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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-19-2013, 08:05 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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I hadn't realized they moved the "xDrive" badge to the trunk instead of the sides. I will admit I think it looks much better back there.

That said, it's one of the few things I like better about the car. Not a fan of the display, nor the fact that there are few controls I can actually deal with on the radio without using the iDrive controller. Nice clean trunk opening, though.

I don't think it's fair to compare engine performance for the 328 vs. 335. I will say that the handling around an off-ramp near my office was significantly worse than in my car, but with differences in ride feel, I can't say it was same/same on my speed around the curve (frankly, I think it was slower than normal). The car didn't feel as solid, and seemed to have a fair bit of body roll. 225-50/17 Michelins instead of the 225/45-17 Continentals (ContiContacts originally, now DWS) that I run.
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2013, 11:11 AM
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Bemo Bemo is offline
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Zooks - I had similar observations with my F30 loaner. Sadly, I couldn't wait to get my car back. I'm not saying this because I don't drive the new 3, I wish I liked the new generation cars. The steering/body roll was too much to swallow, not a huge fan of the interior though the exterior looks really good (minus the atrocious hood/opening lines). Our GT hood looks the same, what a poor design, at least the electric steering is somewhat heavier and easier to ignore....
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2013, 11:29 AM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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Yeah, I just got back from returning it and picking up mine, and I realized my perception of the handling issue was strongly driven by the very soft steering. In a parking lot, it reminded me of an 80s cruiser, with the whole "1 finger steering" thing. Not much feedback in the curves.

Two other items caught my attention this time.

First, I'm not a fan of the start/stop feature. I found it disconcerting when it shut off with no warning, didn't like the restart time, and couldn't figure out why it started 2 times at lights for no perceived reason. I'm sure I'd get used to it, but it just seems odd.

Second, I really thought the 8 speed auto was noticeable. Drive 20 feet, shift, drive 40 feet shift, etc. Didn't notice it most times (it must skip gears under hard acceleration), but on one drive away from lights in traffic, it stood out a lot. Makes me understand why CVTs are picking up popularity.
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Prior 33 years of cars: 1967 BelAir wagon / 1968 LeMans Tempest / 1970 Mustang Mach 1 / 1972 El Dorado / 1978 Corvette (kept until first Bronco) / 1981 Subaru GL wagon AWD / 1983 s10 Blazer 4x4 (big mistake) / 1985 Bronco 4x4 / 1996 Bronco 4x4 / 2004 Passat 4motion
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2013, 03:01 PM
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MP3_E46 MP3_E46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
Second, I really thought the 8 speed auto was noticeable. Drive 20 feet, shift, drive 40 feet shift, etc. Didn't notice it most times (it must skip gears under hard acceleration), but on one drive away from lights in traffic, it stood out a lot. Makes me understand why CVTs are picking up popularity.
CVT in our Prius is smooth. Not sporty but great for regular driving.

The E46 was the last sporty three series IMO. E9x are ok and I'd imagine/ hear F30 is more like a Lexus than sports car.
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2013, 03:17 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
I hadn't realized they moved the "xDrive" badge to the trunk instead of the sides. I will admit I think it looks much better back there.

That said, it's one of the few things I like better about the car. Not a fan of the display, nor the fact that there are few controls I can actually deal with on the radio without using the iDrive controller. Nice clean trunk opening, though.

I don't think it's fair to compare engine performance for the 328 vs. 335. I will say that the handling around an off-ramp near my office was significantly worse than in my car, but with differences in ride feel, I can't say it was same/same on my speed around the curve (frankly, I think it was slower than normal). The car didn't feel as solid, and seemed to have a fair bit of body roll. 225-50/17 Michelins instead of the 225/45-17 Continentals (ContiContacts originally, now DWS) that I run.
Two things to take into consideration - 1) the new low rolling resistance tires BMW is using as the default standard equipment are horrible, especially compared to their traditional more sport and grip oriented tires they've used in the past. That is directly attributable to tightening EPA regulations. 2) you can now get an almost sport suspension on xDrive 3ers with the M Adaptive suspension, part of the Dynamic Handling Package at a cost of $1,000.
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:37 PM
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bear-avhistory bear-avhistory is offline
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Overall I liked my loaner. Ran as well if not better than the old i6 n/a version. Did not flog the car so its cornering ability was never really tested but the ride was comfortable. Did not care for the nav screen being stuck on top of the dash but otherwise it was an ok car.

