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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

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  #76  
Old 12-01-2017, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by chiefneil View Post
I've tried a lot of different car mags over the years and settled on C&D as the one that's most in tune with my personal preferences. I do place some weight on their reviews, and their reviews help me decide what's worth test-driving or not.

Now I won't skip testing BMW's just because they're not on the 10 best list, but I will take a closer look at some of the cars that are. I've previously dismissed Audis as numb and uninvolving, but if C&D thinks the RS3 is better than an M240i or M2, then perhaps the RS3 and its siblings are worth the effort for a test drive IMHO. YMMV.
After all the praise for the A4, I went and test drove one and came off very underwhelmed. It gave me a new appreciation for my F30 M sport.

After all the praise for the Jaguar, I went and tried one. I found that the only one that really drove well was the demo car -- 35t RWD S (which at the time was not being sold in the US, but I think they have recently introduced that model here). I was underwhelmed by everything else I could try on the dealers lot. The closest would have been a 35t RWD R Sport, but those were in such short supply that even after many months of calling the dealer, I was not able to test drive one. I eventually gave up.

After all the praise for the Giulia, when I drove one I was very impressed with the car overall.

So I think C&D is helpful in pointing out things to look for, but their assessment may not always match one's own experience.
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  #77  
Old 12-01-2017, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post

So I think C&D is helpful in pointing out things to look for, but their assessment may not always match one's own experience.
Yes, I feel that way whenever I get a rental Focus or Mazda 3. At first I'm all because they get such reviews, but then after driving them I'm all

I'm probably filtering that through the lens of somebody driving a 50k car though. Somebody who lives in the 20-25k range probably would experience the focus and Mazda 3 much differently.
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  #78  
Old 12-01-2017, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by chiefneil View Post
Yes, I feel that way whenever I get a rental Focus or Mazda 3. At first I'm all because they get such reviews, but then after driving them I'm all

I'm probably filtering that through the lens of somebody driving a 50k car though. Somebody who lives in the 20-25k range probably would experience the focus and Mazda 3 much differently.
You totally see things through the lens of what you have / are used to (#agree). For instance, I have a 2016 435 GC with adaptive suspension, nav, hud, etc etc. I just had a loaner car from the dealer yesterday... a 2018 430 GC. I couldnt wait to give it back to them. I actively hated that car.

Part of it is probably that it is a doppleganger for my car... it looks like my car, sorta, but that makes the differences stand out. The doors feel lighter and less "substantial", I could feel body roll that I dont feel in my car (I spend 95% of the time in sport with the adaptive suspension so its like 704 static suspension... loaner had standard suspension).

No HUD (not necessary of course, but I have been driving for 2 years with it, and did not realize how much I missed it till it was gone). It was a standard model so the "skinny" steering wheel vs the m sport one I am used to. Even things like the power latch button, which I touch 2 times a day in my car because I put my backpack in my trunk, feels a lot less "substantial" in the loaner than my car.

The car was "fast" enough, but not "effortlessly" fast. The acceleration pedal travel required to reach speed was different. I didnt like the sound of the engine, either at idle, or under power, compared to my car.

I was left with the feeling that, if this was all the BMW I could afford, I would want something else (I absolutely would not have bought that car)... but thats from the prism of driving MY car.

Your own car only feels fast to you for a couple of weeks or so, then it feels "normal" and things faster than your car feel fast, and things slower than your car feel slow, even if they are neither. I KNOW the 430 is not slow... but the revs for a certain speed were... "different" so it felt "wrong".

Same thing when I get into any rental car when I travel. I feel like the steering wheel is all over the place in almost any other car I drive....

wheew am I off topic now...

Just wanted to agree that, its all relative, and the mags do give a good idea of what to try out when you are looking (I use them for that too) but if I have already tried something, they are not going to change my opinion of that same thing... and they certainly are not going to change my opinion of something I already own.
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  #79  
Old 12-02-2017, 05:25 AM
rikwynn rikwynn is offline
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Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
BMW has a long way to go to get back on this list. The 3 and 4 series are overweight, tired old platforms with boring interiors. The 2 Series is stubby and not all that good to look at. The 6 is essentially dead. The M3/M4 is only worth buying with the Comp package and then you're looking at $75K.

