Bimmerfest Long Term Review 328i breaks the 500 mile barrier. Read on to get the scoop.
tags:n20 my bmw remote long term review idrive f30post f30 review f30 forum f30 bmw forum bmw f30 bmw 3 series review bmw 3 series bmw bimmerpost bimmer 6-speed 3 series 2013 3 series review 2012 bmw 3 series 2012 328i review
In just three days we've put over 500 miles on our long term review 328i. Its been a lot of fun to rack up the miles, break in the motor (some - keeping it under 5,000), tweaking the almost endless number of settings via iDrive and of course taking in the sixth generation 3 series driving dynamics.
The long term review car is a loaded 2012 328i with the following specs -
- Melbourne Red with Black Dakota Leather
- 6 speed manual transmission
- Sport Line
- M Adaptive Suspension dampers
- Just about every bit of technology you can cram into the car.
The number one takeaway that we have from the first 500 miles is no matter how you slice it, the car just flat out feels and behaves like you expect from a BMW. There are certainly differences in the driving dynamics from the previous generations of 3 Series cars but while driving the car you have no doubt you are in a BMW. The two biggest changes that you get over pretty quickly are the inclusion of a 4-cylinder 2L turbo motor and the switch from hydraulic steering to electronic power steering (eps). The motor just keeps on giving you gobs of power and the steering is better than expected.
Take a look at the full photo gallery of over 300 photos from our first 500 miles!
If you have priced out a new 3 Series, you will have certainly noticed that there is a ton of technology that can ratchet up the costs of an entry level 3 Series quite a bit. Some of the technology is great and we are glad that BMW has gotten on the ball to include things like USB ports standard, bringing iDrive to all trim levels and bringing higher fuel efficiency to the 3 Series line up. There is a steep learning curve if you haven't experienced iDrive before but a lot of the options are "set it and forget it" type settings that you may never visit a second time.
One of the more interesting new features available to US drivers is the My BMW Remote iPhone app (we hear an android version is in the works) which allows you to remote control lock/unlock, finding your car and using Google local search to quickly find destinations and send them to your car. See our demo video of how the My BMW Remote works below:
Mark's Top Three Favorites about the 2012 F30 328i
- Heads Up Display. Call me crazy but this is the feature I have been looking for the most. When you see all the information that gets displayed in the HUD, I almost don't know why it's not on everyone's list. Current speed, turn by turn navigation, radio channels, phone call information and more allows me to keep my eyes on the road where they should be. It is awesome.
- The Driver Experience Button. You may want to add in the Adaptive M suspension here and the variable steering but I would want to drive a car without those options to say for sure. Overall this customization option gives a level of versatility that is needed in a car that is going to be driven by multiple people. Your wife can drive the car in the stock comfort mode and be happy but you can customize the drive in sport mode to have fun on the twisty roads. If nothing else, it may be a good selling point for your better half.
- For now the 3rd point goes to overall seating position. In my E92 335i I sit close up to the wheel but have very little head room...in fact, I can't wear a hat without it hitting the roof. This is 100% not the case for the F30...I can sit where I want and not feel like I'm going to hit the roof. The additional headroom makes for a much more enjoyable experience whether you are driving to the store or on a 500 mile trip to Bimmerfest.
Tim's Top Three Favorites about the 2012 F30 328i
- Comfort access - Coming from an E46 this is so cool! The hands free trunk opening is fun and useful.
- HUD - Not the most useful feature overall but the cool factor of having the speed and other info floating on the windshield does it for me.
- Seat and Seating position - Being 6'5" I don't expect to fit in cars. The F30 is first car I actually feel I fit into and can get into a good driving position. Plus the seats are comfortable and very adjustable.
Overall, we have been pleasantly surprised with how great the 2012 BMW 328i has turned out to be. There are certainly some things that could be changed but most are nit picky things that do not change our overall impression of the car but are worth mentioning.
Room for improvement
- Brake feel. The brakes work great but the pedal is spongy and doesn't provide the feedback and confidence BMW brakes should. The 335i with the bigger brakes and fixed calipers should feel better.
- Front facing camera in surround top view. When pulling forward in tight spaces, the side view cameras alone don't cut it
- Driver Experience Switch last mode retained in comfort access key profile. It defaults to Comfort currently.
- Voice recognition is almost worthless for navigation functions and address input via iDrive is cumbersome.
- More customization via iDrive. The car could have another 20 or 30 options that enthusiasts would appreciate. It could be a simple as a software update so fingers crossed BMW hear us.
We are only 500 miles into a long journey with the Project 328i and are even more excited about the next 5,000 miles. We have a ton of projects in store for you including theses in the near term:
- 300 mile trip with Eco-Pro - we try hypermiling!
- Live web cam dyno run on Turner Motorsport's dynopack - Details coming soon
- Do It Yourself oil change - For those that feel oil changes should happen more then 15,000 miles.
Have you already picked up your 2012 BMW 3 Series? What are your favorite features on the car?
If you are still on the fence about buying a new 3 Series, what can we do to convince you? Tell us what you want to know and we'll test it out for you!
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