Originally Posted by mocohead
BMW made a choice with the base 328i - less dust and squeak for less bite. There is no magic bullet brake pad. You can have great braking, or clean/quiet braking but not both. In BMW's estimation US customers would rather have quiet and clean brakes than great stopping brakes. People seem to think that a luxury car's brakes should not make a peep. In reading some of the posts here with people complaining about their M Sport brake pads squeaking, with multiple trips to the dealer, it seems BMW read the market correctly!
Note that an easy fix is to replace the US 328i pad with the euro 328i pad. It is an easy job, relatively inexpensive, and warranty safe.
But as an aside I drove my car on the track with the stock pads and they were fine. Even with r-compounds installed, I had little fade and stopping distances were reasonable. Since heating them up nicely on the track, it seems they work better around town than they did before.
You are correct with the current US spec brakes. I hadn't washed my wife's car for a couple of weeks and there was hardly any brake dust residue on either the front or rear brakes. When I washed my e46, the front brake dust was substantially more. From what another poster wrote, the US spec F30 328i brakes use the ceramic pads, not sure if that's true?