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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 08-29-2012, 05:47 AM
RF330 RF330 is offline
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F30 too big?

I took a short test-drive in the 335 sport line and I'm still undecided on whether I like this car or not. For background, I have an 04 zhp, before that an e39 530, before that 99 328.

The F30 is similar in many dimensions (though shorter), and I've read where it's compared to E39. For reference, I HATED the E39. Felt like a barge next to the E46. I'm very afraid that I'll make the same mistake twice if I give my zhp to my son and buy myself an F30 M-sport.

Anyone share this concern? I've also considered the 135, but to me it seems significantly smaller than an E46 sedan even though the dimensions are not too far off.

I want a replacement damn near the same size as my E46!
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:00 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RF330 View Post
The F30 is similar in many dimensions (though shorter), and I've read where it's compared to E39. For reference, I HATED the E39. Felt like a barge next to the E46. I'm very afraid that I'll make the same mistake twice if I give my zhp to my son and buy myself an F30 M-sport.
Ummmmmm. Could it have been suspension?

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  #3  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:08 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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We've been visited by several other E46 owners who feel that the F30 is too big and the 1 Series is too small. I'll save you the debate and the drama and tell you what happens:

You'll be upset, we'll advise you to give it a try, you'll tell us its impossoble for you to warm up to it, we'll tell you BMW knows what it's doing, you'll tell us you're visiting Audi, we'll tell you that's a waste of time, you'll tell us you 'reluctantly' ordered an F30 and you know you'll hate it, and then you'll come back after a week of driving it and tell us how much you love it.

BJ
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:13 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Sounds like the 7 stages of grief bj!

Currently feel the same way..have an e92 that feels too big, hated the f30 and 1 seems to small. Want a modern e46!
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:14 AM
OBS3SSION OBS3SSION is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
We've been visited by several other E46 owners who feel that the F30 is too big and the 1 Series is too small. I'll save you the debate and the drama and tell you what happens:

You'll be upset, we'll advise you to give it a try, you'll tell us its impossoble for you to warm up to it, we'll tell you BMW knows what it's doing, you'll tell us you're visiting Audi, we'll tell you that's a waste of time, you'll tell us you 'reluctantly' ordered an F30 and you know you'll hate it, and then you'll come back after a week of driving it and tell us how much you love it.

BJ
While this could be very true, I've got an eye on the upcoming Audi A3. It will be sold in the US as a sedan, and will be sized along the lines of the original A4 or an E46. Unless BMW gets off their butts and does something with a 1 or 2 Series, Audi may get a leg up on the compact sport sedan market!
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:19 AM
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Yes the F30 is really big. You will feel it. I still miss my e46 ZHP but have not been able to find a well-kept version to buy as a replacement.

While I leased the F30, my eye sits on the horizon, waiting for a glimpse of the 1 series 4 door for 2015. The F30, to me, is a short-term option until BMW once again offers a compact sedan here...

Last edited by brkf; 08-29-2012 at 06:20 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:19 AM
RF330 RF330 is offline
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BJ, thanks for the humorous response. You're probably spot on, only that I won't go to Audi in the process. I will probably either buy it with trepidation or keep the zhp and buy my son something else.

Really would like some feedback from someone with significant seat time in E46 and 39, and now owns an F30. If they can sell me I'd feel a lot better.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:27 AM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
Sounds like the 7 stages of grief bj!

Currently feel the same way..have an e92 that feels too big, hated the f30 and 1 seems to small. Want a modern e46!
Quote:
Originally Posted by OBS3SSION View Post
While this could be very true, I've got an eye on the upcoming Audi A3. It will be sold in the US as a sedan, and will be sized along the lines of the original A4 or an E46. Unless BMW gets off their butts and does something with a 1 or 2 Series, Audi may get a leg up on the compact sport sedan market!




It's a bigger car, no way around it.

3 inches wider.
6 inches longer.
1/2 inch taller.

It weighs less, goes faster, gets better mileage, looks better, is chock-full of tech, and is far more comfortable to drive, so that doesn't suck.

BJ
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:38 AM
RF330 RF330 is offline
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I saw that post with the dimensions before and that's what initially scared me off. I hear what you're saying but looks are subjective and in my biased opinion I think my BSM on black zhp is still a striking-looking car and I never tire of it. Also not a big tech guy so I view that as a negative. I'm not looking for comfortable, that's why i hated the E39.

gotta say that A3 sedan is appealing, but shudder at the thought of buying a first model year Audi even though the A3 hatch has been out a while.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:40 AM
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Nice post, James.
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Old 08-29-2012, 06:42 AM
Chief Brody Chief Brody is offline
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These pictures are nice, but they seem to bee way out of proportion.

For better comparison, I overlayed the e46 with the f30.

