Originally Posted by mhabs
Why is everyone so shocked at this result...and no it's not just Motortrend, there are a lot of corroborative reviews (in the US and abroad) that as a majority, agree that the new BMWs' steering and chassis feel hasn't really gotten better and is losing to the competition. For anyone contemplating the new 3, do not get the regular (non sport) suspension. I recently have driven a 328i non-sports line and is was sooo boring compared to the sports line/suspension (also on new gen 3) with worse ride quality in my opinion. Whatever you do, test drive the sports suspension and compare before you buy.
As far as I've seen all of the cars BMW has given these guys to review have not had the dynamic handling package which makes a huge difference. We have an F30 328i (no dynamic handling package) and it's true that the steering and suspension are quite soft. It's my brother's car and he absolutely loves it because it rides really nicely, but compared to our E90 and my E92 it's clearly a way less sporty car.
I see it as BMW dropping the ball by waiting sooo long to make M Adaptive suspension available on these cars, all of the reviews are already out based on the very un-sporty standard suspension so now the whole perception of the F30 is that it's too soft and rubbery. They have also left a lot of room for the M Performance version of this car to be much more direct and involving with firmer bushings and stuff (look at how much every reviewer seems to adore the M135i) but that car is probably still many months away.
On the other hand, saying the C350 is better to drive than the F30 is ridiculous. One of my best friends has a C350 Sport coupe and even he wouldn't dream of comparing its handling to either an F30 or an E90, it's just soooooft and floaty and you can't feel jack through the pedals or the steering wheel. I've never driven an ATS so I can't comment on that but I will say that the CTS-V I drove was hugely impressive and a ton of fun.