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      04-02-2012, 09:45 AM   #1
xDrive35i
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Test Drive

I test drove the new 328i Luxury (they had a Modern on showroom floor but no Sport) this weekend at Perillo BMW in Chicago. I've a lot more to say, but I'll keep it short.

The four cylinder is, unfortunately, nowhere near as sonorous as the I6 N52 we know and love and I'm definitely sad to see it go. It grumbles more than it growls and only past 3000 rpm does it start to sound good. For a car that is geared towards efficiency, I'd be driving it in manual all the time to keep the sound going.

Power delivery is surprisingly immediate. Seat-of-the-pants calculations say this engine is dramatically superior to the N52, though it's not as excited or nervous as the I6. The ride was absolutely amazing and the standard Driving Experience Control switch gives the car the extra oomph to keep you engaged.

No rattles or squeaks. No cabin shudder over potholes. This car is a step up for sure. And the steering is easy but delightfully direct. The car goes where it should.
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      04-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. Have you lined up a test drive in the Sport? Would be great to see how they compare. Presumably you are a little way off ordering?
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      04-02-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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Great write up. Unfortunately, I never test drove the 328i, I always knew I wanted the 335i.

On a side note, is the Perillo guy related to the Perillo Italian Tours guy? Would be funny if he is.
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      04-02-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by wdlv
Great write up. Unfortunately, I never test drove the 328i, I always knew I wanted the 335i.

On a side note, is the Perillo guy related to the Perillo Italian Tours guy? Would be funny if he is.
I don't believe so...
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      04-02-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceBarin
Thanks for sharing. Have you lined up a test drive in the Sport? Would be great to see how they compare. Presumably you are a little way off ordering?
I'm not in the market I'm just interested in the evolution of the BMW lineup. I took delivery of my F25 X3 last August so it'll be a while before I get into a new car.
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      04-02-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
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I also test drove the 328i modern with sports auto transmission at the launch 2 weeks ago and I was extremely surprised..
The power delivery is instant and the car just wanted to surge onward! It's such a sweet feeling when you floor it!
The gear changes are almost imperceptible, it's crazy how good the auto is (and I'm biased towards manual!).
The ride quality was unbelievable, coming from the E90. The test car was also kitted with the adaptive suspension and I could feel a huge difference when it was changed to sport mode.
Overall, I totally agree with the OP that it's a huge step away from the E90..

I just wish I could have the 328i , but I'm still excited for my 320i on order
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      04-02-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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I've been invited to this: http://links.emails.bmwusa.com/servl...E1S0&mt=1&rt=0 so I'll test drive it then. I'm waiting for the wagon so I have to wait until it's released AND in M Sport form!
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      04-02-2012, 07:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine F31 View Post
I've been invited to this: http://links.emails.bmwusa.com/servl...E1S0&mt=1&rt=0 so I'll test drive it then. I'm waiting for the wagon so I have to wait until it's released AND in M Sport form!
That's so unfair! Jump at this opportunity!
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      04-02-2012, 08:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alpine F31 View Post
I've been invited to this: http://links.emails.bmwusa.com/servl...E1S0&mt=1&rt=0 so I'll test drive it then. I'm waiting for the wagon so I have to wait until it's released AND in M Sport form!
That's awesome, you should do this!
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      04-02-2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Alpine F31 View Post
I've been invited to this: http://links.emails.bmwusa.com/servl...E1S0&mt=1&rt=0 so I'll test drive it then. I'm waiting for the wagon so I have to wait until it's released AND in M Sport form!
I got one too! I signed up haha
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      04-02-2012, 11:43 PM   #11
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And, as a thank you for registering and attending the event, you’ll receive an exclusive sales incentive.
hmmm...
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      04-03-2012, 12:24 AM   #12
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Nice pics! Did you take that shot with your phone? I must say that picture there captures the true colour of the grey. Did you realise as well that the seat belts seems to tighten up automatically? The one I drove seemed to do it as soon as I floored the accelerator but I can't see any details about that in the brochures.
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      04-03-2012, 01:43 AM   #13
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I got one too! I signed up haha
I signed up too! I'm going Friday the 27th!
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      04-03-2012, 07:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J1n View Post
Nice pics! Did you take that shot with your phone? I must say that picture there captures the true colour of the grey. Did you realise as well that the seat belts seems to tighten up automatically? The one I drove seemed to do it as soon as I floored the accelerator but I can't see any details about that in the brochures.
Thanks! I took them with a 24 mm f2.8 lens on my Nikon D700, actually. I didn't notice the seat belts function...
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      04-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #15
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Did you realise as well that the seat belts seems to tighten up automatically? The one I drove seemed to do it as soon as I floored the accelerator but I can't see any details about that in the brochures.
I'm glad you mentioned this observation. Actually, I thought I was just making this up in my head. But whenever I accelerate, I honestly feel that my seatbelt tightens up and I'm ready to hit the open road with no fear!
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      04-04-2012, 01:36 PM   #16
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hmmm...
The incentive is a $1000 "allowance" towards a lease or purchase...

