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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 09-04-2012, 10:52 AM
elistan elistan is offline
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Just ordered 2013 328i. First post.

Hello everybody.

On Friday my wife and I put a deposit down on the following order:

2013 328i - Sport Line
Jet Black
Coral Red Dakota leather (+ Corel Red highlight and brushed aluminum trim)
Xenon HIDs
Sport Auto transmission

That's it, fairly basic.
Total price was invoice + 1000 - USAA 1500 + training + group advertising. (And TTL.)
We already have our production number, and it shows status 112 - our CA expects to get the VIN sometime this week. It's a 133N model.

A couple quick questions:
- Is there a factory service manual? I've gotten quite used to doing most of the work on my S2000 myself, and except for the included free service I want to do the same with the BMW as much as possible.
- Are there any BMW accessories that you particularly like? I plan on getting clearbra and tint, but while some of the BMW bits looks interesting nothing's really jumped out at me.

The long backstory, if you're interested in reading it:

About ~2 years ago I took a job that resulted in a nearly 100 miles per day to commute. My current car, an S2000, is an awesome car but very noisy for such a long drive, and the manual transmission could get to be a pain (literally) in stop-and-go traffic. Plus, since my wife drives an S2000 as well we've been renting a car whenever family comes into town. So we decided to look for a sedan. Our goals were:

Fun to drive
Automatic
Inexpensive
Comfortable
Seat four adults comfortably
Folding rear seats to fit a couple pairs of skis

So we settled on the above 328i config. Some of the various packages and options would have been nice, but we were trying to keep the cost down while getting the bits that optimize driving enjoyment. No sunroof due to increased weight, decreased headroom, and we have the S2000s for open-air motoring. NAV we find is unnecessary - that's what iPhones are for. We can park ourselves well enough, as well as check our blind spots and stay in our lane. I think Adaptive M Suspension would have been nice, but not for the extra cost and it being an additional complexity that can go wrong. Enhanced bluetooth/USB would have been good too, to integrate the iPhones better, but oh well - not like the S2000s could do this, so we're not sacrificing anything. And the Harman Kardon stereo is nice - but really, the S2000 stereo sucks, anything would be an improvement! I think the dealer GM was concerned about our order config - seems most cars on the lot are either base, minimalistic cars or loaded cars. We're not exactly helping ourselves with resale here, but we tend to keep cars for a long long time so that's not a priority. (120k on one S2000, 92k on the other.) They want cars they can easily resell as used or CPO when they get returned from leased or traded in on something else.

That does make reliability of the 328i over the course of 100,000 miles a concern of ours. I hope we haven't made a mistake in that regard. Seems like keeping a BMW for more than a handful of years is a rare thing in the general population, although more common on enthusiast forums like this.

Now, the F30 328i doesn't exactly qualify as "inexpensive," but it's the best balance of the above criteria of the cars we looked at. Other cars:

Audi A4. Nice interior. Nice low-end grunt but acceleration falls off at higher revs. Steering is too light and the chassis does show its weight at times. The AWD worked well from what we could tell on dry pavement. Our first into to ZF's 8-speed and we were impressed.

Lexus IS250 and IS350. The 250 was too sluggish, and while the 350 had plenty of power the standard slushbox shifted way too slow. Slightly dated feeling interior due to the wood trip they used. Neither could come with folding seats, and the 350 was fairly expensive since NAV although officially an option was effectively mandatory.

Volvo S60 T6. Plenty of power, good options, AWD wasn't too FWD like, but slow shifting slushbox again. One of our favorite interiors - it was cockpit like and reminded us of our S2000s.

Volkswagen GTI. Loved the dual-clutch gearbox and light feeling to the handling, but after driving it I realized I couldn't deal with FWD again. (The car previous to the S2000 was an Integra GSR.)

Subaru Legacy. Floaty-boat suspension. Bleh.

