BMW 320i comes out on top of Motor Trend's entry level luxury sedan comparison

by Bernie McGroarty on March 18, 2014, 1:25 pm
”32oi”

BMW's 320i came out on top in Motor Trends recent entry-level luxury sedan comparison. The 320i had some tough competition from the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA250, Volkswagen's CC R-Line, and the Buick Regal T. The tested cars, were all in the $35k range, with the exception of the CLA250, which was a bit higher at $36,500. The 320i sported a quality ride, made good use of its power, even though it had the least of the group, and offered passengers plenty of room inside. Check out some of the 320i's highlights from the comparison.

Interior
The 320i’s cabin is minimalist and easy to embrace, and the back seat is the most accommodating of the four, with gobs of head- and legroom and trouble-free ingress and egress.

Ride
Even though the 320i came fitted with the passive M sport suspension , it rode confidently on its staggered 18-inch wheels. The BMW suspension delivers a reassuring ride that’s more adept than those of the Regal or CC at snuffing motions after the wheel impact, rather than letting the car oscillate on its own. The purest of BMW purists have harangued that the current F30 3 Series isn’t as laser-focused on handling and as rewarding a driver’s driver as the E30, E36, E46, and E90. We counter the F30 is still an admirable all-around vehicle.

Power
Along the way, each car demonstrated ample passing power on the open road, with no one pining for more from the least-powerful 320i (its ZF eight-speed auto makes the most of the powerband) or any other contender.

In the end
First goes to the 320i, with its easygoing, composed chassis. It’s the most eager to go driving in by a long shot. Knocks against it: It’s weaker on wind-noise abatement and doesn’t come with as many features, although there are plenty of a la carte options to inflate the final price.

4th: Mercedes-Benz CLA250
3rd: Volkswagen CC 2.0T R-Line
2nd:Buick Regal T, was quite close to taking the top spot from the BMW
1st: BMW 320i

BMW may have to watch out for Buick, since they were nearly knocked off the top by the Regal T. Here's what Motor Trend's final take was on the Buick: The Regal, exceptionally outfitted with goodies including a heated steering wheel and AC power receptacle and boasting ride comfort for all ages. There’s no embarrassment in (inadvertently) taking it through a canyon.

Check out the full comparison from Motor Trend here!


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75 responses to BMW 320i comes out on top of Motor Trend's entry level luxury sedan comparison

captainaudio commented:
March 18, 2014, 1:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie@Bimmerfest View Post
[featureimg="32oi"]

BMW may have to watch out for Buick, since they were nearly knocked off the top by the Regal T. Here's what Motor Trend's final take was on the Buick: The Regal, exceptionally outfitted with goodies including a heated steering wheel and AC power receptacle and boasting ride comfort for all ages. There's no embarrassment in (inadvertently) taking it through a canyon.
Maybe BMW will have to change their slogan from "The Ultimate Driving Machine" to "Slightly Better Than a Buick"

I don't see myself shopping for a Buick in the near future but I am glad to see that Buick has made such an improvement.
Buick made some great cars in the past.

whoever commented:
March 18, 2014, 2:18 pm

BMW has abandoned it's core audience but couldn't differentiate itself otherwise. It's game overing ...
Michael Schott commented:
March 18, 2014, 2:41 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoever View Post
BMW has abandoned it's core audience but couldn't differentiate itself otherwise. It's game overing ...
It's core audience from 1980? It's been decades since BMW catered solely to the enthusiast market. I agree the F30 has taken a larger step towards comfort but it's still a hell of a fine sport sedan. I haven't driven a Regal but have no interest in a FWD sport sedan other than a GTI of Focus ST. Frankly the MT results only confirm to me that MT is the most mainstream and least sport oriented of the 4 major US car rags.
Nerdboss commented:
March 18, 2014, 2:54 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by whoever View Post
BMW has abandoned it's core audience but couldn't differentiate itself otherwise. It's game overing ...
Here we go again...

Instead of listening to some mainstream magazine, why not go compare the f30 to a regal and tell us which is better?

