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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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  #1  
Old 02-27-2017, 07:07 PM
Stones1970 Stones1970 is offline
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230i vs 430i

Hi all,

I'm new and going to order my first BMW later this year. I started test driving this last weekend. It's between the 2 and the 4 for me.

All the auto magazines and people on these forums rave about the 2 and are enthusiastic, but comparatively lukewarm, about the 4. I test drove a 230i M Sport convertible (only M Sport on the lot) and a 430i M Sport coupe. I liked them both. The 4 felt a little on the heavy side, but that also made it feel a little more luxurious. The 2 was more fun and incredibly agile, but I'm not sure if I'd like the 4's creature comforts in Bay Area traffic. The 4 was still a lot of fun, and I really liked the suspension. I drove a base suspension 4 and that was crap.

I am a little concerned that the 230i coupe (don't want a vert) will have a harsher ride since it apparently has a stiffer suspension than the soft top. This needs to be a daily driver but also a fun car. Because I'm new to BMW and these kinds of cars, I'm concerned based on what I've read on Bimmerfest and 2addicts that if I get the 4, I'll be getting a car that's too heavy and "boaty," even though I don't realize it now, and I'll regret it once I'm more used to driving it.

I also thought the H/K and interior was better in the 4.

Last edited by Stones1970; 02-27-2017 at 07:09 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2017, 01:29 PM
Stones1970 Stones1970 is offline
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  #3  
Old 02-28-2017, 03:04 PM
ILD_757 ILD_757 is offline
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Going to come down to personal preference on that one. I think the 2 series is too small to be a daily driver, but I also get what people are saying about the 4 being heavy. It'd be nice if they have a middle ground, you know, like a 3 series coupe. Wonder why they never did that? Oh wait...
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2017, 04:02 PM
Stones1970 Stones1970 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILD_757 View Post
Going to come down to personal preference on that one. I think the 2 series is too small to be a daily driver, but I also get what people are saying about the 4 being heavy. It'd be nice if they have a middle ground, you know, like a 3 series coupe. Wonder why they never did that? Oh wait...
I drove the 4 first, and it felt great, but then I drove the 2, and that felt even better. I'm obviously leaning toward the 4. Even though the 4's extra space is in the backseat, that makes a difference in terms of the overall feeling of space the car offers. Plus, more room to transport things or for road trips, which might help since a coupe is already somewhat impractical. And the audio system makes a big difference to me.

On the other hand, the 2 is just so fun.
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2017, 04:31 PM
Mark K Mark K is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stones1970 View Post
I drove the 4 first, and it felt great, but then I drove the 2, and that felt even better. I'm obviously leaning toward the 4. Even though the 4's extra space is in the backseat, that makes a difference in terms of the overall feeling of space the car offers. Plus, more room to transport things or for road trips, which might help since a coupe is already somewhat impractical. And the audio system makes a big difference to me.

On the other hand, the 2 is just so fun.
Dude, just stop. Right now. I did 300+ test drive miles in 4 different Caymans before putting deposit down and ordering what I wanted. Didn't help all that much, I went with my gut - i.e. what I really thought I wanted. I took me around 1,000 miles in then new car to fully understand what I bought - and I was right to go with my gut.

You are overthinking it and test drives are overrated. Get what you REALLY want and you will not regret it.

Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2017, 04:50 PM
Stones1970 Stones1970 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
Dude, just stop. Right now. I did 300+ test drive miles in 4 different Caymans before putting deposit down and ordering what I wanted. Didn't help all that much, I went with my gut - i.e. what I really thought I wanted. I took me around 1,000 miles in then new car to fully understand what I bought - and I was right to go with my gut.

You are overthinking it and test drives are overrated. Get what you REALLY want and you will not regret it.

Good luck!
Thank you! This is really helpful to hear. I'm 28, and this is my first big purchase, so I've been worried about making the wrong decision. Great way to put it--my gut already knows what I want, and it will take time with the car to finally learn what and why that's so.

I'm going to wait until the facelift models are out because it sounds like they get rear view camera standard. So my 430i build will probably be MSport, Metallic Gray/Venetian Beige, H/K. No tech package for me.
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2017, 04:52 PM
tiseminger tiseminger is offline
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Agree with Mark K. And I think what you said most was that you really liked the 4...so go for it. I have a '17 4 GC and love it. Daily driver, road trips, toss on back roads. May not be as maneuverable as 2 series, but it's been a blast. Good luck.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2017, 05:17 PM
RockyM RockyM is online now
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Think about what you will be happy with 1 year, 3 years, 5 years down the road. Some cars you get tired of pretty quick. Yeah, my 340 is a bit heavy and won't handle like a 240 but I will be more comfortable with it long term. IMHO Good luck!
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2017, 07:30 PM
BTL BTL is offline
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Agree with the other posts above. For what it's worth, I've been very happy with my 428i. It's very comfortable, and while a little longer than I'd like, it's been a solid performer and I have no regrets choosing the 4 series over the 2 series. Having said that, my colleague owns an M235i, so I can see some advantages to the 2 series, putting the power advantage of his car aside. I'd say if you're a very spirited daily driver, meaning you utilize the power:weight advantage and cornering potential at least 1-2 times a day, then go with the 2 series. If not, I think you'll be happy with the 4 series.

