BMW 3 Series Cars.com Sport Sedan Challenge Winner

by Tim Jones on April 8, 2013, 12:04 pm
BMW 328i Wins Cars.Com / USA Today Sport Sedan Challenge

The BMW 328i has been selected as the winner of the Cars.Com Sports Sedan Challenge. The 3 Series emerged as the winner in a series of evaluations including race track testing, instrumented measurements, street driving and a long distance trip on different types of roads.

Quote:
"The 328i is an outstanding combination of performance, fuel efficiency and roominess that makes its relatively high price easy to accept," Wiesenfelder said. Jimmee Medina complained about some of the interior surfaces, but added: "If it drives this well, who cares what the inside looks like?"
Read how the testing was done on USAToday.com

The BMW 3 Series and five competitor cars were judged by a panel of experts from Cars.com, MotorWeek, and USA Today. The cars were also judged by actual car shoppers who were in the market for a sport sedan and were invited to participate.

Quote:
We (Cars.com / USA Today) looked at eight potential contenders and ended up with six: 2013 Acura TL, 2013 Audi A4, 2013 BMW 328i, 2013 Cadillac ATS, 2013 Mercedes C250 and 2013 Volvo S60. Not included: Lexus IS and Infiniti G37, both of which have significant updates due very soon.
Read the complete review on USAToday.com

BMW 3 series Sport Sedan Challenge winner

The BMW 3 Series was selected as the sport sedan with the best combination of performance, fuel efficiency and spaciousness in the group, confirming that the sixth-generation 3 Series continues the successful tradition started more than 35 years ago when the first 3 Series was launched.

What Cars.com / USA Today liked:
Quote:
"What wasn't there to like," Thomas said. Efficient performance. Fastest time in our zero-to-60 and quarter-mile time trials. Best braking performance. Best observed mpg. Driving dynamics. "Divine balance and controllability, with good steering and feedback as well," Wiesenfelder said. "Flawless performance," said Mays. "It's the first car that's made me smile," Jimmee Medina said. "It feels very stable at high speeds, like it can handle anything you throw at it," Robinson said.Backseat room. "I could forgive a smaller backseat in light of all the other positives," Wiesenfelder said, "but it's not small."
The recent launch of the new BMW 320i Sedan widens the appeal of the 3 Series family as a sport sedan that offers a choice of 4 and 6-cylinder engines, 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic transmissions, and an available hybrid powertrain. BMW's xDrive intelligent all wheel drive technology is available on most models and the 3 Series will soon be available with a 4-cylinder BMW Advanced Diesel powertrain in the 328d Sedan and Sport Wagon, with preliminary mileage estimates reaching 45 miles-per-gallon on the highway.

Read more about the 2014 BMW 328d
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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84 responses to BMW 3 Series Cars.com Sport Sedan Challenge Winner

kkapdolee commented:
April 8, 2013, 12:14 pm

Awesome!
LegendsNeverDie commented:
April 8, 2013, 1:09 pm

I am happy to see the 3 come up on top as usual. However IMO this a terrible review. I am not sure how someone could rank a car in second place while doing a "SPORT" sedan review and write this about it:

What we didn't: Performance. "Feels front-heavy, and overall heavy, on the track," Healey said. "Soft brakes, sloppy steering and plenty of body roll limit the handling front," Mays said, "and you'll notice it on winding roads, not just a racetrack."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...-benz/2060349/

In addition, I have no idea how did they generate those acceleration and braking figures....
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 8, 2013, 1:15 pm

By the way, this looks to be the first test of an M-Sport which means the more aggressive brake pads and staggered wheels and tires.
HokieXDriver commented:
April 8, 2013, 6:50 pm

Reviewers love to hate the BMW shifter and turn signal. Whatevs. You use them for 2 days, you get used to them, you move on with the rest of your life.
Jugghaid commented:
April 8, 2013, 6:53 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
Reviewers love to hate the BMW shifter and turn signal. Whatevs. You use them for 2 days, you get used to them, you move on with the rest of your life.
What's wrong with the turn signals? Mine work just fine.


Now the C300 I test drove.......one deal-breaker for me was the turn signal lever placement.
IAS commented:
April 8, 2013, 7:00 pm

it is hard to imagine a4 at 5. there are some shortcoming in 3 but overall still great car. this is my 4th.
HokieXDriver commented:
April 8, 2013, 7:13 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugghaid View Post
What's wrong with the turn signals?
They never like the fact that the turn signal lever bounces back to the center rest position.
krash commented:
April 8, 2013, 7:25 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
I am happy to see the 3 come up on top as usual. However IMO this a terrible review. I am not sure how someone could rank a car in second place while doing a "SPORT" sedan review and write this about it:

What we didn't: Performance. "Feels front-heavy, and overall heavy, on the track," Healey said. "Soft brakes, sloppy steering and plenty of body roll limit the handling front," Mays said, "and you'll notice it on winding roads, not just a racetrack."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...-benz/2060349/

In addition, I have no idea how did they generate those acceleration and braking figures....
BMW gave them a luxury car line?

That's what they gave to Automobile magazine. Automobile magazine then wrote that after testing a sport line version, the car is exactly what they expect from a BMW 3 Series.

