Can someone explain BMW's logic with the F30 320i?

by Bimmerfest.com Member - Red Lined on January 16, 2013, 10:08 pm
Ok, now that the configuration is up on bmwusa and you can build a 320, I am more confused than I previously was. What the heck is the point of the 320 here in the US. 98% of BMW 3 series buyers buy the pre-configured setup on the dealer lot which essentially will include leather seats, power seats, wood trim, moonroof, and possibly navigation. Yes, the sports package is a bargain (especially the m suspension...paired with 180hp ), but no 320 buyer is going to want a sports package (not that type of buyer). Once you build the 320 the way BMWNA will to stock dealer lots, the numbers aren't that far off. As a matter of fact, the lease is only going to be ~$30 cheaper than a base 328 similarly built (again depending on residual and money factor). What the heck is the point of this?

If BMW follows the Cadillac ATS philosophy expect 40% of sales next year to be 320s. 40% to be 328s. 20% to be 335s.

BMW F30 320i configurator

BMW 328i configurator
2013-BMW-NAIAS 12013-BMW-NAIAS 22013-BMW-NAIAS 32013-BMW-NAIAS 42013-BMW-NAIAS 52013-BMW-NAIAS 62013-BMW-NAIAS 72013-BMW-NAIAS 82013-BMW-NAIAS 92013-BMW-NAIAS 102013-BMW-NAIAS 112013-BMW-NAIAS 12


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125 responses to Can someone explain BMW's logic with the F30 320i?

samualcc commented:
January 16, 2013, 10:14 pm

The question is if the premium package on the 320i is mistakenly not including leather. If it is, then the numbers are off by 1450. If it doesn't include leather, then you are right, pricing is very similar.
krash commented:
January 16, 2013, 10:19 pm

We need another thread for this?
boltjaM3s commented:
January 16, 2013, 10:19 pm

In a nutshell, it's a $4,300 Non-Performance Package.

It allows for two customers to stay in BMW showrooms and not run off to competitors:

1. 328i customer that wants a few options, can't take a $499 monthly lease payment. They trade off horsepower for the Tech package or the Sport package, save a few thousand dollars in the process, they're at $399. SOLD.

2. Honda Accord customer that's tired of the same old Japanese car, has recently gotten promoted, just bought a house, takes it at $299 straight-up or adds a package to get to $349. SOLD.

BJ
SamS commented:
January 16, 2013, 10:46 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
In a nutshell, it's a $4,300 Non-Performance Package.

It allows for two customers to stay in BMW showrooms and not run off to competitors:

1. 328i customer that wants a few options, can't take a $499 monthly lease payment. They trade off horsepower for the Tech package or the Sport package, save a few thousand dollars in the process, they're at $399. SOLD.

2. Honda Accord customer that's tired of the same old Japanese car, has recently gotten promoted, just bought a house, takes it at $299 straight-up or adds a package to get to $349. SOLD.

BJ
I can't believe I'm agreeing with BJ again, but he's right. Especially at point #1. A lot of people can't stomach more than $399/month, so the 320i can be the perfect answer.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 16, 2013, 10:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamS View Post
I can't believe I'm agreeing with BJ again, but he's right. Especially at point #1. A lot of people can't stomach more than $399/month, so the 320i can be the perfect answer.
My mom is in an Acura TL for $369 because in 2012 she couldn't get a 328i with a couple of basic options that were must-haves like a garage door opener and full memory seats.

With the 320i, she's in there comfortably. She's 73, doesn't need 275 horses, now she can trade them for Premium and Technology and have a couple grand to spare.

BJ
Red Lined commented:
January 16, 2013, 10:57 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
My mom is in an Acura TL for $369 because in 2012 she couldn't get a 328i with a couple of basic options that were must-haves like a garage door opener and full memory seats.

With the 320i, she's in there comfortably. She's 73, doesn't need 275 horses, now she can trade them for Premium and Technology and have a couple grand to spare.

BJ
BJ, this doesn't make sense. Have you taken a look at what type of 328 sit on the dealer lots these days. I hate to tell you, but there are extremely few Sports and Luxury lines. Most are baseline autos with premium package. There are certain things that must be in a car at this price point. You NEED to add the premium package to the 320 to get a garage door opener and full memory seats (please look at the options). You also need to add leather. The pricing is way too similar and the savings in monthly payment for a lease isn't that much when you actually build the car BMWNA will build it.

Yeah, you can get the car for $34k...only it won't have wood, sunroof, memory seats, leather, etc. What is the point?
tturedraider commented:
January 16, 2013, 11:37 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
Ok, now that the configuration is up on bmwusa and you can build a 320, I am more confused than I previously was. What the heck is the point of the 320 here in the US. 98% of BMW 3 series buyers buy the pre-configured setup on the dealer lot which essentially will include leather seats, power seats, wood trim, moonroof, and possibly navigation. Yes, the sports package is a bargain (especially the m suspension...paired with 180hp ), but no 320 buyer is going to want a sports package (not that type of buyer). Once you build the 320 the way BMWNA will to stock dealer lots, the numbers aren't that far off. As a matter of fact, the lease is only going to be ~$30 cheaper than a base 328 similarly built (again depending on residual and money factor). What the heck is the point of this?

If BMW follows the Cadillac ATS philosophy expect 40% of sales next year to be 320s. 40% to be 328s. 20% to be 335s.
There's a $2,750 difference in price between the two cars you built, when you correct for one having metallic paint and the other one not.

What makes you think any fewer 320i buyers will opt for the very affordable sport package than E46 325i buyers, which had very similar engine output and performance numbers? Especially when the price difference becomes $3,950 between a 320i sport package model v a 328i Sport line model.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 16, 2013, 11:46 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
BJ, this doesn't make sense. Have you taken a look at what type of 328 sit on the dealer lots these days. I hate to tell you, but there are extremely few Sports and Luxury lines. Most are baseline autos with premium package. There are certain things that must be in a car at this price point. You NEED to add the premium package to the 320 to get a garage door opener and full memory seats (please look at the options). You also need to add leather. The pricing is way too similar and the savings in monthly payment for a lease isn't that much when you actually build the car BMWNA will build it.

Yeah, you can get the car for $34k...only it won't have wood, sunroof, memory seats, leather, etc. What is the point?
The build that my mother passed on, too expensive for her:

328i Auto $42,645
Premium
Heated Seats
PDC

The build that my mother would have taken if available:

320i Auto $38,595

Premium
Heated Seats

That's $4,000 less, a 10% savings, simply for trading off horsepower.

Now, if she wanted to put that back into the car, get to that same $42,645 level as the 328i, her build would have looked like this:

320i Auto $42,595
Premium Package
Driver Assistance Package
Lighting Package
Navigation
BMW Assist
Enhanced Bluetooth & USB
Heated Seats

So, instead of running to Acura, she'd have had two choices:

1. Get a 320i with the same options, save $4,000

2. Get a 320i with extra options Driver Assistance Package, Lighting Package, Navigation, BMW Assist, Enhanced Bluetooth & USB for the same money.

And that's the entire point. As I said in the first post, it allows someone to either hit a $299 monthly payment practically stripped -or- to hit a $399 monthly payment fully loaded.

The 320i is a $4,300 Performance Delete Option that allows someone to trade off horsepower for gobs of goodies. It's a very smart move. Would have kept my mom from Acura, thousands of other moms too.

BJ
dtc100 commented:
January 16, 2013, 11:49 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
My mom is in an Acura TL for $369 because in 2012 she couldn't get a 328i with a couple of basic options that were must-haves like a garage door opener and full memory seats.

With the 320i, she's in there comfortably. She's 73, doesn't need 275 horses, now she can trade them for Premium and Technology and have a couple grand to spare.

BJ
Please don't forget to post a 73 year old next to an F30. It is nice to see BMW going after seniors.

To OP, how did you conclude a 320i will lease for just $20 less than a 328i?
captainaudio commented:
January 17, 2013, 1:29 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
Please don't forget to post a 73 year old next to an F30. It is nice to see BMW going after seniors.

To OP, how did you conclude a 320i will lease for just $20 less than a 328i?
You may want to purchase a copy of this book.
I have found it to be a great resource for Internet forum discussions,




CA
Red Lined commented:
January 17, 2013, 3:00 am

Ok, bear with me I'm only a medical student and not an MBA. I'm sorry, but I still don't see how this new model makes any sense. Granted there is only one thing more boring to me than thinking about lease payments for an old guy's even older mother (and that would be the three pages of gram positive and gram negative bacteria I have to memorize). But let's see now:

The $38,595 320 is ~$439 a month.
The $42,645 328 is ~$486 a month

When you're already paying ~$17,000 to lease a car for three years, what is another $1,700 more? I just don't see it. Was it really worth BMW rolling in yet another model just to cut the lease price 10%?

Believe me, I understand that "badge whores" will be all over this...but really I can't see it putting a ton more sales in BMW portfolio. 180hp is not enough for this car. I have the same engine in my 528 and my mother has a 328 with the I4. In both cars it is barely enough with the added torque being the mitigating factor. This engine is going to suck, big time.



Red Lined commented:
January 17, 2013, 3:02 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
To OP, how did you conclude a 320i will lease for just $20 less than a 328i?
In most cases, it will be a ~$30 difference unless BMWFS inflates the residual on the 320. The numbers don't lie...build a few and plug the numbers in a lease calculator. Even in BJ's over-exagerated example above the difference is a little over $40 a month.
Red Lined commented:
January 17, 2013, 3:06 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
You may want to purchase a copy of this book.
I have found it to be a great resource for Internet forum discussions,
I think we will see in a few months (when 320s hit the lots and residuals are announced) that my statistics are not flawed. This whole scenario just doesn't make a bit of sense....not at this price point it doesn't. It's just not as cut and dry as you guys want to make it out to be. Yes, BMW will make some good ads that will pull in buyers using the base MSRP with the 320, but actual numbers based on cars on the lot will be similar to what we are seeing with baseline 328s.
Red Lined commented:
January 17, 2013, 3:19 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
There's a $2,750 difference in price between the two cars you built, when you correct for one having metallic paint and the other one not.

