F30 335i Review: 1500 miles in 7 days

by Bimmerfest.com Member - DavidM1975 on April 18, 2013, 2:38 am
F30 335i review

There was several posts like this from other members recently. They are probably most useful for those of you who are either considering or waiting for the delivery of your car (I remember reading these with great interest when I was waiting for mine). My impressions are of course subjective and some of them you heard many times before but still I think they can be quite useful. Thanks again to those of you who helped along the way and were "with me" during my PCD experience and especially the trip back home!

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS
I am simply IN LOVE with the car. It is beyond fantastic. One term comes to mind when I think about it: REFINEMENT (from E90) in every possible way. I want to DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE! There are some very minor kinks but they don't even cast a shadow on how great a complete package the 335i is. Six days, 1200 miles (break in period is DONE!) and I am utterly and completely amazed. Mind you I drove MANY cars in my life. I drove more powerful ones than this but nowhere near so well balanced in all regards. Now to some details:

THE ENGINE and THE MODES
The powerplant otherwise known as N55 kicks ass like nothing I experienced before. The acceleration is just crazy good. My GT mustang was 300hp and yes it felt fast but the 335i feels way better because it's so damn smooth and at 1200rpm it already eats the road and pushes you into the seat. Just so good!

ECO PRO - turns the car into grandma's Buick but it serves its purpose. Savings!
COMFORT - good for a lazy Sunday cruising with your girlfriend. Nice and quiet with more than enough power and raised level of comfort.
SPORT - the "I have petrol in my veins" mode! Look for the F30 owners with a full smile on their face. They are in Sport Mode!
SPORT+ - for a day at the track!

During my trip to Baltimore today I decided to give ECO PRO a shot. According to the car's computer I gained additional 5 miles, which accounts to almost exactly 5% more distance to cover on the same amount of gas I would have used without engaging ECO PRO. Nice but overall I don't see myself using this mode a lot other than for scientific purposes. The power is cut so much that going up a hill or trying to pass anyone on the highway in this mode is just really not a good idea.





MANUAL TRANSMISSION
Smooth and precise - just as I learned to expect from BMW. It feels tighter and better than the one in my E90 but this may also be because it's brand new. I know how great the 8 speed AT is but I am positive I would be missing the MT like crazy if I was forced to live without it. So glad they are still making it and hope they'll never stop! The clutch pedal is absolutely perfectly balanced. It's not too hard and not too easy to press, just enough resistance and it "takes" where you would intuitively expect it. I love how BMW gets it just right!



THE ASS
My initial reaction to what it does and how it works was pure disapproval and dislike. Now, after a few days with it I am kinda starting to see the purpose and understand that it's not all bad (when you get used to it). However, it should be the other way around - pressing the additional button should be activating the system, not deactivating it. This is mainly for one simple reason - anybody else that ever gets to drive your car will be freaked out by it and their first thought will most definitely be: "did the car just stall on me?!". Anyone that is unfamiliar with the system... and are you going to crash course a valet? In any other "emergency" when there is a NEED for someone else to drive your car you may simply not have time to explain what the heck ASS is. It MOST DEFINITELY should be the other way around with the frikkin' button and for that reason it definitely gets recoded on my car.
Having said that I have to admit the shutting off and restarting the engine is really smooth in my car (no idea what all the posts about shaky restarts were about...or maybe I'm just lucky with a really smooth unit, IDK). It's actually so smooth that when I went out with my girlfriend the ASS shut off the engine three times on the way to the movies. She only realized it happened once (and btw she DID think I stalled the car... ugh!), the other two times with music on she had no idea. So it IS quite smooth indeed.

THE EXTERIOR
I am unable to walk away from the car without turning around and taking just one more look at it. The jet black was a good choice - I do not miss the metallic at all. Love the styling to the smallest detail. The front is gorgeous and the rear looks so much higher end than E90, wider stance and so much better in general. After tinting the glass and replacing the reflectors in the front with the painted ones I really don't think the car needs anything else visually. It is STUNNING! I am SO IN LOVE!





THE HUD
This is my first car with this technology and I DO LOVE IT! The fact that it displays nav directions is brilliant but my absolute favorite part is the ability to press the little roller on the right part of the steering wheel and be able to select songs from the current playlist in the HUD. Also being able to accept or reject the incoming call in the HUD makes a lot of sense - those features are most welcome. Now the part that I yet have to understand - the whole upper part of the dashboard is made out of a non-reflective material but the HUD housing is made from a reflective one. Sorry but at certain angles against the sun it DOES create unpleasant glare in the windshield. Also yes, the HUD display square IS visible, especially at night - all you need to do is to focus your eyes on the number/other info so that you can see it really sharp and the square around it will be visible. The last part doesn't bother me at all as it is simply impossible to see when you are looking at the road ahead you and giving just quick glances to the HUD content but the glare and reflections are quite annoying on sunny days. Just as some other F30 owners on the forums here I will be looking for a way to remedy the glare effect, maybe by using some sort of tape to cover the sides of the HUD housing.



