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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 04-21-2012, 09:07 PM
derzelas derzelas is offline
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Question F30 328i *sports* sedan - am I missing something?

I am not a BMW driver, but I've spent a long time trying to understand whether I should buy one. Specifically, I was thinking to get a F30 328i.

Now, before reading the rest, I would like you to understand something about me: I like cars that accelerate quickly, but I don't actually own one. My experience pertaining to "fast" cars comes from going on business trips and renting some more interesting (compared to my Accord) cars, such as a Chevrolet Malibu LY7, or Nissan Altima V6. If you compare the engines in these two cars with the 328i, they seem to be quite similar in terms of power output. I've actually had fun with both, but more so with the Altima because it *really* felt like it was really accelerating when I was pressing the accelerator for entering a freeway, for instance. Compared to my current Accord, they were both significantly more fun, though...

This brought me to think about the next car, and I was thinking I should get a 328i, since all my friends / cousin / cousin's friends drive BMWs, and they all swear that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the power output was not insignificant.

Today I went to test the 328i and 335i. I went to two dealers and none had a 335i F30 and both said they were backordered for the next 4-5 months, which means I won't be able to try one out for a long while. Not nice.

However, I did get the chance to test drive a "base" 328i. This was completely underwhelming. I did not feel any force on my back, as I did with both the Altima (more), and the Malibu! I understand that it was not the Sports Line, but can that simple detail have such a dramatic impact? For testing purposes I actually floored the car several times to see what's the impact of flooring, and it had none of the visceral impact I was hoping it would.

Feel free to skip to the last paragraph unless you want to hear about my other impressions, unrelated to my main point... I liked that it was quiet inside, and I also liked the interior, and the "feel" of the car. I especially liked the turning radius!

What I did not like was that the car seemed to have many gimmicks. For instance, the salesman demonstrated the trunk opening mechanism, and I was thinking "wow" because I wondered whether I would be able to do it myself. I tried it a few times (maybe 8 times?) until it worked. It *never* worked for my wife, and the excuse given was that maybe her feet were too thin for the sensor to detect them!

Funnily the salesman also demonstrated the iDrive navigation system, proudly showing how well the voice recognition works. It worked for a specific address he tried (his home), but it did NOT work for any address I tried. He tried pronouncing it, and it kept getting the state wrong -- OREGON instead of CALIFORNIA, etc.

In any case, am I missing something with this car? Should I really be looking for a Sports Line to test, or will it be similarly underwhelming when compared to the base?
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2012, 09:34 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Not sure what to say if you think the altima felt faster than the 328.

Maybe you didnt have it in sport mode

But if i gave you a ride in my 328 it sure would feel a lot quikcer than a malibu or altima. In fact you may be the only person who thinks the 328 doesnt feel as quick as a malibu lol.

Must have not had it in sport mode.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2012, 09:39 PM
derzelas derzelas is offline
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I am pretty sure that it was in the default mode. If the default is not sports, then it wasn't in the sports mode...

FYI -- the Altima goes from 0-60 in 5.9s.

Last edited by derzelas; 04-21-2012 at 09:41 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2012, 09:50 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Originally Posted by derzelas View Post
I am pretty sure that it was in the default mode. If the default is not sports, then it wasn't in the sports mode...

FYI -- the Altima goes from 0-60 in 5.9s.
yea, next time you drive one, put it in sport mode. Also, the 328 has been tested at 5.7 so it should feel just as fast as the altima
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:52 PM
derzelas derzelas is offline
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Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
yea, next time you drive one, put it in sport mode. Also, the 328 has been tested at 5.7 so it should feel just as fast as the altima
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll go test drive it again tomorrow
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2012, 10:08 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Originally Posted by derzelas View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll go test drive it again tomorrow
fyi sport mode is the button near the gear shifter, press it where it says sport


the power will die off around 6000K so upshift around then, i wouldn redline it
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2012, 10:13 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derzelas View Post
I am not a BMW driver, but I've spent a long time trying to understand whether I should buy one. Specifically, I was thinking to get a F30 328i.

Now, before reading the rest, I would like you to understand something about me: I like cars that accelerate quickly, but I don't actually own one. My experience pertaining to "fast" cars comes from going on business trips and renting some more interesting (compared to my Accord) cars, such as a Chevrolet Malibu LY7, or Nissan Altima V6. If you compare the engines in these two cars with the 328i, they seem to be quite similar in terms of power output. I've actually had fun with both, but more so with the Altima because it *really* felt like it was really accelerating when I was pressing the accelerator for entering a freeway, for instance. Compared to my current Accord, they were both significantly more fun, though...

