On the November 2012 issue of Roundel the dismal sales figure on the 3 series has confirmed my feeling that BMW is going on the wrong direction on the 3 series
Cheapened material quality:
1) Steering wheel's leather is less smooth than the E92 328 couple sport steering wheel that I have. I believe the E92 coupe's sport steering wheel uses the same smooth leather as the M steering wheel. However, on the F30 non M steering wheel the quality of the leather is rough and hard.
2) The plastic around the window just feels cheap, especially the area where I rest my left elbow on it. There's also less leg room on the driver's side due to the larger water bottle holder by the door. On the F30 I couldn't move my left leg as wide compared to my E92.
3) I hate the position of the nav screen. The GLARE!!! I found it less elegant than the enclosed design on the E90. Why did BMW changed a good thing when it wasn't broken? Clearly they found it nice on the 7 and 5 series right? I guess they just have to cheapen the 3 series to separate it from the higher end models.
4) Lack of ALL button on the climate control unit. It by itself is not a huge deal but it makes me feel BMW is pinching pennies on me. When they replaced REST to ALL button on the E92 I was so furious. I know we talked about how crappy the ASS system is and how little fuel it saves. I bet the REST function would be a lot more useful in saving gas on cold climate areas. BMW, please bring back the REST function. I can care less about ASS.
Don't get me wrong, the F30 is still the best in its class. But when my E92 lease ends I have a really hard time going for a F30 335 considering a MB E350 and A6 3.0T is around the ballpark. With the insane price increase in this economy I think BMW is really going on the wrong direction and that's why sales sank.