The Value Shopper's Guide to the BMW F30 328i Sedan

by Bimmerfest.com Member - shabadoo25 on March 31, 2013, 6:27 am
I've noticed we get a lot of posts here from people asking what the essential elements are in a F30 build. This is usually from a perspective of wanting to get a nice car but not wanting to spend $$$$ on things that are unnecessary.

Like many here, I ordered early in the F30's life cycle when there were no models on dealer lots in which the various options could be tested. I got one test drive in a base Summer Olympic Event model and that was it. I ordered a nicely optioned model, as you can see in my sig.

For a couple days the last week, I was in a luxury line loaner with only the premium package while my routine maintenance was getting done. I spent quite a bit of time playing with this loaner and this post encapsulates my opinions on the difference between it and my car.

Oh and btw, if you are someone who lights your illegally imported Cuban cigars with hundred dollar bills and finds this whole discussion silly, feel free to move on to the next thread.

Lines vs. No Line
We've seen a lot of discussion here about the essential nature of a 3 Series. Is it sporty, luxury or a combo of both? This can only be decided by an individual buyer. That having been said, I feel that I would be satisfied in a luxury line having driven one if I didn't have the sport. I liked sitting higher up and would love having access to the awesome saddle brown interior. Also, if you haven't seen a modern line model now that they've dumped the hideous tan dash and wheel, it's very sharp looking also. With the no line, you could use the pocketed $ for things like the M interior kit and/or rims.

Before we leave this topic, let's discuss the seats. After a couple of days in non-sport seats, I was actually fine with them. I am a bigger guy and enjoyed not having the side bolsters kind of pinching me in. I missed the thigh extenders, but was more cognizant of the lumbar support in the normal seats. I would say don't let the seats be a major decision maker for you.

I'll discuss performance a bit more when we get to the M Adaptive/Sport Steering part of the post.

Xenons
This is a tough one, but if you are looking for a spot to save $ on your build, you can dump the Xenons. Yes, they look amazing. They are purportedly safer. However, I drove at night with the halogens and they are fine. I might make this a last ditch decision when building my car, but if you feel you need to skip this, you'll be just fine.

USB w/Enhanced Bluetooth
Do not skip this important feature. It gives you BT music streaming through your cell phone as well as the emergency call feature that could save your life. We will come back to this discussion later when we talk about the tech package.

Harmon Kardon
I am a sound nut and always tick this box off immediately when looking at cars. After a couple days with the regular stereo, which is supposedly the mid-level option in Europe, I can report that it is fine. The HK is better, but this is a good spot to save some $$$ if you are tortured with how to economize. This is even more true if you are purely a talk radio or smooth jazz listener. If you are a classic rock guy like me, this might be a hair tougher. The HK is definitely ballsier when it comes to stuff meant to be cranked.

M Adaptive Suspension and/or Variable Sport Steering
If you don't get the Sport/M Sport, you will likely want to get this if you want the typical, taut BMW driving experience. The steering in the luxury line definitely had more play than my sport line. There was more body roll. Again, if you skip the sport-oriented lines, I would opt for these unless you like a car that is softer than what BMW usually represents.

Back Up Cam/Park Distance Control
This is a tough one and I can't recommend dumping it for anyone with small kids or who has to park in tough conditions (city parallel parking) often. It should be standard on all cars. However, if you live in an apartment by yourself, I could see skipping it. The sight lines on the F30 are good enough.

Packages
Premium: This is a tough one. I would say skip it if need be. If not, the stuff in this package is the stuff of nice cars. Not fiddling with your key is very nice. Dimming mirrors are nice at night. However, the leatherette is good and some of the other things like adjustable seats, moonroof and satrad can be gotten separately.
Driver Assistance: #1 on the list of things you can skip. If you can't keep your car in its lane, you shouldn't be ordering a BMW.
Technology: This is brutal for me to say as a gadget guy, but skip it. I love HUD, but never noticed it was missing without it. I love nav, but I can get turn by turn off my phone. With BT and Enhanced USB, all phone audio can be streamed through the speakers. The small dash screen was fine and didn't look any cheaper than the wider one. It is a great set of toys, but just isn't needed as long as you tick off the Enhanced BT. And it's horridly overpriced.

Heated Seats
I don't know how or why anyone skips these. Forget cold weather--these are a godsend for anyone with lower back pain/discomfort. My wife, who is always cold, stabs this button before I can get to the ignition button.

Apps
A total waste. You can read texts and emails through the dash screen. Big deal. Also, using any of the apps is more aggravating than just streaming through your phone.
BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 1BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 2BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 3BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 4BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 5BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 6BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 7BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 8BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 9BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 10BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 11BMW-2012-3-Series-F30-Spain 12


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115 responses to The Value Shopper's Guide to the BMW F30 328i Sedan

Chris90 commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:54 am

Great thread! Couple comments:

- i always thought lane departure warning was a joke like you, I've done 12 track days, and never had so much as a scrape in 25 years of driving. Then I had kids - lately I've been nodding off all the time while commuting, and a few weeks ago, nodded off, drifted lanes on a busy highway and scraped a Honda Odyssey. So anyone with kids, or sleep issues, might consider lane departure. Me, I'll probably still just make sure I make time for coffee in the morning.

- A major consideration for anyone on a budget should be the 320i. 200 lb-ft of torque should be plenty fun in a 3300 lb car - my e36 had less than that, and while it was 200 lbs lighter, it was a blast to drive and never felt slow.
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 9:35 am

I know you were targeting prospective 328 buyers, but you could apply this to prospective 335 buyers as well. If I wanted to significantly reduce the cost of my car, here is what I would have done.
  1. Go with basic Nav option instead of Tech package
  2. Go with luxury line instead of sport.
  3. Drop 8 speed sport transmission.
  4. Go with 328 instead of 335, but then order xenons since they don't come standard on a 328.
  5. Drop DHP.
4 & 5 would be the most difficult for me, but I would have ended up with a 328 luxury line with xenons, heated seats, Prem, HK, Nav, rear view camera and PDC.

Nothing wrong with that configuration at all. Plus, it would have been a savings of about $6000. By the way, once my kids are in college, this is exactly what my next car might be.
boltjaM3s commented:
March 31, 2013, 10:09 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by shabadoo25 View Post
I've noticed we get a lot of posts here from people asking what the essential elements are in a F30 build. This is usually from a perspective of wanting to get a nice car but not wanting to spend $$$$ on things that are unnecessary.
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 10:28 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
I do agree with this line of thinking.

If you're talking about a 328 no-line without prem, tech, Nav, HK, heated seats, xenons, rear camera, PDC, or anything else, then forget about the F30. Seriously. You probably should be looking at a Suburu WRX STI instead if you're a performance enthusiast or perhaps a loaded Nissan Maxima if you want a more luxurious car.

However, a thread like this is still useful for folks looking at the higher range F30s. You can get a real good idea on how to get a fantastic car and still save some $$$$$$.
kpgray commented:
March 31, 2013, 10:31 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by shabadoo25 View Post
I've noticed we get a lot of posts here from people asking what the essential elements are in a F30 build. This is usually from a perspective of wanting to get a nice car but not wanting to spend $$$$ on things that are unnecessary.

...
Great write-up! I would put the options in order of importance:
  1. Heated Seats
  2. BMW Assist with Enhanced Bluetooth
  3. Park Distance Control (F30 bigger than E90, tall trunk, rear 3 obstructive head rests)
  4. Rear View Camera (must have parking package to get this)
  5. A Line (significantly nicer interior & exterior trim, 18" wheels on ALL lines much nicer)
  6. DHP (especially if you have xDrive)
  7. Technology Package (Navigation, HUD, Enhanced Bluetooth, Apps)
  8. Lighting Package (Xenons & "Cat Eyes", the Halogens are still pretty good)
  9. Premium (Leather, Sunroof, Comfort access, self dimming mirrors)
  10. HK (600 Watts but do you need it?)
  11. Cold Weather Package (Heated front & Rear seats, heated steering wheel)
  12. Driver Assistance Package (do not need the side camera or blind spot warning)
  13. Driver Assistance Plus (rather annoying lane change vibration)
  14. Rear window shades
  15. Active Cruise Control (too expensive)
  16. high beam headlamp control

I limited myself to a $45K invoice cost (Aprox $49K MSRP). My build started with an xDrive. I picked a Sport Line and mistakenly thought the xDrive sport came with sport suspension. I skipped on the Lighting Package (that would have put me over budget. Do I give up a line, tech or premium for the lighting?).

In retrospect, if I was to do the build again, I would give up the Premium (I can press a button to get into my car and leatherette would be OK) and add the DHP Lighting, and Parking Distance w/rear view camera. The xDrive suspension is soft (good for Wife and Kids), the Lighting 'Cat Eyes" are so cool, but the parking package is what surprised me. I would have thought the car would be easy to park but the though of damaging my BMW puts fear into my head! High curbs, car bumpers... Difference in cost: Premium $3100 vs. $3050 for bucket of other options (DHP $1000, Lighting $900, Park distance $750, Rear Camera $400) On the other hand, when you are at this level, what is a couple thousand... $30 per month on a $550 month payment!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
I can agree but some options are more important than others.
shabadoo25 commented:
March 31, 2013, 10:52 am

First off, if we are truly talking car value, we should all be in Corollas approaching 200,000 miles.