Kia Optima Turbo. We never knew about this car until we saw it at the autoshow, loved the way it looked inside and out, and realized it included a TON of features for very little money. Then when we learned it had 270 hp we needed to take it for a test drive. What a letdown. It seriously felt like it only had 200 hp, and handled badly (ie, FWD understeer) to boot. Plus the dealership experience left a lot to be desired.

2011 328i. This was our first drive in a BMW, and we had high hopes from all the Ultimate Driving Machine hype we'd heard. Man, what another letdown. The interior felt like cheap plastic, the engine had no balls, the auto slushbox was sluggish, and the steering and handling weren't anything special. (I don't recall which all options it had, although I'm pretty sure it didn't have sport or Msport or whatever.) I've been quite surprised at the number of comments I've heard about BMW "softening" the 3 series with the F30 model. In my experience (ie, just a test drive of each) it's been quite the opposite.

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart. Great handling, nice engine, great dual-clutch transmission, decent interior and exterior, and low price... It would have been a winner except when reading online I heard lots of folks getting only high teens or low twenties at best for gas mileage. To compare, my S2000, despite its EPA rating, gets 27.5 mpg tank after tank with my current commute. For my driving, that mileage would add up costs quickly.

There were various cars we couldn't get interested in to test drive: Accord - way to frickin' big. Civic - FWD bleh. G37 and Merc C - didn't like the looks inside and out. CTS - too big and too expensive and blah interior.

That was all in 2011, and at that point we gave up our search since nothing really grabbed our interest. Then the F30 was announced, with the 2.0 turbo and ZF 8spd. So we took a test-drive earlier this year. Nice power, much improved interior, reasonable size, plenty of rear seat room... Except for the Lancer, it was the most fun to drive of the cars we sampled. And the extra gas consumption would make the Lancer more expensive after only five years. But HIDs and folding rear seats were a must, and with Xenons required the Premium Package it was more money than we cared to spend. Lucky for us, the 2013 model changes were exactly what we needed - folding rear seats were standard, and Xenons were a stand-alone option. So we ordered. (Keep in mind that we love our S2000s, so the four-cylinder sounds of the 328i suits us perfectly fine.)

Hopefully it arrives October or November, in time for its first road trip down to Austin for the F1 race.

Now we just have to figure out which S2000 to use as trade-in. Mine or my wife's.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2012, 08:11 PM
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AndDown AndDown is offline
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Welcome to the Fest! Congrats on your order - we also almost went with a CPO 2011 328i, but things were just not clicking. Was about to order a 2012 F30 after our Drive for Team USA but fortunately, the build options for the 2013 came out about that time - saved us $$$ since I wanted the xenons but not the PP it was bundled with for 2012.

Now comes the "Great Anticipation"
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2012, 08:13 PM
beren beren is offline
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Sweet - jet black - post some pics after you pick her up. welcome to the forum.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2012, 09:40 PM
VLing VLing is offline
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Good to hear you are getting an F30 and will soon be part of the BMW family. I test drove the A4 and G37x before deciding on the F30/N20 Bimmer.

This will be my fourth BMW. I owned the first three back in the 80s and 90s. I spent the last 15 years driving Japanese brands: Toyota, Mazda and Honda. I drove the Toyotas and Mazdas; because I worked for the OEMs and had a great 1 year employee lease deals. All of the Toyota I owned or leased were very boring cars and did not handle very well. The Mazdas were better in terms of fun to drive. Especially, the two fully loaded RWD Miata MX-5; which were the most fun. But were somewhat under powered. My last four vehicles were Honda. I know and appreciate your appreciation for the S2000; which is an awesome piece of engineering.

There is nothing like a BMW 3 series in terms of a fun to drive Sports Sedan. You made a good choice. The Sports Line is particularly a good choice, since it has the very comfortable Sports Seats and the M Sports Suspension (shorter springs and lower by 10 mm). The M Adaptive Suspension may have been a good option; but I decided against it because my CA said it may be to stiff for my comfort needs. BMWs will have issues after the 4 year warranty has expired. Good that you are handy and can fix it yourself. Otherwise, I would suggest you think about getting an extended warranty and maintenance contract later; before you reach 50K miles or four years. By your driving description, you will reach 50K miles before 4 years.

