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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.

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  #1  
Old 08-30-2015, 06:27 PM
bmwexpat bmwexpat is offline
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Back to BMW

Well back to buying a BMW. Just purchased a CPO 2013 328 i - Mediterranean Blue Metallic w/ technology package, lighting package, Driver assist Plus, and Premium package. I'd looked at BMW 2 years ago when I needed a new business car. The new F30's just left me cold. Mediocre interior, cheap feeling leather and the overall handling performance was just plain mediocre. For the cars I was interested in I was in the $50K + range and I just did not see the value. I really felt like I was looking at an expensive German Camry. Fast forward 2 years and we need a new daily driver for my wife. She has a massive 10 mile round trip to work and we target buying something for less than $35K.

The first person I would like to thank in this process was whomever turned this car in at end of lease. You only put 24K miles on it and I truly do appreciate you eating the first $20K in depreciation for me on this car. I had a lot of reservations about buying an F30 for a price near $50K. Very different story when you negotiate the car with these options down to under $30K.

I still stand by my initial impression that the F30 is hardly the "Ultimate Driving Machine". There is a lot of goodness in the F30 such as the chassis is extremely ridged, the steering is quick and direct, and the N26 engine mates up very well to the chassis and makes the car very balanced. The bad things are the run flat tires are dog crap, and the suspension is sprung for pure mediocre performance. The good news is these can be easily fixed and the fun has begun.

- The N26 engine is overall a very good engine and just needs some software help to make it a lot more fun. Just placed my order for a DINANTRONICS Performance Tuner Stage 1 for BMW F30 software package. This will bump the HP up to about 310 from 240. I've dealt with Dinan for years and my warranty remains safe.

- Run Flat Tires - I'm literally going to toss these away and replace the wheels with some 9 X18 wheels that will weigh about 19 lbs. each. Since this will be my wife's daily driver and the winter rains are coming soon, I'm going to try out a set of Sumitomo HTRZ III's. I've heard from some friends that track that these tires a decent in the wet and great in the dry, especially considering they are dirt cheap at roughly $600 for a set. If I don't like them I'll toss them aside in the spring and go with my current favorite Dunlop Direzza Starspec II's.

- Suspension - Putting high performance rubber on the car will just exaggerate how inadequet the suspension is so I just ordered a set of Ohlin's DFV's along with ground control top hats and camber plates. I'm only going to lower the car about an inch but this will allow me to setup the suspension with correct amount of camber for a high performance street application. The DFV's have a much higher spring rate and appropriate valveing that can be adjusted to give me the right balance between performance and comfort over the crappy and broken roads here in Northern California.

I've just started order the various parts and hope to have the project completed by mid- September. I figure my final cost will be less than $5K and in the end I will have a 328 that will be a ton of fun to daily drive and will be a real beast in running some favorite canyon roads.

Any ways this is my version of the " Ultimate Driving Machine" for under $30K
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2015, 08:58 PM
WarrENDeatH WarrENDeatH is offline
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Location: Cincinnati
 
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Mein Auto: Glacier Silver 320xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwexpat View Post
Well back to buying a BMW. Just purchased a CPO 2013 328 i - Mediterranean Blue Metallic w/ technology package, lighting package, Driver assist Plus, and Premium package. I'd looked at BMW 2 years ago when I needed a new business car. The new F30's just left me cold. Mediocre interior, cheap feeling leather and the overall handling performance was just plain mediocre. For the cars I was interested in I was in the $50K + range and I just did not see the value. I really felt like I was looking at an expensive German Camry. Fast forward 2 years and we need a new daily driver for my wife. She has a massive 10 mile round trip to work and we target buying something for less than $35K.

The first person I would like to thank in this process was whomever turned this car in at end of lease. You only put 24K miles on it and I truly do appreciate you eating the first $20K in depreciation for me on this car. I had a lot of reservations about buying an F30 for a price near $50K. Very different story when you negotiate the car with these options down to under $30K.

I still stand by my initial impression that the F30 is hardly the "Ultimate Driving Machine". There is a lot of goodness in the F30 such as the chassis is extremely ridged, the steering is quick and direct, and the N26 engine mates up very well to the chassis and makes the car very balanced. The bad things are the run flat tires are dog crap, and the suspension is sprung for pure mediocre performance. The good news is these can be easily fixed and the fun has begun.

