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      11-16-2011, 06:50 PM   #1
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Post First F30 3 Series Reviews Are In! Insideline Calls 328i Very Noticeable Upgrade

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First F30 3 Series Reviews Are In! Insideline Calls 328i a Noticeable Upgrade
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As we've mentioned, the first F30 press global drives recently began in Barcelona, and the first drives are now beginning to be posted.

First in is Edmunds Insideline's review of the F30 328i powered by BMW's new 2.0L 4 cylinder turbo engine. Here's some of the highlights of what they have to say about the F30 328i:

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There is much you need to know about the new 2012 BMW 3 Series, not the least of which is the fact that it's a very noticeable upgrade from the very first drive.
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But, as we found out on a cold, wet day in Barcelona, Spain, the car has gained more in character than you could ever pick up from dry specification lists. BMW insists the quality of its four-cylinder turbocharged motors is now high enough that it can deliver the performance and smoothness normally tasked to six-pots with all the fuel economy of a four. On paper, it's tough to argue.

The odd thing is, it doesn't feel like a torque monster in normal driving. A lot of turbo motors nowadays have similarly flat torque curves and yet offer flat performance. The 2012 BMW 328i offers a drive that starts strongly and just gets stronger. It's not perfectly linear, like a naturally aspirated six, but it's a big step in the right direction.

The horsepower peak has its own flat line, arriving at 5,000 revs and sticking around until 6,500. It revs higher than that, though, fizzing all the way out to around 6,800, but the truth is the last 400 revs or so are just for show. Its best work has been done and spun, and you might as well change gear.

The noise isn't as pure as a six, but it's very good and maintains its composure beautifully until very near redline. It's quiet from idle until you ask it for everything, then its note gains some strength until it gets an angry growl at around 3,800 rpm. From there it just gets angrier until well into the sixes.
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In the 2012 BMW 328i, you can choose either the default Comfort setting, Sport, Sport Plus or Eco Pro, which might save you heaps of fuel by harnessing virtually every energy spender in the car and putting them on a budget, but it does its very best to make it feel like a 1.0-liter six-cylinder car.

Sport Plus is a bit track pack, tightening up the throttle, turning off the traction and skid controls and, in our version with the optional Dynamic Damper Control, tightening up the suspension, too. That's when it gets interesting.
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Still a Proper Sport Sedan
The chassis is easily the highlight of the car, and that's partly because of the damper control system, but mostly because the car is 88 pounds lighter, has a longer wheelbase and runs a 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. It steals what is already an impressive show by being so nimble and light on its feet that it feels like a featherweight when you want it to dance. It's a chassis that overachieves, one that might have been saved up for the next Z4, but here it is beneath BMW's stock in trade.

Arrive at a corner carrying far too much corner speed and the 2012 BMW 328i's steering lightens for a moment to tell you it's understeering. From there it waits for the tires to scrub off enough speed and then coyly sneaks in toward the apex. It's the same trick when the back end starts to slide as the 328i breaks free so diplomatically that you think the proactive steering input is your reactive idea. From there it just straightens up and drives hard out of the corner.

It carries far more midcorner grip than we thought possible on saturated Spanish roads. The 328i charmed with brilliant balance, being stupidly adjustable midcorner and refusing to be anything but hugely progressive and unrelentingly forgiving of errors or ham-fistedness. Whether you favor the chip-chip-chipper style or you're a one-turn-in-one-turn-out guy, it works either way.

As with the rest of the chassis, the brakes are tremendously strong and adjustable midcorner. The pedal position never moved in four hours of hard mountain driving, either. The steering is, in this return to absolute driving fun, not brilliant. Well, it's not bad, it's just not quite at the standards of the rest of the car and is damned by the comparison.

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      11-16-2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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very nice
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      11-16-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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also see car and driver and automobile mag.
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      11-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #4
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I'm not quite sure what this is telling me...."The steering is, in this return to absolute driving fun, not brilliant. Well, it's not bad, it's just not quite at the standards of the rest of the car and is damned by the comparison."

Doesn't sound good but doesn' t really mean much to me. How does it steer compared to the E90?
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      11-16-2011, 07:48 PM   #5
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Seems like iDrive will be standard on the F30.
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      11-16-2011, 07:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
Seems like iDrive will be standard on the F30.
Yep, iDrive but not navi
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      11-16-2011, 08:07 PM   #7
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I'm encouraged to read, "Noticeable Upgrade" regarding the best production sports sedan on the market. The fact that it was tested and reviewed in less than desirable conditions tells me to expect more than what I bargin for when taking that 328i turbo-four- banger out on the road.
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      11-16-2011, 08:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vector Pilot View Post
I'm encouraged to read, "Noticeable Upgrade" regarding the best production sports sedan on the market. The fact that it was tested and reviewed in less than desirable conditions tells me to expect more than what I bargin for when taking that 328i turbo-four- banger out on the road.
Yea, the 2 biggest concerns for myself and probably every other enthusiast is the change from 6 to 4 cylinder turbo and the steering. Sounds like both are different and not for the worse thankfully.
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      11-16-2011, 09:08 PM   #9
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it sounds like this 4-banger is so close to the I-6 that could force BMW to use the 335i Performance kit standard sooner rather than later.

this review also tells me that the EPS application or tuning from the 1-series will be the one we'll experience with the F30 instead of the one from the 5-series.
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      11-16-2011, 09:15 PM   #10
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Sounds good to me, just wait till the M3/4
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      11-16-2011, 11:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiAg330i View Post
I'm not quite sure what this is telling me...."The steering is, in this return to absolute driving fun, not brilliant. Well, it's not bad, it's just not quite at the standards of the rest of the car and is damned by the comparison."

Doesn't sound good but doesn' t really mean much to me. How does it steer compared to the E90?
Agreed. Seems like a lot of the complements seem to have a "backhanded" component to them. Like saying someone has a "good personality."

Call me skeptical.
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      11-17-2011, 06:51 AM   #12
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Nice!


I really may have to consider the F30.
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      11-17-2011, 07:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
...the car is 88 pounds lighter...
Impressive if true.
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      11-17-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderz17 View Post
Impressive if true.
It's true.

Based on official stats from BMW, it's anywhere from 88-99 pounds lighter.

See official specs @ http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=592598
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      11-17-2011, 08:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason View Post
It's true.

Based on official stats from BMW, it's anywhere from 88-99 pounds lighter.

See official specs @ http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=592598
Excellent, thanks. I hadn't scoured over the specs very closely, so this is the first I'd seen the official weight figures. Definitely good news and bodes well for the next-gen M3.
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