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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 01-16-2013, 07:08 PM
Red Lined Red Lined is offline
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Can someone explain the logic here?

Ok, now that the configuration is up on bmwusa and you can build a 320, I am more confused than I previously was. What the heck is the point of the 320 here in the US. 98% of BMW 3 series buyers buy the pre-configured setup on the dealer lot which essentially will include leather seats, power seats, wood trim, moonroof, and possibly navigation. Yes, the sports package is a bargain (especially the m suspension...paired with 180hp ), but no 320 buyer is going to want a sports package (not that type of buyer). Once you build the 320 the way BMWNA will to stock dealer lots, the numbers aren't that far off. As a matter of fact, the lease is only going to be ~$30 cheaper than a base 328 similarly built (again depending on residual and money factor). What the heck is the point of this?

If BMW follows the Cadillac ATS philosophy expect 40% of sales next year to be 320s. 40% to be 328s. 20% to be 335s.

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  #2  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:14 PM
samualcc samualcc is offline
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The question is if the premium package on the 320i is mistakenly not including leather. If it is, then the numbers are off by 1450. If it doesn't include leather, then you are right, pricing is very similar.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:19 PM
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We need another thread for this?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:19 PM
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In a nutshell, it's a $4,300 Non-Performance Package.

It allows for two customers to stay in BMW showrooms and not run off to competitors:

1. 328i customer that wants a few options, can't take a $499 monthly lease payment. They trade off horsepower for the Tech package or the Sport package, save a few thousand dollars in the process, they're at $399. SOLD.

2. Honda Accord customer that's tired of the same old Japanese car, has recently gotten promoted, just bought a house, takes it at $299 straight-up or adds a package to get to $349. SOLD.

BJ
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
In a nutshell, it's a $4,300 Non-Performance Package.

It allows for two customers to stay in BMW showrooms and not run off to competitors:

1. 328i customer that wants a few options, can't take a $499 monthly lease payment. They trade off horsepower for the Tech package or the Sport package, save a few thousand dollars in the process, they're at $399. SOLD.

2. Honda Accord customer that's tired of the same old Japanese car, has recently gotten promoted, just bought a house, takes it at $299 straight-up or adds a package to get to $349. SOLD.

BJ
I can't believe I'm agreeing with BJ again, but he's right. Especially at point #1. A lot of people can't stomach more than $399/month, so the 320i can be the perfect answer.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by SamS View Post
I can't believe I'm agreeing with BJ again, but he's right. Especially at point #1. A lot of people can't stomach more than $399/month, so the 320i can be the perfect answer.
My mom is in an Acura TL for $369 because in 2012 she couldn't get a 328i with a couple of basic options that were must-haves like a garage door opener and full memory seats.

With the 320i, she's in there comfortably. She's 73, doesn't need 275 horses, now she can trade them for Premium and Technology and have a couple grand to spare.

BJ
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  #7  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
My mom is in an Acura TL for $369 because in 2012 she couldn't get a 328i with a couple of basic options that were must-haves like a garage door opener and full memory seats.

With the 320i, she's in there comfortably. She's 73, doesn't need 275 horses, now she can trade them for Premium and Technology and have a couple grand to spare.

BJ
BJ, this doesn't make sense. Have you taken a look at what type of 328 sit on the dealer lots these days. I hate to tell you, but there are extremely few Sports and Luxury lines. Most are baseline autos with premium package. There are certain things that must be in a car at this price point. You NEED to add the premium package to the 320 to get a garage door opener and full memory seats (please look at the options). You also need to add leather. The pricing is way too similar and the savings in monthly payment for a lease isn't that much when you actually build the car BMWNA will build it.

Yeah, you can get the car for $34k...only it won't have wood, sunroof, memory seats, leather, etc. What is the point?
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  #8  
Old 01-17-2013, 07:25 PM
woodswatchco woodswatchco is offline
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So the 320i is the answer to the base Audi A4??

I just don't get the 320i. I think it just cheapens the 3 series line. The A4 has 211hp and 258 lb ft of torque, standard leather, 10 speaker stereo, sunroof. It starts at $32,500. The 328i and 335i make sense because they are rear wheel drive and have more horsepower than the competition. People will be driving their $55k loaded 335i around and have to explain to people that they have "the good one" instead of the 320i that looks just like it. The 328i is a very nice small step down. We don't need a third step down.