What makes you think any fewer 320i buyers will opt for the very affordable sport package than E46 325i buyers, which had very similar engine output and performance numbers? Especially when the price difference becomes $3,950 between a 320i sport package model v a 328i Sport line model.
Yeah, I should have compared metallic paint to metallic. Still the lease payment will not be significant enough to draw in as many new customers as you may think once the numbers are crunched.

Yes, the sports package is quite a bargain on the 320 for what you get. Yes, buyers might have jumped all over this...if this was 1999. I don't have the data, but how many 3 series sold actually have the sports "line" nowadays? What good is a sports package if the car is under-powered by today's standards. But yes, i do agree with you and the sports packaged 320 may be the only thing that actually makes sense in this scenario. However, this will only effect (or is it affect) ~1% of actual sales.
Chris90 commented:
January 17, 2013, 3:51 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
In most cases, it will be a ~$30 difference unless BMWFS inflates the residual on the 320. The numbers don't lie...build a few and plug the numbers in a lease calculator. Even in BJ's over-exagerated example above the difference is a little over $40 a month.
Isn't this always the case with a new model? Lease numbers will improve once it's out for a while. And you'll have a higher percentage of buyers in a cheaper model.
loosenit2 commented:
January 17, 2013, 4:15 am

I wonder if BMW will include a de badging option in the us with the introduction of the 320?
boltjaM3s commented:
January 17, 2013, 7:15 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
In most cases, it will be a ~$30 difference unless BMWFS inflates the residual on the 320. The numbers don't lie...build a few and plug the numbers in a lease calculator. Even in BJ's over-exagerated example above the difference is a little over $40 a month.
My numbers came right off BMW's configurator. There is nothing exaggerated about it.

Additionally, the stripper will have deep discounts to hit $299 which is the reason BMW is doing this. You can't go to some random fifth grade lease calculator to see that. If you paid attention to your own image in the very first post, you'd see that BMW is currently offering a 328i with Premium for $369 a month. The 320i will be $299 a month, plain and simple. That $70 means a lot to fixed income retired mom's and debt-laden graduate students as you'll find out.

Like you said, stick to medicine.

BJ
dtc100 commented:
January 17, 2013, 11:25 am

It all depends on what model BMW wants to push to the market.

Personally I find it hard to believe they are willing to cut their profit by up to $4k by replacing their volume seller from 328i to 320i. But if threatened by the cheap models from the competitors, they could easily subsidize the 320i leases, which could easily make a $70+/mo. difference.
Michael Schott commented:
January 17, 2013, 11:44 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
In most cases, it will be a ~$30 difference unless BMWFS inflates the residual on the 320. The numbers don't lie...build a few and plug the numbers in a lease calculator. Even in BJ's over-exagerated example above the difference is a little over $40 a month.
Even if your scenario is correct, don't underestimate what $40-$50.00/month can mean. If I had to pay $50.00 more/month for my current 328i, it would not fit in my budget. Second, over a 36 month lease you are talking about $1440.00 to $1800.00. That's not chump change.
Orient330iNYC commented:
January 17, 2013, 12:05 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
My numbers came right off BMW's configurator. There is nothing exaggerated about it.

Additionally, the stripper will have deep discounts to hit $299 which is the reason BMW is doing this. You can't go to some random fifth grade lease calculator to see that. If you paid attention to your own image in the very first post, you'd see that BMW is currently offering a 328i with Premium for $369 a month. The 320i will be $299 a month, plain and simple. That $70 means a lot to fixed income retired mom's and debt-laden graduate students as you'll find out.

Like you said, stick to medicine.

BJ
the $299 a month deal ( which bj is correct, thats what bmw is aiming for) will reap tsx, a4, accord, altima, etc prospects.
its a sub $300 per month bmw to get them into the showrooms, once that obstacle is crossed, upsell with some packages. its easier to get an edge buyer in at 299, vs even 309.
namelessman commented:
January 17, 2013, 12:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
328i Auto $42,645
Premium
Heated Seats
PDC

The build that my mother would have taken if available:

320i Auto $38,595

Premium
Heated Seats

That's $4,000 less, a 10% savings, simply for trading off horsepower.
BJ
The 320i build above is missing the leather($1450) and fold-down seat($500?) that the 328i build has, adding those two back to the 320i build yields a net difference of $2k. So it is $2k for 60+HP in 328i.
Technic commented:
January 17, 2013, 12:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
In most cases, it will be a ~$30 difference unless BMWFS inflates the residual on the 320. The numbers don't lie...build a few and plug the numbers in a lease calculator. Even in BJ's over-exagerated example above the difference is a little over $40 a month.
You are forgetting the fine print in your analysis... the dealer.

When my sister was looking to lease an E92 about 15 months ago I took her to two dealers. One quoted about $57 a month more than the other for exactly the same car. This was a no brainer.

That payment difference of "a little over" $40 a month can easily becomes $60-$70 when the dealer touches that contract. And even when the dealer is taken out of the equation, a difference is "just" $40 a month is enough to sway a potential customer to another car or even brand.

For sure my sister would have done that.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 17, 2013, 12:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The 320i build above is missing the leather($1450) and fold-down seat($500?) that the 328i build has, adding those two back to the 320i build yields a net difference of $2k. So it is $2k for 60+HP in 328i.
Not if she doesn't care about leather or folding seat it doesn't.

She wants the keyless entry/garage door opener. It's bundled into the Premium packages unfortunately. So another benefit of the 320i is that she doesn't have to pay for leather she doesn't want.

BJ
408Racer commented:
January 17, 2013, 1:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
Yeah, you can get the car for $34k...only it won't have wood, sunroof, memory seats, leather, etc. What is the point?

chris328 commented:
January 17, 2013, 1:32 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post

Yeah, you can get the car for $34k...only it won't have wood, sunroof, memory seats, leather, etc. What is the point?

you mean like an actual race car? no clue.
Michael Schott commented:
January 17, 2013, 1:38 pm

Lets look at these 2 cars equipped differently. Leather, Sport, Metallic paint only. The 328i is $42,245.00 and the 320i is $36,645.00. Yes the 320 is missing power memory seats and fold down rear seats but not much else except 60 hp for $5600.00. That's the sweet spot.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 17, 2013, 1:46 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Lets look at these 2 cars equipped differently. Leather, Sport, Metallic paint only. The 328i is $42,245.00 and the 320i is $36,645.00. Yes the 320 is missing power memory seats and fold down rear seats but not much else except 60 hp for $5600.00. That's the sweet spot.
Trying to make an apples to apples comparison completely on the basis of an identical spec is the wrong way to look at this.

As in my mother's example, many people can be swayed very easily off of a feature in order to save money or get a more important feature.

My mom would trade the horsepower and the leather for a garage door opener and comfort access and in the process save $5000. She would be ecstatic. Because, to her, leather isn't that important and she doesn't drive in a spirited fashion.

Used to be that in order to get into a 3 Series BMW forced you to take an overkill engine and forced you to take leather just to get other basic options. By un-bundling the Premium package and creating a Performance Delete option, BMW has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for frustrated customers.

My mother must've been on a focus group or something. This is the exact situation she faced and the reason why she went to Acura.

BJ
namelessman commented:
January 17, 2013, 2:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Trying to make an apples to apples comparison completely on the basis of an identical spec is the wrong way to look at this.
....
Used to be that in order to get into a 3 Series BMW forced you to take an overkill engine and forced you to take leather just to get other basic options. By un-bundling the Premium package and creating a Performance Delete option, BMW has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for frustrated customers.
BJ
In some countries(e.g. UK) every option is ala carte, it is more flexible but in general non-US pricing is more expensive than US. Looks like BMWNA is creating price points to lineup with competitors(e.g. Audi), including the 4yr/50k free maintenance, the base 320i is a better deal than the base A4.
tturedraider commented:
January 17, 2013, 2:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post


Believe me, I understand that "badge whores" will be all over this...but really I can't see it putting a ton more sales in BMW portfolio. 180hp is not enough for this car. I have the same engine in my 528 and my mother has a 328 with the I4. In both cars it is barely enough with the added torque being the mitigating factor. This engine is going to suck, big time.


You never drove a BMW before yours or your mom's, did you?
Michael Schott commented:
January 17, 2013, 4:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Trying to make an apples to apples comparison completely on the basis of an identical spec is the wrong way to look at this.

As in my mother's example, many people can be swayed very easily off of a feature in order to save money or get a more important feature.

My mom would trade the horsepower and the leather for a garage door opener and comfort access and in the process save $5000. She would be ecstatic. Because, to her, leather isn't that important and she doesn't drive in a spirited fashion.

Used to be that in order to get into a 3 Series BMW forced you to take an overkill engine and forced you to take leather just to get other basic options. By un-bundling the Premium package and creating a Performance Delete option, BMW has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for frustrated customers.

My mother must've been on a focus group or something. This is the exact situation she faced and the reason why she went to Acura.

BJ
Thanks BJ, that makes good sense. My scenario makes sense for the spirited driver who is OK with a slightly slower car. It may even make sense for me as my lease ends later this year and the F30 328 may be out of my price range. I'd need a test drive to see if the 320 is fast enough but all I need is heated seats, maybe metallic paint, leather and sport. I want a decently equipped car that has great driving dynamics and a MT.
408Racer commented:
January 17, 2013, 4:17 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
I want a decently equipped car that has great driving dynamics and a MT.
+1

Sometimes, it is much more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow.
DavidM1975 commented:
January 17, 2013, 5:12 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 408Racer View Post
+1

Sometimes, it is much more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow.
Not sometimes, it's always more fun!
samualcc commented:
January 17, 2013, 5:17 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
You never drove a BMW before yours or your mom's, did you?
+1 - someone here never owned an e46 325i. Pure speed be damned.
DrT commented:
January 17, 2013, 5:37 pm

Yeah, you can get the car for $34k...only it won't have wood, sunroof, memory seats, leather, etc. What is the point?[/QUOTE]

It's still a BIMMER! That's the point!!

Is this less of a M3 just because it not loaded up? http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=7310956
sr5959 commented:
January 17, 2013, 8:30 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 408Racer View Post
+1

Sometimes, it is much more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow.
+1

And 0-60 in 7.1 is not really a slow car is it???
Saintor commented:
January 17, 2013, 9:14 pm

320i sport, lighting packs + sunroof + heated seats ---> 37195$
328i sportline, lighting pack + sunroof + heated seats ---> 42695$

5500$+txs+financing is enough to make think twice.
Kamdog commented:
January 17, 2013, 9:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Trying to make an apples to apples comparison completely on the basis of an identical spec is the wrong way to look at this.

