I have yet to drive an F30 but suspect that it is evolutionary rather than a "Quantum Leap". From all reviews it is a very good car and I suspect that it will sell very well and the vast majority of the people who purchase it will be satisfied customers.
Originally Posted by Michael Schott
There's not much difference between a 2011 E90 and a 2007 E90. The LCI in 2009 was cosmetic and in 2011 it seems the suspension was fixed to be less abrupt. I wouldn't expect major tangible changes to the F30 over the years except hopefully a software change to recalibrate the EPS.
Remember you are coming to a BMW 3 series enthusiasts site and complaining about the steering on the E90 which has been nearly universally praised as the best available next to Porsche and probably the Miata. I find the E90 steering to be superb and once you get used to the heavier than normal tuning it's absolutely wonderful for a car that is truly a great sport sedan.
I'm sure the F30 is more refined and "grown up" but that's exactly what bothers enthusiasts and is the reason that Car and Driver is sure the E90 would beat it in a comparison test. Yet it still beats all comers which makes it a great all around car.
A few more comments. While I do find the E90 interior to be spartan, it's still well designed and the materials are first class. I don't mind the regular steering wheel in my non-Sport 328 but of course would prefer the sport wheel. As far as quietness goes, I've never once thought the car to be loud and it's great on a long trip. The best upgrade from the E90 is the wonderful ZF 8 speed AT. My car by the way has a MT which is much nicer than the BMW tuned GM tranny.
I just read a 328 comparo against the Cadillac ATS in the new Road and Track. R&T gave the victory to the 328 while stating that the ATS outperformed it on the skidpad and slalom. (I will interject here and say that I think that it is rather remarkable how close Cadillac has come in its first attempt against a car that has been being developed for close to 50 years.)
I think what R&D says about the 3 Series sums up the way I feel about cars, or in particular road cars. At the limits the Cadillac outperformed the BMW. But how often do we drive at the limits? I am sure there are some reading this who will say they drive at the limits (and perhaps a few have, but for the vast majority making that claim a few laps around a track as a passenger with a professional race driver at the wheel will knock that notion out of their heads pretty quickly).
I do not purchase cars to "Race Soccer Moms in School Zones" or to drive like a maniac on twisty roads (sorry BJ). I want a car that gives me the "feel" and enjoyment that I want along with giving me comfort while performing the task that I use a car for, which is getting from one place to another. If I want to play race car driver I have an outlet for that.
You do not have to be at the limits to appreciate a well balanced good handling car. Most modern cars (yes even the Accords and Camrys we are so fond of dumping on here) are very capable of being driven well above the speed limit.
So most of the time we are either driving at the speed limit or a bit above it. What separates the good from the bad in that scenario is the way the car feels while we are doing that. A 328i with standard suspension does not feel the same as a 335i with sport suspension even when they are both being driven at conservative speeds. Both good cars, each with its own advantages but they feel different. A more extreme example would be a Camry, which while perfectly capable of safely cruising at a steady 75 miles per hour on an interstate, does not feel the same as a BMW 750. Both will safely get you where you are going in comfort but the experience is not the same.
My 335i, in its stock form was supposedly a luxury sport coupe (or convertible in my case). As it turned out without some work it left something to be desired in both categories. It was way to harsh to qualify as a luxury car and too skittish over bumps to be a particularly good sports car. If the F30 gave up a bit of the "engaging" feel of the E9x to eliminate the harshness, then I think that a lot of people would be happy with that.
I personally want the best of both worlds, and I know from experience that I can have it. BMW did not give it to me on the E93 and if they cannot give it to me on the F30 I will be looking elsewhere. I was able to get the 335i where I wanted it, but frankly I want the car that replaces it to be the way I want it the day I take it home, not after two years of torture, research and experimenation.
To be continued after I test drive an F30 . . . . . and before I decide to purchase one it is going to be an EXTENSIVE test drive like the one I had with the 750 not like the 15 minute test drive I had in a 335i.
Drivers Club at Lime Rock
The Glen Club
International Motor Racing Research Center
Cayman Club Nor'Easters
Madison Ave. Sports Car Driving and Chowder Society (Only a Vice President)
Sports Car Club of America
Polish Racing Drivers of America (PRDA)
American Mural Project
Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum
Mount Washington Observatory
Society of Automotive Historians
Last edited by captainaudio; 10-09-2012 at 07:39 PM.