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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 01-10-2013, 01:09 PM
Vector Pilot Vector Pilot is offline
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Regarding interior/exterior style with Lexus being the exception, seems other carmakers are doing BMW better than BMW.
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  #127  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:04 PM
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What the hell happened?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vector Pilot View Post
Regarding interior/exterior style with Lexus being the exception, seems other carmakers are doing BMW better than BMW.
I really don't know what happened to Lexus but along with Acura they really seem to have lost their way, particularly in terms of exterior styling. In 1992 I purchased a Lexus SC300 Coupe. It was a wonderful car and had a great balance between luxury and performance. It was IMO exactly what a GT car should be. I cross shopped it with a BMW 8 Series and honestly preferred the Lexus in spite of its much lower price (which was comparable to a loaded 3 Series of the era). If Lexus/Toyota had continued to develop that model I would have seriously considered getting another but they replaced it with the rather bizarre SC430 convertible which I had no interest in at all.

This is what Automobile Magazine said about the Lexus SC300 in the February 1995 issue when it was voted an Automobile Magazine All-Star.

Quote:
Artful Motoring

"This is how it should be. You walk toward your car and notice how luscious it looks. You slide behind the wheel, and a moment passes before you turn the key. It is delightful here - as inviting as it is functional. The sumptuous leather seats are dyed in richly toned colors. Just the right amount of nicely buffed birds-eye maple accents the delicately drawn dash. The instrumentation is exceptionally clear, the switches and buttons are perfectly positioned. Quality of design, integrity of build.

This is how it should be: a shifter so supple that gear changes come nearly as fast as you can think of them. (And you think of them often because they feel so good.) A drivetrain, suspension, and steering setup that is better the harder you push it, that is quiet and serene as your mood shifts. This is how it should be: quality beyond reproach. Supple luxuriousness in motion. Fire in the belly, silk in the soul. The car as art.

This is how it should be. This is the Lexus SC300 an Automobile Magazine All-Star for the third year in a row.
The SC300 was introduced 20 years ago. Lexus had 20 years to develop that car and for some bizarre reason totally dropped the ball.

I don't know if Lexus is even selling the SC430 anymore but in 2007 when I was shopping for the E93 as much as I loved that 1992 SC300 the SC430 was not even a remote consideration. As of 2013 Lexus is still not making anything that interests me.

During that same 20 years the BMW 3 Series evolved from the E36 to the F30 and gained a lot of the characteristics that I liked about the Lexus in terms of comfort and refinement while still for the most part retaining the signature driving dynamics that built the BMW brand. I have spoken to people from Lexus USA and they are aware that the brand needs to have some life and excitement injected into it. They seem to be moving in that direction but they still have a long way to go. I have also spoken to people from BMW North America and they are aware that they need to become more "Lexus Like" in certain ways without losing the qualities that make a BMW a BMW.

It will be interesting to see where all of this ends up since both companies have deep pockets, excellent engineers and extensive resources.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-10-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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  #128  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:15 PM
samualcc samualcc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post

The SC300 was introduced 20 years ago. Lexus had 20 years to develop that car and for some bizarre reason totally dropped the ball.

I don't know if Lexus is even selling the SC430 anymore but in 2007 when I was shopping for the E93 as much as I loved that 1992 SC300 the SC430 was not even a remote consideration. As of 2013 Lexus is still not making anything that interests me.

CA
I really feel like Lexus has just decided that they are a softer brand, and that is what sells cars for them. They really are designed for Toyota drivers who graduate to higher income scales. If you come from a Toyota everything feels familiar, just nicer and more luxurious. I don't think this diminished the brand if that is their goal. If you want a highway cruiser Lexus vehicles are awesome.