As in my mother's example, many people can be swayed very easily off of a feature in order to save money or get a more important feature.

My mom would trade the horsepower and the leather for a garage door opener and comfort access and in the process save $5000. She would be ecstatic. Because, to her, leather isn't that important and she doesn't drive in a spirited fashion.

Used to be that in order to get into a 3 Series BMW forced you to take an overkill engine and forced you to take leather just to get other basic options. By un-bundling the Premium package and creating a Performance Delete option, BMW has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for frustrated customers.

My mother must've been on a focus group or something. This is the exact situation she faced and the reason why she went to Acura.

BJ
My sister-in-law too.

She is now in an Acura TL, and uses her own garage door opener.

She had a 328, but the Acura was cheaper this time around, and is still a (yuucch, really?) 'luxury' car that she can be seen driving in.

Prior to that it was a Lexus ES.

As long as she can say that she is in a late-model 'luxury' car, she doesn't care how it drives.

She would have been in a 320 in a minute.
IAS commented:
January 17, 2013, 9:35 pm

it is targeted towards certain type of buyer maybe why all the fuss if difference is so little, the question at the end will be does it worth getting 328 for that extra 50 hp. it all depends how good 180hp is.
captainaudio commented:
January 17, 2013, 10:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post

Yeah, you can get the car for $34k...only it won't have wood, sunroof, memory seats, leather, etc. What is the point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris328 View Post
you mean like an actual race car? no clue.

woodswatchco commented:
January 17, 2013, 10:25 pm

I just don't get the 320i. I think it just cheapens the 3 series line. The A4 has 211hp and 258 lb ft of torque, standard leather, 10 speaker stereo, sunroof. It starts at $32,500. The 328i and 335i make sense because they are rear wheel drive and have more horsepower than the competition. People will be driving their $55k loaded 335i around and have to explain to people that they have "the good one" instead of the 320i that looks just like it. The 328i is a very nice small step down. We don't need a third step down.






Quote:
Originally Posted by samualcc View Post
The question is if the premium package on the 320i is mistakenly not including leather. If it is, then the numbers are off by 1450. If it doesn't include leather, then you are right, pricing is very similar.
Kamdog commented:
January 17, 2013, 10:31 pm

If I was younger, and not so enjoying of comfortable amenities as I am now, I could easily get a very enjoyable 320 6MT for 40 thou.

I would love rowing the stick, cutting the curves, powering up hills, and doing everything else I do when I drive a car for pleasure. That it has fewer horses would make no difference if I weren't racing anyone, since it still has enough power to do everything it needs to do.

M-sport, xenons, and leather can be had for under 40K, and if needed, I could do without the leather, but, at that price point, it could still be easily done.

That gives you all the sporty bits you need for driving pleasure.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 17, 2013, 10:35 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
My sister-in-law too.

She is now in an Acura TL, and uses her own garage door opener.

She had a 328, but the Acura was cheaper this time around, and is still a (yuucch, really?) 'luxury' car that she can be seen driving in.

Prior to that it was a Lexus ES.

As long as she can say that she is in a late-model 'luxury' car, she doesn't care how it drives.

She would have been in a 320 in a minute.
BMW was stuck in a tough spot.

Create a brand new step-down car to address the value proposition or do something different enough with the F30 to make a less expensive car without interfering with the more expensive versions.

What they've done is create a car that most performance-oriented customers wouldn't want but the masses would. My mom doesn't need a firm suspension, big engine, or leather if it means that she can get under a $375 monthly lease payment comfortably as that's what her budget demands. She'll get a 320i when the TL is up, I can guarantee you of that. She always had 3's and 5's until BMW raised prices and couldn't compete on features. Now she can come back.

BJ
tturedraider commented:
January 17, 2013, 10:36 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
If I was younger, and not so enjoying of comfortable amenities as I am now, I could easily get a very enjoyable 320 6MT for 40 thou.

I would love rowing the stick, cutting the curves, powering up hills, and doing everything else I do when I drive a car for pleasure. That it has fewer horses would make no difference if I weren't racing anyone, since it still has enough power to do everything it needs to do.

M-sport, xenons, and leather can be had for under 40K, and if needed, I could do without the leather, but, at that price point, it could still be easily done.

That gives you all the sporty bits you need for driving pleasure.
That's not what these guys want. They want a nice big blue and white Roundel for everyone to see and as much butt wiping technology that can possibly be stuffed into a car with the biggest wheels that will fit in the wheel wells without rubbing the rubber off the tires.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 17, 2013, 10:55 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
I just don't get the 320i. I think it just cheapens the 3 series line. The A4 has 211hp and 258 lb ft of torque, standard leather, 10 speaker stereo, sunroof. It starts at $32,500. The 328i and 335i make sense because they are rear wheel drive and have more horsepower than the competition. People will be driving their $55k loaded 335i around and have to explain to people that they have "the good one" instead of the 320i that looks just like it. The 328i is a very nice small step down. We don't need a third step down.
It's something BMW simply needed to do. When the E90 came out, Mercedes Benz wasn't serious about the C Class. It literally looked and drove like a car for librarians, a wife car, just a bland baby Benz. Flash forward to today and MB woke the hell up, woke up bigtime, and the C Class is a legitimate threat. Whether the CLA started it or the 320i started it, both the big boys in this segment want that $30,000/$299 customer and they're going to duke it out.

It also explains a few things, maybe answers how BMW is trying to differentiate the expensive 3's from the new 3:

1. "The Lines" - This makes sense now, the reason why there are so many demonstrative visual cues that make the more expensive models look different. Knowing that they were going to come out with a 320i at $299, those with Luxury/Sport/Modern cars have a decent amount of chrome and wheel variances to denote a 'well-optioned' car from a stripper. Also explains the fender badges that are in other countries but not the US.

2. The Softer Suspension - The lower the prices, the fewer the enthusiasts, the more the 'common folk' and they don't like particularly harsh rides where you can feel every road imperfection and your back snaps over every pothole. By softening the standard suspension it allowed the 320i to feel more comfortable for the average driver.

3. The Steering - It's a lot easier, a lot more effortless.

4. The Experience Modes - Use technology to differentiate the rides, make the car more specific yet appeal to a broader audience simultaneously.

5. The 4 Cylinder Engine - One can make the argument that the 320i begot the 328i and not the other way around. That BMW knew it was going to have a low HP engine for the $30,000 car and decided to beef it up and release it first in the $40,000 car, then let it loose in its natural, less-powerful form in the second year. Perhaps the 320i is why we lost the NA 6, not for more earth-friendly reasons.

I'm sure there are others. Point is, the 335i and 328i were conceived in concert with the 320i for release in America, the relationships and differences come into greater clarity when you look under the hood a bit.

BJ
captainaudio commented:
January 17, 2013, 11:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
I just don't get the 320i. I think it just cheapens the 3 series line. The A4 has 211hp and 258 lb ft of torque, standard leather, 10 speaker stereo, sunroof. It starts at $32,500. The 328i and 335i make sense because they are rear wheel drive and have more horsepower than the competition. People will be driving their $55k loaded 335i around and have to explain to people that they have "the good one" instead of the 320i that looks just like it. The 328i is a very nice small step down. We don't need a third step down.
When I bought my 2007 335i Cabrio I checked virtually every option and them ordered a lot of dealer installed accessories like Aluminum Pedals, 196 Style Wheels, Aero Lip, Wind Deflector, etc. The cost was considerably more than a base 328 Cabrio that is for all practical purposes visually indistinguishable. I bought the car I wanted and it honestly does not bother me that it looks identical to cars that cost considerably less.

CA
dtc100 commented:
January 17, 2013, 11:16 pm

The 320i clearly is not some thing BMW just "created" for the US market. They could have brought it here long ago but they did not. To say it is to compete with the CLA and A3 is a stretch.

The other thing to consider, 320i is sold all over the world except US, a lot of them were built for the European market. Now Europe is in the tank, where do you find the market for a model that could not sell there? Well bring it to a hot market that never had it.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 17, 2013, 11:24 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post

I bought the car I wanted and it honestly does not bother me that it looks identical to cars that cost considerably less.

CA
+1

For those who want a little bit of attention and enjoy the pat on the back the roundel brings, nothing changes. I've been driving 3 Series since 2006 and I've yet to run into anyone remotely close to the type of 'performance enthusiast' persona we've got going on here. No one I've ever run into or come across could look at my cars and differentiate them from any other E93, E90, or F30 on the road.

To the inside world, we know the difference between a $55,000 335i and a $30,000 320i.

To the outside world, we're all painted with the same brush, we're all driving $60,000 yuppie status symbols.

I don't care either way, I just love my F30, I've got no skin in the game, but that's real-world perception.

BJ
dtc100 commented:
January 17, 2013, 11:30 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
+1

For those who want a little bit of attention and enjoy the pat on the back the roundel brings, nothing changes. I've been driving 3 Series since 2006 and I've yet to run into anyone remotely close to the type of 'performance enthusiast' persona we've got going on here. No one I've ever run into or come across could look at my cars and differentiate them from any other E93, E90, or F30 on the road.

To the inside world, we know the difference between a $55,000 335i and a $30,000 320i.

To the outside world, we're all painted with the same brush, we're all driving $60,000 yuppie status symbols.

I don't care either way, I just love my F30, I've got no skin in the game, but that's real-world perception.

BJ
There is a difference, in an E90 or prior gen 3, people see a college kid at the driver's seat, in an F30, people see old people driving. BMW does not want that to get out of hand and end up being equated to Cadillac, so they bring us 320i, now college kids can start driving the F30.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 17, 2013, 11:39 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
There is a difference, in an E90 or prior gen 3, people see a college kid at the driver's seat, in an F30, people see old people driving. BMW does not want that to get out of the hand and end up being equated to Cadillac, so they bring us 320i, now college kids can start driving the F30.
You know, I used to love to talk about the stereotypes and the stigmas, but guess what: You're wrong.

