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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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Old 07-26-2019, 04:35 PM
EuropaTCS EuropaTCS is online now
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Newby questions

I currently drive a 2006 Volvo V70R, with 6 speed. At 180K miles it is getting expensive to maintain, so I am looking at possible replacements. Additional info, my toy is a 1974 Lotus Europa. I have pretty much owned one since I picked up my first at the factory in 74 while in the Navy in Spain. I drove it 10K miles in Europe before bringing it home. Sold it when we moved to Vermont with two kids under 2. Bought another one after going through surgery, hormones and radiation for prostate cancer 20+ years ago.
First thought was a 328 wagon. Then I noticed the 4 Series Gran Coupe and that was appealing too, especially with the 440. (All of these BMWs would be xdrive, because I live in NW Vermont.) Also, I assume I would want the adaptive suspension on anything I got. In addition, I am talking about used, probably CPO, cars.
First question, is there any difference in handling/suspension between the 428/430 vs the 440?
I realize only the 440 is available with manual, but I have read such praise of the automatic, and much less of the stick, so I am open on the choice of transmission. (And I turned 73 today, and may not want a manual since I tend to keep cars long term.) Other decision concern the Track Package.
If I stick with 328/330, 428/430 engines, any opinions on wagon vs 4 Series for handling?
Looking for all the input/advice I can gather. No great rush for purchase.
Thanks to all who respond.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2019, 06:02 PM
southcoastguy southcoastguy is online now
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Just a note, you probably won't be able to find any BMW (used or new) in New England that is not x-drive.
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:20 PM
edycol edycol is offline
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Quintessential BMW has to have inline 6 engine. That means 440. Are 4cyl good? Absolutely! But they are not inline 6.
Manual is good. It is typical BMW manual. However, considering what you stated, probably automatic is better option. It is superb automatic. It is widely used across manufacturers, but BMW was first adopter of these in 2010 in Europe and since than they are updating it constantly. They are probably best programmed in BMW.
One thing, since you keep cars long. Absolutely change transmission fluid at 60-70k using ZF8 fluid. NO FLUSH! Replace drop down filter/strainer and refill whatever came out.
I am not sure of issues on B58. I read some early cars had some coolant issues. But not sure. Actually I would like to know that too as next year I might pick up 340, but with manual


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Old 07-26-2019, 08:26 PM
John MS John MS is online now
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Cost of repairs to the Volvo is apparently a prime concern. Buying a new(er) car is guaranteed to increase your cash outlay substantially over the cost of maintaining and repairing the Volvo.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:21 AM
EuropaTCS EuropaTCS is online now
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South coast guy: That helps, since I need xDrive.
Edycol The 6 would be my preference, but the 4 is probably fast enough. My idea of "fun" is going around corners fast. That's why I asked whether there were any suspension/handling differences.
John MS: Cost is not a primary concern, it's just getting to be a drag. Then I go out and drive the car and say, this is great, got to keep it.
Thanks to all.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:26 AM
edycol edycol is offline
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Originally Posted by EuropaTCS View Post
South coast guy: That helps, since I need xDrive.
Edycol The 6 would be my preference, but the 4 is probably fast enough. My idea of "fun" is going around corners fast. That's why I asked whether there were any suspension/handling differences.
John MS: Cost is not a primary concern, it's just getting to be a drag. Then I go out and drive the car and say, this is great, got to keep it.
Thanks to all.


4 cyl will definitely move weight balance more to the rear , but 6 cyl is already has perfect distribution. Now, with xDrive front will gain a bit, but not on par with Audi or other FWD platforms where engine hangs over axel.
I would for sure get M package. I think xDrive cannot be equipped with certain suspension options, but I might be wrong.


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Old 07-27-2019, 08:32 AM
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It appears to be much easier to find the adaptive suspension in M Sport models than by getting the Track Package on a non M Sport.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:51 AM
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Ah, the Europa. What a car. A fraternity brother of mine had a JPS in the early 70's. Sexiest thing on the road back then.

I would begin by questioning the "I need xDrive"and the "I need adaptive suspension" comments. You clearly appreciate handling. In the F10X and F3X series, xDrive BMW's are not available with the sublime 704 MSport suspension, just the base suspension or Adaptive Suspension, which pairs too-soft springs with adjustable shocks, resulting in a pitch-pole ride. For that reason, we ordered a RWD 535 MSport in 2014 and a RWD 340 MSport in 2018. It's amazing what you can do with modern snow tires. (Both our 704 equipped BMW's were delivered with summer performance tires, and we ran a dedicated winter set from Thanksgiving to Easter). We're in Boston, so our winters aren't all that different from yours, and we have almost zero mobility problems with RWD and good snow tires.

