Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

1541542544546547590

Comments

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,596
    A reporter is interested in speaking with a car buyer who recently purchased a new sedan, but did not consider any of the German brands (such as Volkswagen) during the shopping process. If you can assist, please contact pr@edmunds.com by Wednesday, October 23 2013.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,673
    Graphic, I have only driven the car about 200 miles, but so far...

    Power:
    Very adequate for daily driving, merging onto the freeway or driving around town the turbo engine has an effortless to it. Whether you get the 320 or 328 the cars have three modes for power-train, Sport, Normal/comfort and Eco.
    Sport the engine mapping is changed as well as shift points. Shifts at a higher RPM, the throttle has an aggressive feel to it. The transmission will rapidly fire off shift very much like Duel clutch auto does.
    Normal is really "comfort" the transmission shifts more smoothly and the engine mapping isn't as aggressive. So far this is where I leave it.
    Eco is just that, the throttle has a lazier feel to it and the transmission will get into higher gear quicker. Having the car in sport and accelerating from a stop light/sign the car "feel" quicker and the shifts are quicker than the advertise 180hp. Also there very little TURBO LAG in this car. Truly impressed with it. I did drive a 328i and was very impressed with it. Now granted, these are 4 cyl and are not as smooth as the 6 cyl, no, but overall one would be hard pressed to know there is a 6 cyl under the hood.

    Engine
    Not as smooth as the 6cyl, when the 4 cyl is cold it is rougher and courser, but once at operating temperature things smooth out a little.
    The Auto start/stop….
    It’s unnerving to come to a stop and the engine dies, however, when the A/C is running the engine will stop for roughly 20-30 seconds but will restart and stay running. When the engine is cold it will not stop, it must be at operating temp for this feature to run. I have decided to allow this feature to work, I want to see if it really bothers me. There are times when the engine restarts and it’s rougher than others. We all know this feature is to help with MPG, and once BMW gets their MPG up, this feature will go away. The 328d is start…

    Driving
    Now I only have about 200 miles of butt time in the car, so of course my impressions will change. Now I have had an E36 328i, E46 330i, E90 328i and now this F30 320i. They all drive the same but different. They all had/have that tectonic feel to them that only the Germans can do. All of the other BMWs have had the sport package, this is my first without it. I don’t have enough butt time to really make a true statement on the seats, currently I’m not 100% happy with them but I’m not 100% disappointed with them either. I can say that this is the quietest 3 series I have owned, there is no wind noise at the A pillars at all, when you close the doors, they close with that German tank “thunk”. The steering, I have read both in print and in this forum how people hate the elec steering and how “numb” it feels. There is a difference between my pervious 3 series and this current car, it is lighter which is nice when parking. Now can I say that the steer has no feedback, no, and I don’t think anyone can say that for certain until you take the car out on the track and drive to 6/10 of the cars potential. So far, the steering has not been an issue for me. I haven’t driven it on the track and I highly doubt I will, but one never knows.

    Base Car;
    So all BMWs now come with the latest iDrive (ver 4.2), and I like it. It is very easy to use, and it make it very easy to get around and make the necessary changed to the car settings. Yes, there is a learning curve to it but I like it. I wish my car had the BMW assist, which I will have it added to the car, this is one feature in which I wish it came standard in the 2013 MY, it does for the 2014 MY. The features of this base car is pretty impressive, it has all power everything, it even has power side mirror to retract in (I just wish they would retract automatically.) Auto temp, rain senor wipers, fog lights, and auto headlights. I can set the ventilation system to run the fans while I’m away from the car to help keep the car cool, it’s a nice feature here in the desert. All four windows are auto down. One annoying feature is, to get out, the car does not auto unlock the car is placed park or turning the car off, and to get out of the car, you must pull door handle twice, first to unlock the car and the second to open the door. I’m not understanding this feature…
    Wheels, standard is 17”, and mine came with Michelin run flat tires. I was surprised on not seeing Continental tires.

