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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:01 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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I'm driving an F30 (328i and 335i) on the track tomorrow...

I spent today tooling around in both the new 328i (AT) and the new 335i (6MT). Tomorrow, I will drive both at Laguna Seca (and bring a 335i 6MT Sport home for a week or so).

Being a former E36, E46 and E90 owner I know the 3 Series sedan. So, what do you want me to report back on? I assume most of you have seen the car... if not, do you want specific pics?

Let me know, and I will check this thread after dinner.

BTW, I am up here with all of the F30 engineers and Ludwig (CEO). If you have a specific engineering question, please post them and I will pass them on!

- Mike
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:19 PM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
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Mike, I think I mentioned this to you at the VDC Tour, but you just have one of the coolest jobs ever!

I'm particularly interested in the following:
  • How the new electric steering feels
  • Whether the 335i has the optional variable sport steering and how that feels

Overall, I am interested in your feedback on how the 335i steers, brakes, and accelerates. It will be interesting to get your feedback on the relative performance of the 328i vs. the 335i since they're now so close on paper.

Great track to wring out the new F30!
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:29 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD 335is View Post
Mike, I think I mentioned this to you at the VDC Tour, but you just have one of the coolest jobs ever!

I'm particularly interested in the following:
  • How the new electric steering feels
  • Whether the 335i has the optional variable sport steering and how that feels

Overall, I am interested in your feedback on how the 335i steers, brakes, and accelerates. It will be interesting to get your feedback on the relative performance of the 328i vs. the 335i since they're now so close on paper.

Great track to wring out the new F30!
I can say that my first impression is that the steering in the 335i feels artificial (consider that I drive a '12 X5, one of the last pure hydraulic steering systems which BMW offers). However, after about ten minutes it felt pretty good. I need to mess with the settings (sport, normal, etc...) as they change feel too. More on that tomorrow.

- Mike
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I am fortunate to have unique press cars delivered weekly, but I own:

'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:34 PM
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Inline Sixer Inline Sixer is offline
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Mike,

I too am interested in the steering feel. How bad is it going to be?

Will it feel sluggish from a rolling start? The 5-60 times are above 7 seconds. Will this determine the biggest performance gap between the 328i and the 335i?

In the sport line, is the red trim on the inside too annoying? I love the piano black panel but it can only come with this eye-burning red trim. This concerns me.

How many false alarms will I get out if the lane departure warming?

How's the HK sound system?

No pressure Mike, but the future of the 3-series in the eyes if bimmerfest depends on your review.

Last edited by Inline Sixer; 02-01-2012 at 06:35 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:38 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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1) You so suck out loud
2) How much BMW "DNA" does the car have?

PS just kidding on #1. Love to have your job.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2012, 07:09 PM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inline Sixer View Post
In the sport line, is the red trim on the inside too annoying? I love the piano black panel but it can only come with this eye-burning red trim. This concerns me.
I sat in the red 328i F30 Sport Line that was at the NAIAS. As others have said, it's not the same red as the body color, but it's matte and more muted. I didn't find it objectionable, but I might opt to wrap it if it's the only available option. I'm also under the impression that my tastes aren't nearly as conservative as most others on Bimmerfest. I'm sure there will be plenty of aftermarket companies provided all sorts of wraps for this.

I also sat in the 335i F30 with the M Sport Package and I found the blue even less objectionable.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:52 PM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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From an engineering standpoint:

1. Has the suspension emphasized a greater degree of comfort than previous generations in their mission?

2. How do they feel about the current generation of fuel delivery on these vehicles? Do they feel it's been worked out?

3. What changes have been made to the braking system and what was their intent?

4. Did they learn anything from the e90 series, which introduced the first turbo engine since the 2002, that they couldn't take advantage of in that chassis/design but now can? I.e. better placement of cooling ducts/air intake/oil coolers? Looking for improvements from the e90 that specifically relate to engine life, performance, reliability/longevity, etc.

5. Any fancy new stuff done with the valvetrain itself? I.e. I think the e90 introduced hollow magnesium cams (I could be wrong) with their new engine. What's different with the new 335 from a powertrain perspective from the last e90 335i?

....

Just thinking off the top of my head. I don't really read the new 3-series as having changed alot from an engineering standpoint - it's more "I'm bigger, weigh less, look better, and have better interior design" and less "I have a revolutionary suspension"
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:56 PM
4susan2 4susan2 is offline
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we are looking at a 328i sport trim with auto and paddle shifters. Currently driving an E46, and tested a 335D which felt big and bulky. I'm hoping the new model in 328i trim will feel a bit lighter on it's feet. Balance and feedback is what I think makes my BMW a joy... does this new 328i still have it?
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:43 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4susan2 View Post
we are looking at a 328i sport trim with auto and paddle shifters. Currently driving an E46, and tested a 335D which felt big and bulky. I'm hoping the new model in 328i trim will feel a bit lighter on it's feet. Balance and feedback is what I think makes my BMW a joy... does this new 328i still have it?
I spent a lot of time in the 328i (non-sport) with the 8AT today. It feels very light and nimble.

