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      06-22-2017, 10:49 PM   #1
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2011 E92 335i M Sport to 2017 F30 340i M Sport Review

I'm putting this together for people who are thinking about going from an E9X chassis to the F3X. And of course for us F3X owners who had an E9X in the past and want to reminisce.

I went from a 2011 E92 335i (My Garage) to a 2017 F30 340i. I've had the F30 for almost 2 months now, just under 2K miles driven. My E92 I had for 6 years. Both cars were manual transmission and had the M Sport package. I ordered and bought both cars new.

Two to Four doors:
What drove me to four doors from two - mainly the ingress/egress, which I thought was terrible on the E92. I didn't mind it originally, I was so enthralled with the car, but as the years went by I was increasingly annoyed. I also could not stand the E92 seatbelt caddy. I didn't like that my passengers always reached back before the thing brought the seatbelt forward, it was too slow to react. And when my passengers left the car, the seatbelt would always be draped around the side of the seat as opposed to over the top. The seatbelt caddy wouldn't grab the belt properly for the next passenger if it was left like that. Seems like a first-world whine fest, I know. But going to four doors eliminated all of those problems for me.

Build Quality
This seems to have been maintained. The dash material, upper door material, interior carpet, seat controls, window switches, and the like - is good enough for me. At least I have not noticed shortcuts yet vs the E92. My F30 has no rattles at all.

Interior/Seats
The headroom is better in the F30 than it was in the E92. I'm under 6 foot so I was OK in the E92, but when I had 6 foot+ people in the E92 they were darn near hitting the ceiling. Not a problem in the F30. However, I do wish the seats went a little lower in the F30, same as I did in the E92. I was hoping the seats would go as low as they did in the E90, but they don't. The lowest the seats go in the F30 is just low enough.
The sport seats in the F30 ... I don't have back problems of any kind, but I don't think the lower back support in the F30 sport seats is that great. I have leather and lumbar support. I didn't have leather or lumbar in my E92, and those seats were just better in terms of long-term comfort. I have to play with the lumbar support on drives over one hour to "fix" the pressure points on my lower back with the F30.
M sport steering wheel - is a great steering wheel, as was the one in the E92. I'm glad to see they eliminated the air recirculation button from the wheel in the F30. Never understood why that was on the wheel in the E92.

Climate control
The automatic climate control is a little conservative when it comes to A/C. If it's 90 degrees F or higher outside, it just doesn't get the car cool. I sit there sweating. I have to bump the vent button up to get more air to come out. The owner's manual actually says to aim the vents at your face, which I do, but ...I think the system should be more aggressive about cooling down the car. The climate control does seem quieter than it was in the E92 though.

Exterior Styling
I think the E92 LCI still holds its own, styling-wise. It was an awesome looking car with the M sport package. The F30 is a touch more modern, but not to the E92's discredit. I remember when the F30 came out, that I didn't like the hood line; on the E92 it went all the way to the headlights. I don't mind how the F30 is at all now, maybe it just took time.

Interior Styling
The F30 is miles ahead of the E92. When I look at the E92 now, it's just dated. Itís still not bad looking, but not modern. The F30 is classy and very BMW.

Audio
I had the Harman/Kardon audio in my E92, and now also in the F30. I think the system in the E92 was better. The F30 one sounds not as punchy, not as well controlled, has less bass, and the mids are really hard to tune and can be harsh to my ears. I've been using the settings here, which have helped, but I still don't enjoy the system as much as I did in the E92. At least the speaker grilles look cooler on the F30.

Engine
I had the N55 in my E92, and the B58 in this 340i. The B58 is superior in every way. It seems more responsive to throttle input, it's smoother, and pulls much harder into upper RPM range. And it sounds at least as good. So definitely a thumbs-up for the B58.

