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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 07-05-2013, 04:43 PM
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Road and Track: BMW 328i(e90) vs. BMW 328i(F30)




Quote:
Progress is often a compromise. In the case of the BMW 3-series, that compromise is between the "sport" and "sedan" sides of the car's personality: quick reflexes and driver feedback versus comfort, speed, and isolation. While it's no secret that the Three is an industry standard-most carmakers willingly admit to using it as the sport-sedan benchmark-the gap between BMW and its competition has never been smaller.

So why are we looking at two BMWs? Because their differences are telling. First, the nameplate that everyone once loved is still amazing but no longer as universally adored, and a lot of people are wondering why. Second, if you examine where the 3-series is going, you learn something about the industry that follows it.


Marc Urbano
The maroon car here is a 2008 328i-six cylinders, 230 hp. Its basic shell, known as the E90 chassis, was sold from 20062011. The red one is a 2012 328i-four cylinders, 240 hp, Sport package (a necessity, as the standard 328i suspension is Camry-cushy). Its platform, designated F30, debuted for 2012. Both of our test cars have manual transmissions, because duh. We decided against the 335i because the 328i is BMW's volume model, and besides, it's the one we'd buy with our own money. Also, the model's recent switch to a four-cylinder pays enormous dividends in EPA fuel-economy testing. More on that later.

It's obvious that these are similar cars. The F30 is prettier, especially next to this pre-face-lift E90, with the latter's milk-mustache grille and awkward taillights. The new Three's extra length pays off in a roomier back seat. Then again, we piled four six-footers into the E90, and each was comfortable enough to spend an hour or two in the car. To what end that extra space?


Our old 328i's base seat and steering wheel aren't as comfortable as this new car's sport-package setup, but all of its interior materials feel a full class more expensive than the new car's. And that's everywhere, from the switchgear to the center console to the glove box. In back, the difference is more pronounced, where the new car feels rental-car grade. Its trunk space is bigger on paper but no more usable.

On rough roads, the F30 Sport-pack rides better than the non-Sport E90, likely thanks to its adaptive suspension. The F30 also seems quieter at first, but the racket transmitted from front-end bumps is surprising, and at highway speeds, the sunroof produces too much wind noise to leave open. Neither is a problem on the old car.


The new car's electrically assisted power steering is quite good (and, thanks to software updates, will likely get better), but it's not great, and when it occasionally communicates what the chassis is doing, it tells you what just happened. The E90's hydraulic steering, by contrast, tells you what's about to happen. That's an important distinction as you're approaching the limits of a car's suspension: "Dude, you're sideways" is a different thing from "Don't feed in any more throttle, because your rear tires are about to break traction."

So far, it's a toss-up. But then we come to the engine. The E90's musical straight-six dominates the experience from the second you start it, the cabin buzzing with excitement from idle to redline. You feel the engine's subtle vibes in the shifter and row the gears just for the fun of it.

That just doesn't happen in the F30. BMW's N20 is an extraordinarily well-behaved turbo four, but even the best four can't compete with a world-class six. The Bavarians wisely isolated the cabin from the four-cylinder's noise and vibration, but the resulting disconnect turns this BMW into more of a BmW. Motor is no longer this car's true middle name. The four is acoustically absent under 6000 rpm, then comes alive with a satisfying, purposeful snarl, albeit one that only lasts for a thousand revs. With the acoustic reward largely absent, you find yourself keeping rpm low and riding the wave of turbo torque.

In terms of real-world speed, the two cars are evenly matched, posting identical results on the 5-to-60-mph rolling-start test, where the naturally aspirated six's instant response beats the four's turbo lag. On the conventional 060 run, the more powerful four-banger is 0.4 second quicker-and as speeds increase, the new car pulls ever farther ahead. Add to that its enormous 6-mpg EPA-combined-rating bonus, and it seems like the downsized turbo engine, with its direct injection and auto stop/start system, finally pulls a big lead on the old car.

Not so fast. In real-world driving, we observed a gain of less than 1.5 mpg. At that rate, all of the new car's expensive technology would save a tank (roughly 17.5 gallons) of fuel every 10,000 miles. Is that trade-off worth it?

