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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 03-31-2013, 03:27 AM
shabadoo25 shabadoo25 is offline
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The Value Shopper's Guide to the F30 328i

I've noticed we get a lot of posts here from people asking what the essential elements are in a F30 build. This is usually from a perspective of wanting to get a nice car but not wanting to spend $$$$ on things that are unnecessary.

Like many here, I ordered early in the F30's life cycle when there were no models on dealer lots in which the various options could be tested. I got one test drive in a base Summer Olympic Event model and that was it. I ordered a nicely optioned model, as you can see in my sig.

For a couple days the last week, I was in a luxury line loaner with only the premium package while my routine maintenance was getting done. I spent quite a bit of time playing with this loaner and this post encapsulates my opinions on the difference between it and my car.

Oh and btw, if you are someone who lights your illegally imported Cuban cigars with hundred dollar bills and finds this whole discussion silly, feel free to move on to the next thread.

Lines vs. No Line
We've seen a lot of discussion here about the essential nature of a 3 Series. Is it sporty, luxury or a combo of both? This can only be decided by an individual buyer. That having been said, I feel that I would be satisfied in a luxury line having driven one if I didn't have the sport. I liked sitting higher up and would love having access to the awesome saddle brown interior. Also, if you haven't seen a modern line model now that they've dumped the hideous tan dash and wheel, it's very sharp looking also. With the no line, you could use the pocketed $ for things like the M interior kit and/or rims.

Before we leave this topic, let's discuss the seats. After a couple of days in non-sport seats, I was actually fine with them. I am a bigger guy and enjoyed not having the side bolsters kind of pinching me in. I missed the thigh extenders, but was more cognizant of the lumbar support in the normal seats. I would say don't let the seats be a major decision maker for you.

I'll discuss performance a bit more when we get to the M Adaptive/Sport Steering part of the post.

Xenons
This is a tough one, but if you are looking for a spot to save $ on your build, you can dump the Xenons. Yes, they look amazing. They are purportedly safer. However, I drove at night with the halogens and they are fine. I might make this a last ditch decision when building my car, but if you feel you need to skip this, you'll be just fine.

USB w/Enhanced Bluetooth
Do not skip this important feature. It gives you BT music streaming through your cell phone as well as the emergency call feature that could save your life. We will come back to this discussion later when we talk about the tech package.

Harmon Kardon
I am a sound nut and always tick this box off immediately when looking at cars. After a couple days with the regular stereo, which is supposedly the mid-level option in Europe, I can report that it is fine. The HK is better, but this is a good spot to save some $$$ if you are tortured with how to economize. This is even more true if you are purely a talk radio or smooth jazz listener. If you are a classic rock guy like me, this might be a hair tougher. The HK is definitely ballsier when it comes to stuff meant to be cranked.

M Adaptive Suspension and/or Variable Sport Steering
If you don't get the Sport/M Sport, you will likely want to get this if you want the typical, taut BMW driving experience. The steering in the luxury line definitely had more play than my sport line. There was more body roll. Again, if you skip the sport-oriented lines, I would opt for these unless you like a car that is softer than what BMW usually represents.

Back Up Cam/Park Distance Control
This is a tough one and I can't recommend dumping it for anyone with small kids or who has to park in tough conditions (city parallel parking) often. It should be standard on all cars. However, if you live in an apartment by yourself, I could see skipping it. The sight lines on the F30 are good enough.

Packages
Premium: This is a tough one. I would say skip it if need be. If not, the stuff in this package is the stuff of nice cars. Not fiddling with your key is very nice. Dimming mirrors are nice at night. However, the leatherette is good and some of the other things like adjustable seats, moonroof and satrad can be gotten separately.
Driver Assistance: #1 on the list of things you can skip. If you can't keep your car in its lane, you shouldn't be ordering a BMW.
Technology: This is brutal for me to say as a gadget guy, but skip it. I love HUD, but never noticed it was missing without it. I love nav, but I can get turn by turn off my phone. With BT and Enhanced USB, all phone audio can be streamed through the speakers. The small dash screen was fine and didn't look any cheaper than the wider one. It is a great set of toys, but just isn't needed as long as you tick off the Enhanced BT. And it's horridly overpriced.

Heated Seats
I don't know how or why anyone skips these. Forget cold weather--these are a godsend for anyone with lower back pain/discomfort. My wife, who is always cold, stabs this button before I can get to the ignition button.

