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      12-05-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
vinny84
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Test Drove 328i X-drive with M-Sport and Luxury Line

Test drove a 328i xDrive with M-sport in Estoril Blue II and a 328i xDrive with Luxury Line in Black Sapphire Metallic.

Just thought I'd put a little mini review in here for people who are interested in either lines and how they compared. Had about a little over an hour combined driving time.

Before I start the review, just want to give a huge praise for Sun Motor Cars in Mechanicsburg, PA and my buddy and CA Peter Kompotiatis. When I do decide to pull the trigger, next October, this will be my 3rd car I purchased from them and these guys really take care of you, not to mention everyone is super cool and nice. If you're in the area I would highly recommend you stop in; and see Peter too

The M-Sport had the following options:
-Hexagon Aluminum Trim with Black Leather
-Tech Package
-Lighting Package
-Cold Weather Package
-Dynamic Handling Package
-Premium Package

The Luxury Line had the following options:
-Dark Burl Walnut Wood Trim with Brown Leather
-Premium Package
-Technology Package
-Cold Weather Package
-Driver Assistance Package

Obviously I test drove the M-Sport first:

Exterior
I always liked Estoril Blue, even back in the e36 days when Estoril Blue was available for the M3. However, I wasn't really considering this color, because my next car I'm thinking long term, so don't want to pick something I would get bored with. After seeing it in person though, I instantly changed my mind, this would be the color I get. It's a looker and I think it suits the car very well. Pictures don't do this color justice.

Interior
Interior is awesome, love it over my e90 335xi I used to have and like it over my current 135i. The steering wheel is awesome and you need to see it for yourself to agree, very thick and comfortable. Everything is placed perfectly, IMO. iDrive controller is in a comfortable spot where it wouldn't be a hassle when driving. Controls, fit, and finish all are spot on to BMW standards. It's nice and roomy, feels very comfortable. Sport seats are very nice and comfortable, but the side bolster isn't as great as it is in my 135i. I feel my seats in the 1er hugs me better and feels tighter, however, I will also note that it's not as comfortable in the 1er when wearing a thicker jacket. That can be a plus to some people for the 3er.

Driving
I really thought I would be disappointed in the 28i engine, coming from a 35i engine, but honestly this car has some kick to it. It might not be as fast as a 35i engine, but it sure doesn't disappoint. I would say the Dynamic Handling package is worth the extra $1k, if you're going to keep it stock and not change out the suspension. The steering on it feels great and literally you just point and shoot with minimal effort. The car has awesome grip and gives you complete confidence in the car.

On to the Luxury Line:

Exterior
This car has class written all over it. The chrome accents around the car gives it that distinguished look, definitely not cheesy at all. This will be a good car for the business man or women that's looking for that sophisticated look and statement.

Interior
The brown leather is a very nice touch for the Luxury line. I wouldn't mind driving around with brown leather, again, it gives it that sophisticated look. The steering wheel is nice, but not as nice as the M-Sport steering wheel and not as thick, but still nice and doesn't look ugly, compared to say an e9x base steering wheel. The seats were comfortable, but found myself sliding a bit when going through turns.

Driving
Still has that kick to it, but I feel in Sport mode it is a little tamer. This car didn't have the Dynamic Handling package and in my opinion you can tell the difference. It has a heavier steering feel and it felt to me that you needed to finesse the steering a bit to get the same result. Otherwise, it's still fun to drive and can still go through the twisties while having confidence.

Overall
Going in, I was more set on the Luxury Line as I wanted a practical daily driver with AWD, but wanted something I can have fun with as well. The Luxury line can do that, but I feel the M-Sport gives you a better overall experience, especially with the Dynamic Handling package. The seats, the M body kit and the color are reasons enough to warrant spending the extra money for the M-Sport. Not to mention it has a tad bit better acceleration in Sport mode. I will be putting in my order for a '14 328i xDrive M-Sport with Estoril Blue with all the options next October.
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      12-06-2012, 12:00 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinny84 View Post
Test drove a 328i xDrive with M-sport in Estoril Blue II and a 328i xDrive with Luxury Line in Black Sapphire Metallic.

Just thought I'd put a little mini review in here for people who are interested in either lines and how they compared. Had about a little over an hour combined driving time.

