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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 08-14-2013, 09:20 AM
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beden1 beden1 is offline
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Has BMW lost it's direction?

I found this Youtube auto show (Autoline After Hours) on another car forum which is very interesting. They cover many of the topics that we discuss here on Bimmerfest. It's worth watching the entire episode, IMO, but the discussion regarding BMW starts at 10:07.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...5GyILrI#at=627
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Last edited by beden1; 08-14-2013 at 05:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2013, 10:27 AM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
I found this Youtube auto show (Autoline After Hours) on another car forum which is very interesting. They cover many of the topics that we discuss here on Bimmerfest. It's worth watching the entire episode, IMO, but the discussion regarding BMW starts at 10:07.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...5GyILrI#at=627
Has BMW lost it's way, IMHO yes. N4S

Last edited by need4speed; 08-14-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2013, 10:38 AM
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I can go into a huge ramble about this and I've pretty much said this in many different ways. I think they have. They've become the German GM/Toyota.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:45 AM
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It's still a business to them. They'll do whatever they can to improve shareholder value. If that means to build an electric micro commuter vehicle, or a high end performance sedan, and increase their brand's footprint, they'll of course do it. Nobody is going to build cars just for a niche market and compete globally, at least not at a price most of us can afford. I just hope that I can stay on the fringe of the masses, where the big car companies(especially BMW) stays engaged in providing what I want.
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2013, 10:50 AM
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I think the opposite. BMW is more in control of its brand and direction now than ever before. Cars like the 1M, M6 and M6 Gran Coupe show that BMW knows how to build absolutely amazing performance vehicles with broad appeal. As long as BMW can continue to bring elements of those cars to its other mass market cars, while still remaining differentiated from the competition then I think they are going to be very successful.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2013, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
This segment could be titled "Curmudgeons Gone Wild" - same bemoaning, beset with contradictions, frequently voiced here. Car companies need to make relevant designs that reflect changing demographics, technological advances, as well as fashion. I recently purchased a 328xi Sport Line - the "Camry of BMWs". Yeah, my 328xi is seemingly a bit generic, but it still goes about its business in a very "BMW' way - with solid structure, responsive engine and suspension, comfy supportive seats, a large measure of utility, while still possessing a lithesome fun spirit. Indeed, when I was driving the car this morning, I thought I heard faint echos of my long departed but much beloved E39 525. There are times I do not want to drive my M3, but I still appreciate driving a BMW. My F30 328xi is quintessentially an expression of BMWness.
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  #7  
Old 08-14-2013, 11:04 AM
jwalz1 jwalz1 is offline
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Have they lost their way? Depends on who you ask I guess.

I went out to drive a used E90 335i and did not like it due to the extremely dull and uninspired interior and comically heavy steering, and I have had two manual steering racks before. For giggles I drove the F30, loved it an have one just about to complete production. It was not for the tech wizardry , (although I ordered the tech package for HUD) because I don't even own a cell phone. Had one before, can't stand em.

The F30 Xdrive I took for a spin could handle a bit sportier, sure. But it offered very good acceleration even with the 4, great mileage, greatly improved interior, I think one of the best exteriors out there, great ride and still more fun to drive that 90% of the cars made today. I cross shopped the Audi and liked it but the exterior is seriously dated and the engine tranny combo is not nearly as good.

So what BMW did with the new car is make it more appealing to someone like me, as opposed to where they had been. And they are increasing their sales, so I doubt they feel they have lost their way.

I do admit that this is not my toy, and I have a faster car that handles much better. If it were to be my only car, I maybe would have still been fine with getting the 335i loaded with all the sport goodies instead of a 328i, but would have probably purchased a Cayman S over this if I wanted all-out sport even if the F30 steering were perfect. I do have to say however, that my S2000 has electric assist and it is wonderful, I guess I am at a loss for why BMW can't quite do the same, but it is not as horrible as some make it out to be.