BMW has been milking us, their loyal US performance customers, by banking most of their profits, developing SUVs and not putting it back into the cars.

I could care less how many electric vehicles they have to make to be competitive in China. I want a damn 3 series thats actually worth $50K.
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  #80  
Old 12-02-2017, 05:26 AM
rikwynn rikwynn is offline
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Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
After all the praise for the A4, I went and test drove one and came off very underwhelmed. It gave me a new appreciation for my F30 M sport.

After all the praise for the Jaguar, I went and tried one. I found that the only one that really drove well was the demo car -- 35t RWD S (which at the time was not being sold in the US, but I think they have recently introduced that model here). I was underwhelmed by everything else I could try on the dealers lot. The closest would have been a 35t RWD R Sport, but those were in such short supply that even after many months of calling the dealer, I was not able to test drive one. I eventually gave up.

After all the praise for the Giulia, when I drove one I was very impressed with the car overall.

So I think C&D is helpful in pointing out things to look for, but their assessment may not always match one's own experience.
Dude an A4 is not competition for any M Sport. Go drive an S4 and you'll leave your M Sport at the Audi dealer in the parking lot.
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  #81  
Old 12-02-2017, 05:30 AM
rikwynn rikwynn is offline
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Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
+1
BMW's value proposition, never a high point, keeps getting worse.

Accord has earned 10 Best honors from C&D more often than any other car model since the competition began in 1983. And deservedly so - it's an excellent car and an excellent value. The tenth generation Accord is a better product overall than any 4 door sedan currently made by BMW whose model name doesn't begin with 'M'.
absolutely agree. while BMW has been spending the last 5 years figuring out how to lease more 328's to badge snobs the other sedan makers have been working on their cars. There are multiple cars now that are better drives now than an F30. BMW better have a killer MY19 3 series up their sleeves or they will be a truck company in 5 years.
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  #82  
Old 12-02-2017, 05:32 AM
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A four cylinder Porsche made the list????

Sorry, but this list is total marketing hoopla. I wonder how much they were paid to stick this abomination on the list?
Yeh a 4 cylinder Porsche will destroy practically anything that BMW makes today. Thats why its on the list and the M2 is not. Sad.
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  #83  
Old 12-02-2017, 09:06 AM
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eazy eazy is offline
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Dude an A4 is not competition for any M Sport. Go drive an S4 and you'll leave your M Sport at the Audi dealer in the parking lot.
the S4 should be compared to a 340I. Msport is just a body kit with few other upgrades. The Audi equivalent to the M sport is the S line.
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  #84  
Old 12-02-2017, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by rikwynn View Post
BMW has a long way to go to get back on this list. The 3 and 4 series are overweight, tired old platforms with boring interiors. The 2 Series is stubby and not all that good to look at. The 6 is essentially dead. The M3/M4 is only worth buying with the Comp package and then you're looking at $75K.



BMW has been milking us, their loyal US performance customers, by banking most of their profits, developing SUVs and not putting it back into the cars.



I could care less how many electric vehicles they have to make to be competitive in China. I want a damn 3 series thats actually worth $50K.


F30 is not the heaviest car in its class. As for interior the A4 and c class have better interiors but the f30 has better interiors than the rest of the class.
The base suspension in the f30 needs to be fixed. The adaptive suspension or 704 suspension is a must for this car. Car and driver is one of the few magazines that had the eclass above the 5 series


