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      12-15-2012, 07:05 PM   #1
Karbon
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Loaner 2013 F30 328i - impressions and thoughts

So I brought my 2010 335i in for some wear and tear warranty work + maintainence and I got a 2013 328i as a loaner. It's only got 1200 miles on it. I've had it for two full days now and will have it for two more.
(Let me first say I know the 328 and 335 are different, but my mother has a 2011 e90 328i with only cold weather and premium package that I have driven quite a few times so i'm comparing apples to apples here.)

My initial impression is that it looks and feels cheaper in the inside. The steering wheel feels like it's made out of hard rubber and the interior trim peices are not flush on all sides through out the whole car. The doors seem like the dimensions are all off. I have to move my arm in a pretty uncomfortable position to put down any of the windows when in the drivers seat.

Steering. I honestly can not stand the electronic steering. I can take my pinky finger and turn the wheel at any speed with almost zero effort. It's horrid. There's no feed back and it feels all sorts of wrong. The handling is crap. I feel like i'm going to slosh all over the road. Granted it doesn't have the sports package like my 2010 does but again, i've driven my mothers 2011 328i and it doesn't feel like the F30 does.


The engine auto-on and auto-off when stopped is terrible. I don't see how this can be good for the engine turning on and off in traffic every couple of minutes. I know it can be turned off but you have to push the button every freaking time you start the car. It's inconvenient down here in Florida since the AC starts to blow warm air right after the engine shuts off.


NOISES!! The car makes random noises I have never heard before. At 50+ speeds it litterally sounds like there is sand pelting the back window at random intervals. Sometimes for a second or two, sometimes for almost 20 seconds. I did a full inspection of the outside and there's nothing that's loose. I have no freaking idea what is causing it. My girlfriend jumped in her seat the first time she heard it. She thought we had just run into a swarm of bugs.


The inside litterally sounds like there is a tin can rolling around underneath the car when you make a slightly hard turn. I looked everywhere and couldn't see anything loose inside or out. No clue what's making the sounds. Looked under the seats and didn't find anything.


Brakes. Talk about crap. I feel like I have to mash my foot to the floor to get the car to stop. I've heard other people complain about this too. It's like the brakes are too small for the car and just don't have the stopping power the e90's do.


The car doesn't have Nav but it's still got the iDrive of course. It's SLOW as hell compared to my 2010's iDrive with Nav. You can actually see it pause sometimes when switching stations on the regular radio or between options.


The only thing I do like about the car is the engine. I know it's a 4 cylinder but it's actually got some pep to it. If I was looking for a 4cylinder this would be one of the engines I wold consider. Unfortunatly I HATE how it sounds. It's not quiet at all.


All in all, I can't wait until I get my car back. This loaner feels like something you'd get cheap at a rental agency for a few days and never miss driving it once you brought it back.


I'm actually really disappointed in the F30. It's not up to par with the e90 at all. It's very noticable that quality and drive have been given up in favour of getting more of the masses to buy BMW's. If I was looking at the new 328i i'd go get an Infitni G37 or an Audi A4 instead. Hell, save yourself some cash and get a fully loaded Maxima. My friends 2013 Maxima drives better.


I've always loved BMW's. The e90 isn't my first but might be my last if this is the road BMW is going down.
I really wanted to love this car too! Sorry BMW, the F30 flat out sucks.
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      12-15-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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Can't wait to see you in one of these in about two years...
I almost thought you did a copy/paste from some other posters when they compared the E46 to the E90 in 2005...

So much exaggeration going on...
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      12-15-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
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I also had a f30 loaner. Steering feels like an arcade game but it is really quick compared to the e90 328i. Feels more like a 5 series instead of a 3
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      12-15-2012, 10:48 PM   #4
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How do you get the idrive option without nav..?

