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-   -   2012 F30 in Detail - What we learned after a day with the F30 at the Detroit AutoShow (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=593452)

tim330i 01-11-2012 06:59 PM

2012 F30 in Detail - What we learned after a day with the F30 at the Detroit AutoShow
 
BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

It is a once in every 7 year experience to see an all new 3 series in the sheet metal for the first time. The first few hours spent around the F30 at the Detroit Auto Show were a visual overload. The car has so many subtle design elements that you can come back to the design from each angle over and over again and each time take away something new.

Subtle style cues like the side skirt line bending in to match the front wheel arch line shows how much time was put into every inch of the F30 design. Because of the complexity of the design the car has a lot to tell you, and so it take a long time to take in the entire design story. It is easy to glance over the F30 and say, yes, it is a great looking car. But to really appreciate it, to really know the design it took lots of wandering around the car just taking it all in. In short the design is fanatic, you can quickly rest your eye on it, and be in love, and also come back and look on it time and time again and still be in love. This is a design that you can grow into, many many miles down the road.

Having spent the better part of a day simply admiring the all new 2012 BMW F30 3 series sedan I eventually was able to move past just staring at the design and soaked in some of the more daily details. Things you might pass over at an auto show but will appreciate, or despise on a daily basis. Here are some of the subtle F30 details that I think are worth mentioning -

Get Your Jam On
The center arm rest has an auxiliary input as well as a USB connector. No word yet how the USB connection will work with iPods and iPhones, it will be one of the first things we test with our project F30 328i.
BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

All Screens Not Created Equal
There is a significant variation between the standard dash display and the navigation display. If you're not aware the base F30 has a screen, but if you get the navigation package it is upgraded. The screen is a fixture in the car and the base screen has a cheapness that does take away from the interior experience. With it's prominent location having the nicer navigation screen/screen bezel is probably worth it.
Base F30 3 series dash display screen -
BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

Optional F30 3 series Navigation display screen -
BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

Cheap plastics
The BMW 3 series is a premium car but still represents some degree of entry level in the BMW range with the 1er below it and the 5, 6, 7 being up range so I cannot say that a bit of cheaper plastics on the 3 series is a surprise. That being said the use of cheap plastic in a few locations was noted, most noticeably on the mirrors. The top part of the mirror containing the turn signal, which doesn't look bad in person, comes either in body color or high gloss black. The lower part on the three standard line, Modern, Luxury or Sport, is a noticeably cheap black plastic. Only with the M Sport Package to you get an a shadow trim matched mirror base and mirror bottom (pic of M sport mirror)

Cheap plastic mirror bases on F30 stand out like a sore thumb
BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

Weights Savings Baked In
With ever increasing safety features, growing wheel base and passenger compartment space and standard feature lists a mile long the base weight of BMWs has been on the rise. With the F30 BMW started at the beginning with weight savings in mind. The entire front bumper and head lights hang way off the end of the chassis. This saves the weight of forming the main chassis all the way to the very end of the car and probably improves pedestrian safety as well. The neatest trick is the wheel wheels. They would normally be metal, with a plastic liner. BMW realized the plastic liner was all that was needed and removed the sheet metal part of the wheel liner for weight savings. This was especially interesting to the KIA execs that were checking out the F30.

BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

Cameras Everywhere
If you option the car up with the Driver Assistance Package and the Parking Package there are cameras all over the car. A review camera to help backup is all but common at this point but the cameras under the mirrors and in the rear view mirror are interesting. I'm not crazy about how BMW has intentionally made the front facing rear view mirror camera so obvious. I would have liked the camera to be more discreet and they certainly didn't need to put the "ConnectedDrive" logo on there. I hope that is something that can be taken off, but I have a feeling it is under the glass.

