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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F36 (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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  #26  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:26 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
Wish someone could confirm this..
If you were blindfolded on a deserted island and your life depended upon it, you couldn't tell the difference. The difference in steering feel is marginal.

What's more important is road feel (suspension tightness, handling in twisties, not steering) and what you need to know is this:

If you want superior road feel than your E90, you need to buy a used E36.

If you want equal road feel to your E90, you need to buy an F30 with the sport suspension.

If you want less road feel but a more comfortable ride than your E90, you need to buy an F30 with the standard suspension.

If you want the ability to change road feel on-the-fly, you need to buy an F30 with the Adaptive M Suspension.

With the steering questions, you're barking up the wrong tree. It's the F30 suspension that's markedly different than the E90. That's where your focus should be.

BJ
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  #27  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:35 PM
sle39lvr sle39lvr is offline
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boltjaM3s,

I know this is not the right place to ask this question, but since you have driven most of these, have you a e9x with M control arms? How would that steering sit with those comparisons..
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  #28  
Old 12-16-2012, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bayoucity View Post
Does the steering feel much heavier on an 08 E90 vs. post-LCI models such as 11 E90? Anyone, you, CA, BJ ???
There was no change in the steering throughout the E9x model run. None, pre-LCI or post-LCI. The steering did not change.

I've posted this before, I'll post it again. My 2006 E90 330i has active steering. IMO when set to sport mode the F30 feels virtually the same as my car and is every bit as direct and precise. I didn't drive the F30 in non-sport mode, because I would never drive one I owned that way.

I've driven many, many non-active steering E90s, E92s, and E93s on many occasions. I have no issue switching between my active steering and non-active steering.

Before I got my E90 I drove a 2004 E46 ZHP and a non-sport 2000 E46 328i.

I hope to get a chance soon to drive an F30 with variable sport steering.

I honestly think a large factor in people's complaints about the eps system is not really understanding how it works. The eps ONLY engages when the steering wheel is actively being turned. When the car is being driven straight there is zero power boost.
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  #29  
Old 12-17-2012, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post

I honestly think a large factor in people's complaints about the eps system is not really understanding how it works. The eps ONLY engages when the steering wheel is actively being turned. When the car is being driven straight there is zero power boost.
Wow, did not know that. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sle39lvr View Post
boltjaM3s,

I know this is not the right place to ask this question, but since you have driven most of these, have you a e9x with M control arms? How would that steering sit with those comparisons..
I don't think so. I had a 2009 E90 M-Sport XDrive but I do not believe it had any M suspension parts on it.

BJ
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  #30  
Old 12-17-2012, 10:03 AM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is offline
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Of course if my 2003 ZHP were sold today with a new 4 year warranty, I'd take that car without pause. It's way smaller (yahoo), not as luxurious but far more alive/exciting to drive and far better looking than the e9x/f3x cars. Sadly, BMW no longer sells a compact sedan in the US...
My thoughts exactly. In the last 20 years that I've been driving, cars have grown massively in size and power. But the roads haven't grown any bigger. Parking lots haven't grown any bigger. Most garages haven't grown any bigger unless you've bought a new house. And the speed limits haven't increased.
Since I live in a city, the new 3-series and Audi A4 can't be on my shopping list. They're just too big. The VW GTI, Audi A3, Subaru WRX, and BMW X1 fit my life much better. I owned a 1998 Audi A4 Quattro and a 2006 BMW 330Cic (E46 generation), and the new A4 and 3-series are utterly massive in comparison.
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  #31  
Old 12-17-2012, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
There was no change in the steering throughout the E9x model run. None, pre-LCI or post-LCI. The steering did not change.

I've posted this before, I'll post it again. My 2006 E90 330i has active steering. IMO when set to sport mode the F30 feels virtually the same as my car and is every bit as direct and precise. I didn't drive the F30 in non-sport mode, because I would never drive one I owned that way.

I've driven many, many non-active steering E90s, E92s, and E93s on many occasions. I have no issue switching between my active steering and non-active steering.

Before I got my E90 I drove a 2004 E46 ZHP and a non-sport 2000 E46 328i.

