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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.

View Poll Results: 335i v 328i
328i 55 54.46%
335i 46 45.54%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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  #101  
Old 12-18-2011, 06:11 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Size is always one of the most important measures. It separates a driver focused car from a family focused car.

There are other factors, the driver's connection to the road is also a important measure. The 3's unique steering feel is a good example, not likely to be duplicated in the F30.
I don't see within reason what size (weight being equal) has to do with a car being a drivers vs family car and in fact the 3 series has always been basically a European size family car. Certainly a Bentley Continental is not going to be a nimble car even if it weight 3400 pounds but an F30 is a measly 4" longer than an e90. I understand that many harken back to days when a 3 series weighed 3000 pounds and was a smaller car but that's not what the market wants in 2011. My e90 is our family car and I love that it can do that and be fast and nimble at the same time. It's what makes a 3 series the world's best luxury sport sedan.
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  #102  
Old 12-18-2011, 09:30 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
I understand that many harken back to days when a 3 series weighed 3000 pounds and was a smaller car but that's not what the market wants in 2011.
Enthusiasts do not represent the general market, therefore a car that is designed more for "what the market wants," naturally is not typically an enthusiast's car.

I agree the new 3 will still be one of the most driver oriented family sport sedan out there. But its value to an enthusiast is less than before, while its design caters more for "what the market wants."

I wish BMW can make a four door 1 series for the US market. Of course the exterior styling of the 1 series has to improve a lot for me to get in one.
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  #103  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:18 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Enthusiasts do not represent the general market, therefore a car that is designed more for "what the market wants," naturally is not typically an enthusiast's car.

I agree the new 3 will still be one of the most driver oriented family sport sedan out there. But its value to an enthusiast is less than before, while its design caters more for "what the market wants."

I wish BMW can make a four door 1 series for the US market. Of course the exterior styling of the 1 series has to improve a lot for me to get in one.
As an enthusiast I don't know if the F30 will have less value to me. Frankly, when I first saw the pictures when it was introduced I immediately lusted for one. Other than the question about the steering and the different engine character which I can easily deal with, it's better in every way than the e9X series IMO.
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  #104  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:23 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
You defined a non-enthusiast as one who does not distinguish a 3 from a 5. Therefore BMW by making the 3 just like a 5, naturally has made the 3 not much an enthusiast's car.
Not entirely. I'm defining a non-enthusiast as someone who does not distinguish the 3-series as an enthusiasts car first and a luxury car second. To them the 3-series is the compact car in BMW's lineup.
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  #105  
Old 12-19-2011, 05:25 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I agree the new 3 will still be one of the most driver oriented family sport sedan out there. But its value to an enthusiast is less than before, while its design caters more for "what the market wants."
Again I think it's important to distinguish between what type of enthusiast you're referring to. I suspect you're referring to the 16n69 type of enthusiast with this statement.
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  #106  
Old 12-19-2011, 08:15 AM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I agree the new 3 will still be one of the most driver oriented family sport sedan out there. But its value to an enthusiast is less than before, while its design caters more for "what the market wants."
I'm making assumptions here, and I may be wrong, but it seems that from your perspective steering feel is what you are primarily equating to be "value to the enthusiast". I say this because if all the reviews are correct and the F30 ends up outperforming the E90 in handling prowess and power, then the only thing left on the 'driver oriented sport sedan' checklist would be steering feedback/feel. So the question is, would you consider the F30 a better value if it retained the same performance, power, and steering feedback of the E90 or do you consider a car with better performance, power, but less steering feedback to be the better value? This of course is subject to your personal preference...if you value steering feedback more than handling, then of course this car is of lesser value. If you're the type of person that values handling and power more, then the F30 is of greater value two you. If you consider both to be essentially of the same value, then the F30 is a wash, no better, but also of no less value than the E90.

I'm of the opinion that BMW knew that their goal of moving to electronic steering and a 4cyl would generate much complaint, and so they needed to compensate by giving the F30 a more rigid frame, better suspension and handling, and a 4cyl engine that is probably tuned better than they may have offered otherwise. To some that may seem like a good trade-off, to others the steering feedback is more of a loss than those gains. But the value to the enthusiasts depends on which side you considers more important. That's why I disagree with making a blanket statement that says the F30 is of lesser value to bmw enthusiasts.