ConnectedDrive rear view mirror with front facing camera
BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

Top View camera on underside of side mirror
BMW 2012 F30 3 series - Details you want to know

A few other interesting points about the F30
  • There is no physical spot for the key. All F30s come with "Keyless Go", you never have to take the key out of your pocket to drive the car. Comfort access option adds the ability to unlock the door by simply touching the door handle, plus the hands free trunk opening.
  • Driver Assistance Package (ZDA) that includes lane departure warning and Collision Warning system eliminates the cubie on the left side of the steering wheel. You can see the cubie here, and the Driver Assistance buttons here

After an entire day with several different F30 328s, 335s and the M sport 335 my final reaction is solid excitement. The look of the car is extremely fresh and aggressive, the powertrain options are excellent and the interior is well styled and appointed. The only thing left before I can completely sign off on the F30 is time behind the wheel. With our long term review 328i arriving in February (fingers crossed) it is just a matter of time before I have a few hundred miles of F30 driving to report on. Stay tuned for more F30 details from Bimmerfest.com!

unintelligible 01-11-2012 09:08 PM

Excellent. Glad to hear it's as good looking in person as it is in pictures.

Interesting regarding the plastic on the mirrors. Something wasn't sitting right with me on that so I went back and looked at the press photos, and lo and behold, the Sport Line cars have that same glossy trim under the side mirrors that is on the M-Sport mirrors here.

If you look closer at the Detroit pictures, it looks like the trim around the windows is matte black vs. glossy as well (except the B pillar remains glossy). I wonder if this is just a preproduction thing, or they made a last minute decontenting for the US market.

The picture I'm referring to, from the set of Barcelona pics:

http://www.bimmerfest.com//gallery/B...-Spain-064.jpg

The Detroit pic, for reference:

http://www.bimmerfest.com//gallery/B...o-Show-027.jpg

Edit: Yep, it looks correct on the Detroit car. I went to BMW UK's configurator and there's an option "Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline (S0760)". That option is not listed in the US order guide. Bummer! :thumbdwn:

328i4me 01-11-2012 10:00 PM

nice write-up on easily over looked details!

mr_clueless 01-11-2012 11:09 PM

Does the car have a hood pad?

7or8 01-12-2012 07:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tim330i (Post 6556133)
...[*]Driver Assistance Package (ZDA) that includes lane departure warning and top view eliminates the cubie on the left side of the steering wheel.

I thought that ZDA only included Lane departure and blind spot detection. Top View is in the Parking Package (ZPK) right?

530CE 01-12-2012 07:54 AM

Very nice detail checking and reporting. Itís great to have a BMW lover reporting on the debut instead of some Detroit Iron perspective. I feel a little better about the I-Drive (I-Pad) screen than I did in my initial reactions. Iím still having a problem with that padded dash cut off by the passenger side air vent. Iím hoping it will all grow on me when I see it in person next month.

Over all I think the F30 is drop dead gorgeous. It looks like good size and most of all it definitely is a BMW all the way to its roots. They will probably have a problem keeping up with production on the 335i with M-Sport. I canít find anything I donít love about that one, except maybe the lack of fog lights.

Thanks for the great job telling us about it!

mohrgan 01-12-2012 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unintelligible (Post 6556399)
Excellent. Glad to hear it's as good looking in person as it is in pictures.

Interesting regarding the plastic on the mirrors. Something wasn't sitting right with me on that so I went back and looked at the press photos, and lo and behold, the Sport Line cars have that same glossy trim under the side mirrors that is on the M-Sport mirrors here.

If you look closer at the Detroit pictures, it looks like the trim around the windows is matte black vs. glossy as well (except the B pillar remains glossy). I wonder if this is just a preproduction thing, or they made a last minute decontenting for the US market.

The picture I'm referring to, from the set of Barcelona pics:



Edit: Yep, it looks correct on the Detroit car. I went to BMW UK's configurator and there's an option "Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline (S0760)". That option is not listed in the US order guide. Bummer! :thumbdwn:

What the he** BMW?! No LED corner lights, now no High Gloss Shadowline on Sport. Just charge us the extra $20 it takes to put the HGSL trim on the car!

