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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 02-01-2012, 09:52 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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6-speed or auto?

My lease on my C350 is going to come up in August and I am going to get a 3 series for sure. I liked the Mercedes, it was fully loaded, AMG wheels, nice car overall. My biggest problem it was the first personal car I ever had with an auto gearbox. If I had to do it again i would have gone with the C300 just to get a manual. Anyway now I see that BMW has the 8speed automatic and the first reviews of this box with this new car are great. What should I do? Any thoughts? I am starting this thread for people that have tested both manual and auto for feedback. I will also test drive both but I just wanted to get this discussion started.

Oh I have not decided which one to get yet the 335i or the M sport with the extra 35 HP. Heck even the 328i Sport might be an option because that engine seems very willing and the front end is lighter with it for better turn in.
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:09 AM
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328 with the auto is what i got...i tested the zf8 on the z4 n20, and i was very impressed, noticeably faster shift then my the old zf6 in my n54's

initially i was going to get manual but after driving the auto, i was convinced.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:26 AM
pcbrew pcbrew is offline
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With the recent F30 US press drives including MT cars and 335i, I am hoping for feedback / comparison of the 6MT vs. new 8AT from an MT driver's perspective.

From the numbers & reports so, far, seems to me the 8AT will give all the performance and efficiency of the 6MT. Since the cost and efficiency advantages for MT are gone, it will come down to whether you want convenience of AT or fun/engagement of MT.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcbrew View Post
With the recent F30 US press drives including MT cars and 335i, I am hoping for feedback / comparison of the 6MT vs. new 8AT from an MT driver's perspective.

From the numbers & reports so, far, seems to me the 8AT will give all the performance and efficiency of the 6MT. Since the cost and efficiency advantages for MT are gone, it will come down to whether you want convenience of AT or fun/engagement of MT.
This..Plus there's no cost savings in getting a MT anymore.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2012, 10:34 AM
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windsor027 windsor027 is offline
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thanks guys. From the looks of it efficiency wise the 8AT is the way to go as it averages according to Car and Driver 2 miles per gallon higher than the manual. the manual it seems is rated .2 seconds faster from 0-60. I love the manual of BMWs so well balanced and crisp that is why it the 8AT will need to be engaging for me to go for it. there is something driving a BMW manual sedan that seems oh so right.
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2013 335i Sportline | M-adaptive | HK | NAV | PDC | Heated Front seats |6-speed MT.

2011 X5 35d Great SUV gone

2009 C350 Mercedes Gone 7-31-2012, good car but boooooooooring.

2008 X5 4.8i - Turned in 1/24/11 They created the Lemon law because of this SUV.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsor027 View Post
thanks guys. From the looks of it efficiency wise the 8AT is the way to go as it averages according to Car and Driver 2 miles per gallon higher than the manual. the manual it seems is rated .2 seconds faster from 0-60. I love the manual of BMWs so well balanced and crisp that is why it the 8AT will need to be engaging for me to go for it. there is something driving a BMW manual sedan that seems oh so right.
By charging everyone for an auto, BMW is really making us reconsider how badly we want the manual for fun. I have never owned an auto before, but I'm starting to reconsider. If I did go with an auto, it would have to be the sport version...the regular shift knob looks ugly.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
By charging everyone for an auto, BMW is really making us reconsider how badly we want the manual for fun. I have never owned an auto before, but I'm starting to reconsider. If I did go with an auto, it would have to be the sport version...the regular shift knob looks ugly.
Here in the UK auto box is $2500 option.

Driven the new 1 series with the auto box and it's brilliant much better than the manual.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:27 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
By charging everyone for an auto, BMW is really making us reconsider how badly we want the manual for fun. I have never owned an auto before, but I'm starting to reconsider. If I did go with an auto, it would have to be the sport version...the regular shift knob looks ugly.
You'll have to pry my clutch from my left foot and the shift knob from my hand before I'll switch to an automatic transmission. No matter how good, or fast or efficient the new 8 speed AT is it's still not as fun or involving as a BMW manual tranny.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:44 PM
highwaytg highwaytg is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
You'll have to pry my clutch from my left foot and the shift knob from my hand before I'll switch to an automatic transmission. No matter how good, or fast or efficient the new 8 speed AT is it's still not as fun or involving as a BMW manual tranny.
I agree manual is more fun and involving when you have an open road. Unfortunately that is about 5% of the time the other 95% is spent in stop start traffic and roundabouts so unless this was a weekend car it just doesn't make sense.

Btw. In the UK 95 % of cars on the road are manual and this will be my first auto in 30 years of driving
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
328 with the auto is what i got...i tested the zf8 on the z4 n20, and i was very impressed, noticeably faster shift then my the old zf6 in my n54's

initially i was going to get manual but after driving the auto, i was convinced.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinnum1 View Post
328 with the auto is what i got...i tested the zf8 on the z4 n20, and i was very impressed, noticeably faster shift then my the old zf6 in my n54's

initially i was going to get manual but after driving the auto, i was convinced.
This makes me sad for the new BMWs; when owners talk about how an auto transmission is better than a manual

Oh well, back to the e36/e30 sections I go...
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2012, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
You'll have to pry my clutch from my left foot and the shift knob from my hand before I'll switch to an automatic transmission. No matter how good, or fast or efficient the new 8 speed AT is it's still not as fun or involving as a BMW manual tranny.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2012, 01:14 PM
Turbo_525 Turbo_525 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
You'll have to pry my clutch from my left foot and the shift knob from my hand before I'll switch to an automatic transmission. No matter how good, or fast or efficient the new 8 speed AT is it's still not as fun or involving as a BMW manual tranny.
Absolutley!!!