EDIT: NEVERMIND! I see that they didn't.
LarryboysUDM commented:
April 9, 2013, 1:02 am

From the list I only test drove 1 and it was the 3.
Let me comment on what they did not like:
Loss of feel--get DHP.
ASS customer unfriendly--get it turned off.
Turn signal is a springy toggle--it's fine, it doesn't bother me.
Unnatural electronic shifter--get the stick.
Very expensive to boot--7 ornaments and you get what you pay for.
enigma commented:
April 9, 2013, 1:15 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryboysUDM View Post
Loss of feel--get DHP.
Unfortunately, DHP doesn't solve the loss of feel problem. Variable steering makes it less predictable. I would just order it without Sport or M-Sport without DHP for more direct feel. Steering is accurate but but still too sterile for my taste.
enigma commented:
April 9, 2013, 1:22 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
I am happy to see the 3 come up on top as usual. However IMO this a terrible review. I am not sure how someone could rank a car in second place while doing a "SPORT" sedan review and write this about it:

What we didn't: Performance. "Feels front-heavy, and overall heavy, on the track," Healey said. "Soft brakes, sloppy steering and plenty of body roll limit the handling front," Mays said, "and you'll notice it on winding roads, not just a racetrack."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...-benz/2060349/

In addition, I have no idea how did they generate those acceleration and braking figures....
Agreed that it's a terrible review. I would have probably picked the F30 #1 for very different reasons.

By the way, I don't understand people who selectively like the reviews that favor the F30. C&D and MT are biased against BMW, but car.com isn't? (by the way, it's not directed at you, Legends)
JoeFromPA commented:
April 9, 2013, 10:22 am

I can't comment on some of the cars in the test, but I think this is an accurate testing of the current field. The Audi, ATS, and TL comments are very fitting - but at the same time, their "flaws" are frequently by design. The ATS is deliberately built smaller. The TL is larger and more luxo-techno focused than track ready. Etc.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:12 am

Congratulations to the 328i. Yes!

Better luck next year to the 335i. Still a decent car though, nothing to be ashamed of.

BJ
LegendsNeverDie commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:35 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Congratulations to the 328i. Yes!

Better luck next year to the 335i. Still a decent car though, nothing to be ashamed of.

BJ
The 335i was not included in this test. It doesn't directly compete with majority of these cars.
Chris90 commented:
April 9, 2013, 4:40 pm

Strange review, it's sport sedans, the 328i has the M Sport package, but they use a base Volvo suspension . . . and then pick it 2nd place, after ripping on it?

I figured it was cause the random couple they picked to review chose the Volvo, so they didn't want to trash the volvo, but that's just dumb.

Audi had subpar interior? That's a first i've heard.

Real enthusiast European magazines like EVO and CAR both love the F30, so that's good enough for me.
Saintor commented:
April 9, 2013, 6:37 pm

The best 46K$ Sport Sedan is clearly not the 328i, but the 335i Sport RWD; less than 46K$ with sport pack and PDI (Xenon and sunroof std).
Chris90 commented:
April 9, 2013, 8:43 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
The best 46K$ Sport Sedan is clearly not the 328i, but the 335i Sport RWD; less than 46K$ with sport pack and PDI (Xenon and sunroof std).
That's probably debatable. In the old days, there wasn't really any downside to buying a 330i over a 325i, (or 328i vs 323i) besides cost. The engines weighed the same, gas mileage was the same and were very similar besides displacement.

But now, the 328i engine is considerably lighter, improving handling and turn-in, it gets better gas mileage, might even be more reliable. So it's not a simple money question anymore.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 8:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
The best 46K$ Sport Sedan is clearly not the 328i, but the 335i Sport RWD; less than 46K$ with sport pack and PDI (Xenon and sunroof std).
The 335i was considered and didn't make the Top 6.

It's still a respectable ride, just not "best of" material. With a little re-engineering it might make a run at the Volvo, you never know.

Chin up.

BJ
krash commented:
April 9, 2013, 9:01 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Strange review, it's sport sedans, the 328i has the M Sport package, but they use a base Volvo suspension . . . and then pick it 2nd place, after ripping on it?

I figured it was cause the random couple they picked to review chose the Volvo, so they didn't want to trash the volvo, but that's just dumb.

Audi had subpar interior? That's a first i've heard.

Real enthusiast European magazines like EVO and CAR both love the F30, so that's good enough for me.
Those Volvos are ugly, but I probably still have a lot of venom in me...

Most unreliable, crappiest car we ever bought was a Volvo. My wife wanted one when our kids were just babies. She wanted one of those station wagons. I think it was the S70 or V70 maybe.

I could write a book about it. I won't bore everyone with the details. We paid a lot for it too...Cash...

Crap. Total crap. The stories I hear on bimmerfest pale in comparison.
krash commented:
April 9, 2013, 9:12 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The 335i was considered and didn't make the Top 6.



BJ
Where do you see that?

I do admit that by the time I strip a 335 to be < $46k, I'm switching to the 328...

But I don't see any mention of a 335 not making the cut. I would suppose it wasn't considered because of their cap and the data they got from cars.com.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 9:39 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by krash View Post
Where do you see that?

I do admit that by the time I strip a 335 to be < $46k, I'm switching to the 328...

But I don't see any mention of a 335 not making the cut. I would suppose it wasn't considered because of their cap and the data they got from cars.com.
Me being funny. The comparo clearly didn't include cars with the beefier engines.

BJ
SuperTerp commented:
April 9, 2013, 9:46 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The 335i was considered and didn't make the Top 6.

It's still a respectable ride, just not "best of" material. With a little re-engineering it might make a run at the Volvo, you never know.

Chin up.

BJ
Thats because its so far out in front of the top 6 that they don't have a number to give it seriously though I do miss the hud/nav up high and in the center now that I've got my car back.

Congrats BJ on driving the greatest car in america.
Saintor commented:
April 9, 2013, 10:20 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The 335i was considered and didn't make the Top 6.

It's still a respectable ride, just not "best of" material. With a little re-engineering it might make a run at the Volvo, you never know.

Chin up.