Second, whether you agree or not, the following things are true:
1. People come here all the time asking about their builds and what to get.
2. My dealer's #1 stocking choice for 3s is what matches the lease deal: no line plus premium package.

This thread was meant to clarify the value and necessity of the myriad of choices people can't personally test.
neilsarkar commented:
March 31, 2013, 11:21 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
I would have ended up with a 328 luxury line with xenons, heated seats, Prem, HK, Nav, rear view camera and PDC.

Nothing wrong with that configuration at all. Plus, it would have been a savings of about $6000. By the way, once my kids are in college, this is exactly what my next car might be.
This is an excellent build and frankly how base 328i should have been. However, remember that even this car will have a MSRP of nearly 50 grand. The days of buying a nice 3-series for 35-40 large is sadly over.
kromix commented:
March 31, 2013, 11:23 am

IMO, Lighting Package, especially at only $900 is #1 on the list.
gkr778 commented:
March 31, 2013, 11:32 am

Great discussion!

What are your thoughts on the following items from the perspective of a "Value Shopper"?
  • Choosing a Certified Pre-Owned F30 rather than a new one
  • European Delivery, if one does go the new car route
HokieXDriver commented:
March 31, 2013, 11:58 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilsarkar View Post
This is an excellent build and frankly how base 328i should have been. However, remember that even this car will have a MSRP of nearly 50 grand. The days of buying a nice 3-series for 35-40 large is sadly over.
I agree - there has been so much "series inflation" in BMW that over the past 15 years, every series has moved up one position. A 3 now is a 5 of 15 years ago. A 5 is a 7. A 7 is a super-luxo cruiser.

As long as I dreamed of having a BMW, I dreamed of the 5-series. When I finally bought a BMW, it was an E60. But I want a new vehicle now, and I realized that the 3 is the 5 I always wanted.

To me it seems like the small, fun, tossable, value-for-money BMWs are now the 1-series and upcoming 2-series.
mr_clueless commented:
March 31, 2013, 11:59 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by shabadoo25 View Post
Packages
Premium: This is a tough one. I would say skip it if need be. If not, the stuff in this package is the stuff of nice cars. Not fiddling with your key is very nice. Dimming mirrors are nice at night. However, the leatherette is good and some of the other things like adjustable seats, moonroof and satrad can be gotten separately.
Power seats and auto-dimming mirrors are standard for MY2013.
boltjaM3s commented:
March 31, 2013, 12:16 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilsarkar View Post
This is an excellent build and frankly how base 328i should have been. However, remember that even this car will have a MSRP of nearly 50 grand. The days of buying a nice 3-series for 35-40 large is sadly over.
It's the opposite, really.

With the advent of the 320i, someone can build a "nice" 3 Series for $37,000. He'll just have to choose between either a "sporty" model (pick two: Sport line or Premium package or Lighting package) -or- "comfort" model (pick two: Luxury line or Tech package or Premium package or Lighting package).

With the 320i BMW is merely letting customer strip the power out as well as the performance so that they can add the comfort/lux/tech goodies. That's the new-news. For decades, customers were forced to accept the sport and the power, pay for it even though they might not have wanted it.

BJ
gooer commented:
March 31, 2013, 12:22 pm

If I was on a budget and wanted a f30, I would do one of two things:

1. Buy a base 335 - you get xenons, moonroof, 18 inch rims, wood on dash, and most importantly 300 hp engine standard - most likely in jet black or alpine white. This will cost you 44k in RWD or 48k with xdrive, and you still have room to add one or two options.. heated seats, enhanced bluetooth (necessary), etc.

2. Buy a 328 with sport line, enhanced bluetooth and lighting package - comes out to 41,795 RWD or 43,795 with xdrive, and you are going to avoid 17 inch rims, halogens, and plastic aluminum on the dash.. telltale signs of a stripper 328 (although I would take a base 328 over a honda accord).


For me the choice is easy - base 335 offers significantly more VALUE for slightly more $$, and is still going to offer you the spirited driving experience bmw is famous for.
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 12:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
I agree - there has been so much "series inflation" in BMW that over the past 15 years, every series has moved up one position. A 3 now is a 5 of 15 years ago..
I'm not even sure it goes that far back. I would say that the current F30, when loaded up like I did, easily rivals the E39, which they stopped making in 2003.

My friend had an E39, and he thinks my F30 335 blows it away in all aspects. I used to love his car when I was in it, but I love my F30 even better. I believe he had a 528 or a 525...He now drives a Porsche.

You can even make an argument that an F30s rivals the old E60s; especially if you're talking about the early, stripped down 525 models.

But of course, the 320 also extends the range in the other direction. The 320, when properly configured, isn't a bad deal.
Chris90 commented:
March 31, 2013, 12:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
This is probably true for the typical buyer. But as an enthusiast, for like $38k you can get:

320i w/ 6 speed manual, sport suspension, leather, heated seats. You'll get the legendary BMW driving without all the technology and nanny-state features. That car has pretty much all the features my ZHP has, for the cost of a stripped Volvo S60.
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 12:54 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
This is probably true for the typical buyer. But as an enthusiast, for like $38k you can get:

320i w/ 6 speed manual, sport suspension, leather, heated seats. You'll get the legendary BMW driving without all the technology and nanny-state features. That car has pretty much all the features my ZHP has, for the cost of a stripped Volvo S60.
Nanny-state features? When I think of nanny-state features, I think of the Smart Car, a Toyota Prius, or those horrible communist cars they used to make in the Soviet Union. Seriously dude, bad analogy! It's the exact opposite. People that have the financial wherewithal to load their cars up with all the goodies are hardly dependent upon the government for anything...
woodswatchco commented:
March 31, 2013, 12:59 pm

A black or white sportline, 328i will get you closer to the glory days BMW's of the past. With the F30 you'll still get better gas mileage, idrive, tremendously better 8sp auto transmission, and more horsepower than the older generations.

full retail: $40,245
street price: $38,245 (or maybe less)
Also, BMW lease deals are insanely low.

You'll get power everything, sport seats, idrive, ipod connectivity, sport suspension, 18" wheels, 240hp turbo engine, 34 mpg highway, rear wheel drive, and an actual choice of an awesome 8sp auto or manual transmission.

At under $40k, the F30 sportline is a pretty attractive choice. The BMW roundels come standard. Nothing wrong with a little snob appeal thrown in!
Chris90 commented:
March 31, 2013, 1:00 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
Nanny-state features? When I think of nanny-state features, I think of the Smart Car, a Toyota Prius, or those horrible communist cars they used to make in the Soviet Union. Seriously dude, bad analogy! It's the exact opposite. People that have the financial wherewithal to load their cars up with all the goodies are hardly dependent upon the government for anything...
Guess I meant nanny features (to help you park, backup, stay in your lane, turn etc).
woodswatchco commented:
March 31, 2013, 1:10 pm

Or nanny features like making MY car automatically reset to auto start stop and comfort mode every time I turn the car off for the sake of fuel mileage I'm not concerned with most of the time?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Guess I meant nanny features (to help you park, backup, stay in your lane, turn etc).
kpgray commented:
March 31, 2013, 1:31 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
I do agree with this line of thinking.

If you're talking about a 328 no-line without prem, tech, Nav, HK, heated seats, xenons, rear camera, PDC, or anything else, then forget about the F30. Seriously. You probably should be looking at a Suburu WRX STI instead if you're a performance enthusiast or perhaps a loaded Nissan Maxima if you want a more luxurious car.

However, a thread like this is still useful for folks looking at the higher range F30s. You can get a real good idea on how to get a fantastic car and still save some $$$$$$.
Base 328i RWD $36,500 (AWD $38,500)
  • Luxury/Modern Line $2100
  • Premium Package $3,100
  • Technology Package $3100
  • HK (Harmon Kardon) $875
  • Heated Seats $500
  • Lighting Package (Xenons) $900
  • PDC (Parking Distance Control) $750
  • Rear Camera (PDC Required) $400
MSRP: $48,225 (xDrive $50,225)

So the real price of well optioned 328i needs nearly $12,000 in options?!

A 335 RWD with same options is $52,025.
Robert A commented:
March 31, 2013, 1:34 pm

A 3 is not a 5. The size may have caught up, but the quality is still a 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
I agree - there has been so much "series inflation" in BMW that over the past 15 years, every series has moved up one position. A 3 now is a 5 of 15 years ago. A 5 is a 7. A 7 is a super-luxo cruiser.

As long as I dreamed of having a BMW, I dreamed of the 5-series. When I finally bought a BMW, it was an E60. But I want a new vehicle now, and I realized that the 3 is the 5 I always wanted.

To me it seems like the small, fun, tossable, value-for-money BMWs are now the 1-series and upcoming 2-series.
Robert A commented:
March 31, 2013, 1:35 pm

What about a 320i with sport and tech for around 39k?


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodswatchco View Post
A black or white sportline, 328i will get you closer to the glory days BMW's of the past. With the F30 you'll still get better gas mileage, idrive, tremendously better 8sp auto transmission, and more horsepower than the older generations.

full retail: $40,245
street price: $38,245 (or maybe less)
Also, BMW lease deals are insanely low.

You'll get power everything, sport seats, idrive, ipod connectivity, sport suspension, 18" wheels, 240hp turbo engine, 34 mpg highway, rear wheel drive, and an actual choice of an awesome 8sp auto or manual transmission.

