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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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  #26  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:52 AM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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I switched to F30 8 AT(first automatic car) from a E39 5-speed MT(NA I6 M54). On the F30 I4 and I6 turbo, my take in the test drives was that the power delivery is better mated to the ZF 8 AT than the ZF 6 MT. I am pretty happy with the ZF 8 AT on the N26 so far.
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  #27  
Old 12-25-2012, 02:15 PM
bmw_or_audi bmw_or_audi is offline
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Originally Posted by 5335 View Post
This will be my last chance to drive 6MT due to some personal reasons.

I heard some people regretting not getting manual. Does anyone regret not getting this supposedly wonderful 8AT?

Nowadays even Porches come with DCT on top end models. Does that mean manual is losing its merit?
Asking about merit is the wrong question in my opinion. You have to ask yourself how much enjoyment you get out of driving a stick. That's it.
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  #28  
Old 12-25-2012, 04:09 PM
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EddieB EddieB is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
Asking about merit is the wrong question in my opinion. You have to ask yourself how much enjoyment you get out of driving a stick. That's it.
Very true. I noticed that the F30 is really easy to shift compared to the E46 M3.
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  #29  
Old 12-25-2012, 07:34 PM
DavidM1975 DavidM1975 is offline
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I've been driving MT all my life and everytime I get into an AT car I immediately wish it was manual. I have to agree the F30's 8AT is amazing - in both 328i and 335i that I test drove it was smooth beyond belief and indeed very responsive but I just can't imagine not having MT in my own car.
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  #30  
Old 12-25-2012, 07:46 PM
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+1 can't imagine owning an auto.
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  #31  
Old 12-26-2012, 05:14 AM
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  #32  
Old 01-02-2013, 10:55 AM
mrbelk mrbelk is offline
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The lease on my '11 335i 6MT is coming up this spring and I am fighting the same dilemma. I've been a MT driver my whole life (with a 3yr gap where I had a Pontiac Grand Prix GTP). I think I am going to "downsize" to a 328 from a 335 this time and to that end, I drove a 328i SportLine with the 8AT sport auto this past weekend. The dealership didn't have a single F30 6MT in stock so I couldn't compare.

My thoughts are these: the 8AT is amazing with the gear ratios so close together and the rev-matching on downshifts when in manual mode. What I don't like is how the paddles work. Since they're mated to the wheel, if you go hand over hand and have to up or downshift, you really have to think about which paddle your left or right hand is going to pull. For paddles that are on the wheel and when the wheel requires shuffle steering (like I've been taught to do since crossing your arms is very dangerous if the airbag deploys) or repositioning your hands because there are too many turns lock to lock, I would much prefer the "old style" of push/pull for downshift and upshift so that each paddle works the same. Ferrari and Lamborghini put fairly long paddles on the steering column so that your right hand is _always_ over the upshift paddle and your left hand is _always_ over the downshift paddle. I'm kind of surprised that no one has mentioned this in the forums.

Having said all that, I think the 328i would be much better suited to the 8AT so that the engine is in the sweet spot more often thanks to the closer spaced gears. I notice that the 6MT in the 328 has 2 overdrive gears compared to just one overdrive gear in the 6MT that's installed in the 335.

It's going to be a tough decision to make for sure.

-MrB
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  #33  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:01 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk View Post
The lease on my '11 335i 6MT is coming up this spring and I am fighting the same dilemma. I've been a MT driver my whole life (with a 3yr gap where I had a Pontiac Grand Prix GTP). I think I am going to "downsize" to a 328 from a 335 this time and to that end, I drove a 328i SportLine with the 8AT sport auto this past weekend. The dealership didn't have a single F30 6MT in stock so I couldn't compare.

My thoughts are these: the 8AT is amazing with the gear ratios so close together and the rev-matching on downshifts when in manual mode. What I don't like is how the paddles work. Since they're mated to the wheel, if you go hand over hand and have to up or downshift, you really have to think about which paddle your left or right hand is going to pull. For paddles that are on the wheel and when the wheel requires shuffle steering (like I've been taught to do since crossing your arms is very dangerous if the airbag deploys) or repositioning your hands because there are too many turns lock to lock, I would much prefer the "old style" of push/pull for downshift and upshift so that each paddle works the same. Ferrari and Lamborghini put fairly long paddles on the steering column so that your right hand is _always_ over the upshift paddle and your left hand is _always_ over the downshift paddle. I'm kind of surprised that no one has mentioned this in the forums.

Having said all that, I think the 328i would be much better suited to the 8AT so that the engine is in the sweet spot more often thanks to the closer spaced gears. I notice that the 6MT in the 328 has 2 overdrive gears compared to just one overdrive gear in the 6MT that's installed in the 335.

It's going to be a tough decision to make for sure.

