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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 11-16-2011, 03:51 PM
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Car and Driver First BMW F30 2012 3 Series Road Test Impressions

Car and Driver reviews 2012 BMW 3 Series Sedan

Car and Driver was another luck media company that got to be the first to get their outside hands on the 2012 328i F30. So far this is the harshest review of the F30 3 series sedan yet. The other review focus on press kit stats, Car and Driver jumps right on the changes from the E90. Here is what they thing of it -

Quote:
Are you ready for a BMW 3-series capable of automatic hands-off parallel parking? A Bimmer smart enough to teach you hypermiling, one equipped with enough onboard cameras to scout locations for Warner Brothers? Welcome to the 2012 328i, BMW's stab at charming the More Generation.

Test-driving the new 3-series this week in Spain revealed a shuffle of BMW's priority deck. The current E90 3-series earned its respect and compact-sports-sedan supremacy with a double dose of driving fun backed up by laudable performance credentials. With the sixth-generation 3-series, BMW is reaching beyond mere dynamic attributes to stir comfort, convenience, and far higher efficiency into the mix. To appeal to those demanding everything from their daily driver-that "we deserve more" crowd-the new F30 is slightly larger inside and out and loaded with features hard-core drivers-the "we love our BMWs" set-never imagined.

The fifth-gen 3-series greeted its driver with a secret handshake: high-effort steering that bends the car smartly into every corner with total authority over body motion. The 2012 edition that arrives in February says "Have a nice day" with normal steering effort and a ride that glosses over pavement flaws the way cream cheese fills bagel crevices. Impact harshness is significantly reduced. But with more rubber between you and the road, the cornering response isn't quite as crisp and hints of roll, heave, and pitch occasionally fluster the equilibrium. Adjusted to its most aggressive setting, the F30's optional adaptive suspension provides less body control than outgoing E90 models.
Read the complete Car and Driver review and let us know what you think - http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2011, 09:07 PM
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Wow, that review makes me wonder if I'll dislike the F30 even more than my two e90s.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:36 AM
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Reading C+D review tells me from experience it's more about the the size of wheels+tires than car's steering and suspension of the test car, in this case a Sport Line equipped with the optional 19 inch wheels and tires that maybe contributing to the "Have a nice day" driving experience. Retro fit the car with standard 18's or even drop down to a 17 and it provide a different experience.

Last edited by Vector Pilot; 11-17-2011 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:56 AM
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It's as big as an older generation 5-series and apparently handles like one. I'll keep my E46.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:06 AM
Vector Pilot Vector Pilot is offline
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Originally Posted by tdd View Post
It's as big as an older generation 5-series and apparently handles like one. I'll keep my E46.
Looking at your car, I agree, I too would not part with it.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2011, 06:27 AM
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Looking at your car, I agree, I too would not part with it.
Thanks! At 10 years of age and 73K on the clock, it should last a while.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2011, 08:54 AM
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I guess I'll wait for the F20 to get here. The E90 is already a porker, and though the F30 loses some weight, it's even bigger and sounds like it drives bigger too.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2011, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueguydotcom View Post
Wow, that review makes me wonder if I'll dislike the F30 even more than my two e90s.
You hate them so much you bought 2?
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2011, 09:03 AM
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The guy who wrote this sounds more critical of the 3 series buyer than he does of the 3 series. "These More Generation people, how could they be inane enough to ask for a car like this. BMW has rewarded their stupidity." (paraphrase).

It's a good thing he isn't carrying a quota.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2011, 10:38 AM
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Interesting, telling and worrying. My experience is C+D are usually so in love with BMW that they tend to gloss over the flaws of a new product quite a bit. In my opinion they're more BMW biased than Roundel magazine, and that's a car club mag!

Is this the first review of a 3-series in C+D that's been so critical? While I agree that tires and suspension might make a big difference to the feel, ISTR they were all over the original E90 with the base wheels and tires as a great car with wonderful road feel. This is the first time I've heard anyone say anything about the road feel of the F30 being anything less than the E90. And even then I found the E90 a little lacking compared to the E46.

That's concerning... hopefully it IS just a tire and suspension thing.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:38 AM
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I love the steering in my E90. Oh well! Can't have everything! I want to try the 4 banger. That should be fun.
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2011, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsent View Post
You hate them so much you bought 2?
Had a 2006 300i - dumped it within a year. Two years later a kid made the Cooper S difficult so I opted for a 335i as my family car. Lemoned it within a year. Never really took a shine to either one but the competition was so weak I had few options.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2011, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueguydotcom View Post
Had a 2006 300i - dumped it within a year. Two years later a kid made the Cooper S difficult so I opted for a 335i as my family car. Lemoned it within a year. Never really took a shine to either one but the competition was so weak I had few options.
This is an often heard refrain.
Person A: I hate the E90 so much, it's fat. why can;t they just keep making the E30 M3 for the next 50 years.