This brought me to think about the next car, and I was thinking I should get a 328i, since all my friends / cousin / cousin's friends drive BMWs, and they all swear that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the power output was not insignificant.

Today I went to test the 328i and 335i. I went to two dealers and none had a 335i F30 and both said they were backordered for the next 4-5 months, which means I won't be able to try one out for a long while. Not nice.

However, I did get the chance to test drive a "base" 328i. This was completely underwhelming. I did not feel any force on my back, as I did with both the Altima (more), and the Malibu! I understand that it was not the Sports Line, but can that simple detail have such a dramatic impact? For testing purposes I actually floored the car several times to see what's the impact of flooring, and it had none of the visceral impact I was hoping it would.

Feel free to skip to the last paragraph unless you want to hear about my other impressions, unrelated to my main point... I liked that it was quiet inside, and I also liked the interior, and the "feel" of the car. I especially liked the turning radius!

What I did not like was that the car seemed to have many gimmicks. For instance, the salesman demonstrated the trunk opening mechanism, and I was thinking "wow" because I wondered whether I would be able to do it myself. I tried it a few times (maybe 8 times?) until it worked. It *never* worked for my wife, and the excuse given was that maybe her feet were too thin for the sensor to detect them!

Funnily the salesman also demonstrated the iDrive navigation system, proudly showing how well the voice recognition works. It worked for a specific address he tried (his home), but it did NOT work for any address I tried. He tried pronouncing it, and it kept getting the state wrong -- OREGON instead of CALIFORNIA, etc.

In any case, am I missing something with this car? Should I really be looking for a Sports Line to test, or will it be similarly underwhelming when compared to the base?
If you ever get to drive one on a closed course (having an instructor is nice, too) you will find out what these cars can do. They are phenomenal. And the things it does on the track make you safer as a driver everyday.

btw - that tight turning radius is because it was a rear wheel drive car. FWD cars can't do that, 'cause there's too much stuff packed under the hood. They also have about 60% - 65% of their mass sitting on the front tires. That 328i you drove has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. That doesn't just happen. BMW makes it happen; on all their cars (give or take 1% - 2% here or there).

BMW enthusiasts buy BMWs for their handling characteristics, not so much raw power. However, the 335i will get your attention. We don't talk a lot about 0 to 60 times; although we do like them to be good. We talk about going for a drive in the switchbacks, on a tight, twisty road. Do a search for 'Tail of the Dragon'. It's a very popular drive thorough the mountains of North Carolina. You could also search 'Nurburgring'. It's where BMW's handling characteristics are refined by professional BMW drivers and engineers.
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Last edited by tturedraider; 04-21-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2012, 10:37 PM
ric124 ric124 is offline
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This is a guess and might be what you are experiencing. The Altima has softer suspension than the 328i and when you floor the Altima the car dips and gives the illusion that you are going faster. With the 328i sport suspension they are a lot firmer compared to the Altima and you will experience almost no suspension dip.

What you should do is test drive them and see how fast it takes u to get to x MPH or drive a 328 luxury with the softer suspension.

Remember I am just guessing here after reading your review and this is what I think you were experiencing.
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2012, 11:02 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derzelas View Post
I am not a BMW driver, but I've spent a long time trying to understand whether I should buy one. Specifically, I was thinking to get a F30 328i.
Well, the prospect's exciting but a first year of production? Don't. Experience shows: problems every time.

You're better advised to check an E9x CPO 335i. Being in the area myself, I can recommend a convertible above all else....you'll bless the day you were that good to yourself!

Bear in mind both 335i and 328i don't have top drawer suspensions - lots of deficiency when pushed. Problems are legend - just do a search.

The good news: Can be fixed in a big, big way....spend some time @ www.e90post.com in the suspension section. www.n54tech.com good for turbo engine talk, i.e. chipped.

And when you drive a 335i, imagine same but much faster - a chip'll do that for you, $500. But you should cure suspension problems first - makes for a much happier experience chipped or no. Delirious in fact. Bet you didn't think a BMW could do those things unless you've driven a M.