Nope. Our decision was unanimous: We liked the old car better, if only by a slight margin. And later, when we hopped into a post-face-lift, Sport-package-equipped E90 328i, it was game over for the F30. No contest.

As a premium luxury vehicle with all manner of tech gizmos, the new 328i might equal-or better-the old. But for driving enthusiasts, the E90 remains the benchmark. The F30 might be bigger and prettier, but to us, it's not necessarily better.
http://www.roadandtrack.com/go/news/...i-65-1-roa0813
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  #2  
Old 07-05-2013, 04:52 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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You have now posted this twice in the last few minutes despite it being posted by others in other threads and someone posted the exact same topic a few down from this one.

This begins to appear troll'ish.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:23 PM
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I thought we had all moved past the " 'insert car here' is better than the f30!" phase?
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
You have now posted this twice in the last few minutes despite it being posted by others in other threads and someone posted the exact same topic a few down from this one.

This begins to appear troll'ish.
Because I'm a troll.
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:37 PM
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Interesting read. Thanks for posting.
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  #6  
Old 07-05-2013, 05:41 PM
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Cool. We needed another thread comparing the E90 to the F30. We also need another E90 owner trolling on the F30 forum.
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  #7  
Old 07-05-2013, 09:22 PM
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Since I was driving a 2003 E46 325i, sport package, 5-speed, for 150,000 miles, I compared it to what I wanted to buy, a 2013 F30 320i, sport package, 6-speed, and I've been delighted from mile ten on the odometer. It had nine miles on the odo when I picked it up. No comparison, really. BNW knows what they are doing!
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Old 07-05-2013, 09:32 PM
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Since I was driving a 2003 E46 325i, sport package, 5-speed, for 150,000 miles, I compared it to what I wanted to buy, a 2013 F30 320i, sport package, 6-speed, and I've been delighted from mile ten on the odometer. It had nine miles on the odo when I picked it up. No comparison, really. BNW knows what they are doing!
No way! That can't possibly be true. You haven't been paying close enough attention to the many posts in the F30 forum.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:24 PM
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yeah this article is not helping me LOL

My LCI E90 lease is almost up, and I am seriously debating whether to keep it or lease a 320i. Normally I would lease a new model, but the E90 imho is still better. I test drove 328i M Pack with Sport Auto and although it was fantastic, I still prefer the hydraulic steering. If they put the 8 speed ZF inside LCI E90 there would be no contest imho.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:55 AM
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Then it is an easy decision, keep the car and stop shopping.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:28 AM
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Cool. We needed another thread comparing the E90 to the F30. We also need another E90 owner trolling on the F30 forum.
No, I think we still need more.

Also, funny that only on the BMW forums will BMW owners bash any new chassis when theirs becomes outdated.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:32 AM
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Road and Track: BMW 328i(e90) vs. BMW 328i(F30)

Chassis Envy.


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Old 07-06-2013, 10:36 AM
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:35 PM
Bratters123 Bratters123 is offline
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Once 2 & 3 year old CPO F30's become affordable to the F30 knockers they will all mysteriously disappear.


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Old 07-06-2013, 03:48 PM
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Once 2 & 3 year old CPO F30's become affordable to the F30 knockers they will all mysteriously disappear.


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I don't think price has anything to do with it. I could of bought 2 F30's with the price I paid for my M3. It's that BMW screwed up the BMW 'feel' and is now trying to be what Lexus used to be.
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:59 PM
Bratters123 Bratters123 is offline
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From your comments sounds like an M3 was wasted on you.


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Old 07-06-2013, 04:02 PM
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I figure that I should be a pretty good judge (albeit, biased) as I currently own an E90 and an F30.

So there......
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:09 PM
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Whoop di deee.

Having both models does not make you a good judge if you don't what your talking about!


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Old 07-06-2013, 04:12 PM
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From your comments sounds like an M3 was wasted on you.


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What are you, 15 years old? 16? Did mommy and daddy buy you your car? Wish you could afford an M3, but can't? Work hard, and you'll be able to afford one. Learn some manners. You're a very rude human being. Onto the ignore list. No time for people like you. You belong on the other forum, not here.