BJ

Of course, the 335i is the "best of" material, silly you.

Cost no object, nobody is dumb enough to chose a 4-cyl. that sounds like a Civic when you can get that I6 orgasmic sound. That's utterly obvious.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:19 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
Of course, the 335i is the "best of" material, silly you.

Cost no object, nobody is dumb enough to chose a 4-cyl. that sounds like a Civic when you can get that I6 orgasmic sound. That's utterly obvious.
Cost no object (raises hand) and chose the 4 cylinder because it exceeded my expectations and blew away my E90 328i's 6 cylinder. I had every intention of getting a 335i, but one test drive in The World's Greatest Sport Sedan was all it took. Was afraid that the 4 would be weak and pathetic, turns out it was a killer, that throw-back-in-your-seat feeling I used to get only on 335i loaners, now in my garage.

And the "sound"? Really? LOL. No one buys a car because of a sound it makes that you can't hear with the windows up. The whole point of a luxury car is to keep the noise out, silly. Save the "sound" speech for the Convertible, you'd have a case there.

BJ
PK2348 commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:21 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Me being funny. The comparo clearly didn't include cars with the beefier engines.

BJ
If you read carefully, manufacturers could equip the car as they wished as long as it stayed under 46K. BMW could have provided 335 stripped sport line or base with dhp. They would win by a mile and they knew that. They also knew that would achieve nothing for them since they need the good publicity for 328 wich is more affordable therefore much higher volume. It would be a silly business move for them to push 335 into this competition.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:26 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post

Congrats BJ on driving the greatest car in america.
Thank you, thank you very much.

It's getting so (yawn) boring winning sport sedan comparo after sport sedan comparo, someone should tell these magazines that it's time for an F30 comparo of its own. I can see the headline now...

BMW 3 Series Line Comparo: Luxury vs. Modern vs. Sport - Winner Take All

It's a Line Drive! BMW's Greatest Car Tells Us It's Greatest Configuration

It's The Luxury Line By A Nose! The new BMW nose, that is, connected headlights and all.

What's My Line? If you have to ask, then you haven't driven a 328i Modern


BJ
PK2348 commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
The 335i was considered and didn't make the Top 6.

It's still a respectable ride, just not "best of" material. With a little re-engineering it might make a run at the Volvo, you never know.

Chin up.

BJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
Of course, the 335i is the "best of" material, silly you.

Cost no object, nobody is dumb enough to chose a 4-cyl. that sounds like a Civic when you can get that I6 orgasmic sound. That's utterly obvious.
Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Cost no object (raises hand) and chose the 4 cylinder because it exceeded my expectations and blew away my E90 328i's 6 cylinder. I had every intention of getting a 335i, but one test drive in The World's Greatest Sport Sedan was all it took. Was afraid that the 4 would be weak and pathetic, turns out it was a killer, that throw-back-in-your-seat feeling I used to get only on 335i loaners, now in my garage.

And the "sound"? Really? LOL. No one buys a car because of a sound it makes that you can't hear with the windows up. The whole point of a luxury car is to keep the noise out, silly. Save the "sound" speech for the Convertible, you'd have a case there.

BJ
Translation:
Most of the people in the wallmart parking won't know the difference, so why waste more money
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:31 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
If you read carefully, manufacturers could equip the car as they wished as long as it stayed under 46K. BMW could have provided 335 stripped sport line or base with dhp. They would win by a mile and they knew that. They also knew that would achieve nothing for them since they need the good publicity for 328 wich is more affordable therefore much higher volume. It would be a silly business move for them to push 335 into this competition.
Like any good comparo, this one values comfort, luxury, and technology just as much as it does performance.

So to strip a 335i for the sake of ticking the "powerful" box would have meant un-ticking the luxury, comfort, technology, infotainment, gadget, eco-friendly, gas mileage, and balance boxes. The difference between the 328i and 335i is no longer a chasm; it's as thin as paper. In fact, one can easily argue that the 335i might have lost the #1 ranking because it would have come across as unfeatured and uncultured at that pricepoint. USA Today is not an enthusiasts magazine. It caters to normal folks. Having a configuration that is normal is what its readers want. The 335i is a niche vehicle.

BJ
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
Translation:
Most of the people in the wallmart parking won't know the difference, so why waste more money
Not sure why you always want to fight, Brooklyn. My dad was from Brighton Beach, my mom from Flatbush, we're blood, bro.

If I felt I needed more power I would have leased the 335i as originally intended. BMW out-did itself with the N20. Not my fault. Blame them.

BJ
SuperTerp commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:38 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
Translation:
Most of the people in the wallmart parking won't know the difference, so why waste more money
Actually even though BJ jokes about this, I've found more people were getting pissed and looking at the f30 then my tuned 335i

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Like any good comparo, this one values comfort, luxury, and technology just as much as it does performance.

So to strip a 335i for the sake of ticking the "powerful" box would have meant un-ticking the luxury, comfort, technology, infotainment, gadget, eco-friendly, gas mileage, and balance boxes. The difference between the 328i and 335i is no longer a chasm; it's as thin as paper. In fact, one can easily argue that the 335i might have lost the #1 ranking because it would have come across as unfeatured and uncultured at that pricepoint. USA Today is not an enthusiasts magazine. It caters to normal folks. Having a configuration that is normal is what its readers want. The 335i is a niche vehicle.

BJ
Unless the n55 just goes to freak levels in tuning the n20 fully loaded would be my choice + a jb piggyback (if I were ever to shop in the most elite class of vehicles... I don't think I can handle the f30 status and will probably go M for my next ride, it just gets too many looks)

After being back with my hk sound system I'll revise my opinion that HK isn't needed it deff is, but that said the base audio system is still a BIG BIG upgrade over the last one.
PK2348 commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Like any good comparo, this one values comfort, luxury, and technology just as much as it does performance.