- The N26 engine is overall a very good engine and just needs some software help to make it a lot more fun. Just placed my order for a DINANTRONICS Performance Tuner Stage 1 for BMW F30 software package. This will bump the HP up to about 310 from 240. I've dealt with Dinan for years and my warranty remains safe.

- Run Flat Tires - I'm literally going to toss these away and replace the wheels with some 9 X18 wheels that will weigh about 19 lbs. each. Since this will be my wife's daily driver and the winter rains are coming soon, I'm going to try out a set of Sumitomo HTRZ III's. I've heard from some friends that track that these tires a decent in the wet and great in the dry, especially considering they are dirt cheap at roughly $600 for a set. If I don't like them I'll toss them aside in the spring and go with my current favorite Dunlop Direzza Starspec II's.

- Suspension - Putting high performance rubber on the car will just exaggerate how inadequet the suspension is so I just ordered a set of Ohlin's DFV's along with ground control top hats and camber plates. I'm only going to lower the car about an inch but this will allow me to setup the suspension with correct amount of camber for a high performance street application. The DFV's have a much higher spring rate and appropriate valveing that can be adjusted to give me the right balance between performance and comfort over the crappy and broken roads here in Northern California.

I've just started order the various parts and hope to have the project completed by mid- September. I figure my final cost will be less than $5K and in the end I will have a 328 that will be a ton of fun to daily drive and will be a real beast in running some favorite canyon roads.

Any ways this is my version of the " Ultimate Driving Machine" for under $30K

You got yourself an awfully nice car right there! Somethings I would like to note on from your initial assessments.


-Good pick on the tuner. While the engines are pretty solid now, the tuners definitely open up their potential a lot more. You might not notice it at initial launch but when stock usually starts slowing down is when the tuner slams home.

-Run flats suck. I'm running with them now, waiting it out before I slap on new tires and they suck. I don't really even think they take road bumps really well to be honest with you. They are awfully harsh.

-Stock suspension isn't the best but it's definitely not the worst. Swinging corners can be pretty tight and controlled, varying speeds definitely makes the body roll significantly worse (but much better than some cars I have driven). 'Most' springs will help you not only improve the ride but actually have the profile the car SHOULD have. I think it sits about .75 - an inch too high, personally.


I almost bought a CPO but didn't want to fork out a HUGE finance payment. When it came down to leasing, I was paying far far less and I was getting a brand new car, so I went that route. I will probably have my Girlfriend go the CPO route.

CONGRATS!
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2015, 09:22 PM
Kafkaesque328 Kafkaesque328 is offline
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I would go the CPO route if I could find one optioned the way I want but I haven't yet. M sport would be essential and they are unicorn rare. If you search BMW USA within a 500 mile radius of me for 328's or 335i's with M sport, there are like 2 and they have that hideous Blue trim inside the car. Even CPO, for a decent one, you are paying like $35k after taxes etc. for a car that is kind of a compromise (unless you find the exact one you want). I'm still open to it vs. leasing. I wouldn't buy a new F30. Absurdly overpriced vehicles for what you get if you ask me.

I have no problem with the run flats.
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  #4  
Old 08-30-2015, 09:58 PM
WarrENDeatH WarrENDeatH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque320 View Post
I would go the CPO route if I could find one optioned the way I want but I haven't yet. M sport would be essential and they are unicorn rare. If you search BMW USA within a 500 mile radius of me for 328's or 335i's with M sport, there are like 2 and they have that hideous Blue trim inside the car. Even CPO, for a decent one, you are paying like $35k after taxes etc. for a car that is kind of a compromise (unless you find the exact one you want). I'm still open to it vs. leasing. I wouldn't buy a new F30. Absurdly overpriced vehicles for what you get if you ask me.

I have no problem with the run flats.
I completely agree. I almost went that route with the ActiveHybrid I really wanted, but even still, for a three year old car, it was almost 500 a month. Just seemed too steep. I'm glad I went the lease route, especially when I take into count the amount of drive. I drive, but not that much (12k miles is plenty).

It's something I am letting my Girlfriend decide on, especially when she has four grand out of pocket.
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  #5  
Old 08-31-2015, 09:42 AM
LMK5 LMK5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque320 View Post
I would go the CPO route if I could find one optioned the way I want but I haven't yet. M sport would be essential and they are unicorn rare. If you search BMW USA within a 500 mile radius of me for 328's or 335i's with M sport, there are like 2 and they have that hideous Blue trim inside the car. Even CPO, for a decent one, you are paying like $35k after taxes etc. for a car that is kind of a compromise (unless you find the exact one you want). I'm still open to it vs. leasing. I wouldn't buy a new F30. Absurdly overpriced vehicles for what you get if you ask me.

