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Hi all,

Been lurking on these boards for a month or so. I have learned a lot from everyone and I am very thankful for that. I am wondering how much most people load up their cars with options. I have always been one to fully load up my cars, but I have never bought a BMW or any other luxury sedan for that matter.

Most cars you can option up for a few thousand. I went to BMWconfig and turned a $38,500 base price on a 328i x-drive into a $54k car. The only thing I am definitely ruling out is the driver assistance plus package and the active cruise control (which I have on one of my cars and love but $2,400 seems very pricey for it). Most everything else I am either sure I want or can talk myself into getting. Seems a little out of hand to me.

I guess it is my car and I should get what makes me happy, but I feel like I am wasting money if I go out and get "everything". Curious as to what is "normal" as far as what people add to the car. Do many people buy them "fully loaded"?
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Most people buy off lots. So they get what the dealer orders. Most likely - at least this was true for the e90 and e46 - premium and AT are the most common options. Look at a BMW dealer's site and you'll see a sea of 328is with automatics and premium. After that, probably navigation.
Hi all,

Been lurking on these boards for a month or so. I have learned a lot from everyone and I am very thankful for that. I am wondering how much most people load up their cars with options. I have always been one to fully load up my cars, but I have never bought a BMW or any other luxury sedan for that matter.

Most cars you can option up for a few thousand. I went to BMWconfig and turned a $38,500 base price on a 328i x-drive into a $54k car. The only thing I am definitely ruling out is the driver assistance plus package and the active cruise control (which I have on one of my cars and love but $2,400 seems very pricey for it). Most everything else I am either sure I want or can talk myself into getting. Seems a little out of hand to me.

I guess it is my car and I should get what makes me happy, but I feel like I am wasting money if I go out and get "everything". Curious as to what is "normal" as far as what people add to the car. Do many people buy them "fully loaded"?
I did a lot of research on the options and this is what I added to a F30 RWD with a N20 engine:

Premium Package
Sports Line
Tech Package
Heated Front Seats
Lighting Package
HK Audio

Price was 46K after discount I negotiated off of MSRP.

The only item I now have second thoughts about, is whether I should have ordered the M Adaptive suspension; which are electronic shock absorber (dampers). Another $1K.

What you might reconsider is the xDrive for $2k. Do you really need it? I decided I did not! Then spent the $2K on the lighting package and HK audio. No regrets on that decision.
Options are where the dealer make more money. To some degree (probably a large degree), the option packages are organized by BMWNA to enable the dealers to get customers to buy option packages and make money. It's all a marketing scam, as you can easily buy individual options in most other markets - go build a car on the UK site, for instance, to see this.
I guess it is my car and I should get what makes me happy, but I feel like I am wasting money if I go out and get "everything". Curious as to what is "normal" as far as what people add to the car. Do many people buy them "fully loaded"?
First off, welcome aboard.

With BMW, you need to look at it the other-way-around. The 328xi is a $54,000 luxury car from which you can strip it of features to a more reasonable $39,000 if your financial situation dictates.

BMW prices its cars in such a way to crush its competition and make anyone who can afford a $349 monthly payment believe they can drive one. Once in the showroom and wowed by the experience, the buyer then realizes that he can't afford the car as he wants it but can still get one if it has no options. It's not a fair fight. Many gulp hard and decide to buy the car without features they'd get for free from Acura just because they dream of owning a BMW.

The 328xi is a $54,000 car. You can strip it down to $39,000. That's the way to view it.

BJ
Hi all,

Been lurking on these boards for a month or so. I have learned a lot from everyone and I am very thankful for that. I am wondering how much most people load up their cars with options. I have always been one to fully load up my cars, but I have never bought a BMW or any other luxury sedan for that matter.

Most cars you can option up for a few thousand. I went to BMWconfig and turned a $38,500 base price on a 328i x-drive into a $54k car. The only thing I am definitely ruling out is the driver assistance plus package and the active cruise control (which I have on one of my cars and love but $2,400 seems very pricey for it). Most everything else I am either sure I want or can talk myself into getting. Seems a little out of hand to me.

I guess it is my car and I should get what makes me happy, but I feel like I am wasting money if I go out and get "everything". Curious as to what is "normal" as far as what people add to the car. Do many people buy them "fully loaded"?
BMW is not the only manufacturer doing the "packaging" deal. Go build an Audi. There is always one item you wan that requires a "package" driving up the price.

Example..with the F30, you can only get comfort access with a full premium package. Last generation it was a $500. stand alone option.

