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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 11-11-2013, 05:50 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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4-series - some interior materials downgraded?

Hi all,

I attended a launch party for the 4-series, x5, and 328gt this past weekend held by Ottos BMW. Nice event, really done up right. I think I made $50 back from Ottos on the amount of liquor and food I consumed

Anyway, the 4-series is a stunning car on the outside. The inside is overall pretty standard BMW 3 affair and nicely laid out. Bit sexier when standing back.

When I got in, some pieces jumped out at me as downgraded and I was quite surprised. I was there with one of my closest friends, a car guy who is currently evaluating the CLA, ATS, 3-series, and other $35-50k vehicles - so very familiar with the class.

1. The visors look so so, but feel very cheap and plasticky. This is clearly a downgraded part from a few years ago. It feels like a 2011 1-series visor.

2. The headliner is this el-cheapo vinyl mesh over a padded cloth. It looks and feels like it belongs in a 2006 scion tC, which I'm pretty sure I saw it in previously used as a seat covering. This includes the a-pillars, so directly in line of sight.

3. The door card is, perhaps, the same as the f30 and may have just felt even thinner than previously. What's striking me now is that this particular optioned up $61k 4-series is now solidly above the cost of a Porsche boxster, for example. This should not pass muster in this vehicle anymore.

...

There's a few others, but I'll add that BMW really hit the nail on the head with this generation sport steering wheel. Gorgeous. And the seats are delightful, albeit need to be broken in a tad.

The main stuff has been done right, but a lot of little (and large items like the headliner) just feel a cut below this level of vehicle.

As much as I enjoy BMW, and am considering an f30 335 or f80 m3 as my next vehicle, the f30 platform is really employing the lowest grade interior materials I've seen since the e36 in a 3-series. The e46 was excellent and the e90 was just not an exciting design.
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2013, 06:53 AM
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The only thing that I really think looks cheap is the silver waffle weave trim. Feels and kinda looks like cheap plastic to me. There need to be other better options than that to get with the black leather.

I never feel the headliner, so I'm not sure how much that matters.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:21 AM
elistan elistan is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
2. The headliner is this el-cheapo vinyl mesh over a padded cloth. It looks and feels like it belongs in a 2006 scion tC, which I'm pretty sure I saw it in previously used as a seat covering. This includes the a-pillars, so directly in line of sight.
That sounds like the "Anthracite headliner" that comes with the Sport Line and M Sport Line. I quite like it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:40 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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Originally Posted by elistan View Post
That sounds like the "Anthracite headliner" that comes with the Sport Line and M Sport Line. I quite like it.
Hmm, anthracite used to be (IIRC) a thick cloth weave like a very fine microfiber. Or alcantara on M models (I have the alcantara headliner in my M5).
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:40 AM
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The cheap-feeling part that shocked me the most is the storage cubby to the left of the steering wheel. The cover to that compartment feels like flimsy plastic better suited to a 1980s Ford Escort than in a BMW with a sticker pushing $60k.

The general cheapening of the interior and inflated sticker convinced me to make the leap to the F10 instead.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:46 AM
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I agree. Was shopping for my M5 and sat inside a 435 because it looked beautiful, but was thoroughly disappointed with the interior compared to my retired S4 and even to my previous e92 335i. I really wanted to wait for the M4, but seeing the plastic trim and how it creaked and flexed, I decided to go up a class. I remember my fullly loaded e92 335i was in the 50's, now 428's are in that range and 435's are going into the 60s. You'd expect higher quality of materials, but it is basically inflation and cost cutting on BMW's part. What stood out at me as being cheap were the plastic colored trim that goes around the interior and the sport steering wheel. The one I sat in had a blue strip running across the dash and doors. Pressed down on them and it flexed and creaked. On the steering wheel, press the bottom of the silver accent, it also flexes. It is silver painted plastic and not aluminum like the one used in their higher-end vehicles. If you can ignore that fact, it's a beautiful car.

People need to also realize that BMW is a volume seller and in order to maximize profit, they need to cut down on cost of materials. Take the F30 for example, it comes in a $29k 320i version and a loaded 335xi for close to $59k. Everything is shared on the interior and you're paying extra on the higher trim levels for engine, suspension, other mechanical bits, and upgraded electronics. You are basically driving a car with the interior level of sub $30k vehicle. BMW is a premium brand, but they are trying to capture the VW, Honda, and Toyota market. I'm sure the BMW will drive better, but the interior fit and finish and material quality will not reflect its cost.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:49 AM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikenski View Post
The cheap-feeling part that shocked me the most is the storage cubby to the left of the steering wheel. The cover to that compartment feels like flimsy plastic better suited to a 1980s Ford Escort than in a BMW with a sticker pushing $60k.