THE SEATS
Awesome. Just like the E90 seats they offer perfect (IMHO) support for the body with one detail that (this is so far my one and only real gripe with the car) have - again - yet to understand, the shape of the headrest. In E90 it was absolutely perfect. It was supporting the neck and the head in perfect way. My entire body was resting in the E90 seat and until today that seat remains the best one I have ever experienced in any car in my entire life. The F30 seat is good but the design of the headrest was changed to worse. It does not support the neck anymore and instead it creates void space right behind your neck, no matter how you position the headrest it tries to push the top of your hear forward and down, which on longer trips actually makes my head hurt. In E90 I could literally travel all day long and never feel tired at all (at least not from the seat). I was able to adjust the headrest so that it goes all the way down and now touches the upper part of the seat by following vern's directions (thanks vern!) but that unfortunately does not solve the issue, the problem remains. Other that that I really appreciate all the adjustments you can do to the seat, thanks to all the tilting and moving back and forth everyone should be able to find their optimal position.

THE HK
Heck yeah! This upgrade was certainly worth every penny! I was a little worried about this part because I wasn't able to hear the HK at my dealership before I ordered the car but now I know this was bull's eye. The system sounds just amazing - makes me want to listen to my entire music collection all over. Seriously it is beyond fantastic. Every song sounds truer and richer now. If you are still wondering which upgrades to spend money and you like music this is a no-brainer. CDs sound just absolutely incredible. iPhone/iPod music with Apple lossless compression almost equally good. I activated my sirius subscription today and the sound quality is noticeably worse than the previous two sources. I lived without satellite radio so far and I don't see myself going past the trial period with this one. With so many other options available ... why pay the fees you really don't need to pay? Haven't tried Pandora and internet radios yet. Haven't tried blutooth audio either but again - iPod on Apple cable is already connected and sitting in the center armrest, personally I don't see a need for blutooth audio streaming at this point.

iDRIVE/NAV
I was hesitant about getting the tech package mainly because I wasn't convinced I would be using the car's nav system much. I was married to iPhone. Well... not anymore! It took one longer trip to understand I had no idea what I would be missing. This nav system is honestly a whole another experience compared to whatever is available on iPhone. Cool, detailed, awesome large screen, great and very sophisticated set of additional features (like the traffic updates, dynamic navigation that automatically takes you around all the traffic trouble ahead, interactive map, sending addresses to car from google maps and even the sexy female voice in the speakers - all really really nicely done). I am enjoying this a lot and will tell anyone who has similar hesitations it's an absolute no brainer!



I also LOVE all the little touches like the SPORT DISPLAYS - I think it's awesome and a lot of fun to watch the readings, especially when you are in the SPORT mode



XENONS
How the heck was I driving without them? My E90 did not have xenons. Wow! What a difference! I know some users posted here before about their lights needing adjustments but mine seem absolutely perfect. They illuminate the road ahead insanely well and the daytime running halos add to the look of the car so much I don't think I will ever turn them off!

COMFORT ACCESS
Great! Works without any problems for me. The trunk opens with every kick, the door locking/unlocking works every single time. Those features are all configurable via iDrive so set them to your favorite option and if you're not getting it each time make sure the key is not in the same pocket with your cell phone/other junk and make sure you are doing every move correctly.

THE HICCUPS
Some of you responded in my other thread about the "drivetrain malfunction" message. It came up three times. The first time at around 120 miles, the second time (after a reset by Hendrick BMW in Charlotte, NC) at 1180 miles - right when I was about to celebrate the end of the break-in period and start driving in a bit more spirited way...the third time at 1470 miles earlier today, I was around 80mph in sport mode. All three times it happened at highway speeds but not excessive at all. This certainly overshadows all the joy from having the car. Tomorrow I will be waiting patiently to hear from Princeton BMW and see what they found while I'm driving a loaner. Still hoping this is an easy fix and I can quickly forget about it.

THE VERDICT
This 335i is hands down the best car I have ever owned and I must say the best one I have ever driven! In every way simply a top dream for me. I seriously have reached my destination when it comes to car satisfaction. As soon as the very minor issues (compared to everything else) with the dreaded drivetrain message are explained/resolved the picture will be complete and flawless! The F30 gets 10/10 by my standards without any hesitation!