At under $40k, the F30 sportline is a pretty attractive choice. The BMW roundels come standard. Nothing wrong with a little snob appeal thrown in!
AzWildcatG commented:
March 31, 2013, 1:44 pm

Great thread! Thank you!

My wife and I have chosen the 3 series to purchase now. We want a 328i sport in Mineral Grey - White or Bronze. Light Grey leather int with black highlights and Anthracite wood trim. For me the Xenons are a must!

Local dealership CA very nice and professional, but not responsive. The Lexus dealership CA made no impression on us, but reached out to us with a letter thanking us for test driving a IS.

My new car Auto Trader and Cars.com search has not yielded the combo we are looking for here in the west. A special order mite be what is needed or I mite look into a base 335i after reading this thread.

Question: the factory $1K off has a ending date. How often is this done or has this been a ongoing promotion?
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 2:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
A 3 is not a 5. The size may have caught up, but the quality is still a 3.
We're not comparing a 3 to 5 of today. We're comparing 3 of today to a 5 of 10 years ago.
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 2:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Guess I meant nanny features (to help you park, backup, stay in your lane, turn etc).
That's better.
boltjaM3s commented:
March 31, 2013, 2:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gooer View Post
If I was on a budget and wanted a f30, I would

1. Buy a base 335 - you get xenons, moonroof, 18 inch rims, wood on dash, and most importantly 300 hp engine standard - most likely in jet black or alpine white. This will cost you 44k in RWD or 48k with xdrive, and you still have room to add one or two options.. heated seats, enhanced bluetooth (necessary), etc.

For me the choice is easy - base 335 offers significantly more VALUE for slightly more $$, and is still going to offer you the spirited driving experience bmw is famous for.
And that is where you would be incorrect.

A 335i without Sport line and without the dynamic handling package is nothing like what you describe. The 328i on the base suspension is loose enough, with the extra kick of the 300 horses the body lean and float would drive you crazy. The XDrive suspension is even softer, would be like a 600 HP school bus.

Said it before and I'll say it again: the big gamechanger for this generation of the 3 Series is that you no longer get the legendary handling and suspension that was standard for the past 20 years. You have to pay for it.

BJ
Supermax commented:
March 31, 2013, 2:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.
You keep saying this, but it's kind of a stretch. I can think of one option that's required to get a stripped tight performance car: add DHP. That's it. So while your statement is technically true, it's not that big of a deal to just add DHP. Voila, you have a stripped car that still drives like a BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice.
This I completely disagree with. As an owner of a stripped E90, I can say that I'm excited every time I have to drive my car somewhere. I love the way it looks, the interior, and of course the way it drives. And I don't even have power seats!

It just depends on what you compare it with. Compared to your current car, yeah, it may seem a bit outdated and let's be honest...maybe even in a totally different car category. But compared to anything I owned before, it's amazing. As far as actual driving, it's definitely no slouch, and it still has a real sporty suspension, unlike yours And a stripped F30 will actually have more stuff than a stripped E90...just have to do your research and add DHP (or sports line) to get the real BMW feel.

It seems that perhaps we have a different understanding of the word "performance". For me it means just the actual driving performance of the car. And BMW hasn't lost that with the F30, even if you get a completely stripped car with DHP.

Lastly, have to give credit where it's due. It's people like you that allowed people like me to find this stuff out and get it right before ordering
boltjaM3s commented:
March 31, 2013, 2:39 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supermax View Post
You keep saying this, but it's kind of a stretch. I can think of one option that's required to get a stripped tight performance car: add DHP. That's it. So while your statement is technically true, it's not that big of a deal to just add DHP. Voila, you have a stripped car that still drives like a BMW.
The 320i does not have DHP as an option. So for a completely stripped car to handle like a legendary BMW, you are looking at a 328i and you are already up to $40,000 without a single, other option.

BJ
boltjaM3s commented:
March 31, 2013, 2:46 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supermax View Post

This I completely disagree with. As an owner of a stripped E90, I can say that I'm excited every time I have to drive my car somewhere. I love the way it looks, the interior, and of course the way it drives. And I don't even have power seats!

It just depends on what you compare it with. Compared to your current car, yeah, it may seem a bit outdated and let's be honest...maybe even in a totally different car category. But compared to anything I owned before, it's amazing. As far as actual driving, it's definitely no slouch, and it still has a real sporty suspension, unlike yours And a stripped F30 will actually have more stuff than a stripped E90...just have to do your research and add DHP (or sports line) to get the real BMW feel.

It seems that perhaps we have a different understanding of the word "performance". For me it means just the actual driving performance of the car. And BMW hasn't lost that with the F30, even if you get a completely stripped car with DHP.

Lastly, have to give credit where it's due. It's people like you that allowed people like me to find this stuff out and get it right before ordering
I think what you and I are getting tripped up on is the term "value".

A 335i with the mandatory DHP is $45,000. That is without the premium package, without the technology package, without the cold weather package, no line, bland wheels, etc. There is nothing wrong with that if someone wants to go there, but it's no value by any stretch of the word.

A $45,000 328i, different story. A $45,000 320i, that's approaching a very good value. Both of those cars at that price are very well-equipped and very competitive to other luxury brands. Let me know if that makes sense to you, as I want to make sure that we're talking the same language here.

BJ
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 2:51 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpgray View Post
Base 328i RWD $36,500 (AWD $38,500)
  • Luxury/Modern Line $2100
  • Premium Package $3,100
  • Technology Package $3100
  • HK (Harmon Kardon) $875
  • Heated Seats $500
  • Lighting Package (Xenons) $900
  • PDC (Parking Distance Control) $750
  • Rear Camera (PDC Required) $400
MSRP: $48,225 (xDrive $50,225)

So the real price of well optioned 328i needs nearly $12,000 in options?!

A 335 RWD with same options is $52,025.
I guess it comes down to personal preference and individual expectations. I believe if you're looking for a car in the $45k to $55k range (like I was), the F30 competes very nicely with the competition at those price points. In fact, I think a loaded 335 slams the competition in that range.

However, if your looking for a car in the $35k to $40k range, I am not so sure. At those price points, I would be inclined to look elsewhere. That's the point I was trying to make.

This is subjective of course and just opinion. There is nothing at all wrong with having a different point of view.
Supermax commented:
March 31, 2013, 3:11 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I think what you and I are getting tripped up on is the term "value".
Agreed. And it comes down to value being completely subjective. I definitely agree that to most people, the 328i with extra options would have more value than a stripped 335i. But to me personally, it's not.

What I was really talking about above was a completely stripped 328i. As long as you add DHP or sport line, even without anything else you'd still have a very nice car overall....and an amazing driver's car....for a reasonably low price.

I admit I forgot about the 320i. But I feel that car is basically just a marketing ploy. It doesn't make much sense to me. I feel that just about everybody buying this car is getting it to say "I own a BMW", not because they truly love it.

I'd rather see BMW release the 4 door 1 series in the US. My wife owns a 2008 4-door hatchback 120i in Europe, and it's an awesome car. Just a perfect entry level BMW that still drives exactly like a BMW. That should be the low budget BMW option. Sigh.

You're right BJ....with the 320i, I think some people will be pretty upset when their car doesn't handle like they thought it should. That's where you come in and console them, letting them know life is still possible without DHP But with a stripped 328i with DHP, I think people still get a whole lot of car with a lot of value.
hans007 commented:
March 31, 2013, 3:29 pm

I only got lighting and m sport + sport auto and pdc on my car and Sirius added later on.

Could probably do without pdc but i don't feel like it was a waste. 2013 models have plenty of standard features and I don't even like sunroofs or care about Dakota leather.

Got the car for 2000 under invoice with the 1000 BMW fs rebate so ~39k . Not bad at all . Doesn't have a lot of the electronic doodads but I don't really care for them. Drives as well as a stock f30 can drive. Got money left over for my next BMW in 3-5 years


I think the 2 main musts on this car for me are some sort of sport pack and lighting. Everything else I wouldn't regret nearly as much as those two options. Car just doesn't look right on 17s and the halogens don't look very nice for only $900 less.

If I had to buy a 320i with sport and lighting for probable $31-32k invoice I.e. a real stripped car with manual seats etc I think I'd still be pretty happy with it. I know itd drive great and still be built just as well as a $50k f30. All depends on your budget but even a barebones f30 will be a great driver.
Chris90 commented:
March 31, 2013, 4:20 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supermax View Post
I admit I forgot about the 320i. But I feel that car is basically just a marketing ploy. It doesn't make much sense to me. I feel that just about everybody buying this car is getting it to say "I own a BMW", not because they truly love it.

I'd rather see BMW release the 4 door 1 series in the US. My wife owns a 2008 4-door hatchback 120i in Europe, and it's an awesome car. Just a perfect entry level BMW that still drives exactly like a BMW. That should be the low budget BMW option. Sigh.

You're right BJ....with the 320i, I think some people will be pretty upset when their car doesn't handle like they thought it should. That's where you come in and console them, letting them know life is still possible without DHP But with a stripped 328i with DHP, I think people still get a whole lot of car with a lot of value.
Nobody else makes a car like the 320i - is there another car I can buy for $35k that is rear drive, 6 speed manual, M sport suspension and manual sport seats, no moonroof - the perfect track car setup? This would be the lightest 3 series possible, and should handle great with that light motor up front.