-MrB
Call around, drive around...make the effort to sample an 6mt 328. That's the only way to know for sure. It would suck to buy a car and wind up regretting getting the manual.
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  #34  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk View Post
What I don't like is how the paddles work. Since they're mated to the wheel, if you go hand over hand and have to up or downshift, you really have to think about which paddle your left or right hand is going to pull.
If you're concerned about the paddles not being where you'd expect during heavy wheel turns, you can just use the shifter lever to shift, instead.
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  #35  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:04 AM
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the push pull was so nice, i had that **** down to a science.
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  #36  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:10 AM
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I've never owned anything but manuals. But my wife bought her first AT, a Subaru Outback. I love having an AT in that car, would not want a manual.

So if the F30 is gonna be your commuter car primarily, and not a weekend mountain road warrior, I'd get an AT.

If I buy a Porsche, it'll be a manual, it depends on the car, imo.
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  #37  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:11 AM
mrbelk mrbelk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
Call around, drive around...make the effort to sample an 6mt 328. That's the only way to know for sure. It would suck to buy a car and wind up regretting getting the manual.
I'm not done trying to find a 6MT 328. There are bunch of dealers in ATL; one of them probably has a 6MT 328.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamS
If you're concerned about the paddles not being where you'd expect during heavy wheel turns, you can just use the shifter lever to shift, instead.
Very true, but that begins to defeat the purpose of the flappy paddles.

-MrB
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  #38  
Old 01-02-2013, 11:33 AM
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After having a manual on every car I've owned since I was 16, I switched to the 8AT with the F30. I thought, that with a little bit bigger car, two kids with car seats, and a couple years into my 30's, the 8AT would be the better move. I now regret not holding firm and getting the 6MT. The 8AT is a great tranny and is faster than I could ever be rowing the gears myself, but I feel I'm not as involved with my car as much as I want to be. The next go round, I will definitely go back to a manual...assuming Munich still offers one.
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  #39  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:00 PM
elistan elistan is offline
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My daily commute often involves lots of stop-and-go traffic. I would literally ache after driving my S2000 some days. I got the 8AT specifically for that reason. The fact that it's responsive during shifting and the TC locks up when at speed makes it entirely tolerable.
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  #40  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:34 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk View Post
The lease on my '11 335i 6MT is coming up this spring and I am fighting the same dilemma. I've been a MT driver my whole life (with a 3yr gap where I had a Pontiac Grand Prix GTP). I think I am going to "downsize" to a 328 from a 335 this time and to that end, I drove a 328i SportLine with the 8AT sport auto this past weekend. The dealership didn't have a single F30 6MT in stock so I couldn't compare.

My thoughts are these: the 8AT is amazing with the gear ratios so close together and the rev-matching on downshifts when in manual mode. What I don't like is how the paddles work. Since they're mated to the wheel, if you go hand over hand and have to up or downshift, you really have to think about which paddle your left or right hand is going to pull. For paddles that are on the wheel and when the wheel requires shuffle steering (like I've been taught to do since crossing your arms is very dangerous if the airbag deploys) or repositioning your hands because there are too many turns lock to lock, I would much prefer the "old style" of push/pull for downshift and upshift so that each paddle works the same. Ferrari and Lamborghini put fairly long paddles on the steering column so that your right hand is _always_ over the upshift paddle and your left hand is _always_ over the downshift paddle. I'm kind of surprised that no one has mentioned this in the forums.

Having said all that, I think the 328i would be much better suited to the 8AT so that the engine is in the sweet spot more often thanks to the closer spaced gears. I notice that the 6MT in the 328 has 2 overdrive gears compared to just one overdrive gear in the 6MT that's installed in the 335.

It's going to be a tough decision to make for sure.

-MrB
Hand over hand turning is wrong. Simple as that. This requires taking your hands off the wheel in a turn. This is not good during enthusiastic driving. As much as possible, keep your hands on the wheel in the 9 and 3 positions. That is why the paddles move with the wheel. I also prefer one paddle for upshifts and the other for downshifts.
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  #41  
Old 01-02-2013, 01:50 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Hand over hand turning is wrong. Simple as that. This requires taking your hands off the wheel in a turn. This is not good during enthusiastic driving. As much as possible, keep your hands on the wheel in the 9 and 3 positions. That is why the paddles move with the wheel. I also prefer one paddle for upshifts and the other for downshifts.

From The Skip Barber Driving School

"Shuffle Steering:

Our preferred method of adding and reducing steering is called shuffle steering. If you're willing to devote the effort to practice this technique the result should be more precise steering, more accurate skid control and a generally calmer driving environment.

Here's how it works. For a left turn, the right hand moves to the bottom of the steering wheel then pushes the wheel up a full half turn. This places the right hand at the top of the wheel. Meanwhile, the left hand has mirrored this movement and slid up to meet the right. The left hand now pulls the wheel down through another full half turn, while the right slides down the wheel rim so both hands meet at the bottom." `

Sometimes 9 and 3 is not practical in a very tight turn. In those cases shuffle steering will allow you to keep both hands on the wheel, which as Michael stated is something you should always try to do. When shuffle steering you never should let go of the wheel, you merely loosen your grip with one had just enough for the wheel to slide within your loosened grip. You should keep the wheel gripped firmly but never in a "death grip" as that will make it harder to sense what the car is doing,
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-02-2013 at 01:57 PM.
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  #42  
Old 01-02-2013, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk View Post
Very true, but that begins to defeat the purpose of the flappy paddles.