Yes, it is very fun to drive... very much a BMW. However, my first impression is that the F30 isn't as quiet as some of its competitors -- there is audible road and wind noise at speed -- but some would argue they make the driving experience more involving.

BMW has focused tons on the safety, electronics and driver interface (ergonomics). This is good, actually, as they haven't screwed up the BMW dynamics.

I am going to do a 5-hour road trip on Friday afternoon (BMW is giving me a car to drive from Monterey to my home in Los Angeles). That will be telling.

- Mike
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'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:51 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Thanks for all of the questions... I am writing them down and will get answers.

BTW, I sat next to Bill Auberlen at dinner tonight. While I have met him countless times, it was my first opportunity to really spend a couple hours in solid conversation. Long story short, despite his fame as one of BMW's best drivers, he is a really nice guy who very much enjoys talking cars with enthusiasts. It was a great meal, with great company. Of course I made him take off his Daytona Rolex (yeah, from winning the race!) so I could check it out...

BMW has a good friend in Mr. Auberlen.

- Mike
__________________
I am fortunate to have unique press cars delivered weekly, but I own:

'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2012, 10:02 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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Please comment on the lack of quiet. On long highway drives, do you feel fatigued?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emission View Post
I spent a lot of time in the 328i (non-sport) with the 8AT today.

However, my first impression is that the F30 isn't as quiet as some of its competitors -- there is audible road and wind noise at speed -- but some would argue they make the driving experience more involving.

- Mike
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2012, 10:06 PM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
So the shifter is tight?

I've owned two 5 series cars (an E60 and an E39) and neither was all too good. My E36, however, was great.
It is just like the E90 shifter... a bit rubbery (typical BMW) but easy to use and direct in its operation. I drove all over tonight and kept saying, "wow, this makes me really miss manual transmissions." (That is a good compliment.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
Please comment on the lack of quiet. On long highway drives, do you feel fatigued?
Lots of road noise, and some wind noise, comes into the cabin. It is noisier than my A4 and most other cars, but I drove 5+ hours today without fatigue... part of me says "road noise" is part of the "driver involvement." Truth is, on a sport sedan I want to hear the road surface as it helps an experienced driver determine tire grip.

- Mike
__________________
I am fortunate to have unique press cars delivered weekly, but I own:

'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2012, 10:17 PM
Robert A Robert A is offline
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It'll be interesting to see if the other editions are any different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emission View Post
Lots of road noise, and some wind noise, comes into the cabin. It is noisier than my A4 and most other cars, but I drove 5+ hours today without fatigue... part of me says "road noise" is part of the "driver involvement." Truth is, on a sport sedan I want to hear the road surface as it helps an experienced driver determine tire grip.

- Mike
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:56 PM
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Inline Sixer Inline Sixer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post

Just thinking off the top of my head. I don't really read the new 3-series as having changed alot from an engineering standpoint - it's more "I'm bigger, weigh less, look better, and have better interior design" and less "I have a revolutionary suspension"
Joe, the change on everyone's mind, and a cause for anxiety is the shift to electric steering. Those that have test driven the F10 and felt spooked by the lack of feedback are particularly concerned.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2012, 07:13 PM
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Inline Sixer Inline Sixer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD 335is View Post
I sat in the red 328i F30 Sport Line that was at the NAIAS. As others have said, it's not the same red as the body color, but it's matte and more muted. I didn't find it objectionable, but I might opt to wrap it if it's the only available option. I'm also under the impression that my tastes aren't nearly as conservative as most others on Bimmerfest. I'm sure there will be plenty of aftermarket companies provided all sorts of wraps for this.

I also sat in the 335i F30 with the M Sport Package and I found the blue even less objectionable.
Yup. The bottom line I guess is that this is too subjective. I'll have to see it for myself!
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2012, 07:50 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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Hey Mike,

1) Steering feel
2) is the HUD full color?
3) Does the new interior design still retain that "cockpit" feel?
4) ask the engineers if the diesel is coming

thanks!
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:25 PM
pcbrew pcbrew is offline
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  1. Steering feel, esp. differences between Normal, Sport, Sport+
  2. Differences in power & acceleration between 28i & 35i, any lag in either on 5-60?
  3. What is the iDrive like at night - a little worried about a big, distracting, glowing screen sitting there on the dash.
  4. 8AT vs. 6MT assessment, even if you don't have same engine to compare
  5. Can I fly out this weekend and borrow the 335i/6MT for a drive up the coast on Sat?
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:26 AM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Hey Mike,

1) Steering feel
2) is the HUD full color?
3) Does the new interior design still retain that "cockpit" feel?
4) ask the engineers if the diesel is coming

thanks!
I know some of these:

1) Different. More on this tomorrow.
2) Yes, the first ever in this segment.
3) Yes, every bit as cockpit feel.
4) Diesel is coming... I think it has been already announced. I can check.