I can't think of any other maker who sells a car like that. That's what's great about BMW. But I agree, a smaller 1 series sedan would be nice, and BMW is supposedly going to give us that.
boltjaM3s commented:
March 31, 2013, 4:30 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Nobody else makes a car like the 320i - is there another car I can buy for $35k that is rear drive, 6 speed manual, M sport suspension and manual sport seats, no moonroof - the perfect track car setup? This would be the lightest 3 series possible, and should handle great with that light motor up front.

I can't think of any other maker who sells a car like that. That's what's great about BMW. But I agree, a smaller 1 series sedan would be nice, and BMW is supposedly going to give us that.
+1

And while it used to be blasphemous to say that a weaker engine could create the better 3 Series, that's not necessarily the case anymore.

With the smaller powerplant, it's conceivable that one doesn't need the Sport package and it's Adaptive M Supension on the 320i, might be tight in the corners as-is because it has less power, less torque, lighter weight, might escape the body roll issue.

BJ
namelessman commented:
March 31, 2013, 4:36 pm

My DD value proposition would be 328i base with leather and xenon(DHP optional).
hans007 commented:
March 31, 2013, 4:38 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
+1

And while it used to be blasphemous to say that a weaker engine could create the better 3 Series, that's not necessarily the case anymore.

With the smaller powerplant, it's conceivable that one doesn't need the Sport package and it's Adaptive M Supension on the 320i, might be tight in the corners as-is because it has less power, less torque, lighter weight, might escape the body roll issue.

BJ

wouldn't the 320i need the sport package just as much as a 328i? its basically the same engine right.

i mean yes sure less power and torque, but im pretty sure the engine in the 320i has more than enough power to get some body roll since you can get that on a 328i at even 40mph on a curve.

maybe if they came out with a 1.6 L i-3 320i (the 3 cylinder makes 180ish hp in the prototypes that have been driven) then maybe you get a little more weight savings there..
PK2348 commented:
March 31, 2013, 4:41 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
Nanny-state features? When I think of nanny-state features, I think of the Smart Car, a Toyota Prius, or those horrible communist cars they used to make in the Soviet Union. Seriously dude, bad analogy! It's the exact opposite. People that have the financial wherewithal to load their cars up with all the goodies are hardly dependent upon the government for anything...
i learned to drive in one of those. , it was only 10 years or so older than me, but i was around 12 then. They were pretty bad but i would love to have one now in my backyard. No power anything, including steering, and you could always start the car with a crank, or put it in gear and have your friends push it
Jamesonsviggen commented:
March 31, 2013, 4:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The 320i does not have DHP as an option. So for a completely stripped car to handle like a legendary BMW, you are looking at a 328i and you are already up to $40,000 without a single, other option.

BJ
The 320 does not offer DHP but offers the 18" wheels, sports suspension, sports seats and M steering wheel for half of what the model lines cost. I think its something like $1300. Its a bargain and if BMW offered it on the 328 a lot of purists would be all over such a package.
hans007 commented:
March 31, 2013, 5:01 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
A 3 is not a 5. The size may have caught up, but the quality is still a 3.
i really don't think the current 3 loses out much to even the current 5.

the main things it seems like buying a 5 lets you get are things like even higher trim options like nicer leather (nappa leather option) or say ventilated seats or for example a bang and olufsen system instead of HK (b&o is better than HK). things like soft close doors, ceramic control surfaces, rear seat entertainment, and night vision that you can get on the 5, but are options. oh and its bigger, which isnt even necessarily a good thing for lots of people. i guess it depends on what you consider quality. quality is not the same as available features right?

everytime i've sat in a F10 5 series, it doesnt strike me as "much better quality" or anything like that other than being bigger.

if you sit in an equiavlently optioned 528i vs a 328i with roughly equivalent options i don't think you sit there thinking, yeah this 528i is better quality. maybe if you get a loaded 535i with every possible option vs a 335i with every option available there'd be a few differences (as i noted above) but nothing mind blowing

maybe if you are comparing a 7 seires and a 3, but the "middle child" in most of the luxury makes doesn't ever seem much better than the lower one just bigger (i feel the same way about the current A4 / A6)
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 5:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Nobody else makes a car like the 320i - is there another car I can buy for $35k that is rear drive, 6 speed manual, M sport suspension and manual sport seats, no moonroof - the perfect track car setup? This would be the lightest 3 series possible, and should handle great with that light motor up front.

I can't think of any other maker who sells a car like that. That's what's great about BMW. But I agree, a smaller 1 series sedan would be nice, and BMW is supposedly going to give us that.
I do agree with you about the 320. Plus, it's really cool how they throw in the M Sport Wheel with the sport package. That's great value right there.
Inline Sixer commented:
March 31, 2013, 5:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Nobody else makes a car like the 320i - is there another car I can buy for $35k that is rear drive, 6 speed manual, M sport suspension and manual sport seats, no moonroof - the perfect track car setup? This would be the lightest 3 series possible, and should handle great with that light motor up front.

I can't think of any other maker who sells a car like that. That's what's great about BMW. But I agree, a smaller 1 series sedan would be nice, and BMW is supposedly going to give us that.
+1

Yup, indeed you can get a 320i with m-sport suspension. Think about that and that 0-60 in 7.1s isn't slow.
Chris90 commented:
March 31, 2013, 6:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inline Sixer View Post
+1

Yup, indeed you can get a 320i with m-sport suspension. Think about that and that 0-60 in 7.1s isn't slow.
It's certainly an interesting way to go. Saving $4000 vs the 328i could be put toward an LSD, Performance Exhaust, and I'm sure eventually they'll have some power boost upgrades.
Jamesonsviggen commented:
March 31, 2013, 6:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
It's certainly an interesting way to go. Saving $4000 vs the 328i could be put toward an LSD, Performance Exhaust, and I'm sure eventually they'll have some power boost upgrades.
BMS already offers a 320 tune.
Inline Sixer commented:
March 31, 2013, 6:35 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
It's certainly an interesting way to go. Saving $4000 vs the 328i could be put toward an LSD, Performance Exhaust, and I'm sure eventually they'll have some power boost upgrades.
Plus, one can theoretically be crazy enough to punch an opposite faux exhaust on the right rear side of a 320i, and get a (presumably stolen) 335i badge from a junk yard. Viola: luxury, prestige and performance on a budget. We CAN have it all folks...
Robert A commented:
March 31, 2013, 7:02 pm

From a quality standpoint, it is not up the standards of the E60 or the E39.


Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
We're not comparing a 3 to 5 of today. We're comparing 3 of today to a 5 of 10 years ago.
shabadoo25 commented:
March 31, 2013, 7:03 pm

You can load an Accord with all the options and once they get boring to play with, you're stuck with a snooze to drive.

I'd rather have a stripped 328i then a loaded family sedan bore fest any day of the week. Can't speak to the 320i--never seen one.
namelessman commented:
March 31, 2013, 7:26 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
From a quality standpoint, it is not up the standards of the E60 or the E39.
+1, agreed from trim quality perspective(leather, trim piece, door feel, felt-covered panels), however, the F30 engine technology and chassis design and driving characteristics are improved over E39(and probably E60 as well).
Robert A commented:
March 31, 2013, 7:44 pm

I have owned three 3s and two 5s, the latest of which is my 07 530i. I have driven quite a few F30s, and there is no question in my mind that the $10k price delta between the two series is there for a reason. It has nothing to do with the equipment or the options. Everything from the dashboard and the sunroof shade down to the seats, the doors, the window motors and the dashboard is built to a different standard.

Open the door of an F30 and tap the end of the dashboard (the part that mates up with the door). Then do that on a 5 Series, and you'll see what I mean.

Nobody with an F30 is complaining about rattles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hans007 View Post
i really don't think the current 3 loses out much to even the current 5.

if you sit in an equiavlently optioned 528i vs a 328i with roughly equivalent options i don't think you sit there thinking, yeah this 528i is better quality.
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 7:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
+1, agreed from trim quality perspective(leather, trim piece, door feel, felt-covered panels), however, the F30 engine technology and chassis design and driving characteristics are improved over E39(and probably E60 as well).
The overall package is better.
SuperTerp commented:
March 31, 2013, 7:56 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
And that is where you would be incorrect.

A 335i without Sport line and without the dynamic handling package is nothing like what you describe. The 328i on the base suspension is loose enough, with the extra kick of the 300 horses the body lean and float would drive you crazy. The XDrive suspension is even softer, would be like a 600 HP school bus.

Said it before and I'll say it again: the big gamechanger for this generation of the 3 Series is that you no longer get the legendary handling and suspension that was standard for the past 20 years. You have to pay for it.

BJ
I'm taking turns now on a 328i xdrive (prem, tech, light, cw) in the 80s/90s easy. I'd say its a 5-15mph upgrade in confidence over a non sport equipped e90. If you aren't trying to go hard on turns after my 300 miles I wouldn't recommend a buyer needing the dhp.

CW, DAP, LP, PP, and Tech seems like the perfect combo unless you need that extra bit of handling or HK for sound.

For me on a budget I'd get:
Cold Weather Package
Lighting Package
Premium Package
Technology Package
(id still really want DAP)

Right way to do it:
Cold Weather Package
Driver Assistance Package
Dynamic Handling Package
Lighting Package
Premium Package
Technology Package
Harman Kardon surround sound system
Anti-theft alarm system
Robert A commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:08 pm

I would never get a BMW without a sport suspension. First dollars always go to chassis.
gooer commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
And that is where you would be incorrect.