Good luck and welcome to the Bimmer family....

Last edited by VLing; 09-04-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2012, 06:28 AM
elistan elistan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndDown View Post
Welcome to the Fest! Congrats on your order - we also almost went with a CPO 2011 328i, but things were just not clicking. Was about to order a 2012 F30 after our Drive for Team USA but fortunately, the build options for the 2013 came out about that time - saved us $$$ since I wanted the xenons but not the PP it was bundled with for 2012.

Now comes the "Great Anticipation"
Yeah, I've been checking the production status daily. Or more.
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2012, 06:35 AM
elistan elistan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VLing View Post
There is nothing like a BMW 3 series in terms of a fun to drive Sports Sedan. You made a good choice. The Sports Line is particularly a good choice, since it has the very comfortable Sports Seats and the M Sports Suspension (shorter springs and lower by 10 mm). The M Adaptive Suspension may have been a good option; but I decided against it because my CA said it may be to stiff for my comfort needs. BMWs will have issues after the 4 year warranty has expired. Good that you are handy and can fix it yourself. Otherwise, I would suggest you think about getting an extended warranty and maintenance contract later; before you reach 50K miles or four years. By your driving description, you will reach 50K miles before 4 years.

Good luck and welcome to the Bimmer family....
Thanks. Hopefully with the miles being mostly highway, I won't have any extra issues with electronics, rubber bushings cracking, or the like. Brake pads should go for a a really long time, as well. My concern will be with the drivetrain - engine, transmission, diff. Maybe wheel bearings.

Oh, I forgot to mention - we also drove an Acura TL and TSX. Despite our preference for Honda's sporty side we were dissapointingly underwhelmed with those two.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2012, 07:35 AM
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voip-ninja voip-ninja is offline
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Your criteria was inexpensive and you opted for a BMW? LOLz.
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2012, 10:58 AM
elistan elistan is offline
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Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
Your criteria was inexpensive and you opted for a BMW? LOLz.
Actually, I had six criteria. No one criterion was priority - I was looking for a balance. There were many less expensive cars I could have gone with, but they pretty much failed miserably at some other aspect. (On reflection, I'd say that "fun to drive" was the most heavily weighted requirement.)
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2012, 04:12 PM
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mdsbuc mdsbuc is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elistan View Post
Actually, I had six criteria. No one criterion was priority - I was looking for a balance. There were many less expensive cars I could have gone with, but they pretty much failed miserably at some other aspect. (On reflection, I'd say that "fun to drive" was the most heavily weighted requirement.)
With this as "Priority 1," it seems that you have made a great choice. Congrats!


.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2012, 03:19 AM
km84 km84 is offline
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Hmmm.... People who are buying 3 series in 2012-2013 are not worried that those cars might have issues or flaws? Usually cars that are produced in the first 1-3 years got issues that get fixed in later productions....

any one care to comment?
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2012, 05:57 AM
Chief Brody Chief Brody is offline
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Originally Posted by km84 View Post
Hmmm.... People who are buying 3 series in 2012-2013 are not worried that those cars might have issues or flaws? Usually cars that are produced in the first 1-3 years got issues that get fixed in later productions....

any one care to comment?
No. Thats what the warranty is for. Also, I bought my E90 in the second production year and had no issues at all. And if BMW sees some issues with the car, they fix them on most cars during the regular maintenance.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2012, 06:02 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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Originally Posted by km84 View Post
Hmmm.... People who are buying 3 series in 2012-2013 are not worried that those cars might have issues or flaws? Usually cars that are produced in the first 1-3 years got issues that get fixed in later productions....

any one care to comment?
Could be but the F30 is an evolution instead of a totally new design. Take the 335i which I am getting. Engine is a carry over, most electronics are already on the 5 and 7 series etc. There maybe issues but nothing major.
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2012, 06:18 AM
Mykatie Mykatie is offline
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Quote: Originally Posted by km84 Hmmm.... People who are buying 3 series in 2012-2013 are not worried that those cars might have issues or flaws? Usually cars that are produced in the first 1-3 years got issues that get fixed in later productions....