I hope to get a chance soon to drive an F30 with variable sport steering.

I honestly think a large factor in people's complaints about the eps system is not really understanding how it works. The eps ONLY engages when the steering wheel is actively being turned. When the car is being driven straight there is zero power boost.

That's how Porsche has tailored their electric steering in the new 911. I'm not so sure BMW has the system set up that way. I believe it does actively boost steering with different modes(Sport,Sport + etc)
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  #32  
Old 12-17-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bayoucity View Post
From a feel standpoint, I don't feel the undulations of the pavement in my palms, I don't feel the vibration of the tires on the road, but a turn left or a turn right feels more responsive because the car feels faster and lighter."
I felt the same when I sold my E36 for the E46 ZHP. Granted you still feel something in the ZHP, just not as much as the E36. It's been going on for generations in BMWs, I think reviewers are catching on now because it's happening everywhere, even in Porsches, with EPS.
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  #33  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by iamthewalrus View Post
My thoughts exactly. In the last 20 years that I've been driving, cars have grown massively in size and power. But the roads haven't grown any bigger. Parking lots haven't grown any bigger. Most garages haven't grown any bigger unless you've bought a new house. And the speed limits haven't increased.
Since I live in a city, the new 3-series and Audi A4 can't be on my shopping list. They're just too big. The VW GTI, Audi A3, Subaru WRX, and BMW X1 fit my life much better. I owned a 1998 Audi A4 Quattro and a 2006 BMW 330Cic (E46 generation), and the new A4 and 3-series are utterly massive in comparison.
Go back an additional 20 years to the 1960s and you will see that cars then were for the most part much larger (although not necessarily heavier) than modern cars. I can remember when I was a kid and some of the neighbors had to extend their gargages to fit their new cars (and these were Fords, Chevrolets and Dodges). A modern large car, even a large sedan like an S Class Mercedes and a 7 Series would easily fit in one of those garages. Then a trend started where large cars began to get smaller.

Now we seem to be on a cycle where small cars are getting bigger. The Honda Accords and BMW 3 Series of today compared to the 1980 would be a good example. Virtually no manufacture is making a 3 door hatchback today and compact hatchbacks were one of the most popular configurations 25 years ago.

CA
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  #34  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
I felt the same when I sold my E36 for the E46 ZHP. Granted you still feel something in the ZHP, just not as much as the E36. It's been going on for generations in BMWs, I think reviewers are catching on now because it's happening everywhere, even in Porsches, with EPS.
I definitely don't miss the rattles and shakes in the E36 which the E46 refined out through fit and finish. However the E30 still has the best steering road feel and size compared to all the other three series.

Thank god they still sell Lotus Elises/Exiges that have no power steering at all (Like my AW11 MR2), they offer the best road feel.

Check out the latest Motortrend they did a comparison between the latest EPS BMW has versus their older hydraulic based steering rack.
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  #35  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:44 PM
LegendsNeverDie LegendsNeverDie is offline
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Here is some good information for you but obviously you have to drive them both back to back.

http://blogs.insideline.com/straight...x-vs-four.html


What Works:

Superb ride quality, yet still capable on twisty roads; strong four-cylinder engine almost makes you stop wanting a six; interior is spacious and well-built, with a logical control layout.

What Needs Work:
Doesn't handle, steer or stop as well as its predecessor; and tell us again why power seats and adjustable lumbar are optional.

Bottom Line:
The base 3 Series has never been quicker or more comfortable. It doesn't feel as much like a sport sedan as the old 328i, but unless you're truly hard-core, you probably won't care.

http://www.insideline.com/bmw/3-seri...and-video.html
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  #36  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:53 PM
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For what it's worth, the British enthusiast car mags like EVO and CAR, who are way more unbiased than paid advertisers like C&D or Motor Trend, love the F30 and the new 135i, both of which even they say have no steering feel whatsoever.

They basically love the cars despite the lack of steering feel.
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  #37  
Old 12-17-2012, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by av98 View Post
I definitely don't miss the rattles and shakes in the E36 which the E46 refined out through fit and finish. However the E30 still has the best steering road feel and size compared to all the other three series.

