Consumer Reports Really Likes the 330i

by Bimmerfest.com Member - LMK5 on December 27, 2016, 10:14 am
Anyone see the first drive review for the 330i from CR? The tester seemed to think that BMW really improved the driving experience. 'The BMW 330i is back to being a focused, superbly fun sports sedan. The BMW 3 Series has once again made driving engagement standard equipment.'

Has anyone who has driven the 330i experienced the same thing? Does it drive noticeably better than the 328i?




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45 responses to Consumer Reports Really Likes the 330i

DavidSPumpkins commented:
December 27, 2016, 11:00 am

My 340i apparently is a step in the right direction. The car is a bit heavier than I am accustomed to, but very capable. I took a sweeper this weekend at 85mph with ease, and have taken that same sweeper with every other car I have owned in the past 15 years, and this one was the most composed. Surprised me a bit since the suspension still seems a tad floaty, but it carves the corners pretty well. No complaints for a DD.

I have not really addressed your question, since I have little point of reference. My last bimmer was the E46. I have heard the intial F30's were a disappointment. But it wouldn't surprise me the 330i is a step in the right direction as well.
Saintor commented:
December 27, 2016, 11:09 am

IMO it is not necessarily the 330i itself but the consequence of 2016+ LCI, with better body & suspension tweakings.
Kafkaesque328 commented:
December 27, 2016, 2:07 pm

^^ exactly. Engine is practically the same and actually track tested less favorably with c&d i.e. A little slower etc
Robert A commented:
December 27, 2016, 4:30 pm

He frames the 330i as a new generation vehicle that's improved over its soft predecessor. I've driven it and cannot tell much of a difference compared to last year's LCI 328i.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMK5 View Post
Anyone see the first drive review for the 330i from CR? The tester seemed to think that BMW really improved the driving experience. Has anyone who has driven the 330i experienced the same thing? Does it drive noticeably better than the 328i?
https://youtu.be/D-o99R0RgD8
logicalscott commented:
December 27, 2016, 4:47 pm

They should stick to dishwashers and crock pots.
tturedraider commented:
December 27, 2016, 5:54 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
He frames the 330i as a new generation vehicle that's improved over its soft predecessor. I've driven it and cannot tell much of a difference compared to last year's LCI 328i.
+1 - it really shoots down his credibility.
namelessman commented:
December 27, 2016, 7:06 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert A View Post
He frames the 330i as a new generation vehicle that's improved over its soft predecessor. I've driven it and cannot tell much of a difference compared to last year's LCI 328i.
LCI 328i and 330i are incremental improvement to F30, it does not change enough of the fundamentals.
pdxway commented:
December 27, 2016, 9:18 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalscott View Post
They should stick to dishwashers and crock pots.
What other trustworthy publication would you suggest?
Kafkaesque328 commented:
December 27, 2016, 9:20 pm

Automotive mags arent any better and they all tend to follow the leader and admire the emperors new clothes. Its all BS
DBV commented:
December 28, 2016, 7:52 am

I think they do a good and fair job. Name another magazine that can do or even attempt to do a thorough job on such a wide variety of cars. There are none.

Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalscott View Post
They should stick to dishwashers and crock pots.
MrMarvin commented:
December 28, 2016, 8:59 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque328 View Post
^^ exactly. Engine is practically the same and actually track tested less favorably with c&d i.e. A little slower etc
If you're referring to 330i pre-lci this has a brand new four banger, no inline six in the 330i anymore!
anotheran commented:
December 28, 2016, 10:00 am

Last 3 series (non-M) that CR reviewed was the 2014 328d so it's their first time reviewing post-LCI. So like Saintor said, it's the LCI changes they're complimenting and not the B48.

But this review isn't as glowing as their review of the A4
tturedraider commented:
December 28, 2016, 10:28 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by anotheran View Post
Last 3 series (non-M) that CR reviewed was the 2014 328d so it's their first time reviewing post-LCI. So like Saintor said, it's the LCI changes they're complimenting and not the B48.

But this review isn't as glowing as their review of the A4
I'm generally a fan of CR, had a subscription for many years, but their favorite flavor is vanilla. They review cars with the same perspective they use to review toasters. The things about cars that we like are not the things about cars that they like. I take their car reviews and ratings with a grain of salt.
eazy commented:
December 28, 2016, 10:45 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by DBV View Post
I think they do a good and fair job. Name another magazine that can do or even attempt to do a thorough job on such a wide variety of cars. There are none.