The F30 is a great sport sedan, and will only get better as BMW perfects the EPS.
falar commented:
March 18, 2014, 3:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
It's core audience from 1980? It's been decades since BMW catered solely to the enthusiast market. I agree the F30 has taken a larger step towards comfort but it's still a hell of a fine sport sedan. I haven't driven a Regal but have no interest in a FWD sport sedan other than a GTI of Focus ST. Frankly the MT results only confirm to me that MT is the most mainstream and least sport oriented of the 4 major US car rags.
If you offered me either of those FWD cars for FREE I would still take my 335i and a 600-700 a month lease payment.
captainaudio commented:
March 18, 2014, 3:23 pm

Has anyone here actually driven the Buick model that MT tested?
jlukja commented:
March 18, 2014, 3:29 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Has anyone here actually driven the Buick model that MT tested?
How is that relevant to our internet discussion?
chiefneil commented:
March 18, 2014, 3:33 pm

Is the Regal actually decent? I had a Buick Verrano as a rental a few months ago and it matched the dictionary definition of "lifeless steering". Completely numb, overboosted, and utterly lacking in feel - I could have been turning the steering wheel from a video game, in all seriousness. But otherwise it wasn't bad and actually much nicer than the typical compact rental cars I get like Corollas, etc. Decently snug and buttoned down ride (for a Buick) and nice interior. In no way shape or form would I compare it to any model from BMW though.
Bernie@Bimmerfest commented:
March 18, 2014, 3:38 pm

I'm not a big front driver fan, but I'd still like to actually drive the Regal to see what's up. If it's good, good for Buick.
tturedraider commented:
March 18, 2014, 3:42 pm

I've driven the Regal. It's a good car.


Why is it always BMW is going downhill rather than the competition they've provided is forcing others to up their game???
captainaudio commented:
March 18, 2014, 3:49 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlukja View Post
How is that relevant to our internet discussion?
Completely irrelevant.

Why would someone have to have driven (of even seen) a particular model car in order to have a valid opinion of how it drives?

listerone commented:
March 18, 2014, 9:55 pm

Unlike some here I'm happy to cruise along on the Interstate at 69mph.In fact,that's what 95% of my miles are (I take public transportation to work and elsewhere).So my new "d",rated at 45mpg by the EPA,is just fine for me.It's not equipped exactly the way I want it...I *had* to order off the lot....but it's darn good.I'm pretty new to BMW so I don't know how things were 'in the good old days' but,as I said,I'm very pleased with both my "d"s.

Also,my nephew-in-law drives a new Regal and he's very pleased with it.
Dave 20T commented:
March 18, 2014, 10:33 pm

In the 1920's, Buicks were among the best cars on the road. In the early 40's, there were no new cars due to World War II. That's why Buicks are so popular in China. In the late 40's, China collapsed and the government fled to Taiwan leaving China without much car ownership until 20 year ago.


I am amazed at how quiet the F30 is. The steering is decent, not perfect. The handling is very good, not perfect. I think it's BMW trying to balance a mass appeal car with a sports sedan. I am fine with that as long as they don't drop any more sportiness.
beden1 commented:
March 18, 2014, 10:59 pm

So, BMW is your father's Buick or Buick is your son's BMW? I'm confused!
beden1 commented:
March 18, 2014, 11:00 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Maybe BMW will have to change their slogan from "The Ultimate Driving Machine" to "Slightly Better Than a Buick"

I don't see myself shopping for a Buick in the near future but I am glad to see that Buick has made such an improvement.
Buick made some great cars in the past.
BMW also made some great cars in the past.
captainaudio commented:
March 19, 2014, 12:05 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
BMW also made some great cars in the past.

Dave 20T commented:
March 19, 2014, 12:20 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
BMW also made some great cars in the past.
This may be true but I don't believe the 3 series was exceptionally good until the E30 at the earliest. The E21 was not so revolutionary. The 1981 Saab 900 turbo was arguably better and more practical, too.
beden1 commented:
March 19, 2014, 10:34 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 20T View Post
This may be true but I don't believe the 3 series was exceptionally good until the E30 at the earliest. The E21 was not so revolutionary. The 1981 Saab 900 turbo was arguably better and more practical, too.
I loved my 1979 320i E21. There were not many of them on the road here in the US back then, and they were built like a bank vault compared to anything else on the market except for Mercedes. The car was also very planted on the highway and didn't float like the US cars. Very good handling and ample power with a 4 speed manual made for an enjoyable car overall. It's one of my past cars that I wish that I still had in the stable.
Mark K commented:
March 19, 2014, 2:49 pm

Is it just me or does this "We counter the F30 is still an admirable all-around vehicle" sound a little bit like an old-society Savannah lady saying "Oh, yes, little Johhny, bless his heart ..."

captainaudio commented:
March 19, 2014, 3:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
Is it just me or does this "We counter the F30 is still an admirable all-around vehicle" sound a little bit like an old-society Savannah lady saying "Oh, yes, little Johhny, bless his heart ..."

It's probably more like asking "what does she(he) look like" about a blind date and being told "She(he) has a great personality and is a really good dancer".
Mark K commented:
March 19, 2014, 3:25 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
It's probably more like asking "what does she(he) look like" about a blind date and being told "She(he) has a great personality and is a really good dancer".
Well, yes, but I miss what is the difference
Evenflow commented:
March 19, 2014, 4:31 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Has anyone here actually driven the Buick model that MT tested?
I haven't driven one, but I already know how it feels. It feels like all GM cars that are made to try to compete in the sector. They make really solid rental cars.
boltjaM3s commented:
March 19, 2014, 5:42 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Has anyone here actually driven the Buick model that MT tested?
Ha ha ha ha, good one.