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  #85  
Old 12-02-2017, 11:28 AM
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We have a 2011 328xi automatic and a 2014 335xi 6 spd. manual. We like both cars. The2014 is admittedly heavier, has softer suspension and number steering. For years the completion and a lot of the automotive press has complained about BMW having too firm a ride/feel etc. while the completion was too soft. BMW caves in a little in the softer direction and now they get criticism. I don't have any problem with the interior.
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  #86  
Old 12-05-2017, 04:12 PM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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M2s are as scarce as unicorns. I suspect most guys here have never seen an M2 in the wild much less driven one. As an M2 driver, I offer my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
That's not the surprising part -- it's that the M240i and M2 which were previously highly praised have dropped off. I think this may be due to their experience with long term testing. Seems to have been replaced by the RS3.
I have not read C&D in some time. These evaluations are inherently subjective - everyone has their own priorities and prejudices honed by individual experience - pick your poison. Opinions are forever mutable, if not quixotic, at best. Frequently, this year's thoroughbred is next year's mutt. There is room for lots of opinion. It's interesting to note Chris Harris' take on the M2 vs. RS3 on Top Gear. Personally I have never driven an Audi I wanted to purchase - the Audi driving and ownership experience leaves me wanting.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
Look at the long term test for the M2. Many staffers complained of back pain because they found it too stiff.
Not my experience. I have had my M2 for 14 months. I use my M2 to commute 25 miles from Potomac MD to downtown DC daily - a trip of 25 miles on so so roads. Every morning I look at my X5 and say...nah...I am taking my M2. Yes the X5 is comfy and secure - a great SAV/SUV, but the M2 is addicting. Every drive is like the first time - did I say FUN. Let me say it with emphasis FUN FUN FUN! The ride is firm - like a proper sports car, but far from harsh. A perfect blend of sports car reflexes, driver involvement, and comfort - weighted towards a sports car enthusiast's expectations. I am 6' 3" 210 lbs, I find few sports cars as accommodating.

btw my next door neighbor has 3 Porsche 911s - want a harsh daily driver - go drive a 911. My neighbor and I drive each other's cars - the M2 is positively a "soft" car compared to the more 'pure" 911.
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  #87  
Old 12-05-2017, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Capobranco View Post
Not my experience. I have had my M2 for 14 months. I use my M2 to commute 25 miles from Potomac MD to downtown DC daily - a trip of 25 miles on so so roads.
A coworker who recently moved from DC area says DC area has good roads compared to NoCal. His M2 was shipped here but was sold after a few months as the local roads provide similar issues as described by C&D long term report. His new ride is a 440i GC with adaptive suspension.
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  #88  
Old 12-06-2017, 06:25 AM
Mark K Mark K is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefneil View Post
Yes, I feel that way whenever I get a rental Focus or Mazda 3. At first I'm all because they get such reviews, but then after driving them I'm all

I'm probably filtering that through the lens of somebody driving a 50k car though. Somebody who lives in the 20-25k range probably would experience the focus and Mazda 3 much differently.
The BEST grocery getter I ever drove was Ford Focus/Focus SW equipped with 1.5 liter, 125 hp turbodiesel and 6 MT. I had it as 2 weeks rental multiple times in Europe, both as a hatch as well as station wagon. Frankly, I am not sure I would have enjoyed F30 as much - considering price difference. There's always that.

Personally, the problem I had with E92 335i was that it was way too much for the grocery getting and not enough for driving past 7/10ths. I didn't get a chance to drive NA equipped E46 at 7+/10ths but have no problem believing that it did that better than E9x. Having an NA-engined go-fast car now, I also have no problem believing NA E46 was a LOT easier to live with while grocery getting.

As you can see, I am not much of "amenities" person. Give me MT, cloth seats, a good, manual AC and auto driver window and I am good to go. All the other stuff stays turned off, not necessary. So, yeah, Ford Focus 1.5 turbodiesel with MT was a true revelation. And, as always, guess which one we do not get here?

I even did a rally stage training with one - amazing what you can do with that chassis on macadam roads using only throttle

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  #89  
Old 12-06-2017, 07:36 AM
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gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
A coworker who recently moved from DC area says DC area has good roads compared to NoCal.
Almost any place in the developed world has better roads than Northern California, or even California in general. I guess a BMW M2 or any car with similarly firm suspension tuning is simply out of place on public roads there.

I still remember a shuttle ride between the Oakland International Airport and the port facilities in Oakland using I-880 and city streets. What an adventure. The pavement quality was so awful that I had to wonder if CalTrans bothered to pave the roads at all!

