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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 07-23-2013, 11:34 AM
f30jojo f30jojo is offline
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F30 320i. BMW getting back to the basics.

Hello all!! as im sure most of you know I'm (my wife i mean) is the proud owner of a new 320i for a couple months now. this is not another review, that fork wont stop poking. but what i will say is what many people are forgetting. one is about the 320i not being new, or a stripped 328. and second is how i belive the 320i (sport anyway) is bringing BMW DRIVING dynamics back and focusing less on making the F30 a rolling iphone/facbook server.

First. The 320i is not a new 3er nor is it a stripped 328i. 320i's have been sold in every other region except NA since the beginning. I believe the 320i is the bread and butter of BMW's 3er. it has more than enough every day driving power, and then some. EVERY person ive talked to that owns one or has driven one absolutely loves it. Americans are just stuck on a status mobile with 328i or higher on the decklid.(case in point, rebadging the 320d for the states a 328d becasue the "320" means "poor")

Seond. horsepower does not equal better driving dynamics or fun. For example the mustang GT, camaro Z28, SRT8's and so on have earth shattering power. However, hardly anyone calls them "drivers" cars becasue their driving feel is caveman-ish, "uhg gas pedal make car loud and go fast uhg!". anyway my point is BMW in the states are prime staus mobiles, and many e90/f30 owners are concerned with the HP number instead of the Lateral G's it can pull. many forget the true driving cars BMW used to build like the E46, E39, and the "youre one with the road and machine" E30's of old. I seriously think if they brought a 320i to the states with ZERO options. i mean no idrive, no cameras, no bluetooth NOTHING!... with a sport suspension and a 6MT it would sell faster than they could build them. plus be a couple hundered pounds lighter and about 25000 bucks! true BMW enthusiats would understand what that car is and how fun it would be. Just like the 1M they brought over. pretty much a 135i with m3 suspension and ZERO options.... sold out almost immediatly.

I do like my F30 but i must agree its much much to filled with tech goodies. backup camera, heated power seats, navigation, usb.aux connect, hard drive for music/video, keyless entry, "sport/ecopro/comfort" modes... WTF??? and parking/drivers assist??? tisk tisk. i think if alot of f30 owners owned or even drove a 1989 318is, theyd be blown away with how that little e30 makes you feel. with all its 128 HP lol, one of the best cars bmw ever made IMO. cars like that is what still makes people think BMW's are still sports cars. i wish theyd bring one model, just one hardcore drivers car over to the states. e30's, e46's e39's, e60 M5 (GOD THAT SOUND) and the 1M are long forgotten......
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  #2  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:08 PM
gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Excellent summary, f30jojo. Both points are right on the mark.

Incidentally, I think the USA market alone until recently lacked 320i in the F30 model lineup. 320i was offered in both Canada and Mexico upon the vehicle's introduction in 2012.
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  #3  
Old 07-23-2013, 06:32 PM
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I also agree, having put now about 4200 miles on my F30 320i since May 15th, my third BMW three-series. It's a true bimmer, a driver's car, not just a heavily-loaded auto-transmission, status-mobile, for people who used to drive MB, Infiniti, Lexus, and who love all the extras that have nothing to do with the driving experience. One plus may be that some car jackings have been still-born when the thieves found the BMW was a manual; all they could do was to make it stall!
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:04 PM
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Saintor Saintor is offline
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I don't think that BMW is back to basics without a 6-cyl. gasser. It is a question of temper that no 4-cyl. can match.

Quote:
320i was offered in both Canada and Mexico upon the vehicle's introduction in 2012.
An E46 320i I6 2.2 168HP was offered in Canada and I think that there was also a E36 2.0-2.2L I6 (323i I think)

Of course the E90 323i took over. With a Performance Exhaust, what it misses as sheer pulling power is made up with its amazing sound; on this criteria alone it would be at home in a M-car. Can't wait to hear in person a N20 with a PE, but it won't be as BMW-esque.
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2013, 07:17 PM
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My 2003 E46 325i had the same horsepower and torque as my 2013 F30 320i. The new car outperforms the old car. I rest my case, with a big smile on my face.
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  #6  
Old 07-23-2013, 09:01 PM
fastm3 fastm3 is offline
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As a long time BMW driver, including a '73 2002, an '83 320i, '87 325, a couple of M3s, etc., etc., your points are well taken. I also happen to think most Americans have a ludicrous fixation on power (that they'll never use), and the whole phenomenon of what I call "horsepower inflation" is such a waste. Over the years engines have become massively more efficient, but unfortunately people (or Americans anyway) are not really the beneficiary of the increased efficiency, because they demand cars with more and more power, for absolutely no reason. Everyday I see affluent people driving around here with BMWs or MBs with V12 engines, never going above the ridiculously low speed limits or enjoying the capability of their cars in any way. They bought those cars simply because in their mind, they're "luxurious", whatever that means...

However, I do disagree with your assertion that if BMW made a bare bones car, without bluetooth, heated leather seats, power this or that, etc., that it would sell like hotcakes. Like it or not, 2013 isn't like 1983 or 1993. We've become spoiled with all these goodies, and now not only take them for granted, but demand to have them. Unfortunately in the US, over 95% of "sports cars" like BMW and Porsche are sold with automatic transmissions. The vast majority of the people just don't want to shift for themselves anymore. The "hardcore" enthusiasts are few and far in between, and mostly reside in forums such as this. Most people are only interested only in the badge (prestige), comfort, and luxury goodies. BMW understands this, and it's catering to them. The latest 320i is simply an effort by BMW to grab some market share at the lower end of their market, not an attempt to go back to its spartan roots. I don't like it either, but that's unfortunately the way it is, at least here in the US.