BJ
captainaudio commented:
March 19, 2014, 6:16 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenflow;8221509[B
]I haven't driven one, but I already know how it feels.
It feels like all GM cars that are made to try to compete in the sector. They make really solid rental cars.
Perhaps you can provide us with restaurant reviews of restaurants you have never eaten at, hotel reviews of hotels you never stayed at, movie reviews of movies you have never seen and book reviews of books you have never read.
uberspeed commented:
March 19, 2014, 6:39 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Maybe BMW will have to change their slogan from "The Ultimate Driving Machine" to "Slightly Better Than a Buick"

I don't see myself shopping for a Buick in the near future but I am glad to see that Buick has made such an improvement.
Buick made some great cars in the past.

Buick Grand National and GNX are the ones to come to my mind, screamers.
boltjaM3s commented:
March 19, 2014, 11:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie@Bimmerfest View Post

BMW's 320i came out on top in Motor Trends recent entry-level luxury sedan comparison.
Important to note that the 328i was not mentioned in the "Entry-Level" segment, ending the argument we've had around here in the past.

BJ
bmw_again commented:
March 19, 2014, 11:44 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Here we go again...

Instead of listening to some mainstream magazine, why not go compare the f30 to a regal and tell us which is better? (Hint: The regal is nowhere near the Bimmer)

The F30 is a great sport sedan, and will only get better as BMW perfects the EPS.

Looks like they are taking their time on that (perfecting the EPS).
Eagle11 commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:02 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Has anyone here actually driven the Buick model that MT tested?
I travel for work and on average have two rentals a week, I usually rent from national. I have driven a 2013 Regal, and a Passt CC (not a R-line). I haven't driven a CLA.. Buick has come a long way in it's design and fit and finish. Is it as good as a 320i with the sport package, no... Would I concider owning one, no, but I am impressed with how well Buick has come back from the large cars they pushed on people. The Passt is a good car, very stylish, and the 2L turbo is a work horse for VW, but it's form over function for me. The same with MB... The 320i has hit a sweet spot for BMW, it allows people who though BMW were out of reach to be able to have one. For 38K with Sport and Premium package the 320i is a sleeper, and yes more power is needed.
Eagle11 commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:07 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by uberspeed View Post
Buick Grand National and GNX are the ones to come to my mind, screamers.
Yes, Buick and the GN/X are like the BMW of today, very undeeated in the HP department..
whoever commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:31 am

I just need a decent steering, a stick and a spare. They took them all away.
jmsent commented:
March 20, 2014, 8:08 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 20T View Post
This may be true but I don't believe the 3 series was exceptionally good until the E30 at the earliest. The E21 was not so revolutionary. The 1981 Saab 900 turbo was arguably better and more practical, too.
I had an '85 900 Turbo. (nearly the same as the '81 as SAAB never changed anything) It was a piece of junk. Worst MT ever (well maybe a Yugo was even worse), unreliable, and loaded with rattles and squeaks. Worst car purchase I ever made. Traded it on an 87 325is and never looked back.
gkr778 commented:
March 20, 2014, 9:36 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Instead of listening to some mainstream magazine, why not go compare the f30 to a regal and tell us which is better? (Hint: The regal is nowhere near the Bimmer)

The F30 is a great sport sedan.
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Has anyone here actually driven the Buick model that MT tested?
I have driven a base model 2014 Buick Regal 2.0T. It's a very well designed car. While an F30 320i with ZSP (like mine) has sharper driving dynamics, the Regal still delivers sporty responses. GM's LTG 2.0L turbo engine seems more refined in this application than in the Cadillac ATS, though BMW's N20 still sets the benchmark here.

Where the Regal really excels is in the design of controls and displays. They're user friendly and intuitive, with none of the annoying quirks exhibited by the F30's controls and displays.

All in all, Regal is seemingly one of the most under appreciated sedans in the U.S. market. Nerdboss, the Regal is much nearer in overall performance to the Bimmer than you suggest.

(Here's the one I drove)
beden1 commented:
March 20, 2014, 10:12 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
I have driven a base model 2014 Buick Regal 2.0T. It's a very well designed car. While an F30 320i with ZSP (like mine) has sharper driving dynamics, the Regal still delivers sporty responses. GM's LTG 2.0L turbo engine seems more refined in this application than in the Cadillac ATS, though BMW's N20 still sets the benchmark here.

