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  #1  
Old 09-02-2012, 06:20 PM
vmpatterson vmpatterson is offline
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PCD and First 2800 mi on 328ix M Sport

Picked up my 2013 328 xi M Sport at PCD Aug 22 and drove around SC, Georgia, Kentucky and home of Colorado. Saw the Florida Highway leave Charleston on 25 Aug after it had dropped off a load of BMW in Charleston.

PCD was great. Driving the fast course was best but too short maybe 4-5 laps as I had to come in a couple of times to get better spacing between the other 2 other cars on the track as I was catching them. The car provided was a 335 i. The stopping exercise was a bore, too slow; the wet demo was fun as was running the course with a professional driver in an M3. A lot of drifting rather than fast lap times. They also have you drive a SUV over the off road course to show you its capability but would have rather had more track time.

BMW PCD treatment was excellent and I appreciate BMW covering the internet and breakfast costs for a second day at the Marriott. A BMW person will spend a hour or two with you setting up the the idrive with you although most of the time was spent with my wife the primary driver. I would do PCD again and recommend the second night at the Marriott as you get a good BMW rate and unless you live within the area you won't get that far down the road after PCD. The BMW Museum is now on your own time although they do let you park right you new car in front of the building on the sidewalk. Marriott also does a good job.

The 328xi is good, got 31.6 mpg for the whole trip from driving it off the PCD lot to home (2760 miles), and 35+ on one 500+ miles of mostly freeway with outside temperature 95-103 degrees. Used Eco Pro in the cities and on freeway. Used Sport mode on curvy roads in Georgia and Kentucky and when entering the freeways. Lots of fun in the curves but on the freeway Eco Pro is OK for laid back normal driving. Watch your speed in South Carolina and Georgia as there are a lot of cops and they pull a lot of people over.

In Eco pro the car is a bit of a dog but the mileage makes it worthwhile as you can get 450-500+ miles on a tank of gas and you have options for fun. The auto transmission hit near 6000 before shifting in sport mode when entering one freeway. For Break-In I recommend using the transmission manual mode and varying the rpm's by shifting into the lower gears. This way you can still travel at 60-70 mph and vary your rpm's between 1700-3800 easily. I would run one rpm's for 1-3 miles and then change gears. The paddles shifters are handy here and also for dropping into sport mode when you need some quick acceleration. Although I would have liked to have the computer keep me in sport mode a little longer rather than reverting back to eco pro or comfort where it was original set.

I didn't notice any difference in driving the run flat tires but still will likely switch to a standard high performance tire when I wear the run flats out. I did go with the summer tires and staggered sizes. Have not seen a pressure sensor problem at 6000 feet but will see what happens when I get over 10,000 feet in the mountains. Although I didn't go with the head-ups display this might have been a nice but rather expensive option as I did find myself changing the various dash display quite often and having to look down.

Although we put almost 2800 miles on the car I drove most of the time and really haven't played with the i system a lot. For the most part it seems fairly easy but there is a lot of things it can do but its not good to play with it while driving. Learn the voice commands which are generally well understood by the voice recognition system to control the idrive. For BMW I would recommend a voice recognition systems that has a learning capability to better recognize various speech patterns as it would likely significantly improve the entering of a addresses into the navigation system

The navigation system is good as you can do a split screen with different scales and I am happy I went with the BMW system rather than using the Garmin. The entering of voice command addresses is better than my garmin but some addresses seem to give the computer a lot of problems. Often we had to go with a hands on entry. Also entering attractions did not go well as trying to find a local very well known attraction just didn't seem to work. Will talk with my CA on this one - I have to think this was an operator error as some attractions were too well known to not have it in the system file.


One complaint is that I understood I could tighten the adaptive suspension to sport setting while in comfort or eco pro mode. You can't and I ask why not as its merely a software setting? Also it seems like the i drive setting will sometimes change on there own, maybe a problem in moving between profiles and not having the profile set to where I want it. Will have to keep as eye out on this.

As far as the question of front bumper height with the adaptive suspension on the M Sport the height is 6 5/8 to 6 3/4 inches. It does seem to be higher than my V70R and certainly higher than my 911. I have not compared the height to the sport line but will try to remember when I go to the dealer. Also I think the complaints I have seen about the rear bumper based on the photographs people have seem are pretty much unfounded. They don't look that bad in real life and the front end is clearly much superior over the other lines. The M Sport Steering wheel is quite nice and better than the other lines. I also was able to find a very comfortable driving position. The ability to tighten the seat sides around your back is very nice if you want to be held tightly in the seat. I couldn't tell the vinyl seats from leather although on one particularly hot day my back was sweating a lot but I am not sure it was the lack of breathing of the vinyl seats versus coming into a hot car, already being sweaty, having the seats sides pretty tight, and not fully understanding the air conditioner controls. We had one day of 500+ miles with temperatures of 95-103 and didn't notice a problem with the AC in eco pro. Certainly, no problems of the engineer running hot in these temperature as it was under 240-250 degrees.

The brakes are very good. Of course the summer performance tires are a big difference is stopping distance. The breaks so far are a bit touch and it is noticeable if you tap the brakes to come out of cruise control. Cruise control really keeps the car at the speed selected not varyings a couple of miles per hour between going up or down hills as most cars I have driven. In switching between eco pro, comfort, sport and sport + there are big difference in acceleration. Just switching between the various modes is very noticeable even if you aren't accelerating. Certainly I can understand some people complaining about the eco pro and comfort modes and I don't disagree with them wanting to have the car start in sport mode but for me it's not a big deal as I don't hot rod in normal driving and can change to sport/sport + when I get to the curves.

Hope this helps some of you.
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2012, 03:40 PM
323E46 323E46 is offline
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thank you for sharing your experiences
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:42 PM
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SamS SamS is offline
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Nice write up! I'm picking up my M-sport at PCD in January. I went one year ago for my last car, and have been itching to go back ever since!
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:58 PM
vmpatterson vmpatterson is offline
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Mein Auto: Volvo V70 R& T5, 911 CS4
A little info. My wife drove the 328 xi up into the Colorado mountains last week and I drove our V79R volvo. In comparing gas mileage I got 26 mpg and she got 26.1. I was quite surprised as she drives slower and more gently plus under normal highways the Volvo typically get 26-27 mpg while we can get 33-34 on the 328. In driving the 328 around the mountains while we are at the condo I found that the automatic transmission was typically in 5 or 6th gear rather than 7 or 8th. I think this explains while the mileage was so close as I can still drive in 6th gear (manual) and still have reasonable power for highway driving. I am sure she will get much better going down although I usually get 30+ in the Volvo.

My wife really likes her car and I still think it was a good choice over the Volvo S60R, although the S60R has better acceleration and more power. Handling, brakes and gas mileage were deciding factors.
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