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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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  #101  
Old 06-20-2012, 07:41 AM
dtc100 dtc100 is offline
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So let me see if I have this straight.

The fact that the 3 Series outsells the A4 supports the contention that the 3 Series is more exclusive than the A4 and that the 3 Series is out of reach for most people and the A4 is not.
His contention here is not the 3ers are more exclusive, as more rare, or out of reach of everyone, only out of reach of the poor. Rich bastards are still dime and dozen out there.

Last edited by dtc100; 06-20-2012 at 07:45 AM.
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  #102  
Old 06-20-2012, 07:58 AM
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I consider myself an average middle class American, I can buy a brand new basic 2011 328i for about the same price as a loaded Toyota Camry V6. I would say that both cars are not out of reach for the average American. The Camry is actually faster and bigger, the 328i is sportier and better built, it really depends on one's piority.
Lots of factors though, financing options/incentives (typically better with non lux brands), pricing: truecar is saying Camry alone should be 6-9% off (3er is like 1-4%), and even a FULLY maxed out to like 33-35k, are just a few.

Last edited by SuperTerp; 06-20-2012 at 08:01 AM.
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  #103  
Old 06-20-2012, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
His contention here is not the 3ers are more exclusive, as more rare, or out of reach of everyone, only out of reach of the poor. Rich bastards are still dime and dozen out there.
1. The average price of a new car is $31,000.
2. The MSRP of a 328i Sedan is $34,900.
3. A base 328i Sedan is 12.5% more expensive than the average car assuming that it was purchased for MSRP.
4. Most 3 Series are purchased for less than MSRP.
5. Most 3 Series sell for more than just the base model price but you get the same badge on the hood and trunk regardless of how much you spend on options.
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Last edited by UnderSteer; 06-20-2012 at 08:18 AM.
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  #104  
Old 06-20-2012, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
Lots of factors though, financing options/incentives (typically better with non lux brands), pricing: truecar is saying Camry alone should be 6-9% off (3er is like 1-4%), and even a FULLY maxed out to like 33-35k, are just a few.
My wife just bought a 2011 328xi for 11% off plus 0.9 financing.
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  #105  
Old 06-20-2012, 08:17 AM
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  #106  
Old 06-20-2012, 08:56 AM
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I consider myself an average middle class American, I can buy a brand new basic 2011 328i for about the same price as a loaded Toyota Camry V6. I would say that both cars are not out of reach for the average American. The Camry is actually faster and bigger, the 328i is sportier and better built, it really depends on one's piority.
Middle class "average American" with not one but two year old BMWs, one of which stickers for over $50K? I don't think so. The average american spends about $25-$30,000 on a car.
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  #107  
Old 06-20-2012, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by UnderSteer View Post
1. The average price of a new car is $31,000.
2. The MSRP of a 328i Sedan is $34,900.
3. A base 328i Sedan is 12.5% more expensive than the average car assuming that it was purchased for MSRP.
4. Most 3 Series are purchased for less than MSRP.
5. Most 3 Series sell for more than just the base model price but you get the same badge on the hood and trunk regardless of how much you spend on options.
If you assert an average new car selling price, then tell us the average (not just bare base model) new 3ers (not just 328i) selling price for fair comparison.
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  #108  
Old 06-20-2012, 09:10 AM
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My wife just bought a 2011 328xi for 11% off plus 0.9 financing.

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  #109  
Old 06-20-2012, 09:14 AM
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Middle class "average American" with not one but two year old BMWs, one of which stickers for over $50K? I don't think so. The average american spends about $25-$30,000 on a car.
Nah, it's possible. It all depends on priorities. I know it's an extreme example, but you could conceivably make $10K/yr, live in a box, but have saved up all your money to buy a BMW.

I don't know the "official numbers", but I believe I'm firmly in the middle class. My wife and I own a VW and a BMW and a nice, middle-class house that require us to make sacrifices on our spending in other areas. Yet my sister and brother-in-law fall below us on the income ladder, own a tiny, run-down house, but have 4 cars in their driveway!
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  #110  
Old 06-20-2012, 09:30 AM
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Nah, it's possible. It all depends on priorities. I know it's an extreme example, but you could conceivably make $10K/yr, live in a box, but have saved up all your money to buy a BMW.

I don't know the "official numbers", but I believe I'm firmly in the middle class. My wife and I own a VW and a BMW and a nice, middle-class house that require us to make sacrifices on our spending in other areas. Yet my sister and brother-in-law fall below us on the income ladder, own a tiny, run-down house, but have 4 cars in their driveway!
Again, we're talking "average"... which, for examples provided means, what is the average number of cars owned by an American family and what is their average value.

It's probably something like 2 cars per family with an average "value of something like $20,000 (lots of kids with beater cars dragging the numbers down).

So, if something like that is the case, and you have $80K of car sitting in your drive, you are not an average example.

People feeling average or not has little to do with whether they fit into the average range. For example, many wealthy families don't "feel wealthy" and would argue that they are wealthy, even though, statistically they are.

