BMW Drive for Team USA is a Ton of Fun -- 328i vs 335i and $1,000 Allowance - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)

F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
The sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan F30/F31/F34 and the first first generation 4 Series Coupe F32/F33/F36. Get the latest 3 and 4 series pricing from our ordering and pricing guide sticky thread.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:06 PM
pix335i's Avatar
pix335i pix335i is offline
Enthusiast
Location: Austin, TX
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 5,939
Mein Auto: E92 335i Coupe
Post BMW Drive for Team USA is a Ton of Fun -- 328i vs 335i and $1,000 Allowance

BMW 335i

In case you haven't heard, BMW has been putting on events at local BMW dealers called the BMW Drive for Team USA. The event finally made it to my local dealer this week and I had the opportunity to go see what it was all about.

The BMW Drive for Team USA is billed as an opportunity to "get behind the wheel of the all-new 3 Series Sedan" all while getting BMW to make a donation to the U.S. Olympic Team for every person who test drives a car at the event. A great added bonus is your opportunity to meet a current or former Olympic star. My local dealer has the proud honor of having Jane Brown, a former American swimmer and Olympic champion as a guest at the event.

I cannot say for sure that the same can be said for every dealer but here is how the event went at my local dealer.

Jane Brown US Olympic Team

Arrival at the Event

I arrived at the dealer at my scheduled time of 1:00 PM and proceeded to walk into the main set of doors. I was greeted by a couple staff members and asked to sign in for the event. They took a look at your license information, had you enter some information on an iPad and then gave a good old fashioned waiver to sign. From what I understood, you were covered by their insurance for your test drive as long as you drove the car where you were supposed to go. From there, you could get a tour of the new 3 Series if you wanted but I was anxious to get on with the driving.

Driving the Competition

The first drive you do is with a competitor's car and you have a few choices. You can pick between the Audi A4, Lexus IS250 or the Mercedes Benz C250. As I have driven the IS250 a few times, I opted to go with the Audi that was sitting in the lot waiting for a driver. One of the staff showed you to the car and you were on your way to the test course. I'll spare you a lot of the details about the Audit test drive other than that I wasn't a big fan of the car. It had some decent power but the steering was loose and I very much disliked the automatic transmission that was paired with it. About 7 miles or so later and I was back to drive the BMWs.

The 2012 BMW 328i

I have had a decent amount of seat time in the Bimmerfest.com project F30 328i (paired with a 6 speed manual) but this was the first opportunity I had to drive the 328i with the new 8 speed automatic. One of the staff members was gracious enough to walk me to the car and was more than ready to answer any questions that I may have had. Given my previous experience, I was ready to just get to the driving. Just as with the 6 speed version, this 328i was flat out fun to drive. The 8 speed automatic really surprised me with just how well it delivered the power and ran through the gears. When you got on the gas, the car found you the power that you wanted. The car was good in Comfort mode but even better with the User Experience dialed in to Sport or Sport+ mode. The test loop was up a mountain road with some sharp rights and lefts giving you the opportunity to really test the car out. I can't say it enough though, the 328i paired with the 8 speed was a real treat to drive. I'll keep my 6 speed as long as that is an option but this isn't your ordinary automatic. The 7 mile course was quickly done and I can see why people are lining up to buy these cars.

The 2012 BMW 335i

Just so you know, I have been driving a 2007 3 Series E92 Coupe 335i for about 6 years now and this was the first time I have driven a 335i with the N55 motor. My N54 has been rock solid and I couldn't be any happier with it. That being said, I did get the chance to run the new F30 335i through the 7 mile course and it was also a ton of fun. It is different than the 328i in a lot of ways but the 335i had a better run up in power for the elevation changes as you would expect. You can feel the power and it is certainly more of an on-edge feeling that you may not get with the 328i. The automatic transmission again does an amazing job of making me not think about the need for the 6 speed option like has been almost necessary on every previous generation of 3 Series. Put yourself behind the wheel of a 335i in Sport mode and I do not think you will be disappointed. You will have less money in your pocket but you'll have a big grin.

Wrap Up

My local dealer had a few more cars around to test drive including the 528i but I stopped with the two variants of the new 3 Series. It was a great opportunity to get behind the wheel of the two cars and see how similar and very different they are. Both cars are lots of fun to drive and the decision on what model appeals to you may be different for everybody. This event gives you the best chance to go experience both cars while giving back to the U.S. Olympic Team -- if you can still get on board for taking part, I highly recommend it.