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40 responses to F30 335i Review: 1500 miles in 7 days

zeezz commented:
April 18, 2013, 3:06 am

Great writeup, congrats!
boltjaM3s commented:
April 18, 2013, 6:29 am

Could be the best photos, ever.

Great job. Reflectors look awesome.

BJ
rgk330i commented:
April 18, 2013, 8:07 am

Great writeup. I am really looking forward to mine. Your signature photo is excellent.
terryn commented:
April 18, 2013, 8:11 am

Thanks for the review. I appreciated your comments about the nav and the xenons. My order is still three weeks away but I am glad I got these options.

I have been pretty happy with using my iPhone for navigation, so much I stopped using my TomTom completely and sold it. I got the tech pack for HuD and other things. Wasn't really sure if the nav was money well spent. It will be great if there are enough pluses in it over use of the phone to make it feel worth it.

As some of you may know, I went through a painful second order process to get the xenon headlights. Every person saying they are great makes me feel better. What about when you turn corners? How do you like the side illumination they provide? That seems to me like something completely new from the lighting package that i don't have now. I am expecting to really like it.
DavidM1975 commented:
April 18, 2013, 8:25 am

Thanks for the replies, glad you all like the photos!

terryn, I've been exactly the same. I thought there is absolutely no need for nav other than iPhone. Well...wait till you start playing with this system and using it in your daily life. In short, as good as iPhone is it simply cannot compete here. The detailed, super large (comparatively) screen, all additional features, one button operation (if you use the 8 programmable buttons as presets, which is one of the coolest features in the car), ability to send addresses from phone/computer, adding waypoints and modifying existing route, accidents and live traffic info plus many other features - and there's still more. Believe me - you will not go back to iPhone and when you have to - you'll feel robbed

The headlights following your turn make a lot of a difference and I actually firgot to mention this feature in my review so I'm glad you brought it up. Very useful and well implemented IMHO!
The Nerd commented:
April 18, 2013, 10:07 am

Great review! I appreciate the detail and honest opinions..
mark_12345 commented:
April 18, 2013, 10:59 am

Great review!
Byron Walter commented:
April 18, 2013, 11:22 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM1975 View Post
Thanks for the replies, glad you all like the photos!
Well I'm sorry that I read your review as I'm now a little sorry that I skipped nav

OTOH, I didn't have to sweat engine choices as the wagon only comes with the four. Hopefully my car will be dropped on a State side bound boat in a day or two.

Anyhow if I like my car only half as well as you like yours, I'll be happy. Oh, and those are super nice images.
tim330i commented:
April 18, 2013, 11:30 am

Great review! I tweaked your formatting a little so I could feature it on the home page. I hope you don't mind

Tim
DavidM1975 commented:
April 18, 2013, 11:31 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
Great review! I tweaked your formatting a little so I could feature it on the home page. I hope you don't mind

Tim
Oh wow! Cool, don't mind at all - thanks so much!
mark_12345 commented:
April 18, 2013, 11:40 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM1975 View Post
Oh wow! Cool, don't mind at all - thanks so much!
By the way, I'd be curious if you also tested or was considering 2013 335i xDrive w/the 8-speed?
DavidM1975 commented:
April 18, 2013, 11:47 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_12345 View Post
By the way, I'd be curious if you also tested or was considering 2013 335i xDrive w/the 8-speed?
I have had an xDrive E90 for the past six years. I live in Philadelphia and even though I drive a lot to different regions of the country I just saw no real need for the xDrive anymore. As far as transmission choices go I simply am a MT driver. I do appreciate how good the current AT is and I did have a chance to test it quite well, still don't think even the best AT will ever pull me to the other side. I just need the stick and the clutch pedal to feel right in a car
furby076 commented:
April 18, 2013, 11:48 am

Great write-up and photos. 1100 miles? Sounds like you need to do Climb to the Clouds event in June. For just about 1000 miles you can have a blast showing off your new ride. Plus the true test, can your car make it up Mt Washington
760Lifan commented:
April 18, 2013, 12:10 pm

Great review!
408Racer commented:
April 18, 2013, 1:00 pm

Awesome read! Glad you're happy with the car.
deznium commented:
April 18, 2013, 1:24 pm

Congratulations! and great pictures!
LINewYork commented:
April 18, 2013, 2:07 pm

Excellent review and nice build.

One question, what guided your decision to pick the Sport Line over the M-Sport?
The Nerd commented:
April 18, 2013, 3:05 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LINewYork View Post
Excellent review and nice build.