Last edited by voip-ninja; 06-20-2012 at 09:46 AM.
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  #111  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
If you assert an average new car selling price, then tell us the average (not just bare base model) new 3ers (not just 328i) selling price for fair comparison.
The issue is whether a 3 Series is within reach so the comparison to the base model is probably valid, especially since the base model come rather well equipped.

The average price of a new car is $30,748.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 06-20-2012 at 10:08 AM.
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  #112  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:07 AM
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Nah, it's possible. It all depends on priorities. I know it's an extreme example, but you could conceivably make $10K/yr, live in a box, but have saved up all your money to buy a BMW.

I don't know the "official numbers", but I believe I'm firmly in the middle class. My wife and I own a VW and a BMW and a nice, middle-class house that require us to make sacrifices on our spending in other areas. Yet my sister and brother-in-law fall below us on the income ladder, own a tiny, run-down house, but have 4 cars in their driveway!
I had more money to spend on cars when I was younger with few financial responsibilities than when I was a bit older and had mortgage payments, was saving for retirement, etc.

I think this holds true for most people. Having two incomes, no children, a paid off mortgage, etc. can put you in a better position to spend extra bucks on a nice car than someone who has to worry about putting kids through college, paying off a home, funding the 401K, etc. even though that person may have a higher income.

Also the population may be divided into three classes (upper, middle, lower) but that does not mean that each class is composed of 1/3 of the population.
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  #113  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:25 AM
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For those that are not average, say some of them cut back on everything else just to have several entry level luxury cars, it will be very interesting to see what kind of such cars they tend to buy. This stats may just be perfect to prove or disapprove BJ's theory.
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  #114  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:32 AM
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I am not interested in proving/disproving BJ's theory (he is on my ignore list actually).

However, a lot of how exclusive a BMW 3 series car is depends on where you live, the median income, etc.

In California (as has been pointed out) 3 series cars are extremely common, I would go out on a limb and say that in the somewhat more affluent (not wealthy) suburbs of Southern California you are more likely to see a 3 series car than a Honda or Toyota.

If I recall, California is still (even with China emerging as competition) the single biggest market for BMW in the world.

Certainly if you are stuck on an LA area freeway, surrounded by thousands of 3 series cars, any feeling of exclusivity that might exist in other parts of the country is nonexistent. On the other hand, other brands are very possibly apt to get more attention, and even though I've seen more Bentleys in a 1 hour drive in California then I have seen in the rest of my life, I would say that some other luxury auto makers might have more "mystique" in So-Cal than BMW.

Last edited by voip-ninja; 06-20-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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  #115  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:50 AM
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If nothing else, you really have to appreciate BJ's ability to push debate. Even though sometimes I don't agree with his point of view, I have to admit that for the majority of people in this country (not necessarily BMW enthusiasts) BMW and MB represent some sort of halo car. Everyone knows of the true luxury monikers (Bentley, RR etc) but those cars are out of touch. However, BMW and MB have for a long time been the stretch cars that most people aspire to have (I'm talking being able to afford a 3/5 series or C/E class cars). Audi has been making a big push to get included in this list. I would agree they have a very compelling argument as they've been able to latch onto mass-production techniques at VW and now have access to the engineering/performance powerhouses of Porsche/Lamborghini.

The thing with Audi is that the speed of development of what everyone perceives as BMW/MB level cars is astounding. I think within 5-10 years people will be saying that they aspire to own an Audi. The point is that they can produce these cars at VW level costs + a little more and still sell at BMW prices. With all that profit, I'm thinking that in a few years, Audi will be able to consistently out-sport most BMWs and out-luxury most MBs.

I think within 5-10 years people will be saying that they aspire to own an Audi
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  #116  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:51 AM
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lots of 'statisticians' in this thread, i see.

quoting the average price (MSRP) of a new car is almost completely meaningless. a much better number to know would be the average price PAID for a car (new or used) by everyone in the country for a given year. that captures what people can actually afford to pay. i think we can expect to see that number be a lot lower than the average price for a new 3er.

on top of that, average price paid doesn't capture the number of people who can't afford to buy a car at all, even used. go ride the city bus and ask those people if they think your BMW is a luxury car.

74% of americans earn less than $50k a year. most of them clearly can't blow a year's salary on a new car. i don't know why some of you insist on using inflated 'averages' to imply that BMWs are really econoboxes. the term 'middle class' is also meaningless as the income difference between the top earners who consider themselves 'middle class' and the bottom is $100k/yr or more.

boltjames is biting stephen colbert, it's hilarious that some people fail to recognize sarcasm. but there is truth in irony.

Last edited by frowningdeity; 06-20-2012 at 10:58 AM.
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  #117  
Old 06-20-2012, 10:55 AM
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Heh, in my area of the country many people dislike German cars altogether and their idea of luxury is a rolling living room, a.k.a, Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator, both of which can be optioned up (easily) to $60,000 or more.

At the end of the day, it's all relative.
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  #118  
Old 06-20-2012, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by frowningdeity View Post
lots of 'statisticians' in this thread, i see.

quoting the average price (MSRP) of a new car is almost completely meaningless. a much better number to know would be the average price PAID for a car (new or used) by everyone in the country for a given year. that captures what people can actually afford to pay. i think we can expect to see that number be a lot lower than the average price for a new 3er.

on top of that, average price paid doesn't capture the number of people who can't afford to buy a car at all, even used. go ride the city bus and ask those people if they think your BMW is a luxury car.