Consider the original IS300. That car was amazing coming from Lexus. It was so driver oriented, with fantastic road feel and wonderful RWD handling characteristics. Lexus clearly decided that it didn't sell well because their average buyer was not looking for that. Hence the redesign brought a softer, quieter, and more powerful in a straight line replacement. The cream on top was that the top level model with the best engine was automatic only. Not really targeting enthusiast anymore, but they sold a hell of a lot more of them.
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  #129  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by samualcc View Post
I really feel like Lexus has just decided that they are a softer brand, and that is what sells cars for them. They really are designed for Toyota drivers who graduate to higher income scales. If you come from a Toyota everything feels familiar, just nicer and more luxurious. I don't think this diminished the brand if that is their goal. If you want a highway cruiser Lexus vehicles are awesome.

Consider the original IS300. That car was amazing coming from Lexus. It was so driver oriented, with fantastic road feel and wonderful RWD handling characteristics. Lexus clearly decided that it didn't sell well because their average buyer was not looking for that. Hence the redesign brought a softer, quieter, and more powerful in a straight line replacement. The cream on top was that the top level model with the best engine was automatic only. Not really targeting enthusiast anymore, but they sold a hell of a lot more of them.
According to what I see posted in this forum (not that I necessarily agree) that is what BMW is now doing with the 3 Series.

Also I don't think the IS is selling particularly well these days, and is not selling anywhere near as well as the F30. The SC300/400 which were driver oriented cars sold much better than the "softer" SC430 hardtop convertible so if that is Lexus' strategy it does not seem to be working very well. In spite of the "Rebadged Toyota" claims with the exception of the ES (which shares a platform and many other components with the Toyota Camry) Lexus cars all have unique RWD platforms that are not shared with any Toyota cars which are all FWD.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-10-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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  #130  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:42 PM
samualcc samualcc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
According to what I see posted in this forum (not that I necessarily agree) that is what BMW is now doing with the 3 Series.

Also I don't think the IS is selling particularly well these days, and is not selling anywhere near as well as the F30. The SC300/400 which were driver oriented cars sold much better than the "softer" SC430 hardtop convertible so if that is Lexus' strategy it does not seem to be working very well. In spite of the "Rebadged Toyota" claims with the exception of the ES (which shares a platform and many other components with the Toyota Camry) Lexus cars all have unique RWD platforms that are not shared with any Toyota cars which are all FWD.

CA
You need to temper your expectations around the IS seeing as it is 8+ years old and desperately in need of a redesign. I am not surprised it does not sell well.

I also didn't say rebadged Toyota. What I did say was Lexus cars feel very familiar to Toyota drivers. This is similar with Acura. The turn signal stalk is in the same place as are the lights. The wipers blades and cruise control work the same. It generally just feels familiar and comfortable to someone who has been driving Toyota's their whole life. That said, there is more platform sharing than just the ES/Camry. Most of the Lexus SUVs share platforms with their Toyota cousins, but they aren't cars of course. I am pretty sure the only unique platforms are the IS, GS, and LS.

Finally Lexus sold 72,872 SC300/400 in the US. They sold 69,641 SC430s which they probably considered successful given the price increase over the previous generation. But you are right, in terms of absolute sales, they did sell less.
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  #131  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:48 PM
DavidM1975 DavidM1975 is offline
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Yeah, actually, I'm sort of surprised by the Malibu. Not that I like it, but it seems much more upgraded than I ever expected.
Bear in mind the photography part is done much better on the malibu interior shot. They're even showing street lights in colors matching the highlights on the dashboard of the car. I've been wondering for a while why all the bmw interior shots have nothing but bland white/gray studio background showing through the windows. The lighting is pretty boring too. So much can be done with good photography. Can't wait to get my 335i in front of my camera!
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  #132  
Old 01-10-2013, 02:59 PM
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Bear in mind the photography part is done much better on the malibu interior shot. They're even showing street lights in colors matching the highlights on the dashboard of the car. I've been wondering for a while why all the bmw interior shots have nothing but bland white/gray studio background showing through the windows. The lighting is pretty boring too. So much can be done with good photography. Can't wait to get my 335i in front of my camera!
No doubt. They hire the best professional photographers out there for these shots.
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  #133  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by krash View Post
Yes, good point, it's really sort of silly to think otherwise.

Of course the 3 series will always look cheaper than the 5.

Samething applies to all other carmakers.

