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      05-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
SamS
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The thread you'll love to hate: M3 vs. F30 328i

Ha!

I'm back again to tell my fellow M3 owners about more fun in a 328i. This time, a 2012 F30 328i Luxury Line. BMW came to downtown Dallas today as part of their Drive for Team USA event.

After signing a release form, and showing my driver's license, I was given the keys to a 328i Luxury Line in Imperial Blue Metallic to do with as I pleased. Of course this has the N20 and 8AT, and I have been very curious about this car as a daily driver. I first saw the new 3 series just two days after it's October 2011 introduction in Munich, when I went to pick up my E92 M3, and have been intrigued since then.

Once I settled in the car, I put it into Sports mode, and left TC on as well as Start/Stop. Although my M3 has Start/Stop, I rarely if ever turn it on. I wanted to experience the car as an average 328i buyer/owner likely would. The seats felt adequate, and the overall visibility in the cabin was excellent. I had to start out driving in downtown Dallas, so initially there were a lot of turns and start/stops. The car shutting off was not bothersome, but the re-start was very distracting. I eventually turned it off.

The N20 was very impressive! I liked the sound, and it had plenty of giddy-up for passing and sprints. The 8AT was pretty good, shifting smoothly. However, it did seem to get stuck in a gear, once. For some reason the RPMs stayed closed to 4K even though I let off the gas. Maybe just a weird anomaly. I actually didn't mind the steering. It was slightly numb, but still comfortable. I was not expecting it to feel like my M3.

My model was loaded up, so I got to play with the new HUD. It was really impressive, and I hope it makes its way to all models soon. The fake-pop-up Nav screen was also good. I think I like it more than the "Nav-cave" that my car has. The new style makes the dash look quite a bit more spacious. Even in direct sunlight, there was no negative impact to the display. The entire feel and size of the interior felt just "right" to me. Not too big, and not at all cramped.

Overall, I'd say the F30 met my expectations, and exceeded some. The steering was the only (slight) let down, but since I'm coming from an M3, it's to be expected. My friend drove an F30 335i Sport Line, I rode passenger. He already has an '11 335i, and felt the drive and power was comparable. The improvements of the HUD, and rear/front cameras impressed both of us.

Anyways, bash away. I'm glad I made the effort to drive the 328i, as I'd love to have one as a daily drive at some point down the line. The 25mpg+ is pretty awesome! And, most importantly, it felt like a BMW to drive. Plenty sporty, didn't feel heavy, and had a pleasing RWD balance.
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      05-18-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Too bad the front looks like ass. Take that away and it's an 2006 328i. Sigh.
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      05-18-2012, 06:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3PO View Post
Too bad the front looks like ass. Take that away and it's an 2006 328i. Sigh.
Obviously looks are subjective, but the new chassis + N20 + 8AT make for a very different driving experience than an E90 328i.
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      05-18-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Uh...why would we bash? Glad you enjoyed yourself, sounds like a nice car for the right driver. Probably not the same person who owns an M3, unless they have both.

Cheers
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      05-18-2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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looks like you took it around the ugly track and hit every square inch of armco on the way around
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      05-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Now! View Post
Uh...why would we bash? Glad you enjoyed yourself, sounds like a nice car for the right driver. Probably not the same person who owns an M3, unless they have both.

Cheers
Last time I made a thread about the week I spent in a loaner E93, people crapped all over the thread

I would like to have both some day!
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      05-18-2012, 08:02 PM   #7
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I tested "spiritedly" a new 328i and 335i, since it was a possible replacement for our current 335i maybe after the first year bugs were resolved.

I found that the 335 definitely feels more powerful than the 328i, but only outside the City, when you get to push it. It's a more refined motor as well. The 328i's motor also sounds like a diesel when you're standing outside the car.

In the end, while feeling more powerful (because of the 8AT and the sport mode programming ) with a more refined ride, the new 335i wasn't enough of a difference to our current ride for us, and the E90/92 steering definitely felt better to me and I preferred the 'fatter' E90/92 sport-package steering wheel (although the F30 steering was certainly not bad or anything).

