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F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation 3 series, chassis code F30. 2013 model year 328i and 335i sedans now in production. Read the F30 frequently asked question thread for all your basic question and dive into all the details in the ultimate F30 information thread.

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  #1  
Old 02-09-2013, 12:43 PM
dorkus dorkus is offline
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Location: Jersey City, NJ
 
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Mein Auto: '04 325i
F31 Sport Wagon buyer commiseration thread

hi all,

thought i would start a new thread for potential F31 wagon buyers to fraternize and discuss topics relevant to purchase. the intent is for *serious* F31 discussion only - no idle commentary please. no need to tell us what a niche buyer we are and how we are lucky to even get a F31 at all - we know, we know.

hopefully this will be constructive for us!

cheers,
dorkus
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2013, 12:48 PM
d geek d geek is offline
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Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
 
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Posts: 2,032
Mein Auto: Camry hybrid + MB e300D-T
dorkus-
Are you interested in the i or the d?
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2013, 01:03 PM
dorkus dorkus is offline
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Location: Jersey City, NJ
 
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Mein Auto: '04 325i
so, i'll start things off. i've been looking forward to the F31 for years - still on my '04 325i, which was my first car. i'm married with 2 dogs now, and need the extra space. current plan is to do ED in early '14... a ways off i know, but hey, i've been obsessing over this for years, so why stop now. and as i get older, a year seems to pass a lot more quickly than it used to...

really happy that they're bringing the F31 328d - been itching for a diesel - but disappointed by the lack of an RWD option. i totally understand the business reasons for this... just not a fan of the xDrive's extra cost/weight/complexity/consumption. i haven't liked driving any of the xDrives i've sampled either - an E61 535xi and E90 328xi. they feel heavier and less balanced, robbing the car of that BMW feel.

cost is also an issue... with the rumored $42k starting price, it's a very expensive car for its segment. i realize it's about a $2k premium over a comparable F30 which is about right, but again, the added cost of xDrive is money i could have spent on other overpriced options. likely options are dynamic handling (M adaptive suspension), cold weather, not much else... i actually want the stock wheels and seats and leatherette! just more practical for me. my E46 leatherette has been almost indestructible, even with the dogs... finally got my first crack in the driver's seat after 8+ years.

the real question is whether the F31 is worth the huge premium over the X1. i sat in the X1 in the showroom and it is kinda cramped and cheap-feeling, but hey, it *is* cheap, relatively speaking. adjusted for inflation, it's cheaper than my 325i was. AND it comes in sDrive. i can load up a X1 sDrive with tech, cold weather and other bits and pieces and still keep it under $40k. even if i don't love the car, the value prop is undeniable.

anyway, i guess i will just have to do some extensive test-driving come the fall, assuming any dealer around me even has a F31 on hand. anyone else in the same boat?
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2013, 03:03 PM
Byron Walter Byron Walter is offline
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Location: Akron, OH
 
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Mein Auto: BMW F31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dorkus View Post
...cost/weight/complexity/consumption. i haven't liked driving any of the xDrives i've sampled either - an E61 535xi and E90 328xi. they feel heavier and less balanced, robbing the car of that BMW feel...

...the real question is whether the F31 is worth the huge premium over the X1...

...anyone else in the same boat?
I'm certainly not in the same boat as my boat only seats one (that would be a kayak). The X1 doesn't do it for me as I don't like the cute ute look of it or any of the other ones out there with the single exception of the Range Rover Evoque. All the jacked up rigs sacrifice a little of their handling whereas an estate or touring rig keeps things lower and sharper.

Also, for me at least, loading gear on and off the roof is way easier on a wagon than a ute.

Finally there isn't anything else on the market like the F31 with the exception of the Audi allroad. I think the allroad looks better and it's not too jacked up but... the 211 hp engine as in 'are you kidding me?' The BMW four appears to be a substantial step up in power and mpg.

If the allroad came with the option of Audi's 3.0 liter supercharged engine I wouldn't even be considering the F31, but it doesn't hence I'm here sniffing sniffing around.

