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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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  #26  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:07 AM
thaibruin thaibruin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslierc View Post
That's it exactly! Why I chose the 6-speed MT in my `13 Boxster S. However, city traffic reeks hell on your left foot in a manual. I recently met a guy who owns a `10 M5 with a MT. He loves it, but said the same thing about driving it in heavy traffic.
Having a light clutch makes all the difference. I read the M5 has a pretty heavy clutch.

I also drove a 535i with 6MT for the hell of it and I feel like it didn't shift anywhere near as smoothly or have as light of a clutch as the F30s.
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  #27  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:12 AM
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I only ever cared about having a manual in under-powered cars, because the autoboxes suck life from them. Since mine is a DD, that sees mostly stop-and-go traffic during the week, and freeways on the weekends, an auto is more relaxing. The car is a beast with the JB4 on it, and it's so nice on a turbo car to have an auto when the RPMS peak so quickly under WOT! I rarely touch the paddles unless I want to shortshift.
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  #28  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:21 AM
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This is about the sixth such thread I've read about this in the last year. Comes up all the time. I never get tired of it.

In traffic it's a pain, true, but as my fellow SoCal folks have noted, traffic's a pain in an automatic, too.

I've been on a MT since college but my wife's car is an auto, which I sometimes drive on weekends--she drives a stick but we need an SUV and it is very hard finding SUVs with MTs.

In addition to the other excellent points above, I'd add the off-balance feeling of driving an automatic as a plus for MTs. What I mean is that with the manual, you have both feet engaged and both hands. With an automatic, you end up overbalanced to your right, driving only with the right foot (unless you're an expert track driver, which I bet most people aren't) and/or the right hand (unless you actually keep both your hands on the wheel most times, which I also bet most people don't do). I don't like that feeling of sitting there like a bump on the log leaning to my right and feeling like I'm in a lounge chair driving an automatic. The MT just keeps me more balanced and engaged.
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  #29  
Old 11-14-2013, 10:27 AM
thaibruin thaibruin is online now
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Originally Posted by jjcruiser View Post
This is about the sixth such thread I've read about this in the last year. Comes up all the time. I never get tired of it.

In traffic it's a pain, true, but as my fellow SoCal folks have noted, traffic's a pain in an automatic, too.

I've been on a MT since college but my wife's car is an auto, which I sometimes drive on weekends--she drives a stick but we need an SUV and it is very hard finding SUVs with MTs.

In addition to the other excellent points above, I'd add the off-balance feeling of driving an automatic as a plus for MTs. What I mean is that with the manual, you have both feet engaged and both hands. With an automatic, you end up overbalanced to your right, driving only with the right foot (unless you're an expert track driver, which I bet most people aren't) and/or the right hand (unless you actually keep both your hands on the wheel most times, which I also bet most people don't do). I don't like that feeling of sitting there like a bump on the log leaning to my right and feeling like I'm in a lounge chair driving an automatic. The MT just keeps me more balanced and engaged.

I'm in the exact same boat. My wife drives an RX350 and I'll sometimes drive it on the weekends. With a baby, she thinks we both need to have an SUV in order to haul of the baby "necessities". It was beyond hard to convince her that the F30 still makes a great kid hauler. Unlike my TL, having fold down seats makes it a snap to load longer items like strollers and still have plenty of room for groceries, luggage, etc.

But yea, when I do drive my wifes RX on the weekends, it can be nice at times, and by nice, I mean, completely unengaging. You kind of just... float along. It's nice for completely zoning out. haha
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  #30  
Old 11-14-2013, 11:06 AM
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Keyser Soze Keyser Soze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thaibruin View Post
Having a light clutch makes all the difference. I read the M5 has a pretty heavy clutch.

I also drove a 535i with 6MT for the hell of it and I feel like it didn't shift anywhere near as smoothly or have as light of a clutch as the F30s.
I'll chime in as an F10 535i 6-Speed MT orderer/owner and I really hate to say it but it doesn't feel right to me on a car this big and heavy and it takes away rather than adds to the driving experience. It struggles in 1st/2nd and basically just annoys me for lots of other reasons. I am really glad and thankful that BMW still allows it as an option - but in some cases the manual gearbox is not the best match with the vehicle - and this is one of those cases. These new automatic transmissions are light years ahead of where we were even 3 years ago and are a much better choice for F10 at least.
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  #31  
Old 11-14-2013, 11:09 AM
thaibruin thaibruin is online now
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Originally Posted by Keyser Soze View Post
I'll chime in as an F10 535i 6-Speed MT orderer/owner and I really hate to say it but it doesn't feel right to me on a car this big and heavy and it takes away rather than add to the driving experience. It struggles in 1st/2nd and basically just annoys me for lots of other reasons.