You won’t want to miss this competitive event. As a thank you, only registered attendees will receive the limited-time $1,000 BMW Drive for Team USA Allowance, good toward the purchase or lease of a new 2012 or 2013 BMW model.* And once you have completed your experience, BMW will also recognize your drive with a $10 donation to Team USA.
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      04-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #17
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My wife and I had the opposite test drive experience as the OP. We went to the BMW with the intent of test driving the 2011 328xi, 2012 328i, 528xi and 535xi. We drove the E90 first, the steering was world class, the I6 engine is smooth and quiet and we like the front end better in the E90 than the F30. Next up is the F30, while the salesman was pulling up the car, we can hear the engine ticking from about 50 yards away, which was a big turn off. Get into the car and the seats are as hard as a wood bench, very uncomfortable. During the test drive, we notice the steering is not nearly as communitive as the E90's even when we put the F30 into sport mode. The 4 banger was very noisy and had a lot vibration under hard accelaration. This thing is suppose to do 0-60 in about 6 sec. Frankly, I didnt notice it being that much quicker than the F90. Overall, the F30's test drive was a big disappointment, we had such high hope from teh reviews.
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      04-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #18
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I did not drive them back to back, but I certainly share the same impressions as the OP. While I enjoy a drive in an e90 now and again, I couldn't deal with it as a DD. The f30, while less engaging in two specific senses, is much more satisfying in others. I'll give up the steering and sound/smoothness of the e90, for the space, interior, fuel economy, styling, quickness, and cruising ability of the f30.
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      04-07-2012, 08:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
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My wife and I had the opposite test drive experience as the OP. We went to the BMW with the intent of test driving the 2011 328xi, 2012 328i, 528xi and 535xi. We drove the E90 first, the steering was world class, the I6 engine is smooth and quiet and we like the front end better in the E90 than the F30. Next up is the F30, while the salesman was pulling up the car, we can hear the engine ticking from about 50 yards away, which was a big turn off. Get into the car and the seats are as hard as a wood bench, very uncomfortable. During the test drive, we notice the steering is not nearly as communitive as the E90's even when we put the F30 into sport mode. The 4 banger was very noisy and had a lot vibration under hard accelaration. This thing is suppose to do 0-60 in about 6 sec. Frankly, I didnt notice it being that much quicker than the F90. Overall, the F30's test drive was a big disappointment, we had such high hope from teh reviews.
i had the exact opposite experience as you.

thankfully i didnt make the mistake of buying a last gen car. boy would that be stupid!
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      04-08-2012, 09:01 AM   #20
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I did not drive them back to back, but I certainly share the same impressions as the OP. While I enjoy a drive in an e90 now and again, I couldn't deal with it as a DD. The f30, while less engaging in two specific senses, is much more satisfying in others. I'll give up the steering and sound/smoothness of the e90, for the space, interior, fuel economy, styling, quickness, and cruising ability of the f30.
+1
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      04-11-2012, 10:17 AM   #21
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I did not drive them back to back, but I certainly share the same impressions as the OP. While I enjoy a drive in an e90 now and again, I couldn't deal with it as a DD. The f30, while less engaging in two specific senses, is much more satisfying in others. I'll give up the steering and sound/smoothness of the e90, for the space, interior, fuel economy, styling, quickness, and cruising ability of the f30.
I think a Camry V6 would have meet your priorities of space, interior, fuel economy, styling, quickness, and cruising ability and save your self about $25000.
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      04-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #22
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thankfully i didnt make the mistake of buying a last gen car. boy would that be stupid!
Show some class, you are driving a BMW after all

Last edited by The X Men; 04-11-2012 at 10:36 AM.
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