I live in the BMW 3 Series capital of the world, Bergen County New Jersey, only 12 minutes from BMW USA Corporate Headquarters in Park Ridge. And I can tell you, without exaggeration, I must see 30 E90's and F30's a day. And that's if I drive 30 minutes. If I drive an hour or two, forget it, I can't even count how many I see.

When I drive by these other cars, I look straight through the windshield to see who's driving them. You know, maybe get an enthusiast to give me the look, maybe get an admirer to give me the ol' thumbs up. They never do. What I see through those scores of 3 Series windshields are mostly women, mostly 46 years old, all hauling kids around town at 28 MPH.

I'm not sure what college town you live in, but there aren't any college kids that I see on the roads around here. I'd say 1 out of every 100 E90's I see on the road are driven by 18-22 year olds, and almost all of them are in dad's car.

I'm sure that at BMW HQ some marketers do modeling around age demography, but what they've done to the F30 doesn't support your "get younger" theory. The car is bigger, softer, and more luxurious. The lower price helps, but this isn't a Civic, never will be.

BMW lowered the price to go after more-of-same. Plenty of 50-somethings out there who want a BMW and can afford a BMW but were tired of having to live with a firm suspension and powerful engine they didn't want and eschew features like a garage door opener or nav that they did want in the process. BMW forced you to pay for more engine and more suspension than you really needed; now they've corrected it, now you can delete that performance and put the $4,300 to goodies instead. It's as simple as that.

BJ
namelessman commented:
January 18, 2013, 12:47 am

The brass at BMW AG may be amused by all the rationalizing from US folks, probably they simply have to move the unsold 320i allocation in Europe to the US(and Asia).
gcreese commented:
January 18, 2013, 5:56 am

The 320 also follows the "Goldilocks Rule" in marketing: If you offer 3 choices, most people will buy the middle option (328). With just 2 choices, most people will buy the bottom option, because they don't want to spend too much. With three options, you have price-constrained people buying the bottom option (320) and most people buying the middle option (328) -- because it's still not the most expensive option (so they're being prudent) but it's also not the least expensive option (so they avoid looking cheap). In short, the 328 becomes the safe middle option. The 320 not only brings in new customers that BMW never had before, it also gives BMW an upsell model it never had in the past.

This is classic marketing, using a three-tier product structure to increase sales. There's a reason BMW has had the 3, 5, and 7 Series, Mercedes has had the C, E, and S Series, and Audi has had the A4, A6, and A8 Series. BMW's 2, 4, and 6 Series are now bringing the Goldilocks Rule to coupes.
jjp735i commented:
January 18, 2013, 6:35 am

I personnally love that BMW is coming out with the 320i. I'm not ready to buy another BMW yet, still loving my 05 545i, but I would much rather buy a new stripped down 320i new then buy used again. I dont' care about all the bells and whistles. Leatherette is just fine with me.

Sunroof, blah, I wish BMW would come back with the moonroof that had no glass and was the same body color.
shabadoo25 commented:
January 18, 2013, 8:22 am

I've discussed this issue with my CA before. The majority of 3ers that his dealership sells (really leases) and therefore stocks are the ones that matched the advertised lease deal: 328i w/premium, no other options.

Their #1 3er customer that leases these are mid to late 20s guys with a better than average 1st or 2nd job who want the badge for perceived prestige, nothing else. People like those on this forum that custom order 3ers with loads of options are in reality few and far between.

Therefore, that typical customer will now take a 320i instead and save $60-100/mo. on their lease payment.
Michael Schott commented:
January 18, 2013, 9:34 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The brass at BMW AG may be amused by all the rationalizing from US folks, probably they simply have to move the unsold 320i allocation in Europe to the US(and Asia).
No, the Euro 320i wold have to be modified and tested (quite expensive) to meet US emissions stds. It's a conscious decision for BMW to add a lower priced 3 series to our market.
1985mb commented:
January 18, 2013, 9:55 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcreese View Post
The 320 also follows the "Goldilocks Rule" in marketing: If you offer 3 choices, most people will buy the middle option (328). With just 2 choices, most people will buy the bottom option, because they don't want to spend too much. With three options, you have price-constrained people buying the bottom option (320) and most people buying the middle option (328) -- because it's still not the most expensive option (so they're being prudent) but it's also not the least expensive option (so they avoid looking cheap). In short, the 328 becomes the safe middle option. The 320 not only brings in new customers that BMW never had before, it also gives BMW an upsell model it never had in the past.

This is classic marketing, using a three-tier product structure to increase sales. There's a reason BMW has had the 3, 5, and 7 Series, Mercedes has had the C, E, and S Series, and Audi has had the A4, A6, and A8 Series. BMW's 2, 4, and 6 Series are now bringing the Goldilocks Rule to coupes.
Except that the 3-series has always sold very well in the US with typically two models throughout its run (318-325, 323-328, 325-330, 328-335, etc.).

It sells well in the UK and continental Europe with a ton of engine choices, not just three.

The 3 series coupes did well whether they were 1 of 1 (no 6 series) or 1 of 2 coupes in the lineup.

The eco-credits and dealer discounting, the last years of the E90 had the 335d as the middle priced option. That didn't sell very well.

If you ignore diesels, BMW's 3 series was actually 328, 335, and M3.

Among 3, 5 and 7 series, most people buy the 3 series, negating the idea that the middle product always does well.

Audi's B8 sales started with a 2.0T, 3.2, and S4. Sales diverged to both ends to such an extreme extent that the 3.2 barely sold and was removed.

Not everything follows a marketing textbook.
shabadoo25 commented:
January 18, 2013, 10:20 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
You know, I used to love to talk about the stereotypes and the stigmas, but guess what: You're wrong.

I live in the BMW 3 Series capital of the world, Bergen County New Jersey, only 12 minutes from BMW USA Corporate Headquarters in Park Ridge. And I can tell you, without exaggeration, I must see 30 E90's and F30's a day. And that's if I drive 30 minutes. If I drive an hour or two, forget it, I can't even count how many I see.

When I drive by these other cars, I look straight through the windshield to see who's driving them. You know, maybe get an enthusiast to give me the look, maybe get an admirer to give me the ol' thumbs up. They never do. What I see through those scores of 3 Series windshields are mostly women, mostly 46 years old, all hauling kids around town at 28 MPH.

I'm not sure what college town you live in, but there aren't any college kids that I see on the roads around here. I'd say 1 out of every 100 E90's I see on the road are driven by 18-22 year olds, and almost all of them are in dad's car.

I'm sure that at BMW HQ some marketers do modeling around age demography, but what they've done to the F30 doesn't support your "get younger" theory. The car is bigger, softer, and more luxurious. The lower price helps, but this isn't a Civic, never will be.

BMW lowered the price to go after more-of-same. Plenty of 50-somethings out there who want a BMW and can afford a BMW but were tired of having to live with a firm suspension and powerful engine they didn't want and eschew features like a garage door opener or nav that they did want in the process. BMW forced you to pay for more engine and more suspension than you really needed; now they've corrected it, now you can delete that performance and put the $4,300 to goodies instead. It's as simple as that.

BJ
Your area is an exception. Mine is also in that no one has an xi unless they moved here with one.

For Central Florida, here are the typical 3 Series drivers:

E46: young apartment dwellers and/or modders. Mostly bought used for under $15k.
E90: The 06s, 07s and 08s are being driven by current college students who got them used. 09s and newer are older, upscale buyers/leasers.
F30: Older, upscale buyers/leasers. I don't see many of these, but they are almost always "no lines" when I do.
sunny5280 commented:
January 18, 2013, 10:47 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
BMW lowered the price to go after more-of-same. Plenty of 50-somethings out there who want a BMW and can afford a BMW but were tired of having to live with a firm suspension and powerful engine they didn't want and eschew features like a garage door opener or nav that they did want in the process. BMW forced you to pay for more engine and more suspension than you really needed; now they've corrected it, now you can delete that performance and put the $4,300 to goodies instead. It's as simple as that.
Is there a difference between the suspension of the 320 versus the 328 and 335?
captainaudio commented:
January 18, 2013, 10:47 am

D fc
chris328 commented:
January 18, 2013, 10:58 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
i wish i could get my next one like that. seriously. dont even care.
dtc100 commented:
January 18, 2013, 11:12 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
You know, I used to love to talk about the stereotypes and the stigmas, but guess what: You're wrong...
BJ
You made it sound like you no longer do
shabadoo25 commented:
January 18, 2013, 11:54 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Is there a difference between the suspension of the 320 versus the 328 and 335?
No, that was an issue with the E90. It's not on any trim level of the F30 (though I can't speak for the 335i).
Dave 330i commented:
January 18, 2013, 12:06 pm

Damn, my mind is going blank from reading all the tradeoffs. Get the car and options she wants. Hand the dealer cash and get it over with. Hey, a 73 year old mom, retired I assume, pays cash for her stuff. At her age and my age, financing is not an option.
namelessman commented:
January 18, 2013, 12:14 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
No, the Euro 320i wold have to be modified and tested (quite expensive) to meet US emissions stds. It's a conscious decision for BMW to add a lower priced 3 series to our market.
It is true our lineup now better matches what others see(e.g. Canada, Germany, UK). Since the 320i engine is the same US-spec N20 as in 328i, it probably is just an incremental emission qualification The advanced manufacturing capabilities at Munich should allow them to move allocations(as in production numbers) easily to direct inventories around the globe.
sunny5280 commented:
January 18, 2013, 12:26 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by shabadoo25 View Post
No, that was an issue with the E90. It's not on any trim level of the F30 (though I can't speak for the 335i).
I'm not quite sure what this means. Can you clarify?
boltjaM3s commented:
January 18, 2013, 12:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
You made it sound like you no longer do
You seem to be a bit slow to the fact that I no longer do.

I'm sorry you miss the old BJ 1.0 days. They're over. I'm just a guy with a car now.

BJ
MonkeyCMonkeyDo commented:
January 18, 2013, 1:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I think my favorite part of this picture is the giant sticker behind the steering wheel that says dont text and drive. As if that would even be a possibility in that thing. Too funny.

The scary thing though is it was probably added because some dumb ass tried to and slammed into a wall because of it.
408Racer commented:
January 18, 2013, 1:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by shabadoo25 View Post
Their #1 3er customer that leases these are mid to late 20s guys with a better than average 1st or 2nd job who want the badge for perceived prestige, nothing else.
And they don't know how to drive stick.
captainaudio commented:
January 18, 2013, 3:30 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyCMonkeyDo View Post
I think my favorite part of this picture is the giant sticker behind the steering wheel that says dont text and drive. As if that would even be a possibility in that thing. Too funny.

