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      07-05-2013, 05:31 AM   #1
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Post Road & Track: 328i Showdown (F30 vs E90)

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      07-05-2013, 08:56 AM   #2
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"Nope. Our decision was unanimous: We liked the old car better, if only by a slight margin. And later, when we hopped into a post-face-lift, Sport-package-equipped E90 328i, it was game over for the F30. No contest. "


Spot on.


I think the fact that they did not have a sport package e90 leaves room for subjectivity, but overall I agree with their conclusion. I still prefer the f30 design. By far. Everything else goes to the e90.


The f30 is still a formidable car. Very competent when compared to its competitors. Just not very competent when compared to its predecessors.
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      07-05-2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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Also what software updates are they referring to in respect to improving the steering feel? The Performance Pack?
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      07-05-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KORALLROT View Post
Also what software updates are they referring to in respect to improving the steering feel? The Performance Pack?
There have been revised PN's for the steering rack which are said to have revised software as well. It has happened 2-3 times now.

The F30 in their test is their long-termer, it's production date is before any of the updated racks.

For this test, I say it again.

No surprises.

If it was 5 years ago and they brought out an E46 they would swoon for it and choose it over the E90. That is what they do.

These guys are not spending money on getting the best all around car-DD for their families. They are just visiting, vacationing.

Vacations are great, oh the fun. But plopping down the money to live there. That is what matters. A lot of the F30 makes it more appealing than the E90, enough so where people vote with money and make the choice to live with it every day. The things they are swooning about on vacation, the steering and lack of body roll, those are things I am more obsessed with in my pleasure car than my DD. There are reasons I and many others found enough good reasons to pass on the E90 for DD duties in the past 5 years. I voted with my wallet. I did not write an article about it. Every 6 months before the F30 I drove an E90-I was able to afford it, I wanted a second BMW parked next to my first. But it just gave me too many reasons to pass. The F30 did not.

Sure, it had lighter steering with a bit less feedback, a bit more body roll than I was used to. But I also seem to throw wheels/tires and springs at every car I have ever owned. Boom, F30 had more steering feel, more heft, and less body roll. It is how the F30 MSport should have been from day one. I drive E9x's now and long for nothing when I get back into my car.
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      07-05-2013, 09:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen
Quote:
Originally Posted by KORALLROT View Post
Also what software updates are they referring to in respect to improving the steering feel? The Performance Pack?
There have been revised PN's for the steering rack which are said to have revised software as well. It has happened 2-3 times now.

The F30 in their test is their long-termer, it's production date is before any of the updated racks.

For this test, I say it again.

No surprises.

If it was 5 years ago and they brought out an E46 they would swoon for it and choose it over the E90. That is what they do.

These guys are not spending money on getting the best all around car-DD for their families. They are just visiting, vacationing.

Vacations are great, oh the fun. But plopping down the money to live there. That is what matters. A lot of the F30 makes it more appealing than the E90, enough so where people vote with money and make the choice to live with it every day. The things they are swooning about on vacation, the steering and lack of body roll, those are things I am more obsessed with in my pleasure car than my DD. There are reasons I and many others found enough good reasons to pass on the E90 for DD duties in the past 5 years. I voted with my wallet. I did not write an article about it. Every 6 months before the F30 I drove an E90-I was able to afford it, I wanted a second BMW parked next to my first. But it just gave me too many reasons to pass. The F30 did not.

Sure, it had lighter steering with a bit less feedback, a bit more body roll than I was used to. But I also seem to throw wheels/tires and springs at every car I have ever owned. Boom, F30 had more steering feel, more heft, and less body roll. It is how the F30 MSport should have been from day one. I drive E9x's now and long for nothing when I get back into my car.
The F30 328i performs at a level that matches or surpasses the IS350, CTS 3.6, Acura TL shAwd and Mercedes 350. If there was ever a home run, this is it.
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      07-05-2013, 09:44 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 300hp View Post
The F30 328i performs at a level that matches or surpasses the IS350, CTS 3.6, Acura TL shAwd and Mercedes 350. If there was ever a home run, this is it.
It's not enough.

People still want to mix and match and find a way to hate on the F30.

If the 328 gets the love, people hate it on it due to the 4 cylinder and insist the 335 is the only way to go.

But then if the 335 gets bad press for the handling-well no one wants to talk about the 328 doing better in testing and said to have the better handling because we have already dismissed the 328 for having a 4 cylinder.