Besides, how many older BMW's get a "Manual to Auto" trans swap?
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:30 PM
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justinnum1 justinnum1 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan... View Post
This makes me sad for the new BMWs; when owners talk about how an auto transmission is better than a manual

Oh well, back to the e36/e30 sections I go...
Later

But seriously, the new ZF is impressive...manual owners should drive one just to see where the technology is at(even if you guys are die hards)

Peace.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:43 PM
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Um...nobody has driven the 3 back to back with the auto and manual so the thread can gather nothing but conjecture.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2012, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by blueguydotcom View Post
Um...nobody has driven the 3 back to back with the auto and manual so the thread can gather nothing but conjecture.
now now... we'll have none of this silly 'logical talk' in this here discussion...



























that belongs in poly sci....


df
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2012, 06:04 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is online now
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Originally Posted by highwaytg View Post
I agree manual is more fun and involving when you have an open road. Unfortunately that is about 5% of the time the other 95% is spent in stop start traffic and roundabouts so unless this was a weekend car it just doesn't make sense.

Btw. In the UK 95 % of cars on the road are manual and this will be my first auto in 30 years of driving
I don't know the traffic patterns in Yorkshire but even in stop and go traffic in daily traffic grind we have in the Detroit area I prefer the MT. I think it's a more involving way to drive a car. Even when I'm in the horrible traffic of Los Angeles on business and in a rental with AT I miss being able to shift for myself.
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:12 AM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
You'll have to pry my clutch from my left foot and the shift knob from my hand before I'll switch to an automatic transmission. No matter how good, or fast or efficient the new 8 speed AT is it's still not as fun or involving as a BMW manual tranny.
This about sums up my feelings.

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  #19  
Old 02-02-2012, 12:35 PM
Turbo_525 Turbo_525 is offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
I don't know the traffic patterns in Yorkshire but even in stop and go traffic in daily traffic grind we have in the Detroit area I prefer the MT. I think it's a more involving way to drive a car. Even when I'm in the horrible traffic of Los Angeles on business and in a rental with AT I miss being able to shift for myself.
Funny to think about this. I drove a manual transmission cars (a few of them) and truck in the Chicago suburban area the entire 9 years I lived there. There were only about 3 times, in all seriousness, that I thought about having an automatic. In a flat land such as that, coasting in neutral is fine. Overall, I vastly prefer a 3-pedal car. Plus, it's a quick way to insure ONLY people who really should drive your car actually do.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:11 AM
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With new technology, there comes a time when "the old way" doesn't make logical sense anymore. We're not talking emotional stuff like connectedness.

In the past, manuals were far superior to autos -- cheaper, lighter weight, more durable, better control, better gas mileage, etc. But technology for manuals has stagnated, while autos are improving by leaps and bounds. So at what point does it logically make sense to ditch the manual?

I personally think the gap has closed significantly and with the "manual mode" on the auto, one can get many of the benefits of a manual (including things like engine braking). Also previously the manual mode was horrible, but from what we're hearing now, it is vastly improved with the ZF8.

That said, my personal thinking is that the manual still wins. But probably not for long. By the next generation, the auto will probably be better unless they do something to improve the manual. I think that's the reason we have efforts such as "Save the Manuals."
http://www.caranddriver.com/features...l-headquarters
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  #21  
Old 02-05-2012, 09:21 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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You get a manual transmission if driving doesn't feel right with you unless one hand is changing gears manually and one foot is slipping clutch.

The new auto shifts faster, gets better fuel economy, and costs nothing extra. It performs outstandingly well. And it's still an automatic transmission.

From a logical standpoint, or value standpoint, the automatic wins. I no longer fault anyone for getting the automatic, personally.

Of course, from a logical standpoint a whole different car offers more value.....so, ya know, you gotta weigh why you are buying the car. Most likely, it's not because of a pure value/logic standpoint.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
Of course, from a logical standpoint a whole different car offers more value.....so, ya know, you gotta weigh why you are buying the car. Most likely, it's not because of a pure value/logic standpoint.
It's very easy for me to justify buying the car from a value/logic standpoint because with respect to safety and handling it is better than anything I can get for this much money. Just looking at the kind of accidents that people walk away from in a BMW makes it easy to justify. And then there are situations that require emergency maneuvers or hard braking, which in this car, is business as usual...in some other car it might have resulted in loss of control.
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  #23  
Old 02-05-2012, 10:40 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
It's very easy for me to justify buying the car from a value/logic standpoint because with respect to safety and handling it is better than anything I can get for this much money. Just looking at the kind of accidents that people walk away from in a BMW makes it easy to justify. And then there are situations that require emergency maneuvers or hard braking, which in this car, is business as usual...in some other car it might have resulted in loss of control.
I mean no offense, but that's an extremely skewed perspective. It's not "better than anything you can get" for $45-50k in terms of safety.

By that same logic, you'd get better safety value out of, say, a used e60 550i because it has a 700 pound weight advantage and more crunch space between pass and impact object. And you'd save probably $10k in the process.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
I mean no offense, but that's an extremely skewed perspective. It's not "better than anything you can get" for $45-50k in terms of safety.

By that same logic, you'd get better safety value out of, say, a used e60 550i because it has a 700 pound weight advantage and more crunch space between pass and impact object. And you'd save probably $10k in the process.
No offense taken.

The 550i logic doesn't work for me. It is a WAY more expensive car to maintain and run (MPG, cost of tires, cost of servicing, gizmos that can break), and the safety improvement over the 3 is marginal at best.
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Last edited by mr_clueless; 02-05-2012 at 11:06 AM.
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  #25  
Old 02-05-2012, 01:15 PM
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Let's not make this a AT vs MT fight, It's all subjective.

I know the staus here in Germany make me regret a manual every time. I don't track nor do I street race. The next time around, it will be auto, whatever I get.
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