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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    edited October 2012
    I think digging a little deeper into the anthropology files, it may have started when BMW decided to cater to the "mass" American market and conceded to their preference for automatic transmissions:

    Your butt gets bigger when you're too lazy to shift. The seats get wider because your butt got bigger. The car got bigger because the seats got wider. The car got heavier because the car got bigger. The brakes got bigger because the car got heavier..... ;)

    Before I get rebuked - yes, I know that it would take about 1,000 shifts to burn enough calories to make up for the Snicker's bar or MacDonald French Fries. It's not the physical act of shifting that determines the width of one's butt. That's just the canary in the mine shaft of our mental attitudes. Not a sermon, just a thought.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,885
    dino....interesting observations. Can't disagree, although I absolutely hated the "start/stop" feature of the loaner I had. That said, it can be permanently defeated, so no harm, no foul.

    Like you, my biggest buggaboo are the seats. Unless you go with sport seats, at extra cost, the standard seats, even in my coupe, really aren't all that comfortable. The seat bottoms are flat and hard, with no thigh support.

    The only other "quasi" issue I have with the F30s is the protrusion of the nav system......it looks like an afterthought.

    I also agree that BMW did indeed do some cost cutting with the dials and knobs. You can tell the difference going from an E9X to an F30.
  • I think we're basically in violent agreement. And Audis are nose heavy and overall fairly heavy cars. Yet, what we've not discussed is the fact that all of these car companies -- even the ones that are "related" (like Audi, Porsche and VW, et al) -- make whatever helps them meet their revenue, volume and profit objectives. Some time ago, a BMW owner told me, as he looked down on my Audi, that BMW would never produce anything other than RWD cars.

    I'd say we've pretty much incorporated X-drive across virtually all BMW's -- because they sell and because they make profit.

    Someone told me that Porsche would never make a CUV (or SUV) and would never create a sedan and that Porsche's were "only" about performance -- then the 944 came out.

    BTW there is a team of lawyers who look out for the use of coke (little c) -- they always want to see it as Coke. Likewise quattro is well, "quattro" not Quatro or Quattro -- the Audi legal team will, no doubt, be sending Edmunds a cease and desist demand if they allow us to post the brand incorrectly.

    Virtually all I see here in Cincinnati are AWD Porsches -- and I suspect the two Porsche dealers are happy as a clam in its shell to sell as many of them as they can get their hands on.

    For most mere mortals, living through even our "moderate" winters, AWD vehicles are more, dare I say, practical. The fact that some of the highest performing vehicles are offered in AWD trim is, for some, a bonus.

    Drive it like you live. :surprise:
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,426
    edited October 2012
    Don't know the new Nav, the loaner doesn't have it. My old nav is OK when it comes to guidance (although it can get confused at times and there are some things I'd improve on the screen guidance), but it sucks when it comes to points of interest. Huge gaps in coverage, even on basic items, from lack of car parts stores (that may be by design) and search categories are botched. Lack of some basics, like pharmacy (had to go with either name or general). I think my old Garmin is generally better in terms of POI search and in par when it comes to guidance. I'm sure new Nav is probably improved a little, because the reference line is not as high.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,426
    edited October 2012
    I just experienced today what it means when you buy a premium brand vehicle. Well, I was prepared, as I have done my research, but still can't shake that feeling of being treated like a milking cow. So I get to this first "free" service that BMW tells you that "all you pay is tires", everything, everything is freee. Yeah, right. I get my "advisor" (who is basically a sales person) simply print out a piece of paper with $600 "worth" of service they "recommend" and casually saying like nothing that's what they're going to do. It is:
    - four wheel alignment (well, OK that may be a legitimate item for those concerned, but why isn't that covered than if all is supposed to so free, free, free): $200. WHAT???!!!! :mad: Market rate is between $50 (with coupon) and $80, I understand that's a premium place, but not at a tripple rate.
    - engine induction system cleaning. Yeah, right at 15K miles it's soooo dirty, especially when using a brand premium gas. I have never done one and I owned some perfomance cars, like STI. No thanks. BTW, price is also $200, a little over double of market.
    - power steering fluid flush. Really?? At 15K??? Are your serious??? Oh, also $200.

    Wow. So this is how "free, free, super free" service looks like - nice isn't it? Absolutely ridiculous, both in terms of "recommendations" and prices. I wonder how many poor saps would they scare into doing this.

    I told them to jump into the lake (in much nicer words, of course), and the "advisor" didn't even flinch, except he told me all that story about lost goodwill at beyond warranty (yes, I do plan to keep my car for longer, at least today). But when you count all those "recommended" services at those highly inflated prices, it's like paying for that good will, just up front. I'll do when it comes, got enough money for that. A coworker summarized it well - she said it's basically bying a friend.

    I already dread my next visit and "advice" at 30K. I hate those pitches. The sad part is that in the noise there can be something actually worth doing, but when you get hit for money just for the sake of it, I lose all trust to my "advisor" and have to work on my own what actually is worth doing and at what price.

