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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:19 AM
Zeaken Zeaken is offline
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Location: Buffalo NY
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: mazda miata
First time BMW owner thoughts an impressions 328xi

In my research before getting my first BMW I failed to find a lot of user reviews of the cars done by owners beyond the asking of "should I buy this car?" threads so I figured I would throw one together and give a little insight from probably the younger half of the BMW crowd.

The car I will be going over is the 328xi, a 2010 model

To save time for the tl:dr crowd I will start with the big question.
Is the 3 series the ultimate driving machine?
the answer to that is, depends on what you are looking for in a car. If you are looking for the most luxurious car that would lead you to consider taking naps in it because its so comfy the answer is no.

If you are looking for a vehicle that has a screaming engine and fly's into the corner at speeds which seem to defy the laws of physics while teaching you that the grain in the pavement is really like braille translating itself through the nearly telepathic handling, the answer is no.

If you are looking for a luxury class car that still has enough performance left in it to become the standard by which all other vehicles in the class are judged, then this is for you.

Comfort:
I drove a number of vehicles before deciding on this one including a brand new ATS. This is a very comfortable car to sit in for driver and passenger wise and rivals all the other cars I drove within this class and even some much larger vehicles like a well option'd 300s. I am an average sized guy at 5'10 and I can fit in the front with lots of room to spare. The back seats for some one my size fit snug but comfortable but don't expect many 6'+ patrons to be happy in the back half.

If you live out of your car and travel a lot you may find the cup holders to be a lot more trouble then they are worth but more on that later.

the overall road noise is low but I am new to luxury riding cars so some people may find themselves wanting to ditch run flats to help cabin noise.

Dual zone climate control is also a really nice touch and means no more listening to your passenger annoy you all the time

Handling:
I have the xi so my handling is diminished compared to other 3 series models due to the awd but even with that considered for a 4 door sedan I was pretty impressed at the results when the wheel gets cranked. it drove about on par with the brand new ATS and if my memory serves me right it handled the curves better then a a mustang (not that beating a mustang in the curves takes a lot).

One major detractor to the cars handling is electric power steering. Its very numb feeling when you drive and you don't get a lot of feedback.

Interior features: Being a fancy European car most options are well, optional. That said I feel this car lacks some real basic stuff that should be included at any level like rear folding seats. Those are standard on pretty much all compact class cars which can cost less then half of a 3 series. The cup holders are limited and annoying. The design lends to a sleeker look but the functionality is poor. I had a better cup holder situation in a mx-5 and that should say something. The center console is low which helps lends to a sharp looking appearance but I find that it lends to much longer eyes off the road time if you ever have to look at it. Mine came with a heated steering wheel which is awesome as I live in a snow infested area but the switch is horrible. Its located on the steering column which seems smart but then you realize the wheel prevents you from seeing if its on or off despite and indicator light. Varying options exist for features and if your buying new you will certainly have your pick of pretty much anything your heart desires but I feel none the less that BMW should upgrade its base model to be more in line.


Technology: Mine is a 2010 and I know that means that the technology will be limited to a degree. Mine came with usb port, car charger, and aux in neatly tucked into the center console. Sadly they forgot in their infinite wisdom to install a space for the table to run out. Most phones/tablets/laptops will not jive with the usb so look at it as a secondary charging port versus an interface port.

The car came with rain sensing wipers (standard? ) which are simple to use but they lack an auto on from what I can find and must be manually keyed onto auto each time which I dont like compared to my old mazda 3.

The radio is HD which is really nice and reception is about par for the course. it has a cd changer not that people use those anymore.

Steering wheel controls are stiff, limited and IMO poorly thought out. I can instantly think back to cars which retail for half of what this one did at sticker that are older which had better steering controls.

The bluetooth is simple and productive and you can give it audio commands without fumbling for the phone and it auto connects so thumbs up.

Storage:
The trunk on this car is pretty nice for this size vehicle and the hidden space where a spare tire would go is a wonderful thing if you want a car kit you will probably never use but want to keep the space clean.

Center console is fair to a little small for the size of the car. Glove box is decent. door storage space is average.

My only gripe is no enclosed change holder unless you use the center console. all of my prior cars have had such a device or a space that couldn't be seen from the outside of the car. its small problem but frustrating.

Car has 2 cup holders for the front. I presume it also has cup holders that pop out in the back but since the seats dont fold i try not to look

Conclusion:

The 328xi so far has proven to be a very well built car and when I ended up being stuck driving a passat today it reminded me now nice this car really was. I am glad I bought this car so far but I think in the coming years BMW will have to step up their game to stay competitive as lower price point auto makers are already starting to take jabs at these classes of cars for much lower numbers but for right now the 3 series is king of its class.
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