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BMW 3-Series: Sports package vs non-sport package

kevinkkevink Posts: 7
I am planning on buying a 2007 328i but wanted to get some feedback from owners or enthusiasts of the 328i if they preferred the sports package or not. Any pros or cons. In other words is it essential to the drive?

I'm coming off driving a Nissan 350Z so take that into consideration.

Thanks in advance


  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    You need to check out the difference in the ride/handling from one to another. Coming out of the Z, just order it if you can afford to,

    The sport seats alone are worth every penny, IMO.

  • kevinkkevink Posts: 7
    Any additional wear or ride issues with the lower profile tires?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,664
    Summer tires have shorter wear profiles from reading others comments on this board on the 3 series with SP. There was an issue with the Bridgestone EL42 RFT model (run-flat tire) on these cars which cost more to replace than GFT (get flat tire). Both Bridgestone and BMW have addressed the issue.

    The 330xi which I drive does not have the tuned sport suspension settings which the 328/335i will have so I can not comment on the ride.

  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    I have a 2006 with ZSP and 17" RE050A summer tires. I have also recently driven a 2007 328i with standard suspension and EL42 tires. The ZSP car rides harder over poorly maintained roads, but more smoothly in steady state driving. The 328i felt dull compared to mine, partly due to the auto trans, which does not suit the torque characteristics of the engine as well as the manual (the 328i felt a little torquier than the 325i, but was not as different as I expected). I like the handling characteristics of the RE050As -- I can really toss the car around with confidence, but the suspension/tire combination will give a sharp jolt over deep potholes and collapsing asphalt around expansion joints. The sharpness of the ride was reduced somewhat when I put on my winter 16" LM22 tires, a must if you order ZSP and live in the snow belt -- they are very capable tires. My RE050As are wearing fine at around 10K miles -- I suspect that drivers with ZSP may tend to drive harder which might influence wear, but they are performance tires so are not long lived.
  • bemerbemer Posts: 20
    Sport package or not, the suspension is the same. The difference is seats(much more improved in a sport package), size of wheels (17’’ versa 16’’) and wonderful steering. Absolutely worth $1200.00.
    Don’t hesitate and get sport package.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,598
    "Sport package or not, the suspension is the same."

    I'm not sure I'm buying that statement. I believe I've seen that some of the "X" models (AWD) only put gingerbread in the sport package, but that the RWD cars have different springs, ride height & possibly even dampers.

    If Shipo monitors this board, I'm sure he'll set us straight.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    The Sport Package is different depending on which car you purchase:

    The RWD sedan sport package adds sport suspension tuning, 17" wheels, performance tires, sport seats, and sport steering wheel.

    The RWD coupe comes standard with 17" wheels, all-season tires, sport suspension tuning, and sport steering wheel. The sport package adds 18" wheels, performance tires, and the sport seats.

    The AWD sedan sport package adds 17" wheels, performance tires, sport seats, and sport steering wheel. No sport suspension tuning is available.

    The AWD coupe comes standard with 17" wheels, all-season tires, and the sport steering wheel. The sport package adds different style 17" wheels, performance tires, and sport seats. Again, no sport suspension tuning.

    Phew, hope that helps.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
  • frookyfrooky Posts: 5
    I have to say that the 328i without the sport package is the best choice for somebody above 6'3." Personally, I am 6'6" and although I love the extra thigh support and sport steering wheel, the seat backs on the sport seats are lower than the non-sport ones and just don't provide enough support for my shoulders. The salesman couldn't believe it until I showed him, but it's true! Crazy stuff. The ride is definitely softer with the smaller wheels too, however the steering felt quite a bit looser and less BMW-like, IMHO.
  • Shipo,
    How about the specs on the 328i sports wagon?

    I just purchased a 2009 328i wagon with Sport Suspension. It's a beautiful driving machine but the suspension is a little harsh on the freeway and old city streets. What can I do to help this? I assume I can get rid of the run flats. Can the stiff springs be swapped with out compromising anything mechanical?

    I feel the sport seats are certainly more comfortable. It probably sounds odd, but I was hoping for a more plush ride.

    Any recommendations?

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    Really simple; lose the RFTs and put a good set of GFTs on. BMW suspensions, including their Sport Package suspensions, are widely known to be very compliant when compared to other cars with similar handling capabilities.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Don't fool with the suspension, just get rid of the run flats and be amazed.
  • That's the feedback I was hoping for. I really don't want to mess with the suspension knowing it was made well to begin with. Now it comes down to the most "Comfortable" tires. I've read a bunch or reviews and posts and these two keep coming up as preferred All -Weather rubber. BTW - I live in Southern California.

    Michelin - Primacy™ HP
    Bridgestone Turanza LS-H

    I apologize ahead of time as I know y'all probably get these questions all the time.

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 128,152
    If you want all-seasons for "cushion", but still want to preserve the sporting nature of the car, I wouldn't get either of those two (and, I've got Turanza LS-Hs on my son's Acura)..

    Why not Michelin Pilot Sport A/S?

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    Edmunds Moderator

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I'm currently running a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires, and they really are impressive for all but the slippery winter days. Said another way, on anything other than snow (where they're decent) or ice (where they're pretty much a "no show"), they provide more grip than I need/want/desire on a day-to-day basis. Not too shabby for an "All-Season" tire. :)
  • owendowend Posts: 1
    i have everything except the sport seats. does that mean i don't have the sport package?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 128,152
    What year and model car do you have?

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    Edmunds Moderator

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    While there have been a few exceptions over the years, the general rule is that you don't have a true Sport Package unless you have a RWD model (i.e. an "i", versus an "xi") and the Sport Seats and M Steering Wheel.
  • Have a 2008 328xi Wagon, but my documentation (bought the car as a CPO and docs don't include the sticker) does not indicate whether I have the Sports Package or not. Apparently I need to know before this buying tires. (Per previous discussions on Edmonds, I don't have the M steering wheel, that's for sure.) Any help very welcome and much appreciated!
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited September 2011
    Just look at your current tires.

    Are they 16" (base) or 17" (sport package)?

    Are all 4 the same size (sport package) or are the rears wider (staggered sport package)?

    Replace with the same size(s).
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    As far as I know, the Sport Package for the 2008 328xi Sport Wagon was purely cosmetic (i.e. seats, trim and steering wheel); it had nothing to do with upgrading the suspension, wheels and tires.

    Long story short, no, you do not have a Sport Package from the perspective of which tires to buy.
  • I can check all your options if you would like. Just need the last seven of your vin number.
  • bmwdbbmwdb Posts: 1
    I have the same question on my 328i. Can you send the link for the data base you use to look up the options?
    Thank you.
  • where can you check to see options on last 7 of vin?
  • great forum, thanks! my 325i light indicates time for new brake pads. are the sport package brakes the same size as base model 325i? i do regular around town driving, no track, any pad/rotor recommendations? i'll do the work myself unless there is something really tricky.

    appreciate any help, thank you.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 128,152
    Brakes are the same, sport or non-sport..

    I'll let someone else recommend pads..

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • kydfx- thank you! i got an estimate of $516 for front and rear using 'zimmer' rotors, pads. i suspect they are oem but will do some research. mechanic said parts are different for sport package, i am assuming because they are more performance oriented.
    appreciate the input!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,245

    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

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