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

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,092
    Thanks for the detailed write up on the new F30 328i. The more I read about the steering & driving dynamics from enthusiasts like you, the more it looks like my next car isn't going to be a new BMW.

    I agree with you that the way an engine sounds & the smoothness of how it delivers power are important to me as well. It doesn't get any better than our N52 Inline 6.

    How many miles are on your wagon? Do you need anything fixed (under warranty) or do they just need to do the service? I just hit 11,000 miles this AM & my OBC says I still have 4900 miles to go before I need my 1st service.

    I've got 3 minor issues that I'm holding out until the 1st service to bring it in for.

    (1) the panel gaps between the hood & the front fender (1/4 panel) are uneven. The driver's side is nice and tight, while the passenger side is noticeably wider to the naked eye.

    (2) when I first drive the car in the AM, while sitting at a long traffic light, the engine idle jumps up & down between 500 & 700 RPM.

    (3) When it is cold out (in the 40s & under), my trunk does not latch closed. I have to stick a key in the latch so it catches when I close it.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,886
    Do you have another dealer you can choose?

    Mine never suggested anything like that.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,092
    That's awful! And he basically "threatened" you too about post warranty work. Nice dealership.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,426
    edited October 2012
    I put out (and got approved) a claim on a small (1/4" in diameter) paint flakeoff at door handle lining (where the key housing used to be). It looked like a paint system defect (exposed primer, no trace of impact), not damage to me and they agreed. The car stays overnight at the shop, as they have to paint the new piece in my color.

    They also agreed to replace a torn door sill - it was me, hitting it hard every time I got out of the car, the sill split it two at point of those impacts, about 3 inch long split. I must admit, it was because the way I like to sit (lowest possible, as far as possible), combined with my weight and general clumsiness when getting out. Since I noticed the damage, I'm making more concerted effort to get out in a way avoiding this damage, but I still catch myself hitting the area once in a while. So I'm thankful for that - not expecing to get such consideration if keep banging this sill on next service, so I'll try to excercise more caution when getting out of the car.

    I also lost an undercarriage bumper for the lifts (it was discovered in a tire shop some time ago) - $69 to put it back. I'm OK with that.

    Other than that, the car is perfect. They'll replace the wipers (free). The mileage: 14,000. 12 months and three days since delivery in Munich.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,426
    edited October 2012
    From what I see, it's kind of "standard" here, but I may be wrong about that. Another dealer in Lakeland has their service prices posted - Still too high, for my taste, but a little but lower. But it's out of the way for me, much less convenient. And the whole loaner thing, I would have to ask what their position is on that if I wanted to switch.

    Like I said, otherwise, it's a pleasant experience ;) :sick:

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

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    What's the name of your dealership, if I might ask?

    I am planning on stopping into mine later this week on our X5d to order the trailer hitch and spare tire kit (blew it, should have checked that box). We only have 1,400 miles on the vehicle, but I will be asking to speak to the service manager just to make sure we don't get hit with any of the BS you just went through.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,379
    I lose all trust to my "advisor" and have to work on my own what actually is worth doing and at what price.

    Mike Miller at Roundel (the BMW Car Club magazine) puts out a good comprehensive schedule of what maintenance is needed on various BMWs, it's free to BMWCCA members. You can also get similar ones at "Bavarian Otto's" blog on the Bavauto.com website.

    I have found that if you stick to these schedules you will get many trouble free miles from your car. They are a little more comprehensive than the maintenance BMWNA gives you but not as extensive as the extras your dealer is pushing at you. There's no way you need a P/S flush at 15K, you can go 100K without problems and that
    induction system cleaning is pure BS.

    If I were you I'd find another dealer for warranty work and a good Indie shop for everything else.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,426
    edited October 2012
    The name is Reeves. The sad thing about the whole thing is, their sales staff and creating a really good environment, trully friendly and no-nonsense, even if very aggressive on pricing, makes you feel comfortable.

    I'm generally not opposed to somebody setting whatever their price can be - it's free market and it is their choice to do so, as it is mine to use them or not (basically market sets those limits). I'm also cognizant that my car is one of cheapest they have out there, so the perspective is different - somebody with $100K 7-series may not care if alignment is $100 or $200, but they may care more about "concierge" type of service that you get in such a place. Those "free" perks can be quite costly. I don't need them, I'd rather keep my money, but again - they cater to people who do care and such a treatment costs money. Fine with me.

    I can't be angry at Ritz for their hotel room prices being out of what I'm willing to pay, so I'm not angry at Reeves for $200 alignment price. It's too high IMHO, so thanks, but no thanks. It's the other two "recommendations" that really bother me, because they are trully bogus in my opinion.

    I don't think you need to worry about anything at 1400 miles. This is not the case of somebody putting the car on the lift and then telling you your (fill the blank) is broken and has to be fix for X. This was planned maintenance visit used as an opportunity for an upsell, because they think that whatever BMW pays them is not enough. They invented a bogus need for some preventative stuff that don't really need, but nobody can disprove such need. I'm already used to that - every time you have an AC service as maintenance, the guy without a fault will "recommend" duct cleaning, coil cleaning and other equally "preventative" stuff, not to mention a UV lamp to kill bacteria with a bargain price of over two grand, or electrostatic filter for another two.