I know the enthusiasts want a car that will be nice but still perform on the track, but BMW's research I am sure shows the people who track them are the exception to those that want a sporty-ish sedan with panache and very heavy goodies. I have to admit, 5,6,and 7 series do not appeal to me at all. Too big, too heavy. But ask me if I like them when I am 50 or 60 and maybe my answer will be different. And the old geezers in the video were saying BMW and Porsche were trying to build cars for the masses and not the enthusiast. Well who isn't? Ferrari and Lamborghini maybe, but very few can afford those.

If I were BMW and I thought I was losing the purists, I would go right along with doing what I am doing by gaining sales on the 3 series, and make a more serious attempt to make the 1 series a lighter car and water down some of the ugly. That car could easily drop a couple hundred pounds and be much better looking and that would can be the purist car. Maybe even offer a 1 series with a "track pack" that sheds more weight and comes with handling and braking improvements. I may also look at making the Z4 less about being a cushy tourer and more of a sports car.

Last edited by jwalz1; 08-14-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-14-2013, 11:08 AM
sean10mm sean10mm is offline
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Judging by their sales I'd say no. Judging by the fact the F30 328i performs like a E46 330i ZHP I'd say no. Judging by how the 3er still wins pretty much every compro against the competition I'd say no.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:12 AM
AJPITT AJPITT is offline
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I do not think so. The fact that they are creating more niche vehicles and putting systems into popular vehicles that may make them less appealing to a certain segment of the market, does not mean they have lost their direction. The softer steering of the new 3 is something that a lot of other companies are doing as well. Infiniti with the Q50 being the latest one that I read about. They are just trying to meet some of our demands (we hate pothole explosions and now complain about the car's overall softer feeling) and also appeal to a broader (geographical, generational, etc.) customer base. If one is looking for ultimate performance and sportiness, it can be found in vehicles like the 1, 6, Z and probably all of the M models. Things like the "I" unit of BMW and embracing new technologies in many ways does not mean that they have lost their way. They do have to adapt to changing markets if they want to survive though and I think that this is all that they are doing.
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2013, 11:26 AM
PK2348 PK2348 is offline
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Originally Posted by jwalz1 View Post
Have they lost their way? Depends on who you ask I guess.

I went out to drive a used E90 335i and did not like it due to the extremely dull and uninspired interior and comically heavy steering, and I have had two manual steering racks before. For giggles I drove the F30, loved it an have one just about to complete production. It was not for the tech wizardry , (although I ordered the tech package for HUD) because I don't even own a cell phone. Had one before, can't stand em.
i'm kind of stuck on the cell phone thing?
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  #11  
Old 08-14-2013, 11:27 AM
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Technic Technic is offline
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There are times I do not want to drive my M3, but I still appreciate driving a BMW.
I got like 30 more years to go to get to that point...
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  #12  
Old 08-14-2013, 11:35 AM
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As long as BMW invest the resources to offer sport suspensions, seats, trim, chassis and such as options and they get a decent return of such investment then I think that they will be fine for quite a long time.

If 99% of the market wants a soft-riding BMW then that's OK, as long as the 1% is offered the options to pay and get what they want.
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:37 AM
jwalz1 jwalz1 is offline
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i'm kind of stuck on the cell phone thing?
I get that a lot.

I work with another guy who does not have one and I asked him why and he said "Because if I get one it would ring." I pretty much feel the same way.

Phone in my office. Phone in my house.

If I am in the car, at lunch, at the store, walking the dog, etc I don't want to be bothered. My wife has an Iphone surgically attached to her hand.

I am kind of Stewie like:


Last edited by jwalz1; 08-14-2013 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:07 PM
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According to them, if BMW has lost it's way so has Porsche and Mercedes. I couldn't watch these guys for an entire hour. They are brutally cynical. As they state, the market told the Big 3 that they had lost their way. Is the market telling BMW the same thing? It doesn't look like it. BMW has changed before this and they will continue to change. They seem to have figured out how to do it successfully.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:10 PM
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According to them, if BMW has lost it's way so has Porsche and Mercedes. I couldn't watch these guys for an entire hour. They are brutally cynical. As they state, the market told the Big 3 that they had lost their way. Is the market telling BMW the same thing? It doesn't look like it. BMW has changed before this and they will continue to change. They seem to have figured out how to do it successfully.
Notice the panel is just a bunch of old white dudes. Maybe they are just out of touch with reality.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:15 PM
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Has BMW lost it's Direction? Yes, to most of us BMW enthusiasts... No, to the majority of BMW buyers. As another said earlier its all about the $.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:43 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Has BMW lost it's Direction?