Hope to see the F31 at the Cleveland Car Show in a couple of weeks.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2013, 03:17 PM
dorkus dorkus is offline
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Location: Jersey City, NJ
 
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hi Byron - i checked out the allroad @ the NY auto show last year. meh... my wife, who loves Audis, thought it was unattractive. flared plastic fenders belong on a Subaru Forrester, not a $45k car. we both would much rather have the sadly-departed Avant, which is a gorgeous car. i'd seriously consider a CPO Avant over an allroad. i can't imagine the allroad's handling will be close to the F31 either... i test drove a A4 2.0T and thought it handled and felt like a nice VW, not in the same class as my 8 year old E46.

the 2.0T is a nice motor though, no? not quite as zippy as the BMW turbo 4 but seems pretty competent. i guess with the extra weight of the allroad though it won't be particularly sporty. agree the mileage is sub-par too - any new Audi we'd get would have to be a TDI.

cute-ute styling does not do it for me either. really, the only reason i'd consider a X1 is price. there's nothing i like about it better than the F31, except maybe it's easier to park in the city.

let us know if you get to check the F31 out!
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2013, 06:10 PM
KingTito KingTito is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 E39 M5
I have an E39 M5 that I bought new but it isn't my daily driver.

I absolutely need a wagon/SUV type vehicle. I haul a lot of things around and prefer to not put my nice road bikes on the roof.

I have a 2009 Subaru Outback XT manual that I love.

I always wanted a BMW touring for the space, practicality and also the driving characteristics the Subaru or an SUV doesn't have.

The 328d touring absolutely fits that bill and I want the x-drive.

If it came in a manual, I would do it in a heartbeat. The only pause I have is that it only comes with the auto.

However, I understand why. I am shocked they are bringing the touring to begin with and two different engine options including a diesel is a blessing.

So if we don't support them with this offering, we will only get SUVs and the GTs which I dislike greatly.
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:08 PM
ynguldyn ynguldyn is offline
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Mein Auto: '12 X535i
I have a 10 year old 525iT (manual, ZSP - best car I ever had, does all kinds of things right, almost nothing wrong). I've had it for 7 years, and want to replace it with something shiny and new and better. My ideal car would be a 328d RWD with a manual. I'd have no problem switching to the N20 engine. I can live with an automatic. But I absolutely hate xDrive, because it's $2000 and 200lbs of useless crap (and I'm saying this, having just shoveled 80'x10'x25" of that white stuff that falls from the sky). My plan was to do ED in the summer. Now I'll probably sit and wait, maybe BMW will pull their collective head out of their collective ass and bring RWD as '15 model - there's no issue with building them, they do exist, I know, I'm the one who's been combing through their VIN database, I saw both 328d and 328i US spec RWDs built for testing in significant numbers.

Another hope I have is they bring 3GT with RWD. Yes, it's not the most beautiful car out there, but it suits my needs even better than F31 (I'm tall, my kids ride in the back all the time, and I need flat space more than I need height). But again, this is a waiting game for me, since 3GT won't show up at the dealerships until September, and I won't buy sight unseen.

X1 doesn't have enough cargo space for me.

I don't want to go to another brand, because I have so much knowledge of BMWs and hacking them (as in software hacking) that I don't want to throw away.

I might just keep driving that E39 until it falls apart. Will be good for my wallet too - the cost of the fixes it needs is nowhere close to the potential monthly payments for a new car.

Last edited by ynguldyn; 02-09-2013 at 07:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:20 PM
Eric Genname Eric Genname is offline
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I've test driven the X1 xDrive 328i (hydraulic steering) and the 328i RWD sedan, and there's no question I had more fun in the X1. But if you asked me if the difference was more in the vehicles themselves or in how I was feeling each day, I honestly couldn't tell you. Certainly, the X1 has a lot going for it, but I eventually turned away from it because it's yesterday's news, doesn't even come with iDrive standard. I want the advances BMW has engineered into the F3x series. And even though I do a lot of back road driving, I'm not convinced the extra two inches of ground clearance buys you all that much. (If I'm wrong, someone please jump in.) Besides, I'm not going to slam any new model BMW through potholes. That's what Suburus are for.

