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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 01-25-2005, 03:34 AM
vehigal vehigal is offline
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E90 review (The Independent)

http://motoring.independent.co.uk/lo...st=32&dir=1091

Excerpt:
... the new Three is a little calmer, to avoid alienating its ownership aspirants. ... It's almost attractive, even if the rear lights do look as if created by a Japanese or Korean designer to mimic a true BMW's.

The front three-quarter view is the best, showing the unique face and the wedgy stance. The concavity on the flanks, below the ridge that runs through the door handles, is broad at the front and tapers to nothing above the rear wheel arch; you need the right reflections to pick it out. But is there one ridge too many at the aft end, the one that continues from the waistline into the rear wing? Under the glare of spotlights it seems cluttered, but out in the open it makes sense. Long in the bonnet, short in the tail, with the front wheels pushed well forward, the new 3-series has as authentic a BMW stance as you can get.

There's good space for four (unlike in the 1-series, whose underpinnings the Three broadly shares), although five is a squeeze because the edges of the rear seat's backrest curve forward a lot to help the comfort of the intended two occupants. The boot is bigger, too, but that's mainly because there's no spare wheel.

BMW has embraced aluminium in the current 5-series, but the 3-series has no such exoticism except in parts of the suspension and subframes.

Can the latest car live up to this heady past? It can. On a racetrack, the 330i revs with a typically BMW silken ease, its exhaust note a metallic blare and its handling balance impeccable. (It won't let you blip the accelerator for a smooth downshift under heavy braking, when the car is about to trigger its anti-lock system, but the engineers have promised to fix that.) Out on the road, it rides smoothly for a car with such crisp responses, and the Active Steering is easy to get used to. Acceleration from a standstill to 62mph takes 6.3 seconds, incidentally, and the price without options will be £28,455.

There's just one dynamic flaw, a tendency to follow road cambers on a bumpy road at speed, which also afflicts the non-Active, and also rapid, 320d. The steering wheel tugs in your hand and sometimes feels as though working against friction; the suspension engineer told me it was the price paid for the precise handling. If so, fair enough, because it's a while since I've driven a saloon as intimate, as invigorating, as "flingable" as this one.

The Ultimate Driving Machine? Certainly. Straight in at number one, and this time there's no doubt. Sales start in March.
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2005, 04:34 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vehigal
There's just one dynamic flaw, a tendency to follow road cambers on a bumpy road at speed, which also afflicts the non-Active, and also rapid, 320d. The steering wheel tugs in your hand and sometimes feels as though working against friction; the suspension engineer told me it was the price paid for the precise handling. If so, fair enough, because it's a while since I've driven a saloon as intimate, as invigorating, as "flingable" as this one.
Sounds like tramlining to me and is probably related to the low profile tires (says the guy who switches back and forth between 18" wheels and 17" wheels ).
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2005, 05:49 AM
vehigal vehigal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilH
Sounds like tramlining to me and is probably related to the low profile tires (says the guy who switches back and forth between 18" wheels and 17" wheels ).
According to the pics below (taken by juansego in Spain), all the tested e90s had 17-inch tires, as they are equipped with wheel models 159 (7 x 17) and 160 (8 x 17) respectively. I compared the pics to the UK site configurator.

Edit: The third pic shows the model 162 wheels for 18-inch tires. I think I spy the Terra interior.
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Last edited by vehigal; 01-25-2005 at 06:03 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2005, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by vehigal
(It won't let you blip the accelerator for a smooth downshift under heavy braking, when the car is about to trigger its anti-lock system, but the engineers have promised to fix that.)
So no heel & toe in the E90?
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:28 AM
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Anyone see this part?

Quote:
The E36 brought 3-series sales to new heights, sometimes entering the British sales top 10. Still the formula of rear-wheel drive, high quality and a sporting ambience was a badge of status, of being in control of your destiny, so the E46 of 1998 predictably built on the formula. But something went missing: where was the ultimate driving pleasure now? BMW had been listening too closely to its American buyers, who liked the driving-machine idea but not the reality, preferring something softer and less responsive. With the E46 the fire went out, even though by most standards it remained a fine and very handsome car.

It took the launch of the truncated-tail Compact version, resurrecting an idea tried with the E36, to put things right. For this nippy, sporty car, the engineers sharpened the steering and quickened the reflexes, and the transformation was huge. Within months, all E46s were like this, and credibility was restored.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2005, 08:14 AM
TD
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Originally Posted by Dawg90
Anyone see this part?
It sounds like the E90 will be even more isolated than the E46. While it'll still perform well, the feel component will stray even farther into the luxo-zone.

I'm sure it'll still feel better than it's competitors. But as time passes, that says less and less.

I don't want a fricken Buick, no matter how well it handles.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2005, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
It sounds like the E90 will be even more isolated than the E46. While it'll still perform well, the feel component will stray even farther into the luxo-zone.
I can't really tell yet from any of the reviews if that's true. None have compared it to the E46 that I've seen.

The 1 series is supposed to be a real driver's car, and the 2004 E46 is better than the 2001, so it's possible BMW tried to move away from the isolation trend.

The longer wheelbase and larger body is a bad sign though.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2005, 10:16 AM
TD
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Originally Posted by Dawg90
I can't really tell yet from any of the reviews if that's true. None have compared it to the E46 that I've seen.

The 1 series is supposed to be a real driver's car, and the 2004 E46 is better than the 2001, so it's possible BMW tried to move away from the isolation trend.

The longer wheelbase and larger body is a bad sign though.
Intersting...

Quote:
In 1991 we saw an entirely new 3-series look, the precursor of what we have today. E36 was the codename, and this time the BMW was launched with four doors instead of two. The two-door coupé, with nearly every outside panel changed, came later, and its M3 version lacked the purity of the original, even if its powerful six-cylinder engine was a work of aural art. Curiously, the scarce four-door M3 was a better car to drive, with more flowing handling and a smoother ride. It's a great buy today.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2005, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TD
Intersting...
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2005, 02:17 PM
andy_thomas andy_thomas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg90
Anyone see this part?
Yes - and BMW's target figures for the E46, with aggressive US sales targets, gave most journos something to talk about when it came to comparing it to the old car. The E46, regardless of how soft it was, was a hit globally. Some bemoaned the increased width but I took that with a pinch of salt - hey, that means the track is wider.

Now, about those cupholders...
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2005, 02:55 PM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ff
There's no heel & toe in the E46 either.
works for me
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2005, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ff
Sure, if you don't mind holding the accelerator down for several seconds before the engine responds.
No wonder you hated your car. It was broken. I can do a quick (albeit hefty) jab on the loud pedal with the right side of my foot whilst still applying the police pedal, and RPM match perfectly. Takes maybe a half second.
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