One question, what guided your decision to pick the Sport Line over the M-Sport?
I know you didn't ask me the question specifically....but I'm going to venture it's the $2000 up charge above and beyond the Sportline fee....for some extra body cladding. I absolutely love the look of the M package....but for me, I had to draw the financial line somewhere. Plus, for me....I've done the staggered tire thing before....it gets old wearing out tires prematurely because they can't be rotated.
DavidM1975 commented:
April 18, 2013, 3:37 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nerd View Post
I know you didn't ask me the question specifically....but I'm going to venture it's the $2000 up charge above and beyond the Sportline fee...
It was that (you nailed it - had to draw the line on the financial side somewhere!) plus some visual details for me. I absolutely LOVED the idea of black interior with red accents since the first time I saw it. The temptations of the M Sport were strong - the awesome steering wheel being probably the strongest but the Sport Line with the red stitching in the seats, red line going through the dashboard and matching steering wheel just made A LOT of sense as the entire package. As far as the exterior is concerned I figured I can always get the M bumper and wheels if I decide I want to change the styling of the car to a bit more aggressive.
BiiGB commented:
April 18, 2013, 9:00 pm

Awesome review. Thanks for taking the time to write it up and post it, including the pics. I've got a 335 on the way. This review is really making lose my patience! I can't wait to experience it for myself.
bringonthenite commented:
April 18, 2013, 9:17 pm

Great review, photos and of course car. Thanks for taking the time for such a post.
Cheers!
BMW X Series commented:
April 18, 2013, 10:32 pm



have driven in eco pro before but i have never seen the range and miles being displayed.
408Racer commented:
April 18, 2013, 11:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM1975 View Post
...As far as the exterior is concerned I figured I can always get the M bumper and wheels if I decide I want to change the styling of the car to a bit more aggressive.
That, and you're looking at the interior more than the exterior.
LINewYork commented:
April 19, 2013, 8:38 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM1975 View Post
It was that (you nailed it - had to draw the line on the financial side somewhere!) plus some visual details for me. I absolutely LOVED the idea of black interior with red accents since the first time I saw it. The temptations of the M Sport were strong - the awesome steering wheel being probably the strongest but the Sport Line with the red stitching in the seats, red line going through the dashboard and matching steering wheel just made A LOT of sense as the entire package. As far as the exterior is concerned I figured I can always get the M bumper and wheels if I decide I want to change the styling of the car to a bit more aggressive.

I have been wavering between the sport line and m sport for the 328 that I will be ordering in July.

Your logic makes sense, if I give up the M Sport: steering wheel, 6MT shift knob, exterior enhancements, staggered tires, I can add navigation to the Sport Line for the same price and keep the fog lights. Definitely something to consider.

The other up side to the Sport Line is the option for the Everest Grey Interior which are far sportier than the Venetian Beige. The black seats with red stitching are also more appealing on the Sport Line.
LINewYork commented:
April 19, 2013, 8:54 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidM1975 View Post
It was that (you nailed it - had to draw the line on the financial side somewhere!) plus some visual details for me. I absolutely LOVED the idea of black interior with red accents since the first time I saw it. The temptations of the M Sport were strong - the awesome steering wheel being probably the strongest but the Sport Line with the red stitching in the seats, red line going through the dashboard and matching steering wheel just made A LOT of sense as the entire package. As far as the exterior is concerned I figured I can always get the M bumper and wheels if I decide I want to change the styling of the car to a bit more aggressive.

I have been wavering between the sport line and m sport for the 328 that I will be ordering in July.

Your logic makes sense, if I give up the M Sport: steering wheel, 6MT shift knob, exterior enhancements, staggered tires, I can add navigation to the Sport Line for the same price. Definitely something to consider.

The other up side to the Sport Line is the option for the Everest Grey Interior which are far sportier than the Venetian Beige. The black seats with red stitching are also more appealing on the Sport Line.
sayzar commented:
April 20, 2013, 12:07 am

Wow you ranking those mile but don't blame you, it's a fun car to drive
jtuds commented:
April 20, 2013, 1:47 pm

Regarding Sirius, get on Howard 100 in the morning for a week, and if you're into sports, channel 88 NFL Radio on the drive home and you'll understand why people pay for it. If you're not into sports, Channel 41 Faction Radio on the drive home. Also, during NFL/NCAA football season if your missus wants you to go somewhere on Saturday/Sunday afternoon, you can hear all the games in the car.
jtuds commented:
April 20, 2013, 1:56 pm

And if you call Sirius and say you wanna cancel (they may even call you after it expires), they'll offer you like $75 for a year.
fabiani commented:
April 20, 2013, 6:15 pm

Re: the Xenons, you are absolutely right. I had them on my 2002 325ci and on my current TSX. Ordered them on my to-be-delivered 328i. I will never ever ever ever drive without them again. Other headlights should be illegal. It's just safer. And better.