Here is how I would make things happy in fantasy land and have everyone shut up.

I would have a 2.5L fully forged 6cylinder with direct injection and a twin scroll turbo. I would work with the packaging engineers to make it very compact and light weight so it sits farther back than the N55 and weights less similar to the N20.

I would leave the N20 for the 320i.

I would rename the 328 the 330. The 330 would have a rating of 265hp but you know, really make 270whp.

The 335 would not have the N55. It would have the same 2.5L, but with a factory PPI treatment like the E92 335 is, and include extra cooling, overboost function, exhaust etc and have 325hp, or about 310whp.

I would take the EPS and keep settings the same in comfort and ECO but in sport or sport+ I would dial the EPS way down to have more feedback and heft.

For handling, I would have a Sport suspension available on Xdrive cars.

I would have the Mperformance suspension standard on the MSport. If anyone found it too stiff-just recommend they order DHP with it(in my fantasy-you can have both).

I would also allow for more interior color combos so you could get say saddle leather sport seats.

How does that sound?
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      07-05-2013, 09:45 AM   #7
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I agree !!

Dynamically, coming from a F30 luxury, even the "regular" E90 feels just that much better and especially tighter !

The F30 non-sport suspension bounce like you know what !

Look wise and 8AT, F30 takes over, otherwise steering, suspension, dynamics, dimensions all goes to the E90
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      07-05-2013, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen View Post
There have been revised PN's for the steering rack which are said to have revised software as well. It has happened 2-3 times now.

The F30 in their test is their long-termer, it's production date is before any of the updated racks.

For this test, I say it again.

No surprises.

If it was 5 years ago and they brought out an E46 they would swoon for it and choose it over the E90. That is what they do.

These guys are not spending money on getting the best all around car-DD for their families. They are just visiting, vacationing.

Vacations are great, oh the fun. But plopping down the money to live there. That is what matters. A lot of the F30 makes it more appealing than the E90, enough so where people vote with money and make the choice to live with it every day. The things they are swooning about on vacation, the steering and lack of body roll, those are things I am more obsessed with in my pleasure car than my DD. There are reasons I and many others found enough good reasons to pass on the E90 for DD duties in the past 5 years. I voted with my wallet. I did not write an article about it. Every 6 months before the F30 I drove an E90-I was able to afford it, I wanted a second BMW parked next to my first. But it just gave me too many reasons to pass. The F30 did not.

Sure, it had lighter steering with a bit less feedback, a bit more body roll than I was used to. But I also seem to throw wheels/tires and springs at every car I have ever owned. Boom, F30 had more steering feel, more heft, and less body roll. It is how the F30 MSport should have been from day one. I drive E9x's now and long for nothing when I get back into my car.
This is a very balanced perspective IMO. I love my E90 but I'm getting a 335i in October and I certainly prefer that over my E90 in many ways. Regarding your comments about the steering rack; is there any evidence they are updating it again for the 2014 model? Thanks.
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      07-05-2013, 09:50 AM   #9
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Really, it's E90 328i vs F30 328i - not E90 vs F30. One of their biggest complaints was the 4 cylinder engine - which is wiped out in a 335i comparison.
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      07-05-2013, 09:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Really, it's E90 328i vs F30 328i - not E90 vs F30. One of their biggest complaints was the 4 cylinder engine - which is wiped out in a 335i comparison.
The F30 steering and handling is the universal complaint about this car. It affects the 335 more than the 328-but BOTH none the less.

The 328, the 4 cylinder in overall press, more times than not it is heralded and is the most competitive drivetrain in it's class. It came out #1 in a 7-8 car shoot out and has slayed the ATS and the new IS.

The 4 cylinder is not the problem with the F30.
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      07-05-2013, 09:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen
Quote:
Originally Posted by 300hp View Post
The F30 328i performs at a level that matches or surpasses the IS350, CTS 3.6, Acura TL shAwd and Mercedes 350. If there was ever a home run, this is it.
It's not enough.

People still want to mix and match and find a way to hate on the F30.

If the 328 gets the love, people hate it on it due to the 4 cylinder and insist the 335 is the only way to go.

But then if the 335 gets bad press for the handling-well no one wants to talk about the 328 doing better in testing and said to have the better handling because we have already dismissed the 328 for having a 4 cylinder.

Here is how I would make things happy in fantasy land and have everyone shut up.