But as a car on its own merits, yes, I was impressed by the F30.

p.s. Then I hopped into an E92 M3 again...... F30 still can't come close...
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      05-18-2012, 08:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
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p.s. Then I hopped into an E92 M3 again...... F30 still can't come close...
Yeah, but with the F30 you get Nav without the double hump
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      05-18-2012, 09:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3PO View Post
Too bad the front looks like ass. Take that away and it's an 2006 328i. Sigh.
+1000000000000

German designers must have been at Oktober fest when they drew that one up..
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      05-18-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamS View Post
Yeah, but with the F30 you get Nav without the double hump
LOL - Just watch, my dealer will call me and say, "Euh Julie, the 2013 M3 in Canada now doesn't allow you to spec Nav out..."

It's true I really like the way it looks on the F30. So when the F80 comes out, we'll both agree - Nav FTW!
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      05-18-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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and so it starts....
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      05-19-2012, 09:49 AM   #12
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The new design looks like complete and utter ass IMO
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      05-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
+1000000000000

German designers must have been at Oktober fest when they drew that one up..
Couldnt agree more!! lol
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      05-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #14
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This thread belongs in the M3 vs section as much as an A4 does, a C230. Etc....

Haven't driven the new 328 but hopefully I'll have one as a loaner since i just ordered a new E92 M3 and delivery is expected in July.

I think the front will grow on us although I do prefer the double hump in our current model.

I did drive a new 535 with the 8 speed last year but the non M Sport and as much as I liked the interior the handling sucked.
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      05-19-2012, 07:46 PM   #15
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Since I got to drive the 328i, I have a feeling it will sell like crazy for BMW. I actually like the looks too. I hope it makes a ton of money for them. Stuff like this is what makes ///M cars possible.
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      05-20-2012, 09:34 AM   #16
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Once again proof that BMW has lost their heritage.
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      05-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #17
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I won't bash your opinion, since everybody is entitled to one. But when we drove it, we weren't impressed at all with the way the car felt. We absolutely loved the engine, but it felt too soft, floaty and imprecise - not at all like a BMW according to my wife, who liked the driving experience better in the 2011 328xi.

It was quite a letdown for my wife, who was seeing another euro delivery coming up... And yes, she hated that new cut line across the hood, she likes the character lines going across the hood in the current model.

Still, it was the driving she objected the most to, not the styling. I have grave doubts about the new M3, based on this.

YMMV.
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      05-20-2012, 02:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Now! View Post
Uh...why would we bash? Glad you enjoyed yourself, sounds like a nice car for the right driver. Probably not the same person who owns an M3, unless they have both.

Cheers
No hurry to own an F30 328i. It is not different enough - OK, the interior layout is.

I suspect the next gen will move the game forward much more; this iteration was brought forward to beat back Audi's A4 sales' assault.

M3 vs F30 328i ???? Apples and Oranges.
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      05-20-2012, 10:07 PM   #19
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I drive BMW's everyday as a job. The new 3 series steering is the biggest let down. I'm not a fan of the styling, either. Interior quality is a huge step forward, but it doesn't tell you you're driving a BMW. As a DD, can't go wrong. The color heads up display is nice.
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You sound like my buddies who have AMG's - Slam the gas, slam the brakes...
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      05-20-2012, 10:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I drive BMW's everyday as a job. The new 3 series steering is the biggest let down. I'm not a fan of the styling, either. Interior quality is a huge step forward, but it doesn't tell you you're driving a BMW. As a DD, can't go wrong. The color heads up display is nice.
That is my exact point. Seems like a wonderful DD. Nicer interior than E9x, and crazy good mpg.
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      05-21-2012, 02:50 AM   #21
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My girlfriend just took a deliver (2 weeks ago) of 328i Sport line, with all the bells and whistles.... we are stationed in Germany. I will soon give a review, but to make the story short: the new 328 is awesome!!! They should really make a sport package standard, it is miles ahead of all the other packages, you get much better seats (on par with M3 AT LEAST), among other things. Her car is white, so all the little black touches of the sport package really stand out. So far we driven 600 miles, so break in is not fully done, but this is the first impressions on autobahn(100+mph cruising): it drives very nice! Handles great, seat positioning better than m3, HUD is AMAZING, breaks are great, overall amazing car! Interior is awesome (kind of made me feel VERY dated in my M3).

Oh, and before this we had 2011 328i as a rental from bmw(basic package), that car was horrible compared to the new one.
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      05-21-2012, 08:33 AM   #22
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I drive BMW's everyday as a job.
What job is this?
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