A 335i without Sport line and without the dynamic handling package is nothing like what you describe. The 328i on the base suspension is loose enough, with the extra kick of the 300 horses the body lean and float would drive you crazy. The XDrive suspension is even softer, would be like a 600 HP school bus.

Said it before and I'll say it again: the big gamechanger for this generation of the 3 Series is that you no longer get the legendary handling and suspension that was standard for the past 20 years. You have to pay for it.

BJ
What you're forgetting is that DHP only costs 1000 dollars.. a value compared to premium package and tech package, not a game changer by any stretch of the imagination (especially if it's your only option).
SuperTerp commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:24 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gooer View Post
What you're forgetting is that DHP only costs 1000 dollars.. a value compared to premium package and tech package, not a game changer by any stretch of the imagination (especially if it's your only option).
I can't speak to if the DHP would be night and day, but you'll for sure notice a night and day between day-to-day use of tech/prem.

If once a week I took a turn and said WOW glad I got DHP it would be far from having the comforts the others can afford each and every day.
sr5959 commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:24 pm

One of the most interesting threads I've read on the forum, good job guys!
gooer commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:31 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
I can't speak to if the DHP would be night and day, but you'll for sure notice a night and day between day-to-day use of tech/prem.

If once a week I took a turn and said WOW glad I got DHP it would be far from having the comforts the others can afford each and every day.
I agree.
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:38 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
I can't speak to if the DHP would be night and day, but you'll for sure notice a night and day between day-to-day use of tech/prem.

If once a week I took a turn and said WOW glad I got DHP it would be far from having the comforts the others can afford each and every day.
DHP is really cool. I took my car on a nice drive today, and ended up on a road that was in very bad condition. Switched to comfort mode, and that was really nice. As soon as I got back on a smooth road that was suitable for pushing the car, I switched back to sport. Love it, just love it.
SuperTerp commented:
March 31, 2013, 8:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
DHP is really cool. I took my car on a nice drive today, and ended up on a road that was in very bad condition. Switched to comfort mode, and that was really nice. As soon as I got back on a smooth road that was suitable for pushing the car, I switched back to sport. Love it, just love it.
DHP isn't the only way to get to select the mode the car is in. I believe it adds sport+ and variable steering.
krash commented:
March 31, 2013, 9:24 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
DHP isn't the only way to get to select the mode the car is in. I believe it adds sport+ and variable steering.
DHP is the only way to adjust the firmness of the suspension. When you have DHP, the suspension settings are adjusted along with the rev settings.

For example, without DHP, you can switch between comfort, Eco, and sport modes, but that only adjusts how the engine revs. Eco is the Toyota Prius mode. Comfort is the Acura TL mode. Sport mode keeps the engine revving and is really great for driving like a lunatic, but warning, it sucks gas dry (still the most fun though).


With DHP mode, it also adjusts the suspension when selecting a mode. Comfort is just that. It's a cushier drive. Sport mode is very tight and firm. Sport + is just like sport but shuts off traction control for even more performance (ideal for a track). Someone said sport + is only available on the sport line and M sport. That could be true. All I know is my car has it.

One other thing, relative to other cars out there, comfort mode might still seem tight and firm to some folks.

EDIT: it does add variable steering too, which is also really nice...
SuperTerp commented:
March 31, 2013, 10:32 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
DHP is the only way to adjust the firmness of the suspension. When you have DHP, the suspension settings are adjusted along with the rev settings.

For example, without DHP, you can switch between comfort, Eco, and sport modes, but that only adjusts how the engine revs. Eco is the Toyota Prius mode. Comfort is the Acura TL mode. Sport mode keeps the engine revving and is really great for driving like a lunatic, but warning, it sucks gas dry (still the most fun though).


With DHP mode, it also adjusts the suspension when selecting a mode. Comfort is just that. It's a cushier drive. Sport mode is very tight and firm. Sport + is just like sport but shuts off traction control for even more performance (ideal for a track). Someone said sport + is only available on the sport line and M sport. That could be true. All I know is my car has it.

One other thing, relative to other cars out there, comfort mode might still seem tight and firm to some folks.

EDIT: it does add variable steering too, which is also really nice...

Gotcha I guess I only notice the rev changes with this loaner... Either way I just personally couldn't see as you said having 1 day or a few times where I could push the car outweighing the benefits the others provide that I've enjoyed playing with and really haven't given a thought to the suspension (this coming from a person who just put dinan stage 3 suspension on their 335i)

I personally feel the same about the stereo although the more I play with it the less I like it (dislike the capped volume, bass sucks on certain songs/genre of music), but for those that don't pick up on those things or won't make use of them is the reason I could safely say at least from my view you could throw the car around corners all day at 60-70 (or in my case 80-90 when in the right setting and on the right corner) and probably feel better about skimping on DHP then if you didn't get the tech package. Or if you aren't a stereo nut feel fine and not like your ears are bleeding like the e90s base system if you passed on the HK (I had a 28i non premium audio car too and it was night and day WORSE than this base f30s sound system).
HokieXDriver commented:
April 1, 2013, 12:16 am

With DHP, is there a way to firm up the suspension in Comfort mode?
krash commented:
April 1, 2013, 7:38 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
With DHP, is there a way to firm up the suspension in Comfort mode?
No, you can't mix and match the modes. Only way to get firm suspension is to be in sport mode.
Chris90 commented:
April 1, 2013, 7:45 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
Gotcha I guess I only notice the rev changes with this loaner... Either way I just personally couldn't see as you said having 1 day or a few times where I could push the car outweighing the benefits the others provide that I've enjoyed playing with and really haven't given a thought to the suspension (this coming from a person who just put dinan stage 3 suspension on their 335i)

I personally feel the same about the stereo although the more I play with it the less I like it (dislike the capped volume, bass sucks on certain songs/genre of music), but for those that don't pick up on those things or won't make use of them is the reason I could safely say at least from my view you could throw the car around corners all day at 60-70 (or in my case 80-90 when in the right setting and on the right corner) and probably feel better about skimping on DHP then if you didn't get the tech package. Or if you aren't a stereo nut feel fine and not like your ears are bleeding like the e90s base system if you passed on the HK (I had a 28i non premium audio car too and it was night and day WORSE than this base f30s sound system).
Plus you can always upgrade the suspension and stereo yourself, but not the tech/ premium goodies.
HokieXDriver commented:
April 1, 2013, 8:41 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
No, you can't mix and match the modes. Only way to get firm suspension is to be in sport mode.
I see, thanks. When I was taking the test drive, the CA showed me something on the iDrive and said something like, this is where you can adjust the drivetrain, chassis, etc. That's why I thought there were individual settings. I admit I wasn't paying attention because there was traffic and we were approaching lights.
krash commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:21 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
I see, thanks. When I was taking the test drive, the CA showed me something on the iDrive and said something like, this is where you can adjust the drivetrain, chassis, etc. That's why I thought there were individual settings. I admit I wasn't paying attention because there was traffic and we were approaching lights.
The one thing to point out though is that if you have the sport line or M Sport, don't have DHP, then you can be in comfort mode, and still have the firm suspension. Reason being is that you will always have the firm suspension. No way to adjust the dampening.

DHP is the only way you can adjust the dampening, but you can't mix and match the modes.
Michael Schott commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:33 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
If one is looking for "value", a stripped 3 Series is a terrible choice. Is it still a nice car? Sure. But it can be confusing for those who remember the BMW heritage and didn't get the memo that with the F30 you have to pay to get the legendary handling/performance that you used to get as standard equipment.

It is generally considered a bad thing to recommend someone just buy the car for the badge, yet that is the only real reason for your thesis. While the $31,000 F30 is the same price as a Honda Accord and thus you can make the argument that it's a great 'value', the devil is in the details. You need to spend at least $41,000 on the BMW just to get the same set of options found on the Accord, maybe even more. The F30 is still a far more expensive car; stripping out the features equalizes the sticker but leaves you with a bad value.

There was a time when a stripped 3 Series was a noble decision. You could live without the options and still get a tight performance car. But today, that's not the case. It's important to note that.

BJ
Could not disagree more BJ. First of all comparing a RWD car to a FWD is folly. Unless you are badge shopping and don't care about the dynamic advantages of RWD, an Accord is a much better bargain. Personally I could care less about getting a lot of luxury features. I might be happy in a no line 328i with MT and dynamic handling. I like having luxury features but an Accord is not remotely on my radar as a performance oriented value buyer. I can't budget for a $41K+ BMW but a more basic model might be in my range.
Michael Schott commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:43 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
+1

And while it used to be blasphemous to say that a weaker engine could create the better 3 Series, that's not necessarily the case anymore.

With the smaller powerplant, it's conceivable that one doesn't need the Sport package and it's Adaptive M Supension on the 320i, might be tight in the corners as-is because it has less power, less torque, lighter weight, might escape the body roll issue.

BJ
What does power have to do with cornering ability? Nothing at all. I would imagine there is plenty of power in a 320i to tax the suspension on the base model. For me the 320i would need to have the Sport package. It's all about being able to use the power you have in a challenging curve and to do that you need a taut suspension with a lot of control.
Bmwlvr60 commented:
April 1, 2013, 10:08 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
Great discussion!

