Oka, bear with me. I was in the market for a sport sedan, my lists were c63, S4, S5, E92 M3, and F30 335i.
C63 out because of the hedious automatic transmission that felt like my IS250.
S5 out because it simply isn't sporty or special enough (for the price I'm paying).
It really came down to S4 vs F30 335i vs E92 M3.
so, my short impression of the 335i.
It certainly changed, but not Improved
3 series is a benchmark. No questions about that. And for every generation, we must ask ourselves if they satisfy BOTH Luxury + Sporty components.
I already read and heard so many stories about how sporty this new car is, how its electric steering is executed, and the feel of superb tight chassis and suspension work.
Yes the car drove well, I can't blame them for using the 35i engine. It is a great engine, fun and efficient.
The steering certainly felt lighter than E90 335i.
Did this car "drive" faster or better than the E90? No.
I focused on this area a bit. Many owners claim to care much about Sportiness of 3 series, but it's really the luxury and brand value that attracts most people. If not, Civic Si or G37s is as much fun at driving both on and off the track for less money.
This was the big disappointment. I had hard time finding any component of luxury. Some said these days manufacurers use less money to develop, part and build new vehicles. This car fits to that statement. It almost looked like an okay-equipped Passat.
Yes the front interior has certainly CHANGED, but not really improved. The plastics and trims feel so cheap, past E90 interior bits felt more expensive.
I'm not really impressed by the HUD (Why do people really want it? Are we driving a 24 hour Lemans race or commuting to work?), Lane Departure or rear heated seats (come on, those were available 4 yrs ago in A4/A5 segments), or front parking cams (I probably would use them once every three yrs). Funny I read somewhere someone mentioned about the cheap trunk hinge they use in F30...overall the materials are cheap! I was hoping at least a new design on air vents for the rear seats...nothing really changed or improved in the rear interior except larger leg room.
Although I love BMW in all segments, I just cannot recommend this car to someone looking for a nicely equipped ~$40K sport sedan. The face-lifted C300 4 Matic looks great and drives great. The new A4 drives in great comport and even sporty. It clearly shows MB and Audi catching up BMW in srpot sedan world.
My overall impression
the new F30 doesn't seem "special" anymore. Even 2006 330i or 2007 335i felt special and considered special for many people. Maybe i'm wrong.
It's just hard to accpet this is another great example of Sport Luxury Sedan.
At the end of my testdrive, i almost blamed those magazines and public reviews praising this car as another "benchmark". Really?
The thin stock tires that look like civic rear tires, the whole car feels larger but not as tight as the E90s did. It is another great car, just not 100% THE 3 SERIES everyone looks upto.
I give this car a 6/10.