engine can look good on paper, but the ultimate test is on the road. For that 2.0T engine to get the BMW acceleration numbers, you need to leave it in sport mode. This engine is very noisy in sport mode and not in a good way. To get the BMW MPG numbers, you need to turn on the stop and go function and put the car in eco mode. With those modes on, the car feel more like a Prius than a BMW.
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      03-27-2012, 10:21 AM   #29
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I duno, when I sat in the F30 I thought the interior was great. Felt like what the E90 interior should have been, more of an evolution of the E46 interior. I just don't like the huge "Okay, here you go Americans" cupholders, although you can cover them with a tray.


2012 BMW F30 3-series interior by garyhebding, on Flickr
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      03-27-2012, 10:45 AM   #30
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I duno, when I sat in the F30 I thought the interior was great. Felt like what the E90 interior should have been, more of an evolution of the E46 interior. I just don't like the huge "Okay, here you go Americans" cupholders, although you can cover them with a tray.


2012 BMW F30 3-series interior by garyhebding, on Flickr
I like the interior of the F30 too, besides the iDrive screen that can't fold away and the tan on the Modern Line. It is an evolution of the E46, and previous BMWs of the interior being driver oriented. The E9X generation was a "play-it-safe" design after Chris Bangle's 7 series, the Z4, E60, etc. etc. BMW could not risk make the next 3 series "different"
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      03-27-2012, 11:03 AM   #31
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I test drove the F30 328i a couple weeks back before I got my used e90 335. The interior of the F30 is better in my opinion, the only thing lacking was the steering feel.

I took my 335 in for a warranty (window channel peeling) item and they also changed my oil. They were going to drive me to work, but it turns out I work too far for the shuttle service so they let me have a loaner. It was a 135i with navi and M-package, I liked it a lot. Although when I got my car back at the end of the day, it felt little more refined compared to the sporty 135. Hopefully next time, they let me borrow a five or six series
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      03-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #32
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My take on the interior. Lots of nit-picky items.
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      03-27-2012, 01:11 PM   #33
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Great review! Feeling like the LCI E90 isn't devalued much by the F30.
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      03-27-2012, 01:50 PM   #34
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Hopefully LCI F30 gets a revamped interior like the MB C-Class.
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      03-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #35
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IMO moving the audio controls to the right is such a huge fail on BMW's part. I mean they are a company known for ergonomics and smart decisions when it comes to functional design. It's like putting the gas tank on the driver's side; it makes no sense.
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      03-27-2012, 03:10 PM   #36
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i always thought that dealerships should put you in one model better than what you are currently driving if they can. Like if i take my e90 in, they should loan me an f10 or f30 to make me want to upgrade. That wasnt the case, they put me in a base 3 with manual seats and warped rotors and an interior that smelled like smoke.. i couldnt wait to get my car back.
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      03-27-2012, 03:28 PM   #37
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I actually prefer the standard 'flat' seats to the sport package seats' side bolsters. I feel as though it hugs too tight but then again I am overweight.
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      03-27-2012, 03:32 PM   #38
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The light steering makes this car much less enjoyable to drive... I was dead set on replacing my car with an F30 but the Electric Assist, too many gear tranny and overall lack of solid feel in the car sent me in the other direction. I hope the new M3 fixes all of this because if it doesn't, then I am out...

Also the cabin is a lot louder and the N55 sounds like a vacuum cleaner in the F30... I would be scared to even stand next to the N20.
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      03-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #39
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I actually prefer the standard 'flat' seats to the sport package seats' side bolsters. I feel as though it hugs too tight but then again I am overweight.
Same here, I'm quite uncomfortable in the Sport seats, though I do wish the regular seats had the thigh support.

I find the sport suspension intolerable in my area - way too harsh for too little gain. Our roads are like the surface of the moon.