Be aware that a 328i won't be much faster than stock no matter what, but can be made to handle. Maybe better re: retaining a valid license. Wind it out - betcha like it.
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Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 04-22-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2012, 01:15 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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I think the OP did miss something, the 3 series' driving dynamics, of which neck snapping kick as the light turns green, or how small the turning radius, are not part of the measure.

Cars can easily be tuned to give you the feel of that kick at launch, a Corolla or a Civic can do that, so can an Altima. After that initial kick, they drive like a cheap compact car.

The problem is, most drivers are impressed enough by that initial kick, then pay little attention about driving after that. I don't blame them, most of the time people only get to launch their cars at the lights pass the intersections, then get stuck in the traffic again.

Last edited by dtc100; 04-22-2012 at 01:23 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2012, 04:22 AM
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Bob Shiftright Bob Shiftright is offline
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Originally Posted by derzelas View Post
I am not a BMW driver, but I've spent a long time trying to understand whether I should buy one. Specifically, I was thinking to get a F30 328i.
Whenever there's a model change, the first couple of years buyers are in effect unpaid test drivers for BMW.

Have you driven the V6 Honda Accord? The 9th generation Accord is going to be introduced this fall, so the 8th generation cars should be about as reliable as they'll ever get.
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2012, 05:17 AM
loosenit2 loosenit2 is offline
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For my money I have never driven a quicker car than the 12 328i. I have a Luxury edition (not even a sport model, a 335, or an M series) and when I put it into sport mode it hauls ; not only on the straight runs but more importantly on the curves where it handles brilliantly. What is truly amazing to me is something that was observed in the comments above, it accelerates fast without making you feel like it is accelerating fast (no rising nose etc); that really contributes to a luxury feeling in the car; the only way I know I am going really quick is 1. I look at the speedomoter or 2. I notice that I am quickly passing a lot of cars. I would also offter that while the 0-60 rating of 5.7 sec is great I am more impressed with the 30-80 rating, that rating is comparable to comming onto a freeway onramp and accelerating onto the highway. I don't normally drive fast, I prefer to cruise, but with the 328i I can hardly help myself. One of my previous cars was an Accord V6, which at the time I thought was peppy, but in retrospect was not even close to the acceleration or handling of the 328i. Good luck finding the car that makes you feel good driving it, I've found mine.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:21 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derzelas View Post
I am not a BMW driver, but I've spent a long time trying to understand whether I should buy one. Specifically, I was thinking to get a F30 328i.

Now, before reading the rest, I would like you to understand something about me: I like cars that accelerate quickly, but I don't actually own one. My experience pertaining to "fast" cars comes from going on business trips and renting some more interesting (compared to my Accord) cars, such as a Chevrolet Malibu LY7, or Nissan Altima V6. If you compare the engines in these two cars with the 328i, they seem to be quite similar in terms of power output. I've actually had fun with both, but more so with the Altima because it *really* felt like it was really accelerating when I was pressing the accelerator for entering a freeway, for instance. Compared to my current Accord, they were both significantly more fun, though...

This brought me to think about the next car, and I was thinking I should get a 328i, since all my friends / cousin / cousin's friends drive BMWs, and they all swear that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the power output was not insignificant.

Today I went to test the 328i and 335i. I went to two dealers and none had a 335i F30 and both said they were backordered for the next 4-5 months, which means I won't be able to try one out for a long while. Not nice.

However, I did get the chance to test drive a "base" 328i. This was completely underwhelming. I did not feel any force on my back, as I did with both the Altima (more), and the Malibu! I understand that it was not the Sports Line, but can that simple detail have such a dramatic impact? For testing purposes I actually floored the car several times to see what's the impact of flooring, and it had none of the visceral impact I was hoping it would.

Feel free to skip to the last paragraph unless you want to hear about my other impressions, unrelated to my main point... I liked that it was quiet inside, and I also liked the interior, and the "feel" of the car. I especially liked the turning radius!

What I did not like was that the car seemed to have many gimmicks. For instance, the salesman demonstrated the trunk opening mechanism, and I was thinking "wow" because I wondered whether I would be able to do it myself. I tried it a few times (maybe 8 times?) until it worked. It *never* worked for my wife, and the excuse given was that maybe her feet were too thin for the sensor to detect them!

Funnily the salesman also demonstrated the iDrive navigation system, proudly showing how well the voice recognition works. It worked for a specific address he tried (his home), but it did NOT work for any address I tried. He tried pronouncing it, and it kept getting the state wrong -- OREGON instead of CALIFORNIA, etc.