any one care to comment?
I'll take my 2013. Somebody has to have that frontiers men spirit. ;-)
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Last edited by Mykatie; 09-06-2012 at 06:20 AM.
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2012, 06:32 AM
elistan elistan is offline
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Originally Posted by km84 View Post
Hmmm.... People who are buying 3 series in 2012-2013 are not worried that those cars might have issues or flaws? Usually cars that are produced in the first 1-3 years got issues that get fixed in later productions....

any one care to comment?
Yeah, I'm worried. But took the plunge anyway. But there's precedent - my S2000 is a first year car, purchased in 1999. Hopefully I'm not disappointed with the 3. But the engine isn't exactly new - it came out in the Z4 before the 3, didn't it? And it's not BMW's first DI turbo engine. Finally, while some friends have sold or plan on selling their BMW once the CPO or warranty runs out, others have kept thiers past 200k miles.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:43 AM
km84 km84 is offline
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Originally Posted by elistan View Post
Yeah, I'm worried. But took the plunge anyway. But there's precedent - my S2000 is a first year car, purchased in 1999. Hopefully I'm not disappointed with the 3. But the engine isn't exactly new - it came out in the Z4 before the 3, didn't it? And it's not BMW's first DI turbo engine. Finally, while some friends have sold or plan on selling their BMW once the CPO or warranty runs out, others have kept thiers past 200k miles.
I am sorry, you just dont compare a Japanese car to a German one on reliability . I noticed that Germans literally tell you in the face "it looks nice, but it will start breaking down within 4 years"
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:13 AM
Chief Brody Chief Brody is offline
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I am sorry, you just dont compare a Japanese car to a German one on reliability . I noticed that Germans literally tell you in the face "it looks nice, but it will start breaking down within 4 years"
Even if it lasts for twenty. We are just pessimistic in that way...
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2012, 06:28 PM
elistan elistan is offline
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Born! VIN tracker finally lists my car, and shows today as a production date. Four more weeks, perhaps?
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  #18  
Old 09-19-2012, 06:44 PM
ModBargains ModBargains is offline
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by elistan View Post
Born! VIN tracker finally lists my car, and shows today as a production date. Four more weeks, perhaps?
where are you going for a vin tracker?

also, once the car is procuced you are probably looking at 5 weeks. there is a backup at the port, some people waiting there 2 weeks to get on a boat
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2012, 07:32 PM
beren beren is offline
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Good decision - nice writeup too. Good choice on jet black - old school classic and the best color for waxing (IMHO).

beren
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:26 PM
NBG110 NBG110 is offline
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question

Quote:
Originally Posted by elistan View Post
Yeah, I've been checking the production status daily. Or more.
I have a production number but I can't find the link to search the production progress. Can you help me.? Thx
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:30 PM
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  #23  
Old 09-22-2012, 06:23 PM
Mykatie Mykatie is offline
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Originally Posted by NBG110 View Post
I have a production number but I can't find the link to search the production progress. Can you help me.? Thx
Go to BMWUSA. Com then create an acct n log in. Then click tab to ck production by entering production number
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:30 PM
NBG110 NBG110 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mykatie View Post
Go to BMWUSA. Com then create an acct n log in. Then click tab to ck production by entering production number
Thanks I did exactly what you said but I couldn't find the tab....to put in my production number. Im so sorry but where on the home page would I find it? thx
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:43 PM
Mykatie Mykatie is offline
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Originally Posted by NBG110 View Post
Thanks I did exactly what you said but I couldn't find the tab....to put in my production number. Im so sorry but where on the home page would I find it? thx
After creating an acct log in. Left side click add or remove vehicle. Add either vin or production number
Or call 1800 831 1117. And follow. prompts to enter production number
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Last edited by Mykatie; 09-22-2012 at 06:54 PM.
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