Exactly! That's the one thing I had a lot of trouble with. For whatever reason, on the test drive in the F10, I had a lot of trouble getting it into 2nd gear. And even though the model I drove was an M-Sport or whatever the trim is, it didn't handle all that well.... it just felt... big.
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  #32  
Old 11-14-2013, 11:29 AM
Bret_T Bret_T is offline
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Originally Posted by thaibruin View Post
People need to understand that it isn't just about speed that makes us die-hard manual drivers mourn the loss of manual options or having to choose an auto tranny when personal reasons call for it. It's about that extra connection, that feeling of control over your car.
Exactly!

The day will come when we can purchase cars that steer themselves. Most people won't mind riding along, but I'll pass because it just won't be the same feeling as doing it yourself.
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  #33  
Old 11-14-2013, 08:47 PM
Geekenstein Geekenstein is offline
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I like the manual in stop and go traffic. Makes it slightly less boring.
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  #34  
Old 11-14-2013, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Geekenstein View Post
I like the manual in stop and go traffic. Makes it slightly less boring.
Haha, stop and go traffic is when I'm most thankful I have an automatic.
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  #35  
Old 11-14-2013, 09:41 PM
BradSCantor BradSCantor is offline
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Quote:
I like the manual in stop and go traffic. Makes it slightly less boring.
Agreed. A lot of people talk about how it is a drag in traffic but I dont really agree. For one, as many people have pointed out... if traffic is pissing me off, my cars transmission is not gonna alter my feelings. But more to this point, if I am in a decent mood and stuck in traffic, I like fooling around with my MT. I will try to not use the brake for lengths at a time, or downshift perfectly, or even attempt to cross my legs (it never works out). But I try to have fun with it. It gives me one more thing to keep my attention. And, on those days when I dont want to fool around, its not like its something that takes excessive thought or exertion. I just move my left foot a tiny bit every few seconds...
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  #36  
Old 11-14-2013, 11:19 PM
Flakmunky Flakmunky is offline
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Originally Posted by thaibruin View Post
the model I drove was an M-Sport or whatever the trim is, it didn't handle all that well.... it just felt... big.
That's because the 5er is big... It's not a sports car. It's not a sports sedan. It's a luxury sedan.

Getting a 535i with a stick and then expecting it to feel sporty is like getting Nike wellington boots with spikes and expecting to keep up with Ussain Bolt... It ain't gonna happen!
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  #37  
Old 11-15-2013, 05:37 AM
numbersguy numbersguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geekenstein View Post
The only thing that would make me hesitate to make my next BMW an auto is, I think it would drive me nuts not being able to skip gears. How fluid is the auto when you want to do the equivalent of skipping from 6th to 3rd on the freeway to pass a group of cars? I guess that would be like 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 with the auto. It's hard to imagine that being as satisfying as grabbing 3rd and matching revs with one big blip.
What I miss about driving my E46 manual is smooth braking coming up to a stop light or a freeway slowdown. It's annoying to feel every one of the automatic downshifts as I try to stay smooth on the brake pedal. I also miss making a smooth double clutch downshift in anticipation of a freeway slowdown or a two-lane passing situation.

It's got me dreaming about an M235i with three pedals.
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  #38  
Old 11-15-2013, 10:08 AM
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Re: Manual was automatic... For me.

I talked to my wife about it today. She said we should rent a manual car to learn on. That way she won't feel nervous about messing up my new car. I didn't think rental companies had manual vehicles anymore.
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  #39  
Old 11-15-2013, 10:11 AM
thaibruin thaibruin is online now
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Originally Posted by BentZero View Post
I talked to my wife about it today. She said we should rent a manual car to learn on. That way she won't feel nervous about messing up my new car. I didn't think rental companies had manual vehicles anymore.
Don't tell her the last part.

Honestly though, the F30 makes for a fantastic car to learn on. As I mentioned in my PMs, having the car actually tell you what gear you should be in (in Eco Pro and Comfort mode) goes a long way in addition to ASS automatically starting your car back up after a stall... and if there were any hills or steep driveways, hill-start assist will guarantee she'll never roll back.

