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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 03-31-2014, 05:03 PM
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[Review]: 2014 320i xDrive. Hint: Great car for who drives it. Left me disappointed.

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My mother picked up a 320i xDrive about a month ago. For her, it's the perfect car. She's 5'4" and she hated driving her old X5. It was big. She decided she wanted something smaller and more fuel efficient, so she picked a 320i xDrive. It's the perfect car for her, but BMW leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to involvement and it calling it sporty is an insult to sportiness. The car is great for highway cruising, and day to day driving but that's it.Here's my review of the car:

Interior: The interior of the car is nice. The seats are comfortable, seating position is good, not great. Back seats seem a little cramped compared to the E9x generation. My 5'12 friend use to fit in my e92 328xi and my e92 M3 with no problems, his head hits the ceiling in the F30. Leg room is also a bit cramped for him, which is weird because it was not an issue in my e92's. Interior materials are nice, the car has 2,300 miles on it and you can hear rattles here and there already. Overall, for the price of the car, it's nice.

Exterior: I'm not a huge fan of how the F3x generation really looks. The kidney grilles meeting with the lights I think looks ugly and the rear end bulges out too much. The front of the car is too long, you never really have a sense of where it is. You can't see behind the car because the rear end is out there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though.

Suspension: HORRIBLE. If we were grading from 1 to 10(1 being worst, 10 being best) it would get a -20. The car rolls like crazy! It rolls changing lanes, it rolls through corners, and it rolls turning. The smallest bumps will upset the chassis in corners. I don't know what BMW was thinking when they designed this chassis, but it's pitiful, and it's no where near BMW levels of confidence inspiring. It's a joke. The M sport suspension is suppose to make this better, but having this as your base suspension, putting in a rebadged Toyota's suspension would be better then what's currently on it. Extremely disappointed in this department.

Electronics: Garbage. The new voice activation thing is just as bad as the suspension. Every time I say 'Phonebook' and then when I say 'Home' it will randomly pick a name out of my phonebook and say 'Did you mean xxxx?'. My e92's were both PERFECT each and every time. I don't understand why this system is so retarded and why it doesn't understand what 'Home' is.

For my mom, this is the perfect car. Comfortable, small, gas efficient, and safe. She only goes grocery shopping, and to the mall and back. She couldn't be happier, but from an enthusiasts stand point, it's a sad piece of engineering in terms of driver involvement and pleasure. This is certainly NOT the Ultimate Driving machine. I find myself driving the family Camry more and more, and enjoying the driving experience simply because it's pretty well sorted for a FWD car. Anyway, I sat in the car with an open mind, after about half a day of driving it, I was done. If you're on the market for a new 3 series, MAKE SURE TO GET THE M SPORT SUSPENSION. DO NOT SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS. If you want sporty, look elsewhere.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2014, 05:53 PM
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minn19 minn19 is offline
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A guy that is used to driving M3s and now an AMG C63 is disappointed by a no line, base suspension 320i xDrive. I am truly stunned. I would of thought you would be looking to get out of your AMG and straight in to one of these cars.

The only part I am surprised is that you thought the back seats were cramped compared to E9x cars. It is factual that they are bigger on the F3x. Not that it matters. It is pretty well known by anybody that has been here for a while that you never really liked the F3x. So why bother with this supposed "review" except to get a bunch of people going?
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2014, 06:05 PM
gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Thanks for your report, -=Hot|Ice=

xDrive = unnecessary degradation of performance. I don't understand the popularity of this option in locales like most of Maryland that have a humid subtropical climate.
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2014, 06:07 PM
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Welcome to 2012.

You're not going to believe this, but the Ravens are going to win the Super Bowl and after that Ray Lewis retires.

BJ
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2014, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
Specs:


Suspension: HORRIBLE. If we were grading from 1 to 10(1 being worst, 10 being best) it would get a -20. The car rolls like crazy! It rolls changing lanes, it rolls through corners, and it rolls turning. The smallest bumps will upset the chassis in corners. I don't know what BMW was thinking when they designed this chassis, but it's pitiful, and it's no where near BMW levels of confidence inspiring. It's a joke. The M sport suspension is suppose to make this better, but having this as your base suspension, putting in a rebadged Toyota's suspension would be better then what's currently on it. Extremely disappointed in this department.
Yeah the suspension in the no line is pretty bad. I have the M sport suspension and it transforms the car. 320i w/RWD, sport package and a stage 1 tune and you have a great little budget sport sedan that gets great mileage.
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You drive a 320 so pretty sure you have nothing of value to contribute.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2014, 06:50 PM
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I also have a 320i, sport package, six-speed manual, summer performance tires, and it's every bit as much fun as my previous car, also a factory-order, a 2003 E46 sport package five-speed manual--so much fun on the track and on the road. The F30 is even better, as my backseat passengers tell me, and as my hands and feet feel in the 'new' car. Mind you, I would not drive a Benz any sooner than a Camry, nor an all-wheel-drive vehicle of any make.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque320 View Post
Yeah the suspension in the no line is pretty bad. I have the M sport suspension and it transforms the car. 320i w/RWD, sport package and a stage 1 tune and you have a great little budget sport sedan that gets great mileage.
320i RWD with M Sport, 6 SPD, would be a fun car to drive. Hell, Add the M Performance suspension, and you've got a lean mean handling machine. The gas mileage is amazing though. That's one thing I could get use to.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:20 PM
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A guy that is used to driving M3s and now an AMG C63 is disappointed by a no line, base suspension 320i xDrive. I am truly stunned. I would of thought you would be looking to get out of your AMG and straight in to one of these cars.