Where the Regal really excels is in the design of controls and displays. They're user friendly and intuitive, with none of the annoying quirks exhibited by the F30's controls and displays.

All in all, Regal is seemingly one of the most under appreciated sedans in the U.S. market. Nerdboss, the Regal is much nearer in overall performance to the Bimmer than you suggest.

(Here's the one I drove)
I like how Buick has designed their new cars. I tried to get my mother-in-law interested in test driving one in January when her car lease was up. She said no because Buicks were for old people. She is 88 years old and ended up leasing a Ford Fusion instead.
kpgray commented:
March 20, 2014, 10:14 am

I personally like the 1953 Buick Skylark, cost more than a 1953 Cadillac Eldorado at the time! The mere fact that Buick can get close is impressive. What will BMW do to keep it's edge? Competition will mean we should look forward to some awesome new BMW's in the future!

Attachment 429127
Chris90 commented:
March 20, 2014, 10:39 am

Hmm, $35k for a front-drive Buick.

What else can I buy for $35k?

2011 335i M Sport w/ like 15k miles
2015 Golf R
2013 328i M Sport
2015 STI Limited

Hmmm . . .
LegendsNeverDie commented:
March 20, 2014, 11:19 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Hmm, $35k for a front-drive Buick.

What else can I buy for $35k?

2011 335i M Sport w/ like 15k miles
2015 Golf R
2013 328i M Sport
2015 STI Limited

Hmmm . . .
Let's not compare used cars to new. I doubt anyone looking at STI has any interest in the others. Good luck getting a Golf R for 35K. Regal GS is available in AWD and can more than hold its own against the 320/328 on the street and at the track.
LegendsNeverDie commented:
March 20, 2014, 11:21 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
I have driven a base model 2014 Buick Regal 2.0T. It's a very well designed car. While an F30 320i with ZSP (like mine) has sharper driving dynamics, the Regal still delivers sporty responses. GM's LTG 2.0L turbo engine seems more refined in this application than in the Cadillac ATS, though BMW's N20 still sets the benchmark here.

Where the Regal really excels is in the design of controls and displays. They're user friendly and intuitive, with none of the annoying quirks exhibited by the F30's controls and displays.

All in all, Regal is seemingly one of the most under appreciated sedans in the U.S. market. Nerdboss, the Regal is much nearer in overall performance to the Bimmer than you suggest.

(Here's the one I drove)

This. Regal GS would have little to no issues against the 320.
gkr778 commented:
March 20, 2014, 11:35 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
What else can I buy for $35k?
Hmm...
bighorns commented:
March 20, 2014, 11:54 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Let's not compare used cars to new. I doubt anyone looking at STI has any interest in the others. Good luck getting a Golf R for 35K. Regal GS is available in AWD and can more than hold its own against the 320/328 on the street and at the track.
It's a fair comparison. I much prefer to own a 3 year old BMW over a new Honda/Toyota/Nissan/Buick et al.
LegendsNeverDie commented:
March 20, 2014, 1:25 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by bighorns View Post
It's a fair comparison. I much prefer to own a 3 year old BMW over a new Honda/Toyota/Nissan/Buick et al.
Fair enough. Ill take a used Z06 and run circles around these cars. Better yet, Ill buy a used Cobalt SS spend few grand on it, run circles around these cars and have enough money left over to get a nice used luxury DD. Or I can get a used S4 and spank the 335.. Or I can get a used C63 or used RS4 or used CTS-V or Mustang GT or Camaro SS...I can do this all day. Again, you can't compare used cars to new cars. Not everyone wants an outdated 3 year old E90 BMW with the reliability issues and interior design straight from the 80's.
bighorns commented:
March 20, 2014, 1:33 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Fair enough. Ill take a used Z06 and run circles around these cars. Better yet, Ill buy a used Cobalt SS spend few grand on it, run circles around these cars and have enough money left over to get a nice used luxury DD. Or I can get a used S4 and spank the 335.. Or I can get a used C63 or used RS4 or used CTS-V or Mustang GT or Camaro SS...I can do this all day. Again, you can't compare used cars to new cars. Not everyone wants an outdated 3 year old E90 BMW with the reliability issues and interior design straight from the 80's.
These are all true statements. I can pour the money that I saved over new into my E92 and be pushing ridiculous HP levels, or like you said, just find a Z06! All depends what you want.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
mohrgan commented:
March 20, 2014, 1:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Again, you can't compare used cars to new cars. Not everyone wants an outdated 3 year old E90 BMW with the reliability issues and interior design straight from the 80's.
Yes you can...because a 3 year old "outdated" BMW E90 is still a better car than most new domestic or Japanese cars in the midsized/compact segment today. Is an E90 perfect and does it have it's quirks? No and of course it does. Are there faster cars out there? Yes, the ones you mentioned are faster but for one car that does it all, you will be hard pressed to find one better than a 3 series.
Chris90 commented:
March 20, 2014, 1:50 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Fair enough. Ill take a used Z06 and run circles around these cars. Better yet, Ill buy a used Cobalt SS spend few grand on it, run circles around these cars and have enough money left over to get a nice used luxury DD. Or I can get a used S4 and spank the 335.. Or I can get a used C63 or used RS4 or used CTS-V or Mustang GT or Camaro SS...I can do this all day. Again, you can't compare used cars to new cars. Not everyone wants an outdated 3 year old E90 BMW with the reliability issues and interior design straight from the 80's.
All the alternative cars I listed are 4 door practical sedans. So your Z06 can go play in someone else's thread.

