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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 11-17-2013, 12:10 PM
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328d - positively surprised

I've been driving a 328d with 400 miles on it as a loaner for a few days, and I'm amazed by how effortlessly the diesel moves the car in combination with the 8-speed auto.

Growing up in Germany I'm not a novice when it comes to diesels, and we owned an X5 35d. But I thought BMW was doing the reputation of diesels in the US a disservice by introducing the European 320d stateside as a 328d, instead of at least bringing over the quicker twin turbo 325d.

After driving the 328d, I must say that the small diesel exceeded my expectations. If you can get over the sound aspect and mainly care about function, it's a great set-up. The engine certainly doesn't sound sexy or luxurious, but it may make up for it with its abundant torque and unobtrusiveness during normal driving. I never felt that the car was underpowered. The engine doesn't sound as harsh as the 35d under throttle. It's actually very quite on the highway. Power surges at such low rpm and the 8-speed always seems in the right gear to be able to move through traffic quickly.

Unsurprisingly, its best asset is fuel efficiency. Our new 335i GT does about 23 mpg for a 30 mile route that I drive regularly (70% freeway, 30% city with traffic), and our S4 roughly 21 mpg. For the same route the 328d measured 40.0 mpg, which I thought was amazing. I know that I'm comparing apples to oranges, but these are just my references, and needing almost 50% less fuel while getting from A to B in the same time I found impressive nevertheless.

On a side-note, I found that the steering in the DHP-less loaner felt markedly less solid/stable at higher speeds compared to our GT with DHP. The GT has 255/225 staggered 19s compared to standard 17s in the 328. I still assume the difference has to do with the variable sport steering and I'm glad we got this option.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2013, 02:19 PM
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Thanks for the review. Sounds impressive, especially the mpg.
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Old 11-17-2013, 02:58 PM
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Re: 328d - positively surprised

I too thought the 328d is a solid choice. While not as fun to drive as the 328i, it's not nearly as sluggish as the 320i. It has plenty of plenty of torque down low, although it does run out quickly after that. For day to day driving in town it is perfect. For having fun the 328i is much better. If the MPG is important, it is definitely a great option.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:54 PM
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I liked the 328d as well, would very likely have gone with it instead of the 328i if there wasn't the pricing premium. With diesel in my area usually being at the same price or a bit higher than 93 octane, the payback for the extra cost would have been too long unfortunately.
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:29 PM
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I wish BMW brings over diesel RWD 3GT.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:10 AM
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I drove a 328 too, and I was surprised. Just not pleasantly. I'll copy my post from another board, if you don't mind. I don't mean to crap on GTitis2013's thread, so if this is inappropriate, please ask mods to remove.

Drove a 328d (and 535d too) August 17, 2013

After reading all the professional reviews for the 328d over the past few months, I started getting really intrigued by this new car, as a possible replacement for my AH3. Nothing wrong with my AH3, but the 328d is about ~500lbs lighter, and would appear to get some incredible mpg.

My dealer got a white 328d in a few days ago, so I went down this morning for a test drive. Well, to get right to the point: it's not great. There is turbo lag in this car, and the N47 feels really weak from 2-3K rpm. The lighter weight of this car cannot overcome an engine that was absolutely designed with efficiency in mind, as opposed to performance. I should have known better, but these are things you can't always determine on paper. A test drive is a must.

The car didn't make any objectionable "diesel" noises. You'd be hard pressed to hear the motor while inside driving. My conclusion is that the ROW folks that get the N57 in an F30 are really lucky indeed

My CA agreed with me on all points of the 328d, and let me know they just got a 535d in that I could drive. This of course was a '14, with only 65miles on it. It is a bit tough to compare the two diesels, because of course the F10 feels like a much bigger car. The 535d I drove only had the LED lighting package (looks fantastic!) and Driver Assistance package. This means it had the crappy steering wheel, and the suspension was soft. The handling was rather boat-like, but cruising along was quite fun. I got to take it on the highway, and you could tell that this is where the 535d feels most at home.

I'm still considering a 535d as a possible replacement for my AH3. I'll probably need a decent Eco-credit to push me over the edge. As I got back in my AH3 (M-sport with DHP), it was very obvious just how much sporty and smooth my car felt in comparison to these new diesels.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:00 AM
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SamS: I can see your point. I think it depends largely on your expectations if you find the driving experience satisfying or not. This is not a 'performance' model and a comparison with the AH3 isn't fair.