Infiniti: G looks cheaper than M
Lexus: ES looks cheaper than GS
Mercedes: C looks cheaper than E
I didn't even consider the 3 series until I saw the F30 . Personally speaking, I like the looks of the 3 series better than the new 5 (more aggressive), light on its feet, better mileage, and decent pull. I'm not the one to bash on anyone choices. People are entitled to their own opinions. I was actually just looking for a cpo m5 or shelby to take out on the weekends with my neighbor with his gt3 rs. I ended up with the f30 with no regrets. I can still afford to buy another BMW for my wife, put money aside for investments, family vacations etc. People purchase F30's because they like it. And to be honest, they can talk all the smack they want regarding my choice.

Just because we purchased a 3 series doesn't necessarily mean we can't do any better. I'm just tired of that crap. I just like the car dammit! now leave me alone.
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  #134  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:10 PM
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well my point wasn't that the F30 looks cheap in the sense that poor people drive it, but cheap in respect of the fact that BMW could have done much, much more with it. It's like people waited around for what, 6 or 7 years to get a car that just barely looks updated (reare end from the 5 which is already 5 years old from the GT) and "fiercer" headlights. This is BMW? Really? I swear to god they outsourced their design department to the local college/university.

Last edited by chris328; 01-10-2013 at 03:14 PM.
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  #135  
Old 01-10-2013, 03:44 PM
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boltjaM3s boltjaM3s is online now
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Originally Posted by chris328 View Post
well my point wasn't that the F30 looks cheap in the sense that poor people drive it, but cheap in respect of the fact that BMW could have done much, much more with it. It's like people waited around for what, 6 or 7 years to get a car that just barely looks updated (reare end from the 5 which is already 5 years old from the GT) and "fiercer" headlights. This is BMW? Really? I swear to god they outsourced their design department to the local college/university.
What could BMW done to be "much much more"?

The E90 was the most popular bodystyle in BMW history and they changed a lot in the F30. Flame surfacing reduced, nose completely different, hood completely different, roofline pushed back, nose extended, wheels enlarged, stance widened, standard equipment increased, interior overhauled.

The overall 'shape flow' of the 3 Series is the constant. It's the details that are the difference maker, and there is enough difference in the F30 to a) excite E90 owners and b) entice those new to the BMW family.

Sales are off the charts, record numbers. Especially for a year of transition and stock issues and a shaky economy.

You can say what you want about the aesthetics but if you were right the sales would be way off. People would be saying "Whoa, that's the same car as last year! I don't want that thing, it's just a re-hash of the E90! Boo!" and talking with their wallets. Right now, the F30 gets a gold-star, an amazing success, could be the most important and most decisive victory in BMW history considering what they were up against.

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  #136  
Old 01-10-2013, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris328 View Post
well my point wasn't that the F30 looks cheap in the sense that poor people drive it, but cheap in respect of the fact that BMW could have done much, much more with it. It's like people waited around for what, 6 or 7 years to get a car that just barely looks updated (reare end from the 5 which is already 5 years old from the GT) and "fiercer" headlights. This is BMW? Really? I swear to god they outsourced their design department to the local college/university.
It's really quite obvious.

Great designs, successful cars stand the test of time. Porsche 911. BMW 3 Series.

Cars that radically change all the time do so primarily because they are failures.

E90 was a great design. There really wasn't a need to morph it into something totally different.

Subtle modernization and minor improvements are all that was required.
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  #137  
Old 01-10-2013, 05:21 PM
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Regarding interior/exterior style with Lexus being the exception, seems other carmakers are doing BMW better than BMW.
This makes no sense to me.

Other car makers are doing BMW better than BMW?????
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  #138  
Old 01-10-2013, 05:44 PM
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Technic Technic is offline
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Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
But that was the case with the prior generation too. If you sat in a 5, 6, or 7 back in 2008 compared to the 3 you'd feel the same differences in design and features. In many cases, the differences were far more significant.

Today, the 3 looks like a smaller-footprint 5 on the exterior and has some of the dashboard and interior flair of the 6. Standard iDrive, new lighting, classy chrome touches, upgraded audio system, smartphone integration, leather stitching, head-up display and so on.

