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F30 328i and 335i impressions

Discussion in 'F30 (2012-present)' started by two30grain, Jun 8, 2012.

    two30grain guest

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    Yesterday, I drove a N55 powered F30 335i as well as the new 328i FI 4 cylinder at BMW's Drive for Team USA at the local dealership.

    I am an E30 diehard and also drive an E46 which I also think has too many gimmicky gadgets. Aside from that here are my impressions:

    F30 335i (Modern Line, I believe)
    -Engine - Plenty of power! this will be nothing new to the current crop of E9x 335i drivers. When you get on the throttle it gives you a thrill everytime, and at the same time a feeling in the pit of your stomach. It is like your body is telling you that you shouldnt be moving that fast. It was incredible in the last 3er, and still continues to be so. The exhaust note was a symphony of pure. . . Awesome! (Thanks Barney)

    -Start/Stop - This feature stops the engine while you are at a stand still and starts it back up once you get off the brake. I personally dislike this feature. Everytime you get off the brake, the starting of the engine is jarring, unlike normal vehicle start. it can be turned off, but will reset to the on position during the next vehicle restart. This can probably be changed with BMW's Modic, but i imagine that costs a pretty penny. . . to set a variable from "1" to "0". . .

    -Drive modes - it includes Sport+, Sport, Comfort, Eco, and one other I can remember. I drove a majority in sport+ and it was spectacular. I had to follow a test route, and from that I can only really tell that the power delivery changed between modes, but it supposedly also changes steering and suspension response. in Sport+ power delivery was instantaneous and immense. In Eco mode, it was just the opposite. With the point being to increase mileage, power delivery was incredibly dull, like an underpower engine. I imagine that this would create the desired effect of increasing mileage.

    -HUD - a gimmick if you ask me. it can display different data supposedly, but I didnt bother to look. despite my disdain for it, when I got to the business of driving, it was super easy for me to ignore; i forgot it was there until I parked the car back at the dealership! Thus, implementation wise, nicely done.

    -Tools - a tow eye and a screwdriver that looks like my old Heyco's. What a joke.

    -Actual Drive - with the playstations they have in these things set properly, the F30 drives like a BMW should. no surprises and utmost confidence in the twisties, just as it always has been. It felt and sounded like a BMW. I didnt feel the weight and was able to toss it around just like previous 3er's. I am supremely happy that the spirit lives on.

    -electric steering - i was thinking about how much this was going to be different a few days prior. I remembered again after i left the drive. during the drive, i couldnt tell a difference. Maybe if i thought about it during, i would have, but i guess i can say it work well enough.

    -Gimmicks - lane departure warning, rear view cameras, comfort access, iDrive, collision detection, flappy paddles, run flats, and 100 other electronic do-dads. My constant question was can this be removed? it was a mixed bag in that regard. I tend to keep cars for the long term unlike most folks, and I would not look forward to dealing with these gimmicks in the future. iDrive, which may be better than previous interations, is still simply a device that is a solution in want of a problem. Argue if you wish, but when I have to go through several menus to change the radio station instead of touching a button directly (even without directly looking), it is hard to call this an improvement. User interface design should make things easier to do, not more difficult or take longer in time. At least HVAC controls are seperate, but like my E46, it is not an improvement. iDrive had a ton more options and menus, but I am sitting in the pilots seat to drive, not to play with a computer (and this is coming from a IT professional who loves technology).

    -transmission - they only had autos available. i expected this. they are really smooth. I am a manual transmission diehard, and as such, i have a natural dislike for automatics. downshifting almost does nothing in of itself, so you will only ever downshift for power, not to control speed (to be expected of course) but i will commend that gear shifts were smooth enough, even in Sport+.

    interior - in a few short words, the interior was very nice. seemed to be well made with good materials and had a good feeling to it. all controls felt pretty typical and not super cheap or fragile by any means.

    cup holders - it had them. it shouldnt.




    F30 328i
    Most features above are the same for this car. where they are not, i have listed below.

    interior - i selected a base model care instead of a 328i from the LUxury line. I got in the car and it was immediatly obvious. it had the same look but the feel of it was completly different. it felt cheaper than the Modern line that 335i had. I cant point out anything in familiar as it was not something i was trying to compare specifically.

    Engine - a 4 cylinder. I am dreadin this choice. To me, BMW in the US should have left off with the bang that was the E30 M3, or the E30 318i. Great 4's. can they repeat?

    It didnt sound like a BMW. It was ok, but as an enthusiast, I feel like you would be settling with it. Maybe an aftermarket exhaust would help the exhaust note, but the 328i sound like. . . well, a 4 cylinder.

    But say, unfortunetly and god forbid, deaf. that wouldnt matter. what would matter is how it felt. and it felt good! power delivery was excellent and instananeous (in Sport). Like NA 4's that sound like they are doing a lot of work, (and not moving too quickly, comparitively) this sounds similar, like it is struggling, but it isnt at all. it moving spritely. Now, it doesnt give you that feeling in the pit of your stomach like the N55, but I think anyone who decided on the smaller mill wont be disappointed by the difference in power.

    Drive modes - it only had 3, Sport, Comfort, and Eco. Other than that, the feeling was the same as above.





