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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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  #126  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Reading some of the posts in the F30 discussion threads makes me laugh a little. I remember when the F30 wasn't released yet almost everyone was stating how much better the E90 was then the competition because of its steering, handling and balance. It didn't matter that it had "dated" interior because that was not why you bought BMW for. Most would call the A4 "soft" and posted negative comments about the turbo four. Funny how things have changed and now it is the BMW that is "soft" around the edges, comes with a four cylinder and gets terrible reviews about its steering feedback. Bottom line is that most members here would criticize the competition for exactly the same reasons the F30 is criticized by the magazines
I read those threads too, and I think that there was an element of surprise that wasn't expected, at least by me.

I thought the 4 cylinder engine would be awful. Dead wrong.

I thought the adjustable "modes" would just be savvy marketing. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would feel bigger. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would be slower. Dead wrong.

I thought that the car would retain it's bone-shattering too-tight suspension. Dead wrong.

I thought the Luxury/Sport/Modern lines would be distasteful. Dead wrong.

I thought the styling would be questionable. Dead wrong.

I thought the technology would still be shady BMW-style. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would cost me more than my prior one. Dead wrong.

The F30 exceeded every expectation I had. Truth be told, like many of us, I was going turn my E90 lease into an F30 lease unless they had screwed it up so badly that I was driven away. I'm loyal that way, comfortable with BMW. Not only didn't they screw it up, they made it much much better from a non-enthusiasts perspective. Couldn't be happier.

BJ
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  #127  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:37 PM
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Well, I do consider myself an enthusiast of sorts. I've driven tons of cars and I still think that the F30 retains an element of sportiness (at least in the configuration I optioned) that feeds my darker side (you know... the "cut loose when no one is around in the dead of night" side). When it comes to real "serious" performance... cars are kind of boring after riding 350 lb 180 horsepower super bikes.

Perhaps a four door 1 series will retain more of the character of the E90 that the E90 fans are feeling is lacking in the F30.

Also, I've seen critiques brought up of C&D indicating that they felt the E90 might "beat" the F30 on the track (much like they indicated that the E46 would beat both). I'd really like to see C&D put their money where their mouths are, and do a "has BMW gotten soft" story in which they put the F30/E90/E46 through the wringer, so we can find out just how "soft" the big old softie really is.
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  #128  
Old 10-10-2012, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
Well, I do consider myself an enthusiast of sorts. I've driven tons of cars and I still think that the F30 retains an element of sportiness (at least in the configuration I optioned) that feeds my darker side (you know... the "cut loose when no one is around in the dead of night" side). When it comes to real "serious" performance... cars are kind of boring after riding 350 lb 180 horsepower super bikes.

Perhaps a four door 1 series will retain more of the character of the E90 that the E90 fans are feeling is lacking in the F30.

Also, I've seen critiques brought up of C&D indicating that they felt the E90 might "beat" the F30 on the track (much like they indicated that the E46 would beat both). I'd really like to see C&D put their money where their mouths are, and do a "has BMW gotten soft" story in which they put the F30/E90/E46 through the wringer, so we can find out just how "soft" the big old softie really is.
Granted, I have just had an F30 as a loaner and did not drive it particular hard. But, it felt every bit as sporty in terms of suspension dynamics as my E90. I suspect the entire "getting soft" thing relates more to the F30 having a fairly comfortable ride.

The only aspect of the F30 that is less sporty than the E90 is the steering, and that is not really a BMW issue. The entire industry is moving toward EPS.
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  #129  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:06 PM
LegendsNeverDie LegendsNeverDie is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I read those threads too, and I think that there was an element of surprise that wasn't expected, at least by me.

I thought the 4 cylinder engine would be awful. Dead wrong.

I thought the adjustable "modes" would just be savvy marketing. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would feel bigger. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would be slower. Dead wrong.

I thought that the car would retain it's bone-shattering too-tight suspension. Dead wrong.

I thought the Luxury/Sport/Modern lines would be distasteful. Dead wrong.

I thought the styling would be questionable. Dead wrong.

I thought the technology would still be shady BMW-style. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would cost me more than my prior one. Dead wrong.