As an addendum to my first post I have to report that I had a situation yesterday that reminded of the diesel's shortcomings. I wanted to do a quick lane change to squeeze through traffic and found myself waiting for an engine response with my foot all the way on the gas pedal, and for some time there was nothing. It caught me by surprise. Well, it's not a 335 or S4, and that's ok. I since switched to sport mode more often, which increases responsiveness markedly.
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Last edited by GTitis2013; 11-22-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11-19-2013, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by GTitis2013 View Post
... This is not a 'performance' model and a comparison with the AH3 isn't fair...
+1

Thanks for the review of the 328d. Driving any car immediately before or after will definitely influence your impressions.
I test drove a 328d and it would suit my needs fine.
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  #9  
Old 11-19-2013, 09:45 AM
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GTitis2013, what happened to your 3GT ? Why is it in shop so soon? Curious.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:48 AM
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I drove a 328 too, and I was surprised. Just not pleasantly. ...
Sam, you do know US 328d = EU 320d, right? BMW ought to bring over 325d or 330d at the min. Just 2 cents.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:36 AM
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Sam, you do know US 328d = EU 320d, right? BMW ought to bring over 325d or 330d at the min. Just 2 cents.
Yes, I understand it is really a 320d. I'd be very interested in a real 330d. A 328d/320d is about as exciting to drive as my old Honda Accord.
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:41 AM
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GTitis2013, what happened to your 3GT ? Why is it in shop so soon? Curious.
PDC rear sensor defect. It's randomly alarming and showing as if there is an obstacle, when in reverse. Very annoying, and didn't happen once while in Germany, driving almost 2000 miles there. I suspect it was damaged during shipping. I reserve judgement on the issue until I find out how it will get resolved.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by GTitis2013 View Post
SamS: I can see your point. I think it depends largely on your expectations if you find the driving experience satisfying or not. This is not a 'performance' model and a comparison with the AH3 isn't fair.

As an addendum to my first post I have to report that I had a situation yesterday that reminded of the diesel's shortcomings. I wanted to do a quick lane change to squeeze through traffic and found myself waiting for an engine response with my foot all the way on the gas pedal, and for some time there was nothing. It caught me by surprise. Well, it's not a 335 or S4, and that's ok. I since switched to sports mode more often, which increases responsiveness markedly.
I didn't expect the 328d to be a performance model. However, I also didn't expect 280lb/ft of torque to feel so darn weak.

Why shouldn't it be compared to the AH3? Both are marketed as having great fuel economy + BMW driving pleasure? In my experience, there was no comparing the two. Even though I desperately wished they were closer in performance.

You experienced the same turbo lag that I did. 328d = efficiency first, fun BMW driving experience second. I built a heavily optioned 328d (effectively the same options as my AH3) and it came to $55K MSRP. That seems awful expensive for a car that doesn't put a smile on my face when I step on it. Heck, I could probably have more fun in a Civic Si for half the price?

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Old 11-19-2013, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by SamS View Post
I didn't expect the 328d to be a performance model. However, I also didn't expect 280lb/ft of torque to feel so darn weak.

Why shouldn't it be compared to the AH3? Both are marketed as having great fuel economy + BMW driving pleasure? In my experience, there was no comparing the two. Even though I desperately wished they were closer in performance.

You experienced the same turbo lag that I did. 328d = efficiency first, fun BMW driving experience second. I built a heavily optioned 328d (effectively the same options as my AH3) and it came to $55K MSRP. That seems awful expensive for a car that doesn't put a smile on my face when I step on it. Heck, I could probably have more fun in a Civic Si for half the price?
If there is a problem with this model it may be that BMW pushed into a price bracket it wasn't intended to be in by its developers. If BMW called it what it is, a 320d, and priced it accordingly, it would surely be a more convincing package.

But I find the power of this engine overall adequate for the F30, and it impressed me enough to write down my impressions. And the fun factor derived from engine performance may not be everybody's priority when buying a car like a BMW. Some may get more excited about skipping every other of the usual trips to the gas station, while still driving a luxury car with BMW-typical handling and style and all its advanced tech features. Judging by how many 528i F10s I see on the road this car must be selling very well, and that I also consider to be a more functional than exciting package.

I didn't look up what BMW currently charges for the AH3, but I thought it was the most expensive of the F30 offerings, and only the (temporary) eco-credit made it more affordable. That would make it the top-of-the-line model. And compare real life mpg of these cars, they must be worlds apart (I never drove it, just drove the AH5).
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2013, 05:04 AM
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No offense, but it is a heck of a lot better than a Civic si. It is getting tiring of so many people complaining of the 328d. And I don't compare it to the AH3, as the AH3 is not AWD, which makes a big difference in snow country and neither is any other hybrid in the market. Also, fully the AH3 only gets 24.8 mpg, where as the 328d is getting 40 mpg. That is a huge difference.