The only part I am surprised is that you thought the back seats were cramped compared to E9x cars. It is factual that they are bigger on the F3x. Not that it matters. It is pretty well known by anybody that has been here for a while that you never really liked the F3x. So why bother with this supposed "review" except to get a bunch of people going?
Hate is a strong word. Strongly despise.

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Thanks for your report, -=Hot|Ice=

xDrive = unnecessary degradation of performance. I don't understand the popularity of this option in locales like most of Maryland that have a humid subtropical climate.
My pleasure! Just for those unexpected days like Sunday.

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Welcome to 2012.

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Sorry, I go to school in Baltimore but I'm a Dallas fan.
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In the words of one of Bimmerfest's greatest minds:"Been there, done that"
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Half the fun of succeeding in life is fighting the fight and making it.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2014, 07:34 PM
Kafkaesque320 Kafkaesque320 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
320i RWD with M Sport, 6 SPD, would be a fun car to drive. Hell, Add the M Performance suspension, and you've got a lean mean handling machine. The gas mileage is amazing though. That's one thing I could get use to.
Yeah its a fun car. I have the 8 speed, not the manual, but I'm impressed with the 8 speed on a daily basis. The gearing and programming really makes the most of the power band. The handling excellent and yes the mileage is great. Now if only I could take it easy with the lead foot.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:59 PM
Hangman4358 Hangman4358 is offline
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So, what you are saying is that the car is you just described, a large-compact premium sedan for ~$40k, does not measure up to the most iconic and premier sports sedan on the planet that costs twice as much.

Thank you so much. I would never have been able to come to this conclusion my self. I would have spent $40k on a car I never would have wanted because I would have been cross shopping it with the cars I really would have wanted and, after never test driving any of them, I would have decided to buy the one that was half the price thinking I had made the deal of my lifetime. My god, how can I ever repay you?

The fact of the matter remains that the 320 is still the leader in it's class, no matter how much people who have no clue about that segment whine about it not being an M3.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:03 PM
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Yeah its a fun car. I have the 8 speed, not the manual, but I'm impressed with the 8 speed on a daily basis. The gearing and programming really makes the most of the power band. The handling excellent and yes the mileage is great. Now if only I could take it easy with the lead foot.
Drive safe.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2014, 08:04 PM
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So, what you are saying is that the car is you just described, a large-compact premium sedan for ~$40k, does not measure up to the most iconic and premier sports sedan on the planet that costs twice as much.

Thank you so much. I would never have been able to come to this conclusion my self. I would have spent $40k on a car I never would have wanted because I would have been cross shopping it with the cars I really would have wanted and, after never test driving any of them, I would have decided to buy the one that was half the price thinking I had made the deal of my lifetime. My god, how can I ever repay you?

The fact of the matter remains that the 320 is still the leader in it's class, no matter how much people who have no clue about that segment whine about it not being an M3.
Where exactly did I compare it to an M3? I did however compare it to a re-badged Toyota.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:24 PM
Hangman4358 Hangman4358 is offline
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You compared the car exactly 3 times to your e92's one of them apparently being an M3. As minn19 pointed out, and as your profile says, you now drive a C63 AMG. When was the last time you actually drove a Toyota? They are actually very nice cars. Sure they have a much softer suspension set up designed for comfort and not out and out driving.

The baseline suspension is nowhere near as horrid as you make it out to be. You make it out as though the suspension is dangerous and will cause fatalities because of poor design.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:43 PM
Kafkaesque320 Kafkaesque320 is online now
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Where exactly did I compare it to an M3? I did however compare it to a re-badged Toyota.
A rebadged Toyota? Jesus, you're insane.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangman4358 View Post
You compared the car exactly 3 times to your e92's one of them apparently being an M3. As minn19 pointed out, and as your profile says, you now drive a C63 AMG. When was the last time you actually drove a Toyota? They are actually very nice cars. Sure they have a much softer suspension set up designed for comfort and not out and out driving.