Before I start the review, just want to give a huge praise for Sun Motor Cars in Mechanicsburg, PA and my buddy and CA Peter Kompotiatis. When I do decide to pull the trigger, next October, this will be my 3rd car I purchased from them and these guys really take care of you, not to mention everyone is super cool and nice. If you're in the area I would highly recommend you stop in; and see Peter too

The M-Sport had the following options:
-Hexagon Aluminum Trim with Black Leather
-Tech Package
-Lighting Package
-Cold Weather Package
-Dynamic Handling Package
-Premium Package

The Luxury Line had the following options:
-Dark Burl Walnut Wood Trim with Brown Leather
-Premium Package
-Technology Package
-Cold Weather Package
-Driver Assistance Package

Obviously I test drove the M-Sport first:

Exterior
I always liked Estoril Blue, even back in the e36 days when Estoril Blue was available for the M3. However, I wasn't really considering this color, because my next car I'm thinking long term, so don't want to pick something I would get bored with. After seeing it in person though, I instantly changed my mind, this would be the color I get. It's a looker and I think it suits the car very well. Pictures don't do this color justice.

Interior
Interior is awesome, love it over my e90 335xi I used to have and like it over my current 135i. The steering wheel is awesome and you need to see it for yourself to agree, very thick and comfortable. Everything is placed perfectly, IMO. iDrive controller is in a comfortable spot where it wouldn't be a hassle when driving. Controls, fit, and finish all are spot on to BMW standards. It's nice and roomy, feels very comfortable. Sport seats are very nice and comfortable, but the side bolster isn't as great as it is in my 135i. I feel my seats in the 1er hugs me better and feels tighter, however, I will also note that it's not as comfortable in the 1er when wearing a thicker jacket. That can be a plus to some people for the 3er.

Driving
I really thought I would be disappointed in the 28i engine, coming from a 35i engine, but honestly this car has some kick to it. It might not be as fast as a 35i engine, but it sure doesn't disappoint. I would say the Dynamic Handling package is worth the extra $1k, if you're going to keep it stock and not change out the suspension. The steering on it feels great and literally you just point and shoot with minimal effort. The car has awesome grip and gives you complete confidence in the car.

On to the Luxury Line:

Exterior
This car has class written all over it. The chrome accents around the car gives it that distinguished look, definitely not cheesy at all. This will be a good car for the business man or women that's looking for that sophisticated look and statement.

Interior
The brown leather is a very nice touch for the Luxury line. I wouldn't mind driving around with brown leather, again, it gives it that sophisticated look. The steering wheel is nice, but not as nice as the M-Sport steering wheel and not as thick, but still nice and doesn't look ugly, compared to say an e9x base steering wheel. The seats were comfortable, but found myself sliding a bit when going through turns.

Driving
Still has that kick to it, but I feel in Sport mode it is a little tamer. This car didn't have the Dynamic Handling package and in my opinion you can tell the difference. It has a heavier steering feel and it felt to me that you needed to finesse the steering a bit to get the same result. Otherwise, it's still fun to drive and can still go through the twisties while having confidence.

Overall
Going in, I was more set on the Luxury Line as I wanted a practical daily driver with AWD, but wanted something I can have fun with as well. The Luxury line can do that, but I feel the M-Sport gives you a better overall experience, especially with the Dynamic Handling package. The seats, the M body kit and the color are reasons enough to warrant spending the extra money for the M-Sport. Not to mention it has a tad bit better acceleration in Sport mode. I will be putting in my order for a '14 328i xDrive M-Sport with Estoril Blue with all the options next October.
Nice mini review.
It's interesting that you felt the Msport had better acceleration compared to the Lux line in sport mode.
Maybe the Msport had the "sport" automatic and the Lux had the standard one?

Also, the DH pkg includes the VSS-variable sport steering, which has a slightly tighter ratio, 14.5:1, compared to the standard steering 15:1 ratio.
Very minor, but some others have noticed a difference too.
When I did my test drives non of the 3's had VSS, so I couldn't directly compare the different racks.
It's interesting to read a review like yours where you actually drove the different racks back to back.

Great choice you made.
The N20 engine is amazing for 2 liters of displacement. Excellent low rpm torque, and quite smooth for an inline 4cyl.
BMW did a great job with this engine.

I'm partial to the Msport though as I choose the 335i Msport.