Comparing the F30 to the current MB and Audi is a strong win for BMW, and comparing it to the E90 is a nice step in the right direction as well with the Line choices and new standard equipment.

BJ
I disagree. Completely.

The late E-chassis 3-, 5- and 7-Series shared the basic interior layout during their production run. So sitting in a E90 felt like sitting in a smaller 5- or 7-Series, albeit with less luxury. The only E-chassis that broke that styling trend was the E70 X5. And to me it was a huge improvement in layout and materials over even the E65 7-Series back in the day. It is no wonder that it is the basic interior layout now in the F01 and F10. And still looks great in the E70, even at the $90,000 M version

Fast forward to now, with the F-chassis. And in specific the F30. BMW wants you to know each time you look at the interior of your F30 that what you bought is actually a slightly more luxurious F20 1-Series. Nothing more, nothing less. I sat down in an F20 at the Munich airport while on ED. The F20 is a smaller F30. The F30 is no longer a smaller 5-Series.

Ok, that is fine. This is the new BMW interior styling direction for the 3-Series. My problem is that 3-Series are hitting $66,000 MSRP now. Or about $8,000 less than a 7-Series.

This is not a $66,000 interior.
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  #139  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:07 PM
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BMW wants you to know each time you look at the interior of your F30 that what you bought is actually a slightly more luxurious F20 1-Series. Nothing more, nothing less.
.

I'm pretty sure that's not what BMW wants you to know every time you look at the interior of your car.

Seriously dude. Do you honestly think that BMW executives sit in a board room, and say to the designers, "goddamit, make certain those F30 owners know they only bought a slightly more luxurious F20 1-series, nothing more, nothing less."

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  #140  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by krash View Post
I'm pretty sure that's not what BMW wants you to know every time you look at the interior of your car.

Seriously dude. Do you honestly think that BMW executives sit in a board room, and say to the designers, "goddamit, make certain those F30 owners know they only bought a slightly more luxurious F20 1-series, nothing more, nothing less."

Have you seen the F20 interior in person?

Actually, I do think that BMW sits down and decides things like that. The same way they sat down once and decided that the 3-Series interior would look like a less luxurious 5-Series back in the day. Nothing more, nothing less. Those days are over, this is the new trend now. And that's ok.

Again, my problem is the price bracket which this interior layout needs to cover. Not the layout itself.
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  #141  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:35 PM
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Have you seen the F20 interior in person?

Actually, I do think that BMW sits down and decides things like that. The same way they sat down once and decided that the 3-Series interior would look like a less luxurious 5-Series back in the day. Nothing more, nothing less. Those days are over, this is the new trend now. And that's ok.

Again, my problem is the price bracket which this interior layout needs to cover. Not the layout itself.
It's all relative. My guess is that most buyers are in the $45k to $54k. The f30's interior is really nice relative to the competition in that price range.
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  #142  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:35 PM
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Guys, this may start a whole brawl, but I test drove a BMW 3 and a Lexus GS. On an albeit very short test drive - the GS was the better car. The interior was lovely and the dynamics felt very good (my dad has an older LS, hate driving it but love being driven in it but the GS is a very different Lexus).

Only reason I went to the Lexus dealer was bc the 3s I drove were all over $50k. Sure I could spec out the msport just the way I like it for a bit less but the price is just ridiculous. You can get a better equipped GS or even the base Tesla with the rebate in the same price range!
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  #143  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:36 PM
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i dont doubt that there any many people that prefer the look of the msport f30, but my guess is that it is probably the result of esotiril blue (msport exclusive paint) more than the front end and the sideskirts, as those look very similar to the e90/e92.
Add me to the list of people who got (in 6-8 wks) m-sport for the Estoril. I like the front of the sport better as well as the sport interior (red stitching). However, I didn't think any of the sport's colors did the car justice. For me it's more a testament to how much I disliked the color lineup than how much I wanted to get the m-sport features as a whole.
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  #144  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:46 PM
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It's all relative. My guess is that most buyers are in the $45k to $54k. The f30's interior is really nice relative to the competition in that price range.
It needs the same Full Leather trim as the 6-Series at least as an option.
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  #145  
Old 01-10-2013, 06:46 PM
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Guys, this may start a whole brawl, but I test drove a BMW 3 and a Lexus GS. On an albeit very short test drive - the GS was the better car. The interior was lovely and the dynamics felt very good (my dad has an older LS, hate driving it but love being driven in it but the GS is a very different Lexus).