+1 unlike the big four car magazines consumer reports will rip a car apart. For example look at their reviews on the IS and Q50. In addition consumer reports buy their cars. They will pay money to use a press car but they can not do a full road test.


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Der_Kommissar commented:
December 28, 2016, 11:24 am

BMW should have had the new 4 banger ready for the LCI to reduce this confusion. Now we have one 328i LCI year followed by a very similar 330 with a new engine.
anotheran commented:
December 28, 2016, 12:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Der_Kommissar View Post
BMW should have had the new 4 banger ready for the LCI to reduce this confusion. Now we have one 328i LCI year followed by a very similar 330 with a new engine.
Probably a glut of N26 lying around. The rest of the world had switched to the B48 when the LCI came out. I have a N26 engined LCI and don't regret it. More mods available for the N26 than the B48
LMK5 commented:
December 29, 2016, 10:42 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque328 View Post
^^ exactly. Engine is practically the same and actually track tested less favorably with c&d i.e. A little slower etc
Also, the 330i is rated at 34 mpg highway instead of 35 for the 2016 328i. Very unusual for a model's mileage to go down.
FaRKle! commented:
December 29, 2016, 11:00 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMK5 View Post
Also, the 330i is rated at 34 mpg highway instead of 35 for the 2016 328i. Very unusual for a model's mileage to go down.
IIRC that's because of the 2017 standards change. For instance, if you look at this page, it shows the old fuel economy numbers and the revised ones under the new standards.
LMK5 commented:
December 29, 2016, 11:02 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
IIRC that's because of the 2017 standards change. For instance, if you look at this page, it shows the old fuel economy numbers and the revised ones under the new standards.
I'm surprised it's the highway numbers that got adjusted. In my experience it's the city mpg that's usually the fantasy.
SteveinArizona commented:
December 29, 2016, 12:09 pm

I trust CR but they bias toward pricing bargains and safety so the car reviews are useful but if one is looking for a driver car not the best. Best bet, if looking for a driver car, is to look at the road test scores.

My biggest complaint is that they continue to review positively Audi cars (which is fine) but for a publication that claims to care about the environment, there is not even a mention of the fact that the company has deliberately and illegally fouled our air and has shown no real remorse over it. At a minimum, I would expect this to be mentioned in a CR review.
FaRKle! commented:
December 29, 2016, 12:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LMK5 View Post
I'm surprised it's the highway numbers that got adjusted. In my experience it's the city mpg that's usually the fantasy.
The highway numbers dropped across the board for almost everybody from what I've seen.
Kafkaesque328 commented:
December 29, 2016, 12:51 pm

I will say that the 328 gets about 3 mpg less across the board vs what my 320 got but that defecit is largely city. Highway is very close but combined now I get about 24.5 - 25 with a mix of city and hwy, commuting. The 320 combined about 27 on the same grind. Figure lighter car and less boost
eazy commented:
December 29, 2016, 12:57 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
I trust CR but they bias toward pricing bargains and safety so the car reviews are useful but if one is looking for a driver car not the best. Best bet, if looking for a driver car, is to look at the road test scores.

My biggest complaint is that they continue to review positively Audi cars (which is fine) but for a publication that claims to care about the environment, there is not even a mention of the fact that the company has deliberately and illegally fouled our air and has shown no real remorse over it. At a minimum, I would expect this to be mentioned in a CR review.


Actually the car that has the highest overall score in the consumer report test is the 2 series. The model s has a higher road test score but it's reliability drags the overall number down. Also when Toyota had its problems a couple of years ago it lost its recommend rating for the cars involve. CR does not recommend the diesel cars involve with the Vw scandal.


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SteveinArizona commented:
December 30, 2016, 10:05 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by eazy View Post
Actually the car that has the highest overall score in the consumer report test is the 2 series. The model s has a higher road test score but it's reliability drags the overall number down. Also when Toyota had its problems a couple of years ago it lost its recommend rating for the cars involve. CR does not recommend the diesel cars involve with the Vw scandal.


