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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006

    If this was a forum about ELPS one would expect no power seats, no leather, no sunroolf, no high tech in the dash, etc. But most buyers, when they are looking for a luxury car, expect those kinds of things. Hard core rally guys could probably care less as all they really care about is does it run and is it fun to drive. But when one positions the discussion to talk about entry level LUXURY PERFORMANCE sedans then at least a moderate level of luxury should be expected or we might as well include Mazda6s and Honda Accord V6 in the discussion. Luxury cars are not strictly delineated by the car but by the dealer, warranty, service etc that also comes with the purchase of luxury nameplate.

    The reason why many on here were opposed to the TSX being included here was that it didn't seem to have the performance side nailed down. However, it did have the luxury side nailed down pretty well as most of the things recently mentioned came standard on it.

    I think when you buy(and pay extra for) a luxury car from a luxury nameplate there should be somewhat of a basic standard which one can expect without having to option the vehicle up to the hilt just to reach the standard that most other luxury brands start off with. Some here almost come across as denigrating those that do like a little luxury with their auto by making statements like "if it doesn't come with it I don't need it or if I don't need it to shift gears, what good is it". Not direct quotes but silly just the same.

  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,632
    edited June 1

    Here's an argument for the 320i vs. the 328i: according to some of the gearheads at the Bimmer-love sites, a $1000 worth of chipping and flashing would bring the 320i to the 328 level of power and torque.

    I have no idea if this is true but it might be if (as I have read) the 320 motor is basically a de-tuned version of the one in the 328. It's amazing what a little extra boost can do for a turbo four.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,018

    Well I wouldn't be so quick as to outguess the German engineers with chips or flashing. At least not on a brand new car.

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  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,160

    Seems like a good idea- lease the cheapo 320 with min options, spend 1k in performance mods on that said leased car to go faster.

  • justg0justg0 Posts: 70

    It is the same exact engine, just de-tuned, but the pistons are different: http://www.f30driver.com/forum/showthread.php?t=966132

    With a simple plug and play install, you can get it up to 220hp. If you want more, you get get it to 260hp+, but that involves some more invasive stuff: http://www.n54tech.com/forums/showthread.php?p=262536

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,018

    That boosts turbo pressure +4 psi.

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  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @justg0 said: I think its worth it for people looking for that extra hp. Its the same argument when going from 328 to 335. Is that extra hp worth the premium you pay? Only the person buying can decide that for themselves

    Not really as I posted before I have the BMS Stage 1 plug and play on my car, 30+hp and 40 lbss+ more of Torque. All for $350. This drops the 0-60 time to 6 secs, and if you add this to the 328i, During closed course GPS VBOX testing Burger Motorsports 2012 F30 328i 0-60 times improved from 5.4 seconds to an incredible 4.9 seconds!. I have no doubt of the times, so moving up to a 328i over a 320 has to be more then just HP, there are other options that are only available on the 328 and not on the 320i.

    Now granted most people wouldn't put the stage 1 on the car, I love it, I have driven a 320i with the stage 2, depending on the "map" chosen boost is increased another 3 PSI. 260 hp to the rear wheel, on a 328i 303 hp. For a total of $545.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642
    edited June 2

    @andys120 said: Here's an argument for the 320i vs. the 328i: according to some of the gearheads at the Bimmer-love sites, a $1000 worth of chipping and flashing would bring the 320i to the 328 level of power and torque.

    I have no idea if this is true but it might be if (as I have read) the 320 motor is basically a de-tuned version of the one in the 328. It's amazing what a little extra boost can do for a turbo four.

    This is for your reading pleasure.

    burgertuning.com/N20_BMW_performance_Tuner.html

    burgertuning.com/N20_Jb4.html

    260hp for a 320i

    303hp for a 328i

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @Mr_Shiftright said: Well I wouldn't be so quick as to outguess the German engineers with chips or flashing. At least not on a brand new car.

    Why?

    I've had my stage 1 now for 3 months and no problems..

    I've had my car in for service and the dealer didn't say a word about the tune.