Only reason I went to the Lexus dealer was bc the 3s I drove were all over $50k. Sure I could spec out the msport just the way I like it for a bit less but the price is just ridiculous. You can get a better equipped GS or even the base Tesla with the rebate in the same price range!
Autoblog Lexus GS 350 Sport review here:

http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/26/2...-sport-review/

Quote:
The Lexus GS has been chasing the BMW 5 Series for more than two decades. This year, it may have finally leapfrogged its benchmark prey.
CA
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  #146  
Old 01-10-2013, 07:28 PM
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Well, all I can say is that my wife hated the ES46 because of the heavy steering effort and not so good riding qualities. So, after only two years I sold my E46 and leased what I thought would be a good compromise for us, the 2008 Lexus GS350. What a joke! The steering and brake pedal feel was like a trip to the past of over boosted everything in American cars. The interior was very nice and the engine was a powerful 300 or so hp mill. However, it didn't feel anywhere as smooth as the Bimmer and the auto tranny, nowhere as good as the GM tranny being used by the Bimmer.

Next three years we leased the ES300. At least that car rode and emulated the top of the line Lexus quite well, for a lot of less money. With the lease about to expire, we test drove their new ES 300. It's comfy, but the over-boosted steering and brakes are still there!
The brake pedal goes almost half way before it's does it job and the steering is just as bad.

That's why we have returned to the 2013 328i. What a refreshing ride compared to Lexus. Now that the car has been changed in ride and steering my wife can live with it. It still feels as well planted on the highway at 80-85 as the ES 46 ever did and no wind noise!

BTW - We're both retired, so we only have one car. We fly whenever we go on vacation, can't put-up any more with the poor conditions of our highways and drivers. Yes, we are both in our mid-70's and really enjoying the Bimmer with all the new gadgets and look forward to the latest computerized changes they might unleash upon us.

Last edited by HugH; 01-10-2013 at 07:33 PM.
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  #147  
Old 01-10-2013, 07:37 PM
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Give us a break, get off your soap box.
Sorry, Vern, but you cannot argue with positive results.

BJ was exceedingly gracious in response and everyone else followed his lead. This thread has gone back to being very interesting and productive. There are many observations and ideas worth reading.

It would be great if you have a better method than mine! Please jump in when the next thread seriously derails.
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  #148  
Old 01-10-2013, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by fender215 View Post
Guys, this may start a whole brawl, but I test drove a BMW 3 and a Lexus GS. On an albeit very short test drive - the GS was the better car. The interior was lovely and the dynamics felt very good (my dad has an older LS, hate driving it but love being driven in it but the GS is a very different Lexus).

Only reason I went to the Lexus dealer was bc the 3s I drove were all over $50k. Sure I could spec out the msport just the way I like it for a bit less but the price is just ridiculous. You can get a better equipped GS or even the base Tesla with the rebate in the same price range!
Lexus GS is really nice.
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  #149  
Old 01-10-2013, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SamS View Post
You guys think the F30 Nav screen looks like a stuck-on afterthought? Try this new 2014 Mercedes CLA
I immediately noticed this placement as well.

The higher in the line of sight placement makes sense, even though the screen looks glued on. The designers may be taking advantage of our acceptance of GPS attached to windshields and the similar appearance of permanently mounted screens. BJ's observation that we now live in a tablet world has credence as well.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
I have wondered if painting the outer grills body color might make people a bit less offended by the grille and headlight contact.
As long as I don't notice it. Something looks wrong, like a piece of the hood is broken. It really grinds my nerves.
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