I've driven nothing but manuals until now, and I will miss the control and feeling of involvement a stick creates. But, frankly, the argument in favor of them grows weaker with each passing year, in terms of mileage, performance and reliability. I don't enjoy MT for busy city driving, and don't use it on the freeway, so really we're down to the all-to-infrequent opportunities for pleasure driving on open, two lane highways. I can live with AT.

I want xDrive for dirt roads. I'm skeptical it negatively affects handling for normal driving conditions.

I'll buy a diesel if the payback period is short enough. I'd like to hope it won't cost more than the N20. Any chance of that?

If BMW lards up the US F31 with thousands of dollars of styling add-ons, I won't buy one. But it doesn't look that's in the works. Still, I'm troubled by the Canadian specs: does it really come with Modern Line standard? In the US will I have to pay for a sunroof I don't even want? I hope the US specs are published soon.

I really wish BMW would offer fabric/Alcantara seats as an option in the US. I would probably pay as much extra for this as others pay for leather.

I find the F31 more pleasing to the eye than the sedan. And the extra room is a big plus. I've never been able to figure out why anyone would buy a vehicle they couldn't throw stuff into. In fact, I plan to do an ED in my F31 and car camp. I could sleep in the back!
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:31 PM
Byron Walter Byron Walter is offline
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Location: Akron, OH
 
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Mein Auto: BMW F31
Quote:
Originally Posted by dorkus View Post
... i can't imagine the allroad's handling will be close to the F31 either... i test drove a A4 2.0T and thought it handled and felt like a nice VW, not in the same class as my 8 year old E46.
No doubt about the handling. I did have an '09 A4 Avant with the sports suspension and an ECU mod. That combo really raised the car to another level (but not so much when it came to handling some remote kayak launch sites).

Quote:
the 2.0T is a nice motor though, no? not quite as zippy as the BMW turbo 4 but seems pretty competent. i guess with the extra weight of the allroad though it won't be particularly sporty. agree the mileage is sub-par too - any new Audi we'd get would have to be a TDI.

cute-ute styling does not do it for me either. really, the only reason i'd consider a X1 is price. there's nothing i like about it better than the F31, except maybe it's easier to park in the city.

let us know if you get to check the F31 out!
Well unfortunately if the F31 is at the car show I doubt that they will give me the keys
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:38 PM
dorkus dorkus is offline
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Location: Jersey City, NJ
 
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Mein Auto: '04 325i
KingTito, ynguldyn: thanks for your input. good to see some kindred wagon spirits.

KingTito: have you driven a recent xDrive model? curious how you'll find it compared to a RWD model or your E39 M5 (what a great car, btw).

re: the 3GT: i must admit that the taller form factor is *very* comfortable. i've sat in the original Hunchback of Munich (5GT) and i have to say the cabin is fantastic... spacious and airy, with lovely seats. it's easy to get into, and the chair-like seating position is better for anyone older or with orthopedic issues, so i could see the 3GT being attractive to many who find ducking into a low, sporty 3 series difficult. whether or not it'll sell is another matter... also, it's a BIG car (some 7" longer than the F30), definitely 5-series territory.

FYI, here's a list of all US models being produced this year (see attached PDF):
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=674004

definitely only xDrive GT's and wagons this year.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2013, 07:43 PM
Byron Walter Byron Walter is offline
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Location: Akron, OH
 
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Mein Auto: BMW F31
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingTito View Post
I have an E39 M5 that I bought new but it isn't my daily driver.

I absolutely need a wagon/SUV type vehicle. I haul a lot of things around and prefer to not put my nice road bikes on the roof.

I have a 2009 Subaru Outback XT manual that I love.

I always wanted a BMW touring for the space, practicality and also the driving characteristics the Subaru or an SUV doesn't have.

