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      04-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #1
hmtaylor
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2010-2011 Inline 6 "Legacy" Thoughts

I have a 2010 328xi...and I have read before that this engine, the straight inline 6, is thought by some "purists" to be one of the best BMW engines.

Now, before I get flamed I want to make a few things clear:

1) I am NOT looking for argument about how the 335 engine is more powerful and superior blah blah blah

2) I am NOT saying that the new 4 cylinder turbo is subpar or even incompetent (quite the opposite, I'm sure it's great)

All I am asking is whether there is any validity that this inline 6 ("N52?") will be sought after in the future by potential buyers since it is the last inline 6 BMW will produce...or so it seems. Thoughts?
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      04-05-2013, 09:31 AM   #2
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Let me just go ahead and sum this up. All natural straight 6 singing to 7k, whats not to enjoy about that esp paired with a PE. It might not be the most powerful in the line up, but there isn't anyone on this board that will say the N52 isn't a great motor. Its smooth, quiet, quick enough, decent on gas, and paired with a 6MT is extremely enjoyable. Im sure it will it will be desired in the future by the N/A BMW purists.
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      04-05-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
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An inline 6 is one of the few naturally balanced engines. They just sound so great. It's really too bad that everything is moving to small turbo engines.

The turbos are great, but they don't deliver the fuel economy that they are rated for unless you drive like an absolute grandma. Good on the highway, but terrible around town.
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      04-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #4
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Assuming that your real question is whether or not your car will be worth more because of its motor, I personally don't think it will. The N52 is a great motor, but I don't see it as being particularly special.
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      04-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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I was just wondering, I plan on trading it in back to dealer once its off warranty anyways...I was just curious on what the general thought was . . .
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      04-05-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzo23 View Post
Let me just go ahead and sum this up. All natural straight 6 singing to 7k, whats not to enjoy about that esp paired with a PE. It might not be the most powerful in the line up, but there isn't anyone on this board that will say the N52 isn't a great motor. Its smooth, quiet, quick enough, decent on gas, and paired with a 6MT is extremely enjoyable. Im sure it will it will be desired in the future by the N/A BMW purists.
+1
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      04-05-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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Very good engine. Replaced by a turbo 4 that is, spec-wise, superior in every way. However, the N52 was much smoother and nicer sounding, better balanced. All things which there are on no spec sheets.
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      04-05-2013, 01:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmtaylor
All I am asking is whether there is any validity that this inline 6 ("N52?") will be sought after in the future by potential buyers since it is the last inline 6 BMW will produce...or so it seems. Thoughts?
technically, it's not the last bmw inline 6 you can buy. The N55 is also an I-6. it just has 2 turbos on it.

BMW has had lots of naturally aspirated I6 engines though (if that's what you mean). And arguably, the S54 is held in higher regard than the N52. So will the N52 be sought after by enthusiasts? not particularly is my guess.
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      04-05-2013, 01:54 PM   #9
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technically, it's not the last bmw inline 6 you can buy. The N55 is also an I-6. it just has 2 turbos on it.

BMW has had lots of naturally aspirated I6 engines though (if that's what you mean). And arguably, the S54 is held in higher regard than the N52. So will the N52 be sought after by enthusiasts? not particularly is my guess.
The N55 has 1 turbo on it.. I think the reliability of the N52 is overrated. Very common valve cover gasket leaks, eccentric whatchamacallit leaks, vanos problems, etc..
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      04-05-2013, 01:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
technically, it's not the last bmw inline 6 you can buy. The N55 is also an I-6. it just has 2 turbos on it.

BMW has had lots of naturally aspirated I6 engines though (if that's what you mean). And arguably, the S54 is held in higher regard than the N52. So will the N52 be sought after by enthusiasts? not particularly is my guess.
The N55 has 1 turbo.

Also, BMW will continue making I6 engines, just they'll be turbo charged. Agreed that the S54 will be more highly sought after especially because the E46 was such an amazing car.

To be honest, I think that the N52 equipped E9Xs will fall by the wayside. They're considered old tech and I think that if a purist is looking for an E9X model they'll probably choose an M3 over the base cars (esp 328s). It is a great engine that is very under appreciated, but most people think that newer is better and bigger is better.
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      04-05-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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N52 has been an entry level engine. It has no "aura", so I doubt it will get collector following cult, even though it is probably equal, if not superior to the e36 M3 engine in some aspects (at least on US markets) .
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      04-05-2013, 02:15 PM   #12
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i read an article in Car and Driver and, I believe, Motortrend also...and one of them was a followup to a road test they had conducted with the 2012 328...the article mentioned that the 2012 was stuck in the shop, but the author had some time with a 2010 328 and commented/remarked on the motor and how it delivered power/etc...and the point was this: it was NOT the best motor for power...BUT. there was something about that particular motor, the N52, that made you feel like you were a driving a BMW...that's the way the car was meant to be, almost like that motor and its operation was the true heart of the brand . . . i'm not commenting on whether that is true or not, b/c undoubtedly it is a subjective judgment that none of us can refute or support. But, I thought it was interesting.
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      04-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmtaylor View Post
2) I am NOT saying that the new 4 cylinder turbo is subpar or even incompetent
*Actually if the mission still includes to provide an high sense of quality and pleasure, it is.*

The N20 is a terrible mistake, NOT OK to be in a Bimmer.