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I figure that I should be a pretty good judge (albeit, biased) as I currently own an E90 and an F30.

So there......
I'd like to hear how you feel. I have had extensive time behind both vehicles.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:14 PM
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Whoop di deee.

Having both models does not make you a good judge if you don't what your talking about!


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r u a troll?
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:46 PM
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Can somebody explain to me how it is possible that the F30 goes 0-100 in 14.4 vs E90 at 16.4. Then the 1/4 mile speed is F30 14.3 @ 100 mph and the E90 is 14.7 @ 96 mph. How can the F30 be two seconds faster than the E90 in the 0-100 and then only .4 seconds faster in the 1/4 mile at almost the same mph as the 0-100 test. What am I missing? How is this possible? I know testing can be finicky, but this big of a discrepancy?
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:51 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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I figure that I should be a pretty good judge (albeit, biased) as I currently own an E90 and an F30.

So there......
Not if you are not sharing the specifics.

Tires are the single largest component affecting braking performance. If you have square 225 all seasons on your F30 and wider/grippier tires on the E90-that right there ruins the comparison. The F30 is saddled 9x out of 10 with LOW ROLLING RESISTANCE tires from the factory. Great for MPG, not much else.

The other factor is the pads. The Sport/Base/Lux, all have low dust pads. But they also give up initial bite which really affects confidence. The MSport has standard Euro pads, more confidence but tons of dust. I have seen 2-3 mag tests now of MSports and they do not complain of braking and have shown 108-109ft from 60, a great result. But I did see a test of non MSport pads and all season tires in 225's that mention a very unBMW like long stopping distance from 70-0.

Facts...The cars have not really increased in weight from the E90 and brake components are just as large. If you have a poor braking F30 compared to your E90, it's in the pads and tires. Blame it on everyone's obsession with MPG and god forbid needing to clean your wheels.
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  #23  
Old 07-06-2013, 04:53 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Can somebody explain to me how it is possible that the F30 goes 0-100 in 14.4 vs E90 at 16.4. Then the 1/4 mile speed is F30 14.3 @ 100 mph and the E90 is 14.7 @ 96 mph. How can the F30 be two seconds faster than the E90 in the 0-100 and then only .4 seconds faster in the 1/4 mile at almost the same mph as the 0-100 test. What am I missing? How is this possible? I know testing can be finicky, but this big of a discrepancy?
Look at the numbers.

0-100 is not the same as 1/4 mile.

The F30 just so happens to his 100mph in the 1/4, but the E90 did not. So it takes an E90 longer to hit 100mph than it does to hit 1/4 mile.

Make more sense now?

The oddity is how can the F30 do 0-100 in 14.4 but take 14.3 to hit 100 in the 1/4, that means their numbers are a bit off. Those two should be the same. It should 0-100 in 14.3 and 1/4 of 14.3@100.
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Last edited by Jamesonsviggen; 07-06-2013 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:08 PM
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I think I get it, but how can the E90 make up so much time in the 1/4 mile? If it takes it 16.4 to get to 100 mph in one test, how can it get to 96 mph in the 1/4 mile so much faster? I know my math may be fuzzy, but it seems like it is getting to 96 mph almost 1.5 seconds faster in this test? I can't wrap my head around the discrepancy, both tests are basically 0-100 drag races no?
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:12 PM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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I think I get it, but how can the E90 make up so much time in the 1/4 mile? If it takes it 16.4 to get to 100 mph in one test, how can it get to 96 mph in the 1/4 mile so much faster? I know my math may be fuzzy, but it seems like it is getting to 96 mph almost 1.5 seconds faster in this test? I can't wrap my head around the discrepancy, both tests are basically 0-100 drag races no?
It's in the gearing. The gearing is well matched to the E90's powertrain and so it crosses the 1320 in a decent time of under 15 seconds. But it takes a fair bit longer to reach 100mph, this may not only be gearing, but the gearing itself might require an additional shift to reach 100mph that the F30 does not.
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