The general cheapening of the interior and inflated sticker convinced me to make the leap to the F10 instead.
I've had about 5 days where I got to drive an f10 extensively and I have to agree, even the base model f10 is a wonderfully appointed vehicle. The tan interior is going to SUCK in 20k miles, and some of the materials are going to get scratched to crap because they are so soft, but it's definitely luxurious inside.

I just can't get over the size of the f10, personally. It drives well for it's size, but so does a 2002 7-series.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:09 AM
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When I sat in a 4 Series the main thing I didn't like was the new touchpad iDrive controller. It felt kind of flimsy compared to the previous design which I have in my car which has a really nice solid, well-engineered feel. Anyone else care to comment on this?
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:41 AM
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Re: 4-series - some interior materials downgraded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr5959 View Post
When I sat in a 4 Series the main thing I didn't like was the new touchpad iDrive controller. It felt kind of flimsy compared to the previous design which I have in my car which has a really nice solid, well-engineered feel. Anyone else care to comment on this?
I only had my car for the few days of my ED but I don't remember thinking anything bad about the controller.

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Old 11-11-2013, 10:48 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snareman View Post
The only thing that I really think looks cheap is the silver waffle weave trim. Feels and kinda looks like cheap plastic to me. There need to be other better options than that to get with the black leather.

I never feel the headliner, so I'm not sure how much that matters.
It's actually 100% metal and cold to the touch in the winter. I could do without the pattern, it does not look any better to me than the non patterned offering in the Sport Line.

I do appreciate that it's not plastic though.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:49 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Originally Posted by JoeFromPA View Post
Hmm, anthracite used to be (IIRC) a thick cloth weave like a very fine microfiber. Or alcantara on M models (I have the alcantara headliner in my M5).
That would just not be an offering on a regular 3 series. I think you have become spoiled lol.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:49 AM
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Re: 4-series - some interior materials downgraded?

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Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
It's actually 100% metal and cold to the touch in the winter. I could do without the pattern, it does not look any better to me than the non patterned offering in the Sport Line.

I do appreciate that it's not plastic though.
Okay, it may be metal but they did a good job making it look like cheap plastic to me

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Old 11-11-2013, 10:54 AM
Jamesonsviggen Jamesonsviggen is offline
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Okay, it may be metal but they did a good job making it look like cheap plastic to me

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It's either the mat finish or patterning that is giving you that impression.
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  #14  
Old 11-11-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikenski View Post
The cheap-feeling part that shocked me the most is the storage cubby to the left of the steering wheel. The cover to that compartment feels like flimsy plastic better suited to a 1980s Ford Escort than in a BMW with a sticker pushing $60k.

The general cheapening of the interior and inflated sticker convinced me to make the leap to the F10 instead.
That's what I did... the damn BMW puppet masters know how to make customers spend the same or more money but in another of their cars, I guess.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Snareman View Post
Okay, it may be metal but they did a good job making it look like cheap plastic to me

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That's German engineering for you...LoL... There are a few things on my 2012 328 that i would have thought would be fixed on later models and especially the 4 series as you mentioned some. I still want to know what the hell is going through their minds to keep the display sitting on top of the dash as it is out in the open like it is stuck there with Super Glue. I mean really...
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:08 AM
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I have been saying this same thing since the F30 showed up early last year: the interior gets out of sync with the car price quite fast. It may pass as a good interior at $30,000 but this F30/F32 has been rushed into the $60,000+ bracket with the exact same entry-level plastics.

And it looks like it is no longer a personal opinion: BMW will introduce the Full Leather option in the M3 and M4. So it seems to me that when you are going to cross the $80,000 bracket it better be in an interior that justifies the madness. And BMW knows that.
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:16 AM
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Re: 4-series - some interior materials downgraded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
It's either the mat finish or patterning that is giving you that impression.
Yes. I agree. Both lend to a look of cheap plastic. If I remember correctly there are only really 2 options for the trim with the black leather m sport. Pretty poor for the extra money. I'm half tempted to replace it with the m performance carbon fiber trim even though it's only a lease.

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Old 11-11-2013, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by sf_loft View Post
I agree. Was shopping for my M5 and sat inside a 435 because it looked beautiful, but was thoroughly disappointed with the interior compared to my retired S4 and even to my previous e92 335i. I really wanted to wait for the M4, but seeing the plastic trim and how it creaked and flexed, I decided to go up a class. I remember my fullly loaded e92 335i was in the 50's, now 428's are in that range and 435's are going into the 60s. You'd expect higher quality of materials, but it is basically inflation and cost cutting on BMW's part. What stood out at me as being cheap were the plastic colored trim that goes around the interior and the sport steering wheel. The one I sat in had a blue strip running across the dash and doors. Pressed down on them and it flexed and creaked. On the steering wheel, press the bottom of the silver accent, it also flexes. It is silver painted plastic and not aluminum like the one used in their higher-end vehicles. If you can ignore that fact, it's a beautiful car.