Put AWD on the Regal and it's 4000 lbs. What is it, an M5 competitor?
LegendsNeverDie commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
All the alternative cars I listed are 4 door practical sedans. So your Z06 can go play in someone else's thread.

Put AWD on the Regal and it's 4000 lbs. What is it, an M5 competitor?
You can get better used sedans for 35K than the 335. CTS-V, C63, S4, RS4...depends on the mileage and the options.
Chris90 commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
You can get better used sedans for 35K than the 335. CTS-V, C63, S4, RS4...depends on the mileage and the options.
If your point is there are many cars for $35k better than a FWD Buick, I agree.
LegendsNeverDie commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohrgan View Post
Yes you can...because a 3 year old "outdated" BMW E90 is still a better car than most new domestic or Japanese cars in the midsized/compact segment today. Is an E90 perfect and does it have it's quirks? No and of course it does. Are there faster cars out there? Yes, the ones you mentioned are faster but for one car that does it all, you will be hard pressed to find one better than a 3 series.
I drive one so I know and it wouldn't be hard to find a better one at all...ATS, IS350 and S4.
LegendsNeverDie commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:08 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
If your point is there are many cars for $35k better than a FWD Buick, I agree.
Except that FWD Buick almost beat the 3 series and my point is that there are much better cars for 35K than a used E90 335.
Michael Schott commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:14 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
Except that FWD Buick almost beat the 3 series and my point is that there are much better cars for 35K than a used E90 335.
Depends. If you want a fast, tight handling, relatively luxurious 4 door daily driver that is tight and well engineered, there are not many better choices. I'd personally rather have an E90 335i with MT and ZSP than any of the cars you mention above. And you can probably find a model with relatively low miles for under $30K.
gkr778 commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
If your point is there are many cars for $35k better than a FWD Buick, I agree.
There are cars for $35k - new and pre-owned - that are better than any of the four tested by Motor Trend in this particular comparison based on the criteria they used.

Extending the logic in post #36 to focus on specific attributes or features, one can demonstrate that ANY car (whether an entry-level luxury sedan, a lap in a DW12 IndyCar, or several dozen Little Tikes Cozy Coupes) is superior to any other car.
LegendsNeverDie commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
Depends. If you want a fast, tight handling, relatively luxurious 4 door daily driver that is tight and well engineered, there are not many better choices. I'd personally rather have an E90 335i with MT and ZSP than any of the cars you mention above. And you can probably find a model with relatively low miles for under $30K.
The IS350, ATS, S4 are just as good if not better. Personally, I would take the E90 328i 6 speed with ZSP and absolutely no other option. I would then spend the remaining cash on LSD, tires, performance exhaust, AA tune and 3 state manifold.
bighorns commented:
March 20, 2014, 2:36 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
The IS350, ATS, S4 are just as good if not better. Personally, I would take the E90 328i 6 speed with ZSP and absolutely no other option. I would then spend the remaining cash on LSD, tires, performance exhaust, AA tune and 3 state manifold.
It seems that all of these cars are more rare than the 335, and will cost 3 x as much to mod to the same power levels. Stock for stock, they are a great alternative though.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Chris90 commented:
March 20, 2014, 6:35 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
You can get better used sedans for 35K than the 335. CTS-V, C63, S4, RS4...depends on the mileage and the options.
Better how, raw performance? People buy sports sedans as a package. CTS-V has a crappy interior, C63 is auto only. The RS4 would cost a lot more than $35k. S4 is comparable, but I find Audis to be fast and lifeless to drive.