One final added bonus is the benefit of getting a $1,000 BMW Drive for Team USA Allowance, good toward the purchase or lease of a new 2012 or 2013 BMW model*. The fine print reads as follows:

Quote:
* Offer Code 1 can be used towards purchase of MY12 or MY13 models excluding MY13 3 Series xDrive Sedans. Offer Code 2 can be used towards purchase of MY13 328i xDrive Sedan or MY13 335i xDrive Sedan. BMW Drive for Team USA Allowance is available on all new 2012 and 2013 BMW models and can only be redeemed by individuals who participate in a scheduled BMW Drive for Team USA event and is non-transferable. The offer is valid from April 17, 2012 through October 31, 2012 on the lease or purchase of all eligible models except 2012 3 Series xDrive Sedans. The allowance on 2012 3 Series xDrive Sedans is valid until January 2, 2013. Offer may be redeemed at an authorized BMW Center for Stateside (U.S.) delivery only and cannot be used for European delivery. Offer not valid for vehicles delivered prior to event attendance or customer orders placed prior event attendance. This offer may only be combined with certain eligible offers available at the time of delivery. Offer cannot be used for tax, title, registration, destination or other dealership fees. Some restrictions apply; see an authorized BMW center for details.
Find out more about the BMW Drive for Team USA here:
http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...UDESummer.aspx
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1418.jpg
Views:	4013
Size:	141.3 KB
ID:	330995   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1408.jpg
Views:	346
Size:	134.7 KB
ID:	330996   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1411.jpg
Views:	329
Size:	79.6 KB
ID:	330997   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1409.jpg
Views:	3154
Size:	100.1 KB
ID:	330998   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1405.jpg
Views:	334
Size:	133.0 KB
ID:	330999  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1403.jpg
Views:	351
Size:	116.0 KB
ID:	331000   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1416.jpg
Views:	299
Size:	104.6 KB
ID:	331001   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1414.jpg
Views:	275
Size:	103.7 KB
ID:	331002  
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 07-03-2012, 04:49 PM
pylt pylt is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Texas & Florida
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 234
Mein Auto: 330i/335i
My take, coming from our 2011 335i's (one each, manual and automatic).

Our event was in Fort Worth, Texas. Oddly, despite all the marketing hype, there was no Sport Package 328i there--quite a surprise. Regardless, the "base" 328i and Sport Pkg 335i were driven on the approved route.

Massive disappointments abound:

1. Wind noise across the A-pillars.
2. LOUD Road noise from textured pavement.
3. The exterior rubber-like window trim, vs. high gloss, on the Sport Pkg cars is just, ahem, tacky (cost savings at work I'd guess?)
4. The real killer: the atrocious steering feel--felt more like a video game controller vs. a steering wheel. Steering feel is akin to that of a Prius, if that. Simply terrible.
5. Door "slam" not far removed from a mid-80's Tercel.

One positive: an accessible 12-volt power is back on the center console, finally!

Overall, we were very, very disappointed. Glad we purchased the last of the hydraulic power steering equipped 3 sedans, and may have to buy one of the last E90 wagons before they join the F30 chassis. As BMW CCA Life Members, we are *incredibly* sad to see BMW losing its way.

BMW can trade reputation for sales, but that only last for so long before that precious reputation is damaged. It was only a matter of time when senior BMW executives were quoted saying, "Many of our customers don't even know that their car is rear wheel drive." Here's a tip BMW: those are the customers you really don't want . . . . In the end, they drag your reputation down as they buy for the logo, not for the Ultimate Driving Machine experience that brought you to the dance in the first place.

PLEASE, fix the F30 3 Series or we're gone when our E90's expire.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-18-2012, 08:14 AM
landa220 landa220 is offline
Registered User
Location: Michigan
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: 2007 550i
I fully agree that this event was a "ton of fun". I went yesterday and though I was primarily interested in a 750li to drive, I drove everything they had available.

A good friend of mine also came as you could simply sign up once you got there in case you didn't pre-register. Though I was scheduled for noon, they basically said its just to insure a vehicle of choice was available. They mentioned we could go out in anything as long as it was available. We and other drivers spent most of the day driving different vehicles.

The route they picked out was a pretty long route. In our area it included regular city driving, highway driving and sweeping curves and hills. This was a great opportunity for my friend to see what a BMW is all about as compared to a Lexus, Audi or Benz.