In any case, am I missing something with this car? Should I really be looking for a Sports Line to test, or will it be similarly underwhelming when compared to the base?
Sounds like you want a V8 mustang. Pushes you back in the seat, lacks gizmos, etc.
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2012, 06:06 AM
micknugget micknugget is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derzelas View Post
I am not a BMW driver, but I've spent a long time trying to understand whether I should buy one. Specifically, I was thinking to get a F30 328i.

Now, before reading the rest, I would like you to understand something about me: I like cars that accelerate quickly, but I don't actually own one. My experience pertaining to "fast" cars comes from going on business trips and renting some more interesting (compared to my Accord) cars, such as a Chevrolet Malibu LY7, or Nissan Altima V6. If you compare the engines in these two cars with the 328i, they seem to be quite similar in terms of power output. I've actually had fun with both, but more so with the Altima because it *really* felt like it was really accelerating when I was pressing the accelerator for entering a freeway, for instance. Compared to my current Accord, they were both significantly more fun, though...

This brought me to think about the next car, and I was thinking I should get a 328i, since all my friends / cousin / cousin's friends drive BMWs, and they all swear that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, and the power output was not insignificant.

Today I went to test the 328i and 335i. I went to two dealers and none had a 335i F30 and both said they were backordered for the next 4-5 months, which means I won't be able to try one out for a long while. Not nice.

However, I did get the chance to test drive a "base" 328i. This was completely underwhelming. I did not feel any force on my back, as I did with both the Altima (more), and the Malibu! I understand that it was not the Sports Line, but can that simple detail have such a dramatic impact? For testing purposes I actually floored the car several times to see what's the impact of flooring, and it had none of the visceral impact I was hoping it would.

Feel free to skip to the last paragraph unless you want to hear about my other impressions, unrelated to my main point... I liked that it was quiet inside, and I also liked the interior, and the "feel" of the car. I especially liked the turning radius!

What I did not like was that the car seemed to have many gimmicks. For instance, the salesman demonstrated the trunk opening mechanism, and I was thinking "wow" because I wondered whether I would be able to do it myself. I tried it a few times (maybe 8 times?) until it worked. It *never* worked for my wife, and the excuse given was that maybe her feet were too thin for the sensor to detect them!

Funnily the salesman also demonstrated the iDrive navigation system, proudly showing how well the voice recognition works. It worked for a specific address he tried (his home), but it did NOT work for any address I tried. He tried pronouncing it, and it kept getting the state wrong -- OREGON instead of CALIFORNIA, etc.

In any case, am I missing something with this car? Should I really be looking for a Sports Line to test, or will it be similarly underwhelming when compared to the base?
It sounds like you shouldn't get a BMW. GMs like your Malibu have a certain charm with their electronic displays and do dads and perhaps Nissan does too. As for hp, BMW consistently underrates their hp and other companies, GM in particular, have not been good at getting the performance out of theirs. Look at the Regal GS which has 270 hp but is much slower than cars with 20-30-40 hp less.

When you drive the BMW hard and fast is where it shines and you start to appreciate it more and more in everyday driving. If you don't drive at all hard other than at the occasional stoplight, maybe BMW isn't right for you.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:11 AM
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Sounds like you want a V8 mustang. Pushes you back in the seat, lacks gizmos, etc.
+1 Yep. Rented a vert in Md one trip, made good noises, pushed you back in the seat etc.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:14 AM
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It sounds like you shouldn't get a BMW.
Also +1. We used to have an Altima, very competent car. Unfortunately the CVT lunched itself at 38K requiring a completely new factory rebuilt one. Sold it after that so Mrs. Llando88 could buy her E91. But it drove well and was very roomy. On the curves, um, not so firm. Lot of FWD push.
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:17 AM
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OP - Good luck on your search. It may (or may not ) be the car for you. BMWs are about "balance", overall, IMHO. They are not the fastest, or the best handling, or the best equipped, or the cheapest.

But when I get into a BMW, any BMW, whether it's my M3 or a 12 year old well-cared for E46 325i sedan, there is a certain "something" in these cars that is very very satisfying from a mechanical, "feel of the car" visceral point of view.

This may not be your cup of tea, hence the feedback you are getting on this thread.