    The interior space is pretty big, I had 4 adults’ males in the car roughly my size 6’, 260lbs and everybody didn’t feel cramped. MPG for the car has been impressive, Rick tells me that the car is averaging currently 32 MPG. So a 550 miles range on the highway is very doable.

    On the forum Bimmerfest, there has been talk about the engine difference between the 320 and 328 and according from BMW there is no difference except for a higher boost level and different engine mapping in the 328i, there is a performance company that has two different set up for the 320i for more power, stage one is a true plug in which give the 320i an extra 40 hp. Total cost, $375. Stage two again is a plug in and gives an extra 80hp to 260hp, more than the 328i but less than the 335. Total cost is $600. Reliability hasn’t been an issue with the test cars, btw, all test cars for the company have the 8 spd auto.

    I bought this BMW as an experiment really to see if the “base” 3 series, has the same DNA as previous 3 series and if the price of admission is worth it. So my car is equipped how most would find on a BMW lots, with the Premium package. Now I can say that the Sport Package is really worth the price of admission, since it comes with the M sport suspension. From what I have read on Bimmerfest, the 320i Sport Package is really the M Sport Package minus the M sport aero kits, the Steering wheel has the M logo on it.
    So far I like the car, and yes it is bigger than the E90, but it is lighter than the E90. Of course many people on Bimmerfest and this forum do not like the F30, I read people saying that it has lost the “sport” in Sport Sedan. But to honest when the E90 came out many of the BMW purest were the saying the same thing, and in some way I was one of them. The E46 was and is today the best 3 series BMW built. But as we all know things change, and buyers change and the market change. I’m in the camp that I wish BMW would build a modern 3 series the ZHP package again.

    Now I welcome all questions and comments, however, if the comments are purely being disrespectfully then please keep them to yourself.

    FN
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,673
    With the new crop of cars coming to the US, Audi A3, MB CLA, will the A4, C class, 3 series be considered a ELPS?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,453
    FN...thanks so much for that review. I enjoyed it.

    I think the iDrive has come a long way. I know the previous gen iDrive in my E92, was good...especially as you say, you get through the learning curve.

    I can't remember now, but there's a way to get your doors to open with only one pull of the handle. I just don't remember. Maybe ask in the Bimmerfest forum (one of the best car forums on the net).

    Again, thanks for the review.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,970
    When did CR hire automotive testers that use phrases like "The Lexus IS handling is short on finesse, with vague-feeling steering that doesn't telegraph much feedback" and "The Q50 isn't as much fun to drive as the G37. Handling is mundane, due in part to dull steering"???

    Or did someone slip something into the brownie mixes the stove testers use?

    :)
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,673
    Graphic, I like Bimmerfest and F30sport and I'm learning all about this new car. BTW, I was looking at a S5 and almost pulled a trigger on a S5, when I decided to do my experiment.

    I stopped by a Caddy dealer to look at the new 2014 CTS, I broke my jaw when i saw the prices!! A base CTS, 51K !! Mid level CTS 58K This car is suppose to go up against the 5 series and A6 and E class, will be interesting.. Your thoughts.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,970
    A base CTS, 51K !!

    Actually the base CTS is $45.1K. The 528 is $49.5K.
  • I read a comment above that seemed to me to be saying that I would exclude using Costco gas -- because it was not a top-tier product.

    Well, regarding Costco gasoline: the description that Costco provides (usually around the pump areas, but also available at the customer service desk) pertaining to the benefits of using Costco gas appear to describe a "top-tier" gasoline product. Costco's brochure says their gas products do indeed have 5X the cleaning agents required by the most stringent automotive requirements (I would assume, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and other Euro mfgrs.)

    I use Costco gas as much as possible, too, due both to its typical price point (advantage) and its apparently being a top-tier automotive fuel. Otherwise I use Shell gasoline (as if you care.)