Apparently my experience isn't unusual - more than 70% of highway miles in the San Francisco - Oakland area involve pavement in poor condition:
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  #90  
Old 12-06-2017, 09:01 AM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
A coworker who recently moved from DC area says DC area has good roads compared to NoCal. His M2 was shipped here but was sold after a few months as the local roads provide similar issues as described by C&D long term report. His new ride is a 440i GC with adaptive suspension.
Your coworker, who gave up his M2 for a GC, made someone's day. I suspect drivers of M2s and sports cars of similar ilk, are "born this way". Trade my M2 for a 4401 GC to achieve a smoother ride - simply unimaginable. As I said above, we all have different priorities, needs, and desires - hope the M2 found a good home.
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  #91  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:55 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
Almost any place in the developed world has better roads than Northern California, or even California in general. I guess a BMW M2 or any car with similarly firm suspension tuning is simply out of place on public roads there.
It appears unimaginable that amidst major employment hubs there can be local roads with ruts and waves(literally) without snow(nor rain until recently). The conditions have improved in the past year or so when Caltran received additional funds(from voter's approved sales tax increase?) to start fixing some of the trouble spots, let's hope the funds won't be reallocated anytime soon ....

Last edited by namelessman; 12-06-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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  #92  
Old 12-06-2017, 10:57 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by Capobranco View Post
Your coworker, who gave up his M2 for a GC, made someone's day. I suspect drivers of M2s and sports cars of similar ilk, are "born this way". Trade my M2 for a 4401 GC to achieve a smoother ride - simply unimaginable. As I said above, we all have different priorities, needs, and desires - hope the M2 found a good home.
It sounds like a stretch until one experiences first hand.
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  #93  
Old 12-06-2017, 11:21 AM
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mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
Apparently my experience isn't unusual - more than 70% of highway miles in the San Francisco - Oakland area involve pavement in poor condition:
Where did you get the list? There's also this one, but it's more by state than by city.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...han-you-think/
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  #94  
Old 12-06-2017, 11:36 AM
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gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
Where did you get the list? There's also this one, but it's more by state than by city.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...han-you-think/
It's from The Road Information Program (TRIP), the same organization mentioned in the Washington Post link. Here's the complete report from TRIP evaluating roads and highways by urban region:

Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to make our Roads Smoother - November 2016
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  #95  
Old 12-06-2017, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capobranco View Post
Trade my M2 for a 4401 GC to achieve a smoother ride - simply unimaginable.
What seems unimaginable when experiencing a BMW M2 driven on the relatively decent quality roads in the Washington, D.C. area - or relegating the car to track duty only - becomes something worth considering if you must subject that M2 to the often awful roads in California (as in namelessman's co-worker's case) or Michigan (as in Car and Driver's long term review).
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  #96  
Old 12-06-2017, 11:54 AM
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mr_clueless mr_clueless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
What seems unimaginable when experiencing a BMW M2 driven on the relatively decent quality roads in the Washington, D.C. area - or relegating the car to track duty only - becomes something worth considering if you must subject that M2 to the often awful roads in California (as in namelessman's co-worker's case) or Michigan (as in Car and Driver's long term review).
Interestingly this is the point that was made in one of the videos comparing the M2 and RS3. The reviewers said they prefer RS3 as the daily driver, but M2 as the weekend/track car.

(conclusion at starts at 8:00).
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  #97  
Old 12-07-2017, 03:08 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
....- becomes something worth considering if you must subject that M2 to the often awful roads in California (as in namelessman's co-worker's case) .
Another culprit is the building boom in our locales where expensive apartments, class A tech campuses, spaceship HQs, shopping expansions(etc, etc) are getting built. Even freshly repaved roads get immediately beaten up by fleets of earth-moving trucks such that the ruts and waves return in no time.
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  #98  
Old 12-11-2017, 03:10 PM
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Capobranco Capobranco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
Interestingly this is the point that was made in one of the videos comparing the M2 and RS3. The reviewers said they prefer RS3 as the daily driver, but M2 as the weekend/track car.

(conclusion at starts at 8:00).


Just posted.....M2 beats RS3 on the track.

Betcha the M2 was also alot more fun on the track.

C&D might retort, but the RS3 was more comfy.

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