Thread: Build week! :)
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      12-27-2012, 12:17 PM   #214
First Lieutenant
United Kingdom

Drives: 435d M Sport
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bristol

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
Hi guys, picked mine up this morning and covered a good few miles in it today, car was covered when I got there and I 'unveiled' it with the sales guy which was a nice touch, never had that before!

All I can say is what an absolutely phenomenal car. Easily the best car I have ever driven, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the engine. It is so quiet and refined, smooth, but with a nice throaty growl when giving it some. The run-in is almost irrelevant as there's so much power below 3500rom anyway! It's so effortless and with no delay, it just pulls and pulls. It's faster than I was expecting to be honest, going from my test drive; I think it will be easily on par with my old E92 335d.

The gearbox is, as others have said, sublime. Silky smooth, you just let it do its thing without worrying about it. And when in Sport mode, the shifts are so quick. Not as quick as in my 135 which had the DCT, but extremely quick (quick enough ).

I have the adaptive suspension, which is actually firmer in Comfort mode than I was expecting; though I'm very happy with it. It soaks up the bumps brilliantly and makes for a very soft and smooth drive, though never being 'boat-like’ or without control or with body roll, as you'd usually expect from soft suspension. Then it tightens up nicely when in Sport mode, you can definitely notice the difference between the two modes. And driving over bumpy roads and speed bumps etc in Comfort mode, you're hardly aware you're doing it; whereas in my 135i it would have been pretty shocking! You are still aware of most of the bumps (the 'not what I was expecting' part), but they're now just not an issue.

I actually like the steering in both modes. The steering is obviously quite light in Comfort mode, but it is still very precise and enjoyable to use; and it obviously weightens up nicely in Sport. I can say that after only a day of driving, I do not miss the hydraulic steering in my 135i

Brakes-wise I have the standard brakes, so not as much feel and bite as the 6-pot fixed calipers in my 135i (similar to the M Sport brakes), but they're still very nice to use, and perform excellently, progressively, and predictably. They just lack the sharp feel and initial bite, but to be honest I quite like that as they're a bit more relaxed, but still sure-footed and confidence-inspiring, just without that sometimes jerky feel you get with bigger brakes. I definitely don't regret not getting the M brakes.

Economy-wise I'm very pleased as I've got an average of 34mpg today which was 100% driving in quite heavy traffic in towns, and certainly not holding back too much on the way I drove; my 135i gives 21-22mpg in the same circumstances (which is most of our driving really), so I'm happy. I wanted 35 out of it compared to 22, so with only 10 miles on the clock, winter, and driving in the worst possible conditions, I'm happy with that, and it should only get better!

I love the colour as well, Mineral Grey doesn't show very accurately in pictures. In person, the colour has a lot more depth and body to it, it's a fantastic shade. Got a couple of comments from neighbours today who have never once commented on any of my BMWs before!

In terms of all the goodies:-

-new pro nav is fantastic. The speed of it, the new graphics and the transitions, are a big improvement; as is the new nav voice which is much more fluent now
-adaptive headlights are excellent, though all I've witnessed them doing so far is the cornering lights; high-beam assist also works flawlessly and is a very welcome feature to have
-head-up display is good, definitely worthwhile having and very useful, and not distracting at all; you just don't notice it's there unless you choose to look and refocus on it! Though I will say that it looks a bit blurred - not fully sharp - and sort of skews a bit so it never looks fully straight and sharp, also there is a blatant reflection of the projector in the windscreen that can obscure the top of the image if it's set a bit too high. Not sure if all of these are normal?
-Harman Kardon system is a definite improvement over the standard system; though as expected, it's heavily source-dependent. FM is just okay; while a good track on the USB stick sounds just great. It's not phenomenal - it lacks some detail and separation for me, and is a bit muddy and doesn't have quite the clarity and punch I was expecting; but I may just need to play around with the settings and also let it bed in a bit
-I'm very glad to have Comfort Access back, after having it in my 335d a couple of years ago. We also have electric seats, and my girlfriend often drives the car as well, so the way the seat automatically changes position when the car is unlocked (depending on which key is being used) is just great; and kicking your foot under the bumper to open the boot hands-free (works 100% once you get the knack) is a useful feature. Seating position in the sports seats (no lumber) is - as always - brilliant. The visibility in the car is also great.
-The Sun Protection Glass seems to be a lot darker than in the E82/E92, which I like.
-The quality of the interior is a huge step up. Everything is so solid and tactile, the materials used throughout are exceptional. It feels like a very expensive car, which hasn't always been the case with the 3 Series. BMW got the F30 SO right.
-The car also feels larger in both the front and the back. There's just the right amount of room in the front, and the armrests etc. and controls are all in just the right position (I have the sliding armrest as well, which definitely makes a difference in its front-most position). In the back, there's a lot of room for passengers to sit in comfort, as has already been tested today as we took my mum and dad out for a meal. The verdict was 'very comfortable indeed'.

I got the 18" wheels as I prefer the style of them to the 19s, and also I wanted to be able to use my 18" winter tyres with the new car and not have to buy any new ones. From pictures I'd seen, I was a bit concerned that they would look too small, and that there'd be a larger gap in the wheel arch (particularly at the front) than I was used to. But I shouldn't have worried: the wheels looks stunning on the car, and the wheel arch gap is just fine. The tyres are quite high profile though (higher than I've ever had on my BMWs), but I guess that all adds to the ride comfort.

The car came with Continental ContiSport Contact tyres (18") - not sure if that's good or not?!

The car feels a very special place to be in, and is just fantastic to drive. It's leagues ahead of my E92 and E82 in terms of refinement and the quality of everything; it is such a different car, BMW have done something very special with the F30!

Looking forward to putting some more miles on it over the weekend, and I will make sure to take some pics

The car had a bit of a scratch on the passenger wing mirror which I noticed when picking it up, so the dealer has offered to swap the part (just the black trim on the mirror) when I'm next in. I also have a guy coming to do a full day's detail on it next week, and to seal/wax it etc.; the car isn't too bad - just the odd swirl that I have seen so far - but there are some issues with I think either polish or wax on the paint that hasn't been applied properly, so he'll have a bit of work to do, but it could certainly have been a lot worse

Thanks for everyone's help on here getting me through the wait, couldn't have done it without you
Hi Mark,

Great to hear you love the car. I've only just found your post on this - makes me look a bit daft, as I posted a very similar mini-review in my own thread. Looks like we've got pretty similar views.

You're right about the power. I went for the hard break-in approach, so my car has had full throttle and full revs (only when fully warm of course) and it's then that it really impresses. I've spent a fair bit of time in my mate's E92 335d and I've been very surprised to find the F30 is quicker in most situations.

With you on the steering - takes a bit to get used to the lack of weight, but the precision is superb and the feel is there when you need it.

You'll be grinning from ear to ear when you can floor it in sport and hang on for the ride all the way. It's properly quick then.

Cheers & good luck with the car