The scary thing though is it was probably added because some dumb ass tried to and slammed into a wall because of it.
I took that photo in the paddock at the Rolex Grand-Am race at Lime Rock last autumn. The picture is of the interior of the Turner Motorsports #93 M3. As you can see the car is very different than the production version of the M3 that is sold to the general public. The "No Texting" sign was obviously a joke.





Note the Bimmerfest logo on the rear bumper.

CA
Nordic_Kat commented:
January 18, 2013, 9:55 pm

Interesting discussion here.

Personally, I think BJ has pretty much hit the nail, dead on with his analysis of the 320i being positioned for the non-afficiado lessor.

It will be very interesting to watch the rollout of the F32/F33 and see if it follows suit with a 320i variant.

(My hope is that it does not. I am still mourning the loss the the NA IL6.)
boltjaM3s commented:
January 18, 2013, 9:59 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Interesting discussion here.

Personally, I think BJ has pretty much hit the nail, dead on with his analysis of the 320i being positioned for the non-afficiado lessor.

It will be very interesting to watch the rollout of the F32/F33 and see if it follows suit with a 320i variant.
First off, welcome to Bimmerfest. I think you'll enjoy it here.

Next, please continue to feel free to tell BJ how right he is as I'm told it makes him feel good. BJ does not feel that the 4 Series will be taken downmarket at the very moment it's being taken upmarket, but you never know.

BJ
captainaudio commented:
January 18, 2013, 10:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
First off, welcome to Bimmerfest. I think you'll enjoy it here.

Next, please continue to feel free to tell BJ how right he is as I'm told it makes him feel good. BJ does not feel that the 4 Series will be taken downmarket at the very moment it's being taken upmarket, but you never know.

BJ

It will be interesting to see how the 320 does. The 1 Series, which theoretically took BMW down market does not seem to be selling very well. I probably see about 20 times more 7 Series than 1 Series. Actually the ratio may be higher than that. I think I see about 5 1 Series a year not counting the ones in the showroom when I take the car in for service.

CA
Nordic_Kat commented:
January 18, 2013, 11:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
It will be interesting to see how the 320 does. The 1 Series, which theoretically took BMW down market does not seem to be selling very well. I probably see about 20 times more 7 Series than 1 Series. Actually the ratio may be higher than that. I think I see about 5 1 Series a year not counting the ones in the showroom when I take the car in for service.

CA
I think the problem with the 1 series as a "downgrade" is that by the time you add back all the niceties that we have on the 3er's especially things that are standard on the 335 and E93 (both 328 and 335 variants) you are pushing a pricetag very close if not totally in the range of the 3ers. Unless, you just like the smaller chassis, well equipped, it's not a base priced car. One day I was playing around on the BMWNA build your own page, and without much effort built a 135i cabrio for a price (at that time) equivalent to a nicely equipped 328i E92. Yes, apples to oranges, but with the package system (zsp, zpp, etc) to get adaptive xenon lights, motorized front seats, etc., were all costly addons to the 1 series, incidentally at a ratio much higher than the cost of adding the same package onto a 3er.

As much as I cringe at the idea, I think the 320i 3 series will have better success as the "downgrade" especially in the US where a bigger bodied car is perceived as better. The overall size of the car along with the Roundel will be the selling points. The engine size and specs will be purely incidental. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Camry will finally be able ditch the Camry for a BMW and radiate with the afterglow emanating from the Roundel sparkling in the sunshine.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 18, 2013, 11:51 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
It will be interesting to see how the 320 does. The 1 Series, which theoretically took BMW down market does not seem to be selling very well. I probably see about 20 times more 7 Series than 1 Series. Actually the ratio may be higher than that. I think I see about 5 1 Series a year not counting the ones in the showroom when I take the car in for service.

CA
The 1 Series is an enthusiasts car.

Being a 2-door, very compact, very edgy (trying to be kind here) design it's not a downmarket car so much as it's a souped-up Mini. I think the combination of impracticality and fugly design turns off a lot of buyers, but those who buy the big engine likely find it exhilarating.

BJ
boltjaM3s commented:
January 18, 2013, 11:58 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post

As much as I cringe at the idea, I think the 320i 3 series will have better success as the "downgrade" especially in the US where a bigger bodied car is perceived as better. The overall size of the car along with the Roundel will be the selling points. The engine size and specs will be purely incidental. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Camry will finally be able ditch the Camry for a BMW and radiate with the afterglow emanating from the Roundel sparkling in the sunshine.
That's the strategy.

You're new here, but I posted three configs the other day that sort of illustrate how BMW is finally allowing 3 Series buyers to trade horsepower for creature comforts. From memory, looks sort of like this:

The build that my mother passed on, too expensive for her:

328i Auto $42,645
Premium w/Leather
Heated Seats
PDC

The build that my mother would have taken if available:

320i Auto $38,595
Premium
Heated Seats

That's $4,100 less, a 10% savings, simply for trading off horsepower & leather.

Now, if she wanted to put that back into the car, get to that same $42,645 level as the 328i, her build would have looked like this:

320i Auto $42,595
Premium Package
Driver Assistance Package
Lighting Package
Navigation
BMW Assist
Enhanced Bluetooth & USB
Heated Seats

So, instead of running to Acura, she'd have had two choices:

1. Get a 320i with the same options, save $4,100

2. Get a 320i with extra options Driver Assistance Package, Lighting Package, Navigation, BMW Assist, Enhanced Bluetooth & USB for the same money.

And that's the entire point. As I said in the first post, it allows someone to either hit a $299 monthly payment practically stripped -or- to hit a $399 monthly payment fully loaded.

The 320i is a $4,300 Performance Delete Option that allows someone to trade off horsepower for gobs of goodies. It's a very smart move. Would have kept my mom from Acura, thousands of other moms too.

BJ
Red Lined commented:
January 19, 2013, 12:30 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
You never drove a BMW before yours or your mom's, did you?
Yes, 09' 535 and 06' X3. Sorry I'm not old enough to appreciate earlier models

Also drove a Cadillac CTS before the current 528 (was supposed to actually get a 328 but my mother thought the 5 series was too bloated so she gave it to me and we ordered her the F30 luxury line [just like BJ's])....Caddy had much more HP and torque than that 320 though.

BJ you should have seen all the chicks I picked up in HS and Ugrad in the Caddy.

Red Lined commented:
January 19, 2013, 12:46 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcreese View Post
The 320 also follows the "Goldilocks Rule" in marketing: If you offer 3 choices, most people will buy the middle option (328). With just 2 choices, most people will buy the bottom option, because they don't want to spend too much. With three options, you have price-constrained people buying the bottom option (320) and most people buying the middle option (328) -- because it's still not the most expensive option (so they're being prudent) but it's also not the least expensive option (so they avoid looking cheap). In short, the 328 becomes the safe middle option. The 320 not only brings in new customers that BMW never had before, it also gives BMW an upsell model it never had in the past.

This is classic marketing, using a three-tier product structure to increase sales. There's a reason BMW has had the 3, 5, and 7 Series, Mercedes has had the C, E, and S Series, and Audi has had the A4, A6, and A8 Series. BMW's 2, 4, and 6 Series are now bringing the Goldilocks Rule to coupes.
Best comment in thread.
dtc100 commented:
January 19, 2013, 9:14 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
Best comment in thread.
I guess you are finally happy with the answer, whether it is correct or not?
kyled commented:
January 19, 2013, 10:32 am

i think the bottom line on this one is, especially with BMW, some people just want to be able to brag about their number or series being better than someone elses.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 19, 2013, 10:47 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyled View Post
i think the bottom line on this one is, especially with BMW, some people just want to be able to brag about their number or series being better than someone elses.
Definitely a big factor with the non-enthusiast crowd, but a slightly different take:

Once someone realizes they can afford a BMW, it then boils down to how much you want to spend per month and whether the 5 or the 3 gives you what you need. I myself was expecting to move from my E90 into an F10 this past summer. Budgeted myself around $579 for the new ride. I didn't like what I had heard about the 328i becoming a four-cylinder car, and loved the look of the new 5.

But upon taking a test drive, I was surprised and shocked by what I had learned. The new 328i engine was a beast, and the 5 required i get a 35i and was way bigger than I needed. The slight growth in body dimensions on the 3 made it perfect for my family, and the lower base price meant I could add more options on a 328i as opposed to a stripped down 535i.

The typical non-luxury car observer wouldn't know the difference between the 3 and 5 if you put a gun to their head. The only people that know the differences are luxury car aficionados who now can tell that I am in a Luxury line 3 not a stripped 5. BMW's strategy seems to be very clear; offer the same car in several different sizes And let the customer decide what fits. No different than buying a new Armani suit.

BJ
brkf commented:
January 19, 2013, 2:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
Ok, bear with me I'm only a medical student and not an MBA. I'm sorry, but I still don't see how this new model makes any sense. Granted there is only one thing more boring to me than thinking about lease payments for an old guy's even older mother (and that would be the three pages of gram positive and gram negative bacteria I have to memorize). But let's see now:

The $38,595 320 is ~$439 a month.
The $42,645 328 is ~$486 a month

When you're already paying ~$17,000 to lease a car for three years, what is another $1,700 more? I just don't see it. Was it really worth BMW rolling in yet another model just to cut the lease price 10%?