Yes, there are one or two days each winter, where we wished we had xDrive. But those are few and far between. And on those days WE JUST STAY HOME. Whether or not your car has xDrive, the biggest risk is some clueless Millennial in her 4wd Subaru on "all season" tires, sliding through a stop sign and T-boning you. At y;our age, you're likely retired, so you can just pour yourself a single malt and sit by the fire with the dog.

Also, neither the wagon nor the Gran Coupe has much ground clearance (we've had one of each). If you get a good dumping in the Northeast Kingdom, you're as likely to get high centered in an xDrive wagon or Gran Coupe as you are in a RWD.

Regarding motors: the 328/330/428/430 are good, but don't have the refinement of the Europa, nor the power of your V70R. You'd be going from two very special cars into something much more pedestrian. I don't think you'd be happy. A 340 (never available in a wagon on this side of the pond) or a 440 are the way to go. It's a really special motor, and the days of high HP gasoline engines are numbered.

Finally, some unsolicited advice about body style. The 4 series can be a pain to get into with its low seating and smaller door opening. I'm a decade younger than you are, and I'll go for a wagon or sedan (surprisingly voluminous when the rear seats are folded) any day. I think your "perfect" car is a RWD 340 MSport with the 704 suspension, and ideally a 6MT. If you absolutely need mobility during snowmageddon, you can find an old Subaru to keep it company in the barn.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:45 PM
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...
John MS: Cost is not a primary concern, it's just getting to be a drag. Then I go out and drive the car and say, this is great, got to keep it.
One thing that annoys me with current BMW maintenance is "Condition Based Service". BMW decoupled most service items from fixed mileage basis to a mileage-plus-how-it-was-driven basis. So no more "Inspection I" and "Inspection II" on 15K or 30K intervals: now they're all over the place. My 335d currently needs a brake fluid flush and Inspection (kind of happenstance). But those types of items could just as easily be this month and two months from now. So you end up bringing the car in 6 times in 6 months rather than once. Sheesh.

I think the "perfect" car for you would be a loaded MX4 that is just now hitting dealers. Quite expensive, but you can get all the really good go-fast stuff plus the uprated B58. Styling is a bit off-putting, but still, the option list is killer.
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Old 07-28-2019, 05:54 AM
EuropaTCS EuropaTCS is online now
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I tried posting yesterday, but must have done something wrong.
Quackbury:
Thanks for the detailed reply. My V70R only has 5 inches of clearance, and that has been an occasional problem, but not often. It appears that the xdrive 340/440 have 5.7, so maybe a slight improvement. We do already have an true SUV, but my wife and I do tend to follow very separate schedules of activities. We both ski a lot, so I feel I would be irresponsible not to have AWD.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:33 AM
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Having come from a 2004 S60R to my 328Xi GT, I'm still in love with the BMW.
I know the maintenance wows of the R. Your's is getting up there now.
The GT has a ton of room, maybe not that of the VR but also having your SUV, you'll get by. The BMW is much more fun to drive and the seats fit me as well as the R. The first thing you will notice is the size feel and the turning radius.
Your VR is very much in demand now so it's a good time to consider selling.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:43 AM
EuropaTCS EuropaTCS is online now
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Thanks for the great feedback from someone with similar experience going from a Volvo R to BMW. What's your opinion of the 4 Series Gran Coupe instead of the 3 GT? Petty of me, but the GT is not appealing looking compared to the 3 sedan or 4 GC.
Yhanks
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:59 AM
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I did have a loaner 4 series GC and it also has a lot of room inside, with good rear seat leg room. It had a M performance package which made it nice.
Power wise, very smooth. Not a big fan of the exhaust sound. Even though I had removed the resonator and added a DP to my R.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:18 AM
EuropaTCS EuropaTCS is online now
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Thanks again. Next decision is engine.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:43 PM
1proyer 1proyer is offline
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Only real option, IMHO, is the 6, true BMW experience. 4 is ok, but that is it, it is ok. 6 is a true performance engine with only slightly less mpg.
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Old 07-29-2019, 03:20 PM
dzlbimmer dzlbimmer is offline
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Get the 6cyl.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:06 AM
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You had 5 cyl now it's time for 6.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:27 AM
edycol edycol is offline
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Only real option, IMHO, is the 6, true BMW experience. 4 is ok, but that is it, it is ok. 6 is a true performance engine with only slightly less mpg.


That is only thing that is unquestionable!