The 328d touring absolutely fits that bill and I want the x-drive.

If it came in a manual, I would do it in a heartbeat. The only pause I have is that it only comes with the auto.

However, I understand why. I am shocked they are bringing the touring to begin with and two different engine options including a diesel is a blessing.

So if we don't support them with this offering, we will only get SUVs and the GTs which I dislike greatly.
Yeah, the former Outback XT & manual was a nice package. Too bad about the current OB. At one time I was strictly a manual guy but these days autos are improved enough that I'm agnostic. My kayak hauler is a manual Mazda 3 (actually pretty nice shifting action for a cheap car) and my TTS has the DSG, which I do like. However I can appreciate that there are still some hardcore manual recidivists. Too bad as the pickings keep getting slimmer and slimmer.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2013, 08:05 PM
KingTito KingTito is offline
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Dorkus, I have driven several recent x-drive's. While I understand the purist perspective on keeping the weight and complexity low and keeping the RWD characteristics, I love the control I get from AWD in the snow with snow tires. Nothing more fun than sliding through turns with all four wheels pulling. I love my Outback XT for this reason with the 250 or so hp.

The E39 is still amazing despite being 11 years old. Great build quality, great engine sound. I'm afraid it's a dying breed. While it has plenty of gizmos, these days, engine sound is piped through the stereo or through weird intake routing. I don't like that.
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2013, 08:35 PM
KingTito KingTito is offline
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[QUOTE=Byron Walter;7371363]Yeah, the former Outback XT & manual was a nice package.

It's a great car. Handling is a little suspect but I could fix that with a JDM Bilstein kit.

Reliable, comfortable, roomy.

The turbo engine pulls hard. Short throw shifter is very nice.

The new Outbacks are piggish.
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2013, 09:01 AM
Itgb Itgb is offline
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Location: SD, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 BMW M3 Vert
After owning a hatchback/wagon(xB) my wife sees the light(that wagons are the best all-around cars). I have loaded so many things into the xB like a 6-drawer dresser, 50" TV with stand, book cases, bikes, wheels & tires, snowboards/skis, etc. In 2007 we rented an E91 320d and drove all over Germany while growing in love with the combination of diesel and wagon.

She wants a wagon to replace the S60 and it was between the avant and F31. The avant is a great looking car and with the sport package/20mm lower sport suspension is pretty nice. You can even get the alcantara interior with the s-line pkg. However Audi decided to replace it with the allroad which is more expensive with no benefits over the avant. Plastic bumpers and higher ride height are worthless to me. The F31 would be perfect in RWD and diesel. I have no use for AWD in southern california even though I do go up to the snow a couple of times a year. I've driven a non-sport suspension F30 328i and the ride was floaty and seats were horrible. I want sport seats and a sport suspension which is not possible with xDrive. From what I understand the adjustable suspension option still does not lower the car 10mm on xDrive cars which I can't stand the 4x4 look of. So if BMW doesn't fix this soon there will be a CPO avant in my driveway.
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Last edited by Itgb; 02-10-2013 at 09:13 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:53 AM
dorkus dorkus is offline
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Location: Jersey City, NJ
 
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i made my mother go out and buy an '08 outback when my father fell ill and could no longer maintain the cars, plow snow etc. (they have a 200ft driveway and sloped garage ramp). possibly the best advice i have ever given her... has gotten her through many a nasty winter storm. perfect reliability and literally drives up and over everything. only downside is the cramped rear seat. amazing car though... test drove the new legacy and it's not at all the same. agree the new models are bloated and watered down.