Thank god they still sell Lotus Elises/Exiges that have no power steering at all (Like my AW11 MR2), they offer the best road feel.

Check out the latest Motortrend they did a comparison between the latest EPS BMW has versus their older hydraulic based steering rack.
Me neither, I only miss my E36 if I'm on a really smooth road, which isn't often.

I drove a rental Toyota Yaris with no power steering in Curacao. That was kind of exciting, trying to keep it on the road amongst the rolling hills.
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  #38  
Old 12-17-2012, 02:24 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Here is some good information for you but obviously you have to drive them both back to back.

http://blogs.insideline.com/straight...x-vs-four.html


What Works:

Superb ride quality, yet still capable on twisty roads; strong four-cylinder engine almost makes you stop wanting a six; interior is spacious and well-built, with a logical control layout.

What Needs Work:
Doesn't handle, steer or stop as well as its predecessor; and tell us again why power seats and adjustable lumbar are optional.

Bottom Line:
The base 3 Series has never been quicker or more comfortable. It doesn't feel as much like a sport sedan as the old 328i, but unless you're truly hard-core, you probably won't care.

http://www.insideline.com/bmw/3-seri...and-video.html
For 2013 power seats are std on all models in the US. And low rolling resistance tires are the reason some poor braking results in car mag tests.
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  #39  
Old 12-17-2012, 03:28 PM
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For 2013 power seats are std on all models in the US. And low rolling resistance tires are the reason some poor braking results in car mag tests.
+1, on both counts. Virtually every E9x ever tested by these testers was a sport package model with a staggered summer performance tire set up. Now they're testing the F30 Sport line models, which come standard with a square set up and low rolling resistance all season tires. Of course, on the Sport line summer performance tires are a no-cost option, but they NEVER tell what tires are on the tested car. Most of their results indicate pretty clearly the tires are almost certainly the lesser models.

Having said that BMWNA deserves the brunt of the blame, because the reviewers only test cars that BMWNA supplies. Knowing the tests are going to focus on near at-the-limit performance it is truly stupid for BMWNA to supply cars that are not equipped for maximum performance results. Heck, if BMWNA would supply cars for testing that had summer performance tires AND the Dynamic Handling package we would be reading reviews that talked about how well the F30 handles and that for a mere $1,000 you can have a car that is able to transform from a luxury highway cruiser to a track ready sport machine with just the push of a button. Gotta wonder what marketing genius is running the test car loaner operation at BMWNA.
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  #40  
Old 12-17-2012, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
Having said that BMWNA deserves the brunt of the blame, because the reviewers only test cars that BMWNA supplies. Knowing the tests are going to focus on near at-the-limit performance it is truly stupid for BMWNA to supply cars that are not equipped for maximum performance results. Heck, if BMWNA would supply cars for testing that had summer performance tires AND the Dynamic Handling package we would be reading reviews that talked about how well the F30 handles and that for a mere $1,000 you can have a car that is able to transform from a luxury highway cruiser to a track ready sport machine with just the push of a button. Gotta wonder what marketing genius is running the test car loaner operation at BMWNA.
+1

When I bought my 2013 F30 I didn't even know that the DHP existed or that the Adaptive M could make a harsh suspension soft. I assumed because it had the "M" in the name that it was going to be something I wouldn't want.

Between the dealers and BMW themselves, they do a really bad job of getting the word out on important features.

BJ
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  #41  
Old 12-17-2012, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I have a 335i E93 and my wife drives it a lot and has never complained about heavy steering. I asked her if she found the steering to be heavy and she said she did not. Incidentally she has an issue with the strength and range of motion in her right arm due to an injury.

So the next time someone thinks that the steering on his car is too heavy keep in mind that a disabled woman has no problem with it.

CA
Ditto. Disabled too and the e9x 3 series never felt too heavy to turn. Felt fat in corners but that's different...
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  #42  
Old 12-20-2012, 11:59 PM
patrick_y patrick_y is offline
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BJ, stop being such a biased unhelpful poster...

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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Not at all.