    All I need is to say no and they go away.

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

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,426
    Indie shop is in my plans. Warranty work so far seems to be taken care of OK, but I'm always open for options.

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

  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    I wonder how many poor saps would they scare into doing this.

    The vast majority.

    Enthusiasts, who have a clue how cars work and what's actually required, are no longer the target market for BMW (or any of the others, for that matter).
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,206
    edited October 2012
    The more I read about the steering & driving dynamics from enthusiasts like you, the more it looks like my next car isn't going to be a new BMW.

    Enthusiasts, who have a clue how cars work and what's actually required, are no longer the target market for BMW (or any of the others, for that matter).

    Isn't it interesting how the same answer works more than once?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    So I went into Tesla today for my test drive of the Model S and to try to decide if I should convert my $5,000 deposit into a binding configuration. They can deliver the car in 90 days from whenever I hit the "confirmed" button.

    My quick take is that Tesla has a great vehicle for greenies, geeks and semi-enthusiasts that can will get excited by the 240 volt plug, 17" touchscreen, or holding the steering wheel in both hands on a vigorous test drive....

    ....but, once you come to a stop and look around the interior of the car, you realize pretty quickly that you aren't sitting in a Panamera, CLS, A7, 5-series. I don't want my first impression to be too harsh, and intend to go back with my wife when she can do a test drive in the next week or two. But I think Tesla might have more of a packaging problem with the interior than their sexy photographs and YouTube videos suggest. The seats were Toyota Camry quality and the empty area below the dash and between the driver and passenger seat (where the gear shift and center console would normally be) looked awful and detracted from the sense that you were sitting in a high tech, high quality cockpit. Neither the car I test drove nor the other one in the showroom had the panorama sunroof. Too bad, because the headliner looked like it was poorly fitted and finished. Which was also the case with the leather on the showroom model's seats. Overall, other than the 17" screen and dash, I was underwhelmed by the interior design, fit and finish.

    The test drive itself was much better. Car has good acceleration from a standstill, even the "base" model I drove. It was even more impressive going from 40 to 70 on the highway. I am sure the performance model is a hoot to drive. Handling felt very good but I didn't get a chance to really test it fully to be able to call it great.

    I need to go back again and stew on this before hitting that configure button.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,092
    Yes it is. As of today, the 2 ELLPS manufacturers who do not equip their vehicles with electric power steering?

    Dino - funny you commented on our cars' cupholders. I have no problem with the cupholders in the E90. Holds my cup with no problems. When I don't make, there's always room for a DD medium or large w/ no issues.

    cdnpinhead - I plan on doing some DIY oil changes inbetween the freebies BMW gives me just in case I decide I want to buy my car out at lease end. I know it's most likely pointless & a waste of money, but I want to do it to get some experience.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,426
    edited October 2012
    My main problem with their cupholder was my favorite thermal mug didn't fit (has too wide bottom :cry: , but yes, large DD cup fits just fine. Panera's mug seems to kick and spill liquid violently when I pull out of their lot, so I learned to hold it in my hand for that. But what's more important, try open both holders and watch your passenger to kick them with their knee, possibly break them with one hit. They're just too close to those knees to comfort, IMHO. Looking how they're build (intricate structure of plastic pieces and springs), I can only imagine how much a replacement would cost, if broken.

    So, yes I found one thing in F30 I really like more than in my E91 - it is CUPHOLDER. :sick:)

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 6,885
    edited October 2012
    dino.....Really sorry to hear about your dealership's service. That really irritates me to no end. I know of one BMW dealership that had somewhat dicey practices. It's probably the more popular of the two BMW dealerships in the area.

    They would load up a case of techron in my trunk (with an inflated charge tacked onto my oil change bill for the privilege). They said it was "recommended" to put in a bottle of techron in the gas tank with every fili up. It is? Recommended by whom?

    My current BMW dealer (the one who's least preferred in the area) have been at the pinnacle of customer service for me. My BMW service has been free, as they state.

    Although, I can see my RFTs are going to need replacing by next Spring, maybe sooner. I do think the next set of shoes are going to be conventional (non-RFTs). While I tend to be more cautious with tires, I'm going to swap these out at 20K miles. I could probably get 25K-30K miles out of them, though.

    I think a lot of it depends on the service manager regarding their practices. What's really a shame, many people think they absolutely need to have their power steering flushed, or that they have to have injectors cleaned every 10K miles.

    Personally, I've never had a clogged injector, nor have I ever had so much "gunk" in my power steering fluid reservoir that I needed it to be flushed. Today's fuels are required by law to contain detergents that keeps injectors clean.

    habitat....cool write up on the Tesla. I hope they thrive. I think what they're trying to do is viable. And, I think they're one of many "alternative fuel" car companies who, while not toppling GM, will carve a nice niche for itself. I can see Tesla being a company who becomes more of a licensing firm (licensing their intellectual property to other car companies) instead of a car manufacturer.
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