BTW, if you like the Lux look maybe you could look into a 328xi sport line.
You won't get the Msport steering wheel, but you do get the sport seats.
I LOVE the Msport steering wheel.
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      12-06-2012, 09:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
Nice mini review.
It's interesting that you felt the Msport had better acceleration compared to the Lux line in sport mode.
Maybe the Msport had the "sport" automatic and the Lux had the standard one?

Also, the DH pkg includes the VSS-variable sport steering, which has a slightly tighter ratio, 14.5:1, compared to the standard steering 15:1 ratio.
Very minor, but some others have noticed a difference too.
When I did my test drives non of the 3's had VSS, so I couldn't directly compare the different racks.
It's interesting to read a review like yours where you actually drove the different racks back to back.

Great choice you made.
The N20 engine is amazing for 2 liters of displacement. Excellent low rpm torque, and quite smooth for an inline 4cyl.
BMW did a great job with this engine.

I'm partial to the Msport though as I choose the 335i Msport.

BTW, if you like the Lux look maybe you could look into a 328xi sport line.
You won't get the Msport steering wheel, but you do get the sport seats.
I LOVE the Msport steering wheel.
Thanks

Yeah, I was surprised too about the acceleration, but maybe I'm just trying to convince myself to go with the M-Sport haha. The car did not have the Sport 8AT with paddle shifters, but I would be getting this option when the time comes.

Yes, I was pleased I was able to test the DH package versus a non-DH package 3 series back to back, although again I wasn't set to get this option, but now that I drove one with it, it's worth it. Funny thing, I didn't even know the car had it, I actually asked if it did, because of the way it handled. When we got back to the dealer, sure enough it listed as an option.

Yes, the N20 engine is a fine engine indeed. Tuners will start to have fun with this as time goes by.

Oh and i'm not interested in the Sport line. If I get any kind of sport package it's going to be the M-Sport, no thinking required on that one haha

I'm sure you're having a blast with your 335i M-Sport
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      12-06-2012, 09:30 AM   #4
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Just curious, why are you not going for a 335 this time?

BTW - You can get DHP on the Luxury line You can get the sport feel you like.
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      12-06-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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Which car rode better - more comfortably - the Luxury xi with the standard suspension, or the M Sport with the adaptive suspension set on "COMFORT"?

It's an important question for me. I'm looking at exactly the same models as you are, Lux vs. M Sport.

Anything you can say about the general feel or "gestalt"/aesthetic feel/"aura" of one versus the other would be GREATLY appreciated!
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      12-06-2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinny84 View Post
Thanks

Yeah, I was surprised too about the acceleration, but maybe I'm just trying to convince myself to go with the M-Sport haha. The car did not have the Sport 8AT with paddle shifters, but I would be getting this option when the time comes.

Yes, I was pleased I was able to test the DH package versus a non-DH package 3 series back to back, although again I wasn't set to get this option, but now that I drove one with it, it's worth it. Funny thing, I didn't even know the car had it, I actually asked if it did, because of the way it handled. When we got back to the dealer, sure enough it listed as an option.

Yes, the N20 engine is a fine engine indeed. Tuners will start to have fun with this as time goes by.

Oh and i'm not interested in the Sport line. If I get any kind of sport package it's going to be the M-Sport, no thinking required on that one haha

I'm sure you're having a blast with your 335i M-Sport

The time for tuning is now, this is only a stage 1 tune, no hardware modifications:
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      12-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cchrisv
Just curious, why are you not going for a 335 this time?

BTW - You can get DHP on the Luxury line You can get the sport feel you like.
Not going with the 335 just because I feel the N20 is good enough for me, and call me crazy, but coming from an e90 335xi and 135i, I feel the car is better balanced with the N20. Some of you might not agree, but that's how I feel.

Also, I could get the Luxury Line with the DH package, but the M-Sport is just too sweet to pass up
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      12-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironysatire
Which car rode better - more comfortably - the Luxury xi with the standard suspension, or the M Sport with the adaptive suspension set on "COMFORT"?

It's an important question for me. I'm looking at exactly the same models as you are, Lux vs. M Sport.

Anything you can say about the general feel or "gestalt"/aesthetic feel/"aura" of one versus the other would be GREATLY appreciated!
Both cars ride comfortably when you want it too, the ride is definitely not as harsh as my 135i with sport suspension.