SoonerJohn 01-12-2012 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tim330i (Post 6556133)
Driver Assistance Package (ZDA) that includes lane departure warning and top view eliminates the cubie on the left side of the steering wheel. You can see the cubie here, and the Driver Assistance buttons here

Two buttons in the "with ZDA" photo that I can't figure out:
  • What is the center button in the cluster of 3? Looks like it's indicating not running into the car in front of it, but I'm not sure what feature/option that relates to (since the "Stop & Go Cruise" isn't yet available).
  • What is the function of the button on the side of the steering column? I can't figure out what the graphic on the button is trying to indicate.

justinnum1 01-12-2012 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoonerJohn (Post 6557306)
Two buttons in the "with ZDA" photo that I can't figure out:
  • What is the center button in the cluster of 3? Looks like it's indicating not running into the car in front of it, but I'm not sure what feature/option that relates to (since the "Stop & Go Cruise" isn't yet available).
  • What is the function of the button on the side of the steering column? I can't figure out what the graphic on the button is trying to indicate.

the one on the steering column is for heating the wheel, not sure about the other one, maybe the cruise control

pcbrew 01-12-2012 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SoonerJohn (Post 6557306)
  • What is the center button in the cluster of 3? Looks like it's indicating not running into the car in front of it, but I'm not sure what feature/option that relates to (since the "Stop & Go Cruise" isn't yet available).

Isn't that Park Distance Control?

SoonerJohn 01-12-2012 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pcbrew (Post 6557341)
Isn't that Park Distance Control?

Ah, yes. Of course. Brain dead this morning :-)

SoonerJohn 01-12-2012 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinnum1 (Post 6557316)
the one on the steering column is for heating the wheel

Makes sense. I hadn't thought at all about where that button might be placed.

That heated wheel isn't really too important an option for me as I live in Dallas, but I wanted the heated front seats and split folding seats - at that point it was only another $300 to get the whole Cold Weather Package, so I went for the whole thing.

tim330i 01-12-2012 10:15 AM

F30 3 Series ConnectedDrive Driver Assistance Package - ZDA

The Buttons are from left to right -

Active Blind Spot Detection - Collision Warning System - Lane Change Warning System

The button on the steering column is for the heated steering wheel.

tim330i 01-12-2012 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 7or8 (Post 6556922)
I thought that ZDA only included Lane departure and blind spot detection. Top View is in the Parking Package (ZPK) right?

I believe you're correct. I've updated the story.

Tim

lensman314 01-12-2012 11:16 AM

What about the power outlet situation? Looks like the 12v socket is gone from the center console?

jplev 01-12-2012 11:29 AM

I think it's funny how BMW still goes out of its way to put a blank in for the button for the rear fog light. I went through the instructions I found online to make it work on my E90. I wonder why they just don't make the rear fog light active here in the U.S. Our Volvo and other cars have it here.

justinnum1 01-12-2012 12:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lensman314 (Post 6557572)
What about the power outlet situation? Looks like the 12v socket is gone from the center console?

prob in the armrest

tim330i 01-12-2012 12:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lensman314 (Post 6557572)
What about the power outlet situation? Looks like the 12v socket is gone from the center console?

No, it is still in the center console. In front of the cup holders, under the lid there is more or less an ash tray with lighter. Surprised we didn't get a photo of that at Detroit.

Tim

chrisk03 01-12-2012 08:02 PM

Wow, the standard dash display looks horrid, IMO. I'm not a big fan of the Navi display either with respect to how it stands out or sits on the dash, but it's like a goddess compared to the standard. I have a feeling many cars will be Nav optioned.

brkf 01-12-2012 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chrisk03 (Post 6558688)
Wow, the standard dash display looks horrid, IMO. I'm not a big fan of the Navi display either with respect to how it stands out or sits on the dash, but it's like a goddess compared to the standard. I have a feeling many cars will be Nav optioned.