So to strip a 335i for the sake of ticking the "powerful" box would have meant un-ticking the luxury, comfort, technology, infotainment, gadget, eco-friendly, gas mileage, and balance boxes. The difference between the 328i and 335i is no longer a chasm; it's as thin as paper. In fact, one can easily argue that the 335i might have lost the #1 ranking because it would have come across as unfeatured and uncultured at that pricepoint. USA Today is not an enthusiasts magazine. It caters to normal folks. Having a configuration that is normal is what its readers want. The 335i is a niche vehicle.

BJ
you have an arguable position, but even base 335 has plenty of features like power seats, folding back seat, idrive, lighting package, sunroof, bluetooth, i am probably leaving out a few. they could squeeze in heated seats for $500. Its not what i would call a stripper.
But they did make some weird choices and comments, so this particular review ??? maybe you're right. i mean they did give 2nd place to volvo after trashing it
boltjaM3s commented:
April 9, 2013, 11:53 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
Actually even though BJ jokes about this, I've found more people were getting pissed and looking at the f30 then my tuned 335i:

Unless the n55 just goes to freak levels in tuning the n20 fully loaded would be my choice + a jb piggyback (if I were ever to shop in the most elite class of vehicles... I don't think I can handle the f30 status and will probably go M for my next ride, it just gets too many looks)

After being back with my hk sound system I'll revise my opinion that HK isn't needed it deff is, but that said the base audio system is still a BIG BIG upgrade over the last one.
Great observations, you'll make a hell of an F30 owner.

BJ
SuperTerp commented:
April 10, 2013, 12:01 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Great observations, you'll make a hell of an F30 owner.

BJ
I don't think I'm worthy. Not many are.
K-A commented:
April 10, 2013, 3:07 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Congratulations to the 328i. Yes!

Better luck next year to the 335i. Still a decent car though, nothing to be ashamed of.

BJ
Chip, meet shoulder.
K-A commented:
April 10, 2013, 3:18 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
Of course, the 335i is the "best of" material, silly you.

that sounds like a Civic when you can get that I6 orgasmic sound. That's utterly obvious.
Love or hate either motor, and as good as they both are, this is a point no sane person (who's ears properly digest sound) could rationally argue.

The N20 just sounds so bad (like any 4-banger really, which puts it at the bottom of the auditory totem pole, maybe a bit better, but still inherently "4-banger-ish"), yet it woks so good. The N55 works so good, but sounds unlike any other manufacturers engine in the world. It sounds like a BMW. IMO, in the real world, the sound it makes is more worth the premium than the power and especially torque supremacy. The only thing that makes me wish the insane sound isolation my F10 has engineered within it disappeared is when I want to hear the wail of that distinctive BMW I6 accompanied by "Turbo-Swoosh" which is always guaranteed to tingle the senses.

A good sounding car is like a good sound system, mixed with an accompanying to a good exterior design. The "sound system" likening is what brings extra enjoyment to you, driving the car, and the "exterior design" accompanying effect is simply a high quality sound which will accompany a high quality design to the outside world.
Chris90 commented:
April 10, 2013, 7:43 am

The Man has a point, if the car is so sound insulated you can't hear the engine, what difference does it make what it sounds like? Even in my E46 I like to roll down the windows to hear the engine & exhaust better.
ggalanis commented:
April 10, 2013, 8:51 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
And the "sound"? Really? LOL. No one buys a car because of a sound it makes that you can't hear with the windows up. The whole point of a luxury car is to keep the noise out, silly. Save the "sound" speech for the Convertible, you'd have a case there.

BJ
Actually you can hear the exhaust in the 335 with all the windows closed.
I never thought I'd actually care about it, but the best way I can describe it is intoxicating.
It is not loud enough in normal driving to be annoying but sounds great when you push the car a little or a lot.

I test drove a 328 as well and liked the engine. The cabin was quieter because you could barely hear the exhaust in normal driving. I found it more than powerful enough and the quietness I would say is more luxurious so if someone wants a luxury feel, it is a better fit IMHO.

GG
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 10, 2013, 9:28 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by PK2348 View Post
you have an arguable position, but even base 335 has plenty of features like power seats, folding back seat, idrive, lighting package, sunroof, bluetooth, i am probably leaving out a few. they could squeeze in heated seats for $500. Its not what i would call a stripper.
But they did make some weird choices and comments, so this particular review ??? maybe you're right. i mean they did give 2nd place to volvo after trashing it
In this test the 328 was already solidly the fastest car.

I don't see a point in thinking the 335 would have been a good play in this test. You give up equipment to the as tested 328, decrease fuel economy, and a slight negative affect on handling, all to go faster in a straight line when the 328 already waxed the floor with the competition in that area.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 10, 2013, 10:35 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggalanis View Post

Actually you can hear the exhaust in the 335 with all the windows closed.
I never thought I'd actually care about it, but the best way I can describe it is intoxicating.
It is not loud enough in normal driving to be annoying but sounds great when you push the car a little or a lot.
I hear a nice throaty turbo sound too in my award-winning, top-ranked 328i so long as the radio is at a reasonable volume and/or I stomp on it.

I think the negativity on the sound of the 328i comes at idle when you're outside the car, when it sounds like a diesel. Thankfully, I only hear the engine at idle outside my car when I've forgotten something in the house, happens 5x a year.

BJ
Chris90 commented:
April 10, 2013, 11:37 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
I hear a nice throaty turbo sound too in my award-winning, top-ranked 328i so long as the radio is at a reasonable volume and/or I stomp on it.