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,160

    If that is true that its 350 and 545 used dollars to boost hp that much and have no engine or warrantee issues - then right on- seems like the way to go. I've seen the video of a stock s4 being boosted for more power then euro rs4 - - http://jalopnik.com/how-to-make-an-audi-s4-perform-like-an-audi-rs4-in-five-468612234

  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,006

    If it is so cost effective and does absolutely no harm, I wonder why BMW doesn't just offer it as an upgrade under warranty for about triple the price and make all that much more profit. Seems like a no brainer for BMW. Seems like there is more than meets the eye here.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,115

    It's all sunshine and roses, until you have an engine issue... Think BMW will warranty it, then? Because if you've been in for service, they've certainly noted it, in your service record.

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  • justg0justg0 Posts: 70

    I think you take it off before you go in for service. I would if I ever get around to doing it.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,623

    I suspect they can tell you added it even if you go back to stock. And for sure, if something abnormal goes (blown engine?) odds are you are getting the short end of the crankshaft.

    and why don't they offer it? They do. It is called the 328. The whole point of the 320 is to have an entry level, with the big $ jump to the next model up. if they give you the factory HP boost, I think you essentially just end up with a strippo 328, right?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    edited June 2

    Depends on the ecu. The BMW units log flashes, so they will know if you returned it to stock. I think it can also detect some piggybacks, but I'm not 100% sure...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421

    I can tell you from first-hand experience that the ECU logs overboost events, and you can NOT get rid of those, no matter what the tuner's website says. I went through all the steps to "erase" the evidence before bringing my 135i in for service and a limp mode issue. The advisor came to tell me they knew I had a tuner on it and explained the above to me. He was cool about it, but you could easily get someone who isn't so tuner friendly.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    edited June 2

    @plekto said:g The article above said it perfectly...

    "here’s who should also consider the 320i: urban commuters seeking BMW handling, luxury, connectivity and panache, and those upon whom the harsh realization has dawned that they don’t need a rocket car to satisfy their daily driving needs. From stoplight-to-stoplight, it would be rather nice to use less gas, and it’s equally nice to spend less money."

    There's a harsh bit of reality in all of that, though. The type of driver who is all of that will be buying the car with automatic virtually 100% of the time.(barring some oddball statistical freak who you find to come here on this forum just to dispute this)

    So no manual. But, wait... everyone says that to be ELLPS it has to have manual...

    So are we talking "offered with manual so that I can say it qualifies, despite that nobody buys this model with manual" or "It's not the real thing unless it has manual - let me show you the pictures"?

    So... no manual, no power, no luxury, and 30K?

    Tell me how this qualifies. All I get out of this equation is ELS... Entry level sedan. If we are to believe that article, the driver who is satisfied with that for their daily driving needs would probably be happy with anything if it had the right badge on it to impress their co-workers for a few seconds.

    P.S. I'd like to see the person who has one here answer me that question: Manual or Automatic in your 320i?

    " performance" can mean handling, too. Does it corner like a BMW? Does it have the same suspension?

    To me, the lack of manual would be a bigger issue than the HP.

  • justg0justg0 Posts: 70

    @tlong said: " performance" can mean handling, too. Does it corner like a BMW? Does it have the same suspension?

    To me, the lack of manual would be a bigger issue than the HP

    Yes, its the same. You can get the Sport package, which gives it the M Sport suspension and M steering. But you can't get DHP, I think for that you need to get 328.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @Mr_Shiftright said: That boosts turbo pressure +4 psi.

    3+ = 220 HP

    @m6user said: If it is so cost effective and does absolutely no harm, I wonder why BMW doesn't just offer it as an upgrade under warranty for about triple the price and make all that much more profit. Seems like a no brainer for BMW. Seems like there is more than meets the eye here.

    The same could be said why does BMW only offer the Performance Pack for the 335 and not the 328. Over in Europe BMW has a Performance Pack for all boosted engines. There is talk over on Bimmerfest that a power upgrade might come to the 2016 320 and 328i as that is when the mid model refresh appears.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @kyfdx said: It's all sunshine and roses, until you have an engine issue... Think BMW will warranty it, then? Because if you've been in for service, they've certainly noted it, in your service record.

    The upgrade can be take off the car in 15 minutes, and since the upgrade does not interact with the ECU BMW can not "see" if a upgrade was ever on the car. It would be a uphill battle for BMW to prove that I had added anything to the car.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @roadburner said: Depends on the ecu. The BMW units log flashes, so they will know if you returned it to stock. I think it can also detect some piggybacks, but I'm not 100% sure...