Probably slower because it has more programming than your 2010? Its basically almost the same CIC if not better
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      12-15-2012, 11:29 PM   #5
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I love the f30, and I'm trying my best to trade my 335 in for the f30 328. It's almost as fast, rides comfortably, and the new style is gorgeous.
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      12-15-2012, 11:35 PM   #6
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jesus christ, some people are so close-minded....
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      12-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #7
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      12-15-2012, 11:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karbon View Post
So I brought my 2010 335i in for some wear and tear warranty work + maintainence and I got a 2013 328i as a loaner. It's only got 1200 miles on it. I've had it for two full days now and will have it for two more.
(Let me first say I know the 328 and 335 are different, but my mother has a 2011 e90 328i with only cold weather and premium package that I have driven quite a few times so i'm comparing apples to apples here.)

My initial impression is that it looks and feels cheaper in the inside. The steering wheel feels like it's made out of hard rubber and the interior trim peices are not flush on all sides through out the whole car. The doors seem like the dimensions are all off. I have to move my arm in a pretty uncomfortable position to put down any of the windows when in the drivers seat.

Steering. I honestly can not stand the electronic steering. I can take my pinky finger and turn the wheel at any speed with almost zero effort. It's horrid. There's no feed back and it feels all sorts of wrong. The handling is crap. I feel like i'm going to slosh all over the road. Granted it doesn't have the sports package like my 2010 does but again, i've driven my mothers 2011 328i and it doesn't feel like the F30 does.


The engine auto-on and auto-off when stopped is terrible. I don't see how this can be good for the engine turning on and off in traffic every couple of minutes. I know it can be turned off but you have to push the button every freaking time you start the car. It's inconvenient down here in Florida since the AC starts to blow warm air right after the engine shuts off.


NOISES!! The car makes random noises I have never heard before. At 50+ speeds it litterally sounds like there is sand pelting the back window at random intervals. Sometimes for a second or two, sometimes for almost 20 seconds. I did a full inspection of the outside and there's nothing that's loose. I have no freaking idea what is causing it. My girlfriend jumped in her seat the first time she heard it. She thought we had just run into a swarm of bugs.


The inside litterally sounds like there is a tin can rolling around underneath the car when you make a slightly hard turn. I looked everywhere and couldn't see anything loose inside or out. No clue what's making the sounds. Looked under the seats and didn't find anything.


Brakes. Talk about crap. I feel like I have to mash my foot to the floor to get the car to stop. I've heard other people complain about this too. It's like the brakes are too small for the car and just don't have the stopping power the e90's do.


The car doesn't have Nav but it's still got the iDrive of course. It's SLOW as hell compared to my 2010's iDrive with Nav. You can actually see it pause sometimes when switching stations on the regular radio or between options.


The only thing I do like about the car is the engine. I know it's a 4 cylinder but it's actually got some pep to it. If I was looking for a 4cylinder this would be one of the engines I wold consider. Unfortunatly I HATE how it sounds. It's not quiet at all.


All in all, I can't wait until I get my car back. This loaner feels like something you'd get cheap at a rental agency for a few days and never miss driving it once you brought it back.


I'm actually really disappointed in the F30. It's not up to par with the e90 at all. It's very noticable that quality and drive have been given up in favour of getting more of the masses to buy BMW's. If I was looking at the new 328i i'd go get an Infitni G37 or an Audi A4 instead. Hell, save yourself some cash and get a fully loaded Maxima. My friends 2013 Maxima drives better.


I've always loved BMW's. The e90 isn't my first but might be my last if this is the road BMW is going down.
I really wanted to love this car too! Sorry BMW, the F30 flat out sucks.
Just don't post this over at f30post or they'll tear you a new one
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      12-16-2012, 12:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingZeroX5 View Post
How do you get the idrive option without nav..?
IIRC, iDrive is now standard on the F30 but Navi is still an option.