    DILYL
  • My "favorite" car -- of all of them I have ever had -- used to be my 1995 Audi S6 (the first year the car was called an S6, previously it had been called an S4). This car had been my favorite from an emotional perspective, not that the '95 S6 was a performance slouch (it wasn't). I actually had cars (mostly Audis) that were, perhaps, 'better overall' -- but none that could capture and frame a certain period of my life.

    If that doesn't make sense, that I can differentiate between my favorite car and what I would consider my "best" car, then certainly this won't help either: My favorite Procol Harum album is Broken Barricades -- but I think the best one is A Salty Dog. Now it is all clear as mud, eh?

    My 2014 S4 is now, at this point in time, as I am typing this, both my favorite car of all time and it is the best car I have ever had (keep in mind it has but 500 miles on it.)

    More later, when I have some more miles on the thing. ;)

    DILYL
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,673
    Clarification, the base CTS on the lot I was on was 51K and this did not include leather, it has Nav and moonroof. I guess what I was saying was, for a car that is smaller then 5 series and slightly bigger then a 3 series, the CTS is almost like the red headed step child.. now I found it interesting that the CTS coupe was less than the sedan by a good 5K..
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,970
    Are you sure you were looking at 2014 models? The new coupe hasn't even been introduced yet.

    Dimension wise, the new CTS has grown in size to match the 5/E/A6. Remember, the previous CTS was designed to compete with the 3 series offering a bigger vehicle at a better price.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,539
    I experienced first real failure in my now 2-year old 328 wagon. It was the liftgate latch assembly. One nice morning the car is showing "gate open" warning, so I got out, closed it again. The warning is still on, so I try again and again. No avail. What's also strange, the glass window in the gate (yes, similar feature to those on bog SUVs) would not open. As it turned, the dealer is replacing both latch assemblies, gate and glass window. I'm sure it's one of those classic electrical motor things, or perhaps even electronic control module. Sign of times and designs - 10 cent capacitor or resistor fails on a small circuit board and you get full-blown $500 repair.

    Nothing is simple today - it used to be, you shut the door, spring latch engaged mechanically. Today when I close my car (without locking, just shut the last door or hatch), I can often hear several motors engaging for one-two seconds. This of course means those are candidades for parts that could fail sooner than later. I can only hope it's not a start of all other electronic/electrical components going. Will see - if I get one of those every two years, I'd be allright. On the other hand, if I have to visit dealerships more frequently from now for those kinds of problems, I'll have to think about what's next. The electronics are wonderful inventions that made our lifes easier in many places, but it seems we are now relying on them in so many places for sometimes inexplicable reasons. Simple door latch is now some electronic module with motor and circuitry attached. All of that has lifespan much more limited than those traditional locks and we all pay for it sooner or later. What's worse, the repair people are not handy enough to change those 10 cent parts (that actually failed), they make buy entire assembly costing hundreds - and you can't do anything about it, as when those electronic controls fail, they can't be simply overriden by a switch. Depending what it is, the machine can get completely disabled or you can get locked out, or you get those annoying warnings on a dashboard lighting like a Xmas tree.

    OK, rant over. Hopefully everything will go back to normal. I really like the car and want to keep it.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,453
    Mark....still wondering why the Audi S4 isn't included on these trade rag shootouts. Wondering if Audi, like BMW, really doesn't want to promote their "hot" sedans? Most of the reviews center on the A4, like the reviews on BMW's 3....rarely do you see a review on the 335i.

    It was several weeks ago, but I read some of the Costco literature stating that they planned on getting "top tier" certification as soon as they convert all of their gas stations to "top tier" capabilities (BTW, both Costco's in Cincinnati already are coverted to "Kirkland Signature"). I've use their fuel for over 10 years. It is a great product, and much less expensive to boot.