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The question is if the premium package on the 320i is mistakenly not including leather. If it is, then the numbers are off by 1450. If it doesn't include leather, then you are right, pricing is very similar.
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  #9  
Old 01-17-2013, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
I just don't get the 320i. I think it just cheapens the 3 series line. The A4 has 211hp and 258 lb ft of torque, standard leather, 10 speaker stereo, sunroof. It starts at $32,500. The 328i and 335i make sense because they are rear wheel drive and have more horsepower than the competition. People will be driving their $55k loaded 335i around and have to explain to people that they have "the good one" instead of the 320i that looks just like it. The 328i is a very nice small step down. We don't need a third step down.
It's something BMW simply needed to do. When the E90 came out, Mercedes Benz wasn't serious about the C Class. It literally looked and drove like a car for librarians, a wife car, just a bland baby Benz. Flash forward to today and MB woke the hell up, woke up bigtime, and the C Class is a legitimate threat. Whether the CLA started it or the 320i started it, both the big boys in this segment want that $30,000/$299 customer and they're going to duke it out.

It also explains a few things, maybe answers how BMW is trying to differentiate the expensive 3's from the new 3:

1. "The Lines" - This makes sense now, the reason why there are so many demonstrative visual cues that make the more expensive models look different. Knowing that they were going to come out with a 320i at $299, those with Luxury/Sport/Modern cars have a decent amount of chrome and wheel variances to denote a 'well-optioned' car from a stripper. Also explains the fender badges that are in other countries but not the US.

2. The Softer Suspension - The lower the prices, the fewer the enthusiasts, the more the 'common folk' and they don't like particularly harsh rides where you can feel every road imperfection and your back snaps over every pothole. By softening the standard suspension it allowed the 320i to feel more comfortable for the average driver.

3. The Steering - It's a lot easier, a lot more effortless.

4. The Experience Modes - Use technology to differentiate the rides, make the car more specific yet appeal to a broader audience simultaneously.

5. The 4 Cylinder Engine - One can make the argument that the 320i begot the 328i and not the other way around. That BMW knew it was going to have a low HP engine for the $30,000 car and decided to beef it up and release it first in the $40,000 car, then let it loose in its natural, less-powerful form in the second year. Perhaps the 320i is why we lost the NA 6, not for more earth-friendly reasons.

I'm sure there are others. Point is, the 335i and 328i were conceived in concert with the 320i for release in America, the relationships and differences come into greater clarity when you look under the hood a bit.

BJ
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  #10  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:04 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
I just don't get the 320i. I think it just cheapens the 3 series line. The A4 has 211hp and 258 lb ft of torque, standard leather, 10 speaker stereo, sunroof. It starts at $32,500. The 328i and 335i make sense because they are rear wheel drive and have more horsepower than the competition. People will be driving their $55k loaded 335i around and have to explain to people that they have "the good one" instead of the 320i that looks just like it. The 328i is a very nice small step down. We don't need a third step down.
When I bought my 2007 335i Cabrio I checked virtually every option and them ordered a lot of dealer installed accessories like Aluminum Pedals, 196 Style Wheels, Aero Lip, Wind Deflector, etc. The cost was considerably more than a base 328 Cabrio that is for all practical purposes visually indistinguishable. I bought the car I wanted and it honestly does not bother me that it looks identical to cars that cost considerably less.

CA
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  #11  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:16 PM
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The 320i clearly is not some thing BMW just "created" for the US market. They could have brought it here long ago but they did not. To say it is to compete with the CLA and A3 is a stretch.

The other thing to consider, 320i is sold all over the world except US, a lot of them were built for the European market. Now Europe is in the tank, where do you find the market for a model that could not sell there? Well bring it to a hot market that never had it.
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  #12  
Old 01-17-2013, 08:24 PM
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I bought the car I wanted and it honestly does not bother me that it looks identical to cars that cost considerably less.

CA
+1

For those who want a little bit of attention and enjoy the pat on the back the roundel brings, nothing changes. I've been driving 3 Series since 2006 and I've yet to run into anyone remotely close to the type of 'performance enthusiast' persona we've got going on here. No one I've ever run into or come across could look at my cars and differentiate them from any other E93, E90, or F30 on the road.

To the inside world, we know the difference between a $55,000 335i and a $30,000 320i.

To the outside world, we're all painted with the same brush, we're all driving $60,000 yuppie status symbols.

I don't care either way, I just love my F30, I've got no skin in the game, but that's real-world perception.

BJ
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:30 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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+1

For those who want a little bit of attention and enjoy the pat on the back the roundel brings, nothing changes. I've been driving 3 Series since 2006 and I've yet to run into anyone remotely close to the type of 'performance enthusiast' persona we've got going on here. No one I've ever run into or come across could look at my cars and differentiate them from any other E93, E90, or F30 on the road.