Last edited by 7or8; 12-19-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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  #107  
Old 12-19-2011, 11:44 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Not entirely. I'm defining a non-enthusiast as someone who does not distinguish the 3-series as an enthusiasts car first and a luxury car second. To them the 3-series is the compact car in BMW's lineup.
You initially defined a non-enthusiast as one who could not tell, or didn't care the difference between a 3 and a 5, or even a 7.

Now that you have clarified your definition, I would say that since we seem to agree the new 3 is more like the new 5 than ever before, it would be even more difficult for you to explain the difference to those non-enthusiasts.

I will go one step further to say, the new 3 is more like the other competing brands than ever before. When this happens, it becomes less an enthusiast's car.

This may also answer the above question on the steering feel. I have a few other things such as the end of the N/A I6, and larger size.

If all of the above, serve to have the 3 be more like the competitors, then to me it loses it own identity, not entirely of course, only by degrees.

So yes, the improved performance of the new 3 is less valuable to me, than retaining its own identity, differentiating it from the others.

I believe this is what it means by being an enthusiast. If what you like, is the same as what the majority prefers, you cannot call yourself an enthusiast. Just IMHO of course.
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  #108  
Old 12-19-2011, 12:11 PM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
This may also answer the above question on the steering feel. I have a few other things such as the end of the N/A I6, and larger size.

If all of the above, serve to have the 3 be more like the competitors, then to me it loses it own identity, not entirely of course, only by degrees....

..I believe this is what it means by being an enthusiast. If what you like, is the same as what the majority prefers, you cannot call yourself an enthusiast. Just IMHO of course.

So yes, the improved performance of the new 3 is less valuable to me, than retaining its own identity, differentiating it from the others.
Fair enough . According to that definition of an enthusiast, your comments make complete sense.

For me personally, it's the performance alone that draws me to bmw. I can get pretty much anything else that bmw offers or has offered, outside of performance, in other brands for some time now. So, yes this would make them just like the rest..and so by your definition, no longer unique (by value of omission) then the others. For me though, it's only the performance (for the price point) that makes bmw standout. My definition of a bmw enthusiast is that then; someone who buys it for the performance it can give you that others brands cant. And the F30, with the exception of the electronic steering system, seems like it will fulfill my expectations/wants.

Last edited by 7or8; 12-19-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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  #109  
Old 12-19-2011, 12:18 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Originally Posted by 7or8 View Post
Fair enough . According to that definition of an enthusiast, your comments make complete sense.

For me personally, it's the performance alone that draws me to bmw. I can get pretty much anything else that bmw offers or has offered, outside of performance, in other brands for some time now. So, yes this would make them just like the rest..and so by your definition, no longer unique (by value of omission) then the others. For me though, it's only the performance (for the price point) that makes bmw standout. My definition of a bmw enthusiast is that then; someone who buys it for the performance it can give you that others brands cant. And the F30, with the exception of the electronic steering system, seems like it will fulfill my expectations/wants.
I'm the same. I always wanted a BMW 3 series because BMW has always made the best driver's car in this class. If Mercedes was the sport sedan of choice that's what I'd drive.
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  #110  
Old 12-19-2011, 12:47 PM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
I'm the same. I always wanted a BMW 3 series because BMW has always made the best driver's car in this class. If Mercedes was the sport sedan of choice that's what I'd drive.
I agree.

Also, I think I need to qualify my last post by saying that I think those of us that choose bmw for it's performance have a certain threshold as regards the level of refinement and material quality we desire. Or else we'd be driving STI's or Evo's.
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  #111  
Old 12-19-2011, 01:18 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Originally Posted by 7or8 View Post
I agree.

Also, I think I need to qualify my last post by saying that I think those of us that choose bmw for it's performance have a certain threshold as regards the level of refinement and material quality we desire. Or else we'd be driving STI's or Evo's.
Can you give me some examples of the performance measures you prefer over the other brands? And what are the other brands you are comparing?

The MB C class is not a fair comparison, it is designed with comfort in mind, not driving dynamics.

As far as STI and EVO, they are clearly after a different demographic. They are not the 3er's competitors I was referring to.
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  #112  
Old 12-19-2011, 01:43 PM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Can you give me some examples of the performance measures you prefer over the other brands? And what are the other brands you are comparing?

The MB C class is not a fair comparison, it is designed with comfort in mind, not driving dynamics.
My performance wants:
- RWD, (which throw out Acura, Lexus, and Audi right there)
- Cornering and quick n precise maneuverability.
- Steering feedback. This it seems i'm going to miss.
- Having a Manual transmission is very important to me as well.
- Tight suspension.
- Great braking.
- $49k or under price tag.