When I compare the 328d to other hybrids that get similar mpg, none of them will be as much fun to drive as the 328d (speaking of hybrids that get 40 mpg+). On Fuelly.com, someone has about 9,000 miles on the 328d and is averaging 47.2 mpg, which is amazing fuel economy.

Plus, try driving a hybrid in the snow. I have a Lexus CT200h as a commuter car and it absolutely horrible in the snow (same with the brake system), where as the 328d will shine in snowy condition and I am estimating getting better mpg and being a lot more fun to drive.

In my opinion, the 328d is aimed at people in that hybrid/better fuel economy market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamS View Post
I didn't expect the 328d to be a performance model. However, I also didn't expect 280lb/ft of torque to feel so darn weak.

Why shouldn't it be compared to the AH3? Both are marketed as having great fuel economy + BMW driving pleasure? In my experience, there was no comparing the two. Even though I desperately wished they were closer in performance.

You experienced the same turbo lag that I did. 328d = efficiency first, fun BMW driving experience second. I built a heavily optioned 328d (effectively the same options as my AH3) and it came to $55K MSRP. That seems awful expensive for a car that doesn't put a smile on my face when I step on it. Heck, I could probably have more fun in a Civic Si for half the price?
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:47 AM
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If there is a problem with this model it may be that BMW pushed into a price bracket it wasn't intended to be in by its developers. If BMW called it what it is, a 320d, and priced it accordingly, it would surely be a more convincing package.
Agreed.

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But I find the power of this engine overall adequate for the F30, and it impressed me enough to write down my impressions. And the fun factor derived from engine performance may not be everybody's priority when buying a car like a BMW. Some may get more excited about skipping every other of the usual trips to the gas station, while still driving a luxury car with BMW-typical handling and style and all its advanced tech features. Judging by how many 528i F10s I see on the road this car must be selling very well, and that I also consider to be a more functional than exciting package.
I think your definition of adequate and mine, are different. And I can totally relate to the "fun" of skipping a few fill-ups... I do enjoy my AH3 for that reason I do also agree about the F10 528i. Plenty out there, and that car is no fun to drive, either!

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I didn't look up what BMW currently charges for the AH3, but I thought it was the most expensive of the F30 offerings, and only the (temporary) eco-credit made it more affordable. That would make it the top-of-the-line model. And compare real life mpg of these cars, they must be worlds apart (I never drove it, just drove the AH5).
AH3 is indeed rather expensive. At worst, it's ~$3K more than a 335i, at best, it's the same price.

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No offense, but it is a heck of a lot better than a Civic si. It is getting tiring of so many people complaining of the 328d. And I don't compare it to the AH3, as the AH3 is not AWD, which makes a big difference in snow country and neither is any other hybrid in the market.
Civic Si is a pretty fun car! Never experienced any fun/smiles during my 10 mile test drive in a 328d. We honestly could give a rat's ass about AWD here in the south/FL/CA. But I see how that is consideration for many.

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Also, fully the AH3 only gets 24.8 mpg, where as the 328d is getting 40 mpg. That is a huge difference.
No doubt the 328d gets better mpg, which is also one of the reasons I was seriously considering it. I think I drove the first one to arrive at my dealer. No doubt the better mpg is sweet, but that leads right into my conclusion.... the 328d is designed for fuel efficiency first, performance second. I obviously was not expecting such a perceptual feeling of the first characteristic when I took it out for a spin.

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When I compare the 328d to other hybrids that get similar mpg, none of them will be as much fun to drive as the 328d (speaking of hybrids that get 40 mpg+). On Fuelly.com, someone has about 9,000 miles on the 328d and is averaging 47.2 mpg, which is amazing fuel economy.

Plus, try driving a hybrid in the snow. I have a Lexus CT200h as a commuter car and it absolutely horrible in the snow (same with the brake system), where as the 328d will shine in snowy condition and I am estimating getting better mpg and being a lot more fun to drive.
Snow, what's that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DBV View Post
In my opinion, the 328d is aimed at people in that hybrid/better fuel economy market.
I think I'm in that category? Yet maybe I'm expecting "more" out of a $50K car in regards to performance. 180HP just doesn't cut it for me, and I'm not a speed-head.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBV View Post
When I compare the 328d to other hybrids that get similar mpg, none of them will be as much fun to drive as the 328d (speaking of hybrids that get 40 mpg+). On Fuelly.com, someone has about 9,000 miles on the 328d and is averaging 47.2 mpg, which is amazing fuel economy.