As far as aesthetics and aura goes, both cars were very nice in the cabin, it just depends on what you want. If you want something more "distinguished" go with the Luxury line, if you want something more sporty and practical at the same time, go with the M-sport
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      12-06-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinny84 View Post
Thanks

Yeah, I was surprised too about the acceleration, but maybe I'm just trying to convince myself to go with the M-Sport haha. The car did not have the Sport 8AT with paddle shifters, but I would be getting this option when the time comes.

Yes, I was pleased I was able to test the DH package versus a non-DH package 3 series back to back, although again I wasn't set to get this option, but now that I drove one with it, it's worth it. Funny thing, I didn't even know the car had it, I actually asked if it did, because of the way it handled. When we got back to the dealer, sure enough it listed as an option.

Yes, the N20 engine is a fine engine indeed. Tuners will start to have fun with this as time goes by.

Oh and i'm not interested in the Sport line. If I get any kind of sport package it's going to be the M-Sport, no thinking required on that one haha

I'm sure you're having a blast with your 335i M-Sport

The time for tuning is now, this is only a stage 1 tune, no hardware modifications:
Yes, this is just the tip of the iceberg though
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      12-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Thanks for the kind words Vinny! If anyone is ever in need of assistance, I would be more than happy to help. Vinny and I see eye to eye, I'll be ordering a 328ixdrive m-sport sedan as well. Dynamic Handling Package included
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      12-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterKBMW
Thanks for the kind words Vinny! If anyone is ever in need of assistance, I would be more than happy to help. Vinny and I see eye to eye, I'll be ordering a 328ixdrive m-sport sedan as well. Dynamic Handling Package included
You're welcome Pete! Thanks for helping me out to and giving me some driving time to pick out my next Bimmer
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      12-06-2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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No problem, it's not a bad day when you get to takes some BMW's out for a spin
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      12-06-2012, 06:58 PM   #13
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Yeah, I recommend sun motors too. They have a huge facility and there is plenty of space so your car won't get dinged just driving it in for service.

Compare that to Otto's BMW in West Chester, PA. It is virtually impossible to drive your car to Otto's BMW without getting your car dinged, bumped, or scratched. There is just no space. Anywhere you park as a customer, you risk serious damage to your car. Why don't these dealerships get it? Make space for your customers---especially BMW customers that typically park their far away from other vehicles!
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      12-07-2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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Our facility truly is massive; and with pick up and delivery loaner service, there's no need to go anywhere else
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      12-07-2012, 08:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinny84 View Post
Thanks

Yeah, I was surprised too about the acceleration, but maybe I'm just trying to convince myself to go with the M-Sport haha. The car did not have the Sport 8AT with paddle shifters, but I would be getting this option when the time comes.

Yes, I was pleased I was able to test the DH package versus a non-DH package 3 series back to back, although again I wasn't set to get this option, but now that I drove one with it, it's worth it. Funny thing, I didn't even know the car had it, I actually asked if it did, because of the way it handled. When we got back to the dealer, sure enough it listed as an option.

Yes, the N20 engine is a fine engine indeed. Tuners will start to have fun with this as time goes by.

Oh and i'm not interested in the Sport line. If I get any kind of sport package it's going to be the M-Sport, no thinking required on that one haha

I'm sure you're having a blast with your 335i M-Sport
It has been very fun to drive.

As for N20 tuning, check out what burger tuning offers. There is a thread going on in the N20 tuning section.
VERY impressive gains and just as smooth power curve, per dyno graphs, as the stock engine.
Price is excellent for the performance gain.
The product isn't as slick as an ECU mod, but install seems very easy, and easy to remove when you don't want someone to see it.
Get the optional cable they sell and you can clear ECU codes as well when needed.

My vote for you is Msport! +1
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      12-07-2012, 08:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironysatire View Post
Which car rode better - more comfortably - the Luxury xi with the standard suspension, or the M Sport with the adaptive suspension set on "COMFORT"?

It's an important question for me. I'm looking at exactly the same models as you are, Lux vs. M Sport.

Anything you can say about the general feel or "gestalt"/aesthetic feel/"aura" of one versus the other would be GREATLY appreciated!
I've driven a number of F30's with the standard suspension, and with the
M adaptive set to "comfort" the ride is excellent, smooth, and controlled.
Great for everyday commuting and highway drives.
Due to the firmer sport springs coupled with the supple damping of the adaptive dampers the ride is better than the standard non sport susp.
And, then you have the option to firm up the damping.
Great option.
And the car sits 10mm lower, gives it a nicer sport sedan look too.
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