Going as far back as 1999, in order to get shadowline trim you needed a full sport package or the ugly chrome aroud the windows.

Just decide what you really NEED vs. I want that to try to control pricing.

I did not go all out and wound up with a RWD 335 for 52.5K..that was very close to the list of my E46 M-3 conv't. 3 series have gotten expensive. I doubt very many are sold or built listing at under 40K.

Good luck ( and control that clicking finger)
I agree with most of this, especially the part where the dealer wants to get you into the showroom where the atmosphere and excitement get your adrenalin flowing. They are expert at exploiting this.

To the OP, decide what you can afford and what options you want and stick to your plan. In my case, my budget is at the low end of the 3 series line so I decided which options were vital to the driving experience I desired. This was in 2010 and I was shopping for a 2011 328i. I decided I wanted a MT, heated seats, power shades (important with a young child), bluetooth and metallic paint because I didn't want any of the standard colors. This resulted in a car under $37K and one I love to drive. I only miss the power seats with memory.

For you, if you love the configuration you want and it fits into your budget, get the car. It's how you want to experience your new BMW.
First off, welcome aboard.

With BMW, you need to look at it the other-way-around. The 328xi is a $54,000 luxury car from which you can strip it of features to a more reasonable $39,000 if your financial situation dictates.

BMW prices its cars in such a way to crush its competition and make anyone who can afford a $349 monthly payment believe they can drive one. Once in the showroom and wowed by the experience, the buyer then realizes that he can't afford the car as he wants it but can still get one if it has no options. It's not a fair fight. Many gulp hard and decide to buy the car without features they'd get for free from Acura just because they dream of owning a BMW.

The 328xi is a $54,000 car. You can strip it down to $39,000. That's the way to view it.

BJ
I found this to be the same when I was spec'ing out cars.

I just ordered my 2013 328 yesterday, and I did tons of research not only with BMW but other brands as well. All brands I researched are the same - package oriented.

In my case I had sold my other vehicle, and am driving our "summer" car so I had cash to deal with, and some time to research. What started out to be a nice car is now a really nice car that has options I really didn't need, but to get a few things that I wanted I had to get that package.

My wife is looking at a new crossover type vehicle, and we are finding that dealers don't have what she wants, and in some cases are actually trying to convince her not to buy the higher grade packages - it's nuts. She wants a loaded vehicle (company lease), and so we have moved out of our market area to make the purchases because dealers locally don't understand a buyer who wants a loaded up vehicle.
When I look at vehicle pricing I never look at the base price as it means nothing to me. The bottom line after adding my minimum options is what I look at since that's what I consider to be the least amount of car I would buy. Then I'll add little nice to have options and hope that I can negotiate the price down. Here's my list when I decide to buy.

Base options
M sport line
335 (engine upgrade is an option)
Heated seats
Premium package
Manual tranny

Nice to have
Dynamic handling (roads here are relatively arrow straight and make this option less appealing)
Tech package
HK
Auto high beams


I agree that it's a tough pill to swallow which is why I haven't ordered yet as well. This would be my first bmw and also most expensive vehicle purchase. However, the competition doesn't excite me other than the BRZ (obviously not in the same category) and that car is under powered.
Actually, this is incorrect. On cars there is very little mark up on options. All cars, not just BMWs. It's been this way forever. The vast majority of mark up is in the base MSRP.

OP, personally I would not get the camera package. You don't need all those cameras. By setting your side mirrors properly you can easily eliminate your blind spots. note - if you have your mirrors set where you can see the sides of your car you have them set in too close.

Also, if you don't care about the Sport line and are happy with either a black or beige interior you can option a Base line model so that it is almost like a Luxury or Modern line and by adding the M Adaptive suspension have a great handling car. Unless maximum performance is at the top of your list you can skip the sport automatic transmission.
Options are where the dealer make more money. To some degree (probably a large degree), the option packages are organized by BMWNA to enable the dealers to get customers to buy option packages and make money. It's all a marketing scam, as you can easily buy individual options in most other markets - go build a car on the UK site, for instance, to see this.
Thanks for all the responses.

I can technically afford it but I guess what I am trying to figure out is if I am overdoing it. For example I bought a plasma TV a few weeks ago. I got one step down from the top of the line model because as far as I could tell the only difference between the two was that the more expensive one had a built in webcam and you could use hand gestures to do things instead of a remote. I didn't think either of those things were worth the extra few hundred bucks so I didn't get it.

Sounds like a lot of people overdo it when it comes to these cars.
I don't want to start another xDrive debate but this is something I am thinking about. I live in a hilly neighborhood so there will be some times it helps. Whether it is worth $2k is another story.