I would have a 2.5L fully forged 6cylinder with direct injection and a twin scroll turbo. I would work with the packaging engineers to make it very compact and light weight so it sits farther back than the N55 and weights less similar to the N20.

I would leave the N20 for the 320i.

I would rename the 328 the 330. The 330 would have a rating of 265hp but you know, really make 270whp.

The 335 would not have the N55. It would have the same 2.5L, but with a factory PPI treatment like the E92 335 is, and include extra cooling, overboost function, exhaust etc and have 325hp, or about 310whp.

I would take the EPS and keep settings the same in comfort and ECO but in sport or sport+ I would dial the EPS way down to have more feedback and heft.

For handling, I would have a Sport suspension available on Xdrive cars.

I would have the Mperformance suspension standard on the MSport. If anyone found it too stiff-just recommend they order DHP with it(in my fantasy-you can have both).

I would also allow for more interior color combos so you could get say saddle leather sport seats.

How does that sound?
Don't take away the N55 please, lol.


It's an interesting build and you can't go wrong with saving weight. You would have me as a customer
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      07-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Don't take away the N55 please, lol.


It's an interesting build and you can't go wrong with saving weight. You would have me as a customer
You would have less weight and better handling, more power, maybe faster-higher revving and still have a great sound. The N55 is getting a bit long in the tooth, a newer and smaller engine with those attributes, even you N55 guys can get behind it.

Engines are trending on getting smaller, the N55 replacement will most likely stay at 3.0L though.
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      07-05-2013, 09:57 AM   #13
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I've owned two E46 330i's, an E92 335i, and now an F30 335i. F30 is by FAR the best of the lot, hands-down. If they're testing a 2012-production F30 328i, there's been numerous improvements in the 2013-production cars. Had one for a loaner while having my MPPK installed, and it was far better than any 328i loaner I've ever driven.
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      07-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen View Post
The F30 steering and handling is the universal complaint about this car. It affects the 335 more than the 328-but BOTH none the less.

The 328, the 4 cylinder in overall press, more times than not it is heralded and is the most competitive drivetrain in it's class. It came out #1 in a 7-8 car shoot out and has slayed the ATS and the new IS.

The 4 cylinder is not the problem with the F30.
In this article, it is. In their own words "So far, it's a toss-up. But then we come to the engine". It's a major problem for these guys - but then sometimes I get the feeling they *want* to complain about it for the shock factor of saying the older car is better.

Just saying that for these guys, a 335i comparison might have yielded different results, but that's probably exactly why they didn't do it. Concluding that a new car is better than an old one is hardly ground-breaking news.
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      07-05-2013, 10:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinonz View Post
Really, it's E90 328i vs F30 328i - not E90 vs F30. One of their biggest complaints was the 4 cylinder engine - which is wiped out in a 335i comparison.
The F30 steering and handling is the universal complaint about this car. It affects the 335 more than the 328-but BOTH none the less.

The 328, the 4 cylinder in overall press, more times than not it is heralded and is the most competitive drivetrain in it's class. It came out #1 in a 7-8 car shoot out and has slayed the ATS and the new IS.

The 4 cylinder is not the problem with the F30.
I have to agree. The 4 cylinder is not an issue whatsoever. After having driven the E9x 328i and the F30 328i I would take the F30 any day of the week. It's tough for me to take any car with sporty intentions that's matched by my N55 5000lb SUV in the quarter. Unfortunately the E90 328 fails in that regard
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      07-05-2013, 10:18 AM   #16
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Quote:
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In this article, it is. In their own words "So far, it's a toss-up. But then we come to the engine". It's a major problem for these guys - but then sometimes I get the feeling they *want* to complain about it for the shock factor of saying the older car is better.

Just saying that for these guys, a 335i comparison might have yielded different results, but that's probably exactly why they didn't do it. Concluding that a new car is better than an old one is hardly ground-breaking news.
In the totality of say 30 reviews of all 328 and 335 F30s, the overwhelming majority rave about the N20.

If this test was E90 335 vs F30 335, it would be an even better head to head-they would not try and make it about the engine which is largely a failing point.