We especially like the fact that the dealership sales reps were NOT involved. They did have a 3-series product specialist available if needed, but the rest of the staff were cheerful helpers.

Overall, this was a great event. They warmly invited us to come to the next event that they were having at the next local dealership later this week. Since I'm sure the vehicles are going to be the same, I'll decline.

I fully recommend you attend if you like test driving cars.
__________________
2007 550i ordered 4/19/2006, delivered 6/16/2006: Black Sapphire Metallic, Auburn Leather, Anthracite Trim; Automatic, Navigation, Sport, Comfort Access, Premium Sound, Cold Weather, HUD, HD Radio, Sirius Radio, M-Tech Aero Kit! Don't forget the 50% tint, 19" Style 166 (M5) OEM wheels with Michelin PS2 tires.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:05 AM
dragon529 dragon529 is offline
Registered User
Location: New York
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: gti
Thanks for the heads up! I just made an appt. @ bmw manhattan this sat. Any experience with this dealership?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:12 AM
Chris90's Avatar
Chris90 Chris90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,798
Mein Auto: '04 330i
I think the first time I drove a BMW was at a BMW event in 1999 (when the E46 came out) - it was an autocross course where they also had an A4, C-class, forget what other competition. Been in love with BMWs ever since.

Do they still do those, or just the on-street events? Last time I did a Susan B Koman test drive event around here you just drove in a straight line in traffic for like 10 minutes and returned the car. Meh.
__________________
"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice." - Cherokee Expression
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-18-2012, 09:06 PM
SD330i SD330i is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Diego, Ca.
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 758
Mein Auto: 2013 Melbourne Red 335i
Thumbs up 2005

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
I think the first time I drove a BMW was at a BMW event in 1999 (when the E46 came out) - it was an autocross course where they also had an A4, C-class, forget what other competition. Been in love with BMWs ever since.

Do they still do those, or just the on-street events? Last time I did a Susan B Koman test drive event around here you just drove in a straight line in traffic for like 10 minutes and returned the car. Meh.
In 2005 we did the Test Drive at Qualcom Stadium where the Chargers Play football. Its a Huge Parking lot , and they set up an Autocross Course. These test drives sold us on our first BMW as our Acura TL was coming to the end of its lease in 6 months. We ended up getting our First Bimmer, a 2006 330i which we did a 3 year lease. Then leased a 2009 335i . We are now getting ready for our first of hopefully many PCD's in the Fall. i wish they would do more of the Autocross events to show the BWM superiority !!! Lots of Fun
__________________
June 9,2012 New Order. 2013 335i Sedan, Melbourne Red Metallic Sport Line, Brushed Aluminum, Leather Dakota Black/Red Highlight, 19" Wheels, Premium Package, Dynamic Handling Package, Technology Package, Sport Transmission with Paddles, Htd Front Seats & Harmon Kardon Performance Center Delivery October 9, 2012. BMWCCA Member since April 2006.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-07-2012, 07:47 PM
exl_ent_v6's Avatar
exl_ent_v6 exl_ent_v6 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 308
Mein Auto: 2019 440i M-Sport
Awesome thread! I'm excited I'm going to drive the 328 for the first time when I go down to this event on Aug 25th on Long Island.

I dropped by the dealer a few weeks ago wanting to drive the 328i x-drive but they didn't have any, so the sales woman told me to sign up and drive them until my heart is content on Aug 25th (oh and then see her promptly there after to place my order - lol)

I drove a 330 a few years ago and fell in love but couldn't afford it, now I'm ready to lease and am thinking of saving a few bucks and go with the 328 instead of the 335. (Never had a 4cyl before so kinda cautious of that -but I hear great reviews.)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-10-2012, 01:50 PM
zoombie99's Avatar
zoombie99 zoombie99 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 973
Mein Auto: 2019 540x
I took the drive in Tenafly, NJ this week. The BMW reps were all screwed up and couldn't wait to leave. They wouldn't let me drive a 335 claiming the car was reserved for someone else even tough I signed up to test drive the 3 series months ago. They were dismantling their desk station while people were still taking their drives. Not a good image for BMW!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-10-2012, 01:52 PM
zoombie99's Avatar
zoombie99 zoombie99 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 973
Mein Auto: 2019 540x
BTW, I arrived 30 minutes early for my drive!
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > F30 / F31 / F32 / F33 / F34 / F36 (2012 - current)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.