If anything, the 3 Series has gained more feel if you define "feel" as a car that is faster, more powerful, and acts lighter and more nimble.

If you define "feel" as a harsh, noisy, uncomfortable ride with truck-like steering, then the E90 would be preferred.

BJ
BJ, you're putting your car on a pedestal.

And your post below (in the link) was not very nice. Just because someone bought a pre-owned BMW doesn't mean they're a secondary citizen on these forums.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...54&postcount=6
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  #43  
Old 12-21-2012, 03:07 AM
WaxComb WaxComb is offline
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335i coupe owner who had a F30 328i base loaner for a week.

- The steering is definitely firmer on the E9x. When I finally got my car back I noticed this immediately.
- The power of the 328i engine is very good (not 335i amazing, but very quick.)
- The noise of the 328i sucks in comparison to my 335i though.
- Ride was better in the base 328i vs my 335i coupe w/ 18in wheels
- Handling was worse in the base 328i (not an apples to apples comparison since the 328i didn't have at least sports suspension). I drove it on "The Snake" in Malibu and it definitely felt more out of control than my 335i.
- The interior materials were fine, but I didn't like the leatherette compared with my leather seating surfaces
- The trunk hinges didn't bother me (probably because the loaner had comfort access). I started just doing the kick to open the trunk.
- Comfort steering is weird when you push it mid corner (it felt like it tightened). Sports steering felt great at speed and was still lighter than my E92 steering.

All in all I think the F30 is great. I'm not giving my 335i yet, but who knows when the new 4 series or 2 series comes out.
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  #44  
Old 12-21-2012, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by patrick_y View Post

BJ, you're putting your car on a pedestal.
I'm not putting any car on any pedestal as it's just not that important to me.

Unless I'm misreading, you own an 10-year-old 5 Series, you haven't owned an E90 or an F30 so I'm struggling to understand how you add anything of value to this particular conversation.

BJ
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  #45  
Old 12-21-2012, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I'm not putting any car on any pedestal as it's just not that important to me.

Unless I'm misreading, you own an 10-year-old 5 Series, you haven't owned an E90 or an F30 so I'm struggling to understand how you add anything of value to this particular conversation.

BJ
Prenowned F30s are appearing on dealer's lot, I think it is time we have a preowned F30 forum setup so BJ does not feel violated. Once the new forum is setup, BJ can go there and stay there too, since his F30 is no longer new.

Soon anyone who just got a new F30 could also feel violated knowing BJ is here driving a used two-year-old car.
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  #46  
Old 12-21-2012, 08:56 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaxComb View Post
335i coupe owner who had a F30 328i base loaner for a week.

- The steering is definitely firmer on the E9x. When I finally got my car back I noticed this immediately.
- The power of the 328i engine is very good (not 335i amazing, but very quick.)
- The noise of the 328i sucks in comparison to my 335i though.
- Ride was better in the base 328i vs my 335i coupe w/ 18in wheels
- Handling was worse in the base 328i (not an apples to apples comparison since the 328i didn't have at least sports suspension). I drove it on "The Snake" in Malibu and it definitely felt more out of control than my 335i.
- The interior materials were fine, but I didn't like the leatherette compared with my leather seating surfaces
- The trunk hinges didn't bother me (probably because the loaner had comfort access). I started just doing the kick to open the trunk.
- Comfort steering is weird when you push it mid corner (it felt like it tightened). Sports steering felt great at speed and was still lighter than my E92 steering.

All in all I think the F30 is great. I'm not giving my 335i yet, but who knows when the new 4 series or 2 series comes out.
So many loaners are base suspension cars which will not do much to sway E90 owners.

My dealer recently gave me a F30 335 Sport loaded to the nines. That car with it's less grippy tires and less grippy pads made my smaller braked 328 feel like a more confidence inspiring car. The standard pads and all season tires make the F30 brakes very un BMW like.

The handling of an F30 BASE loaner they gave me, lots of body roll and felt floaty at highway speeds.
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  #47  
Old 12-21-2012, 11:48 PM
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Just came out of a 328i xDrive loaner that I had for a few days while my E92 335i xDrive was in for service.