74% of americans earn less than $50k a year. most of them clearly can't blow a year's salary on a new car. i don't know why some of you insist on using inflated 'averages' to imply that BMWs are really econoboxes. the term 'middle class' is also meaningless as the income difference between the top earners who consider themselves 'middle class' and the bottom is $100k/yr or more.
.
The number quoted is the average price paid for a new car and is somewhat moot since a large proportion of cars are leased today and the monthly payment is more signicant than the selling price.

BMWUSA is currently listing a lease deal on a 328i at $399/mo. Honda USA is currently listing a lease deal of $250/mo on an Accord LX (four cylinder). $150/month is not an insignificant amount of money for many people but it is conceivable that by cutting down in some areas they could be driving a BMW instead of a Honda if that is where their priorities are.
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  #119  
Old 06-20-2012, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by frowningdeity View Post
lots of 'statisticians' in this thread, i see.

quoting the average price (MSRP) of a new car is almost completely meaningless. a much better number to know would be the average price PAID for a car (new or used) by everyone in the country for a given year. that captures what people can actually afford to pay. i think we can expect to see that number be a lot lower than the average price for a new 3er.

on top of that, average price paid doesn't capture the number of people who can't afford to buy a car at all, even used. go ride the city bus and ask those people if they think your BMW is a luxury car.

74% of americans earn less than $50k a year. most of them clearly can't blow a year's salary on a new car. i don't know why some of you insist on using inflated 'averages' to imply that BMWs are really econoboxes. the term 'middle class' is also meaningless as the income difference between the top earners who consider themselves 'middle class' and the bottom is $100k/yr or more.
.
The number quoted is the average price paid for a new car and is somewhat moot since a large proportion of cars are leased today and the monthly payment is more signicant than the selling price.

BMWUSA is currently listing a lease deal on a 328i at $399/mo. Honda USA is currently listing a lease deal of $250/mo on an Accord LX (four cylinder). $150/month is not an insignificant amount of money for many people but it is conceivable that by cutting down in some areas they could be driving a BMW instead of a Honda if that is where their priorities are.

Just to clarify my perspective. I live in Manhattan and most people in my neighborhood do not choose to own cars because in many ways car ownership here is a huge hassle due to the parking situation. Many of these people are very well fixed financially but see no particular benefit to car ownership and are content to ride the bus. Actually I use public transportation myself to move around the city and have always used cars strictly as weekend getaway cars.
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Last edited by captainaudio; 06-20-2012 at 12:02 PM.
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  #120  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:01 PM
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well, it's easy to get around this problem. all we'd need is the income distribution of people who drive BMWs, lease or buy.

i'd predict that the figure would be significantly higher than the real average individual income.

when people say things like 'the average person', they don't really mean that. the average person is a lot poorer than you think.
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  #121  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:09 PM
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when people say things like 'the average person', they don't really mean that. the average person is a lot poorer than you think.
Bingo.
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  #122  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:26 PM
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Statistics say the median salary for a BMW owning household is around $160,000 annually. The difference between 3 series owners ($140,000) and full size luxury 7 series ($260,000) is significant, yet tends to be indicative of luxury brands, with Mercedes owners pulling in $170,000 and Audi lovers at $183,000. It seems luxury is limited to the 100k plus club, yet the 328i couple starts at $37,650, relatively tame in actuality.
source

not a reputable source (in fact a terrible one), but the only one with summative info that i could find on a cursory search.

when people say 'the average person' what they probably mean is 'the average person around me' or 'the average person i know.' and given the demographics of this forum, i'd guess that not many people are friends with welfare recipients.

and that's really the issue - for all intents and purposes the perception and brand image attributed to the car you drive is fully dependent on the zip code you live in. that's the reason why so many people here insist that BMW isn't all that special. people on the other side of the tracks are a nonconsideration.
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  #123  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:31 PM
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  #124  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by frowningdeity View Post
well, it's easy to get around this problem. all we'd need is the income distribution of people who drive BMWs, lease or buy.

i'd predict that the figure would be significantly higher than the real average individual income.

when people say things like 'the average person', they don't really mean that. the average person is a lot poorer than you think.
So in other words the average person tends to be below average.

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  #125  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:35 PM
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If nothing else, you really have to appreciate BJ's ability to push debate. Even though sometimes I don't agree with his point of view, I have to admit that for the majority of people in this country (not necessarily BMW enthusiasts) BMW and MB represent some sort of halo car. Everyone knows of the true luxury monikers (Bentley, RR etc) but those cars are out of touch. However, BMW and MB have for a long time been the stretch cars that most people aspire to have (I'm talking being able to afford a 3/5 series or C/E class cars). Audi has been making a big push to get included in this list.
Great summary of what I'm talking about.

Audi may make a car that's better than a BMW, more expensive than a BMW, and more exclusive than a BMW.

But it's still an Audi.

BJ
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