The N52 is ordinary in the E90 328i, but GREAT in cars like 2006 325i / 330i or even 2013 128i. It is all about sound experience... I have no idea why BMW decided it needed to be quiet in a 328i.

Bottom line; the N20 would sound fine in a Civic / Camry but what we really want in our base BMW is N52 like in the 128i.
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      04-05-2013, 04:32 PM   #14
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The N20 is a terrible mistake, NOT OK to be in a Bimmer.
why is that? BMW has been putting 4 cylinder engines in its cars since the 1960s.
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      04-05-2013, 04:44 PM   #15
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I'd say the N20 is surprisingly good for what it is. Turbo engines don't deliver a very nice sound. Direct injection involves mechanical noise and clatter. Turbo engines also have fairly steep, non-linear power curves and some unavoidable turbo lag, both qualities that require some getting accustomed to. But as someone who thought the N20 was a horrible mistake, I have to say they've made a nice package of it.

I'm glad to have an older 3-series with the N52 engine. It is very satisfying in all respects to drive and has -- up to now -- proven altogether reliable and low-maintenance. My prior car was an E39 with pretty much the same engine. It still lives nearby and is still going strong, after some thirteen years on the road, with no engine issues at all. I don't think the N52 is a museum piece, but I think many of us will be nostalgic for it once it has pretty well died out.
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      04-05-2013, 04:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
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N52 has been an entry level engine. It has no "aura", so I doubt it will get collector following cult, even though it is probably equal, if not superior to the e36 M3 engine in some aspects (at least on US markets) .
Like you said, it's only the base engine in our market. It's two steps above the base engine everywhere else and has a perfect balance of sound, power and fuel economy.
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      04-05-2013, 05:31 PM   #17
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why is that? BMW has been putting 4 cylinder engines in its cars since the 1960s.
Yes and they kept improving. *There is no reason to step back*.
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      04-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzo23 View Post
Let me just go ahead and sum this up. All natural straight 6 singing to 7k, whats not to enjoy about that esp paired with a PE. It might not be the most powerful in the line up, but there isn't anyone on this board that will say the N52 isn't a great motor. Its smooth, quiet, quick enough, decent on gas, and paired with a 6MT is extremely enjoyable. Im sure it will it will be desired in the future by the N/A BMW purists.
+1 I completely agree N52 is by far most reliable they have in my opinion ever produced. And like he said with 6MT its very enjoyable combo it aint as fast as 335 but it certainly very reliable which I im sure everyone can agree you cant say about other motor variants. Its also to my knowledge last I6 produced in US market.

I think its very sought after engine, I would personally not buy any of current cars unless I see good track record over next few years. Im hanging on to mine, I dont foresee current bmw's to have to reliability like n52 on any of their models.
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      04-05-2013, 10:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by raleedy View Post
I'd say the N20 is surprisingly good for what it is. Turbo engines don't deliver a very nice sound. Direct injection involves mechanical noise and clatter. Turbo engines also have fairly steep, non-linear power curves and some unavoidable turbo lag, both qualities that require some getting accustomed to. But as someone who thought the N20 was a horrible mistake, I have to say they've made a nice package of it.

I'm glad to have an older 3-series with the N52 engine. It is very satisfying in all respects to drive and has -- up to now -- proven altogether reliable and low-maintenance. My prior car was an E39 with pretty much the same engine. It still lives nearby and is still going strong, after some thirteen years on the road, with no engine issues at all. I don't think the N52 is a museum piece, but I think many of us will be nostalgic for it once it has pretty well died out.
Agreed, The E46 I6 (forgot engine model) and N52 are very nice engines. Problem with E46 was vanos problems but that was easy fix with seal kit.

I personally like bmw history and "I" engines have always been at heart of bmw's so to still own one is pleasure to me. Maybe I love my bmw's to much but hey everyone has a passion right.
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      04-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #20
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The N52 tuned to 258hp in the '05 & '06 E90s (and even more hp in other cars) is the legacy straight 6 NA motor. It was also mated to the superior ZF automatic vs the clunky GM in the 328 - would definitely give the N20 a run for its money.
The one in my '06 330i was so smooth and sounded so good I almost didn't mind being screwed when the 335 came out months later!

Last edited by xG35c; 04-06-2013 at 09:44 AM.
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      04-06-2013, 10:58 AM   #21
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The N52 tuned to 258hp in the '05 & '06 E90s (and even more hp in other cars) is the legacy straight 6 NA motor. It was also mated to the superior ZF automatic vs the clunky GM in the 328
The GM transmission has never been clunky. The 6L family (still in use for the 2014 Corvette) is a very smooth transmission poorly programmed some some early BMW '07-08 car. Blame the programming not the mechanical transmission. Since the ZF are prone to leaks, I prefer my GM's, thank you.
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