I did a lot of research on the options and this is what I added to a F30 RWD with a N20 engine:

What you might reconsider is the xDrive for $2k. Do you really need it? I decided I did not! Then spent the $2K on the lighting package and HK audio. No regrets on that decision.
First off, welcome aboard.

The 328xi is a $54,000 car. You can strip it down to $39,000. That's the way to view it.

BJ
BJ - That actually makes a lot of sense to me.

OP, personally I would not get the camera package. You don't need all those cameras. By setting your side mirrors properly you can easily eliminate your blind spots. note - if you have your mirrors set where you can see the sides of your car you have them set in too close.

Also, if you don't care about the Sport line and are happy with either a black or beige interior you can option a Base line model so that it is almost like a Luxury or Modern line and by adding the M Adaptive suspension have a great handling car. Unless maximum performance is at the top of your list you can skip the sport automatic transmission.
The cameras are probably not necessary. Maybe just the park distance control?

I have done much debate about which line to get. I ruled out the Modern line for sure. The problem is I don't think I want beige or black interior, and I am not real thrilled with the sport interior. After initially hating the saddle brown I think I love it now after seeing more pictures of it. I have to go see it in person though to make sure.

I think all of the decisions are making me crazy. That is why I like iPhones. Pick black or white and how much memory you want. Real easy.
welcome to the crazy world of configuring your Bimmer ! I agree with what most people hear said about configuring your ride. Just a couple of pointers - if you are debating between a 335i and a 328i I'v seen prices on the 328i climb very fast with options coming dangerously close to a 335i...atleast that's what happened to me. That prompted me to test drive a 335i and after that I was sold

My config :
335i
Dynamic handling package
Premium package
Driver assistance package
Navigation
Heated front seats
HK stereo upgrade
MSRP :54140 Negotiated price : 49190. Traded in my 2011 hyundai sonata for 17,500 $

The price I eventually negotiated is only a couple of thousand more then what the average price for a 328i similarly equipped is. Of course the 328i has a slightly better handling given the significantly lighter N20 compared to the N55 inline 6. But I kinda prefered the front heavy 335i.

Bottom line....negotiate up from invoice not down from MSRP.....seeing you're from New jersey, you have a ton of volume dealers to choose from. If not try West german BMW from fort Washington , PA prob a 50-60 mile drive. Got the best deal from them. If you negotiate well you can get all the options you need at a price you can afford. I would recommend configuring the car with all the options you want and then eliminate options you dont need based on priority. In short what BJ mentioned 54000 - 39000.
Hi all,

Been lurking on these boards for a month or so. I have learned a lot from everyone and I am very thankful for that. I am wondering how much most people load up their cars with options. I have always been one to fully load up my cars, but I have never bought a BMW or any other luxury sedan for that matter.

Most cars you can option up for a few thousand. I went to BMWconfig and turned a $38,500 base price on a 328i x-drive into a $54k car. The only thing I am definitely ruling out is the driver assistance plus package and the active cruise control (which I have on one of my cars and love but $2,400 seems very pricey for it). Most everything else I am either sure I want or can talk myself into getting. Seems a little out of hand to me.

I guess it is my car and I should get what makes me happy, but I feel like I am wasting money if I go out and get "everything". Curious as to what is "normal" as far as what people add to the car. Do many people buy them "fully loaded"?
Yeah, PDC and the rear view camera.

Saddle Brown rocks!!
The cameras are probably not necessary. Maybe just the park distance control?

I have done much debate about which line to get. I ruled out the Modern line for sure. The problem is I don't think I want beige or black interior, and I am not real thrilled with the sport interior. After initially hating the saddle brown I think I love it now after seeing more pictures of it. I have to go see it in person though to make sure.

I think all of the decisions are making me crazy. That is why I like iPhones. Pick black or white and how much memory you want. Real easy.
Not sure where you are in NJ but I'm in Bergen County and decided against xDrive. Don't want a RWD debate here either, but there are very few snowy days in these parts and I chose a less expensive alternative for those 5 nasty days that preserved the 360 days of BMW's RWD dominance.

Same for the Winter package, just got heated seats.

I chose PDC and just the rear camera, didn't need the expensive Parking package.

The Sport line comes with the sport suspension which is thought by most to be uncomfortable for NYC metro's rough roads. Sport line is not just a cosmetic difference from the Luxury line. It has a major impact on the ride quality too. Highly recommend you go Luxury for this reason.

