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bimmerized 11-30-2012 03:50 PM

328i F30 vs N20 X1
I recently put a significant number of miles on a two courtesy F30s, one a 2012 and another a 2013. The 2013 did not have any options other than met paint. I believe the MSRP was about $38K. The 2012 had the Tech Package, Power Seats and a Sunroof which put it about $40,400 MSRP. The base price on the 2012 was $35K. I thnk the price on the 13 was increased to account for the standard power seat.

Here are some differences I noticed relative to my X1 S-Drive X-Line w/paddle shifters:

Here are some virtues of the F30 over the X1: has more comfortable base seats; softer and more lateral support. Rear center overhead lighting (LED) is useful; seems brighter than the side lights in the X1. Still has the micro temperature adjustment in the center dash. Has foot lighting under the 4 doors when open. Definitely has less wind noise and better gas mileage on the freeway. I'd say at least 2 MPG better. Rear seat room is significantly more spacious, width and length. It also has adjustable (temp and direction) rear HVAC vents. LED lighting in the trunk (not sure if I like this better but will keep the battery from draining when open). Engine noise was more subdued than the X1 especially in the 2013; I couldn't hear the diesel like clatter at all and at the same time the intake seem to ahve more grunt noise. Perhaps intake noise is piped in to the cabin? One feature that I found on the 2012 was a power montior which indicates peak HP and torque used in the prior past 15 seconds or so. I found this feature when I turned the traction control completely off. Not sure if this feature is associated wth the Tech Package, but it's nothing to desire anyway, just a toy. I do like the Sport setting for the throttle and steering, but the there is no choice not to engage the sport mode in the transmission at the same time. Also it seems you can't turn traction control completely off in Sport mode.

Negatives: much more softly spring and dampended than the standard X1 suspension. Too soft IMHO. The softger ride may be partially due to the taller tire sidewalls used on the 17" wheels since my has the 18". The front suspensions seems to transmit more road noise than the X1. The Bridgestone Turanza tires equipped on the 2013 were more comfortable than the Perelli Cinturo (sp?) on the 2012. The X1 has one more 12V outlet in the center compartment whereas the F30 only has the USB connection under the center compartment. The 2012 did not seem to have any more standard freatures as a base X1 other than i-Drive and Sport mode for the steering and throttle response; don't like how the screen sticks up in the middle of the dash anyway. The 2013 has the power seats but cost is reflected in the base price. The steering wheel is much better in the X1 than the F30 base. The leather feels like sand paper and it much skinnier than the sport wheel in the X1. The CC is on the streering wheel buttons instead of a dedicated stock which I prefer. The X1 also has the alarm standard. The HVAC did not have an ALL button to coordinate the temp on both sides. Overall I did NOT feel the interior was of better quality than the X1. I like the design of the X1 dash much better and the trim (wood or silver) on door panels are not as nicely placed. The dash layout reminded me of an American car... The switch gear for the HVAC seem lower in quality. Can't access the radio w/o the use of the i-Drive. My X1 transmission seems to shift faster and more sharply than both the F30, but they were equipped with the paddles ( which means no Sport Transmission in the F30). Not sure if the transmission are any different, prob just software, but the Standard F30 seems to have a softer shift if not also a little slower in D or Manual. Steering felt a little lighter than my EPS Servo equipped X1 and it did not seem to tighten up with speed like my Servo X1. It appears to tighten with Sport Mode only. The Head-up display in the Tech Pkg car was hideous IMHO. I had to turn it off because it was distracting and giving me a headache. It's useless anyway; who needs to know their speed at every second. I'd rather have a tach displayed. Shifter is larger and not as nice more black plastic and less silver metal. The sifter did feel better for manual shifting tough because it's taller. The trunk is about the same size (based on the family luggage I had), but the X1 is more flexible in height so I could fit a bit more.

The 2013 instrument cluster is slightly different than the 12. The 13 has an analogue MPG gauge like in the X1 and the 12 has digital one. I like the analog much better. The gear indicator is also harder to read on the 12. I think it's on the left dial instead of btwn the two main dials.

Needless to say I was glad to jump back into my X1. It feels much more like a sports car even though the CG is higher. It feels more controlled when driven agressively.

Hopefully this review is helpful for those pondering btwn the two cars. Keep in mind that I'm comparting cars that are very close in cost. Not sure how an F30 with Sport Line / M Sport would compare.

bimmerized 11-30-2012 07:17 PM

here's another difference, the F30 key is so much larger for no apparent reason other than cost cutting.

The little content the base F30 offers over the base X1 is definitely not worth the $4350 difference in base price btwn the 2012 F30 and 2013 E84. If you are planning to get a base F30, the X1 is a much better deal, but get the F30 if you want the options the X1 does not offer. If you want the comfort and size of the F30, then you'll just have to pay the premium / inferior value.

Bubbs 12-02-2012 09:49 AM

Thanks for the review. It's the exact decision I have to make on a couple months.

Reedo302 12-03-2012 08:46 PM

I want the X1, but I REALLY want the Estorilblau paint on the E30 M Sport. Wish they had it on the X1. Probably a pretty BS reason to want the F30, but I really loved that color on my old 99 M Coupe.

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