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I like the 2 series. Wish the series had a PHEV but it doesn't. My complaint about VW is that the problem is not just the diesel cars...it is the attitude of the entire company that created the cheat. CR should at least be noting that the company that they are reviewing deliberately fouled our air. The fact that a particular car being reviewed is not a diesel doesn't change the fact that the company making the car chose to violate the law and has shown no remorse after being caught.
WilliCO commented:
December 30, 2016, 10:23 am

I think the take-away is that the pre-LCI F30 wasn't really that far off, but the press loves a hero fallen so it pounced on the imperfections.

I've driven a post-LCI F30 (F31 actually), and I think if BMW had released that car initially nobody would have had anything to complain about. But the differences are certainly incremental. The suspension in particular seems about 15% better sorted, which is maybe all it needed.

The F10 was a larger issue, IMO. From a chassis dynamics standpoint, the pre-LCI was really nothing like a BMW. Nice, but not a BMW. I thought the LCI took care of some of the problems, but it's nice to read that BMW is treating the G30 as a driver's car again.
eazy commented:
December 30, 2016, 11:36 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
I like the 2 series. Wish the series had a PHEV but it doesn't. My complaint about VW is that the problem is not just the diesel cars...it is the attitude of the entire company that created the cheat. CR should at least be noting that the company that they are reviewing deliberately fouled our air. The fact that a particular car being reviewed is not a diesel doesn't change the fact that the company making the car chose to violate the law and has shown no remorse after being caught.


They explain it here https://youtu.be/9bbN0vYCxUY. Let's be almost every car company has been caught cheating. CR did their due diligence in their recommendations with the diesels. The Eu basically allow car companies to cheat when it come to fuel economy and emissions test by taping up the car & removing the back seat. That why EU fuel economy figures are basically BS. On the other hand the EPA's fuel economy figures are more accurate and if a company is caught cheating they will be fined. I believe Hyundai got caught cheating with their fuel economy on their cars.


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SteveinArizona commented:
December 30, 2016, 12:55 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by eazy View Post
They explain it here https://youtu.be/9bbN0vYCxUY. Let's be almost every car company has been caught cheating. CR did their due diligence in their recommendations with the diesels. The Eu basically allow car companies to cheat when it come to fuel economy and emissions test by taping up the car & removing the back seat. That why EU fuel economy figures are basically BS. On the other hand the EPA's fuel economy figures are more accurate and if a company is caught cheating they will be fined. I believe Hyundai got caught cheating with their fuel economy on their cars.


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My problem with CR and VW is two fold. First, they should be noting this in their ratings. They put a big red diamond under MB for its autonymous driving issues. They could put a big red circle (square, whatever) under any VW corp product noting that this company deliberately cheated to foul the air. My other complaint is that the recording is BS...VW didn't go to "clean diesel" to combat the Prius; they went there to meet governmental regulations...and of course then cheated to meet them. There was at least one solution for clean diesel (urea traps) but VW didn't want to spend the money doing it.
gkr778 commented:
December 30, 2016, 12:57 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
My biggest complaint is that they continue to review positively Audi cars (which is fine) but for a publication that claims to care about the environment, there is not even a mention of the fact that the company has deliberately and illegally fouled our air and has shown no real remorse over it.
CR has written extensively about the VW Group diesel engine "scandal". Read the articles here: http://www.consumerreports.org/cars-...ssions-recall/
gkr778 commented:
December 30, 2016, 1:05 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
The things about cars that we like are not the things about cars that they like.
Here's what CR likes about BMW F30 cars, quoted directly from their road test review:
  • Fun to drive, thanks to engaging handling and responsive powertrains
  • Fuel efficient with either the gasoline or diesel four-cylinder engines
  • Very comfortable and well-finished cabin
  • Good visibility
  • You can still get a manual transmission
  • Available as a wagon -- rare in this segment
  • Comprehensive infotainment system works well, after a learning curve
  • Wide variety of engine choices

Here's what I like about F30 cars:
  • Fun to drive, thanks to engaging handling and responsive powertrains
  • Fuel efficient with either the gasoline or diesel four-cylinder engines
  • Very comfortable and well-finished cabin
  • Good visibility
  • You can still get a manual transmission
  • Available as a wagon -- rare in this segment
  • Comprehensive infotainment system works well, after a learning curve
  • Wide variety of engine choices
Do other Bimmerfest members not like these things?
BobinIl commented:
December 30, 2016, 2:06 pm

This seems about right to me....
eazy commented:
December 30, 2016, 2:21 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
My problem with CR and VW is two fold. First, they should be noting this in their ratings. They put a big red diamond under MB for its autonymous driving issues. They could put a big red circle (square, whatever) under any VW corp product noting that this company deliberately cheated to foul the air. My other complaint is that the recording is BS...VW didn't go to "clean diesel" to combat the Prius; they went there to meet governmental regulations...and of course then cheated to meet them. There was at least one solution for clean diesel (urea traps) but VW didn't want to spend the money doing it.