Person B: If you hate it so bad then why did you buy one (or 2)?

Person A: Because it's way better than every other POS on the market.

It should also be noted that the test car had the optional electronic steering.
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  #14  
Old 11-25-2011, 06:09 PM
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The AutoCar reviewer loved the lightness of the steering... how precise/effortless it is. I'm guessing the new 3 will drive more like an Audi.
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  #15  
Old 11-28-2011, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
Interesting, telling and worrying. My experience is C+D are usually so in love with BMW that they tend to gloss over the flaws of a new product quite a bit. In my opinion they're more BMW biased than Roundel magazine, and that's a car club mag!

Is this the first review of a 3-series in C+D that's been so critical? While I agree that tires and suspension might make a big difference to the feel, ISTR they were all over the original E90 with the base wheels and tires as a great car with wonderful road feel. This is the first time I've heard anyone say anything about the road feel of the F30 being anything less than the E90. And even then I found the E90 a little lacking compared to the E46.

That's concerning... hopefully it IS just a tire and suspension thing.
I agree, am concerned. BMW has sold out...to the "comfort" & bling bling set
Moving in the direction of Benz, Audi & Lexus...for SOMEthat may be good news...for all of us "focused" drivers, who have come to love BMW's for their "feel & feedback"...
...the F30 is the beginning of the end!
I will pass on it...and buy all the E9x's I can, and the E9x M3 is gonna be a classic.
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2011, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16n69 View Post
I agree, am concerned. BMW has sold out...to the "comfort" & bling bling set
Moving in the direction of Benz, Audi & Lexus...for SOMEthat may be good news...for all of us "focused" drivers, who have come to love BMW's for their "feel & feedback"...
...the F30 is the beginning of the end!
I will pass on it...and buy all the E9x's I can, and the E9x M3 is gonna be a classic.
That is what they said about the E90. Oh no it is bigger and bloated and I will pass. Bottom line is people in general resist any kind of change.
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  #17  
Old 11-28-2011, 08:59 PM
16n69 16n69 is offline
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That is what they said about the E90. Oh no it is bigger and bloated and I will pass. Bottom line is people in general resist any kind of change.
oh no,no,no...I LOVE "change'...
...but let's make it change for the better, HOWEVER...staying "true" to the brand...the LEGACY
the reputation and substance as the "ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE"
They are capitulating and NO LONGER "leading" but following, compromising their engineering values and the very thing that bulit the "brand".

Resistant to change...NO, give me more change like that E9x M3 with that outrageous (award winning) S65 NA V8...or how they streamlined that beautiful E46 and make it more aggressive looking while giving the top 3 series more power than the outgoing M3(E46)...scared of change ,oh no.

How about improving on that S65...squeezing more torque out of it & better MPG...can be done.
Or maybe they can once and for all solve the HPFP issues on the 335i ( N54 & N55)...and how 'bout giving ALL F30's (335's) that E9x 335is Z4 35is HP & torque?
There is some "change", we could feel good about.
How 'bout keeping that minimalist yet classy & classic German interior ( form follows function) ...but just improving even more the fit & finish and quality & reliability...since they are already charging us up the wazoo for these cars and the roundel stuck on them.

But THIS kind of "change"(F30) scares me.
Gone is the wonderful organic steering, handling, road feel, and in with the Japanese bling and smaltzy interiors with it's Mazda like matching colors and cheap pop up nav...
And that RIDICULOUS HOOD LINE...cut straight across the front, the WORST design on ANY car I have ever seen! Cannot live with that, ugly beyond belief...and FUNNY, Audi, Benz, Porsche has not come up with that (for safety???)...give me a break!