Apps
A total waste. You can read texts and emails through the dash screen. Big deal. Also, using any of the apps is more aggravating than just streaming through your phone.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2013, 05:54 AM
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Great thread! Couple comments:

- i always thought lane departure warning was a joke like you, I've done 12 track days, and never had so much as a scrape in 25 years of driving. Then I had kids - lately I've been nodding off all the time while commuting, and a few weeks ago, nodded off, drifted lanes on a busy highway and scraped a Honda Odyssey. So anyone with kids, or sleep issues, might consider lane departure. Me, I'll probably still just make sure I make time for coffee in the morning.

- A major consideration for anyone on a budget should be the 320i. 200 lb-ft of torque should be plenty fun in a 3300 lb car - my e36 had less than that, and while it was 200 lbs lighter, it was a blast to drive and never felt slow.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:35 AM
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I know you were targeting prospective 328 buyers, but you could apply this to prospective 335 buyers as well. If I wanted to significantly reduce the cost of my car, here is what I would have done.
  1. Go with basic Nav option instead of Tech package
  2. Go with luxury line instead of sport.
  3. Drop 8 speed sport transmission.
  4. Go with 328 instead of 335, but then order xenons since they don't come standard on a 328.
  5. Drop DHP.
4 & 5 would be the most difficult for me, but I would have ended up with a 328 luxury line with xenons, heated seats, Prem, HK, Nav, rear view camera and PDC.

Nothing wrong with that configuration at all. Plus, it would have been a savings of about $6000. By the way, once my kids are in college, this is exactly what my next car might be.
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2013, 07:09 AM
boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabadoo25 View Post
I've noticed we get a lot of posts here from people asking what the essential elements are in a F30 build. This is usually from a perspective of wanting to get a nice car but not wanting to spend $$$$ on things that are unnecessary.
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2013, 07:28 AM
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krash krash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
I do agree with this line of thinking.

If you're talking about a 328 no-line without prem, tech, Nav, HK, heated seats, xenons, rear camera, PDC, or anything else, then forget about the F30. Seriously. You probably should be looking at a Suburu WRX STI instead if you're a performance enthusiast or perhaps a loaded Nissan Maxima if you want a more luxurious car.

However, a thread like this is still useful for folks looking at the higher range F30s. You can get a real good idea on how to get a fantastic car and still save some $$$$$$.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
I do agree with this line of thinking.

If you're talking about a 328 no-line without prem, tech, Nav, HK, heated seats, xenons, rear camera, PDC, or anything else, then forget about the F30. Seriously. You probably should be looking at a Suburu WRX STI instead if you're a performance enthusiast or perhaps a loaded Nissan Maxima if you want a more luxurious car.

However, a thread like this is still useful for folks looking at the higher range F30s. You can get a real good idea on how to get a fantastic car and still save some $$$$$$.
Base 328i RWD $36,500 (AWD $38,500)
  • Luxury/Modern Line $2100
  • Premium Package $3,100
  • Technology Package $3100
  • HK (Harmon Kardon) $875
  • Heated Seats $500
  • Lighting Package (Xenons) $900
  • PDC (Parking Distance Control) $750
  • Rear Camera (PDC Required) $400
MSRP: $48,225 (xDrive $50,225)

So the real price of well optioned 328i needs nearly $12,000 in options?!

A 335 RWD with same options is $52,025.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2013, 11:51 AM
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krash krash is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpgray View Post
Base 328i RWD $36,500 (AWD $38,500)
  • Luxury/Modern Line $2100
  • Premium Package $3,100
  • Technology Package $3100
  • HK (Harmon Kardon) $875
  • Heated Seats $500
  • Lighting Package (Xenons) $900
  • PDC (Parking Distance Control) $750
  • Rear Camera (PDC Required) $400
MSRP: $48,225 (xDrive $50,225)

So the real price of well optioned 328i needs nearly $12,000 in options?!

A 335 RWD with same options is $52,025.
I guess it comes down to personal preference and individual expectations. I believe if you're looking for a car in the $45k to $55k range (like I was), the F30 competes very nicely with the competition at those price points. In fact, I think a loaded 335 slams the competition in that range.

However, if your looking for a car in the $35k to $40k range, I am not so sure. At those price points, I would be inclined to look elsewhere. That's the point I was trying to make.