People need to also realize that BMW is a volume seller and in order to maximize profit, they need to cut down on cost of materials. Take the F30 for example, it comes in a $29k 320i version and a loaded 335xi for close to $59k. Everything is shared on the interior and you're paying extra on the higher trim levels for engine, suspension, other mechanical bits, and upgraded electronics. You are basically driving a car with the interior level of sub $30k vehicle. BMW is a premium brand, but they are trying to capture the VW, Honda, and Toyota market. I'm sure the BMW will drive better, but the interior fit and finish and material quality will not reflect its cost.
I was at the BMW dealer today getting our E90 M3 serviced. They have a new M5 on display in the showroom so I went over to take a look. The sticker was $115,000+. Nice looking car but the interior was also not up to that price level.

I started thinking what I would get for about the same money if I needed a fun sedan. I decided it would be better to get an S4 and an M3. Wait, that's what we have in our stable already!
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Last edited by beden1; 11-11-2013 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Snareman View Post
Yes. I agree. Both lend to a look of cheap plastic. If I remember correctly there are only really 2 options for the trim with the black leather m sport. Pretty poor for the extra money. I'm half tempted to replace it with the m performance carbon fiber trim even though it's only a lease.

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Are you referring to the trim?

I got the red coral and Burl Walnut wood trim. I'm not certain I love the combination. I loved the red, and thought the other trim options would either not match or would look cheap on a 55k car. However, the wood looks expensive, but I'm not sure it matches. I'm considering going for the M performance carbon fiber black trim. However, I am leasing, and I'm not certain it's necessary. I may be able to grow to like the wood.

P.S. because of your pictures from the Welt, I'm thinking my next car will be Alpine White.

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Old 11-11-2013, 12:23 PM
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This is very disappointing since I have a 428i Msport on order
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:01 PM
elistan elistan is online now
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This is very disappointing since I have a 428i Msport on order
Go sit a 328i M Sport Line and you'll get to judge for yourself whether the interior is cheap or not.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:22 PM
elistan elistan is online now
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Hmm, anthracite used to be (IIRC) a thick cloth weave like a very fine microfiber.
Is this what you mean?
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228995
I have no experience with it, so can't comment on how cheap or expensive it feels compares to the F30.

The headliner part that the poster purchased (51448046413) is $606 from Turner.
The anthracite headliner for the F30 (51447343301) is $562 from Turner.

So cheaper, yes, but not excessively so, at least in terms of us consumers acquiring parts from BMW.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:22 PM
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4-series - some interior materials downgraded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
I was at the BMW dealer today getting our E90 M3 serviced. They have a new M5 on display in the showroom so I went over to take a look. The sticker was $115,000+. Nice looking car but the interior was also not up to that price level.

I started thinking what I would get for about the same money if I needed a fun sedan. I decided it would be better to get an S4 and an M3. Wait, that's what we have in our stable already!
I agree. At $115k what car make and model today do you think its interior is justified. I looked at the E63 AMG and it was very nice. It even had a classy IWC clock on the dash. It just felt like an older gentleman's car though. The aluminum buttons is a nice touch in the MB. Porsche has a nice interior, but when I price up a panamera with full leather and high-end trim pieces, it is well over the BMW. If you want performance + high-end interior, you'd have to shell out $130k+.

The S6/S7/RS cars have nice interiors, but you can't get a full leather option and has miles of plastic. At least in the BMW and Mercedes you can cover the dash and plastic surfaces with full leather.

I vote the new S-class as an interior deserving of the car's cost.


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Old 11-11-2013, 01:54 PM
JoeFromPA JoeFromPA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elistan View Post
Is this what you mean?
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228995
I have no experience with it, so can't comment on how cheap or expensive it feels compares to the F30.

The headliner part that the poster purchased (51448046413) is $606 from Turner.
The anthracite headliner for the F30 (51447343301) is $562 from Turner.

So cheaper, yes, but not excessively so, at least in terms of us consumers acquiring parts from BMW.
Yes, that was a nice mid-level headliner. Very nice to feel, good quality to touch and look at.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:56 PM
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4-series - some interior materials downgraded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sf_loft View Post
I agree. At $115k what car make and model today do you think its interior is justified. I looked at the E63 AMG and it was very nice. It even had a classy IWC clock on the dash. It just felt like an older gentleman's car though. The aluminum buttons is a nice touch in the MB. Porsche has a nice interior, but when I price up a panamera with full leather and high-end trim pieces, it is well over the BMW. If you want performance + high-end interior, you'd have to shell out $130k+.

The S6/S7/RS cars have nice interiors, but you can't get a full leather option and has miles of plastic. At least in the BMW and Mercedes you can cover the dash and plastic surfaces with full leather.

I vote the new S-class as an interior deserving of the car's cost.


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To add on this. The M5 is a 115k car with the interior of a regular 60-70k F10. Similar to what I said about the 60k 3/4 series against its $29k 320i brethren. BMW adds improvements mechanically but very little in interior build.


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