Seats are a tough decision.. We had a C300 loaner and the seats were very comfortable. This was followed by a 528ii loaner for four days and I found the seats to be uncomfortable after two hours of driving. The 528i was not a great car until pushed through turns etc and it was like on rails with great acceleration and braking and steering when pushed.. Still it did not have the seat of the pants kind of feel of my e36. My daughter drove the 528i and stated she was glad to return to her 525iT e39 5 speed
I think the F30 sport with manuel is the sweet spot choice of current BMW offerings although the X3 may win out on utility. Just hard to find time to driver every combination of sport w/wo m adaptive etc.