I chose Saddle Brown because I spent six years in BMW's black and beige interiors and couldn't do it again. The Saddle is special, I get a lot of compliments on it. It's two-tone unlike black and beige, has a real dimensional quality to it.

My car checks in at $48,800 and is optioned as follows:

328i RWD
Luxury Line
Premium
Technology
Lighting
Heated Seats
PDC
Rear Camera
Metallic Paint

What you'll see is that by dropping xDrive, Parking, and Winter I was able to maintain Lighting, Technology, Heated Seats, PDC, and Rear Camera and keep the price far south of $54,000 as the packages are sometimes full of non-essentials with the essentials being available a-la carte.

Good luck.

BJ
I don't want to start another xDrive debate but this is something I am thinking about. I live in a hilly neighborhood so there will be some times it helps. Whether it is worth $2k is another story.

BJ - That actually makes a lot of sense to me.

The cameras are probably not necessary. Maybe just the park distance control?

I have done much debate about which line to get. I ruled out the Modern line for sure. The problem is I don't think I want beige or black interior, and I am not real thrilled with the sport interior. After initially hating the saddle brown I think I love it now after seeing more pictures of it. I have to go see it in person though to make sure.
Actually it's the other way around. BMW vision of the vehicle is pretty much fully loaded, but most cars sold (both in Europe and the US) are fairly stripped down versions. One of the sales/dealer guys who helps moderate this forum has reported that they are moving a LOT of the new F30s in SoCal but they are almost all "strippers"... base model cars with almost no options.

Amount of options is a personal choice. For me, I set a $50K budget for the car and decide I wanted the adaptive M suspension and the tech goodies, as well as AWD (almost mandatory in CO), and still broke through that mental barrier. "Price Paid" after discount was about $47,700... by far my most expensive vehicle purchase, but driving the car it feels like I got my moneys worth.... almost.

$38K 328i "stripper" and $57K 335i loaded are the same car, but they don't drive or feel like the same car, at all.
Thanks for all the responses.

I can technically afford it but I guess what I am trying to figure out is if I am overdoing it. For example I bought a plasma TV a few weeks ago. I got one step down from the top of the line model because as far as I could tell the only difference between the two was that the more expensive one had a built in webcam and you could use hand gestures to do things instead of a remote. I didn't think either of those things were worth the extra few hundred bucks so I didn't get it.

Sounds like a lot of people overdo it when it comes to these cars.
To be honest, get what you really need, no need to go all out when you're only gonna use 1/3 of the equipment you ordered.

Be careful of dealers trying to smother you with compliments and charm to drive up the price of your car, from personal experience when my dad bought his F30 (now stolen and driven by me), he almost gave in to all options the dealer offered.

If you live in the city like me, you don't need M-Sport Suspension or massive 18/19 inch rims, stick to 17s and the ride is plush.
If don't drive at night too often, no need for lighting package.
Not very tech savvy, avoid those tech extras.

However i find that ALL F30s need
1) Auto Gearbox (simply amazing)
2) Stereo upgrade, standard is fine but bit on the cheap side for a car with that price tag
3) LEATHER, Nothing makes me cringe more than a premium car with cloth lined seats

cheers

Vin
I don't agree with your must have options one bit.

1. Auto Grearbox. To people like me the fact i can still get the manual in the 335i is awesome. Not to mention its one sweet box. Not cutting down people that don't like to shift here but to me it is just a preference choice and not a must have.

2. I got the HK but not a deal breaker for me if I didn't have the money to spend on it. Again a preference thing.

3. I would opt out of leather even if it was free. The leatherette for me it is the way to go since this will be my main driver and I have a dog that I take everywhere I go other than work. Much more durable and easy to clean than leather and still high quality enough.

Must haves in my opinion:

Adaptive suspension. Simply transforms the car in terms of comfort without any compromise on cornering ability.

Xenons. I would never get a BMW without this option. This is why I tell people if you start loading your F30 and don't care about gas millage, forget the 328i. Get the 335i, with the more powerful engine, bigger brakes, moon roof, and Xenons all standard.

That is it. Remember that in a 335i you don't really need a line even though I would not do without the sports seats thus I got the Sport Line. But you get the 18 inch wheels without a line on the 335i.

NAV- I got it but do I need it? no. Nice to have the larger I-drive screen but not a need.

PDK- I got it but do I need it? no. Nice to have but really no need unless you spend your time parking in very small garage spaces.

HK- I got it but do I need it? no. Most of the time on a nice day I like to have the radio/CD/MP3 player off and the windows down listening to that wondrous 6-cylinder sound while I work the gearbox.