Coming from the E90, i can tell you there is a difference, but its not relevant for driving, just for parking.
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2012, 06:50 AM
RF330 RF330 is offline
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Chief, you're right there's no way they are to scale. Have seen some side to side pics though and it is visually much bigger though. I need to cinvince my dealer to let me drive one over a weekend.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:29 AM
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Order your F30 with the adaptive suspension and steering (m-adaptive). The car will be a bigger car that will have the handling of a smaller car. I can attack the corners better with my m-adaptive F30 than I could with any of my previous (smaller) sport sedans.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by RF330 View Post
Chief, you're right there's no way they are to scale. Have seen some side to side pics though and it is visually much bigger though. I need to cinvince my dealer to let me drive one over a weekend.
Correct. If it was to scale then the E36 would be a clown car with 12" wheels.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:43 AM
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Even the E90 feels bigger & boatier than my ZHP, though similar to how the E46 felt after my E36. Every new 3 series is a tradeoff vs the old one – bigger, a little less involving, but with (usually) nicer interior, better features and a better engine. Trust me, if you think an E39 sucks compared to your ZHP, you’re not gonna like an A3 – yeah, it’s smaller, but it’s nowhere near as involving or balanced as your car.

The GTI is usually more like a 3 series in feel than A3. A MkV I drove felt a lot like my E46 and it’s just as roomy except the trunk is tiny with the seats up.

The funny thing is, I don’t think interior space has improved since the E36, only exterior size has increased. I adjusted the driver’s seat for myself in the F30, then sat behind it, and the seat was up against my knees, just like it is in every 3 series back to the E36.

I plan to keep the ZHP til it gets problematic, and I like to avoid 1st model year BMWs anyway.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:49 AM
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The F30 is much roomier inside than the E46, it's about the size that the 5 series was 11 or so years ago.

Want to drive a boat? Drive the new five series.
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Old 08-29-2012, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RF330 View Post
I saw that post with the dimensions before and that's what initially scared me off. I hear what you're saying but looks are subjective and in my biased opinion I think my BSM on black zhp is still a striking-looking car and I never tire of it. Also not a big tech guy so I view that as a negative. I'm not looking for comfortable, that's why i hated the E39.

gotta say that A3 sedan is appealing, but shudder at the thought of buying a first model year Audi even though the A3 hatch has been out a while.
Agree. The ZHP is still among the best looking/driving 3 series sedans ever. I tried for months to get into a good used ZHP and finally gave up as owners had an inflated view of worth v. repairs needed. Still if someone put a decent mileage 2004/2005 6MT ZHP sedan with leather in San Diego for about 15-16k, I'd bite. All I see locally are 17-20k offerings.

The F30 may post better numbers on paper but in terms of driving feel, it's a big ole luxo cruiser in comparison. And visually it's just bland.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:34 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is online now
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Are we more concerned with size than how a car drives? I drive an e90 with the base suspension and all season tires and never think of it as too large, floaty or boat like. I see it as perfectly sized for a small family and light and nimble. The F30 is more of the same except with a slightly more damped ride and more rear seat room. It's still a sport sedan and family car. It's not a sports car although that's what many want it to be.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:44 AM
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I've driven an e36 M3, e46 328i, an e39 525i, then an e90 330i, then an e61 535xi. My F30 328i reminds me most of my e46 328i with the lighter steering, nothing like any of the 5ers I've had. With m sport and adaptive suspension, I think you'll be pleased, even with all the extra girth.

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Old 08-29-2012, 09:07 AM
RF330 RF330 is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Are we more concerned with size than how a car drives? I drive an e90 with the base suspension and all season tires and never think of it as too large, floaty or boat like. I see it as perfectly sized for a small family and light and nimble. The F30 is more of the same except with a slightly more damped ride and more rear seat room. It's still a sport sedan and family car. It's not a sports car although that's what many want it to be.
I don't think it's just the size I'm addressing. Actually, I've driven a few E90 loaners and while bigger, I didn't get that E39 boat-like feeling from them. I liked the size and think I would have been perfectly happy if they left E90 dimensions and fixed the interior and exterior design flaws. I really don't like the further incremental increase in wheelbase/size from E90 to F30 and am thinking it will feel more E39-like.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:20 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Yes the F30 is really big. You will feel it. I still miss my e46 ZHP but have not been able to find a well-kept version to buy as a replacement.
This looks like a nice one:

http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-s...28734771&Log=0
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:27 AM
RF330 RF330 is offline
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I've driven an e36 M3, e46 328i, an e39 525i, then an e90 330i, then an e61 535xi. My F30 328i reminds me most of my e46 328i with the lighter steering, nothing like any of the 5ers I've had. With m sport and adaptive suspension, I think you'll be pleased, even with all the extra girth.

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Thank you for the feedback! very encouraging to hear that given your extensive history. I was thinking m-sport, manual trans, dynamic handling package, cold weather, HK, 19" wheels.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:33 AM
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That does but 21k for an 8 year old car that was 44-45k brand new? A typical 330i from 2005 is going for 11-12k. Love ZHP and apparently it was a solid investment had I kept mine but it's hard to stomach paying twice the going rate for a car.
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:06 AM
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The F30 is much roomier inside than the E46, it's about the size that the 5 series was 11 or so years ago.

Want to drive a boat? Drive the new five series.
+1

When I was getting my ASS removed the dealer gave me a 5 Series as a loaner and good lord was it huge. To think I debated 5 vs. 3 for awhile. No contest.

The E46 crowd won't want to hear this but the F30 is just small enough to be considered 'compact' by sedan standards yet roomy enough so my kids are happy in the back. It's a perfect car for someone who finds an E46 too small and the F10 too big.

BJ
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Old 08-29-2012, 11:08 AM
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Auto and Imola hurt resale, it's probably worth $16k, asking $21k. They probably got it in trade for $14k.
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