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Originally Posted by AJPITT View Post
I do not think so. The fact that they are creating more niche vehicles and putting systems into popular vehicles that may make them less appealing to a certain segment of the market, does not mean they have lost their direction. The softer steering of the new 3 is something that a lot of other companies are doing as well. Infiniti with the Q50 being the latest one that I read about. They are just trying to meet some of our demands (we hate pothole explosions and now complain about the car's overall softer feeling) and also appeal to a broader (geographical, generational, etc.) customer base. If one is looking for ultimate performance and sportiness, it can be found in vehicles like the 1, 6, Z and probably all of the M models. Things like the "I" unit of BMW and embracing new technologies in many ways does not mean that they have lost their way. They do have to adapt to changing markets if they want to survive though and I think that this is all that they are doing.
With a properly sorted out suspension design good vehicle dynamics does not have to be combined with a harsh ride and the ability to handle road imperfections without damaging the car does not mean the car has to have reduced steering feel or excessive body lean. with both the E9x and F30 owners are modifying their cars to obtain the desired balance between ride and handling. In my case I installed Koni FSD shocks on my E93 335i. I have seen posts in this forum from people who have modified their F30s to reduce body roll when cornering and have been happy with the results. I do not see ride quality and good driving dynamics as being diametrically opposed to a comfortable ride and luxury features. Cars that do both have been around for years and are frequently referred to as GT (Grand Touring) cars. Most people (including me) are purchasing BMWs as basic transportation and as far as I am concerned the driving dynamics are a perk that make the car enjoyable to drive but in the general scheme of things do not add any particular utility to the car. A and Lexus ES is a very good car that will get me where I want to go in comfort. If BMW looses its traditional edge in the area of driving dynamics and driver involvement (in other words the "fun" factor the brand looses a great deal of its appeal to me and I will look elsewhere. At that point I would have much less to purchase a BMW.

It appears that in going from the E9x to the F30 BMW went from one extreme to the other. You should not have to reengineer the suspension of a vehicle that purports to be "The Ultimate Driving Machine" and with the technology available today it is inexcusable.

Citing lap times on a track with a professional driver at the wheel, as I have seen done in this forum, tells you very little. These are road cars, not race cars, and I have much more interest in how the car feels at 7/10ths on public roads than how fast it can negotiate a race track at 10/10ths.

I do not have an issue with BMW building cars with a broader appeal but I do not think they need to lose the enthusiast market in the process and whether their current direction, in spite of the fact that sales are up, turns out to be a good move or not remains to be seen.

I know for a fact that BMW was very aware of the "Pothole Explosions" issue and the are probably also aware that in the course of fixing it they went too far in the other direction. I suspect that they will fix the body lean issue as it would not be very difficult. As for the electric power steering that is here to stay and will steadily improve until it will no longer began issue.


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Old 08-14-2013, 01:00 PM
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beden1 beden1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Capobranco View Post
This segment could be titled "Curmudgeons Gone Wild" - same bemoaning, beset with contradictions, frequently voiced here. Car companies need to make need make relevant designs that reflect changing demographics, technological advances, as well as fashion. I recently purchased a 328xi Sport Line - the "Camry of BMWs". Yeah, my 328xi is seemingly a bit generic, but it still goes about its business in a very "BMW' way - with solid structure, responsive engine and suspension, comfy supportive seats, a large measure of utility, while still possessing a lithesome fun spirit. Indeed, when I was driving the car this morning, I thought I heard faint echos of my long departed but much beloved E39 525. There are times I do not want to drive my M3, but I still appreciate driving a BMW. My F30 328xi is quintessentially an expression of BMWness.
In the beginning of the segment, they discuss their own industry backgrounds. These guys have been actively engaged in the auto industry for decades and have seen it all to date. You may not agree with what they are saying, but they do know what they are talking about.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:16 PM
trinipirate trinipirate is offline
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my F30 says no everytime i push to start
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:30 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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I dunno. I have mixed feelings.