I'm all ears, $35k is my budget, and want a fun manual 4/5 door with decent gas mileage. Right now I'm leaning toward a 2015 Golf R, with E90 as 2nd choice.
mohrgan commented:
March 20, 2014, 8:51 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Better how, raw performance? People buy sports sedans as a package. CTS-V has a crappy interior, C63 is auto only. The RS4 would cost a lot more than $35k. S4 is comparable, but I find Audis to be fast and lifeless to drive.
I totally agree. You summed up concisely what I was try to say!
HugH commented:
March 20, 2014, 9:09 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
I have driven a base model 2014 Buick Regal 2.0T. It's a very well designed car. While an F30 320i with ZSP (like mine) has sharper driving dynamics, the Regal still delivers sporty responses. GM's LTG 2.0L turbo engine seems more refined in this application than in the Cadillac ATS, though BMW's N20 still sets the benchmark here.

Where the Regal really excels is in the design of controls and displays. They're user friendly and intuitive, with none of the annoying quirks exhibited by the F30's controls and displays.

All in all, Regal is seemingly one of the most under appreciated sedans in the U.S. market. Nerdboss, the Regal is much nearer in overall performance to the Bimmer than you suggest.

(Here's the one I drove)
The fifth generation Buick Regal shares the Epsilon II platform of the Opel Insignia and first went into production in Rüsselsheim, Germany, in 2008. Perhaps it's heritage sets it apart from the other Buick models?
Chris90 commented:
March 20, 2014, 10:15 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LegendsNeverDie View Post
The IS350, ATS, S4 are just as good if not better. Personally, I would take the E90 328i 6 speed with ZSP and absolutely no other option. I would then spend the remaining cash on LSD, tires, performance exhaust, AA tune and 3 state manifold.
I like the 328i w/ mods option a lot.

IS350 = I could maybe deal with the auto cause I love the car, but it's about $48k and even used ones are $42k. Maybe in a year a CPO will get cheaper but seems like the used ones are overpriced.

ATS = $7k discounts are eyecatching but they don't have a config I want - no manual with the V6. If I'm gonna get an auto I'll get the IS350.
gkr778 commented:
March 20, 2014, 10:57 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by HugH View Post
The fifth generation Buick Regal shares the Epsilon II platform of the Opel Insignia and first went into production in Rüsselsheim, Germany, in 2008. Perhaps it's heritage sets it apart from the other Buick models?
Indeed! Even though U.S. market Buick Regal is currently assembled in Canada, the car was designed and engineered primarily in Europe by Opel.
ddeliber commented:
March 20, 2014, 11:20 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
I like the 328i w/ mods option a lot.

IS350 = I could maybe deal with the auto cause I love the car, but it's about $48k and even used ones are $42k. Maybe in a year a CPO will get cheaper but seems like the used ones are overpriced.

ATS = $7k discounts are eyecatching but they don't have a config I want - no manual with the V6. If I'm gonna get an auto I'll get the IS350.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not pretentious or an appearance kind of person. Usually I let the performance of whatever it is take significant precedence over appearance. BUT, I don't think I could ever own a 2014 IS350 (or any 14 Lexus for that matter), they are just too damn fugly. I'm sure it is a great car, I just have a hard time looking at them so I won't even take one for a test drive.
Dave 20T commented:
March 20, 2014, 11:45 pm

The term entry level has been perplexing to me. It's out-dated.

I am not going to buy a Chevy then a Buick then a cheaper Cadillac followed by a big Cadillac. I am not going to buy a 3 series and eventually get a 7 series.

