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BMW F30 3-Series (2012+)

shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
edited September 2011 in BMW
As I understand it, production of the current E90 3-Series sedan will cease sometime in October of 2011, and production of the next generation (Gen 6) F30 3-Series will commence sometime thereafter. Given that we're within a month of the end of the E90, and probably within six months before the new models hit the showrooms here in North America, I'm thinking it's high time we had a place to discuss the new car.

From what little I've been able to glean from the net, I like the car very much, so much in fact that I suggested to my wife that we consider another European vacation next summer to pick up our second BMW via European Delivery.

Given the significant number of miles I'm driving these days, and given the two teenagers I have at home who'll be itching to get their hot little hands on the keys, I'm thinking the 4-Cylinder Turbo model with a 6-Speed manual, Sport Package, Premium Package, and Xenon headlights. :shades:
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Comments

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    How much does it weigh? ;)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    No idea, yet. :)
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    Seriously though, it does look extremely nice. The current 328i is a little too plain vanilla but that turbo-4 should boost (pun intended) the excitement factor considerably. Especially with the aftermarket chips that will inevitably come out!

    With a little less weight, a 6-speed MT and minimal options, the entry-level luxury class could be fun again.

    I'm anxious for the road tests to start.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 148,314
    Because, that would be the first time ever...

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  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    I don't know for sure, but I think it has been something of a building trend lately.

    At least on paper (or manufacturer claims), the new 370Z is lighter than the old 350Z. The new WRX is lighter, and I think the new A4 is too (from memory).

    Anyways, it seems like 2010 or 2011 was the start of manufacturers making an effort to lighten things up a little.

    Once the Corvette and 911 passed the 3000 lb mark a few years ago, I knew that was it for lightweight cars. In this context, a 3300 lb 328i seems more than reasonable.

    And with a 4-cylinder engine, forged 17" wheels, and some more aluminum in the suspension and body, I think BMW could shave 100 lbs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    A 1969 Lotus Elan was 1800 lbs. :surprise:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 148,314
    I think my '82 Accord hatchback was only 2300-2400 lbs.. No A/C, no PS

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  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The Elan had 2 seats and was made out of papier mâché...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    edited September 2011
    I'm thinking you'd be taking your life in your hands while driving an Elan and having a head-on collision with a dragonfly. :P

    For my part I'd love to see the 328i pare its weight down to say 3,200 pounds, and with a small(ish) engine and some judicious use of lightweight alloys I think it might just be possible. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well then don't drive into anything. While I'm just half-serious about that, I do think one reaches a point where the idea of "safety" becomes increasingly elusive. We could probably make a Volvo with slanting-armor and re-inforced flooring to resist IEDs but really, when do we stop?

    True Colin Chapman was building cars for racing, so he presumed the driver knew what he was doing.

    The problem with building light cars is NOT safety--it's expense. Lightness (ironically) costs more than heaviness. :P
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    We might know what we're doing, but we share the road with millions of nitwits who don't.

    I agree - 3200 lbs and 240 HP (I-4 turbo) would be outstanding building blocks for a very fine ELLPS.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 148,314
    ..that only weighs 2844 lbs.. with a full tank.... ;)

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  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,780
    edited September 2011
    a 318d, a 320d or a 325d with a manual transmission and I'll learn to live with the lack of a dipstick and will get the RFTs sold within a few months of purchase. Sign me up, please.

    Ain't gonna happen, never, in this country. Sad. I picked those three examples from a list of 18 diesel offerings for 3-series sedans (well, saloons) listed on the BMW UK website. There are also 13 gassers, for a total of 31 individual choices available outside the U.S. (or Canada) for just the sedan.

    Don't get me started on the touring (wagon) options.

    Doncha just love what happens when CARB, the EPA and BMWNA's desire to keep BMW "exclusive" all align?
    '08 Acura TSX, '17 Subaru Forester
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    edited September 2011
    One of the write-ups I ran across in the last few days did in fact hold out hope for a 325d 6-Speed manual for the U.S. market; but not in the first 12 months of production. If I find the article again I'll post a link to it.