The F30 exceeded every expectation I had. Truth be told, like many of us, I was going turn my E90 lease into an F30 lease unless they had screwed it up so badly that I was driven away. I'm loyal that way, comfortable with BMW. Not only didn't they screw it up, they made it much much better from a non-enthusiasts perspective. Couldn't be happier.

BJ
Incorrect. You purchased a different vehicle and now you are flip-flopping.
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  #130  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:11 PM
LegendsNeverDie LegendsNeverDie is offline
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Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
Well, I do consider myself an enthusiast of sorts. I've driven tons of cars and I still think that the F30 retains an element of sportiness (at least in the configuration I optioned) that feeds my darker side (you know... the "cut loose when no one is around in the dead of night" side). When it comes to real "serious" performance... cars are kind of boring after riding 350 lb 180 horsepower super bikes.

Perhaps a four door 1 series will retain more of the character of the E90 that the E90 fans are feeling is lacking in the F30.

Also, I've seen critiques brought up of C&D indicating that they felt the E90 might "beat" the F30 on the track (much like they indicated that the E46 would beat both). I'd really like to see C&D put their money where their mouths are, and do a "has BMW gotten soft" story in which they put the F30/E90/E46 through the wringer, so we can find out just how "soft" the big old softie really is.
That would be pretty cool actually. I think there are also some critical advantages that the F30 has over the E90 in terms of performance and driving dynamics. It has a more rigid chassis, more balanced engine placement vs the long I6 and of course cheap power upgrades due to FI.
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  #131  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:13 PM
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Well, they are stock in the sense that they are the sport package rims... which cost me a pretty penny since x-drive cars don't get sport suspension too.
True and there's nothing stock about them other than they come with the Sport package. I usually change wheels and I have the same ones but this time I'm keeping them.
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  #132  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Incorrect. You purchased a different vehicle and now you are flip-flopping.
No.

I purchased my third 3 Series in 6 years and was worried that they might have ruined it. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Just like you.

I'm assuming you drive an E90 Sport. I owned both an E90 M-Sport and an F30. I think I'm quite qualified to comment on the attributes of both cars. Keep reading your magazines, I'm sure they teach you a lot.

BJ
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  #133  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
That would be pretty cool actually. I think there are also some critical advantages that the F30 has over the E90 in terms of performance and driving dynamics. It has a more rigid chassis, more balanced engine placement vs the long I6 and of course cheap power upgrades due to FI.
Frankly I think if they did it they'd come away with their hat in their hands for all the BS they've been spouting, because the E90 would be better than the E46 and the F30 would be better than both.
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  #134  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:56 PM
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  #135  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
No.

I purchased my third 3 Series in 6 years and was worried that they might have ruined it. Thankfully, I was wrong.

Just like you.

I'm assuming you drive an E90 Sport. I owned both an E90 M-Sport and an F30. I think I'm quite qualified to comment on the attributes of both cars. Keep reading your magazines, I'm sure they teach you a lot.

BJ
I read some of the stuff on here and then just kind of smile to myself when I'm driving.
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  #136  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:53 PM
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Lexus ES is cheaper because it's pretty much a toyota with different sheet metal and some soft leather seats.
The ES350 is based on the Camry and shares a lot of parts with it but is in most ways a much more refined car than the Camry.

The ES350 is not really intended to compete with the 3 Series. The Lexus that goes against the 3 is the IS, which is a unique platform to Lexus and has no corresponding Toyota model.

The previous generation IS-F had a ride that was very harsh. Much harsher than an E9x with sport suspension.

CA
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  #137  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:06 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Originally Posted by voip-ninja View Post
Well, I do consider myself an enthusiast of sorts. I've driven tons of cars and I still think that the F30 retains an element of sportiness (at least in the configuration I optioned) that feeds my darker side (you know... the "cut loose when no one is around in the dead of night" side). When it comes to real "serious" performance... cars are kind of boring after riding 350 lb 180 horsepower super bikes.

Perhaps a four door 1 series will retain more of the character of the E90 that the E90 fans are feeling is lacking in the F30.