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Old 07-31-2019, 06:55 AM
EuropaTCS EuropaTCS is online now
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Our BMW: Yes a better turning circle greatly appreciated. It would be hard to find a worse one.
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Old 07-31-2019, 07:01 AM
EuropaTCS EuropaTCS is online now
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To all who "voted" for the 6:
I realize the BMW 6 is a big part of the BMW mystique, but as someone who appreciates fast corners more than high speed (hence the Lotus Europa), is there any difference in handling. Remember, I will get xDrive and M Sport. Still up in the air about adaptive, since the M package does include a firmer suspension.
Thanks
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:39 AM
Mark K Mark K is offline
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Originally Posted by EuropaTCS View Post
To all who "voted" for the 6:
I realize the BMW 6 is a big part of the BMW mystique, but as someone who appreciates fast corners more than high speed (hence the Lotus Europa), is there any difference in handling. Remember, I will get xDrive and M Sport. Still up in the air about adaptive, since the M package does include a firmer suspension.
Thanks
Yet another vote for the 6. It is truly something else. That said, two things to add:

1. If you keep going back to possibility of 4 cylinders, why wouldn't you try 328d x-drive F31 (station wagon)? Before you start with diesel this and diesel that, please give it a spin around the block. I had that engine in a grand coupe in EU as a rental and it floored me with what it can do. Hint : way more than you are allowed to without going to jail or getting shot at in U.S.

2. You already have a dream handling car. Why are you so adamant to have a grocery-getter-turned-into-a-Lotus? It's a grocery getter, who cares? Try to look at it that way, it will be easier. I have to repeat what quackburry said - there are no good suspension options if you opt for x-drive. If AWD is a must as you say, might as well get the most useful grocery getter with a roundel on the hood.

Just my $0.02 and only my opinion, do not possess Cosmic Truth.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:51 AM
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Mark K
The Lotus is not used much, and I do enjoy driving a good handling car. My V70R is special (and rare). looking for a daily driver that is fun.
How does the diesel handle with, I assume, more weight up front?
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:24 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Originally Posted by EuropaTCS View Post
To all who "voted" for the 6:
I realize the BMW 6 is a big part of the BMW mystique, but as someone who appreciates fast corners more than high speed (hence the Lotus Europa), is there any difference in handling. Remember, I will get xDrive and M Sport. Still up in the air about adaptive, since the M package does include a firmer suspension.
Thanks
All else being equal, the I4 goes around corners a bit better than the I6. It's lighter and the weight reduction being in the front of the car helps it turn in better. That said, if your budget allows the 6, it's worth the slight trade off

Last edited by Michael Schott; 07-31-2019 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:54 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Still up in the air about adaptive, since the M package does include a firmer suspension.
Thanks
It should, but it doesn't. Unless you get RWD. While the post-LCI suspension is (marginally) better than the pre-LCI, it's the exact same parts regardless of whether your whip is Luxury, Sport or MSport trim. Sellers want to tell you their MSport is a handling package, not just an appearance package, but that's only true for the RWD models. 10 minutes spent poking around on realoem.com will verify that.
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2015 X1 35i xDrive
2015 X1 28i xDrive
2014 535i MSport
2014 328i SportWagon
2011 535ix MSport
2011 X5 35D
2008 ///M3 Vert
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2007 X5 3.0
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Old 07-31-2019, 01:13 PM
Mark K Mark K is offline
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Originally Posted by EuropaTCS View Post
Mark K
The Lotus is not used much, and I do enjoy driving a good handling car. My V70R is special (and rare). looking for a daily driver that is fun.
How does the diesel handle with, I assume, more weight up front?
328d is a four cylinder diesel, 2.0 liter displacement. It is still more agile than a 6. Inside the grand coupe and with ZF 8 speed AT it was phenomenal. For my seat of the pants, way more fun than 2.0 gasoline in 28i I used to get as service loaners. All of this is true in normal public road driving. I would never get a diesel for a racetrack or backroads blasting if NA gasoline engine is available. I suggest you give it a shot if you can.

My GTI is not a bad handling car - quite the opposite, actually. Some people on this very forum went there because F30 was not cutting it. I guess what I wanted to say is that, compared to your scalpel Lotus, any of these cars will handle like a machete. After all, your Lotus was engineered to be a useless but super handling sports car. Any of the BMWs you are considering was engineered to be a useful grocery getter. Yes, they will handle a lot better than, say, Dodge Challenger - but not even close to that Lotus, no matter what you do to them.

Good luck with your hunt.

EDIT: forgot to add ... If you want a proper, mechanical sport suspension AND have AWD with that, I would at least try the system called "Quattro" instead of "X-drive".
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2017 Golf GTI |Silver over tartan cloth| MT| Base S, no options. Oh, wait! ... It does have a spare tire!

2016 981 Cayman S | 6-speed MT| Active suspension | Sport Exhaust System | Torque vectoring (with LSD) | Sport seats + | Sport design steering wheel

2013 VW Golf TDI [CONFISCATED]

2011 E92 335i 6MT ZSP ZCW (ED May 17th 2010) [SOLD]

Last edited by Mark K; 07-31-2019 at 01:20 PM.
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