Itgb: from what i've read it sounds like you have to get either the ZSP (sport) or adaptive M suspension to get a controlled ride with the F30. i think pretty much all the press review cars have had adaptive M. it won't be possible to get the lowered suspension on the xDrive because of some drivetrain geometry issues w/AWD, but i think adaptive M will help a lot. supposedly it works very well and quells the body motion. i am absolutely getting it, even if i were getting RWD; the sport suspension is too harsh for the awful roads i live around. even my E46 on cushy stock suspension 16" rims has taken some nasty impacts... i can't imagine what it would be like in an M-sport + 18 inchers. i've ridden in my friend's E46 330i ZHP (bound to be a classic if it isn't already) and while the ride is very controlled, it's definitely harsh on the vast majority of lovely NYC-metro roads.

btw, it's my understanding that if you get adaptive M, it's an identical setup on a sport and non-sport car. which basically means that ZSP + adaptive M = serious wasted money. is this true?

re: the seats, i know everyone loves the sport seats but somehow my wife and i aren't big fans. it might be our small-ish frames (hey, we're Asian) but they feel overbolstered in the wrong places, and my wife says the aggressive side bolsters bruise her thighs when she slides in and out of the car. if they were adjustable, i'd consider it, because they do have better back support which we like.
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  #16  
Old 02-10-2013, 04:43 PM
IntenseJim IntenseJim is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 X3 > 160,000 mi
I'm new here but not to BMW.

I woe the entry price to the new 3 series sports wagon but I'll probably swallow it.
It's a great looking and performing vehicle with the typical BMW attributes.

There are not many appealing alternatives:
  • BMW X1: I might go for that I would prefer the lower roof-line and handling of the wagon
  • Subaru CrossTrek: great car except for the anemic engine
  • Subaru Outback: has morphed into an SUV
  • VW Passat wagon: meh
  • Audi Avante: I'd rather pony up for the BMW
  • Audi A3:doable but a bit small
  • etc etc

I tend to keep my cars for a long time. In fact, I was going to keep my '06 X3 (purchased Nov 2005) now with 161,000 miles for a few more years. But I had some work done on her and was given a loaner new 328i and boy does it drive well. Very seductive. Also, I want a lower roof line to access my ski box and put my SUP board on. Hence...I'd like a wagon with AWD or 4WD as we tend to get 3-5 foot snow storms at my house (el 6000 feet).
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2013, 05:00 PM
Eric Genname Eric Genname is offline
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So then adaptive M would be helpful on bad roads? I'd be transitioning from an SUV and I'm concerned about how the F31 would handle on dirt roads.
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  #18  
Old 02-10-2013, 05:13 PM
hhgolf hhgolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d geek View Post
dorkus-
Are you interested in the i or the d?
I enjoy my '09 335xi sedan, base, AT, for its driving manners and aggressive personality. I'd like more cargo space, but don't want to go back to the familiar SAV ride like my '07 x3. The 3er has spoiled me. I will be interested to see if the F31 can be "programmed"
to resemble the 335E90 ride. Hoping to see one next week at the Pittsburgh auto show (smuggled in!)
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2013, 10:14 PM
dorkus dorkus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Genname View Post
So then adaptive M would be helpful on bad roads? I'd be transitioning from an SUV and I'm concerned about how the F31 would handle on dirt roads.
from what i've read the adaptive M in "comfort" mode is both more compliant and better controlled than the stock and sports setups. dirt roads, i'm not so sure... xDrive should be fine with the extra travel but i wouldn't take it on anything too rough. you will probably want to stick to the stock 17" wheels vs. the 18" rims on any of the lines.
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  #20  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:08 PM
sunilsf sunilsf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ynguldyn View Post
I have a 10 year old 525iT (manual, ZSP - best car I ever had, does all kinds of things right, almost nothing wrong). I've had it for 7 years, and want to replace it with something shiny and new and better. My ideal car would be a 328d RWD with a manual. I'd have no problem switching to the N20 engine. I can live with an automatic. But I absolutely hate xDrive, because it's $2000 and 200lbs of useless crap (and I'm saying this, having just shoveled 80'x10'x25" of that white stuff that falls from the sky). My plan was to do ED in the summer. Now I'll probably sit and wait, maybe BMW will pull their collective head out of their collective ass and bring RWD as '15 model - there's no issue with building them, they do exist, I know, I'm the one who's been combing through their VIN database, I saw both 328d and 328i US spec RWDs built for testing in significant numbers.