Also, I've seen critiques brought up of C&D indicating that they felt the E90 might "beat" the F30 on the track (much like they indicated that the E46 would beat both). I'd really like to see C&D put their money where their mouths are, and do a "has BMW gotten soft" story in which they put the F30/E90/E46 through the wringer, so we can find out just how "soft" the big old softie really is.
Car and Driver is not saying the E90 would be faster on the track that I can recall. What they are saying is if there were a comparison test between the two in their magazine the E90 would win. They feel the major drawbacks of the F30 vs the E90 are a slightly softer suspension, softer brake feel and most of all the EPS. It's just a lesser car for an enthusiast than the F30 to them.

Last edited by Michael Schott; 10-10-2012 at 07:08 PM.
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  #138  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:14 PM
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The ES350 is based on the Camry and shares a lot of parts with it but is in most ways a much more refined car than the Camry.

The ES350 is not really intended to compete with the 3 Series. The Lexus that goes against the 3 is the IS, which is a unique platform to Lexus and has no corresponding Toyota model.

The previous generation IS-F had a ride that was very harsh. Much harsher than an E9x with sport suspension.

CA
That's because Lexus is a re-badged Toyota.
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  #139  
Old 10-10-2012, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
That's because Lexus is a re-badged Toyota.
I don't know what happened to Lexus but they definitely lost their way. My 92 SC300 coupe was one of the best cars I ever had. It was a really great GT car, very refined, excellent ergonomics, a great balance between comfort and performance and it felt like it was carved out of a solid block of steel. If they had continued to devlop that model I would have seriously considered another. As it turned out they had replaced it with the SC430 retractable hardtop convertible, which I had no interest in at all. We wound up getting the E93 as the New York car and a Jaguar XKR as the Florida car.

It will be interesting to see what Lexus comes up with over the next few years but I suspect there may be some interesting new Lexus models in the near future.

CA
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  #140  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:07 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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I don't have negative feelings about the F30 and it has certain benefits vs the E90 but this is the first time that car magazines have said that the new generation is not an improvement on the old for enthusiasts.
I'm glad I'm capable of independent thought and don't need to rely on a magazine to make my decisions for me.
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  #141  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:18 PM
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Oh, boy. You are opening a can of worms. To some boy racer types, that very firm steering is why you buy a BMW.

Otherwise, I agree with you. Trying to drive an E90 over rough terrain was positively teeth rattling. The F30 is a "better for all occasions" BMW, though the E90 might trump it in one or two. Not the cupholders, though.
I know you're being a bit tongue-in-cheek there, but I'd just like to point out that steering weight is a matter of personal preference driven by experience that doesnt have anything to do with being a "boy racer". Both my wife and my mom prefer heavy steering, feeling that it makes a car feel more planted. Neither has anything resembling upper body strength nor could I even remotely call them car enthusiasts. The fact that one is coming off 16 years in an Acura Integra with heavy steering and the other came off 18 years driving an E30 325iX probably has something to do with it.

The difficult thing for people who like some weight to the steering is that there's just nowhere else to go. Drove the A4, C250, Acura ILX, they are all even lighter and more devoid of feel. BMW was the last holdout. For me I prefer a little weight, but it's also important that effort builds with cornering load, so that the steering helps you sense how hard the front tires are working, and goes light when they lose grip. I call it like I see it. My S2000 is IMHO completely let down in its mission of being a pure driving machine by it's lack of steering feel. OTOH my 2009 Honda Fit has way better steering than any $16k ****box has any right to have. In fact, I can't find a single characteristic of our new VSS equipped F30 steering-even in sport mode- that is better, at 3x the price.

I do respect that others feel differently and that time marches on. Personally I agree that the engine/transmission of the F30 328i is a masterpiece, the ride/handling balance is better, and the interior is nicer. The only things I miss from the E90 are the steering and the comparative lack of complexity.


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+1, same here. I am reminded of the over-boosted steering in early E46 cars, developed to lure potential buyers who complained the E36 steering was "too heavy." The result was quickly dubbed "The Ultimate Parking Machine" and the ensuing backlash was so widespread and sustained that BMW (rather quickly, as such things go) redesigned the steering rack with less boost, made a running production change to incorporate it and offered a free retrofit to any owner who complained.