Now, I'm guessing you're going for a 335... so make sure there's nothing she can hit when she rockets away in first/second gear. haha
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  #40  
Old 11-15-2013, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by BentZero View Post
I talked to my wife about it today. She said we should rent a manual car to learn on. That way she won't feel nervous about messing up my new car. I didn't think rental companies had manual vehicles anymore.
They do in Europe. Yet another reason to do Eurodelivery.

Just show up a week early, tool around on a little MT Volkswagen to get the feel of it, then pick up your new vehicle in Munich.
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  #41  
Old 11-15-2013, 11:12 AM
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http://www.budget.ie/automatic_or_manual.php
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  #42  
Old 11-15-2013, 11:16 AM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is online now
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Wife and I prefer to drive stick simply because its more fun to drive. No more, no less.



When you spend so much of your life in a car, you might as well have fun.
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  #43  
Old 11-15-2013, 12:10 PM
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Fourteen cars since I got my license and all MT. I too drive the lovely Los Angeles traffic, but it's a very rare day when my left leg wants to disown me (like a busy 4-way intersection with the traffic lights out).

I had an E46 M3 for 6 years as a DD and when I got the F30, I'd switch off once a week. I couldn't believe how stiff the M3 clutch felt after just a few days driving the F30.

But all those 6 years, even that clutch didn't really annoy me in the worst of traffic.
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  #44  
Old 11-15-2013, 12:12 PM
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Don't tell her the last part.
Ha, yeah, I just looked. Nada. What she doesn't know won't hurt me.
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  #45  
Old 11-15-2013, 12:17 PM
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Last manual I owned was a Civic hatch. In stop-n-go traffic I always popped it into neutral when rolling up to a light, and if the light changed while still rolling, I would slide it into second. If you're 3-4 cars back at a light, it's real simple to pop into gear when you see the 1st set of brake-lights shut off in front of you. Being older now though, and enjoying all of the distractions of Nav, Sirius, I-drive, and boost, I prefer to be lazy now-a-days!
If I were to ever own a 320i, which would be for the sole purpose of throwing into corners, then a manual would be a must-have.
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  #46  
Old 11-15-2013, 12:44 PM
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For me its simple... driving a MT is more fun.
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  #47  
Old 11-15-2013, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bighorns View Post
I assume you realized that's the Ireland website for Budget....

I suppose it's possible they exist, but I have not seen an American rental car company in 20 years with a MT.
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  #48  
Old 11-15-2013, 04:53 PM
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I assume you realized that's the Ireland website for Budget....

I suppose it's possible they exist, but I have not seen an American rental car company in 20 years with a MT.
Now that you mention it, that's funny....and sad!
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  #49  
Old 11-15-2013, 04:57 PM
thaibruin thaibruin is online now
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Originally Posted by jjcruiser View Post
I assume you realized that's the Ireland website for Budget....

I suppose it's possible they exist, but I have not seen an American rental car company in 20 years with a MT.
Considering how few people actually know how to operate a 5MT/6MT in the states, I would imagine that most, if not all, of the rental companies don't want people renting cars with the sole purpose of learning how to drive in a manual car. It would likely cost them a pretty penny if they had to replace burned out clutches every few months.
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  #50  
Old 11-15-2013, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by BradSCantor View Post
I have driven many different cars over the course of my life but every single one I have owned has had a manual transmission. I learned on a '92 Subaru Legacy and never looked back. This most recent time around I really wanted another wagon. One thing led to another and I ended up walking out of the dealership with a X1 on order. A week or two later I called my CA back and canceled the order and switched it to a 328i with a stick. I just couldnt stomach the idea of trading in a third pedal for two paddles.
To me, BMW makes one of the best sporty sedans out there that comes with a stick. Getting a three series without a clutch just wouldnt feel right. This is entirely subjective and just my poorly informed opinion, so let me have it! Give me the reasons for your AT...
My question to all of you is, why and how did you choose your transmission? Was it about convenience? Annoyance? Speed? Feel? Muscular dystrophy? Teen-aged Children?
Whether you chose manual or auto, explain your reasoning.
Reasons:
1. Wife preferred AT
2. Did not want to wait for a custom built one
3. Not many on the lot with the I6 and options I wanted
My next BMW if I ever buy another one would be a coupe, I6, 6MT. I'm glad I still have my manual RSX which cures my itch for stick.
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