That being said not one I would buy.
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2013, 06:55 PM
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Mein Auto: 2009 E90 335i
I had a 320d loaner (from regular MY09 335 MSport sedan) and a few things I noticed:

*Agree with steering and body roll. Not good.
*Also agree on engine stop/start. There is a button to disable, but there should be a permanent 'off' in the iDrive menus.
*Suspension soft - but it was a 320d.
*Seats - very impressive how low they go to the floor. As a tall guy - I noticed the difference.
*iDrive controller seemed more plastic and cheap.
*Sunglass storage (below steering wheel to the right for RHD cars) not felt lined as my E90.
*8 speed gear box was impressive. As was fuel economy of the diesel. Dealer asked me to replace the fuel I used. No probs - except I over estimated and filled the tank.......
*Steering wheel thin and nasty compared to MSport wheel.
*Only had business nav so can't comment on improvements to pro.
*Boot auto opening (ie - press the button and it pops up) - neat idea, except in the rain.
*Looks a VERY wide car. Some visual shenanigans going on there - lots of horizontal lines on the front bar around the lights 'extends' the width of the car. Not much wider than an E90 - but it looks a lot wider.
*Not a comment on the F30 - but it had heated seats. Never had them - they were toasty!
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2013, 07:18 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Since I work waaay to close to my dealership for them ever to give me a loaner for routine stuff, I have to rely on my extravagant C2C rentals as data points. Last year we had a 2011 328i (I still think it was an x drive). This year we have again hopefully nailed down a 328i. Kind of curious if it will be an F30, since it just recently showed up in the Avis fleet at BOS. This go 'round I will know to start with the car in DS mode rather than relying soley upon the auto tranny. Curious minds want to know... . . . .. .
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  #9  
Old 04-19-2013, 07:36 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Since I work waaay to close to my dealership for them ever to give me a loaner for routine stuff, I have to rely on my extravagant C2C rentals as data points. Last year we had a 2011 328i (I still think it was an x drive). This year we have again hopefully nailed down a 328i. Kind of curious if it will be an F30, since it just recently showed up in the Avis fleet at BOS. This go 'round I will know to start with the car in DS mode rather than relying soley upon the auto tranny. Curious minds want to know... . . . .. .
You can go in and out of DS mode at will and if you shift manually while in DS mode it will stay in manual mode until you take it out of DS.

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  #10  
Old 04-23-2013, 11:57 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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My E90 is in today for the recall and I have an F30 loaner. It's a no line with premium package and heated seats. Pretty basic.

Impressions in 50 miles of driving are that the interior is much sportier than the E90. I like the iDrive a lot although the non-navigation version is fairly basic. I drove it exclusively in Sport mode which it absolutely needs to be as responsive as an E90. The steering is a major issue. It's accurate but is way too disconnected. The brake pedal is quite soft which is more disappointing than the steering IMO. I didn't get much chance to test the handling but what I did test felt secure although the low rolling resistance tires are hard as rocks. Many have said the ride is too soft but I did not find it to be the case at all.

Everyone complains about the stop/start system but as someone who is used to this in my wife's Honda Insight, it's not a big deal and restarts instantly. BJ has said this is dangerous but I totally disagree.

On the more positive side, this sucker is fast. the N20 engine, while totally different in character from the N52, is amazing. It is smooth, torquey and pulls hard to well above 6000 rpm. Awesome piece of engineering especially considering the improved consumption.

I'd like to drive a Sport Line model with the adjustable suspension. That's probably the sweet spot for an enthusiast.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2013, 12:14 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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I agree with most of Michael Scott's observations. The engine is amazing - I have finally seen the light with regard to FI vs. NA. I have been an NA snob all my life, but the new F30 showed me how much fun a small displacement turbo engine can be. Its a true BMW engine.

The new tranny is all slick as all get out.

And, the seats are even more comfy than in the E90 or E46.

Even though the exterior styling is very similar to the E90, it works for me. New design is slightly more edgy looking and the car is distinctive on the road.

I did not like the new interior much - too busy, too many cheap bits. I hated the stop-start feature. Hated, hated, hated it.

The steering really ruined the car for me, at the end of the day. I suspect there will be leaps and bounds in EPS tech over the years, but I wounder it will ever get beyond this numb disconnected feel.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2013, 12:47 PM
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Zooks527 Zooks527 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Everyone complains about the stop/start system but as someone who is used to this in my wife's Honda Insight, it's not a big deal and restarts instantly. BJ has said this is dangerous but I totally disagree.
I won't go as far as "dangerous", but I'll argue against "instantly".

If the light changes to green and the lady with the blue hair in the Altima next to me is moving before I've got the engine back, it's a far cry from instant!
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2013, 12:50 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
I agree with most of Michael Scott's observations. The engine is amazing - I have finally seen the light with regard to FI vs. NA. I have been an NA snob all my life, but the new F30 showed me how much fun a small displacement turbo engine can be. Its a true BMW engine.

The new tranny is all slick as all get out.

And, the seats are even more comfy than in the E90 or E46.

Even though the exterior styling is very similar to the E90, it works for me. New design is slightly more edgy looking and the car is distinctive on the road.

I did not like the new interior much - too busy, too many cheap bits. I hated the stop-start feature. Hated, hated, hated it.

The steering really ruined the car for me, at the end of the day. I suspect there will be leaps and bounds in EPS tech over the years, but I wounder it will ever get beyond this numb disconnected feel.
The styling is a non-issue to me. The first impression I had though was the huge hood. It really dominates the view from behind the wheel. You forget about it quickly but it's quite jarring coming from an E90.