    Procol Harum was a bit before my time, but always loved this song....
    http://youtu.be/_SbzE0dr0ys
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,891
    I just had the trunk latch replaced in my car for the second time. First time it wouldn't latch when it was below 40 degrees. I had to press the unlock button again when the trunk was open to make sure it closed. It was replaced with a faulty unit which would unlock, then lock again when the button was pressed only once. They replaced that yesterday.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,539
    Interesting. Perhaps they're going cheapo on those items. Not a good feeling, is it?

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,033
    It seems strange that so many "electrical glitches" happen in German brands very early on. I'm not sure how many take place later as it seems so many of them are leased and you don't hear much from the people that buy them used. Makes one wonder if actually kept past warranty? I realize that the fixes are cheap(warranty) but time is also money. I had a 10 year old Infiniti that never had a bulb or a motor fixed or replaced. I currently have a 10 year old Toyota pickup that also has never had a bulb or motor fixed or replaced. We also have a 6 year old with Mazda that has never had a motor fixed or replaced and it just went over 103k miles. However, I just replaced a halogen headlight last week on the Mazda for a grand total of $8.99 and about 10 minutes of my labor.

    I just had my first service(oil change/rotation) on my new Acura and it is the first time I've been back to the dealer in a year except for a class on how to use all the tech stuff. I have to wonder if it's just the lack of quality of the motors, latches and switches that the German brands use versus the Japanese brands. I would find it hard to believe that it could be attributable to the actual manufacturing process in the German plants as I've spent quite a bit of time in Germany and know how exact they can be. I also wonder if the the U.S. made BMWs use different suppliers for those items(I assume they probably do) and if there are substantially less problems in those areas on the U.s. made vs. the German made vehicles. Just curious I guess. Based on all the reports(not just in this forum) of electrical bugaboos in the German brands it seems they could do a better job of sourcing parts if a $20k midsize Japanese brand car can have better electrical parts than a $50k ELLPS. I read something once that blamed many of these electrical gremlins on cheap Eastern Euro electrical parts that VW was sourcing but really can't substantiate that.

    I realize there are trade offs in life but it sure would be a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] to have go the dealer so often to get little things like that taken care of.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,891
    I don't know. And for some reason I didn't test it before I left the dealer last night. It still doesn't work.

    I'll post what was on the service invoice. If you aren't interested in technical stuff, please skip this post:

    Boot/Trunk lid lock with microswitch incorrect connection

    Hooked up charger. Short test found fault for rear latch.

    Replaced rear trunk actuator with new one.

    Now operates as should

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,891
    You do make some good points. This is a minor annoyance. I wouldn't bring it back to the dealer specifically for this trunk problem, but I have complained about it and the problem has supposedly been fixed 3 times.

    Like you said, even though it is under warranty, doesn't cost me a dime, & I get a loaner car, it still takes time to drop the car off & pick it up. Last night I didn't hit much traffic at all, but had to stop & put gas in the loaner, then stop to put gas in my car on the way home.

    I don't plan on buying the car at the end of the lease, so I'm not so nuts about it. Next service sin't called for another 16 or 17,000 miles.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,033
    How does the oil thing work if you only drive, say,8k a year? Would you actually go two years between oil changes? I know my Acura manual says to go by the oil monitor or 1 year, whichever comes first. Is it the same on the BMW?
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,539
    edited October 2013
    I know my car was made specifically in Munich. Not South Africa, not North America. One failure does not make a pattern, so we will see how that works. My guess that certain part suppliers are local, but others may be global. If a part is small and easy to ship large distances in large quantities, but requires some specific manufacturing (electric motors, electronic modules, etc.), there is no reason to split suppliers. Bulky items, easy to spec and manufacture (seats, liners, interior, sheetmetal) , a different story.