Heated Seats- I got them but do I need them? no. My car will always be garaged whether I am at work or home so the temperature doesn't get that cold, plus I leave in DC metro area where really we don't have the persistent 20 degree weather.
To be honest, get what you really need, no need to go all out when you're only gonna use 1/3 of the equipment you ordered.

Be careful of dealers trying to smother you with compliments and charm to drive up the price of your car, from personal experience when my dad bought his F30 (now stolen and driven by me), he almost gave in to all options the dealer offered.

If you live in the city like me, you don't need M-Sport Suspension or massive 18/19 inch rims, stick to 17s and the ride is plush.
If don't drive at night too often, no need for lighting package.
Not very tech savvy, avoid those tech extras.

However i find that ALL F30s need
1) Auto Gearbox (simply amazing)
2) Stereo upgrade, standard is fine but bit on the cheap side for a car with that price tag
3) LEATHER, Nothing makes me cringe more than a premium car with cloth lined seats

cheers

Vin
The Manual is splendid but my day is spent mostly in traffic jams, my other vehicle is a Toyota pick-up, despite the nice light clutch, it kills your left leg in traffic, the auto makes so much sense here.
I do still maintain that manual gearboxes are the way to go for a sporty drive, but I do quite the opposite 85% of the time!

In the USA, cars are pretty cheap compared to the United Kingdom where a similar 335i would set you back $65,000+, not an option for everyone!

Some people just need a good fun car without all the bells and whistles!
I don't agree with your must have options one bit.

1. Auto Grearbox. To people like me the fact i can still get the manual in the 335i is awesome. Not to mention its one sweet box. Not cutting down people that don't like to shift here but to me it is just a preference choice and not a must have.

2. I got the HK but not a deal breaker for me if I didn't have the money to spend on it. Again a preference thing.

3. I would opt out of leather even if it was free. The leatherette for me it is the way to go since this will be my main driver and I have a dog that I take everywhere I go other than work. Much more durable and easy to clean than leather and still high quality enough.

Must haves in my opinion:

Adaptive suspension. Simply transforms the car in terms of comfort without any compromise on cornering ability.

Xenons. I would never get a BMW without this option. This is why I tell people if you start loading your F30 and don't care about gas millage, forget the 328i. Get the 335i, with the more powerful engine, bigger brakes, moon roof, and Xenons all standard.

That is it. Remember that in a 335i you don't really need a line even though I would not do without the sports seats thus I got the Sport Line. But you get the 18 inch wheels without a line on the 335i.

NAV- I got it but do I need it? no. Nice to have the larger I-drive screen but not a need.

PDK- I got it but do I need it? no. Nice to have but really no need unless you spend your time parking in very small garage spaces.

HK- I got it but do I need it? no. Most of the time on a nice day I like to have the radio/CD/MP3 player off and the windows down listening to that wondrous 6-cylinder sound while I work the gearbox.

Heated Seats- I got them but do I need them? no. My car will always be garaged whether I am at work or home so the temperature doesn't get that cold, plus I leave in DC metro area where really we don't have the persistent 20 degree weather.
The F30 sport suspension is nothing like the E90. Even in sport mode, I have yet to have anything resembling the standard E90 jarring, rattle your teeth moments in the F30.
Not sure where you are in NJ but I'm in Bergen County and decided against xDrive. Don't want a RWD debate here either, but there are very few snowy days in these parts and I chose a less expensive alternative for those 5 nasty days that preserved the 360 days of BMW's RWD dominance.

Same for the Winter package, just got heated seats.

I chose PDC and just the rear camera, didn't need the expensive Parking package.

The Sport line comes with the sport suspension which is thought by most to be uncomfortable for NYC metro's rough roads. Sport line is not just a cosmetic difference from the Luxury line. It has a major impact on the ride quality too. Highly recommend you go Luxury for this reason.

I chose Saddle Brown because I spent six years in BMW's black and beige interiors and couldn't do it again. The Saddle is special, I get a lot of compliments on it. It's two-tone unlike black and beige, has a real dimensional quality to it.

My car checks in at $48,800 and is optioned as follows:

328i RWD
Luxury Line
Premium
Technology
Lighting
Heated Seats
PDC
Rear Camera
Metallic Paint

What you'll see is that by dropping xDrive, Parking, and Winter I was able to maintain Lighting, Technology, Heated Seats, PDC, and Rear Camera and keep the price far south of $54,000 as the packages are sometimes full of non-essentials with the essentials being available a-la carte.

Good luck.

BJ
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