In 2001, if you brought me into a BMW dealership, there were so many cars to really be "into'.

From the E46 M3, to the S54 M Coupe and Roadster, the 740i Sport, the E39 M5 etc etc.

As years went on, I found myself less excited. Walking in, looking for an two seat M car, you have the NON M Z4, HEAVY-folding top, two pedals and $75k. Really?

Right now, there is very little to be REALLY excited about. Yeah, the last of the E92 M3s are nasty in a good way, but $80k stickers(for the nicely tarted up ones) 3500+lb weights, 200-230mile range due to the thirsty S65-but what else there really gets your blood pumping?

IN some ways BMW is building better cars, but not better cars for me.

But things like the M235 might get my blood pumping again.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:30 PM
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Yes they have. The design is argumentative. It looks bad, it looks good - meh. But there are other features we do not disagree with -> Body roll - this is a 2013 f3x issue. Having to pay for DHP to get what was gotten in 2012. Any car can go fast, any car can look good or bad - but BMW stood out with it's suspension - the way it felt on the road. It's lost that love and feeling man.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:46 PM
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Has BMW lost it's Direction?

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Last edited by captainaudio; 08-14-2013 at 01:50 PM.
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  #23  
Old 08-14-2013, 01:56 PM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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I agree with most of the posters here who say BMW has lost their direction. I am no stranger to BMW's (see my sig), but reality is that BMW does not excite me like it did in the past. After a long line of BMW's I have arrived at the point where I feel that BMW does not provide cars that motivate me to buy a new car. I have already decided that I am keeping my E70 x5M and am unsettled as to what I will do when the E92 M3 comes to lease end. If I did not drive so much I would probably keep the M3 too, but with 9k miles on a 4 month old car I know that option is out the window. I have been looking around at what my next car will be and I am not seeing much out there that inspires me. If a car does not inspire me and make me want it then I might as well drive a garden variety no line 320 and save my money right? Anyway, my point is that the only BMW's that I like these days are M cars and they are all 70k and up in price. Back when I started buying BMW's I could get excited about a 30k E36 328i with sport pack and 5MT....not anymore. Fortunately, I am starting to drive less so it looks like I will only be in the market for one more car in the near future and then I plan to keep them since the escalating prices along with the decreased enjoyment is keeping me from being motivated to put down my money for the new cars. It is a shame to say that there are only 4 BMW's on my potential list and all but one is an M (M4, M5, M6 or 650). If I leave BMW it will be for a Porsche Panny S or GTS...nothing else out there for me.
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  #24  
Old 08-14-2013, 02:21 PM
chuowc chuowc is offline
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Good insight from the experts, I like this take from Bob Lutz & Csaba Csere:

Bob Lutz's "Icons and Idiots" - Autoline After Hours 205
Start @ 14:40


Last edited by chuowc; 08-14-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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  #25  
Old 08-14-2013, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
As long as BMW invest the resources to offer sport suspensions, seats, trim, chassis and such as options and they get a decent return of such investment then I think that they will be fine for quite a long time.

If 99% of the market wants a soft-riding BMW then that's OK, as long as the 1% is offered the options to pay and get what they want.
The problem is that even their 'sporty' stuff sucks now. When a company is willing to throw out a badge that a car was built upon, and has history behind it for money, you know they've lost their values and their morals. BMW use to really get you excited - both body and soul. That's gone. I'm a year into ownership of my M3 and it will be my last BMW(Keeping it). After 15 years - I feel that BMW cars don't give me that grin from ear to ear when I drive them.


When you bought a BMW - it was out of passion and the love of driving. Once you drove a BMW, you wouldn't go to any other brand. The F30 drives like a Lexus. If I wanted a Lexus, I would of bought a Lexus. The C350 gives me better feel then the F30 does.
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