Another hope I have is they bring 3GT with RWD. Yes, it's not the most beautiful car out there, but it suits my needs even better than F31 (I'm tall, my kids ride in the back all the time, and I need flat space more than I need height). But again, this is a waiting game for me, since 3GT won't show up at the dealerships until September, and I won't buy sight unseen.

X1 doesn't have enough cargo space for me.

I don't want to go to another brand, because I have so much knowledge of BMWs and hacking them (as in software hacking) that I don't want to throw away.

I might just keep driving that E39 until it falls apart. Will be good for my wallet too - the cost of the fixes it needs is nowhere close to the potential monthly payments for a new car.
Almost me to a T, but I have a 325it/manual/sport. Very disappointed by the lack of a RWD option (at this point, I can get over the automatic trans), but I doubt that I'll consider the GT as I like the vertical room that a wagon affords.

Very likely to keep driving the E46, until it falls apart. If I had to replace it this year, I would consider going lower (Mazda CX-5 looks interesting) or higher (Tesla) for a variety of reasons... But the RWD BMW sport wagon does so much right that its hard to replace (AWD is completely unnecessary for me). Pricing on the F31 kind of sucks too, which is why I would go up or down in my spend-- why spend in the middle and make the compromise?
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  #21  
Old 02-10-2013, 11:20 PM
dorkus dorkus is offline
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Location: Jersey City, NJ
 
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i have a feeling i will just suck it up and deal with the xDrive on the 328d. even if there's hope BMW will bring the RWD model, i'm guessing it wouldn't be for a while (it took a few years for the RWD E91 to show up, right?) and i really want to do ED next spring.

alternative is to keep driving the '04 325i till it falls apart. i just rear-ended a cab in NYC last week (he was trolling for rides and stopped short in the middle of 5th avenue... ) so if i'm gonna spend insurance deductible while further lowering the already minuscule trade-in value i suppose i may as well hang onto it as long as possible... we've been pining for the extra room of the touring for years, but we're getting by with packing lighter on the weekends and using a Thule roof box for the longer trips.

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  #22  
Old 02-11-2013, 06:48 AM
Stolizino Stolizino is offline
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Greetings all! I've also been waiting for BMW to offer another 3-series wagon and I'm just dazzled by design of the new 328. My 2000 Audi A4 Avant Quattro has been a faithful ride, admired by many, for 12 years but it's getting long in the tooth. My only BMW ownership experience is my 2006 M Roadster (not yet 20,000 miles on the clock), but that's sufficient to make me a BMW fan. My ideal Audi replacement wagon would be a 335i or the 3-liter diesel. As a long-time owner of Audi cars, I'm delighted that BMW is offering the xDrive with steptronic. I've driven the 3-series xDrive sedans and while the N20 is powerful, the N55 is an altogether different experience, so I'm leaning toward a 328i xDrive ED lease on the prospect that BMW may offer the larger engines after a year or so, which would prompt an immediate trade up for me. I'll be ordering the M Sport package in Mineral Grey/beige leather with virtually all of the options. At my advanced age, I'm going to splurge on what may be my last car.

Last edited by Stolizino; 02-12-2013 at 05:31 AM.
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2013, 09:09 AM
bald bald is offline
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Quote:
I'm concerned about how the F31 would handle on dirt roads.
Is it the clearance you're worried about? That is the only thing that holds me back, and it's gotta be about 10" of rutted snow to make me suggest my friends' trucks.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2013, 10:36 AM
dexter dexter is offline
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Location: Sierra Madre, California
 
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Mein Auto: M3, 330i, 2002tii
[QUOTE=dorkus;7373461] (it took a few years for the RWD E91 to show up, right?)/QUOTE]

Can any one expound on what tje e91 RWD timeline was?
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  #25  
Old 02-11-2013, 10:41 AM
ynguldyn ynguldyn is offline
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Location: Boston
 
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Mein Auto: '12 X535i
Sent email to Dan Creed, BMW NA VP of Marketing.
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