To the inside world, we know the difference between a $55,000 335i and a $30,000 320i.

To the outside world, we're all painted with the same brush, we're all driving $60,000 yuppie status symbols.

I don't care either way, I just love my F30, I've got no skin in the game, but that's real-world perception.

BJ
There is a difference, in an E90 or prior gen 3, people see a college kid at the driver's seat, in an F30, people see old people driving. BMW does not want that to get out of hand and end up being equated to Cadillac, so they bring us 320i, now college kids can start driving the F30.

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Old 01-16-2013, 08:37 PM
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Ok, now that the configuration is up on bmwusa and you can build a 320, I am more confused than I previously was. What the heck is the point of the 320 here in the US. 98% of BMW 3 series buyers buy the pre-configured setup on the dealer lot which essentially will include leather seats, power seats, wood trim, moonroof, and possibly navigation. Yes, the sports package is a bargain (especially the m suspension...paired with 180hp ), but no 320 buyer is going to want a sports package (not that type of buyer). Once you build the 320 the way BMWNA will to stock dealer lots, the numbers aren't that far off. As a matter of fact, the lease is only going to be ~$30 cheaper than a base 328 similarly built (again depending on residual and money factor). What the heck is the point of this?

If BMW follows the Cadillac ATS philosophy expect 40% of sales next year to be 320s. 40% to be 328s. 20% to be 335s.
There's a $2,750 difference in price between the two cars you built, when you correct for one having metallic paint and the other one not.

What makes you think any fewer 320i buyers will opt for the very affordable sport package than E46 325i buyers, which had very similar engine output and performance numbers? Especially when the price difference becomes $3,950 between a 320i sport package model v a 328i Sport line model.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:19 AM
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There's a $2,750 difference in price between the two cars you built, when you correct for one having metallic paint and the other one not.

What makes you think any fewer 320i buyers will opt for the very affordable sport package than E46 325i buyers, which had very similar engine output and performance numbers? Especially when the price difference becomes $3,950 between a 320i sport package model v a 328i Sport line model.
Yeah, I should have compared metallic paint to metallic. Still the lease payment will not be significant enough to draw in as many new customers as you may think once the numbers are crunched.

Yes, the sports package is quite a bargain on the 320 for what you get. Yes, buyers might have jumped all over this...if this was 1999. I don't have the data, but how many 3 series sold actually have the sports "line" nowadays? What good is a sports package if the car is under-powered by today's standards. But yes, i do agree with you and the sports packaged 320 may be the only thing that actually makes sense in this scenario. However, this will only effect (or is it affect) ~1% of actual sales.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
My mom is in an Acura TL for $369 because in 2012 she couldn't get a 328i with a couple of basic options that were must-haves like a garage door opener and full memory seats.

With the 320i, she's in there comfortably. She's 73, doesn't need 275 horses, now she can trade them for Premium and Technology and have a couple grand to spare.

BJ
Please don't forget to post a 73 year old next to an F30. It is nice to see BMW going after seniors.

To OP, how did you conclude a 320i will lease for just $20 less than a 328i?

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 PM
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Please don't forget to post a 73 year old next to an F30. It is nice to see BMW going after seniors.

To OP, how did you conclude a 320i will lease for just $20 less than a 328i?
You may want to purchase a copy of this book.
I have found it to be a great resource for Internet forum discussions,




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Old 01-17-2013, 12:00 AM
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Ok, bear with me I'm only a medical student and not an MBA. I'm sorry, but I still don't see how this new model makes any sense. Granted there is only one thing more boring to me than thinking about lease payments for an old guy's even older mother (and that would be the three pages of gram positive and gram negative bacteria I have to memorize). But let's see now:

The $38,595 320 is ~$439 a month.
The $42,645 328 is ~$486 a month

When you're already paying ~$17,000 to lease a car for three years, what is another $1,700 more? I just don't see it. Was it really worth BMW rolling in yet another model just to cut the lease price 10%?

Believe me, I understand that "badge whores" will be all over this...but really I can't see it putting a ton more sales in BMW portfolio. 180hp is not enough for this car. I have the same engine in my 528 and my mother has a 328 with the I4. In both cars it is barely enough with the added torque being the mitigating factor. This engine is going to suck, big time.



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Old 01-17-2013, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post


Believe me, I understand that "badge whores" will be all over this...but really I can't see it putting a ton more sales in BMW portfolio. 180hp is not enough for this car. I have the same engine in my 528 and my mother has a 328 with the I4. In both cars it is barely enough with the added torque being the mitigating factor. This engine is going to suck, big time.