    Like you I find the new car compelling enough to deal with no dip stick and I don't have any issue at all with buying new skins for a new car (my current Mazda3 came with absolute junk tires, even if they were GFTs; I replaced them when there was 714 miles showing on the odometer).

    If I had to choose between a 328i 6-Speed with the Turbocharged I4 gasser or a 325d 6-Speed with a Turbocharged I6 diesel, there would be no hesitation, I'd take the diesel in a heartbeat. :shades:

    The above said, my wife and I have each started a new business over the last several years, and while both were well received and growing slowly, in the end they were literally crushed by the economy. Needless to say, times has been (really-really) lean. We're not out of the woods just yet, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I may get the uncontrollable urge to get out of the Mazda and back into a BMW sometime next summer or next fall (assuming all goes well), which means I will probably not be able to wait for the diesel. :cry:
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    "..that only weighs 2844 lbs.. with a full tank...."

    Yours is 20 lbs lighter than mine, but mine has 240 hp... :blush:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 148,314
    Slow car fast....fast car slow..... yada, yada, yada... My 168 hp feels pretty strong.

    Don't blame me.. I offered to take that porker off your hands... ;)

    240!! What did you do to that poor thing?

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  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    I thought you knew...

    Genuine BMW Motorsport GmbH parts:
    Evo III 10.2 to 1 pistons
    Evo III 2.5 crankshaft
    Evo III 272 degree intake cam
    Evo II 264 degree exhaust cam
    Evo III valve springs
    Evo III airbox
    Evo III Air Flow Meter
    Evo III intake trumpets
    Evo III 48 mm throttle bodies
    Evo III (big green) injectors
    Evo III lightweight flywheel
    Gruppe A 2-piece 50mm header

    Other upgraded parts:
    Supersprint exhaust
    Bavarian Autosport oil pan baffle
    Z3 1.9 (short) shifter
    Bilstein Sport shocks
    Eibach springs
    BMW Evolution brake rotors
    Mintex C-Tech brake pads
    17” BMW Style 5 (E39 Sport) wheels
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Saaweeeet!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    See that's what you need to do to get REAL horsepower, as opposed to 4 beers + a K&N air filter. :P
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    What if I take the four beer cans, cut the ends off, splice them side-by-side in the shape of a big fart-can and stick that in place of my muffler and exhaust tail-pipe; bet that'll make my car way-way faster. :P
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    only if you hang a carabiner next to it...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You hear this all the time at car shows...."yeah, she was 185 HP stock, but I put on a K&N, some flowmasters, and a cold air intake and now i'm getting about 240-250"

    Oh, you forgot to mention the supercharger?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 148,314
    Nice... I hereby up my offer by $500!!

    And, by the way.... I also have Bilstein sport shocks... So, my actual horsepower is now 169!!

    Seriously, that is awesome... ;)

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  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Invite them to a local dyno day. If they have the nerve to show up, they'll never say it again.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Up $500!

    Now we're getting somewhere.
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    edited October 2012
    2012 BMW 3 Series