Believe me, I understand that "badge whores" will be all over this...but really I can't see it putting a ton more sales in BMW portfolio. 180hp is not enough for this car. I have the same engine in my 528 and my mother has a 328 with the I4. In both cars it is barely enough with the added torque being the mitigating factor. This engine is going to suck, big time.
People don't buy logically. They say, i can afford $325, but not a penny more. Then they put more down to hit it.
valeram commented:
January 21, 2013, 10:21 am

It is just an entry level car that most people will get almost bare bone. People who want a modestly optioned 3 will get the 328 instead. Remember that a difference of $1K is big enough for majority of the auto buyers. Just IMHO.
Crzy'boutBimmer commented:
January 21, 2013, 5:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 408Racer View Post
Dude, what are you doing with the Roundel in your sig?
Having it for dinner? ... jk, no offense
Orient330iNYC commented:
January 21, 2013, 9:31 pm

i can explain it right here:


bmw want to be able to capture people shopping for deals like that.
90% wont get past the price per month and the fact its a bmw for the price of an infiniti.

most people dont know or care about 4 cylinders vs 6, turbo vs non turbo, they want a nice car with a certain badge on the trunk to park in their driveway.
1985mb commented:
January 21, 2013, 9:52 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
i can explain it right here:


bmw want to be able to capture people shopping for deals like that.
90% wont get past the price per month and the fact its a bmw for the price of an infiniti.

most people dont know or care about 4 cylinders vs 6, turbo vs non turbo, they want a nice car with a certain badge on the trunk to park in their driveway.
Sounds like Mr. & Mrs. Camry
captainaudio commented:
January 21, 2013, 10:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orient330iNYC View Post
i can explain it right here:


bmw want to be able to capture people shopping for deals like that.
90% wont get past the price per month and the fact its a bmw for the price of an infiniti.

most people dont know or care about 4 cylinders vs 6, turbo vs non turbo, they want a nice car with a certain badge on the trunk to park in their driveway.
I suppose there are a certain number of people who are too naiive to look past the $299/mo and see the $3499 initial payment which comes out to $145/mo over 24 months, so the actual cost per month for the car is $299+145.79 or 444.79/mo which means it will cost $10,675 to lease the car for 24 months.

Infiniti could have made the deal appear even more attractive by quoting a monthly lease price of $25.00 (with an initial payment of $10.075.00

CA
Orient330iNYC commented:
January 21, 2013, 10:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I suppose there are a certain number of people who are too naiive to look past the $299/mo and see the $3499 initial payment which comes out to $145/mo over 24 months, so the actual cost per month for the car is $299+145.79 or 444.79/mo which means it will cost $10,675 to lease the car for 24 months.

Infiniti could have made the deal appear even more attractive by quoting a monthly lease price of $25.00 (with an initial payment of $10.075.00

CA
most people are payment shoppers... they dont see past the monthly. bmws advert has about 3500 in cap cost reductions:

Well-equipped including features such as Premium Package (Leather, Moonroof, Comfort Access, Satellite Radio), Automatic Transmission, Power Seats, iPod/USB Adapter, Hands-free Bluetooth and Destination charges.
$369*/month for 36 months. $750 Loyalty Cash included in payment.
Vehicle Registered outside N.Y.
• $369 First months payment
• $2,750 Down payment
• $0 Security Deposit
• $725 Acquisition fee
• $3,844 Cash due at signing
Vehicle Registered in N.Y.
• $369 First months payment
• $2,750 Down payment
• $0 Security deposit
• $725 Acquisition fee
• $3,844 Cash due at signing
Kamdog commented:
January 21, 2013, 11:18 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Definitely a big factor with the non-enthusiast crowd, but a slightly different take:

Once someone realizes they can afford a BMW, it then boils down to how much you want to spend per month and whether the 5 or the 3 gives you what you need. I myself was expecting to move from my E90 into an F10 this past summer. Budgeted myself around $579 for the new ride. I didn't like what I had heard about the 328i becoming a four-cylinder car, and loved the look of the new 5.

But upon taking a test drive, I was surprised and shocked by what I had learned. The new 328i engine was a beast, and the 5 required i get a 35i and was way bigger than I needed. The slight growth in body dimensions on the 3 made it perfect for my family, and the lower base price meant I could add more options on a 328i as opposed to a stripped down 535i.

The typical non-luxury car observer wouldn't know the difference between the 3 and 5 if you put a gun to their head. The only people that know the differences are luxury car aficionados who now can tell that I am in a Luxury line 3 not a stripped 5. BMW's strategy seems to be very clear; offer the same car in several different sizes And let the customer decide what fits. No different than buying a new Armani suit.

BJ
I actually tried this, and I found out that, when one puts a gun to someone's head, and demands that they distinguish a 535 from a 335, they invariably are able to, as long as they get a view from the rear. The view from the front is too similar, true, but the view from the rear is different enough that they can tell.

I tried this on at least a dozen people.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 21, 2013, 11:22 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
I actually tried this, and I found out that, when one puts a gun to someone's head, and demands that they distinguish a 535 from a 335, they invariably are able to, as long as they get a view from the rear. The view from the front is too similar, true, but the view from the rear is different enough that they can tell.

I tried this on at least a dozen people.
I agree but find the opposite to be true about the tail. To me, both the 3 and 5 rears are too similar. The way I can tell the differences are:

1. Three dimensional grille connecting to the headlights (on 3).

2. Lack of front fender turn signals (on 3).

3. Lower, angrier nose (on 3).

BJ
captainaudio commented:
January 22, 2013, 1:13 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
I actually tried this, and I found out that, when one puts a gun to someone's head, and demands that they distinguish a 535 from a 335, they invariably are able to, as long as they get a view from the rear. The view from the front is too similar, true, but the view from the rear is different enough that they can tell.

I tried this on at least a dozen people.
Well that may be a way to tell the difference now, but when Obama takes everyone's guns away you are going to have to find an alternative method.
My personal favorite is to look at the back of the car and see whether it says 335 or 535.

CA
hans007 commented:
January 22, 2013, 6:55 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Lined View Post
Ok, bear with me I'm only a medical student and not an MBA. I'm sorry, but I still don't see how this new model makes any sense. Granted there is only one thing more boring to me than thinking about lease payments for an old guy's even older mother (and that would be the three pages of gram positive and gram negative bacteria I have to memorize). But let's see now:

The $38,595 320 is ~$439 a month.
The $42,645 328 is ~$486 a month

When you're already paying ~$17,000 to lease a car for three years, what is another $1,700 more? I just don't see it. Was it really worth BMW rolling in yet another model just to cut the lease price 10%?

i love it when people make the "hey what is $X more gonna matter". well... what is another $1700 more.... its $1700!

exactly. thats exactly what $1700 is. now i wouldn't buy a 320i , i wanted m-sport , i wanted a little more power whatever. but people said the same thing about buying a 328i vs a 335. "why not get the 335i for $4000 more" or whatever. well, because i'd have $4000 left.

i mean the 320i is just another option and for some people itll be the right option. a lot of people buy the 3 series because its a good car. it has good electronics, they like the design, they are a badge whore and like how having a BMW makes them feel about themselves no matter how misguided that is. as far as i've seen the vast vast majority of F30s i've seen have 17: rims. so i'd assume the vast majority of people do not care if they have a "line" like sport/lux/modern. if people just want to pay a little more to get a 320i over say an accord i-4 EX-L then they get those buyers. i mean in the end the cost difference is something like $6k and you get free maintenance and you get RWD. hell if it was all i could spend i'd probably do it too.

i mean if your goal was getting a car witht he latest technology, you wanted it to be reasonably fast (And 0-60 in 7 seconds is pretty fast , its faster than a lot of cars) and you did not care if you got anything more than this, then might as well save your $1700 right.
ProRail commented:
January 22, 2013, 4:38 pm

From what I read the 320 is on the cutting edge of technology and can be extremely efficient if the driver wants it to be. It will probably be popular with early adopters, but traditional BMW buyers who want a more traditional BMW propulsion system will probably go for the 328. Although the 320 is more advanced, BMW probably does not feel that buyers would accept paying more for it than for a 328. If I'm wrong I will happily defer to someone who knows more about the subject.
chrisk03 commented:
January 22, 2013, 10:12 pm

RL - I think it can be summed upped with this...Gen Y.

This is the next big market for car makers and they want to get this demographic into the fold as soon and easily as possible. This group likes nice things, but seem to be more "cost conscious" due to coming of age/money in less stable economic times. All car makers are targeting this market, including the lux's of MB, Audi, Acura, Caddy and now BMW. Nothing yet from Lexus, Infiniti, Volvo, but I'm sure they are eyeing it up seriously. There are about 76million people in this "Millennial Generation"...that's huge and they'll need something to make up for the Boomer's...uh, moving on, let's say.

That said, BMW has done the easiest (and smartest) thing to do to jump into this fold immediately, especially after the CLA, upcoming A3 4 door (or whatever), ILX, ATS, etc. They've immediately "created" an entry level car, priced competitively, with NO wait time, minimal to no re-engineering costs, and...a 4 door. Something lacking in the 1 Series line. This makes complete sense.

Also, let's say you are right on your approximate "only" $50 difference via lease, so why bother. Either way, BMW can make out with a sale. You can have buyer's go either direction and it doesn't hurt BMW or the buyer. You could have one buyer come in and balk at paying another $50 for various reasons or doesn't fit their budget, so they get the 320. Likewise, you could have the next buyer come in and go, wow, only another $50 bucks and I can just go with the 328. With that thinking, I bet they also add a few more options and maybe push the difference up a tad more. Either way, BMW wins and it gets entry level lux buyers in the showroom. Those that thought they maybe could never afford a BMW.

Bottom line, I think this is a smart move by BMW. When my dealership gets a 320 sport, I'll be checking it out in a heartbeat...and I have a 335. If BMW can bring 80-85% of what I already have in a less expensive, more fun package, I'm game. I don't need leather or all the bells and whistles, just a fun driving experience and the 320 sport could do just that...with a $500 "chip", of course. Ha.
dtc100 commented:
January 22, 2013, 10:44 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk03 View Post
RL - I think it can be summed upped with this...Gen Y...
That's what I said. Next thing you know this forum will be filled with people who can call BJ grandpa.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 22, 2013, 10:59 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
That's what I said. Next thing you know this forum will be filled with people who can call BJ grandpa.
Eh?

Shpeak up, shunny.

BJ
dtc100 commented:
January 22, 2013, 11:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Eh?

Shpeak up, shunny.

BJ
Sorry did not mean to cause any confusion, how about this: That's what I said. Next thing you know this forum will be filled with kids who can call BJ senior citizen.
chrisk03 commented:
January 23, 2013, 8:51 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
That's what I said. Next thing you know this forum will be filled with people who can call BJ grandpa.
Ah, sorry dtc, missed your comment on that. Agree with u obviously.