You never drove a BMW before yours or your mom's, did you?
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:17 PM
samualcc samualcc is offline
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You never drove a BMW before yours or your mom's, did you?
+1 - someone here never owned an e46 325i. Pure speed be damned.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:30 PM
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You never drove a BMW before yours or your mom's, did you?
Yes, 09' 535 and 06' X3. Sorry I'm not old enough to appreciate earlier models

Also drove a Cadillac CTS before the current 528 (was supposed to actually get a 328 but my mother thought the 5 series was too bloated so she gave it to me and we ordered her the F30 luxury line [just like BJ's])....Caddy had much more HP and torque than that 320 though.

BJ you should have seen all the chicks I picked up in HS and Ugrad in the Caddy.

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:07 AM
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Ok, bear with me I'm only a medical student and not an MBA. I'm sorry, but I still don't see how this new model makes any sense. Granted there is only one thing more boring to me than thinking about lease payments for an old guy's even older mother (and that would be the three pages of gram positive and gram negative bacteria I have to memorize). But let's see now:

The $38,595 320 is ~$439 a month.
The $42,645 328 is ~$486 a month

When you're already paying ~$17,000 to lease a car for three years, what is another $1,700 more? I just don't see it. Was it really worth BMW rolling in yet another model just to cut the lease price 10%?

Believe me, I understand that "badge whores" will be all over this...but really I can't see it putting a ton more sales in BMW portfolio. 180hp is not enough for this car. I have the same engine in my 528 and my mother has a 328 with the I4. In both cars it is barely enough with the added torque being the mitigating factor. This engine is going to suck, big time.
People don't buy logically. They say, i can afford $325, but not a penny more. Then they put more down to hit it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
Ok, bear with me I'm only a medical student and not an MBA. I'm sorry, but I still don't see how this new model makes any sense. Granted there is only one thing more boring to me than thinking about lease payments for an old guy's even older mother (and that would be the three pages of gram positive and gram negative bacteria I have to memorize). But let's see now:

The $38,595 320 is ~$439 a month.
The $42,645 328 is ~$486 a month

When you're already paying ~$17,000 to lease a car for three years, what is another $1,700 more? I just don't see it. Was it really worth BMW rolling in yet another model just to cut the lease price 10%?

i love it when people make the "hey what is $X more gonna matter". well... what is another $1700 more.... its $1700!

exactly. thats exactly what $1700 is. now i wouldn't buy a 320i , i wanted m-sport , i wanted a little more power whatever. but people said the same thing about buying a 328i vs a 335. "why not get the 335i for $4000 more" or whatever. well, because i'd have $4000 left.

i mean the 320i is just another option and for some people itll be the right option. a lot of people buy the 3 series because its a good car. it has good electronics, they like the design, they are a badge whore and like how having a BMW makes them feel about themselves no matter how misguided that is. as far as i've seen the vast vast majority of F30s i've seen have 17: rims. so i'd assume the vast majority of people do not care if they have a "line" like sport/lux/modern. if people just want to pay a little more to get a 320i over say an accord i-4 EX-L then they get those buyers. i mean in the end the cost difference is something like $6k and you get free maintenance and you get RWD. hell if it was all i could spend i'd probably do it too.

i mean if your goal was getting a car witht he latest technology, you wanted it to be reasonably fast (And 0-60 in 7 seconds is pretty fast , its faster than a lot of cars) and you did not care if you got anything more than this, then might as well save your $1700 right.
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  #24  
Old 01-17-2013, 12:06 AM
Red Lined Red Lined is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
You may want to purchase a copy of this book.
I have found it to be a great resource for Internet forum discussions,
I think we will see in a few months (when 320s hit the lots and residuals are announced) that my statistics are not flawed. This whole scenario just doesn't make a bit of sense....not at this price point it doesn't. It's just not as cut and dry as you guys want to make it out to be. Yes, BMW will make some good ads that will pull in buyers using the base MSRP with the 320, but actual numbers based on cars on the lot will be similar to what we are seeing with baseline 328s.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:02 AM
Red Lined Red Lined is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
To OP, how did you conclude a 320i will lease for just $20 less than a 328i?
In most cases, it will be a ~$30 difference unless BMWFS inflates the residual on the 320. The numbers don't lie...build a few and plug the numbers in a lease calculator. Even in BJ's over-exagerated example above the difference is a little over $40 a month.
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