Plus, try driving a hybrid in the snow. I have a Lexus CT200h as a commuter car and it absolutely horrible in the snow (same with the brake system), where as the 328d will shine in snowy condition and I am estimating getting better mpg and being a lot more fun to drive.

In my opinion, the 328d is aimed at people in that hybrid/better fuel economy market.
I'm definitely in this category. I'm coming from my 4th Prius, and this is my first BMW. My current Prius is fully loaded, including the Active Cruise Control. This is a feature I doubt I will ever be willing to give up in a car. I'm glad this is marketed as a 328d instead of a 320d, since the 320i seems to be lower end, and didn't appear to have the ACC as an option.

Coming from an 85HP engine, the 328d seems vastly more powerful. That I can get a car that is still fun to drive, includes the fancy features that I want, and still gets reasonable mileage made it a fairly easy choice for me. Plus, I misse the diesel from the 300TD I had many years back.

Now, just for the annoying part about waiting for it to arrive.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by GTitis2013 View Post
If there is a problem with this model it may be that BMW pushed into a price bracket it wasn't intended to be in by its developers. If BMW called it what it is, a 320d, and priced it accordingly, it would surely be a more convincing package.
So, if your 335i were actually listed as a 330tii, whould you have bought it? Would people buy the 328i if it were listed as a 320tii? That's what the original designation scheme (2002tii) would seem to predicate as the "true" designation.

Face it, you are a sucker for marketing.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:35 PM
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So, if your 335i were actually listed as a 330tii, whould you have bought it? Would people buy the 328i if it were listed as a 320tii? That's what the original designation scheme (2002tii) would seem to predicate as the "true" designation.

Face it, you are a sucker for marketing.
Yes. We all are to some degree, but you are still missing the point. I don't care what they call it, but the designation has to make some sense relative to the other offerings in the line-up. 330 actually sounds pretty good to me.

But there is a reason that the US '328d' is called 320d in Germany, as it's output is similar to the 320i (with the diesel-typical torque advantage). Then there is the twin-turbo 218hp 325d, and above it is the 245hp 328i. To position it higher up, and to be able to ask more for it BMW calls the diesel 328d stateside, and that marketing move puts it at a disadvantage when you directly compare it against a similarly priced F30 with the gasoline engine.

However, if you don't know this or don't care about these facts and look at the car by itself with efficiency being a priority, the 328d is an awesome car nevertheless, at least in my opinion.
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Last edited by GTitis2013; 11-20-2013 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:40 PM
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What's with the knock on the civic SI? Darn fun car for 60% the cost. Owned a 2006 model and drove it 120k miles before selling it - when I took the valve covers off at 105k for a valve adjustment, that engine looked brand new inside and that was with 15k mile oil changes on quality synthetic oils.

Not a single thing went wrong with it in 120k miles. Not one thing. $20k brand new, sold for $7500 with 120k on it and I probably could've gotten $8.5-9k if I wanted to wait around.

...

One more anecdote, the mileage some people are getting is interesting. I daily drive (right now) a twin turbo v10 5.0 liter diesel VW touareg, slightly tuned to about 350hp/600tq (crank). I get 21mpg in mostly highway, 23mpg straight highway, and 19mpg mixed - and that's in a 3 ton AWD SUV with aggressive driving habits.

There's a lot not to like for an enthusiast package, but for a daily driver, diesel offers a lot
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:02 PM
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I have a 328dx coming in a week or so. M-Sport package should firm up the suspension a bit. While I didn't get an extended test drive, I thought it had as much passing power as a 320i. The allure of 31/43 MPG was too much to pass up
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:49 PM
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Congrats. Enjoy the new car. I had real fun driving the diesel for a while.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:09 PM
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Re: 328d - positively surprised

Quote:
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I have a 328dx coming in a week or so. M-Sport package should firm up the suspension a bit. While I didn't get an extended test drive, I thought it had as much passing power as a 320i. The allure of 31/43 MPG was too much to pass up
Congrats, I thought it had more passing power than the 320, and was alot more fun in general.
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:12 PM
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I thought it had more passing power than the 320
I would definitively expect that.
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:53 AM
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I find the review of the 328d interesting. I'm no stranger to oil burners, we went down to the BMW and test drove a 328d, my partner wants out of his Altima lease and likes my 320i. I have to say I really think BMW got it right with this car. The current 3 series can be used to carry 4 adults without all passengers feeling cramped, the engine and 8 spd transmission are well suited for each other. Motoring around town the car really does a good job, just like the 320i the 328d is effortless on the highway. IF we can strike a deal on a Sapphire Black, Venetian Beige Dakota Leather, Dynamic Handling Package, Lighting Package, Premium Pack, Navigation system w/ touchpad well take it.
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