My, how times have changed....
I remember that! Drove my friends' 2001 330Ci and couldn't believe how light it was!
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  #142  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:46 PM
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What does that have to do with me? I've owned nothing but fairly sport sedans and coupes over the past 20 years.
It's got nothing to do with you It was just a comment about how many German luxury car drivers have moved to Lexus because of the softer ride, and BMW cannot be completely oblivious to that fact.
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  #143  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:48 PM
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Lexus? You're kidding, right?

If I wanted to get thrown out of the country club I'd just paint graffiti on the walls, would be a lot less painful. Two things:

1. A rebadged Toyota is not a luxury car.
But I know one person who bought a Lexus precisely because it was a re-badged Toyota, with presumably Toyota quality and reliability (this was a few years back).
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  #144  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:52 PM
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But I know one person who bought a Lexus precisely because it was a re-badged Toyota, with presumably Toyota quality and reliability (this was a few years back).
Oh I did the exact same thing with Acura product because it was a rebadged Honda, absolutely.

And then I made a lot of money and that was the end of that.

BJ
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  #145  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Reading some of the posts in the F30 discussion threads makes me laugh a little. I remember when the F30 wasn't released yet almost everyone was stating how much better the E90 was then the competition because of its steering, handling and balance. It didn't matter that it had "dated" interior because that was not why you bought BMW for. Most would call the A4 "soft" and posted negative comments about the turbo four. Funny how things have changed and now it is the BMW that is "soft" around the edges, comes with a four cylinder and gets terrible reviews about its steering feedback. Bottom line is that most members here would criticize the competition for exactly the same reasons the F30 is criticized by the magazines
These were the same reactions I had when I started reading F30 reviews and comments, but my sarcasm was mostly directed at the engine. Rags and boards were relentless about the sewing-machine sounding four-banger in the A4, they were outraged about paying $30+K for a turbo four-banger, and on and on. But now that BMW has joined the bandwagon, turbo fours are great, their mileage is great, their light weight makes the car more agile, and on and on. It's hilarious.
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  #146  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:06 PM
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On the downsides, I find the F30 steering to be numb and it feels light and overly boosted to me. I can't begin to agree with those of you who see it as superior (or even close to being the equal of) the E90.
I am sure some third party vendor will soon offer adjusting assist levels through programming. If not possible already, I suspect BMW will eventually change the adjustments interface to allow individual control of throttle, suspension, and steering settings (should be trivial given the idrive interface).

The 2013 A4 also got an electric-motor assisted steering, and I am almost sure you can already change the assist level through VAG-COM.
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  #147  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:06 PM
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It's got nothing to do with you It was just a comment about how many German luxury car drivers have moved to Lexus because of the softer ride, and BMW cannot be completely oblivious to that fact.
BMW has surpased Lexus in sales so I am not really sure how many BMW drivers have gone to Lexus.

If Lexus made a car that I liked I would have no qualms about buying one and I don't care who called it a Rebadged Toyota.

CA
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  #148  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I read those threads too, and I think that there was an element of surprise that wasn't expected, at least by me.

I thought the 4 cylinder engine would be awful. Dead wrong.

I thought the adjustable "modes" would just be savvy marketing. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would feel bigger. Dead wrong.

I thought the car would be slower. Dead wrong.
You have to sit back and ask yourself why you thought these things.

My guess is because of the uninformed mindless brain-washing by the auto press.
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  #149  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
I suspect the entire "getting soft"...
My view is that BMW is getting softer (especially the 5), but not necessarily soft.
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  #150  
Old 10-10-2012, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
The ES350 is based on the Camry and shares a lot of parts with it but is in most ways a much more refined car than the Camry.

The ES350 is not really intended to compete with the 3 Series. The Lexus that goes against the 3 is the IS, which is a unique platform to Lexus and has no corresponding Toyota model.
Good job setting the record straight.
Quote:
The previous generation IS-F had a ride that was very harsh. Much harsher than an E9x with sport suspension.
The IS-F was the equivalent of the M3. It was a beast not many people have even heard about.
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