In terms of size, an old 5 series from the 80's is what I want. That is now the F30. If I stay with BMWs, it will always be a 3 series or similar.
Eagle11 commented:
March 21, 2014, 1:51 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 20T View Post
The term entry level has been perplexing to me. It's out-dated.
Dave the 320i is a entry level car in the Sport Sedan segment. Now what makes a sedan a sport sedan has been argued on many internet forums. In the last 15 yrs this segment has grown, you have the lexus IS300 now IS250/350, infiniti G35/35 and now Q50, Audi A4 and A3, MB C300/350. Today you have a Caddy ATS who wants some of this action. As prices continue to climb manufactures had to look at ways of keeping prices down, and I think the 320i is the perfect balance of this. For under 35K you can get a 320i with sport package, and manuel trans. The 180hp in the 320i is underrated and it could use a little more. This is where Burger Motorsports comes in, the stage 1 for the N20 engine gives the extra hp for litte money. The 320i is a great highway cruiser, and get impressive MPG too. BMW didn't decontent the 320i too much but still keeps up with some of it's bigger brothers.
falar commented:
March 21, 2014, 2:35 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddeliber View Post
Let me preface this by saying that I am not pretentious or an appearance kind of person. Usually I let the performance of whatever it is take significant precedence over appearance. BUT, I don't think I could ever own a 2014 IS350 (or any 14 Lexus for that matter), they are just too damn fugly. I'm sure it is a great car, I just have a hard time looking at them so I won't even take one for a test drive.
For whatever reason Japanese car designs are very often fugly to me, not just the IS350.
ddeliber commented:
March 21, 2014, 6:42 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by falar View Post
For whatever reason Japanese car designs are very often fugly to me, not just the IS350.
To me, Infiniti are actually pretty good looking, the new Acura sedans are ugly. All the cars in the 2014 Lexus lineup are fugly. The exteriors of the 2013s and earlier are actually good looking, but I hate the dash's on pretty much all of them.
Dave 20T commented:
March 21, 2014, 9:14 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle11 View Post
Dave the 320i is a entry level car in the Sport Sedan segment. Now what makes a sedan a sport sedan has been argued on many internet forums. In the last 15 yrs this segment has grown, you have the lexus IS300 now IS250/350, infiniti G35/35 and now Q50, Audi A4 and A3, MB C300/350. Today you have a Caddy ATS who wants some of this action. As prices continue to climb manufactures had to look at ways of keeping prices down, and I think the 320i is the perfect balance of this. For under 35K you can get a 320i with sport package, and manuel trans. The 180hp in the 320i is underrated and it could use a little more. This is where Burger Motorsports comes in, the stage 1 for the N20 engine gives the extra hp for litte money. The 320i is a great highway cruiser, and get impressive MPG too. BMW didn't decontent the 320i too much but still keeps up with some of it's bigger brothers.
I see. Entry level might be from the perspective that a car is barely in that segment, such as the minimum to be a sports sedan. A company might look at price and think that the 3 series is the cheapest car and thus is "entry level" even if it is the best example (7 series is more luxury cruiser than sports sedan)
Chris90 commented:
March 21, 2014, 9:31 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddeliber View Post
Let me preface this by saying that I am not pretentious or an appearance kind of person. Usually I let the performance of whatever it is take significant precedence over appearance. BUT, I don't think I could ever own a 2014 IS350 (or any 14 Lexus for that matter), they are just too damn fugly. I'm sure it is a great car, I just have a hard time looking at them so I won't even take one for a test drive.
i get that, although looks are completely subjective, I've gotten used to the predator grill and love the overall shape of the car, and the interior is my favorite in the class, it feels like you're in the cockpit of an F15 fighter.

My favorite exteriors under $50k (in no particular order):
IS350
M Sport 335i/435i/435i GC
M235i
Lancer EVO GSR
Mercedes GLA AMG?
Volvo S60 R Design (pre facelift)
Golf R (MkVI not MkVII)

No Audis, Mazdas, Honda/Acuras, Infinitis etc.
ddeliber commented:
March 21, 2014, 10:21 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
i get that, although looks are completely subjective, I've gotten used to the predator grill and love the overall shape of the car, and the interior is my favorite in the class, it feels like you're in the cockpit of an F15 fighter.

My favorite exteriors under $50k (in no particular order):
IS350
M Sport 335i/435i/435i GC
M235i
Lancer EVO GSR
Mercedes GLA AMG?
Volvo S60 R Design (pre facelift)
Golf R (MkVI not MkVII)

No Audis, Mazdas, Honda/Acuras, Infinitis etc.
I absolutely agree on the looks are subjective part, to each his/her own. It is just my opinion. From the pics, I see what you are saying about the cockpit feel of the IS. I just hate the center dash on all Lexus' I've seen. Boxy crappy looking plastic, sort of like a pre-facelift C-class, not for me.

BTW, that GLA AMG45 looks awesome and based on the review linked below I want one! (unless of course it is as small inside as the CLA which is too cramped for anyone over 6').

http://www.boldride.com/ride/2014/me...amg#gallery/10
350ish hp, 0-60 in 4.8s 2.0T - 37.5mpg

I really want to know how much they will cost here, couldn't find pricing in the few min I searched.
Chris90 commented:
March 21, 2014, 11:06 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddeliber View Post
BTW, that GLA AMG45 looks awesome and based on the review linked below I want one! (unless of course it is as small inside as the CLA which is too cramped for anyone over 6').

http://www.boldride.com/ride/2014/me...amg#gallery/10
350ish hp, 0-60 in 4.8s 2.0T - 37.5mpg

I really want to know how much they will cost here, couldn't find pricing in the few min I searched.
Since it's really an A45 AMG in disguise, which is really a CLA AMG, I'd guess it'll be a little more than a CLA AMG. $50k?