I have no problem with the run flats.
Would you ever consider another GTI? If not, why not?
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2015, 10:25 AM
Kafkaesque328 Kafkaesque328 is offline
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^^ No.

I guess it is a once bitten thing. First off, I had a Mk6 and while it was a fun car, it gave me a lot of little problems and was very temperamental. One major issue with those cars that I have not experienced at all with this car is HEAT SOAK. Basically driving the GTI in the summer in hot weather was terrible. Something to do with the proximity of the intercooler to the turbo or something. Well known problem. It seemed to sap about 40% of the power. I'm not kidding and this is a well known issue with the Mk5 and Mk6 GTI. It can be mitigated with an expensive intercooler upgrade etc. The BMW seems to perform equally well in 110 degree weather as 60 degree weather. Huge plus. That car was a blast though. Just a ton of little problems for a pretty much new car. The Tiguan on the other hand has had ZERO issues which is odd because it's the same engine. It's been dead reliable.

The other thing is I don't really want a hatchback anymore, so there is that. I prefer the look of the sedan and like a good old fashioned trunk.

Last, on to the Mk7... They look nice to me in some ways but in others, I can't get down with the almost Asian/Mazda esque styling of the current gen. The made in Meheeco thing bums me out a little as well. I drove a Mk7 GTI at the dealer a while back when my wife's car was getting serviced and it's nice but no, I doubt I'd go back. There is just something with the overall package of the BMW experience and overall combination of comfort, refinement and feel that the VW didn't have. Plus I'm into leasing now and VW's residuals are pretty bad. Makes it good if you want to buy it at the end, but makes the payments high. I could lease a decently optioned 328i for the cost of leasing a GTI. Makes no sense. Oh, and my insurance premiums were higher on the GTI than my 320i, due to accident and ticket frequency of that car.
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2015, 11:02 AM
LMK5 LMK5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque320 View Post
^^ No.

I guess it is a once bitten thing. First off, I had a Mk6 and while it was a fun car, it gave me a lot of little problems and was very temperamental. One major issue with those cars that I have not experienced at all with this car is HEAT SOAK. Basically driving the GTI in the summer in hot weather was terrible. Something to do with the proximity of the intercooler to the turbo or something. Well known problem. It seemed to sap about 40% of the power. I'm not kidding and this is a well known issue with the Mk5 and Mk6 GTI. It can be mitigated with an expensive intercooler upgrade etc. The BMW seems to perform equally well in 110 degree weather as 60 degree weather. Huge plus. That car was a blast though. Just a ton of little problems for a pretty much new car. The Tiguan on the other hand has had ZERO issues which is odd because it's the same engine. It's been dead reliable.

The other thing is I don't really want a hatchback anymore, so there is that. I prefer the look of the sedan and like a good old fashioned trunk.

Last, on to the Mk7... They look nice to me in some ways but in others, I can't get down with the almost Asian/Mazda esque styling of the current gen. The made in Meheeco thing bums me out a little as well. I drove a Mk7 GTI at the dealer a while back when my wife's car was getting serviced and it's nice but no, I doubt I'd go back. There is just something with the overall package of the BMW experience and overall combination of comfort, refinement and feel that the VW didn't have. Plus I'm into leasing now and VW's residuals are pretty bad. Makes it good if you want to buy it at the end, but makes the payments high. I could lease a decently optioned 328i for the cost of leasing a GTI. Makes no sense. Oh, and my insurance premiums were higher on the GTI than my 320i, due to accident and ticket frequency of that car.
Interesting thing about the heat soak. In the past my cars definitely had lowered performance when running the AC, but the F30 doesn't seem to have that issue. Of course, the AC in those cars was far superior to the F30 also LOL. I just asked about the GTI because most auto reviewers feel that car hits the value sweet spot when it comes to overall performance at a reasonable cost.
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  #8  
Old 09-08-2015, 08:54 PM
tonyspumoni tonyspumoni is offline
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Same sort of story. After back to back 335d's whose emissions systems fell apart I left BMW for a year and, hopped up on Red Bull with cap on backwards, I tooled around in a new WRX. Great car but not a family car, so recently I picked up a 2014 328i M sport, Lighting, Premium, Nav, etc. with 8031 miles on it for $38k flat. Elite CPO too so warrantied to 75k miles and whatever years that is plus fully transferrable maintenance plan. What a steal and aside from ED the only way I could feel like I got the better value of a deal with BMW.