    The stage one I have on my car is a piggy back, and does not interact with the ECU. So BMW could download any and all data from the ECU but they will not be able to see the upgrade. It's a pretty slick upgrade. Since isn't not a reflash of the ECU, this is the issue with VW's if you chip a VW, VW's ECU knows that has happened.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @tlong said: To me, the lack of manual would be a bigger issue than the HP

    So a 320i is ok, since it comes with a manual...

  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,160
    @flightnurse‌ - and confirming all of this can cost less then 600 US dollars -

    "The stage one I have on my car is a piggy back, and does not interact with the ECU. So BMW could download any and all data from the ECU but they will not be able to see the upgrade. It's a pretty slick upgrade. Since isn't not a reflash of the ECU, this is the issue with VW's if you chip a VW, VW's ECU knows that has happened."
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,796

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,421
    edited June 2

    See my post above. The ECU tracks the boost and logs overboost events. The JB4 is exactly what I had in my 135i, and they knew it even after I cleared all codes and removed it.

    Now, granted, he did not say "we know you have a jb4." He asked me. I asked why and he explained the above. I decided not to lie about it because 1) I'm not a jerk and 2) I could just imagine the amount of unnecessary work that could ensue if they were trying to stop a stock car from overboosting.

    This, of course, isn't the place for this discussion, but since it came up, I wanted to give fair warning.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @sweendogy said: flightnurse‌ - and confirming all of this can cost less then 600 US dollars -
    "The stage one I have on my car is a piggy back, and does not interact with the ECU. So BMW could download any and all data from the ECU but they will not be able to see the upgrade. It's a pretty slick upgrade. Since isn't not a reflash of the ECU, this is the issue with VW's if you chip a VW, VW's ECU knows that has happened."

    I posted two links to the manufacture web page so read all about it.

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,642

    @qbrozen said: See my post above. The ECU tracks the boost and logs overboost events. The JB4 is exactly what I had in my 135i, and they knew it even after I cleared all codes and removed it.

    Now, granted, he did not say "we know you have a jb4." He asked me. I asked why and he explained the above. I decided not to lie about it because 1) I'm not a jerk and 2) I could just imagine the amount of unnecessary work that could ensue if they were trying to stop a stock car from overboosting.

    This, of course, isn't the place for this discussion, but since it came up, I wanted to give fair warning.

    Again I think BMW knows what some people will do, they know about JB4, just because the ECU captures the over boost, it would be impossible for them wiggle out of warranty work unless they have hard evidence that something was added. How do you like the JB4 on the 135?

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,115
    edited June 2

    it would be impossible for them wiggle out of warranty work unless they have hard evidence that something was added.

    They don't have to wiggle out of it... "We show four examples of overboost, and now you have an internal engine failure and we deny your warranty claim".

    Unless your brother is a lawyer and works for free, you'll be out of luck. Don't get me wrong.. I wouldn't presume to suggest this is likely to happen. Just that your warranty won't be any good, if they can tie anything to your modifications. And, they don't have to "prove it". They can just refuse to fix it.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,018
    edited June 2

    It's probably fine but as you all know, a turbo or supercharger will immediately exploit any unusual weakness inherent in the engine. You have maybe a higher mileage engine with a little weepiness in the head gasket? BOOM! That's gonna blow out of there. Carbonized engine? Bad tank of gas in your neighborhood? Not a good thing with over-boosted turbo.

    The reason that BMW sets the boost level where it does is, of course, so that the car maintains that nice balance of reliability, nice manners and decent performance. They compromise, in other words, on the side of longer life, stable idle, good mpg, etc. They are looking at the consequences from hundreds of thousands of cars, not just one.

    I don't practice what I preach. My MINI is jacked, too.

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  • sweendogysweendogy Left lanePosts: 1,160
    In looking at this I'm all for the 320- but would do a lot of research b4 strapping a performance mod even to a cheap lux sedan - 35k not a lot to spend on a car these days but I don't know if I could deal with the embarrassment of a blown engine and going to the dealership for replacement.
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