- Mike
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I am fortunate to have unique press cars delivered weekly, but I own:

'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
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  #19  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:33 AM
VDPHB VDPHB is offline
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Hey Mike,

I've owned an E46 328i and am in an E90 335i. I'd love if you could share your opinion on the following:

N20 Engine - I know the performance specs are there, but how's the quality/character/sound of it after being spoiled by inline sixes? Also, outside of character, how does the performance "feel" compared to the N55?

8 Speed Auto - 6 Speed being preferred, but 8 speed being more efficient, is it too many gears and how is the transmission for "enthusiast" everyday driving?

Handling/Ride - If you were able to experience them in the real world, how's runflat integration and did the F30 lose the "aggressiveness" of a Sport Package equipped E90 (i.e. is it closer to an Audi A4 in feel now?)

Overall feel/quality/heftiness - Overall impressions of quality and/or cost cutting?

Thanks so much!
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:22 PM
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brkf brkf is offline
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Emission:

My two biggest worries:

Weight... does the F30 335i feel as heavy as the e90 328i, e90 335i or e46 ZHP?
Steering... on sport+ does it provide feel on par or better than the e46 ZHP, e90 328i ZSP, e90 335i ZSP?

The weight loss intrigues me but the electric steering scares me unless the mode I'd tend toward anyway (sport+) is as good as I want for a non-M.
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  #21  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:16 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Mr. Emission,

It seems to me you have more to do than you can possibly do well by yourself. You would be much more productive with a dedicated assistant. I would be happy to fill that position. I'm confident I could add great value to your work.


OK, now the questions. IIRC, the "Driving Experience" switch affects the steering and throttle response. Is that correct? And these response settings can also be adjusted within iDrive.

What does the Variable Sport steering do? How does it compare to Active Steering?

What are the mechanical differences between the standard suspension and the sport suspension? What are the differences between the sport and the M Sport suspensions?

What and how will the M Adaptive suspension change the suspension settings with the sport suspension and the M Sport suspension, respectively?

Even BMW has indicated the N20, even with all their design efforts, is not able to match the inherent smoothness of the inline six. To the hardcore inline six and BMW enthusiast how will the N20 feel in comparison to an inline six?

Thanks for doing this.

Phil
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Last edited by tturedraider; 02-02-2012 at 12:30 AM.
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  #22  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:31 AM
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Emission Emission is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
Mr. Emission,

It seems to me you have more to do than you can possibly do well by yourself. You would be much more productive with a dedicated assistant. I would be happy to fill that position. I'm confident I could add great value to your work.


OK, now the questions. IIRC, the "Driving Experience" switch affects the steering and throttle response. Is that correct? And these response settings can also be adjusted within iDrive.

What are the mechanical differences between the standard suspension and the sport suspension? What are the differences between the sport and the M Sport suspensions?

What and how will the M Adaptive suspension change the suspension settings with the sport suspension and the M Sport suspension, respectively?

Even BMW has indicated the N20, even with all their design efforts, is not able to match the inherent smoothness of the inline six. To the hardcore inline six and BMW enthusiast how will the N20 feel in comparison to an inline six?

Thanks for doing this.

Phil
You'd hate me even more if I brought you along... unlimited track time in someone else's car and with their tires...

The N20 isn't nearly as smooth as the N55. I immediately said it had a diesel-like idle... no fooling me. It will never feel or sound like an inline-six. On the other hand, it pulls really well once boost builds up (no worries there). Many of my friends (ahem, well-known magazine journalists) who drove on the track today prefer the 328i over the 335i due to its balance. I'll make my own determination.

- Mike
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I am fortunate to have unique press cars delivered weekly, but I own:

'13 Audi Q5 2.0T Quattro 8AT
'86 Porsche 911 Turbo 4MT


Gone, but never forgotten... my E70 X5 35d, E90 335i, E46 330i, E36 328i, E70 X5 3.0si, E53 X5 3.0i.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read my work as West Coast Editor for Autoblog!
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  #23  
Old 02-02-2012, 06:52 AM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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Like pcbrew asked, is the new idrive screen distracting during night time driving?

And I've got the same question as tturedraider, how does the m adaptive suspension really differ from the sport suspension in driving dynamics? Up to this point, there's been very little reviewers information on the difference in feel between sport and M sport suspension so far. Hopefully you'll get to test out the differences.

Thanks for going out of your way with letting us list out our questions Mike! It's appreciated!

Last edited by 7or8; 02-02-2012 at 06:53 AM.
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  #24  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:21 AM
Customisbetter Customisbetter is offline
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How quick are the the manual shifts with the 8 speed?

Can you aim the dash vents towards the drivers hands easily?

Can you reach the base of the windshield easily to clean it?

If one of your dumb friends tries to jump on the hood or trunk will it leave a dent?
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  #25  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:35 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Customisbetter View Post
How quick are the the manual shifts with the 8 speed?

Can you aim the dash vents towards the drivers hands easily?

Can you reach the base of the windshield easily to clean it?

If one of your dumb friends tries to jump on the hood or trunk will it leave a dent?
Maunal shifts are lightning quick. Noticelably quicker than the zf 6speed in the e90

Last edited by justinnum1; 02-02-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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