As for BJ, honestly already thought he was a grandpa...he's driving around in the "luxury" version of the 3series...328 at that. Plus, he has the platinum visa...those only go to seniors I'm told.
Technic commented:
January 23, 2013, 9:02 am

It seems to me that those that cannot make sense of the 320i are forgetting the days of the Value Package (leather, wheels, USB for free) E90 328i for about $34,000 - or even less after (the now common for BMW) trunk money. It is understandable... that was so 18 months ago.

Or the days of the 2006 325i with all its 200hp for about $31,000 back in the day.

All that matters is that BMW is back in the entry-level luxury segment with the X1 and this 320i. And they will go even deeper with the 1- and 2-Series.

The 328i is no longer that car. This is simple.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 23, 2013, 9:19 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk03 View Post
Ah, sorry dtc, missed your comment on that. Agree with u obviously.

As for BJ, honestly already thought he was a grandpa...he's driving around in the "luxury" version of the 3series...328 at that. Plus, he has the platinum visa...those only go to seniors I'm told.
I'm 48 and grew up in an upper-middle class BMW-driving family so, no, didn't impregnate my 17 year old girlfriend and thus no grandchildren. My oldest is 14, so I'm 15 years away from that at least.

The Luxury line is the best looking of the F30's. That cannot be argued. That's why I drive it.

BJ
chrisk03 commented:
January 23, 2013, 10:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I'm 48 and grew up in an upper-middle class BMW-driving family so, no, didn't impregnate my 17 year old girlfriend and thus no grandchildren. My oldest is 14, so I'm 15 years away from that at least.

The Luxury line is the best looking of the F30's. That cannot be argued. That's why I drive it.

BJ
Guess I better keep my day job and leave the humor to you. Thanks for the family update, however.

If you're ever driving Rt 1 and Alexander Rd, honk, I'll look for "the best looking of the F30's" and wave.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 23, 2013, 10:22 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk03 View Post
If you're ever driving Rt 1 and Alexander Rd, honk, I'll look for "the best looking of the F30's" and wave.
I may drive down there tomorrow just to add to the accolades.

BJ
woodswatchco commented:
January 23, 2013, 10:50 pm

BJ,
After taking delivery of my estoril blue beauty, I've officially decided that the Msport line is the front end and rear bumper that all F30s should have.


Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I'm 48 and grew up in an upper-middle class BMW-driving family so, no, didn't impregnate my 17 year old girlfriend and thus no grandchildren. My oldest is 14, so I'm 15 years away from that at least.

The Luxury line is the best looking of the F30's. That cannot be argued. That's why I drive it.

BJ
boltjaM3s commented:
January 23, 2013, 11:11 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
BJ,
After taking delivery of my estoril blue beauty, I've officially decided that the Msport line is the front end and rear bumper that all F30s should have.


You are where I was with the E90 a few years back. The E90 had a feminine front end and needed that M-Sport toughness to make the car look aggressive.

Flash forward to today, different story.

The F30 has a new, mean, low-slung, menacing look. The F30 M-Sport looks like the E90 LCI with it's swoopy-jaw that runs from under the headlights and down to the lower air intake. Additionally, the F30 M-Sport is a near-clone of the E90 M-Sport especially by the lower fascia with identical intakes and lower grill, the same open-mouth-smile face too. Take a look at the top left and bottom right images, jump back and forth, you'll see what I mean.

- The F30 M-Sport isn't necessary because the F30 looks aggressive enough already, solves the problem that the feminine E90 had.

- The F30 M-Sport looks so close to a mix of the E90 LCI and the E90 M-Sport that it doesn't look like a new car; it looks like the old car.

BJ
woodswatchco commented:
January 23, 2013, 11:26 pm

I had to tease BJ a little. I agree. All the F30 front ends are awesome. The M sport front end is new to me. This is my first BMW. It funny. a lot of people say they don't like how the grill sticks out and the front hood line. That is what I like best! I liked it so much, I left Audi for my F30. That and the extra horsepower. Also, the amazing 8sp auto transmission. Even though I ended up getting the manual. It pissed me off that if I did want an automatic transmission in an A4, I'd have to get the "prestige trim" to get the Audi 8 speed auto. About $48k? What a joke. Especially for a car that still has 205hp.





Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post


You are where I was with the E90 a few years back. The E90 had a feminine front end and needed that M-Sport toughness to make the car look aggressive.

Flash forward to today, different story.

The F30 has a new, mean, low-slung, menacing look. The F30 M-Sport looks like the E90 LCI with it's swoopy-jaw that runs from under the headlights and down to the lower air intake. Additionally, the F30 M-Sport is a near-clone of the E90 M-Sport especially by the lower fascia with identical intakes and lower grill, the same open-mouth-smile face too. Take a look at the top left and bottom right images, jump back and forth, you'll see what I mean.

- The F30 M-Sport isn't necessary because the F30 looks aggressive enough already, solves the problem that the feminine E90 had.

- The F30 M-Sport looks so close to a mix of the E90 LCI and the E90 M-Sport that it doesn't look like a new car; it looks like the old car.

BJ
dtc100 commented:
January 24, 2013, 12:47 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
BJ,
After taking delivery of my estoril blue beauty, I've officially decided that the Msport line is the front end and rear bumper that all F30s should have.
I am not sure about the rear, but I agree the F30 M sport front is a must.
shabadoo25 commented:
January 24, 2013, 7:39 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by dtc100 View Post
I am not sure about the rear, but I agree the F30 M sport front is a must.
Nah. The M Sport front is kind of wasted on the F30.

However, I will add the M steering wheel at some point.
Itgb commented:
January 24, 2013, 2:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
I liked it so much, I left Audi for my F30. That and the extra horsepower. Also, the amazing 8sp auto transmission. Even though I ended up getting the manual. It pissed me off that if I did want an automatic transmission in an A4, I'd have to get the "prestige trim" to get the Audi 8 speed auto. About $48k? What a joke. Especially for a car that still has 205hp.
Uh, whoever said you need to order the prestige trim to get the 8-sp auto in the Audi was lying to you. It's available in every trim, including their lowest level(Premium) for $35k.

On another note, the M-sport front bumper is 1000% better than the standard one. I cannot stand the flat section under the kidney grills in the regular front bumper. It looks so unfinished. If I ordered a 320i, I would swap front ends with the M-sport right away.
volnedan commented:
January 25, 2013, 4:33 pm

Back to the original point of this thread, I am someone who is now looking at BMWs because of the 320i introduction. After attending the Detroit Auto Show, it is at the top of my next car list.

I currently drive a G37 6MT sedan, and I was greatly disappointed to find out the 2014 Q50 replacement will not be available with a 6MT at launch, nor will it offer a turbo 4 cylinder.

As I get older, I am less focused on horsepower and am willing to trade off handling, refinement, and fuel economy. I am the border of Gen X/Gen Y, so I guess I am the target demographic. Once this thing hits the lot I am all over it.
woodswatchco commented:
January 27, 2013, 6:32 pm

Just a thought. All the 3 series offer a great, balanced package. If you are driving a 330 horsepower G37 right now, I'd seriously consider a 328i. Think of it as an upgraded 320i that has much more horsepower and standard features. I suppose the same could be said for the 335i compared to the 328i. For me, the happy medium was a 328i. You will not miss the crushing speed of your G37 in one. You may in the 320i.
dtc100 commented:
January 27, 2013, 8:41 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Itgb View Post

On another note, the M-sport front bumper is 1000% better than the standard one. I cannot stand the flat section under the kidney grills in the regular front bumper. It looks so unfinished. If I ordered a 320i, I would swap front ends with the M-sport right away.
BMW might have tried to remedy it by adding a license bracket initially, but it made it look worse so they dropped it. Maybe a better designed license bracket will help.
boltjaM3s commented:
January 27, 2013, 8:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by volnedan View Post
Back to the original point of this thread, I am someone who is now looking at BMWs because of the 320i introduction. After attending the Detroit Auto Show, it is at the top of my next car list.

I currently drive a G37 6MT sedan, and I was greatly disappointed to find out the 2014 Q50 replacement will not be available with a 6MT at launch, nor will it offer a turbo 4 cylinder.

As I get older, I am less focused on horsepower and am willing to trade off handling, refinement, and fuel economy. I am the border of Gen X/Gen Y, so I guess I am the target demographic. Once this thing hits the lot I am all over it.
First off, welcome aboard.

It's a great car, and the fact that BMW is opening it up to those who want to do exactly as you say is a good thing.

Trade off the horses for the goodies, get into a BMW for the price of an Acura TL, it's all good.

BJ
volnedan commented:
January 28, 2013, 12:05 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
Just a thought. All the 3 series offer a great, balanced package. If you are driving a 330 horsepower G37 right now, I'd seriously consider a 328i. Think of it as an upgraded 320i that has much more horsepower and standard features. I suppose the same could be said for the 335i compared to the 328i. For me, the happy medium was a 328i. You will not miss the crushing speed of your G37 in one. You may in the 320i.
I almost got into an A4 a few years ago, and I really didn't miss the horsepower drop from the G37. I am looking for refinement and fuel economy, so I am expecting the tradeoff.

The 328 is also in my sights, but the MF on BMW leases are a bit high to justify the extra $100 for monthly payment. Every time I lease a new vehicle, I always compare the usual suspects (G37, 3 series, A4) and Infiniti always had the best lease rates for similar MSRP.