Vw didnot have a hybrid to counter the Prius. They used diesel as an alternative to hybrids.


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colobrio commented:
December 30, 2016, 3:23 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post

Here's what I like about F30 cars:
  • Fun to drive, thanks to engaging handling and responsive powertrains
  • Fuel efficient with either the gasoline or diesel four-cylinder engines
  • Very comfortable and well-finished cabin
  • Good visibility
  • You can still get a manual transmission
  • Available as a wagon -- rare in this segment
  • Comprehensive infotainment system works well, after a learning curve
  • Wide variety of engine choices
Do other Bimmerfest members not like these things?
Well, yes! Or no, this one does not not like those things. Whatever. Most of those are the reasons I bought my F30 (an LCI 328i). Also, that there's enough headroom for my kids in back, unlike the growing number sedans with raked rooflines. That said, I did find the track pack necessary to get the "fun to drive" piece where I wanted.
Kafkaesque328 commented:
December 30, 2016, 4:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkr778 View Post
Here's what CR likes about BMW F30 cars, quoted directly from their road test review:
  • Fun to drive, thanks to engaging handling and responsive powertrains
  • Fuel efficient with either the gasoline or diesel four-cylinder engines
  • Very comfortable and well-finished cabin
  • Good visibility
  • You can still get a manual transmission
  • Available as a wagon -- rare in this segment
  • Comprehensive infotainment system works well, after a learning curve
  • Wide variety of engine choices

Here's what I like about F30 cars:
  • Fun to drive, thanks to engaging handling and responsive powertrains
  • Fuel efficient with either the gasoline or diesel four-cylinder engines
  • Very comfortable and well-finished cabin
  • Good visibility
  • You can still get a manual transmission
  • Available as a wagon -- rare in this segment
  • Comprehensive infotainment system works well, after a learning curve
  • Wide variety of engine choices
Do other Bimmerfest members not like these things?
I do not like those things.. I like only this. This is my opinion is the last BMW ever built.

eazy commented:
December 30, 2016, 4:31 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque328 View Post
Automotive mags arent any better and they all tend to follow the leader and admire the emperors new clothes. Its all BS


That is very true look at the Lexus IS when that car came out all the magazine were admiring it except for consumer reports who blasted the car. Now car and driver ranks the IS either 7 or 8 in the sport sedan category. Today the magazines are now admiring the Lincoln Continental. One magazine called it the best America sedan in 40 years. I thought that title Belongs to the CT6.


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SteveinArizona commented:
December 31, 2016, 8:00 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by eazy View Post
Vw didnot have a hybrid to counter the Prius. They used diesel as an alternative to hybrids.


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But...Audi certainly wasn't competing with a Prius. So I don't buy the idea that they felt forced to cheat and pollute to compete with the Prius. I think they cheated and polluted to maximize sales and profits.
eazy commented:
December 31, 2016, 9:32 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
But...Audi certainly wasn't competing with a Prius. So I don't buy the idea that they felt forced to cheat and pollute to compete with the Prius. I think they cheated and polluted to maximize sales and profits.


Audi needed an answer for the Lexus ct200. Also they cheated so they won't have to spend the money for an urea tank for their cars. CR did address these issues


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SteveinArizona commented:
December 31, 2016, 9:48 am

Nice try but the CT200 was first shown in auto shows in 2010 and debuted as an available car in 2011. Audi and VW were selling their default configured diesels in 2009. So, if anything, Lexus came out with the CT200 to compete with the Audi diesels. But I don't buy either and the diesels were a huge seller in the EC unrelated to the Toyota corp. hybrids. As I noted, and you noted, they simply didn't want to spend the money on the urea solution. And my beef with CR is that they should be noting the scandal every time they review a VW corp vehicle, not bury it in a hard to find video piece.
eazy commented:
December 31, 2016, 10:11 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
Nice try but the CT200 was first shown in auto shows in 2010 and debuted as an available car in 2011. Audi and VW were selling their default configured diesels in 2009. So, if anything, Lexus came out with the CT200 to compete with the Audi diesels. But I don't buy either and the diesels were a huge seller in the EC unrelated to the Toyota corp. hybrids. As I noted, and you noted, they simply didn't want to spend the money on the urea solution. And my beef with CR is that they should be noting the scandal every time they review a VW corp vehicle, not bury it in a hard to find video piece.