I too hope EPS improves and quickly. Should be a software fix.
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2013, 01:03 PM
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floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
...The steering is a major issue. It's accurate but is way too disconnected. The brake pedal is quite soft which is more disappointing than the steering IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
...The steering really ruined the car for me, at the end of the day. I suspect there will be leaps and bounds in EPS tech over the years, but I wounder it will ever get beyond this numb disconnected feel.
I think I mentioned this article a few weeks ago (car and driver has made it hard to find stuff); It's interesting in that your comments track very well with the article: accurate but light on-center feel.

http://www.caranddriver.com/features...n-test-feature

Last edited by floydarogers; 04-23-2013 at 01:03 PM. Reason: add link, stupid
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  #15  
Old 04-23-2013, 01:48 PM
SilverX3 SilverX3 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MP3_E46 View Post
CVT in our Prius is smooth. Not sporty but great for regular driving.

The E46 was the last sporty three series IMO. E9x are ok and I'd imagine/ hear F30 is more like a Lexus than sports car.
100% agree
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  #16  
Old 04-23-2013, 01:50 PM
SilverX3 SilverX3 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Since I work waaay to close to my dealership for them ever to give me a loaner for routine stuff, I have to rely on my extravagant C2C rentals as data points. Last year we had a 2011 328i (I still think it was an x drive). This year we have again hopefully nailed down a 328i. Kind of curious if it will be an F30, since it just recently showed up in the Avis fleet at BOS. This go 'round I will know to start with the car in DS mode rather than relying soley upon the auto tranny. Curious minds want to know... . . . .. .
I work in the same building.... My dealer on ground I m on level 17

No way they give me a loaner
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  #17  
Old 04-23-2013, 02:10 PM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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One more comment on the F30 328. This car had the new ZF 8AT which is a great slushbox. Many have commented on the F30 forum that it's so good they don't miss a MT. It just confirmed to me that I unequivocally prefer to row my own. There is no thrill in letting the car do the work for you. None.
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:19 PM
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Vanos4:12PM Vanos4:12PM is offline
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Originally Posted by Zooks527 View Post
I won't go as far as "dangerous", but I'll argue against "instantly".

If the light changes to green and the lady with the blue hair in the Altima next to me is moving before I've got the engine back, it's a far cry from instant!
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:55 PM
Leekay07 Leekay07 is offline
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I love the 4 cylinder Turbo on the F30 but man does it sound like a desiel when its at idle. LOL first time I drove it I had to ask the Sales person if they got the right car because its so loud.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:27 PM
kurtcobain kurtcobain is offline
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I had a new loaner too recently... Nnnno thanks on the start stop thing!! Hhhated it

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  #21  
Old 04-25-2013, 05:35 PM
AWCoupe AWCoupe is offline
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[QUOTE=Zooks527;7529671]Yeah, I just got back from returning it and picking up mine, and I realized my perception of the handling issue was strongly driven by the very soft steering. In a parking lot, it reminded me of an 80s cruiser, with the whole "1 finger steering" thing. Not much feedback in the curves.

That assessment is spot on. I just returned a 2013 X3 loaner with the four banger and the 1 finger steering had me flashing back to my Mom's 1971 Ford Torino station wagon that she would let me borrow when I first started driving. Talk about a sleeper, 351 Cleveland and the beefy C6 3 speed auto. Pulled like a freight train......
I found the X3 a real snooze. The turbo four might be nice in the sedan, but not so nice in a 5,000 lb. SAV.
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  #22  
Old 04-25-2013, 05:56 PM
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Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
One more comment on the F30 328. This car had the new ZF 8AT which is a great slushbox. Many have commented on the F30 forum that it's so good they don't miss a MT. It just confirmed to me that I unequivocally prefer to row my own. There is no thrill in letting the car do the work for you. None.
Agree with you on all points again! Its a big improvement over the GM AT in my car, but it is no manual.
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Old 04-25-2013, 07:34 PM
kurtcobain kurtcobain is offline
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Its not nice in anythinf. Love the sound my 335xi makes!!!
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  #24  
Old 04-26-2013, 07:16 AM
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Mark K Mark K is offline
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Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
Agree with you on all points again! Its a big improvement over the GM AT in my car, but it is no manual.
I can only add that this AT is, by far, the best automatic transmission I ever drove. Seamless shifts, when in proper setting nice downshifts while braking for the corner. Very unobtrusive and quiet. Most definitely the best AT out there that I had chance to drive.

Which is the same thing as saying that my kid is the top student in his class. Which happens to be the class of IQ challenged children. Or saying that Jane is the fittest girl of the group and has lowest BMI. The group of girls that just signed up for Weight Watchers.
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  #25  
Old 04-26-2013, 11:53 AM
zerbitini zerbitini is offline
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I had an F30 loaner for the three days (??) it took my dealer to replace the vent valve on the emissions system of my 135i. My impressions: I loved the 8 speed AT. It was smooth and quiet. I didn't like much else. Steering was what everyone else has said - too light and noncommunicative. I thought the interior looked and felt cheap. Way too much body roll, and the general handling was "soft". Worst of all... the car has gotten WAY too big. Side by side in the garage - it made my wife's 2011 E91 look small. I've already told several people that I'd never buy another 3 series. I hate saying that, but the F30 is not something we're interested in.
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