    Brand Model Year Width Length Whlbase Weight HP

    BMW 328 2012 71.3 182.5 110.6 3406 240
    Torque EPA

    255/1200 23/34
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    I currently drive a 2007 328xi with 120K miles on it. I just test drove a 2013 328i Xdrive. Here are my overall impressions.
    1) The new car is ever so slightly bigger in the rear seat with slightly more leg room. If you are between 5'8" and 6'2" you will be happier. If you are smaller than 5'8" it wont make a difference and if you are larger 6'2" its still to tight.
    2) The electric steering is immediately noticeably lighter especially in a parking lot. At normal driving speeds it has somewhat less feedback than the hydrolic system formally used. Most BMW drivers will be satisfied but hard core enthusiasts or anyone driving the car on a track might be disappointed.
    3) The 2.0L turbo inline-4 engine seems modestly more powerful especially at lower RPMs but there is a definite loss of refinement when compared to the old inline-6. I would concur with those who have commented that it clatters at an idle. It is certainly rougher sounding if one accelerates with any gusto.
    4) The auto start/stop feature is very annoying and at times dangerous. The default position is "on" each time one uses the car. Disarming it is a simple press of a button but must be done each time one gets in the car. For those who may not know about this once the engine is warm(and a few other conditions are met) each time one comes to a stop for more than a few seconds the engine shuts off. When one releases the brake the engine automatically restarts with a shudder - annoying. Here's an example of a problem: At the end of my test drive I parked the car facing the dealer's building. Because I had stopped, the engine automatically shut off. I had not put the car in park(which by the way uses a very unconventional electronic shifter not a standard PRNDL) but given force of habit with an engine not running I took my foot of the brake to get out of the car - and surprise, surprise with the car still in gear the engine restarted.... Now I can hear the cackles from some of you but eventually my wife or one of my kids who will not be driving my car on an everyday basis is going to have an accident and hopefully not with a pedestrian walking between cars at the mall parking lot! Owners should be able to reprogram their cars so this function is disarmed as a default setting.
    4) The 8 speed transmission is very smooth but because the ratios are so closely spaced it is constantly changing gears unless on a highway.
    5) Fuel economy(based on EPA sticker and various reviews) is substantially better than the prior car.
    6) Run flat tires with no spare are still less desirable than standard tires. Those on the car I drove seemed smoother than what is on my 2007(even when mine were new).

    My assessment is that this is a very nice car that trades some refinement and handling prowess for fuel economy while still achieving a modest increase in acceleration. The auto start/stop feature may be a deal breaker for me.
  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    We tried out a 2012 528i. Didn't trip our trigger. Too much wing dip when whipping the wheel back and forth - Much more than the 2013 Lexus ES 350, and a very noticeable lag before downshift, again unlike the Lexus. Then we drive a 2008 528i. Ahh, that's what I expected in a BMW. Even with $12000 off, I will still look for a pre-2011.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    The start/stop feature can be programmed by BMW to remain in the mode it was in as of the last time the car was driven.

    In other words, if you have the option disabled and turn the ignition "off", the next time the car is started, the start/stop feature will automatically be in the "off", or disabled, mode.

    After spending 2 weeks in a MB diesel in Germany in October that had this feature, I finally became accustomed to it. Still, I prefer the option to disable, which BMW now offers in the USA.
  • My new 2013 335i sedan arrived in port last Monday and I picked it up Thursday. it replaces my 2006 330i. So far i love it. I will write (post) a critique in several weeks after I put it through the paces
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,733
    edited November 2012
    I recently spent a couple of days in an F30 328i loaner while my son's X3 was getting front pads and rotors(I'm not complaining; they lasted over 84,000 miles), so I was able to make a true A-B comparison as I drove the F30 back-to-back with my wife's 2009 E90 328i.

    Exterior: I like both about the same. I'll note BMW did an excellent job with the E90 LCI(facelift).

    Interior: I've never been a great fan of the E90 interior; it lacks the traditional BMW driver-focused feel. The F30 interior is very nice except for the "beer tap" automatic shifter- why replace something that works perfectly well with a non-intuitive mechanism that requires additional thought and effort? The standard information screen in the F30 looks like it should retract- but it doesn't. I like the oil temperature gauge in the F30; the E90 328i has no temperature gauge of any kind. Seats are adequate in both; the F30 has more rear seat room and a larger trunk.

    Drivetrain: You simply can't beat the E90's BMW inline six. It sounds and feels infinitely better than the F30's four(as a matter of fact, the M42 in my 1995 318ti also sounds and feels smoother- and the M10 in my '02 isn't all that far behind). And while the turbo four in the F30 may be faster on paper, it sure doesn't feel faster. On top of that, the auto-stop feels pretty crude- although now it can be "disabled". Both transmissions are excellent.

    Brakes: Both cars have decent feel and modulation, with a slight edge to the E90.

    Steering/Suspension: The E90 is by far the nicer drive. The F30 steering is better than the numb tiller in the F10 5er, but not by all that much. The cars are approximately equal in terms of grip, but the E90 gives you a much better idea of what is happening at the four contact patches.

