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  #1  
Old 01-01-2004, 01:16 PM
cmcg cmcg is offline
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330i without sports package

Does anyone have a 330i without the sports package? I test drove a 325i without the sports package and a 330i with a sports package. While the 330i definitely had much more power to it, I also noticed the "rougher" ride but couldn't figure out if it's the difference between 325 and 330 or the difference between sports package and no sports package. Any insight, anyone? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2004, 01:21 PM
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Plaz Plaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcg
Does anyone have a 330i without the sports package? I test drove a 325i without the sports package and a 330i with a sports package. While the 330i definitely had much more power to it, I also noticed the "rougher" ride but couldn't figure out if it's the difference between 325 and 330 or the difference between sports package and no sports package. Any insight, anyone? Thanks.
All 330s have the sport suspension. Larger wheels and low-profile tires on the sport package definitely give it a somewhat firmer ride, though.

Once accustomed to the firmer ride, most people -- well, most enthusiasts, anyway -- vastly prefer it. The road feel and dynamics as a result of a relatively taut suspension are a large part of what make a BMW a BMW.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2004, 03:09 PM
ff ff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plaz
All 330s have the sport suspension. Larger wheels and low-profile tires on the sport package definitely give it a somewhat firmer ride, though.

Once accustomed to the firmer ride, most people -- well, most enthusiasts, anyway -- vastly prefer it. The road feel and dynamics as a result of a relatively taut suspension are a large part of what make a BMW a BMW.

I couldn't think of the right way to say exactly what you said. Well, not in a nice manner, anyhow. Anytime I hear people comment about a ride being 'rough' or 'harsh', especially when referring to a BMW, I get a little annoyed. I think Americans (in particular) have been so brainwashed by the Big 3 that a suspension needs to soft and fluffy, that when they ride in a taut-handling car they are immediately turned off and usually criticize that suspension without knowing the real-world benefits of a said suspension.

If you want a fluffy suspension, go buy a Big 3 or Toyota product.
  #4  
Old 01-01-2004, 04:43 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ff
I couldn't think of the right way to say exactly what you said. Well, not in a nice manner, anyhow. Anytime I hear people comment about a ride being 'rough' or 'harsh', especially when referring to a BMW, I get a little annoyed. I think Americans (in particular) have been so brainwashed by the Big 3 that a suspension needs to soft and fluffy, that when they ride in a taut-handling car they are immediately turned off and usually criticize that suspension without knowing the real-world benefits of a said suspension.

If you want a fluffy suspension, go buy a Big 3 or Toyota product.
What Mr. ff (and Plaz, too) said.
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  #5  
Old 01-01-2004, 07:21 PM
cmcg cmcg is offline
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Thanks Plaz, ff and wingspan. Please do not assume that I prefer a less "rough" ride simply because I asked my question. Some facts: I'm not even American, have never owned an American car and actually prefer the "rougher" ride. Maybe instead of calling it "rougher", I should say "more in touch with the roads" -- English is my second language.

What I'm trying to figure out is what gave the 330i 5 sp with sports package that I test drove the "more in touch with the roads" ride. Was it just the fact that it was a 330 or was it the sports package? I know all 330is come with the sports suspension and they all have 17 inch wheels. I understand that the sports package provides wider wheels but they are also low-profile ones which many on this forum don't like. I like the sports seats but can also probably live without them. The other difference with the sports package is the aero look which I personally do not like as much. So, I'm trying to figure out how much incremental "more in touch with the roads" feel the sports package gives with just the lower-profile and wider tires. Should I get the sports package and sacrifice getting the regular tires and the exterior look that I prefer?

Thanks again for all your input.
  #6  
Old 01-01-2004, 09:56 PM
numbersguy numbersguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcg
I like the sports seats but can also probably live without them. The other difference with the sports package is the aero look which I personally do not like as much.
Pay special attention to the seats. Most people have a strong opinion about them one way or the other and those who prefer the sport seats would not be happy with the standard seats and vice versa.

The suspension should not be a major factor in your decision since the only difference is in the wheels and tires. If your dealer won't substitute standard wheels and tires free of charge, you can easily find another owner who will swap you straight across.

The aero parts on the body are another matter. Most people like them better than the standard parts and some will even purchase them new and have them painted and installed at considerable expense. Again, a straight-across swap with somebody who wants your parts would be easy to arrange, but this involves more work than just swapping wheels. You might get used to the aero look if you give it a chance.

Good luck in your decision.
  #7  
Old 01-01-2004, 09:59 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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If you don't want the seats or the "aero look" just get the regular 330. You can always put higher performance tires on it at a later date--- and you'll have the added advantage that the non-sport 330's wheels aren't staggered-- which will mean less understeer. I wouldn't be surprised if a non sport 330 wearing good tires out handled a sport 330 due to the staggered wheels sizes on the sport.
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2004, 07:19 AM
WDC330i WDC330i is offline
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I had an early 330i (one of the first 2001 MYs) WITHOUT sport suspension (BMW made it standard later). Ultimately, I found it too soft in the corners (we had a Z3 roadster at the time as well, for purposes of comparison). I now have a 2002 330i with SP and much prefer it. However, we also have a 325xiT and I also enjoy its firm but more forgiving ride. Which leads me to suggest the following possibility if you want a less road-reactive ride than the 330i with standard sport and still want the 3 liter power:

If you have some money to burn buy a 330xi. The ride quality is somewhere between a non-sport 3 and a sport 3. The ride is firm and communicative without being harsh, and the steering is nicely weighted between one-hand light and two-hand heavy. There is a bit more body roll with the xi and it isn't as exhilarating through the curves as an SP car, but it's a very competent machine and has its own pleasures.

If you don't order the sport package, you won't get the aerodynamic cosmetics.

And don't pay attention to anyone who says you shouldn't buy a 3 series if you don't want the sport suspension. There's a world of difference between even a non-sport 3 series and an American cruisemobile or a Camry. Don't let anyone bully or shame you away from what you really want.

Last edited by WDC330i; 01-02-2004 at 07:29 AM.
  #9  
Old 01-02-2004, 10:45 AM
cmcg cmcg is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 330xi PP/SP/CP Xenon
Thanks all for your suggestions. WDC330i, you have an interesting suggestion. I'm pretty sure I want to get the 330 and whether it's SP or not, it still has the sports suspension, which is what I prefer. Maybe I'll try to find a way to test drive the 330xi. Since I'm in NC, I don't think dealers actually stock xi, but I'll be up in New England in a couple weeks and a few friends have the 3-series there so I'll see if anyone as an xi I can try out. The cost of the sports package is almost as much as going to an xi. Plus, if I ever move back to the Northeast, I'll probably be glad I have the xi.
  #10  
Old 01-02-2004, 10:54 AM
WDC330i WDC330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcg
Thanks all for your suggestions. WDC330i, you have an interesting suggestion. I'm pretty sure I want to get the 330 and whether it's SP or not, it still has the sports suspension, which is what I prefer. Maybe I'll try to find a way to test drive the 330xi. Since I'm in NC, I don't think dealers actually stock xi, but I'll be up in New England in a couple weeks and a few friends have the 3-series there so I'll see if anyone as an xi I can try out. The cost of the sports package is almost as much as going to an xi. Plus, if I ever move back to the Northeast, I'll probably be glad I have the xi.
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