I think the negativity on the sound of the 328i comes at idle when you're outside the car, when it sounds like a diesel. Thankfully, I only hear the engine at idle outside my car when I've forgotten something in the house, happens 5x a year.

BJ
Can't sound any worse than my ZHP rattle, which every BMW mechanic tells me is normal.
bmw_or_audi commented:
April 10, 2013, 11:51 am

Let's see. This is a "sport sedan" comparison, yet neither the Volvo nor the A4 seem to have a sport pack.

Then this: Value. "The low as-tested price can't absolve a raft of missing features," Mays said. "Bluetooth audio streaming, keyless access, backup camera and navigation are MIA.". What? Those things are available for less than the $6K price difference. How does one even address such a stupid statement?

And then this: "Seems to respond better the harder you push it," said Robinson." against this "At no time does it ever feel fast,"

Where can I find a paying job where I am allowed to be this stupid?
Chris90 commented:
April 10, 2013, 12:01 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
Let's see. This is a "sport sedan" comparison, yet neither the Volvo nor the A4 seem to have a sport pack.

Then this: Value. "The low as-tested price can't absolve a raft of missing features," Mays said. "Bluetooth audio streaming, keyless access, backup camera and navigation are MIA.". What? Those things are available for less than the $6K price difference. How does one even address such a stupid statement?

And then this: "Seems to respond better the harder you push it," said Robinson." against this "At no time does it ever feel fast,"

Where can I find a paying job where I am allowed to be this stupid?
It's cars.com and USA Today. It's like Dumb and Dumber.

And to pick two random people and tell us which car they liked? What if you picked two former Pontiac Aztek owners? Talk about a waste of time.
PK2348 commented:
April 10, 2013, 12:45 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
In this test the 328 was already solidly the fastest car.

I don't see a point in thinking the 335 would have been a good play in this test. You give up equipment to the as tested 328, decrease fuel economy, and a slight negative affect on handling, all to go faster in a straight line when the 328 already waxed the floor with the competition in that area.
Neither do i, see my original post
K-A commented:
April 10, 2013, 3:51 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggalanis View Post
Actually you can hear the exhaust in the 335 with all the windows closed.
I never thought I'd actually care about it, but the best way I can describe it is intoxicating.
It is not loud enough in normal driving to be annoying but sounds great when you push the car a little or a lot.

GG
Exactly agreed. It ads a whole new dynamic element to a Luxury Car. Nice and quiet but when you put it in Sport/Sport + and step on it, you can hear a sound that qualifies as a mate to the visual intoxication coming from the design. In fact, my Girlfriend who doesn't care for cars at all, says her favorite part of my car is the "vroom" the engine makes when I step on it. Hearing is one of the most important senses.

Also, we can't all pretend that we're not in any way vain to the outside world. Why do people want LED license plate lights, LED brake lights, etc. Certain exterior mods elements which we never can really enjoy (Angel Eyes, when you don't see those beautiful things unless you see your reflection against a car in front of you, etc.). A nice sound compliments the car you drive like the very design of it, IMO.
ggalanis commented:
April 10, 2013, 4:13 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Angel Eyes, when you you see those beautiful things unless you see your reflection against a car in front of you, etc
So I am not the only one who loves seeing them reflect off the back of other cars...

GG
K-A commented:
April 10, 2013, 4:18 pm

Oh not at all. One of my favorite parts of the drive.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 10, 2013, 5:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggalanis View Post
So I am not the only one who loves seeing them reflect off the back of other cars...

GG
I like watching the reflection of my wheels against the side of an SUV. Black Suburbans rock.

BJ
Saintor commented:
April 10, 2013, 7:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Cost no object (raises hand) and chose the 4 cylinder because it exceeded my expectations and blew away my E90 328i's 6 cylinder. I had every intention of getting a 335i, but one test drive in The World's Greatest Sport Sedan was all it took. Was afraid that the 4 would be weak and pathetic, turns out it was a killer, that throw-back-in-your-seat feeling I used to get only on 335i loaners, now in my garage.

And the "sound"? Really? LOL. No one buys a car because of a sound it makes that you can't hear with the windows up.

BJ
This is as dumb as a statement as it gets. Because true, the 328i doesn't provide any interesting sound and that's a problem.

Your little whiny N20 will never provide any car the visceral experience that a 45-50K$ REAL Sport Sedan deserves. A 328i is not worth 45-50K$, but a 335i easily is.

Listen from 96s. Now that's the kind of experience to fall for.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E_qajzdrMo#t=96s

And don't tell me that you hear nothing.
LarryboysUDM commented:
April 10, 2013, 7:54 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggalanis
Actually you can hear the exhaust in the 335 with all the windows closed.
I never thought I'd actually care about it, but the best way I can describe it is intoxicating.
It is not loud enough in normal driving to be annoying but sounds great when you push the car a little or a lot.

GG

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Exactly agreed. It ads a whole new dynamic element to a Luxury Car. Nice and quiet but when you put it in Sport/Sport + and step on it, you can hear a sound that qualifies as a mate to the visual intoxication coming from the design. In fact, my Girlfriend who doesn't care for cars at all, says her favorite part of my car is the "vroom" the engine makes when I step on it. Hearing is one of the most important senses.

Also, we can't all pretend that we're not in any way vain to the outside world. Why do people want LED license plate lights, LED brake lights, etc. Certain exterior mods elements which we never can really enjoy (Angel Eyes, when you don't see those beautiful things unless you see your reflection against a car in front of you, etc.). A nice sound compliments the car you drive like the very design of it, IMO.