I'm not really a Benz guy, too showy for me, but they do make beautiful cars.
listerone commented:
March 22, 2014, 1:23 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave 20T View Post
In terms of size, an old 5 series from the 80's is what I want. That is now the F30. If I stay with BMWs, it will always be a 3 series or similar.
Different strokes for different folks I guess.I almost went with the 535d last month but the prospect of 45 mpg was too tempting for me so I went with the 3.If I ever win the lottery I'll almost certainly go with a 6 or 7 Series (assuming it features a diesel) or an S Class Bluetec.
HugH commented:
March 27, 2014, 8:57 pm

Well, since the Buick Regal was mentioned and very few of us were knowledgeable about this GM car, I found this review of the 2014 Regeal GS.

Interesting. Enjoy!

2014 Buick Regal GS AWD Review and Road Test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hah8qsDbID4

For some reason I can't cut&paste the Youtube address

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hah8qsDbID4
Eagle11 commented:
March 27, 2014, 10:55 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Better how, raw performance? People buy sports sedans as a package. CTS-V has a crappy interior, C63 is auto only. The RS4 would cost a lot more than $35k. S4 is comparable, but I find Audis to be fast and lifeless to drive.

I'm all ears, $35k is my budget, and want a fun manual 4/5 door with decent gas mileage. Right now I'm leaning toward a 2015 Golf R, with E90 as 2nd choice.
Sport Sedans do not come in FWD, even if the Gold has 3 wheel drive it still is bias towards the front wheels.

This is why the 320i with the sport package is bargain, but of course many people on this forum thinks the steering is horrible... If the car is being used as a daily driver it's a fine car.
Kafkaesque320 commented:
March 27, 2014, 10:57 pm

The F30 'steering being horrible' thing is perhaps the most exaggerated thing I hear in automotive circles these days. The e90 steering was heavier. The F30 is lighter and its electric. The steering tightens up in sport mode. I guess it's a little artificial in comparison but its precise. Not that big of a deal
Chris90 commented:
March 28, 2014, 11:02 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle11 View Post
Sport Sedans do not come in FWD, even if the Gold has 3 wheel drive it still is bias towards the front wheels.

This is why the 320i with the sport package is bargain, but of course many people on this forum thinks the steering is horrible... If the car is being used as a daily driver it's a fine car.
The 2015 Golf R has both fully defeatable stability control, and a new Haldex that lets it transfer more power to the rear. It's a drifting beast now.

For fun I'd take this over a 320i any day. The 320i is certainly attractive as a well rounded package though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8h97Abx5yg
Michael Schott commented:
March 28, 2014, 11:40 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque320 View Post
The F30 'steering being horrible' thing is perhaps the most exaggerated thing I hear in automotive circles these days. The e90 steering was heavier. The F30 is lighter and its electric. The steering tightens up in sport mode. I guess it's a little artificial in comparison but its precise. Not that big of a deal
I strongly disagree. It's not just about the effort. The E90 steering communicated what was going on at the tire patches far better. Effort increased as slip angles increased (as you start to run out of traction) which is what makes good steering. The EPS is artificial and too linear.
namelessman commented:
March 28, 2014, 11:56 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Schott View Post
I strongly disagree. It's not just about the effort. The E90 steering communicated what was going on at the tire patches far better. Effort increased as slip angles increased (as you start to run out of traction) which is what makes good steering. The EPS is artificial and too linear.
The F30 EPS is still a direct connection to steering rack with pinion, to me it feels just as good as the R&P in old E39. Also, the steering effort of EPS is not much different than that in the E39 hydraulic, and the effort does increase with slip angles(not as much as hydraulic) with sufficient feedback(a change of effort is noticeable, even though it is less effort).
Michael Schott commented:
March 28, 2014, 1:44 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The F30 EPS is still a direct connection to steering rack with pinion, to me it feels just as good as the R&P in old E39. Also, the steering effort of EPS is not much different than that in the E39 hydraulic, and the effort does increase with slip angles(not as much as hydraulic) with sufficient feedback(a change of effort is noticeable, even though it is less effort).
We will have to agree to disagree. IMO the build up of effort is no where near that of the E90.
Chris90 commented:
March 28, 2014, 2:30 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
The F30 EPS is still a direct connection to steering rack with pinion, to me it feels just as good as the R&P in old E39. Also, the steering effort of EPS is not much different than that in the E39 hydraulic, and the effort does increase with slip angles(not as much as hydraulic) with sufficient feedback(a change of effort is noticeable, even though it is less effort).
You seem to be in the minority in that opinion.

What did Motor Trend say about the M235i, that you could drive over a 135i and not feel it in the steering?
namelessman commented:
March 28, 2014, 3:11 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
You seem to be in the minority in that opinion.

What did Motor Trend say about the M235i, that you could drive over a 135i and not feel it in the steering?
My frame of reference is E39, which obviously is not E46 nor E90 steering wise. The EPS seems to emphasize steady hands more so than hydraulics, namely, the big motor helps to steer, but the steady hands still do(and feel) the steering. My 2 cents.