The N20 misses that great sound-I admit it. But it is FASTER, easier to tune/modify, and in the real world gets noticeably better fuel economy. The N20 is not the place to go in order to fly the flag that the E90 is better than the F30. In my view and many others, the N20 is the largest step forward from the E90. It's one of the main reasons I never put my money on a 328 before. It was always more of a car I would think of for my wife. The N20 bridged much of the gap to the N55 that the N52 never could.
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      07-05-2013, 10:26 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KORALLROT View Post
"Nope. Our decision was unanimous: We liked the old car better, if only by a slight margin. And later, when we hopped into a post-face-lift, Sport-package-equipped E90 328i, it was game over for the F30. No contest. "


Spot on.


I think the fact that they did not have a sport package e90 leaves room for subjectivity, but overall I agree with their conclusion. I still prefer the f30 design. By far. Everything else goes to the e90.


The f30 is still a formidable car. Very competent when compared to its competitors. Just not very competent when compared to its predecessors.

will have to disagree, on the street e90 328 cant get close to f30, in both straight line and in turns, e90 is a great car but f30 4t block is considerably better.
no tuning involved f30 looks and performs better, e90 was that in 2006...
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      07-05-2013, 10:51 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jamesons Viggen View Post
If this test was E90 335 vs F30 335, it would be an even better head to head-they would not try and make it about the engine which is largely a failing point.
Which is exactly what I said to begin with...
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      07-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #19
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In this article, it is. In their own words "So far, it's a toss-up. But then we come to the engine". It's a major problem for these guys - but then sometimes I get the feeling they *want* to complain about it for the shock factor of saying the older car is better.

Just saying that for these guys, a 335i comparison might have yielded different results, but that's probably exactly why they didn't do it. Concluding that a new car is better than an old one is hardly ground-breaking news.

Seeing how the E90 328i was always unremarkable and how every review ignored it over the 335i.... Yes this article was complete bullshit. Also Edmunds review and the Road and track contradict eachother over the numbers. Especially since R&T is claiming that on a roll out both cars have the same to 60 time (which makes no sense due to torque figures).

Again though these are the same guys who have spoke ill on cars because they didn't offer a manual option.
You can discount what I am about to say but it is true. Review Magazines tend to only hand out bad review like these when either the Manufacturer is not spending enough adverts from them or the manufacturer is unwilling to contest. They do not make money to give consumer advice.. they make money by selling adverts. Remember what Jay Leno said about why he didn't want to do topgear US. He said like all media the content will be slanted towards its advertisers and believe me when a mag perceives it isn't getting enough money from a manufacturer they will try to slam a product to effect sales so to "incentivize" the manufacturer's interests in the mag.

Shit article by a shitty C&D spin off. Also why don't we ever get a bio on the reviewers? Why do you trust the word of a guy who may not be trained enough to know what he is supposed to be looking for?

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      07-05-2013, 11:55 AM   #20
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What flies in the face of logic for me is the trashing of the N20s mpg. I think most would agree that if you can improve a cars performance while maintaining its fuel efficiency that would be a win win situation and very commendable in its own right. In this case BMW actually improved the mpg, and they are trashed for this. That's the one area that stood out to me the most. Otherwise they are entitled to their own opinion.
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      07-05-2013, 12:01 PM   #21
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What flies in the face of logic for me is the trashing of the N20s mpg. I think most would agree that if you can improve a cars performance while maintaining its fuel efficiency that would be a win win situation and very commendable in its own right. In this case BMW actually improved the mpg, and they are trashed for this. That's the one area that stood out to me the most. Otherwise they are entitled to their own opinion.
I also wondered how much "real world driving" they actually did. One lap round the block?

I don't think the economy in my F30 335i is much worse than my E90 328i was. I'm definitely using more gas, but that's because I'm finding more excuses to drive it somewhere
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      07-05-2013, 12:05 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 300hp View Post
What flies in the face of logic for me is the trashing of the N20s mpg. I think most would agree that if you can improve a cars performance while maintaining its fuel efficiency that would be a win win situation and very commendable in its own right. In this case BMW actually improved the mpg, and they are trashed for this. That's the one area that stood out to me the most. Otherwise they are entitled to their own opinion.
I also wondered how much "real world driving" they actually did. One lap round the block?

I don't think the economy in my F30 335i is much worse than my E90 328i was. I'm definitely using more gas, but that's because I'm finding more excuses to drive it somewhere
Maybe they were having more fun in the F30 and driving it hard. They got to the E90 and Sunday drove that thing on the track. Lol.

In all honesty that's one area they should have just let go, it's an objective measure, numbers don't lie. The subjective stuff is what they should have stuck with.
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