The baseline suspension is nowhere near as horrid as you make it out to be. You make it out as though the suspension is dangerous and will cause fatalities because of poor design.
Exactly 6 hours ago. I drive one day to day. It's a 2008 Camry. 110,000 miles on it. The two places that I compared it to my e9x was in the space department. Please quote where I referenced it's performance compared to my e92s? The Camry's chassis, although a 2008, doesn't roll like the stock 3 series suspension does. It actually reminds me of a Buick. That's where BMW must of gotten their suspension design from, Buick.
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Half the fun of succeeding in life is fighting the fight and making it.

Last edited by -=Hot|Ice=-; 03-31-2014 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:56 PM
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A rebadged Toyota? Jesus, you're insane.
'I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.'
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:57 PM
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Welcome to 2012.

You're not going to believe this, but the Ravens are going to win the Super Bowl and after that Ray Lewis retires.

BJ
Erm, can we date as far back as the Cowboys winning the Superbowl?
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Half the fun of succeeding in life is fighting the fight and making it.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangman4358 View Post

The baseline suspension is nowhere near as horrid as you make it out to be. You make it out as though the suspension is dangerous and will cause fatalities because of poor design.
You and OP both seem to be forgetting that he didn't drive base suspension, he drove X-drive suspension. I had 328i M-Sport line with X-drive for almost 7 days as a loaner. I can agree 100% with OP how badly sorted out is X-drive suspension.

Can't say what happens when you add DHP to X-drive because I never tried that.


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Old 03-31-2014, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hangman4358 View Post
You compared the car exactly 3 times to your e92's one of them apparently being an M3. As minn19 pointed out, and as your profile says, you now drive a C63 AMG. When was the last time you actually drove a Toyota? They are actually very nice cars. Sure they have a much softer suspension set up designed for comfort and not out and out driving.

The baseline suspension is nowhere near as horrid as you make it out to be. You make it out as though the suspension is dangerous and will cause fatalities because of poor design.
My 328i no-line standard suspension has held up quite well in last 13k+ miles. Although none of those miles are track oriented, the suspension has performed admirably across a wide range of point A to point B scenarios, and in the right hands it delivers.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:12 AM
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minn19 minn19 is offline
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@ HotIce. I never used hate in my response to your post so I'm not sure where you are getting that. Any way, you mostly got what you wanted. Must of been a slow night, hope you had fun to the responses.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:16 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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A few comments:

1) There is far more room in the rear seat in the F30 than the E90. There is no question about this.

2) Lets pick the worst possible F30 iteration and do a test of it. Fine idea.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:29 AM
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Over on an MB forum somewhere in cyberspace, someone is posting that she drove her son's C63 and the suspension was so rock hard she rates it a -20 on a scale of 1-10, and that it feels like a rebadged peterbilt.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:16 AM
the_phew the_phew is offline
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The 320i can be two different vehicles, each that offers something unique in its segment:

1. An affordable, comfortable cruiser (with available AWD) that offers great fuel economy. Beats the new Audi A3 and Merc CLA in most metrics. Leases for cheaper than a loaded mainstream sedan (Camry, Accord, Mazda6, etc).

2. An affordable sport sedan (ZSP+ZMT) that offers great fuel economy. A $400 tune away from respectable performance. Leases for cheaper than other "sporty" vehicles like the GTI and WRX, while providing more room and comfort.

I chose Option 2, hoping to take delivery in May. Your mom chose Option 1, and I can't think of a better vehicle for those requirements (A4 is smaller and less efficient, Legacy is less comfortable/refined, Fusion would be the closest but has some flaws).
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:57 AM
Hangman4358 Hangman4358 is offline
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the 320i can be two different vehicles, each that offers something unique in its segment:

1. An affordable, comfortable cruiser (with available awd) that offers great fuel economy. Beats the new audi a3 and merc cla in most metrics. Leases for cheaper than a loaded mainstream sedan (camry, accord, mazda6, etc).

2. An affordable sport sedan (zsp+zmt) that offers great fuel economy. A $400 tune away from respectable performance. Leases for cheaper than other "sporty" vehicles like the gti and wrx, while providing more room and comfort.

I chose option 2, hoping to take delivery in may. Your mom chose option 1, and i can't think of a better vehicle for those requirements (a4 is smaller and less efficient, legacy is less comfortable/refined, fusion would be the closest but has some flaws).
+1
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:32 AM
davidc1 davidc1 is offline
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Years ago, when I went from E46 to E90, I thought the car got a bit soft. After a while, I felt it was more comfortable and the handling wasn't so bad afterall. I assume it's a similar experience to go from E90 to F30. 3 series is evolving with the demographic and in the process, made room for the 2 series.
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