Honestly, I'm sure the 320 will have same engine output as the A4, which is OK by me.
cblandin commented:
January 30, 2013, 1:19 pm

I thought the purpose of the 320 was to generate threads on Bimmerfest about how the 320 is almost as fast as the 328i and a better deal and and more appropriate for the car and...etc. (Feel free to replace 320 references with 328i and 328i with 335i). Threads will begin shortly...stay tuned.
bmw_or_audi commented:
February 1, 2013, 2:30 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by volnedan View Post
Honestly, I'm sure the 320 will have same engine output as the A4, which is OK by me.
It will perform like the previous generation A4, not the current one. I think it is a lousy value. If I were to pass up the 328i, I'd rather get an A4 instead of the 320 with a crippled engine. If the 320 had a smaller more efficient engine providing significantly better mpgs, then it would have been a different story. You can get that kind of power/torque from a 1.7-1.8L engine, but with much better efficiency, i.e. 40+mpg on the highway.
Michael Schott commented:
February 1, 2013, 9:09 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
It will perform like the previous generation A4, not the current one. I think it is a lousy value. If I were to pass up the 328i, I'd rather get an A4 instead of the 320 with a crippled engine. If the 320 had a smaller more efficient engine providing significantly better mpgs, then it would have been a different story. You can get that kind of power/torque from a 1.7-1.8L engine, but with much better efficiency, i.e. 40+mpg on the highway.
A basic A4 Quattro is a pretty boring car whereas even a stripped 320i will be fun to drive. It is lighter and more nimble.
bmw_or_audi commented:
February 1, 2013, 1:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
A basic A4 Quattro is a pretty boring car whereas even a stripped 320i will be fun to drive. It is lighter and more nimble.
What would a non-basic quattro be then? To change the driving experience, you have two options: 18" wheel for $800, or Premium Plus and Sport for a lot more. A non-sport A4 shod with 18" seems to out-handle the non-sport 3 with 18" wheels in pretty much every slalom type test I have seen.
Michael Schott commented:
February 1, 2013, 2:44 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
What would a non-basic quattro be then? To change the driving experience, you have two options: 18" wheel for $800, or Premium Plus and Sport for a lot more. A non-sport A4 shod with 18" seems to out-handle the non-sport 3 with 18" wheels in pretty much every slalom type test I have seen.
Slalom speed is not necessarily an indication of how well a car handles which can be more subjective. For example, the Car and Driver comparo with the 328i said (I'm paraphrasing) the A4 with Sport tracked well in turns but is not particularly entertaining. The 328i was better balanced and more neutral. I'd guess this a result of the weight distribution and the polar moment of inertia (in this case the longitudinal engine placement in the Audi verses the front mid-engine placement in the BMW.
bmw_or_audi commented:
February 1, 2013, 4:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Slalom speed is not necessarily an indication of how well a car handles which can be more subjective. For example, the Car and Driver comparo with the 328i said (I'm paraphrasing) the A4 with Sport tracked well in turns but is not particularly entertaining. The 328i was better balanced and more neutral. I'd guess this a result of the weight distribution and the polar moment of inertia (in this case the longitudinal engine placement in the Audi verses the front mid-engine placement in the BMW.
Mid-engine placement in the BMW? I assume you just mean it is placed slightly more behind the front axle than with the Audi.

Btwy, while journalists like to talk about the perfect weight distribution, it is worth noting that doesn't translate in ideal polar moment of inertia. One involves integrating lengths while the other requires integrating squares of lengths. All these cars are still inherently more prone to understeer, although obviously some more than others.

What you are referring to is indeed rather subjective and a strong function of what one is used to. Most traditional racers always prefer RWD over AWD, because that is what they are used to and because it is easier to loosen and control the rear end. There was a video on this forum a long time ago about a pro racer driving an AWD 911 and the 2WD counterpart on a tight indoor course. The AWD went faster, but he preferred the feel of the RWD. My guess is that it had a lot to do with what he was used to. It is a very subjective thing. But I do know what you are talking about.

Btwy, I don't see in the C&D review the paraphrase you are referring to. And it is worth noting that although Audi suck some summer tires on that car, it is not a sport pack A4 (steering has four spokes).
Michael Schott commented:
February 4, 2013, 11:15 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
Mid-engine placement in the BMW? I assume you just mean it is placed slightly more behind the front axle than with the Audi.

Btwy, while journalists like to talk about the perfect weight distribution, it is worth noting that doesn't translate in ideal polar moment of inertia. One involves integrating lengths while the other requires integrating squares of lengths. All these cars are still inherently more prone to understeer, although obviously some more than others.

What you are referring to is indeed rather subjective and a strong function of what one is used to. Most traditional racers always prefer RWD over AWD, because that is what they are used to and because it is easier to loosen and control the rear end. There was a video on this forum a long time ago about a pro racer driving an AWD 911 and the 2WD counterpart on a tight indoor course. The AWD went faster, but he preferred the feel of the RWD. My guess is that it had a lot to do with what he was used to. It is a very subjective thing. But I do know what you are talking about.

Btwy, I don't see in the C&D review the paraphrase you are referring to. And it is worth noting that although Audi suck some summer tires on that car, it is not a sport pack A4 (steering has four spokes).
I said "front mid engine" indicating the bulk of the engine is behind the centerline of the front axle. I have no idea what you are talking about regarding polar moment but the general idea that car magazines talk about is having most the of weight between the wheelbase rather than at the end of the car. Audi's engine placement is a negative in this regard compared to BMW.

Here is the phrase from the CD omparo: "Throw the A4 into a corner, and the front end plows delicately and predictably. It’s not the most joyous way around a bend, but it is repeatable and secure and requires very *little skill."

Here's what they say about the 328i handling: "The brand’s obsession with even weight distribution pays handling dividends. Front and rear tires seem to work equally hard. The new 3 most closely resembles the previous car in its balanced feel and nearly neutral handling."
volnedan commented:
February 4, 2013, 5:38 pm

Well, it will all come down to a back to back test drive of the 320 to the A4. The butt dyno never lies. If the 320 feels fast enough for me compared to the A4, then I'm sold.
bmw_or_audi commented:
February 4, 2013, 9:46 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Here is the phrase from the CD omparo: "Throw the A4 into a corner, and the front end plows delicately and predictably. It’s not the most joyous way around a bend, but it is repeatable and secure and requires very *little skill."
Is the implication that it takes more skill to do the same in a 3? That doesn't sound like and advantage to me.

Btwy, most sports cars have a weight distribution that is closer to 40-45%F and 55-60%R. What does that say about "ideal" 50%/50% weight distribution?
hans007 commented:
February 5, 2013, 1:05 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
What would a non-basic quattro be then? To change the driving experience, you have two options: 18" wheel for $800, or Premium Plus and Sport for a lot more. A non-sport A4 shod with 18" seems to out-handle the non-sport 3 with 18" wheels in pretty much every slalom type test I have seen.
I owned a 2010 quattro a4 sport premium plus. It probably does out handle a base 320i but it was no fun

Its predictable. You know exactly how long it'll grip and exactly when it will start plowing on a corner. It is easy to drive to its max but no fun and in a corner it is setup to plow and understeer since that is what people are used to coming from cheaper cars.

Best I can say about Audi is its stable and feels really solid in rain. My 328i loses grip in the dry sometimes even but at least I'm having fun in it. Its a totally different type of car. Much more for people who want super balanced handling on a corner. Might be scary for some but I'll take it every day. BMW not only loves rwd but they make it neutral unlike say a Mercedes or a Lexus and I applaud that.

Maybe having awd or fwd could get you a faster slalom time .... civic sis get great slalom times after all. But you don't drive slalom time. You drive a car. A gtr probably destroys a 911 gt2 on most courses but I'd take the 911 because its more fun.
Michael Schott commented:
February 5, 2013, 1:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
Is the implication that it takes more skill to do the same in a 3? That doesn't sound like and advantage to me.

Btwy, most sports cars have a weight distribution that is closer to 40-45%F and 55-60%R. What does that say about "ideal" 50%/50% weight distribution?
You just love to be contrary just for the hell of it. The key phrase Car and Driver used was "It's not the most joyous way around a bend". What's wrong with taking some skill to drive properly. I thought we were on an enthusiast site with people who want to take their cars near the limit and have fun doing so.

Regarding weight distribution, it all depends on engine location. Of course a mid-engine sports car is going to have a slight rearward bias. However, there is absolutely no doubt that in spirited driving of a sport sedan, it's better to have more weight toward the center of the car than at each end.
Mark K commented:
February 5, 2013, 6:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
Is the implication that it takes more skill to do the same in a 3? That doesn't sound like and advantage to me.

Btwy, most sports cars have a weight distribution that is closer to 40-45%F and 55-60%R. What does that say about "ideal" 50%/50% weight distribution?
It DOES take more skill to "repair" overblown corner entry with RWD than FWD, regardless of weight distribution, generally speaking. Instinctive throttle lift in "Oh, s**t!" moment will straighten the things up by itself, usually without any further input from the "expert" at the wheel of the FWD vehicle. Not so simple with RWD where generally speaking you are better off goosing the throttle and correcting with opposite lock.

Most sports cars have more wight at the rear because it is EXPECTED to have some skill to drive them. It has something to do with pendulum-like forces that are very favorable to driving through corners until you reach snap-oversteer in which all of us here (no exceptions, yourself included) are basically deer in the headlights.

That's why 50-50 is very favorable for a sporty car to be used in everyday driving by everyday drivers.

Happy?
A320 Scott commented:
February 9, 2013, 5:27 pm

I've been cross-shopping the 328i sedan with an X-1 Sdrive28. While they are vastly different vehicles, the X-1 retains traditional BMW characteristics with a roughly $7K price differential as similarly equipped.

Along comes the 320i to pique my interest for the 15 minutes spent configuring. BMW successfully mitigated downmarket poaching from the 328i for the aficionado. No interior color options save for black/tan, and the derated engine has no offset MPG gain. Pass!

Their target audience is abundantly clear, time will reveal whether it was a successful gambit.
bmw_or_audi commented:
February 12, 2013, 3:48 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
You just love to be contrary just for the hell of it.
A little, but it is mostly becasue of this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
It DOES take more skill to "repair" overblown corner entry with RWD than FWD, regardless of weight distribution, generally speaking. Instinctive throttle lift in "Oh, s**t!" moment will straighten the things up by itself, usually without any further input from the "expert" at the wheel of the FWD vehicle. Not so simple with RWD where generally speaking you are better off goosing the throttle and correcting with opposite lock.

Most sports cars have more wight at the rear because it is EXPECTED to have some skill to drive them. It has something to do with pendulum-like forces that are very favorable to driving through corners until you reach snap-oversteer in which all of us here (no exceptions, yourself included) are basically deer in the headlights.
Exactly! The more unstable the car, the more maneuverable it is. An example of this pushed to extreme is the F16, which is a super-maneuverable plane that is aerodynamically unstable, so much so that it cannot be flown without computers keeping it "stable." If they ever malfunction, you hit the eject button.

Quote:
That's why 50-50 is very favorable for a sporty car to be used in everyday driving by everyday drivers.
So in everyday street cars, manufacturers strive for a balance that is still safe for us incompetent drivers. But there is nothing magic about setting that cutoff at 50/50, and that was my only point all along.