    Frankly, I can see no reason why a driving enthusiast would pick an F30 over an E90- and Car and Driver apparently shares my opinion; here's what they said in the November 2012 issue:

    Our grave concern here is that, with each new car it introduces, BMW seems to wrap more padding around the sensations and feel that make them great—while its competitors only zero in more tightly on those same attributes. (We’re convinced that the E90 would handily win a comparison test against the F30.)

    As a matter of fact, after I dropped off the F30 and drove away in the X3, I noticed how much better the X3's steering performed. It felt like I was actually driving a BMW again. That said, I'm glad I had the opportunity to drive the F30, as the experience has almost convinced me to grab an E92 328i M Sport before it is replaced with the F32 4er...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    " the E90 328i has no temperature gauge of any kind."

    My 2010 E93 must be different, as it has an oil temperature gauge.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,733
    edited November 2012
    My 2010 E93 must be different, as it has an oil temperature gauge.

    The E90 335i has an oil temperature gauge; the E90 328i makes do with the fuel economy gauge instead...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
    That's interesting. I think I read a similar comparo of a 2011-12 5 Series (Not familiar with the other designations) and the previous version. I do have a 96 Z3 but our driver is an 03 Avalon with updated suspension and while I really like the car now, @ 114k it's time to move on while it still has value. Anyway, we drove a 13 Lexus ES 350 and a 12 528i RWD. We didn't care much for the 5, even discounted $12k with 3800 miles. Dead spot on downshift and lots of wing dip moving the wheel back and forth. Much more than the Lexus. I thought 'This is a BMW?' The delay reminded me of what I didn't like about our Audi 5000. Then we drove an 08 528i. Ya, that's more like it. We're going to look at an 09 ES 350 and an 08 528i tomorrow. That should be interesting. I would probably upgrade the ES suspension with Tokico or KYB/GR2 struts as we did on the Avalon. What a difference. Anyone have thougts on other sport/performance suspension brands? The KYB's offered a great improvement without a real stiff ride. With 60k on them, the ride is perfect.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,733
    I'm partial to Bilstein HDs and Koni FSDs.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • 5539655396 Posts: 529
  • My 2013 335i has very black soot in the exhaust pipes discharge openings. it looks like it is burning rich. The dealer service says its ok. They say the car has four emission sensors and if anything was wrong I would get a service error and notification. They tell me the BMW Emissions are rated super above other cars and Govt. regulations. I asked what causes it and I am told they are all like that. However they cant give me a reason why.
    Does anyone else have this occurance, is it a problem? what causes it. Thanks. Looking forward to a reasonable and technical explanation.
  • Can the host help me with this request on Black Exhaust residue. It looks like not many posts are in the F30 topic forum. Any suggestions.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    Back in the days before OBD-II when most engines were carburated, black soot on the inside of the exhaust pipes was usually an indication that the engine was running rich (too much fuel).

    However, nowadays engines and the emissions control system are designed to work right at the stoichiometric air-fuel ratio, ~14.7:1 IIRC. Overly rich air-fuel mixtures are especially bad and can lead to overheating of and damage to the catalytic converter. So any deviation from that ideal air-fuel ratio (and many other things) will cause the OBD-II system to detect a fault and (probably) turn on the CEL and set the appropriate code.

    So, I do know why your '325 has a dark residue on the exhaust pipe. But, I would not be concerned about it so long as the car is running OK, your fuel economy is where it should be, and the CEL is off.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Seems like a good answer! If more opinions are desired, you might post in our Answers section:
    http://answers.edmunds.com

    If you post there, return to that link and click "my answers profile" to check for feedback.

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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • I have the 2013 320i, previously had a 2011 328i which I miss driving. The new one just doesn't feel as connected to the road.