What are your thoughts on the following items from the perspective of a "Value Shopper"?
  • Choosing a Certified Pre-Owned F30 rather than a new one
  • European Delivery, if one does go the new car route
I've spoken to many people about this. Buying a car that's less than 3 years old and has 20-30K miles on it is optimal from a value perspective; the most amount of depreciation occurs during that time period. If I went that route with a BMW I would extend the warranty to 100K miles on a CPO. With CarFax and other such services the new buyer to check the service records for these used cars and increase the likelihood of not buying someone else's lemon.

I bought a Toyota Land Cruiser when my kids were young this way and this may have been the best vehicle investment I ever made in my life. Gone are the days of cheap gas, though.
shabadoo25 commented:
April 1, 2013, 10:40 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
I've spoken to many people about this. Buying a car that's less than 3 years old and has 20-30K miles on it is optimal from a value perspective; the most amount of depreciation occurs during that time period. If I went that route with a BMW I would extend the warranty to 100K miles on a CPO. With CarFax and other such services the new buyer to check the service records for these used cars and increase the likelihood of not buying someone else's lemon.

I bought a Toyota Land Cruiser when my kids were young this way and this may have been the best vehicle investment I ever made in my life. Gone are the days of cheap gas, though.
I took this route with my last BMW--a CPO 2008 335i. The water pump failed within the first 6 months of ownership.

Also, I'm glad to see this thread returned to its purpose. For awhile it got sidetracked into discussions of the E60 vs. M3 for no apparent reason.
nomrah commented:
April 1, 2013, 11:11 am

Hi all, been lurking for a few months doing research and had a question about DHP since we're on that topic. Looking into getting into a 328i with x-drive so from what I understand the suspension will be the same regardless of which line I go with. Seems to be a lot of recommendations to go with DHP especially if going with x-drive. Haven't been on any test drives, but from looking at local inventory, haven't come across a build with it as an option.

Anyway to convey what having DHP vs not having DHP is like? Coming from a Toyota Corolla, so in my head, anything is going to handle better...
krash commented:
April 1, 2013, 12:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by nomrah View Post
Hi all, been lurking for a few months doing research and had a question about DHP since we're on that topic. Looking into getting into a 328i with x-drive so from what I understand the suspension will be the same regardless of which line I go with. Seems to be a lot of recommendations to go with DHP especially if going with x-drive. Haven't been on any test drives, but from looking at local inventory, haven't come across a build with it as an option.

Anyway to convey what having DHP vs not having DHP is like? Coming from a Toyota Corolla, so in my head, anything is going to handle better...
This quote below describes DHP pretty good. Basically, if you go with x-drive, the suspension may seem soft and too cushy for you (like a Lexus ES). Important to note is that "may" is the key word there. Most folks on the 'Fest are performance enthusiasts and demand a tight and firm suspension. However, it's all relative, because some might view the base AWD suspension as perfect.

DHP gives folks the option to firm it up and make it tighter. You can feel the road better. You can do this by setting it to Sport Mode.

DHP also adds variable steering too, which is really nice.

It is tough to find a car on a lot with DHP - so you may never be able to test this for yourself before ordering it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
DHP is the only way to adjust the firmness of the suspension. When you have DHP, the suspension settings are adjusted along with the rev settings.

For example, without DHP, you can switch between comfort, Eco, and sport modes, but that only adjusts how the engine revs. Eco is the Toyota Prius mode. Comfort is the Acura TL mode. Sport mode keeps the engine revving and is really great for driving like a lunatic, but warning, it sucks gas dry (still the most fun though).


With DHP mode, it also adjusts the suspension when selecting a mode. Comfort is just that. It's a cushier drive. Sport mode is very tight and firm. Sport + is just like sport but shuts off traction control for even more performance (ideal for a track). Someone said sport + is only available on the sport line and M sport. That could be true. All I know is my car has it.

One other thing, relative to other cars out there, comfort mode might still seem tight and firm to some folks.

EDIT: it does add variable steering too, which is also really nice...
Technic commented:
April 1, 2013, 12:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by hans007 View Post

everytime i've sat in a F10 5 series, it doesnt strike me as "much better quality" or anything like that other than being bigger.
You are the type of customer that car companies love, as you cannot discern at all between hard and soft plastic.

The 5-Series interior is equal in quality with the 7-Series' -most probably because they share the same chassis architecture. The 3-Series interior is similar in quality with the 1-Series (Euro) interior -same architecture, again.
Technic commented:
April 1, 2013, 12:23 pm

A Value Shopper F30 would be an Imperial Blue 320i fully loaded, ED and trunk money. That should be less than $40,000 before taxes. Then wait for the JB3/tune for this car to put it at 250hp and 300ftlbs. Sweet.

A much sweeter deal would be to convince Individual to put a Saddle Brown interior -with black dash- and the HUD. Charge me $3500 for a combo like that and now we are talking dammit.
krash commented:
April 1, 2013, 12:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
You are the type of customer that car companies love, as you cannot discern at all between hard and soft plastic.

The 5-Series interior is equal in quality with the 7-Series' -most probably because they share the same chassis architecture. The 3-Series interior is similar in quality with the 1-Series (Euro) interior -same architecture, again.
I think people are missing the point what some of us were suggesting.

In today's world, no doubt. A 3 is NOT in the same category as the 5. Period. The 5 is really really nice. You'd have to be blind not to notice the improvement in the 5 over the 3.

However, relative to a 5 (E39) of 10 years ago, the current 3; especially when fully loaded is definitely comparable to a 5 of that era in terms of the overall package, and that certainly is true going back even further in time.

Again, we're talking overall package in terms of size, features, performance, etc. Today's 3 has features and creature comforts that those 5 series never had back then, and performance is clearly better.
Technic commented:
April 1, 2013, 12:53 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
I think people are missing the point what some of us were suggesting.

In today's world, no doubt. A 3 is NOT in the same category as the 5. Period. The 5 is really really nice. You'd have to be blind not to notice the improvement in the 5 over the 3.

However, relative to a 5 (E39) of 10 years ago, the current 3; especially when fully loaded is definitely comparable to a 5 of that era in terms of the overall package, and that certainly is true going back even further in time.

Again, we're talking overall package in terms of size, features, performance, etc. Today's 3 has features and creature comforts that those 5 series never had back then, and performance is clearly better.
I got the original point.

The point that does not make any sense to me is saying that the F10 interior is of no "much better quality" than the F30.
BmwFlooner commented:
April 1, 2013, 1:01 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
DHP gives folks the option to firm it up and make it tighter. You can feel the road better. You can do this by setting it to Sport Mode.

DHP also adds variable steering too, which is really nice.
I wish variable steering had been offered separately. I like having the tighter sport suspension in Comfort, but I probably would have enjoyed the maneuverability of vss.

*Still better than I had*.
mr_clueless commented:
April 1, 2013, 1:18 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
I see, thanks. When I was taking the test drive, the CA showed me something on the iDrive and said something like, this is where you can adjust the drivetrain, chassis, etc. That's why I thought there were individual settings. I admit I wasn't paying attention because there was traffic and we were approaching lights.
I've seen posts on here that allow the suspension to be in comfort mode (adjusted via iDrive) while the throttle/shift points/steering are in sport mode. I would have thought the reverse were also possible. I think you are correct.
HokieXDriver commented:
April 1, 2013, 1:23 pm

Someone in this forum described the F10 as "opulent". Very true. But, I own an E60, and I don't think the F30 is substantially worse. Fewer power controls on the seats and none on the steering. I might miss that. The dash plastics are a little softer and less shiny in the E60.

I thought about an F10 550 M Sport - lot of money, and ultimately on a test drive it felt big, even in Sport mode. Athletic, yes, but big.

Now, the F10 M5 - sure...great combination of opulence and performance. If I had that kind of money...
krash commented:
April 1, 2013, 2:11 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
I've seen posts on here that allow the suspension to be in comfort mode (adjusted via iDrive) while the throttle/shift points/steering are in sport mode. I would have thought the reverse were also possible. I think you are correct.
Ok, I am off today, so I just went outside to check.

With DHP, you can override the default settings of sport mode to:
  • Adjust suspension and drivetrain
  • drivetrain only
  • suspension
But it's clunky while doing that on the fly. (i.e., it's not at the push of a button). I just leave it so that when I hit the sport button, it changes both, which makes the most sense to me for how I drive.

In terms of comfort mode, there isn't any obvious way to adjust any parameter settings (unless I am just not seeing that).
Robert A commented:
April 1, 2013, 2:33 pm

I'm not so sure that the CPO path is a real bargain, when you consider the overall cost of ownership. It seems there's still a lot of depreciation that is being passed along to the buyer.

To me, it is probably more cost efficient to buy a new car ever six years than to buy a used car every three.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
I've spoken to many people about this. Buying a car that's less than 3 years old and has 20-30K miles on it is optimal from a value perspective; the most amount of depreciation occurs during that time period. If I went that route with a BMW I would extend the warranty to 100K miles on a CPO. With CarFax and other such services the new buyer to check the service records for these used cars and increase the likelihood of not buying someone else's lemon.

I bought a Toyota Land Cruiser when my kids were young this way and this may have been the best vehicle investment I ever made in my life. Gone are the days of cheap gas, though.
mr_clueless commented:
April 1, 2013, 3:32 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
To me, it is probably more cost efficient to buy a new car ever six years than to buy a used car every three.
My philosophy too, if only I can get off my butt and actually do it.

