Just came out of a 328i xDrive loaner that I had for a few days while my E92 335i xDrive was in for service.
My take is that BMW spent *way* too much effort on "Eco Pro" gimmicks, and nowhere near enough focus on driving dynamics. Why should I have to press a bunch of buttons to try to make the car behave like a European sports sedan should, instead of driving like a Prius? Hit a button so the car doesn't turn itself off every time it stops, hit another button to keep the transmission from starting out in what feels like 3rd gear from lights, etc. And there isn't a button to make the 4 cylinder exhaust note sound befitting of a nearly $50,000 car. Come to think of it, even the steering was vague and artificial like that aforementioned Prius.
At least in a Prius you're rewarded with 50 mpg fuel economy for putting up with the lack of driving dynamics, but the 328 returned a whopping 3 MPG better than my 335 doing the same commute. I know that's a lot for a manufacturer struggling to meet tightening fuel economy standards, but to the actual vehicle owner, I don't think it's worth all the sacrifices that were made to eek out those few extra MPGs.
It's not all bad news though. The body structure of the F30 is tight as a drum, wind noise is noticeably lower than in the E9x, the automatic transmission is a huge improvement over the old GM unit, and the HUD and other tech gadgetry works well. None of those improvements kept me from being glad to hand back the key to the loaner and get back behind the wheel of my "old" E92 though.
Sure hope the upcoming F32 has much better driving dynamics, or my second BMW just might be my last. C'mon Munich - don't sacrifice the driving experience that sets you apart from the rest of the herd under the guise of efficiency!
Ordered: '14 550i xDrive
- Munich Delivery in January, 2014
Current: '11 335i xDrive Coupe
Past: '08 335xi Coupe