This is subjective of course and just opinion. There is nothing at all wrong with having a different point of view.
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2013, 07:52 AM
shabadoo25 shabadoo25 is offline
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First off, if we are truly talking car value, we should all be in Corollas approaching 200,000 miles.

Second, whether you agree or not, the following things are true:
1. People come here all the time asking about their builds and what to get.
2. My dealer's #1 stocking choice for 3s is what matches the lease deal: no line plus premium package.

This thread was meant to clarify the value and necessity of the myriad of choices people can't personally test.
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Last edited by shabadoo25; 03-31-2013 at 02:01 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2013, 09:48 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
This is probably true for the typical buyer. But as an enthusiast, for like $38k you can get:

320i w/ 6 speed manual, sport suspension, leather, heated seats. You'll get the legendary BMW driving without all the technology and nanny-state features. That car has pretty much all the features my ZHP has, for the cost of a stripped Volvo S60.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2013, 09:54 AM
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krash krash is offline
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This is probably true for the typical buyer. But as an enthusiast, for like $38k you can get:

320i w/ 6 speed manual, sport suspension, leather, heated seats. You'll get the legendary BMW driving without all the technology and nanny-state features. That car has pretty much all the features my ZHP has, for the cost of a stripped Volvo S60.
Nanny-state features? When I think of nanny-state features, I think of the Smart Car, a Toyota Prius, or those horrible communist cars they used to make in the Soviet Union. Seriously dude, bad analogy! It's the exact opposite. People that have the financial wherewithal to load their cars up with all the goodies are hardly dependent upon the government for anything...
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:00 AM
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Nanny-state features? When I think of nanny-state features, I think of the Smart Car, a Toyota Prius, or those horrible communist cars they used to make in the Soviet Union. Seriously dude, bad analogy! It's the exact opposite. People that have the financial wherewithal to load their cars up with all the goodies are hardly dependent upon the government for anything...
Guess I meant nanny features (to help you park, backup, stay in your lane, turn etc).
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:10 AM
woodswatchco woodswatchco is offline
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Or nanny features like making MY car automatically reset to auto start stop and comfort mode every time I turn the car off for the sake of fuel mileage I'm not concerned with most of the time?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Guess I meant nanny features (to help you park, backup, stay in your lane, turn etc).
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2013, 11:10 AM
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Guess I meant nanny features (to help you park, backup, stay in your lane, turn etc).
That's better.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by krash View Post
Nanny-state features? When I think of nanny-state features, I think of the Smart Car, a Toyota Prius, or those horrible communist cars they used to make in the Soviet Union. Seriously dude, bad analogy! It's the exact opposite. People that have the financial wherewithal to load their cars up with all the goodies are hardly dependent upon the government for anything...
i learned to drive in one of those. , it was only 10 years or so older than me, but i was around 12 then. They were pretty bad but i would love to have one now in my backyard. No power anything, including steering, and you could always start the car with a crank, or put it in gear and have your friends push it
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:27 AM
Supermax Supermax is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.
You keep saying this, but it's kind of a stretch. I can think of one option that's required to get a stripped tight performance car: add DHP. That's it. So while your statement is technically true, it's not that big of a deal to just add DHP. Voila, you have a stripped car that still drives like a BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice.
This I completely disagree with. As an owner of a stripped E90, I can say that I'm excited every time I have to drive my car somewhere. I love the way it looks, the interior, and of course the way it drives. And I don't even have power seats!

It just depends on what you compare it with. Compared to your current car, yeah, it may seem a bit outdated and let's be honest...maybe even in a totally different car category. But compared to anything I owned before, it's amazing. As far as actual driving, it's definitely no slouch, and it still has a real sporty suspension, unlike yours And a stripped F30 will actually have more stuff than a stripped E90...just have to do your research and add DHP (or sports line) to get the real BMW feel.

It seems that perhaps we have a different understanding of the word "performance". For me it means just the actual driving performance of the car. And BMW hasn't lost that with the F30, even if you get a completely stripped car with DHP.

Lastly, have to give credit where it's due. It's people like you that allowed people like me to find this stuff out and get it right before ordering
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:39 AM
boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Originally Posted by Supermax View Post
You keep saying this, but it's kind of a stretch. I can think of one option that's required to get a stripped tight performance car: add DHP. That's it. So while your statement is technically true, it's not that big of a deal to just add DHP. Voila, you have a stripped car that still drives like a BMW.
The 320i does not have DHP as an option. So for a completely stripped car to handle like a legendary BMW, you are looking at a 328i and you are already up to $40,000 without a single, other option.