    Anyway, the reason for this post, does anyone know of a way to change the satellite radio display to show the station, song and artist information when it is in the "Presets" mode? I know I can see all of that info when it is in "satellite" and showing all stations but I only listen to a few stations so I'd rather only display the preset stations. Any ideas/suggestions?
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    Just test drove a 328D X-Drive today. I currently drive a 2007 328XI. The diesel has was a very nice drive. Peppy off the line, handles very well and given an EPA of 43 on the highway(diesels typically do better than EPA highway estimates!) seems like a very good compromise. A slight diesel clatter but honestly not much worse than the current 328i. Considering the car doesn't even include xenons quiet pricey at almost $50K with Cold Weather, Premium and Technology packages.
  • dtd98dtd98 Posts: 21
    Hi idoc2,
    Where did you test the 328d X-drive ? What is the price for the RWD 328d and how many 328d do you see at that dealership ? I'm interested in the 328d and just want the simple on without all the bells and whistles.
    dtd
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    I test drove the 328D at BMW of North Haven (CT). They only had one diesel 3 series at this fairly large dealership. Dealers don't typically stock many RWD 3 series sedans in this part of the country and frankly I didn't ask if they had any. I would go to the BMW website and there you will be able to come up with the list price of the car you want - I would expect a dealer might take a couple thousand off that price.
  • dtd98dtd98 Posts: 21
    Thank you idoc2. I'm from San Jose, CA. I have not checked with my local BMW dealers yet. Since, I still wait for the next MB C class diesel to debut. I would like to get your impression when you test dove the 3er diesel and what is the fair price that you would pay for. Modern diesel car is one of the criteria that I'm looking for in my next car.
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    Honestly I think you have to test drive the 328 diesel for yourself to decide if the compromise between sportiness and fuel economy is worth it for YOU. I currently own a last generation(2007) 328Xi, I have also test driven the new 328i with X-drive(see my comments above). The diesel is not as silky smooth as my current I-6 328 and not as sporty as either car. But for me the acceleration was adequate and the driving dynamics of the chassis was exactly what you'd expect in any 3er. IMO the huge fuel efficiency gain is worth the trade-off in sportiness of the drive train. On the other hand there are several things about the 3 series I do not like. I hate the run flat tires(which are on my current car), I think the new electronic shifter for the automatic tranny is very non-intuitive and at times confusing. I very much dislike the automatic on/off feature which turns the car off when at a stop light or in heavy traffic, then car restarts with a shudder. For these reasons I have not yet bought a new 328D or 328i. I test drove the new Audi A6 diesel which was fabulous but about $9,000 more. I am in no rush and await an A4 diesel and the MB C series diesel. I suggest yo drive the 328D and see what you think.
  • dtd98dtd98 Posts: 21
    You have several good points, and since you have owned the 3er before, I value your opinion a lot. I have not owned a German car before , since I have been driving Japanese cars for nearly 30 years , I have decided my next car would be a German one. In term of styling, I prefer the C over the 3er. I think A4 is a bit bland even though some people praise for its driving dynamic. I also know people complain about the start/stop function of the 3er. At this point, my criteria is RWD, diesel and $45K out of the door price max. I would wait to see the new C introduction at 2014 Detroit auto show before making any decision. By the way, would you consider the upcoming Mazda 6 diesel?
  • idoc2idoc2 Posts: 78
    edited October 2013
    I don't know much about the Mazda 6 diesel but I suspect it will be a fairly good car and a better value than a BMW or MB. It will be much less expensive to buy and less to maintain but probably lacks the refinement of the German cars and certainly lacks the cache. I have a close friend who recently bought a Passat TDI for about $26K which he claims gets almost 50mpg on the highway and he is very happy with it. It appears to be a very nice car but I have not yet ridden in it.
  • dtd98dtd98 Posts: 21
    The Passat is a bit bland for me. The current TDI engine is an old tech. You should wait for the new TDI engine which will debut in the next Audi A4. The reason is the performance of the current one is slow for 0-60mph which could be around 9s. You may want it to be in the low 7s .Just because you drive a diesel, it does not mean you have to settle down with a slow car.
  • qaliqali Toronto CanadaPosts: 60
    edited May 2014

    I am closing in on a 2013 335i x-drive 4-door or a 2011 335i x-drive 2-door. I have previously owned a 2007 335i RWD and a 2011 328xi 4-door. Question, does the variable sport steering option on the F-30 bring back the steering feel that everyone in this forum is saying is missing from the F-30?

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