My take is that BMW spent *way* too much effort on "Eco Pro" gimmicks, and nowhere near enough focus on driving dynamics. Why should I have to press a bunch of buttons to try to make the car behave like a European sports sedan should, instead of driving like a Prius? Hit a button so the car doesn't turn itself off every time it stops, hit another button to keep the transmission from starting out in what feels like 3rd gear from lights, etc. And there isn't a button to make the 4 cylinder exhaust note sound befitting of a nearly $50,000 car. Come to think of it, even the steering was vague and artificial like that aforementioned Prius.

At least in a Prius you're rewarded with 50 mpg fuel economy for putting up with the lack of driving dynamics, but the 328 returned a whopping 3 MPG better than my 335 doing the same commute. I know that's a lot for a manufacturer struggling to meet tightening fuel economy standards, but to the actual vehicle owner, I don't think it's worth all the sacrifices that were made to eek out those few extra MPGs.

It's not all bad news though. The body structure of the F30 is tight as a drum, wind noise is noticeably lower than in the E9x, the automatic transmission is a huge improvement over the old GM unit, and the HUD and other tech gadgetry works well. None of those improvements kept me from being glad to hand back the key to the loaner and get back behind the wheel of my "old" E92 though.

Sure hope the upcoming F32 has much better driving dynamics, or my second BMW just might be my last. C'mon Munich - don't sacrifice the driving experience that sets you apart from the rest of the herd under the guise of efficiency!
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  #48  
Old 12-22-2012, 07:42 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikenski View Post
Just came out of a 328i xDrive loaner that I had for a few days while my E92 335i xDrive was in for service.

My take is that BMW spent *way* too much effort on "Eco Pro" gimmicks, and nowhere near enough focus on driving dynamics. Why should I have to press a bunch of buttons to try to make the car behave like a European sports sedan should, instead of driving like a Prius? Hit a button so the car doesn't turn itself off every time it stops, hit another button to keep the transmission from starting out in what feels like 3rd gear from lights, etc. And there isn't a button to make the 4 cylinder exhaust note sound befitting of a nearly $50,000 car. Come to think of it, even the steering was vague and artificial like that aforementioned Prius.

At least in a Prius you're rewarded with 50 mpg fuel economy for putting up with the lack of driving dynamics, but the 328 returned a whopping 3 MPG better than my 335 doing the same commute. I know that's a lot for a manufacturer struggling to meet tightening fuel economy standards, but to the actual vehicle owner, I don't think it's worth all the sacrifices that were made to eek out those few extra MPGs.

It's not all bad news though. The body structure of the F30 is tight as a drum, wind noise is noticeably lower than in the E9x, the automatic transmission is a huge improvement over the old GM unit, and the HUD and other tech gadgetry works well. None of those improvements kept me from being glad to hand back the key to the loaner and get back behind the wheel of my "old" E92 though.

Sure hope the upcoming F32 has much better driving dynamics, or my second BMW just might be my last. C'mon Munich - don't sacrifice the driving experience that sets you apart from the rest of the herd under the guise of efficiency!

I had stop start coded at the dealer, no need to press a button.

I only press ONE button when I get in the car, and that's to set it to SPORT.

X-Drives are not available with the Sport suspension and every standard suspension F30 I have driven has felt lacking and does not present itself well to former E90 drivers.
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  #49  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:16 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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It appears BMW is trying to address the concerns of the euthusiasts. A coilover suspension system will be available that will lower the body by 20mm, twice that of the sport or m-sport. The performance exhaust is also available.

I am curious if the coilover can be ordered from the factory. The exhaust can be ordered and installed at the port of entry.

With this two items, the driving dynamics can be vastly improved. Even BMW stressed they are improving the "chassis" with the performance parts. I think they heard enough about the ATS chassis

Last edited by dtc100; 12-22-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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  #50  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:27 AM
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IndyMike IndyMike is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I think they heard enough about the ATS chassis
We enthusiasts should be hoping not enough until they offer a factory optioned, or aftermarket performance limited-slip diff as well.
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