Also, DHP changes the suspension feel to compliment the sound and type of driving you want to do like Eco (doing your part to save the environment), Comfort (luxury driving), Sport (speed racer) or Sport+ (when you don't want to see your reflection from anyones back or side).
ger10101 commented:
April 10, 2013, 8:11 pm

Haha!! I always get a little closer just to be able to see my leds
K-A commented:
April 10, 2013, 8:34 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E_qajzdrMo#t=96s

And don't tell me that you hear nothing.
WOW that sounds incredible. Makes me want to jump in my car and wail away after listening to the interior parts. The N55 and how the ZF 8 rows it, just sound so bonafide "performance car", like in that pristine way you get from a video game where you think "no motor could sound THIS smooth and refined yet rightly dirty and visceral". Everybody who gets in my car comments how how "fast and smooth" the car "is" simply when I have it in Sport where the RPM's get up a bit.... mind you, this typically happens when I'm not even going fast, which shows how strongly the sound coming from the engine gives an impression.

Actually, my favorite part of the N55 or any I6 is more-so the engine than exhaust, i.e how it sounds INSIDE the car, which isn't always the case with good sounding engines.

The best parts from the N55 are: Sound, UNIQUE sound (no one does I6's nowadays, nor I6 Turbo's, and anyone who does, doesn't do it like BMW who's hallmark is the I6), unmatchably characteristic buttery smoothness, over 300 Torque which peaks at 1,200 RPM and holds till basically redline (many V8's would dream of that chart) yet still with a high redline considering the torquey "V8 feeling" nature and especially for a Turbo motor- making for some very "just right/usable" power on real world streets. The N55 is really a "do-gooder" in about every sense of the word.... whether you want it to be good, or bad.

I think it's one of the, if not the best mass market motor out there today in terms of emotional (sound, history, distinctiveness, etc.) mixed with technical (torque, torque curve, power, redline, MPG, practically unmatchable smoothness in that distinctive "BMW I6" way) achievements.

I think it's way misguided for someone to think bashing the N55 makes the N20 which is a great motor in its own right (I loved driving it in the F30, only issue I had with it was the sound that reminded you of what cylinder base was powering the car) any better. On the F10 forums you don't see guys claiming about how much better they have it in their 528i's over 535i's. Fact is, it's personal preference.... if you don't *need* the extra power, don't feel the extra price is justified, or don't care about the sound variations, then it's all good and you very well have the best car for you and righteously may not find anything more as being "superior", however still one should recognize and credit great aspects instead of forcing yourself to ignore or discredit them. That in fact shows that one may not be as happy within their decision as they like to let out to be.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 10, 2013, 8:45 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
This is as dumb as a statement as it gets. Because true, the 328i doesn't provide any interesting sound and that's a problem.

Your little whiny N20 will never provide any car the visceral experience that a 45-50K$ REAL Sport Sedan deserves. A 328i is not worth 45-50K$, but a 335i easily is.

And don't tell me that you hear nothing.
Sorry, 99% of BMW drivers don't share your sound fetish. I'm glad it applies to you, it doesn't apply to almost anyone else. We try to avoid outside noise in our luxury cars. If I heard my muffler belching all the time I'd take the car in for service to make it stop. When I see children in old used cars with coffee-can mufflers I laugh.

BJ
ger10101 commented:
April 10, 2013, 9:02 pm

Haha BJ thanks for speaking for everyone in this forum. I know you are very wrong, no offense. Many bmw enthusiast, including myself, enjoy hearing the beautiful sound of our motors!
sr5959 commented:
April 10, 2013, 9:07 pm

The N20 is a great engine, very powerful and economical, and as BJ says it sounds pretty good except at idle. But...it doesn't compare in any way to the fantastic noise and power from the N55. After a few days in a loaner 335 M-Sport (E90) I think I may upgrade next time!
sr5959 commented:
April 10, 2013, 9:10 pm

Unless I can somehow stretch to a Maserati V8, now that's a beautiful noise...
Saintor commented:
April 10, 2013, 9:11 pm

Quote:
Sorry, 99% of BMW drivers don't share your sound fetish
Then the conclusion very simple; according to you and people like you, 99% of BMW owners are POSEURS who don't actually care about driving.

Stop being such a disgusting example of BMW owner (but not a driver), idiots who think that a NAVI and leather define what is a BMW. Very moron-esque.
BmwFlooner commented:
April 10, 2013, 10:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
Then the conclusion very simple; according to you and people like you, 99% of BMW owners are POSEURS who don't actually care about driving.

Stop being such a disgusting example of BMW owner (but not a driver), idiots who think that a NAVI and leather define what is a BMW. Very moron-esque.

@_@ So you're the guy that when presented with Doritos or Extreme Doritos will always pick the Extreme Doritos, because that extra blast of Nacho Cheese flavor is what separates a true Snacker from someone who just has the munchies.


Saintor commented:
April 10, 2013, 10:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwFlooner View Post
@_@ So you're the guy that when presented with Doritos or Extreme Doritos will always pick the Extreme Doritos, because that extra blast of Nacho Cheese flavor is what separates a true Snacker from someone who just has the munchies.


Whatever that entertains you.

In the meantime, you'd have to ask what defines best BMW.

And it has never been ultimate-anything measurable.
Chris90 commented:
April 10, 2013, 10:32 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by sr5959 View Post
Unless I can somehow stretch to a Maserati V8, now that's a beautiful noise...
Doesn't Maserati use Ferrari V8s?