Vw is paying one of the largest fines for the crimes they committed. Like I said before CR does not recommend any Vw Diesel engines anymore. That just in the USA. The Ct was Lexus 2nd hybrid only model it replace the slow selling HC.


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BobinIl commented:
December 31, 2016, 10:26 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by eazy View Post
Audi needed an answer for the Lexus ct200. Also they cheated so they won't have to spend the money for an urea tank for their cars. CR did address these issues


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Yes, CR covered the issue and has mentioned it frequently. Looking at their 2016 Auto Issue it looks like for every VW and Audi model that is available with a diesel has "the diesel version is under investigation by the EPA for not complying with emission regulations" in the write up(the auto issue came out before the verdicts came down). Their coverage since then has been ongoing.
SteveinArizona commented:
December 31, 2016, 10:54 am

Don't get me wrong. I love CR. I am a subscriber to both the magazine and online version. But I think they should also note on the gasoline versions of VW and Audi that this is from a company that deliberately fouled our air. A footnote would be fine but I don't think they should treat the company's cars as if the company didn't deliberately foul the air. I think what VW did is way worse than MB or Tesla not fully emphasizing that drivers need to still pay attention to the road het CR puts an alert button on the new MB E series. All I am saying is that a similar button with a footnote stating that the company deliberately foulded the air and was caught.
DavidSPumpkins commented:
December 31, 2016, 11:10 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
Don't get me wrong. I love CR. I am a subscriber to both the magazine and online version. But I think they should also note on the gasoline versions of VW and Audi that this is from a company that deliberately fouled our air. A footnote would be fine but I don't think they should treat the company's cars as if the company didn't deliberately foul the air. I think what VW did is way worse than MB or Tesla not fully emphasizing that drivers need to still pay attention to the road het CR puts an alert button on the new MB E series. All I am saying is that a similar button with a footnote stating that the company deliberately foulded the air and was caught.
I hesitate to get into this debate, and I am not a VW fan boy, but no, VW did not say our purpose is to "foul the air". The objective is always the quickest path to profits for these organizations, and sometimes they simply do the wrong thing, including breaking the law. Fix the problem, pay the fines and move on. Maybe we should slap a moniker on every Wells Fargo bank account and product they continue to sell because senior management, that is now gone, promoted poor business practices? Not going to happen.
Kafkaesque328 commented:
December 31, 2016, 1:08 pm

VW made me so angry that I went out and leased my wife a Tiguan for $200 a month a few months after it happened. Took advantage of the scandal and got one for a song. Thats how much it bothered me
crayonbox commented:
December 31, 2016, 3:32 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque328 View Post
VW made me so angry that I went out and leased my wife a Tiguan for $200 a month a few months after it happened. Took advantage of the scandal and got one for a song. Thats how much it bothered me


I have to admit, it is very disheartening that VW did this and it does make me think less of the company. Earth is a pretty cool place and EPA regs are meant to at least offset harmful things like this.

Anyways, I do love my 2002 TDI and the VW news is really what sparked my interest in BMW again (as a company) My first manual car was a 1987 325es I purchased for $700 in my college days and that car was fantastic. I put only labor into it and drove it for years with 230K on its long time broken odometer.

Anyhow, new to the forum, my e46 wagon arrives tomorrow. I have already gathered plenty of useful info from here - Thank You! And I look forward to many years in my 325xi. Anybody in need of a 2002 Jetta TDI

-Korey




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Robert A commented:
December 31, 2016, 4:48 pm

Is your 2002 tdi even common rail?
Kafkaesque328 commented:
December 31, 2016, 7:12 pm

There are older TDI on the road with 200k miles on them and counting. The old TDI's were ****ing amazing. I have heard the newer ones were less reliable. Its really a shame VW did that to themselves because the Golf TDI was in some ways the perfect car in terms of a commuter and road tripper. Now its like they never existed. Tisk tisk, VW, tisk tisk.