Welcome to the fest!
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  #18  
Old 04-22-2012, 06:33 AM
emtrey emtrey is offline
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Visceral impact ?? If that is what you really are looking for..get a Camaro, Mustang, Challenger, etc. You can certainly get 'pushed back in your seat' for a lot less $$ than a 328/335.

German cars are about the whole driving experience not just 0-60. Balance, braking, handling, and mid range driveability are more heavily weighted in the design philosphy than impressing people at stop lights.

The F30 is not going to impress you on a test drive as much as it will driving the car over time in everyday driving and occasional over the limit driving. I am going from a 135i to a 335i. The 335 does not have the baby muscle car feel of the 135i but its time to move on to 4 doors so I will adjust . Does that mean the 335 underwhelms me ..NOT A CHANCE--its just different.

If you were underwhelmed, looks elsewhere.

Last edited by emtrey; 04-22-2012 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:29 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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Yea, now that i think of it, get a mustang or camarro. doesnt sound like you would appreciate a bmw. get like a boss mustang
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:54 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Yea, now that i think of it, get a mustang or camarro. doesnt sound like you would appreciate a bmw. get like a boss mustang
Let's just put that week kneed, slack jawed Mustang in its place....blown M3.

A very superior ride and, though some say more interior room's better, a small car gets big fast at speed.

Do we really need to compare a 775 hp rocket to a horse? OK maybe a Ferrari - that's competition.

More torque, sir? Maybe a hair slower than your neighbor's Italia, but 0.2 sec defines brevity -- could go either way. 'Sides which, why would you need to go much faster than 200 mph?
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Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 04-22-2012 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 07:56 AM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is offline
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lol, i dont think he wants to spend that much money, but a cpo m3 for 50K would be a nice choice.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:49 AM
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westwest888 westwest888 is offline
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Posts: 3,181
Mein Auto: 2010 Audi S4
I think the OP hit the nail in the head. I'm not sure why BMW is even selling the 320i in the United States. It's too slow and economical to be an ultimate driving machine. They should label it a hybrid or something, so people know what theyre getting. Nobody should get cheated with anything less than a 335i. If you want a car with the US 328i specs you'd be cross shopping Volkswagens. I'd take a CC for $33k just to get xenon lights.
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  #23  
Old 04-22-2012, 08:57 AM
micknugget micknugget is offline
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Location: Detroit
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 132
Mein Auto: 2012 328i Auto
Quote:
Originally Posted by westwest888 View Post
I think the OP hit the nail in the head. I'm not sure why BMW is even selling the 320i in the United States. It's too slow and economical to be an ultimate driving machine. They should label it a hybrid or something, so people know what theyre getting. Nobody should get cheated with anything less than a 335i. If you want a car with the US 328i specs you'd be cross shopping Volkswagens. I'd take a CC for $33k just to get xenon lights.
Actually, I looked at the Jetta GLI in comparison to the 328. I don't care for the looks of the CC as it looks like a stretched out beetle. Can you finally get a moonroof in the CC? I know that you couldn't before. It also feels like a big car and the performance outside of the acceleration was nothing like a BMW.
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  #24  
Old 04-22-2012, 09:02 AM
Nedmundo Nedmundo is offline
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Location: Philadelphia
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 81
Mein Auto: Acura TSX, 2010, 6MT
I don't own a BMW either, but I have taken a lengthy test drive in a 2012 328i Sport Line, so I'll make a couple of points. First, this car is so refined that it masks sensations of acceleration and speed. I was doing 65 in a 35 zone in no time, and didn't even notice. The muted engine note and light steering contribute to this. Second, while turbo cars can be quick off the line, their performance is typically strongest in the mid range. Take another drive in sport mode, and try a full throttle 50-80 run on the highway. Then, I suspect, you'll understand.
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  #25  
Old 04-22-2012, 01:09 PM
malc410326 malc410326 is offline
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Location: Kentucky
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 135
Mein Auto: '12 MB SLK 350 & BMW 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nedmundo View Post
I was doing 65 in a 35 zone in no time, and didn't even notice. The muted engine note and light steering contribute to this.
+1 This is SO very true! What saves me from getting a speeding ticket is the HUD. Knowing that even when your hitting 80mph or 90mph, that the Bimmer is not even breaking a sweat and even somewhat taunting you to drive it harder really offers that "Ultimate Driving Experience"....But then the HUD reminds us on whether or not a speeding ticket is really worth it. Now if only I could find a race track......I guess I will have to settle for the country backroads for now where the cops never seem to inhabit!
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