That 3.0L turbo sounds amazing. More than anything, that motor makes me want to trade up.
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 10, 2013, 10:39 pm

I am a hooligan...I put 400 miles on the e36 the past couple of days. Every overpass I drop down a couple of gears as my wife looks over and giggles. The sound of the headers, Supersprint, blower whine and bypass valve letting off, oh my. My F30, I don't even bother, cant hear anything. The week I had the exhaust on the car, it actually made noises worth listening to.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 10, 2013, 11:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by ger10101 View Post
Haha BJ thanks for speaking for everyone in this forum. I know you are very wrong, no offense. Many bmw enthusiast, including myself, enjoy hearing the beautiful sound of our motors!
You don't understand.

I am not speaking for everyone in this forum; I am speaking for everyone not in this forum. The 99% that aren't consumed with performance enthusiasm don't care what their exhausts sound like so long as they are silent.

BJ
boltjaM3s commented:
April 10, 2013, 11:14 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
Then the conclusion very simple; according to you and people like you, 99% of BMW owners are POSEURS who don't actually care about driving.

Stop being such a disgusting example of BMW owner (but not a driver), idiots who think that a NAVI and leather define what is a BMW. Very moron-esque.
There's no need for the personal attacks.

Nav and leather define a certain type of BMW owner (luxury car priority)

Suspension and exhaust define a certain type of BMW owner (sports car priority)

Faded metallic paint and 7 year old technology define a certain type of BMW owner (you)

Get a new car. You won't be so grumpy, won't feel the need to tout your rusting exhaust system as a "plus".

BJ
boltjaM3s commented:
April 10, 2013, 11:16 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwFlooner View Post
@_@ So you're the guy that when presented with Doritos or Extreme Doritos will always pick the Extreme Doritos, because that extra blast of Nacho Cheese flavor is what separates a true Snacker from someone who just has the munchies.


Or he's a Canadian who drives the most under-powered E90 ever made and dislikes Americans with 4 cylinder cars that go faster and handle better than his.

Plain, meet Jane.

BJ
SuperTerp commented:
April 10, 2013, 11:35 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
who drives the most under-powered E90 ever made and dislikes Americans with 4 cylinder cars that go faster and handle better than his.

Plain, meet Jane.

BJ

ROFL hilarious.
boltjaM3s commented:
April 11, 2013, 12:02 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
ROFL hilarious.
Swear to God, I'll never take one more bit of lip from that guy. He spent the whole winter telling us how the F30 is too boring, how the F30 is an affront to the heritage of the 3 Series, criticizing the 4 cylinder engine, anything and everything he could do to put us down and bring us down.

And he drives that. The white elephant. Old, slow, heavy, featureless, the kind of car my cleaning girl would drive.

And he calls me a poseur? That car doesn't have a sporting bone in its body. Has no other purpose except to carry the badge, and even that's too heavy for it to handle.

BJ
kkapdolee commented:
April 11, 2013, 2:32 am

Does the performance exhaust on 328i help with the sound much? How does it compare to the regular 335i sound?
K-A commented:
April 11, 2013, 2:41 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkapdolee View Post
Does the performance exhaust on 328i help with the sound much? How does it compare to the regular 335i sound?
It'll be "loud" but IMO the beauty of a good sounding engine has little to do with volume (and the last thing I think one should want to do is make a 4 cylinders sound even more noticeable). A loud exhaust is in many cases obnoxious. Sound *quality* is what it's all about and the N20 I4 will never match an N55 in that. To me, it's about how the N55 engine itself sounds at throttle, which is intoxicating, not necessarily how loud the sound coming out of the tailpipes is.
BmwFlooner commented:
April 11, 2013, 2:59 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
It'll be "loud" but IMO the beauty of a good sounding engine has little to do with volume (and the last thing I think one should want to do is make a 4 cylinders sound even more noticeable). A loud exhaust is in many cases obnoxious. Sound *quality* is what it's all about and the N20 I4 will never match an N55 in that. To me, it's about how the N55 engine itself sounds at throttle, which is intoxicating, not necessarily how loud the sound coming out of the tailpipes is.
From what I've heard/read the performance exhaust only modifies the note without drastically increasing the volume level over stock. I have one on order, so I'll be able to give my own impression soon. I think Jamesonviggen had it installed at one point, so he may be able to comment. It won't sound like the 6, but I'm not one who finds the stock N20 exhaust offensive.
K-A commented:
April 11, 2013, 3:05 am

Ah. I'm sure it'll make it sound better than.

But yeah, it won't make it sound "like" an I6.

It's like when I had an E350, guys would come onto the Forums and ask "Will my E350 sound like an E550 with if I put a new exhaust on it". Unfortunately they didn't get the science of it.... lol.
SuperTerp commented:
April 11, 2013, 8:48 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by boltjaM3s View Post
Swear to God, I'll never take one more bit of lip from that guy. He spent the whole winter telling us how the F30 is too boring, how the F30 is an affront to the heritage of the 3 Series, criticizing the 4 cylinder engine, anything and everything he could do to put us down and bring us down.

And he drives that. The white elephant. Old, slow, heavy, featureless, the kind of car my cleaning girl would drive.

And he calls me a poseur? That car doesn't have a sporting bone in its body. Has no other purpose except to carry the badge, and even that's too heavy for it to handle.

BJ
You can hear it grumble plenty like a diesel when the radio is off or low (especially if you have the stock radio ), when you drive by one on the highway in a split second you say not much difference but seeing the front day after day it really grew on me so thats a big plus (still hate the xdrive badge on the a$$ like that). Technology was also hands down a win. I miss the hud so bad lol I was even trying to control my song selection last night with the knob while looking at the windshield .

This list is just too long for where it is better than the e90 and while for me there are still a few issues that I'd have to address if I bought an f30 (335i/328i) they are not issues a standard driver would probably feel needed addressing.