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      12-16-2012, 12:03 AM   #10
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Interesting review... I would really like to hear a non-biased (not saying you are biased OP) comparison of the f30 vs. e9x from someone who hasn't driven either one. It does seem like the 3 is turning into the 5 though.
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      12-16-2012, 12:20 PM   #11
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This is how loaners always are IMO. I had a base 328i E90 the other day and hated it. You can't compare a fully loaded car to a base one. I'm sure if the car had sport package, and the dynamic handling package it would've been a better experience. I like the F30 a lot but would probably opt for an S4 if buying new. I can't wait to see the new infiniti G and lexus IS come out soon. I think they'll push BMW to the back real quick.
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      12-16-2012, 12:31 PM   #12
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OP, I understand that your gripes are not engine related but I suggest that you drive a loaded 335i before calling it quit on the F30.
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      12-16-2012, 01:11 PM   #13
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I have an interesting view on this. When my G37S sedan lease came up on July I was already sold on getting a new F30 335. I went and drove it (Sport Line), and my opinions pretty much reflect the OP's. The interior quality was just "okay", the steering was numb, and while I like the styling, there are a few things I could not get past: line across the hood, and the red line across the dash! Also, it felt soft compared to the G37! The BMW dealer also had a E90 in the showroom, and while the style is dated compared to the F30, the quality is obviously better. It may sound silly, but you can tell quickly when you close the door on either car! I drove a 335 E90 sport they had leftover and to me, it was a night and day difference. The E90 N55 felt faster, lighter, and has better balance, breaks and steering.

So I ended up finding a used 2011 E90 with 5800 miles. Never thought I would buy a previous version, but, I do like it better. Hopefully BMW will tweak the F30 with the LCI (add LEDs, and fix the steering), because, it would be nice to have a little more space and technology the F30 offers down the road. And hopefully the new M3 will be a monster!
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      12-16-2012, 01:17 PM   #14
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But tell us how you really feel...
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      12-16-2012, 01:27 PM   #15
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The steering feels better if you put it in sport mode and the sport line also helps, but now you are talking about a $50K car. My wife compare the E90 and the F30 last year and came to the same conclusion as the OP, the E90 just feels like a sports car and the F30 feels more like a family sedan.
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      12-17-2012, 08:30 PM   #16
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I do have an e90 335i BUT I am comparing the 328i loaner to my mothers 328i. The loaner was pretty basic, but so is my mothers e90 328i. She doesn't have sports package either.

I just didn't really like any aspect of it to be honest. I'd take a used basic e90 328i over a new F30 328i ANY DAY.

My girl has a 2010 Acura TSX with no packages and that thing honestly feels like a better driving car than the F30.

Trust me. I love BMW, but I just do not like anything about the new F30 and this is from having the car for 4 days and driving it over 300 miles. It's not just a spin around the block, I took it all over. A basic e90 328i is THRILLING to drive compared to the F30.

You can't know what i'm talking about until you actually get in a drive it. It's nothing like any previous BMW. It just feels numb

I gave the car a chance, I did. I REALLY wanted to like it but I just can't. The drive is no longer in the car.
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      12-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #17
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That's pretty interesting. I also test drove an f30 328i sport for three days and 300 miles and came away with entirely opposite conclusions than posted here by you. I loved it. So much so that I actually went out and bought one (being built right now).


Different strokes I guess. Anyway, sorry to interrupt your bash-fest, go on ...
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      12-17-2012, 09:11 PM   #18
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So you didn't like it? Hard to tell.
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      12-17-2012, 09:24 PM   #19
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Well, I don't know about all of THAT, but I enjoyed driving the F30 when I had it as a loaner.
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      12-17-2012, 09:29 PM   #20
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I had one as a loaner as well... Can't say a single good thing about it actually. Start/Stop is a joke, the EPS steering is a downgrade, Idrive restarted numerous times while driving and car was very floaty with the stock suspension. RWD is the only thing going for this car...
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      12-17-2012, 09:36 PM   #21
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I can understand why some may think it sounds like a rant and some F30 owners might feel offended, BUT that sounded like an honest assessment. It's bound to not please everyone.
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      12-17-2012, 09:59 PM   #22
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I had a f30 as a loaner as well, and I must say, this new 3 is not what BMW's are known for. The front end is ugly. That beak is way too busy for me. The car rides soft, and feels big. The electric steering is horrible. The car feels like it's floating. BMW's are know for that heavy, feel the road drive. The f30 doesn't have that. Please bring back the hydraulic steering, NA inline 6, and make it " The Ultimate Driving Machine."
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