But even celebrities drive old cars.
http://www.motortrend.com/features/c...r/viewall.html
Chris90 commented:
April 1, 2013, 3:37 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I'm not so sure that the CPO path is a real bargain, when you consider the overall cost of ownership. It seems there's still a lot of depreciation that is being passed along to the buyer.

To me, it is probably more cost efficient to buy a new car ever six years than to buy a used car every three.
CPOs are really overpriced, it's like paying MSRP on a new car. You can bargain of course, but it's easier to bargain on a new car. If you're using ED and incentives on the new car, the savings buying CPO is a lot smaller.
mr_clueless commented:
April 1, 2013, 6:18 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
CPOs are really overpriced, it's like paying MSRP on a new car. You can bargain of course, but it's easier to bargain on a new car. If you're using ED and incentives on the new car, the savings buying CPO is a lot smaller.
I think it's hard to make generalizations, but in general, there are a lot more unknowns with used cars -- amount of wear, etc., really depends on how the car was driven. Edmunds TMV should be a pretty good indicator of what the car is worth, barring any excess wear and tear on the drivetrain. It's definitely easier to negotiate on a new car because we know what others are paying and the car is a known quantity.
kpgray commented:
April 1, 2013, 6:57 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
I'm taking turns now on a 328i xdrive....

For me on a budget I'd get:
Cold Weather Package $900
Lighting Package $900
Premium Package $3100
Technology Package $3100
(id still really want DAP)

Right way to do it:
Cold Weather Package $900
Driver Assistance Package $750
Dynamic Handling Package $1000
Lighting Package $900
Premium Package $3100
Technology Package $3100
Harman Kardon surround sound system $875
Anti-theft alarm system $400
Base 328i AWD $38,500
Your Economy build 328i has $8,000 options, $46,500 MSRP
Right Way to do it build 328i has $11,025 options, $49,025 MSRP

Are either of these an economy build?! I would consider an economy build to be options not exceeding 15% of the base MSRP or under $5,775 of total options.
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 1, 2013, 7:02 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpgray View Post
Base 328i AWD $38,500
Your Economy build 328i has $8,000 options, $46,500 MSRP
Right Way to do it build 328i has $11,025 options, $49,025 MSRP

Are either of these an economy build?! I would consider an economy build to be options not exceeding 15% of the base MSRP or under $5,775 of total options.
My first build was an economy build lol. RWD, 6mt, metallic paint and heated seats. MSRP was about $37k.
Pappy Pipes commented:
April 1, 2013, 7:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
I'm not so sure that the CPO path is a real bargain, when you consider the overall cost of ownership. It seems there's still a lot of depreciation that is being passed along to the buyer.

To me, it is probably more cost efficient to buy a new car ever six years than to buy a used car every three.
Driving rental Camaro last few days and treating it with real contempt. Every time I floor it or slam on the brakes it reminds me how irresponsible some BMW lessees treat their cars. I hear them bragging about it on this forum. I'd have to suspend my belief to buy a CPO and that's exactly what dealers want to you do by offering them. They don't want you to consider how the car was driven before it became yours. Not worth the $ at any cost IMO!
Chris90 commented:
April 1, 2013, 7:20 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy Pipes View Post
Driving rental Camaro last few days and treating it with real contempt. Every time I floor it or slam on the brakes it reminds me how irresponsible some BMW lessees treat their cars. I hear them bragging about it on this forum. I'd have to suspend my belief to buy a CPO and that's exactly what dealers want to you do by offering them. They don't want you to consider how the car was driven before it became yours. Not worth the $ at any cost IMO!
Yeah, i certainly don't think people should assume CPO means it was well taken care of. I bought my ZHP privately from a BMW instructor, visited his house - he was the type to wash his cars daily, and his house was immaculate. That's the kind of previous owner you want.
gkr778 commented:
April 1, 2013, 7:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy Pipes View Post
Every time I floor it or slam on the brakes it reminds me how irresponsible some BMW lessees treat their cars. I hear them bragging about it on this forum. I'd have to suspend my belief to buy a CPO and that's exactly what dealers want to you do by offering them. They don't want you to consider how the car was driven before it became yours. Not worth the $ at any cost IMO!
What do you mean by irresponsible? Failure to perform maintenance and cleaning on a regular basis? Smoking, eating, or drinking beverages other than water in the vehicle?

If a CPO (or any pre-owned) car has been properly maintained and passes inspection by a skilled independent technician, why would such a vehicle not be worth considering?
Robert A commented:
April 1, 2013, 7:31 pm

A car may still pass inspection even though it was driven hard. That said, you can still sense something about a car's character and treatment when you see it in person.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
What do you mean by irresponsible? Failure to perform maintenance and cleaning on a regular basis? Smoking, eating, or drinking beverages other than water in the vehicle?

If a CPO (or any pre-owned) car has been properly maintained and passes inspection by a skilled independent technician, why would such a vehicle not be worth considering?
Pappy Pipes commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:05 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
What do you mean by irresponsible? Failure to perform maintenance and cleaning on a regular basis? Smoking, eating, or drinking beverages other than water in the vehicle?

If a CPO (or any pre-owned) car has been properly maintained and passes inspection by a skilled independent technician, why would such a vehicle not be worth considering?
CPO prices being equivalent to MSRP is an apt analogy. CPOs are horrendously overpriced and usually have much higher mileage than equivalently optioned, lower priced, identical models. If I were buying used I'd get the lowest milage car for my money and have an independent mechanic do the diagnostics.

Buying a car -- especially a used one -- is alway fraught with potential problems. CPOs don't protect you from that. My hunch is CPOs were invented by a bunch of drunk used car salesmen at a Las Vegas convention to sell used cars to buyers who are wary of them.
gkr778 commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:08 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
A car may still pass inspection even though it was driven hard. That said, you can still sense something about a car's character and treatment when you see it in person.
Good point about the in-person evaluation, Robert A. This underscores the importance of a thorough test drive.

Speaking of driving, aren't BMWs meant to be driven hard? They represent the "Ultimate Driving Machine", after all.

As a person who relies on bicycling for transportation, if I had a Trek Madone 7 Series bicycle I certainly wouldn't operate it in the same manner as a Huffy cruiser. And if I were to purchase a pre-owned Madone 7, I would be concerned if it wasn't used in a spirited, even aggressive fashion. By the same token, as an automobile driver, I certainly wouldn't operate a BMW of any vintage like I would a softly sprung large sedan like an Impala, Taurus, or Azera. My expectations for how a pre-owned BMW automobile has been driven would mirror what I mentioned previously about the Madone 7 bicycle..
gkr778 commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy Pipes View Post
CPO prices being equivalent to MSRP is an apt analogy. CPOs are horrendously overpriced and usually have much higher mileage than equivalently optioned, lower priced, identical models. If I were buying used I'd get the lowest milage car for my money and have an independent mechanic do the diagnostics.
Gotcha, thanks Pappy Pipes. I've seen many competitively priced BMW CPO cars on AutoTrader and Cars.com, but a quick comparison between CPO and non CPO E90 cars of the same model year and similar mileage most certainly corroborates your assertion about the CPO price premium.

Thanks again for sharing your perspective. In the spirit of the thread topic, I'll note the following for my own car shopping:
  • Value Shoppers should consider a non CPO, pre-owned F30 with low mileage, and conduct a thorough test drive & in-person evaluation plus an inspection by an independent mechanic before finalizing the car purchase.
mr_clueless commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:29 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappy Pipes View Post
CPO prices being equivalent to MSRP is an apt analogy. CPOs are horrendously overpriced and usually have much higher mileage than equivalently optioned, lower priced, identical models. If I were buying used I'd get the lowest milage car for my money and have an independent mechanic do the diagnostics.

Buying a car -- especially a used one -- is alway fraught with potential problems. CPOs don't protect you from that. My hunch is CPOs were invented by a bunch of drunk used car salesmen at a Las Vegas convention to sell used cars to buyers who are wary of them.
CPOs include the warranty to 100K so you have to pay for that whether or not you like it. So naturally they will feel a little overpriced, but that's because you're paying for the pricey warranty as well.
Pappy Pipes commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:38 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
CPOs include the warranty to 100K so you have to pay for that whether or not you like it. So naturally they will feel a little overpriced, but that's because you're paying for the pricey warranty as well.
True, and the warranty does provides 2 year piece of mind. But that doesn't always translate to reality. If the car has "issues" two years later you're $ out of luck! If it didn't have issues your warranty runs out and you own a 6+ year old second hand car.

@ gkr > my pleasure
Robert A commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:39 pm

But not that overpriced. I've been out hunting for a 2010 535i and the prices dealers are asking simply make no sense -- $36k for a car that will be worth at most $20k in three years when the warranty is exhausted?

And btw, the dealers have a complete lock on that market. There are virtually no private party cars of that year and model within 200 miles. So it's either put up or get something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
CPOs include the warranty to 100K so you have to pay for that whether or not you like it. So naturally they will feel a little overpriced, but that's because you're paying for the pricey warranty as well.
HokieXDriver commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:43 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
But not that overpriced. I've been out hunting for a 2010 535i and the prices dealers are asking simply make no sense -- $36k for a car that will be worth at most $20k in three years when the warranty is exhausted?