As to the F30 - I haven't driven one yet, and am in no hurry, my e91 is only 6mo old, and there is no F31 yet. I sat in one a week or so ago and in person I found it MUCH more appealing than in pictures. Other than the goofy headlights, I like the looks of the car. I suppose they will grow on me. The extra space is very noticable, especially in the back. I really think the latest 5 is an attractive car, so it being a "mini 5" is a good thing.

I am NOT at all wild about the way they have divvied up the color and interior availability between the various trim lines. I hope they relax this at some point, seems like it is bound to irritate people.

But mostly, I find it funny that every new generation of BMW seems to attract the same grousing and grumbling that "they just don't make them like they used to". Been that way since the 320i replaced the 2002.
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      03-28-2012, 05:21 AM   #40
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I totally agree, an engine can look good on paper, but the ultimate test is on the road. For that 2.0T engine to get the BMW acceleration numbers, you need to leave it in sport mode. This engine is very noisy in sport mode and not in a good way. To get the BMW MPG numbers, you need to turn on the stop and go function and put the car in eco mode. With those modes on, the car feel more like a Prius than a BMW.
And this is the point. I can't see why BMW couldn't have taken the 2.5L N52, added direct injection and a 3-stage mainfold and good breathing cats, add the start/stop function, and the alternator shutdown and eco mode stuff they do now (maybe throw in cylinder deactivation too) and not get the same fuel mileage rating the N20 gets. Granted the car may be a bit slower with that motor as compared to the N20, but not drastically faster. I think leaving a NA I-6 as the base 328i engine was a marketing error on BMW's part for the US. A 4-cylinder turbo, everyone one has one... The I-6 is what made BMW unique.

I get it, the 4-banger is a world-market engine, blah, blah, blah, but folks they are charging $45K - $50K for this car now, BMW can afford to have a unique engine for the US market. The E90 ended up with five engine configurations, why not offer a NA I-6 for the US market?
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      03-28-2012, 05:29 AM   #41
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My take on the interior. Lots of nit-picky items.
Window switches too far back ... hell, I'm still pissed they took them off the console and dropped the thumb controller for the mirrors. And now with the F30, they've dropped the stalk-control cruise control. The F30 is closer to a Buick interior now more than ever.
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      03-28-2012, 07:20 AM   #42
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Perfectly Understood

The subtext of all the F30 hate is a variation of "I just bought an ___ six months ago and now need to _____ all over ____ to minimize my feeling of having made the wrong decision."

It's OK. We all know after a few minor (M-Sport) or major (Coupe or LCI) tweaks, you'll be showering that car with love when it's parked in your garage.
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      03-28-2012, 07:47 AM   #43
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The subtext of all the F30 hate is a variation of "I just bought an ___ six months ago and now need to _____ all over ____ to minimize my feeling of having made the wrong decision."

It's OK. We all know after a few minor (M-Sport) or major (Coupe or LCI) tweaks, you'll be showering that car with love when it's parked in your garage.
Not the case for me. I bought my e92 a few months ago because I totaled my e90 and needed a new car. I won't buy another car hopefully for another 5 years. So, I'm not in the market and wanted to drive the new F30 to see what it was like.

When I took my car in for service and and my SA gave me the F30 key fob my first thought was I hope they keep my car over night so I can drive this baby home. I wanted to really like the car but after driving it I was disappointed. Everyone was talking about increased hp and torque but frankly I didn't feel it during normal driving - only in Sport Mode did I feel anything close to this car being a BMW. I think the 4 cylinder engine is a mistake but BMW needs to get their average MPG up to meet standards.
When I returned the F30 my SA asked me for my opinion. After saying I was disappointed he nodded his head and immediately brought up the increased fuel mileage requirements. I got the feeling he wasn't a fan of the F30 328 either. I was happy to get my e92 328 back and it sure is more fun to drive than the F30 328.
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      03-28-2012, 07:51 AM   #44
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I was happy to get my e92 328 back and it sure is more fun to drive than the F30 328.
The N20 will be tunable upwards of 300 hp. The N52? Not so much. Something to consider if you're ever side by side with an F30 at a stop light.
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