And your pix are awesome. I ordered Alpine White this time but the black is gorgeous.


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krash commented:
April 21, 2013, 4:34 pm

This should be in a magazine. Love the photos; especially the one by the Linc.
DavidM1975 commented:
April 21, 2013, 4:39 pm

Ha, thank you! Much appreciated!
Bubbs commented:
April 21, 2013, 5:47 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by deznium View Post
Congratulations! and great pictures!
+1


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Popoemt commented:
April 21, 2013, 5:51 pm

Is the ability to see the radio/song info in the HUD something you coded yourself? Or is that something that's standard (mine doesn't have that standard)? V/r, Tim


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krash commented:
April 21, 2013, 9:18 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LINewYork View Post
Your logic makes sense, if I give up the M Sport: steering wheel, 6MT shift knob, exterior enhancements, staggered tires, I can add navigation to the Sport Line for the same price. Definitely something to consider.

The other up side to the Sport Line is the option for the Everest Grey Interior which are far sportier than the Venetian Beige. The black seats with red stitching are also more appealing on the Sport Line.
Fog lights too. M Sport doesn't have them.
Shervsr20 commented:
April 21, 2013, 10:11 pm

Nice review. What are your thoughts on the new electric assist steering? I've never owned a BMW but I am seriously considering the F30 328i. My previous car was an Impreza STi and I just want to make sure there is ample feedback from the steering. I sold that car over a year ago and since then no potential new car has excited me as much as the F30.
krash commented:
April 21, 2013, 10:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shervsr20 View Post
Nice review. What are your thoughts on the new electric assist steering? I've never owned a BMW but I am seriously considering the F30 328i. My previous car was an Impreza STi and I just want to make sure there is ample feedback from the steering. I sold that car over a year ago and since then no potential new car has excited me as much as the F30.
I know you're asking DavidM1975, but I'll thrown in my 2 cents...

Steering is very good.

Here is the thing though...A lot of folks like myself think the steering was better in the E90. Some folks are very passionate about this. I personally don't think the gap is that great, although I do agree the steering was better in the E90. Also, I really notice the difference when I'm going at a high rate of speed on a straight away. That's when I really feel the E90 was better. When you're cruising around town or driving on a back country road, I sort of like the new steering a lot.

Now, if you're coming from a different car altogether, you won't have the E90 point of reference. I would recommend you drive one and draw your own conclusions.

One other thing, I have DHP, which comes equipped with Variable Steering -- so what I experience is completely different than what folks without DHP experience.
Shervsr20 commented:
April 22, 2013, 5:30 pm

Thanks for the input. Yeah it looks like I'm going to have to test drive to get an idea. I'll ask if I can drive one without the DHP and then one with to see if there is a noticeable difference.

I wonder if there will be different software "hacks" to adjust the steering response to your liking.
krash commented:
April 22, 2013, 7:16 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shervsr20 View Post
Thanks for the input. Yeah it looks like I'm going to have to test drive to get an idea. I'll ask if I can drive one without the DHP and then one with to see if there is a noticeable difference.

I wonder if there will be different software "hacks" to adjust the steering response to your liking.
Unfortunately, they usually don't have cars with DHP on the lot. So I sort of rolled the dice and made the decision based on a lot of feedback I got here. I'm glad I did. Same with HK.

Around these parts, all you ever see are 328 Xdrives with no xenons, no DHP, and no HK...

I did test drive a 335 that had the rear view camera in it though. As soon as I saw that, I knew that was a must have.
Hockeypuck commented:
April 22, 2013, 9:36 pm

I have a 2011 E90 with the Sport Package and ride with the low profile tires to be very rough. Is the F30 Sport with the 4 square tire set-up smoother? I feel every bump in my car. Love the sport seats but might be forced to teh Luxury line if the ride is not any more forgiving.
krash commented:
April 22, 2013, 9:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeypuck View Post
I have a 2011 E90 with the Sport Package and ride with the low profile tires to be very rough. Is the F30 Sport with the 4 square tire set-up smoother? I feel every bump in my car. Love the sport seats but might be forced to teh Luxury line if the ride is not any more forgiving.
With DHP, you can get a sport line, and switch between a firm ride or a softer, cushier ride.

But nothing wrong with the Luxury line at all. Plus, I actually prefer the regular seats over the sport seats.