And btw, the dealers have a complete lock on that market. There are virtually no private party cars of that year and model within 200 miles. So it's either put up or get something else.
Too bad we don't live closer. I have what you want, but I'm trading in. Mine is xdrive though, which you probably don't need in LA.
mr_clueless commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
But not that overpriced. I've been out hunting for a 2010 535i and the prices dealers are asking simply make no sense -- $36k for a car that will be worth at most $20k in three years when the warranty is exhausted?

And btw, the dealers have a complete lock on that market. There are virtually no private party cars of that year and model within 200 miles. So it's either put up or get something else.
The warranty to 100K costs ~3K or so. Whichever way you dice it, these cars are expensive to own. 16K over 3 years for a 535i is not that bad...that puts it at < 6K per year of ownership. That is perfectly in the ballpark for what it costs to own these cars.

Does it come with the extended maintenance as well? If not, I think a potential owner should definitely try and add that as well, given the unknowns for what the car has been through.
Pappy Pipes commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:54 pm

@ Robert A> That model is hard to come by for some reason, even in L.A..
Robert A commented:
April 1, 2013, 9:59 pm

6K/year? How about $600/month?

Figure $36k to buy = $40k with sales tax. Amortize that figure down to $20k at 2.9% interest, and you come in >$600 month. That's for a used car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
The warranty to 100K costs ~3K or so. Whichever way you dice it, these cars are expensive to own. 16K over 3 years for a 535i is not that bad...that puts it at < 6K per year of ownership. That is perfectly in the ballpark for what it costs to own these cars.

Does it come with the extended maintenance as well? If not, I think a potential owner should definitely try and add that as well, given the unknowns for what the car has been through.
Chris90 commented:
April 1, 2013, 10:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
But not that overpriced. I've been out hunting for a 2010 535i and the prices dealers are asking simply make no sense -- $36k for a car that will be worth at most $20k in three years when the warranty is exhausted?

And btw, the dealers have a complete lock on that market. There are virtually no private party cars of that year and model within 200 miles. So it's either put up or get something else.
I've seen BMW dealers move $5k on a $36k CPO, keep that in mind. I actually agreed to buy such a ZHP from a dealer but the deal fell through when the previous owner filed a lemon complaint (glad I dodged that bullet).
Robert A commented:
April 1, 2013, 10:23 pm

$36K wasn't asking -- it was the negotiated price. That was Friday afternoon. By Saturday morning, somebody else got it.

I'm not complaining about the dealer -- I was on the fence.
mr_clueless commented:
April 1, 2013, 10:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
6K/year? How about $600/month?

Figure $36k to buy = $40k with sales tax. Amortize that figure down to $20k at 2.9% interest, and you come in >$600 month. That's for a used car.
There are a lot of assumptions built into this. How many miles would you be driving during the 3 years? If > than the standard 12K/yr for a lease, then that adds to the cost.

Keep in mind even though it's used, it will drive like, and be maintained, like new to 100K.

Do the math, compare it to leasing new for the same mileage...it will be cheaper, but not a whole lot. Otherwise, you can use this math to negotiate a better price with the dealer. The current interest rates make leasing very favorable.
Robert A commented:
April 1, 2013, 10:49 pm

The only really important variable is the terminal value. It could be less or it could be more, but the point is that it the amount is entirely at the buyer's risk. In a lease, that figure is locked in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_clueless View Post
There are a lot of assumptions built into this. How many miles would you be driving during the 3 years? If > than the standard 12K/yr for a lease, then that adds to the cost.

Keep in mind even though it's used, it will drive like, and be maintained, like new to 100K.

Do the math, compare it to leasing new for the same mileage...it will be cheaper, but not a whole lot. Otherwise, you can use this math to negotiate a better price with the dealer. The current interest rates make leasing very favorable.
dreamspeed commented:
April 9, 2013, 6:31 pm

I'm going to skip my rant on how buying a non optioned out "luxury" car is a bad idea and go straight to...

If the cost of a NEW optioned out 328 is too high for you then you should buy a 1-2 years old USED optioned out 328.

In fact, either way it's a a much more financially sound decision to buy a used car anyways.
Nordique commented:
May 22, 2013, 10:14 pm

Ten years ago, my factory-ordered E46 325i sedan, with five-speed manual and sport package, came to $29K. Last week, I traded it in for my factory-ordered F30 320i, six-speed manual, sport package, at $35K. Not bad for a decade newer, with similar hp and torque, with better fuel economy, more room for my passengers, bigger trunk, staggered 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires, and a 146 mph speed limit. And it's even more fun to drive! After I pass the 1200-mile engine breaking in, it'll be track time.
mr_clueless commented:
May 22, 2013, 10:24 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordique View Post
Ten years ago, my factory-ordered E46 325i sedan, with five-speed manual and sport package, came to $29K. Last week, I traded it in for my factory-ordered F30 320i, six-speed manual, sport package, at $35K. Not bad for a decade newer, with similar hp and torque, with better fuel economy, more room for my passengers, bigger trunk, staggered 18-inch wheels with summer performance tires, and a 146 mph speed limit. And it's even more fun to drive! After I pass the 1200-mile engine breaking in, it'll be track time.
Pretty nice...congratulations. Did you test-drive a 320 before ordering?
Nordique commented:
May 22, 2013, 10:37 pm

Sort of. I test drove a 328i, automatic, not much fun. And my dealer contacted me as soon as their one 320i demo car became available, an odd duck, automatic of course, manual seats, all-wheel drive. Ok but no sport package. The sport package is wonderful!
Nordique commented:
May 22, 2013, 10:40 pm

My 2003 325i only had 150,000 miles on it. Kudos to you with over 200K! I got tired of carrying a container of oil and a container of water with me, for the last 10,000 miles, and the worry about a major breakdown, many miles from home, in the mountains, with three passengers. That's usually when I opt for a new car--or a newer version of what is now my standard car.
mr_clueless commented:
May 22, 2013, 11:14 pm

How does the shifter feel compared to the one in your E46? I take it you have the short-throw shifter (based on the pictures on the BMW site), so the throws must be shorter. Does it feel as smooth?
Nordique commented:
May 22, 2013, 11:21 pm

I didn't expect an M shifter, with lovely short throws! Very different shifting, with much more of it. Gears 1-5 are pretty short, while 6 is tall. I thought I would miss the great 3rd gear range on my E46, but the new car is superb. I love shifting so it's wonderful for me: heel and toe double-clutching works just like on the E46, for those 90-degree turns, and double-clutching makes rush hour traffic almost entertaining. Mind you, I'm still in the 1200 mile breaking-in period, so no rpm above 4500; redline is 7000 rpm, higher than the E46.
namelessman commented:
May 23, 2013, 11:21 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordique View Post
I didn't expect an M shifter, with lovely short throws! Very different shifting, with much more of it. Gears 1-5 are pretty short, while 6 is tall. I thought I would miss the great 3rd gear range on my E46, but the new car is superb. I love shifting so it's wonderful for me: heel and toe double-clutching works just like on the E46, for those 90-degree turns, and double-clutching makes rush hour traffic almost entertaining. Mind you, I'm still in the 1200 mile breaking-in period, so no rpm above 4500; redline is 7000 rpm, higher than the E46.
In comparison to M54 I6, the N26 I4 328i has flatter curves and less "power surge" feel than NA I6, although the car moves faster than the old one(with similar weight). The power band does seem to taper off around 5500 rpm(e.g. with manual mode and holding 2nd gear).
noworries commented:
May 23, 2013, 6:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordique View Post
My 2003 325i only had 150,000 miles on it. Kudos to you with over 200K! I got tired of carrying a container of oil and a container of water with me, for the last 10,000 miles, and the worry about a major breakdown, many miles from home, in the mountains, with three passengers. That's usually when I opt for a new car--or a newer version of what is now my standard car.
This brought back memories of my 2000 323i. Only made it to 120k and don't miss the days of having to carry oil and distilled water in my trunk for last year of ownership.
mr_clueless commented:
May 23, 2013, 6:34 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by noworries View Post
This brought back memories of my 2000 323i. Only made it to 120k and don't miss the days of having to carry oil and distilled water in my trunk for last year of ownership.
Were there oil leaks or was it just burning oil? My car has had problems with the valve cover gasket, but otherwise, I hardly need 1/2 - 1 quart every 7500 miles.
MasterYoda commented:
June 11, 2013, 2:01 am

However, a thread like this is still useful for folks looking at the higher range F30s. You can get a real good idea on how to get a fantastic car and still save some $$$$$$.

+1 ***128077;
3ismagic# commented:
June 11, 2013, 10:03 am

Inflation, Inflation, Inflation.

Over the past decade we have had really low inflation. Despite this essentially all of the increase in the price of a bimmer is inflation.

That $35k E46 in 2000 is the equivalent of about $47k F30 in 2013.
And you are getting a whole lot more car for that money.

The 3-series may have gotten bigger and softer and lamer but it has most definitely NOT gotten more expensive.
Nordique commented:
June 11, 2013, 12:50 pm

And it's hard for me to buy a used bimmer since so few of them seem to be MT! The CPO's once in awhile are MT but they are so loaded up that they cost more than my brand new 320i. Just checked my dealer inventory and they have only one new car, all series, cheaper than my car and it's only by $100--and an automatic. One series cars cost more than mine.