BJ
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:47 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The 320i does not have DHP as an option. So for a completely stripped car to handle like a legendary BMW, you are looking at a 328i and you are already up to $40,000 without a single, other option.

BJ
The 320 does not offer DHP but offers the 18" wheels, sports suspension, sports seats and M steering wheel for half of what the model lines cost. I think its something like $1300. Its a bargain and if BMW offered it on the 328 a lot of purists would be all over such a package.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:46 AM
boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Originally Posted by Supermax View Post

This I completely disagree with. As an owner of a stripped E90, I can say that I'm excited every time I have to drive my car somewhere. I love the way it looks, the interior, and of course the way it drives. And I don't even have power seats!

It just depends on what you compare it with. Compared to your current car, yeah, it may seem a bit outdated and let's be honest...maybe even in a totally different car category. But compared to anything I owned before, it's amazing. As far as actual driving, it's definitely no slouch, and it still has a real sporty suspension, unlike yours And a stripped F30 will actually have more stuff than a stripped E90...just have to do your research and add DHP (or sports line) to get the real BMW feel.

It seems that perhaps we have a different understanding of the word "performance". For me it means just the actual driving performance of the car. And BMW hasn't lost that with the F30, even if you get a completely stripped car with DHP.

Lastly, have to give credit where it's due. It's people like you that allowed people like me to find this stuff out and get it right before ordering
I think what you and I are getting tripped up on is the term "value".

A 335i with the mandatory DHP is $45,000. That is without the premium package, without the technology package, without the cold weather package, no line, bland wheels, etc. There is nothing wrong with that if someone wants to go there, but it's no value by any stretch of the word.

A $45,000 328i, different story. A $45,000 320i, that's approaching a very good value. Both of those cars at that price are very well-equipped and very competitive to other luxury brands. Let me know if that makes sense to you, as I want to make sure that we're talking the same language here.

BJ
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:11 PM
Supermax Supermax is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I think what you and I are getting tripped up on is the term "value".
Agreed. And it comes down to value being completely subjective. I definitely agree that to most people, the 328i with extra options would have more value than a stripped 335i. But to me personally, it's not.

What I was really talking about above was a completely stripped 328i. As long as you add DHP or sport line, even without anything else you'd still have a very nice car overall....and an amazing driver's car....for a reasonably low price.

I admit I forgot about the 320i. But I feel that car is basically just a marketing ploy. It doesn't make much sense to me. I feel that just about everybody buying this car is getting it to say "I own a BMW", not because they truly love it.

I'd rather see BMW release the 4 door 1 series in the US. My wife owns a 2008 4-door hatchback 120i in Europe, and it's an awesome car. Just a perfect entry level BMW that still drives exactly like a BMW. That should be the low budget BMW option. Sigh.

You're right BJ....with the 320i, I think some people will be pretty upset when their car doesn't handle like they thought it should. That's where you come in and console them, letting them know life is still possible without DHP But with a stripped 328i with DHP, I think people still get a whole lot of car with a lot of value.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:20 PM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Originally Posted by Supermax View Post
I admit I forgot about the 320i. But I feel that car is basically just a marketing ploy. It doesn't make much sense to me. I feel that just about everybody buying this car is getting it to say "I own a BMW", not because they truly love it.

I'd rather see BMW release the 4 door 1 series in the US. My wife owns a 2008 4-door hatchback 120i in Europe, and it's an awesome car. Just a perfect entry level BMW that still drives exactly like a BMW. That should be the low budget BMW option. Sigh.

You're right BJ....with the 320i, I think some people will be pretty upset when their car doesn't handle like they thought it should. That's where you come in and console them, letting them know life is still possible without DHP But with a stripped 328i with DHP, I think people still get a whole lot of car with a lot of value.
Nobody else makes a car like the 320i - is there another car I can buy for $35k that is rear drive, 6 speed manual, M sport suspension and manual sport seats, no moonroof - the perfect track car setup? This would be the lightest 3 series possible, and should handle great with that light motor up front.

I can't think of any other maker who sells a car like that. That's what's great about BMW. But I agree, a smaller 1 series sedan would be nice, and BMW is supposedly going to give us that.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:15 PM
gooer gooer is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
And that is where you would be incorrect.