-MrB
Yes and no. Shifting via the gear lever is going to be faster shifts than a 6MT.

If you can't train your brain to adjust to where the paddles are when the wheel is turned at a severe angle, you should train your brain to use the gear lever 100% of the time.

In actual use, both the ZF 8AT and the M-DCT seem smart enough in corner (i.e. those situations where the wheel is heavily turned) to properly shift without your interaction. In other words, unless you're truly tracking your car, just put it in auto-mode and punch it!
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  #43  
Old 01-02-2013, 02:18 PM
jlukja jlukja is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
...
Sometimes 9 and 3 is not practical in a very tight turn. In those cases shuffle steering will allow you to keep both hands on the wheel, which as Michael stated is something you should always try to do. When shuffle steering you never should let go of the wheel, you merely loosen your grip with one had just enough for the wheel to slide within your loosened grip. You should keep the wheel gripped firmly but never in a "death grip" as that will make it harder to sense what the car is doing,
I completely agree. While using shuffle steering in a tight turn your hands may not be in a position to activate the shift paddles. However, in that situation you probably don't want to be executing shifts and upsetting the balance of the car.
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  #44  
Old 01-02-2013, 02:58 PM
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My 1st choice would probably be manual. Specially in Northern California.... no that much traffic. Here it is insane traffic, bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go and I would need to shift like 150x just to get home. Not fun. My previous E46 was manual - I couldn't keep 1st without going 500rpm.

I wrote "probably" because I am not so sure. I don't really miss that 3rd pedal but I love to shift (paddles are no substitute). We have another manual car in the family.

And since I use M-mode 80-90% of the time out of the highways, I have to say that I am pleased with the old style Steptronic (I prefer it to the new style but could get used to it I guess). I even lift the throttle between shifts just for the fun. Somebody listening could swear I am driving a manual. BMW Steptronic is an exception because most manumatics suck.
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  #45  
Old 01-02-2013, 03:20 PM
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The advantage of the paddles is that they allow you to keep both hands on the wheel which is why race cars with two pedals use paddles rather than a floor mounted lever.

CA
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  #46  
Old 01-02-2013, 08:27 PM
bmw_or_audi bmw_or_audi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
From The Skip Barber Driving School

"Shuffle Steering:

Here's how it works. For a left turn, the right hand moves to the bottom of the steering wheel then pushes the wheel up a full half turn. This places the right hand at the top of the wheel. Meanwhile, the left hand has mirrored this movement and slid up to meet the right. The left hand now pulls the wheel down through another full half turn, while the right slides down the wheel rim so both hands meet at the bottom." `
This is a classic method, but I have also seen some schools advocate the same thing but starting with left hand pull down instead of a right hand pull up.
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  #47  
Old 01-02-2013, 08:29 PM
bmw_or_audi bmw_or_audi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbelk View Post
Having said all that, I think the 328i would be much better suited to the 8AT so that the engine is in the sweet spot more often thanks to the closer spaced gears. I notice that the 6MT in the 328 has 2 overdrive gears compared to just one overdrive gear in the 6MT that's installed in the 335.
The sweet spot for the 2.0T is one huge range. You can probably get away with far fewer gears. The 8-speed auto mostly give you some really tall gears for highway cruising.
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  #48  
Old 01-03-2013, 12:36 AM
pkim1079 pkim1079 is offline
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My left acl is partially torn (only have 20%) and my 40lb clutch was killing me. With this car i got the AT. i do miss shifting but I just put it in manual mode and call it a day. Its actually pretty good for an auto. Even the auto in the "great" e90 was atrocious. I do enjoy the dct of the 135 in my garage though.
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  #49  
Old 01-03-2013, 12:40 AM
pkim1079 pkim1079 is offline
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Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
The advantage of the paddles is that they allow you to keep both hands on the wheel which is why race cars with two pedals use paddles rather than a floor mounted lever.

CA
I actually wish they were bigger and fixed (doesnt turn with steering wheel) like in lambos. Wish they also had L+R paddles at the same time for Neutral like lambos. That would be awesome.
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  #50  
Old 01-03-2013, 12:45 AM
pkim1079 pkim1079 is offline
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Originally Posted by CE750Jockey View Post
Like many, I went with the new 8AT. It's great......but it's not the same, either. I miss the MT. The AT is silky smooth and convenient, but for enjoyment and involvement, I'd go MT.
I miss being able to engage the clutch at any rev in first or to rev freely just to hear the exhaust!! And just to have a better launch.
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