Other ancillary things I really care about.
- Getting a loaner car when my car is in for service. (thus shopping only luxury brands)
- Quality materials in the interior.
- Good nav display and functionality.
- And of course styling that appeals to me personally.

Really a CPO M3 fits the bill for me. But the interior of the e90 never really lit my fire and I didn't really want a v8. I'm probably going to get an F30, keep it for 6 or 7 yrs, then get a CPO M3.

Last edited by 7or8; 12-19-2011 at 01:44 PM.
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  #113  
Old 12-19-2011, 02:19 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Lexus IS is RWD, an Audi S4 with LSD is probably a better performer than the 335i.

But if your real fancy is an M3, you are already different from most 3 buyers.

Who knows, after I am done with my E90 328i a few years down the road, maybe just like you, a CPO M3 would be the only acceptable option.
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  #114  
Old 12-19-2011, 02:48 PM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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Lexus IS is RWD
Yep, you're right. Here's the thing with me and the IS.. I have a friend with an IS. He loves it, but I feel pretty claustrophobic in it. My wife's car is a GTI, and it's probably smaller than the IS on the outside, but I'm not sure how Lexus managed to make the IS's interior feel so much more cramped then the GTI. A car the size of the e90, interior and exterior, is great for my needs/wants. Have you sat in an IS? What are your thoughts? Did you find it strangely cramped for the way it looks from the outside?

Also, I really don't like Lexus' nav system. I feel uncommonly angry when having to use it ..lol ..may need some therapy..

Aside, from that, the IS does not handle like a 3 series anyway, so... you know.

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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
.., an Audi S4 with LSD is probably a better performer than the 335i.
I am under no delusions that there are awd cars out there that may handle better than a 3 series. But, like how many feel about the intangible feel of an inline 6, i feel about the feeling of a rwd car. AWD, is definitely not a deal breaker for me though...just not 1st choice. I did seriously consider an S4. It's still not completely off the table for me.

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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
But if your real fancy is an M3, you are already different from most 3 buyers.
Yeah, probably.

Last edited by 7or8; 12-19-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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  #115  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:11 PM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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Yes the ISs I test drove were cramped, for the wrong reasons too. I don't mind being a little tight. Aside from the driving dynamics, it also looked a chick car to me, again just a personal taste issue.

The E90 is the right size for me, which is why the F30 may be unnecessarily large. For the F30's styling to work I might need the m sport package, which will be a big premium added.
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  #116  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:15 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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f30 is similar dimensions to the e39
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  #117  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:40 PM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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For the F30's styling to work I might need the m sport package, which will be a big premium added.
Yeah, I've been wondering how much. I recently read somewhere (can't remember where right now) that the MSport package will only come with a passive suspension. If there is no option for the M Adaptive suspension then I'm hoping that will keep the price from jumping up too much.. Also, if they take the same approach with the steering (fixed not variable) then there will be no need for the Comfort, Sport, or Sport+ functionality at all. You'd think this would reduce the cost and technological complication as well. That may make up the price difference for the body kit, steering wheel and whatever extra sway bars, control arms or bushing that may be different than the standard F30.

I mean, really, if they go with passive suspension and steering, the msport should cost us no more than the other lines. Not that I'm naive enough to believe they won't charge us more for it.

Last edited by 7or8; 12-19-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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  #118  
Old 12-19-2011, 04:56 PM
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3ismagic# 3ismagic# is offline
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More likely the Msport will only be available with the adaptive suspension. If you can get it on the sport line it makes no sense for it to not be available on the Msport.
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  #119  
Old 12-19-2011, 06:32 PM
7or8 7or8 is offline
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More likely the Msport will only be available with the adaptive suspension. If you can get it on the sport line it makes no sense for it to not be available on the Msport.
I found the quote I read earlier; it's from the latest Autocar magazine which compared the 2012 320d vs it's Merc equivalent. I can't link it here because every scan I found was from a competing forum so my post would probably get axed. But you can easily find it by search google for "320d autocar mercedes comparison".

Anyway here's the quote from the article I found interesting:
"BMW's engineers tell us that an M Sport suspension set-up (which comprises different springs and dampers from regular or variable suspended 3-series) will not ride as as harshly as the adaptive system in its Sports or Sports+ mode - because unlike with the adaptive dampers, M Sport drivers will have to live with it all the time."
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