I don't know if it's just me, but on city streets (even the wider ones here in OKC), I do find the longer wheelbase quite noticeable, and I give myself a little more room for my 90 degree right turns. It's fine day to day, as I do a mix of city and highway driving and streets here are pretty much straight and flat, but I know streets in SF/Bay Area can be tighter, and there are hills, so if you like to make your turns fast in those settings, you might want to revisit the maneuverability of the 2 series. Also, parking should be easier in the 2 series -- again, might be something to consider given your location.

If this will be your only car, you'll probably be happy with the 4 series. Definitely consider the 2 series if you already have a larger secondary vehicle. Hope this helps!
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2017, 08:46 PM
Stones1970 Stones1970 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTL View Post
Agree with the other posts above. For what it's worth, I've been very happy with my 428i. It's very comfortable, and while a little longer than I'd like, it's been a solid performer and I have no regrets choosing the 4 series over the 2 series. Having said that, my colleague owns an M235i, so I can see some advantages to the 2 series, putting the power advantage of his car aside. I'd say if you're a very spirited daily driver, meaning you utilize the power:weight advantage and cornering potential at least 1-2 times a day, then go with the 2 series. If not, I think you'll be happy with the 4 series.

I don't know if it's just me, but on city streets (even the wider ones here in OKC), I do find the longer wheelbase quite noticeable, and I give myself a little more room for my 90 degree right turns. It's fine day to day, as I do a mix of city and highway driving and streets here are pretty much straight and flat, but I know streets in SF/Bay Area can be tighter, and there are hills, so if you like to make your turns fast in those settings, you might want to revisit the maneuverability of the 2 series. Also, parking should be easier in the 2 series -- again, might be something to consider given your location.

If this will be your only car, you'll probably be happy with the 4 series. Definitely consider the 2 series if you already have a larger secondary vehicle. Hope this helps!
Interesting and good food for thought. A smaller car in SF is definitely an asset, and I do enjoy having a smaller, nimble car for city driving. My brother has a Mazda3 and it's a lot of fun to take around the corners in day to day driving.

My daily commute is city streets in SF; on the weekends, I like to head across the bridge to be outdoors in Marin, so I have a mix of stop and go traffic, highway, and backroad driving in an average week.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2017, 06:33 AM
SteveinArizona SteveinArizona is offline
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I agree. I bought a 330e because I wanted/needed the phev and it wasn't offered in either the 2 or 4 series. My ideal car would be a two series with at least the 250 hp engine and the luxury/comfort of a 4 series. I also like a smaller, more maneuverable vehicle. So I am hoping that when I am ready to replace my 330e that there will be an option such as this.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2017, 03:20 PM
M3Joe M3Joe is offline
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i would recommend trying out the 240i/440i as well...i was all set to buy a 428 until i tried the 435...well worth the extra $
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2017, 06:40 AM
Stones1970 Stones1970 is offline
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Is the 2 twitchy at highway speeds? I wasn't able to take it past 60, but some people online say the 2 isn't the best cruiser because it can get twitchy at 80+, which is what I normally do on the highway.
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  #14  
Old 03-02-2017, 06:57 AM
pgold1230 pgold1230 is offline
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I was looking seriously at a 2016 (new) 328 to replace my wife's '09 328 x-drive. She really loved the '09 car. When we drove the new 328 she knew immediately she didn't like the feel of it - especially the engine. "It's quick, but doesn't feel or sound right." A woman after my own heart. Well, I said they do make a 3 series with a six, a 340. Let's try that. Took her 2 minutes of driving it, and she looked at me and said "this is what I want." Although both of us loved the hydraulic steering in the older car, she absolutely loves the 340. So yep, go with your gut. She did - no regrets.
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  #15  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:30 AM
Eladoppel Eladoppel is offline
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I am in a totally different place than the OP, but I had the same hang-up. The internet says "the 2 series is SO much better than the 4 series" but when i drove each I just liked the 440i convertible better. I am 64 and have been buying/selling/leasing cars, trucks and (especially) bikes for decades. I know that going with my gut is the right thing to do, but this forum really helped. I plan to order my 2018 Estoril Blue M440i drive cabriolet today or Monday and (hopefully) pick it up in Munich thus summer. Thanks for the reminder!
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  #16  
Old 04-21-2017, 06:40 AM
Mark K Mark K is online now
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Originally Posted by Eladoppel View Post
I plan to order my 2018 Estoril Blue M440i drive cabriolet today or Monday and (hopefully) pick it up in Munich thus summer. Thanks for the reminder!
Forget "hopefully". Just do it! Trust me on that one. Hopefully, you will read this before going to the dealer and finalizing the deal and delivery method

Congratulations!
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  #17  
Old 04-21-2017, 07:21 AM
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Have both a 135is the 2's predecessor & a 435. They are almost identically equipped given what is available on each car. For an all round 7/365 day car the 435 wins. The 135is is more fun (6MT) but despite the hype its not all that much lighter than the 435 when equally equipped.

240 174" 3662LBS

440 182" 3721LBS

Both with a top end M-Sport interior the 4 still has a few more nice to have things. As for any suspension harshness to get a solid sport ride order the real time suspension system. Its multi-modal with the push of a button or shifter movement.

Stones1970: cars designed to run @ 155mph on the autobahn are not twitchy @ 80MPH unless they are totally screwed up by driving over too many curbs.
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  #18  
Old 04-21-2017, 07:27 AM
Eladoppel Eladoppel is offline
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The dealer just got back to me with both lease and buy pricing for European Delivery. I almost never keep a vehicle over 36 months so will probably do the lease. Thanks for the advice and confirmation that the 440 makes sense as a daily driver.
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