OP. I'm very curious if yours is an M sport or has the M suspension. While my 335's were going through their various sad stages of existential stress I had plenty of time to tool around in F30 328i's and I share your views utterly on the standard suspension. I told my SA that BMW had crafted the nicest Camry on the planet (I kid not, LOL). The M sport just transforms the car. I know that your mind is made up but you might want to consider the BMW Performance Suspension. My first 335d was a standard suspension. I retrofitted with the BMW Performance Suspension, which I bought from Tischer, and it really tightened things up well. And that was with a car much heavier in the nose that yours. Just my two cents.

Wish mine was blue.
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  #9  
Old 09-08-2015, 09:07 PM
argh argh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kafkaesque320 View Post
^^ No.

I guess it is a once bitten thing. First off, I had a Mk6 and while it was a fun car, it gave me a lot of little problems and was very temperamental. One major issue with those cars that I have not experienced at all with this car is HEAT SOAK. Basically driving the GTI in the summer in hot weather was terrible. Something to do with the proximity of the intercooler to the turbo or something. Well known problem. It seemed to sap about 40% of the power. I'm not kidding and this is a well known issue with the Mk5 and Mk6 GTI.
Really like my Mk5 GTI, but it has to get very hot before I turn on the A/C, because when you do, the spirit leaves.
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  #10  
Old 09-09-2015, 01:02 PM
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gkr778 gkr778 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwexpat View Post
- The N26 engine is overall a very good engine and just needs some software help to make it a lot more fun. Just placed my order for a DINANTRONICS Performance Tuner Stage 1 for BMW F30 software package. This will bump the HP up to about 310 from 240. I've dealt with Dinan for years and my warranty remains safe.

- Run Flat Tires - I'm literally going to toss these away and replace the wheels with some 9 X18 wheels that will weigh about 19 lbs. each. Since this will be my wife's daily driver and the winter rains are coming soon, I'm going to try out a set of Sumitomo HTRZ III's. I've heard from some friends that track that these tires a decent in the wet and great in the dry, especially considering they are dirt cheap at roughly $600 for a set. If I don't like them I'll toss them aside in the spring and go with my current favorite Dunlop Direzza Starspec II's.

- Suspension - Putting high performance rubber on the car will just exaggerate how inadequet the suspension is so I just ordered a set of Ohlin's DFV's along with ground control top hats and camber plates. I'm only going to lower the car about an inch but this will allow me to setup the suspension with correct amount of camber for a high performance street application. The DFV's have a much higher spring rate and appropriate valveing that can be adjusted to give me the right balance between performance and comfort over the crappy and broken roads here in Northern California.

I've just started order the various parts and hope to have the project completed by mid- September. I figure my final cost will be less than $5K and in the end I will have a 328 that will be a ton of fun to daily drive and will be a real beast in running some favorite canyon roads.

Any ways this is my version of the " Ultimate Driving Machine" for under $30K
Excellent configuration. Sumitomo HTR Z III is a very good value - among the most inexpensive UHP summer tires available in F30 sizes but still a fine overall performer.

Best wishes with your project!
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2015, 06:03 PM
CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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Originally Posted by bmwexpat View Post
I've just started order the various parts and hope to have the project completed by mid- September. I figure my final cost will be less than $5K and in the end I will have a 328 that will be a ton of fun to daily drive and will be a real beast in running some favorite canyon roads.

Any ways this is my version of the " Ultimate Driving Machine" for under $30K

Can't have no 'beast' w/o LSD

Got LSD?

Must have LSD
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Old 09-09-2015, 06:11 PM
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SilverX3 SilverX3 is offline
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LSD = Love Sex & Drug ?
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  #13  
Old 09-09-2015, 06:42 PM
bmwexpat bmwexpat is offline
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You are correct no LSD. May have to call "it beast lite" I am actually curious how much no LSD will be noticed in how this car will be used. If it's really noticeable a call to OS-Giken will provide a solution.

My other option is to pull the M3 out of the garage and drive that for the day.
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