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,539
    I don't think it's the Eastern Europe issue. Most electronics today are made in East Asia or Eastern Europe, it is all controlled by handfull of companies. I think it's more about attitude and cost controls. Relays, electrical items have certain lifetime designed into them (say X hours). One rated for half of those hours can cost one tenth of the price - and it looks just the same. It becomes irresistible for them to try, especially that chances are, majority will work for much longer. That rating may come from statistical sampling that certain percentage will meet the time criteria and to achieve same percentage of the the longer time, manufacturing process would have to be redesigned, making part that much more expensive. Cost-benefit for manufacturer becomes such that it's cheaper to deal with higher percentage repairs than pay for one that lasts. Why Germans do that and Japanese stick to better quality? This may have to do with cost of labor. There is only so much you can do to add efficiency. German labor is simply most expensive, not just due to wages, but also additional costs, from social security, to taxes, to benefits. Only so much can be paid out of customer's money, before they refuse.

    Bear also in mind that Mercedes Benz or BMW used to be trully exclusive brands, only for trully rich. They all have ambitions to sell more and more cars. Those cars are sold in milions. They may be "premium", but they are far cry from those 600 SEL from 60s or 70s in terms of cost and reach. Not to mention that advent of software companies that sell us undercooked and barely working products for high prices and taking no responsibility for it (Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, etc.) conditioned people to simply accept it when told, "what da ya want, it's new and experimental, it's software glitch".

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,673
    The price I'm quoting for the coupe was on the Caddy's web page.

    The generation CTS was marketed towards the 5 series too but the size was too small, and if this one continues with this, it really has to grow... I have driven an XTS and that thing is between a 5 series and 7 series... The ATS is the new 3 series fighter but it is smaller in size..
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,673
    My 320i is telling me that my first service is due, 4-15-2015 at 15000 miles. Well over a year in service... As this is part of an experiment I will follow what BMW states as recommended to see what happens.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,539
    edited October 2013
    I had same thing and asked about it (it was even showing 2 years from first oil change date). They told me the date is based not on paid schedule (which is 12 months), but on "latest" the car should come in the dealership in case somebody drives very low miles. You still can/should come at 12 months, even if the mileage is not up yet and they'll pay. They told me it just has to be at least 12 months plus 1 day. The April date seems just to latests to maintain your engine warranty.

    BTW, I'm surprised it still says 15K miles. I did not check 320, but 328 and 335 are now at 12K/12M maintenance schedule, not 15K/12M. You could ask about it, perhaps make them repogram it, if your car qualifies for the changed schedule (mine does not).

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,891
    It is the mileage or 1 year. You are correct.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,891
    Flight nurse - I'd get that checked out. I had a brand new 328xi (60 miles) & saw it needed service @ 10K.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,539
    You actually can go more than 1 year between oil changes, according to my guy. The car has the programing do-dad that anticipates next service depending on driving. I don't think synthetic oil gets old, not in one or two years, anyway, so one could drive on it. As I recall, my then new car had similar cutoff date as FN's, 18 months, when car was new and then it switched to 2 years after the first oil change. However, BMW will pay every 12 months, so why not do it?

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,970
    The generation CTS was marketed towards the 5 series too but the size was too small, and if this one continues with this, it really has to grow...

    It was targeted at both with the realization that it's job was to give people more value and size at 3 series prices.

    The 2014 CTS is within 1" of the 5 in the exterior dimensions as well as most interior dimensions of the 5 series.

    I have driven an XTS and that thing is between a 5 series and 7 series...

    And it's not designed to compete with either. It's a FWD/AWD vehicle for the livery market and Cadillac traditionalists.

    The ATS is the new 3 series fighter but it is smaller in size..

    Exterior is within an inch in all dimensions. Interior wise, it is smaller but not by much.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,033
    Since the owner's manual says max of 1 yr or by the oil monitor whichever comes first, I'll follow that schedule so I don't have to worry about any sort of warranty problem down the road. My oil monitor had just dropped to the 30% oil life left when it hit one year. The power train has 6 yr warranty so I want to maintain that with no questions asked.
Sign In or Register to comment.