A 335i without Sport line and without the dynamic handling package is nothing like what you describe. The 328i on the base suspension is loose enough, with the extra kick of the 300 horses the body lean and float would drive you crazy. The XDrive suspension is even softer, would be like a 600 HP school bus.

Said it before and I'll say it again: the big gamechanger for this generation of the 3 Series is that you no longer get the legendary handling and suspension that was standard for the past 20 years. You have to pay for it.

BJ
What you're forgetting is that DHP only costs 1000 dollars.. a value compared to premium package and tech package, not a game changer by any stretch of the imagination (especially if it's your only option).
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:24 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is online now
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Originally Posted by gooer View Post
What you're forgetting is that DHP only costs 1000 dollars.. a value compared to premium package and tech package, not a game changer by any stretch of the imagination (especially if it's your only option).
I can't speak to if the DHP would be night and day, but you'll for sure notice a night and day between day-to-day use of tech/prem.

If once a week I took a turn and said WOW glad I got DHP it would be far from having the comforts the others can afford each and every day.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:33 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
Could not disagree more BJ. First of all comparing a RWD car to a FWD is folly. Unless you are badge shopping and don't care about the dynamic advantages of RWD, an Accord is a much better bargain. Personally I could care less about getting a lot of luxury features. I might be happy in a no line 328i with MT and dynamic handling. I like having luxury features but an Accord is not remotely on my radar as a performance oriented value buyer. I can't budget for a $41K+ BMW but a more basic model might be in my range.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:31 AM
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kpgray kpgray is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabadoo25 View Post
I've noticed we get a lot of posts here from people asking what the essential elements are in a F30 build. This is usually from a perspective of wanting to get a nice car but not wanting to spend $$$$ on things that are unnecessary.

...
Great write-up! I would put the options in order of importance:
  1. Heated Seats
  2. BMW Assist with Enhanced Bluetooth
  3. Park Distance Control (F30 bigger than E90, tall trunk, rear 3 obstructive head rests)
  4. Rear View Camera (must have parking package to get this)
  5. A Line (significantly nicer interior & exterior trim, 18" wheels on ALL lines much nicer)
  6. DHP (especially if you have xDrive)
  7. Technology Package (Navigation, HUD, Enhanced Bluetooth, Apps)
  8. Lighting Package (Xenons & "Cat Eyes", the Halogens are still pretty good)
  9. Premium (Leather, Sunroof, Comfort access, self dimming mirrors)
  10. HK (600 Watts but do you need it?)
  11. Cold Weather Package (Heated front & Rear seats, heated steering wheel)
  12. Driver Assistance Package (do not need the side camera or blind spot warning)
  13. Driver Assistance Plus (rather annoying lane change vibration)
  14. Rear window shades
  15. Active Cruise Control (too expensive)
  16. high beam headlamp control

I limited myself to a $45K invoice cost (Aprox $49K MSRP). My build started with an xDrive. I picked a Sport Line and mistakenly thought the xDrive sport came with sport suspension. I skipped on the Lighting Package (that would have put me over budget. Do I give up a line, tech or premium for the lighting?).

In retrospect, if I was to do the build again, I would give up the Premium (I can press a button to get into my car and leatherette would be OK) and add the DHP Lighting, and Parking Distance w/rear view camera. The xDrive suspension is soft (good for Wife and Kids), the Lighting 'Cat Eyes" are so cool, but the parking package is what surprised me. I would have thought the car would be easy to park but the though of damaging my BMW puts fear into my head! High curbs, car bumpers... Difference in cost: Premium $3100 vs. $3050 for bucket of other options (DHP $1000, Lighting $900, Park distance $750, Rear Camera $400) On the other hand, when you are at this level, what is a couple thousand... $30 per month on a $550 month payment!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
I can agree but some options are more important than others.
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Last edited by kpgray; 03-31-2013 at 07:35 AM.
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  #25  
Old 03-31-2013, 08:21 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
 
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Originally Posted by krash View Post
I would have ended up with a 328 luxury line with xenons, heated seats, Prem, HK, Nav, rear view camera and PDC.

Nothing wrong with that configuration at all. Plus, it would have been a savings of about $6000. By the way, once my kids are in college, this is exactly what my next car might be.
This is an excellent build and frankly how base 328i should have been. However, remember that even this car will have a MSRP of nearly 50 grand. The days of buying a nice 3-series for 35-40 large is sadly over.
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