    Overall, a great car keeping with the tradition of what is BMW, but for purists like me, some of it is a bit much. I think it will please most folks, and honestly, if I drove it, id probably forgive some of the gimmicks and maybe even get used to them. It would be easier at least, knowing that in her heart, she is still a BMW.
    • Member

    BMWCCA1

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    If you want to tune a specific station, simply push the "speech" button on the steering wheel and say, "FM 97.5". Or set the "radio" menu to any band or to your (40) pre-sets and then use the steering wheel scroll button to display all available stations in the driver's information display in the main cluster. Push the scroll button and it will tune the station selected. This also works with re-dialing phone numbers, or selecting your iPod tracks, etc. With HUD, the stations (numbers, tracks, etc.) will show in the HUD display, if you've selected that option.

    Or use the eight memory buttons near the HVAC controls to store functions you use frequently such as phone numbers you want to direct dial without using the phone menu, radio stations you store as favorites, or navigation locations you've stored, or even sections of the owner's manual stored in the hard drive. Most of these functions are available as long as the options include Navigation which upgrades the entire communications system. Without Nav you'll have limited voice commands and little-to-no driver information display beyond the standard instrumentation.

    Like any modern product, the more you play with it the more features you find. I can recall the very first BMW On-Board Computer (OBC-I) where in some some case we simply had to tell people to leave it alone and it would just be a clock. If they selected the wrong combination of buttons they'd get an alarm whenever they reached a certain speed or didn't attain a specific MPG average. The later (E30) OBC actually worked pretty well. The newest iDrive is a big improvement over all previous versions in much the same way. It does help if you've had a competent client advisor explain it to you. :)
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    fshubert

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    Picked up my 2013 335i sedan today. What a ride. Love the car. Too soon to grade it vs. the 2009 335i I turned in. Initially I don't like that I'm stuck with iDrive (that display on the dash is like a small computer monitor sitting on a desktop). The least BMW could have done was make it hidable rather than just sitting there. Or integrate it into the dash. Oh well. Also don't like that when I shut off the car that the stereo/iDrive is live. Gotta hit the start/stop button again to make sure all is off (or lock it, which I won't do in my garage). I'll give it a few days of driving and comment more. Initially, I'd not change my choice of car. Little things I can live with. Hell, I may wind up liking al this new stuff. :)
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    MGarrison

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    I don't know how I missed this thread, but, thx 4 the review. I have to say I'm hard pressed to think of a simpler, more logical, straightforward, easy-to-use hvac control system than in E30's. I always seem to find auto-climate systems never do exactly what I want, when I want it, or quickly enough. If an auto climate system could direct air to windshield, face, or footwell vents in the approximately less than half a second it takes to slide the control lever for each in an E30, and get the fan speed to what I wanted in the fraction of a second it takes to turn the E30's fan switch, I could find them more tolerable.
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    astropharm

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    About 3 weeks ago I picked up my ordered 335i lux edition sedan from a Chicagoland dealer and drove it home to Montana (~19 hrs with no breaks). So far, after nearly 3000 miles on it, since I also drove to Spokane to see a friend, I've thoroughly enjoyed the car. The acceleration, the handling, the amenities, as well as gas mileage (~32 mpg in mixed comfort and sport modes) made both drives pleasurable. The start/stop feature is a bit discomforting at first and I'm still deciding if I like that feature, but at least I have the choice to turn it off when I get in the car. Overall, and so far, a great car, I also like the 7 degree driver oriented dashboard, as I prefer this over a flat dashboard. Also, all the controls are easily within my reach.
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    fshubert

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    Picked up my third 3-series on Aug 10. The 2013 335i Sportline is a fantastic car! Being new to BMW I can't believe I never had one before 2007 but will never own another brand.
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    RetAF95

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    Picked up my 2013 328i xDrive one week ago, CPO car, with 13k on it when I picked it up. So far, I love the car! It's my 4th Bimmer, and it replaced a 2001 E39. Have taken it on one road trip so far. While I personally might have preferred the 335, this one will do fine! When I want even more fun, I can get in my Z3, and have all the fun I could want. It has plenty of bells and whistles, though I might have wanted more. However, I tend to drive my vehicles until the wheels just about fall off, so keeping it a little simpler is probably a better choice at this point. The comfort, handling, and available power are all right up there! I'm a sold-out BMW owner, for as long as I can muster the resources to keep it up.
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    leestewart

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    In order to fully experience the raw power and handling of the 335i sport F30 vehicle (which I bought after trading in my e92 3 series), I strongly recommend going to the BMW Performance Driving School. I attended the one day course last summer, which was just months after taking delivery of my 2013 335i sport, and as it turned out, the vehicles we used on the track were 2013 335i sports and 2013 135i vehicles. Getting the chance to push the 335i "to the limit" on the slaloms, skid pads, and while taking hot laps was an experience not to be missed, and ultimately at the end of the day, allowed me to fully realize the joy of driving this vehicle. Already owning a 335i sport might have ultimately given me the edge in winning the culminating "King Rat" crown at the end of the day. All in all, the PDS is an experience that I recommend to any enthusiast!
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    MGarrison

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    Sounds like you're all ready for some driver's schools now - it is fun, isn't it? :) 2014 marks the 40-year anniversary of BMWCCA chapter-run driver's schools, at regional road-course racetracks all over the country - 'CCA started doing driver's schools on tracks a year before BMW started the BMW of North America subsidiary, even. Definitely, there's no better way to experience the full potential of these cars than to get them out on your nearest racetrack! :D

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