I can't see spending 2.5k for a slightly large screen and navi. Those two items are worth less than $100. Just hard to stomach for something that should be standard. Or at worst $300-400.*



*Yes there is HUD. This isn't 1985, HUD is also not worth extreme cash.

justinnum1 01-12-2012 08:38 PM

HUD isn't worth anything if you have polarized sunglasses, so frickin happy i passed on it

JonF30 01-12-2012 09:19 PM

I love and want this car, but the cheap looking base nav screen (2550 to upgrade (ZTP)), plain base headlights with no angel eyes (900 to upgrade (xenon)), cost to get wood, leather and sunroof combination (essentially 2100 (ZLL) + 3600 (ZPP)), fact that you have to pay extra for a basic feature like an alarm (400, please), comments about cheap looking plastics and no LED lighting... is starting to get a little irritating.

$10,000 in options? Compare to the A4. Base car comes with leather and roof. Style package (1100) adds xenons and leds and some other shiny bits. Wood trim is $350. And to add insult to injury the quattro car's msrp undercuts the rwd 328i by a few hundred bucks.

I don't want an Audi. I want an F30! Of course it's a better chassis and engine. But the way these options are laid out... geez...

justinnum1 01-12-2012 09:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonF30 (Post 6558881)
I love and want this car, but the cheap looking base nav screen (2550 to upgrade (ZTP)), plain base headlights with no angel eyes (900 to upgrade (xenon)), cost to get wood, leather and sunroof combination (essentially 2100 (ZLL) + 3600 (ZPP)), fact that you have to pay extra for a basic feature like an alarm (400, please), comments about cheap looking plastics and no LED lighting... is starting to get a little irritating.

$10,000 in options? Compare to the A4. Base car comes with leather and roof. Style package (1100) adds xenons and leds and some other shiny bits. Wood trim is $350. And to add insult to injury the quattro car's msrp undercuts the rwd 328i by a few hundred bucks.

I don't want an Audi. I want an F30! Of course it's a better chassis and engine. But the way these options are laid out... geez...

If looks and cosmetics are what your most concerned about, bmw might not be the car for you.

Once your driving the F30, you will forget all about "angel eyes" and "textured wood trim" it sounds like you are concerned on the image, a benz 250 might be a better option if that is the case. You get the F30 is your main priority is driving enjoyment.

IAS 01-12-2012 09:40 PM

if you look the prices of the cars now a days a base BMW 3 series is bargain, average midsize car is around 30K plus so ultimate driving machine at 40K is not that expensive. I have seen the 3 in Auto show and i am excited about it. BMW will make money on the options, but if one want simple driving pleasure a base model with fewer options will do the job. gadgets are plenty on KIA and Hyundai but they don;t drive like BMW.

brkf 01-12-2012 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonF30 (Post 6558881)
I love and want this car, but the cheap looking base nav screen (2550 to upgrade (ZTP)), plain base headlights with no angel eyes (900 to upgrade (xenon)), cost to get wood, leather and sunroof combination (essentially 2100 (ZLL) + 3600 (ZPP)), fact that you have to pay extra for a basic feature like an alarm (400, please), comments about cheap looking plastics and no LED lighting... is starting to get a little irritating.

$10,000 in options? Compare to the A4. Base car comes with leather and roof. Style package (1100) adds xenons and leds and some other shiny bits. Wood trim is $350. And to add insult to injury the quattro car's msrp undercuts the rwd 328i by a few hundred bucks.

I don't want an Audi. I want an F30! Of course it's a better chassis and engine. But the way these options are laid out... geez...

You can't compare it to an A4 because an A4 doesn't have RWD, is heavier, doesn't have included maintenance (or much of a warranty), has a smaller dealer network and in the end it's just not well made. **

**Sorry, current Audi owner.


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