Last edited by 16n69; 11-28-2011 at 09:13 PM.
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2011, 04:33 AM
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Does anybody slew find it odd that there had been not one mention of the stop/start feature in any of these car mag. reviews?
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  #19  
Old 11-29-2011, 04:55 AM
SoonerJohn SoonerJohn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16n69 View Post
I agree, am concerned. BMW has sold out...to the "comfort" & bling bling set
Moving in the direction of Benz, Audi & Lexus...for SOMEthat may be good news...for all of us "focused" drivers, who have come to love BMW's for their "feel & feedback"...
...the F30 is the beginning of the end!
I will pass on it...and buy all the E9x's I can, and the E9x M3 is gonna be a classic.
Wouldn't it be prudent to wait until you've seen and driven one yourself before you declare the car a failure and "the beginning of the end"????
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:55 AM
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Love people who overreact even tho they havent even driven the car
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:56 AM
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Wouldn't it be prudent to wait until you've seen and driven one yourself before you declare the car a failure and "the beginning of the end"????
That would make to much sense.
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  #22  
Old 11-29-2011, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vector Pilot View Post
Reading C+D review tells me from experience it's more about the the size of wheels+tires than car's steering and suspension of the test car, in this case a Sport Line equipped with the optional 19 inch wheels and tires that maybe contributing to the "Have a nice day" driving experience. Retro fit the car with standard 18's or even drop down to a 17 and it provide a different experience.
No doubt it would provide a different experience. But switching to taller sidewalls, less tread and a softer suspension certainly isn't going to address their "it's too soft" complaint.


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I just love how a 4 year old car/design is STILL the benchmark which other automakers aspire to reach. Still winning comparisons . Still very much in the conversation. Is the E9x M3 a legend? You bet your @ss it is.
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  #23  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92116 View Post
That is what they said about the E90. Oh no it is bigger and bloated and I will pass. Bottom line is people in general resist any kind of change.
And I passed on the E9x... what does that tell you? The only E9x I found that really felt like a drivers car to me was the E92 M3. Tomorrow I pick up my 135i which at the moment is about the most BMW-like BMW I can find with four seats. Also love the driving of the Z4, but I need the extra sitting space

I went back and forth for a while, thinking about an E9x, but eventually decided to pass on this generation of 3'er. The 5'er was a passing thing because I thought I needed a bigger vehicle... turned out I didn't. Even then, the 545i with the 6MT was easily on par with most every E9x I ever drove... except the aforementioned E92 M3. I came within a squeak of buying that car, but as I said I ended up with the 1'er because it was just more fun and involving... and a lot cheaper.

I'll wait to see on the F3x... I REALLY want to like it because in a few years I'll inevitably buy another new car (I have automotive ADD) and I would like it to be the F3x... but if it's as soft or softer than the E9x then it'll be the new 1'er/2'er or I'll be looking elsewhere. Subaru's new coupe looks pretty damned nice...
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  #24  
Old 11-29-2011, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
And I passed on the E9x... what does that tell you? The only E9x I found that really felt like a drivers car to me was the E92 M3. Tomorrow I pick up my 135i which at the moment is about the most BMW-like BMW I can find with four seats. Also love the driving of the Z4, but I need the extra sitting space

I went back and forth for a while, thinking about an E9x, but eventually decided to pass on this generation of 3'er. The 5'er was a passing thing because I thought I needed a bigger vehicle... turned out I didn't. Even then, the 545i with the 6MT was easily on par with most every E9x I ever drove... except the aforementioned E92 M3. I came within a squeak of buying that car, but as I said I ended up with the 1'er because it was just more fun and involving... and a lot cheaper.

I'll wait to see on the F3x... I REALLY want to like it because in a few years I'll inevitably buy another new car (I have automotive ADD) and I would like it to be the F3x... but if it's as soft or softer than the E9x then it'll be the new 1'er/2'er or I'll be looking elsewhere. Subaru's new coupe looks pretty damned nice...
What transmission did you get in the 135?
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  #25  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:18 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
Tomorrow I pick up my 135i which at the moment is about the most BMW-like BMW I can find with four seats.

it's as soft or softer than the E9x then it'll be the new 1'er/2'er or I'll be looking elsewhere. Subaru's new coupe looks pretty damned nice...
The upcoming Subie does look nice.

So, you are a certain kind of BMW enthusiast. There are quite a few like you - you decry the refinement and added comfort in later generations of BMW cars and might prefer that BMW continue to build the E36 indefinitely. There's nothing wrong with that.

Except that BMW has determined that for every one of you, there might be four or five people who would like to drive a BMW that is more comfortable, has better utility and amenities, and performs better in nearly every measurable respect than the E36 or E46 did.

The good news is that BMW knows you are out there and built the 135 just for you. It's all good - we all buy the car that most appeals to us.

It would be, in my opinion, unrealistic to claim that BMW has done something wrong with the design direction of the E9X and the F10, or to claim that they have "lost their way", which aren't your words but a phrase I've been reading a lot out here recently. They know exactly what they are doing.
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Last edited by WillInDenver; 11-29-2011 at 07:20 AM.
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