Last edited by fastm3; 07-23-2013 at 09:12 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:46 AM
namelessman namelessman is online now
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The base model price points of the 3 models are somewhat skewed by option prices, but with similarly configured options(and expensive ones), a bump from 320i to 328i engine and transmission is roughly $2-2k, while from 328i to 335i can be less than $2.5k. If BMWNA provides $2k upgrade from 320i base model to get additional 60HP, or $4.5k upgrade to get N55 turbo, I would think many buyers would make different tradeoffs, e.g. $4k for premium package on 320i, or $4.5k for a N55 turbo upgrade. On the subject of MT vs. AT, do note that MT used to be a $1.5k discount, given 60+HP is $2k according to BMWNA fuzzy pricing, a $1.5k subsidy that each MT car provides to AT ones is hard to ignore from long-time MT drivers perspective.
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2013, 08:25 AM
hans007 hans007 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastm3 View Post

However, I do disagree with your assertion that if BMW made a bare bones car, without bluetooth, heated leather seats, power this or that, etc., that it would sell like hotcakes. Like it or not, 2013 isn't like 1983 or 1993. We've become spoiled with all these goodies, and now not only take them for granted, but demand to have them. Unfortunately in the US, over 95% of "sports cars" like BMW and Porsche are sold with automatic transmissions. The vast majority of the people just don't want to shift for themselves anymore. The "hardcore" enthusiasts are few and far in between, and mostly reside in forums such as this. Most people are only interested only in the badge (prestige), comfort, and luxury goodies. BMW understands this, and it's catering to them. The latest 320i is simply an effort by BMW to grab some market share at the lower end of their market, not an attempt to go back to its spartan roots. I don't like it either, but that's unfortunately the way it is, at least here in the US.

i agree with you on this. there are some basic "luxury" things on a bmw people would expect. like personally i dont need radar cruise control or surround view cameras and nav systems or even really power seats (its not like i adjust my seat well... ever really)

but a stereo and AC and things like that or say power windows are pretty basic and neither destroy the driving dynamics or add very much cost to the car. i mean this isnt a lotus elise or something (which you can delete all those things on if you are hardcore) . if anything its a sedan and being such probably needs to be more practical as sedan buying usually implies. its supposed to be an all around performer so you do want it to have at least some creature comforts for commuting and day to day things.
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2013, 08:58 AM
jjrandorin jjrandorin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastm3 View Post
as a long time bmw driver, including a '73 2002, an '83 320i, '87 325, a couple of m3s, etc., etc., your points are well taken. I also happen to think most americans have a ludicrous fixation on power (that they'll never use), and the whole phenomenon of what i call "horsepower inflation" is such a waste. Over the years engines have become massively more efficient, but unfortunately people (or americans anyway) are not really the beneficiary of the increased efficiency, because they demand cars with more and more power, for absolutely no reason. Everyday i see affluent people driving around here with bmws or mbs with v12 engines, never going above the ridiculously low speed limits or enjoying the capability of their cars in any way. They bought those cars simply because in their mind, they're "luxurious", whatever that means...

however, i do disagree with your assertion that if bmw made a bare bones car, without bluetooth, heated leather seats, power this or that, etc., that it would sell like hotcakes. Like it or not, 2013 isn't like 1983 or 1993. We've become spoiled with all these goodies, and now not only take them for granted, but demand to have them. Unfortunately in the us, over 95% of "sports cars" like bmw and porsche are sold with automatic transmissions. The vast majority of the people just don't want to shift for themselves anymore. The "hardcore" enthusiasts are few and far in between, and mostly reside in forums such as this. Most people are only interested only in the badge (prestige), comfort, and luxury goodies. Bmw understands this, and it's catering to them. the latest 320i is simply an effort by bmw to grab some market share at the lower end of their market, not an attempt to go back to its spartan roots. I don't like it either, but that's unfortunately the way it is, at least here in the us.
+1
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2013, 12:45 PM
speas speas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f30jojo View Post
I seriously think if they brought a 320i to the states with ZERO options. i mean no idrive, no cameras, no bluetooth NOTHING!... with a sport suspension and a 6MT it would sell faster than they could build them. plus be a couple hundered pounds lighter and about 25000 bucks!
I'd buy one but I dont think they'd do it as it would highlight the cost of all the gizmos.

On the topic of options, I am leery of complicated electronics - not that they arent nice for a time but that they ultimately fail and cost $$$ to replace. I recently replaced the key sensor in my E46 for a painful price. A windshield with a rain sensor is something like 5x the price of a regular windshield. If you're turning cars over regularly I guess this doesnt matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordique View Post
One plus may be that some car jackings have been still-born when the thieves found the BMW was a manual; all they could do was to make it stall!
Whether that is true or not I cannot say but I do know from personal experience that an annoying percentage of valets cant drive a stick.
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:50 PM
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As for those manual transmissions: if you read reviews of bimmers, especially of new M5 models, it appears as if BMW goes to some pains to produce manual transmissions for the U.S. market--which, for the M5 anyway, seem to be in considerable demand. As for me, I will never be described as 'shiftless.'
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:56 PM
Kar Don Kar Don is offline
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F30 320i. BMW getting back to the basics.

There's a reason why BMW builds cars with idrive, horsepower, cameras, bluetooth, etc. there's also a reason dealers stock cars with these options. Why you ask? Figure it out.


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