F30 is a win and people need to get over it.
Chris90 commented:
April 11, 2013, 9:59 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
You can hear it grumble plenty like a diesel when the radio is off or low (especially if you have the stock radio ), when you drive by one on the highway in a split second you say not much difference but seeing the front day after day it really grew on me so thats a big plus (still hate the xdrive badge on the a$$ like that). Technology was also hands down a win. I miss the hud so bad lol I was even trying to control my song selection last night with the knob while looking at the windshield .

This list is just too long for where it is better than the e90 and while for me there are still a few issues that I'd have to address if I bought an f30 (335i/328i) they are not issues a standard driver would probably feel needed addressing.

F30 is a win and people need to get over it.
Wait, are you talking about a BMW or a Lexus?
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 11, 2013, 11:18 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkapdolee View Post
Does the performance exhaust on 328i help with the sound much? How does it compare to the regular 335i sound?
Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwFlooner View Post
From what I've heard/read the performance exhaust only modifies the note without drastically increasing the volume level over stock. I have one on order, so I'll be able to give my own impression soon. I think Jamesonviggen had it installed at one point, so he may be able to comment. It won't sound like the 6, but I'm not one who finds the stock N20 exhaust offensive.
I did not have the MPe installed. I had a full catback installed during its prototype phase.

The note, pitch, and volume all drastically changed.

Volume was very throttle dependent. It was quiet when you wanted, but made its presence known when called on. The note was much deeper, much more aggressive.

People making assumptions on sound of it with N55s who have never heard it are coming across a bit Fanboi 'ish. Stock to stock the n55 sounds so much better. Catback to catback, the N55 still sounds better. But the n20 catback does not sound like a typical cheap 4 cylinder car. It has more presence and a deeper tone and note than the stock N55 exhaust which I find a bit too quiet.
BmwFlooner commented:
April 11, 2013, 11:35 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
I did not have the MPe installed. I had a full catback installed during its prototype phase.
I remember a comment you made in a different thread that the perf exhaust was still too tame for your taste, so I assumed you had some hands on experience with it.
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 11, 2013, 11:44 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwFlooner View Post
I remember a comment you made in a different thread that the perf exhaust was still too tame for your taste, so I assumed you had some hands on experience with it.
I heard video and was able to compare it to my own videos. Fact is, it's a muffler only. I dyno'd the catback setup and saw nice gains. I would not spend $1000 for a muffler, just for sounds when others offer real gains. AA is offering just a muffler for $599.
sf_loft commented:
April 11, 2013, 11:48 am

I'm not a big fan of base non-S Audi's, but that is one of the silliest reviews ever. No 2. Volvo? and No. 3 Acura TL... lol. Compare an M-Sport to a base no-tech package Audi. The BMW is optioned out close to $46k and the Audi is $40k. $6k difference will get you a less sparse interior, better tech, and probably the sports package. You can at least get a prestige line for $45k.
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 11, 2013, 11:59 am

Depending on options, I would have it go like this...

328, by a couple of points
ATS and A4 nearly a tie
TL and S60 a bit farther back and the S60 maybe a bit higher than the TL.
LegendsNeverDie commented:
April 11, 2013, 12:28 pm

IMO:
Best car overall: 328
Weekend warrior/sport: ATS
I really need AWD: A4 Quattro
Best value: Acura TL
I really need something different: S60
Jugghaid commented:
April 11, 2013, 12:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieXDriver View Post
They never like the fact that the turn signal lever bounces back to the center rest position.
Silly. It's not 1969.
BmwFlooner commented:
April 11, 2013, 4:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
I would not spend $1000 for a muffler, just for sounds when others offer real gains.
Good point, I wasn't really considering the value of performance gains. But I'm a newbie. I've never really been interested in any type of vehicle cosmetic/performance modifications until I bought the BMW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesonsviggen View Post
I dyno'd the catback setup and saw nice gains.
Is this a specific catback? Or one you would recommend?
Jamesonsviggen commented:
April 11, 2013, 4:21 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwFlooner View Post
Good point, I wasn't really considering the value of performance gains. But I'm a newbie. I've never really been interested in any type of vehicle cosmetic/performance modifications until I bought the BMW.



Is this a specific catback? Or one you would recommend?
Yes, been working with Rogue Engineering.

The release of it has been slower than I would like, but its going to be free for me, so how much can I complain? Lol

I was told April is not happening. I am hoping for the production unit in May.
Mark K commented:
April 11, 2013, 5:05 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_or_audi View Post
Where can I find a paying job where I am allowed to be this stupid?
Get elected.
sr5959 commented:
April 11, 2013, 5:50 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by sf_loft View Post
I'm not a big fan of base non-S Audi's, but that is one of the silliest reviews ever. No 2. Volvo? and No. 3 Acura TL... lol. Compare an M-Sport to a base no-tech package Audi. The BMW is optioned out close to $46k and the Audi is $40k. $6k difference will get you a less sparse interior, better tech, and probably the sports package. You can at least get a prestige line for $45k.
I remember an early comparison test when the F30 first came out, Motor trend I think, where the Volvo came in 2nd (BMW won). I have a friend who just got one; on the brief try I had of it it felt pretty good, but I really dislike the styling.
Jugghaid commented:
April 11, 2013, 5:58 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
Get elected.
Truth
chiba commented:
April 11, 2013, 10:44 pm

Read through this thread and realized how sensitive some of you are. Don't like it because it doesn't sound the same as what you drive? Cool, move on.
The new 328 is an amazing car plain and simple. It keeps winning praise from well respected publication / media. That's great, not only for those that have it but for BMW in general.
Couldn't be happier with mine!

Chiba