Headlights:
I have the adaptive LED lights on the F30. They are OK, not great. The E92's xenons seemed to reach farther, and seemed to have stronger light at the edge of their range, especially at the corners. The F30 LED tapers off a bit too soon. The adaptive feature seems more responsive on the F30, though.
The F30 auto highbeams works fine, but is kind of lame since it has to shut off the highbeams whenever a car is oncoming. I heard the European version of this is able to split the beam around the oncoming car.

Transmission
The clutch feels softer in the F30. Maybe it's me. I have a really hard time stalling the car, and I feel like I don't have to be as precise. My E92 was not as forgiving. I did have the "CDV" delete done on my E92, not sure if that's still a thing on the F30. Otherwise, the clutch travel, gear ratios all seem about the same.
I am disappointed by the lack of aftermarket SSKs for the F30 340i. The only one I can find is the BMS one and that looks like a ton of labor to install. I had the UUC SSK in my E92 and that was awesome. The F30 stock shifter is notchy enough, but doesn't feel as precise as the UUC SSK did in the E92. I may get the M performance shift knob to shorten the movement a bit and call it a day.
The auto rev-match ...lots of discussion on this here. I don't mind it at all. I sincerely wish there was a way to disable it totally, like Nissan had on the 370Z, so I could do my own thing sometimes. But the rev-match is a very nice feature and I'm not disappointed.

Handling/Ride
I did many track days with my E92, and took an F30 340i out on track at the BMW Performance Center (it had M sport/track package). The F30 handles itself just fine. The dynamics seem very similar to the E92. The F30 might feel a little heavier, but seems more "assisted" in everything it does, and so it doesn't seem to matter. Body roll is minimal enough.
The ride with the adaptive M suspension in the F30 is very good. It handles bumps with more control than the E92 M sport suspension. The E92 would stumble over bumps, which I didn't realize until I got the F30 with the adaptive dampers. Sport mode in the F30 can be a little too reactive over bumpy roads, but Comfort mode solves that.

Steering/Brakes
Steering - I am a fan of the electric steering in the F30. I am. Apparently BMW redid it for the F30 LCI, and I have to say it feels natural and communicative. No complaints whatsoever.
The M brakes with the track package are powerful and stop the car fine. They look a heck of a lot better than the unfinished calipers on the E92. I do notice some brake dust, though, whereas I had almost none with the E92's stock pads. There is also sometimes some squeal at low speed.

Miscellaneous:
--The owner's manual fits in the glovebox ...yay!
--The turn signal was more elegant in the E92, I thought. The F30 seems to have been Americanized in this regard, as it stays pushed in whichever direction you put it.
--Cruise control was also more elegant in the E92. One pull on the stalk, done. The F30 you have to turn it on and then set it.
--The LED indicator for the auto wipers is visible through the steering wheel now ...
--I'm ashamed to say the front cupholders in the F30 work great. The E92 they were a joke. I kind of miss them being a joke, because it showed the car was an "Ultimate Driving Machine" ...you were in there to drive.
--The paint color selection we have in the U.S. on the F30 is pretty unexciting. I have the Mineral Gray, which I like, but that's not to say I wouldn't have gone with a Le Mans Blue or some other unique color if it were available. I didn't want Estoril Blue after having Le Mans blue on my E92.
--They finally put some vents in the sunroof cover so you can have it tilted without having the cover opened an inch.
--I have the "extended instrument cluster contents" via the technology package on the F30. The speedometer "display" at the bottom is permanently black. Pretty ridiculous, why couldn't they make it show something?
--Can't put the windshield wipers up while cleaning the car ...have to stop the car with them up the windshield.
--Rear view camera. Iíve finally gotten used to this, the F30 is my first time having one, but still look over my shoulder anyway.

Anyways, there you have it. I like the 340i and am overall happy with the purchase. I have put some of the small M performance parts on already, like the pedals, and will probably do the M exhaust at some point (maybe the power kit). I'll see what the G30 LCI is like in a few years.

Some pics of my E92 and the F30 below.

F30 likes (relative to my E92):
-Interior styling
-Overall level of quality
-B58 engine
-Technology features
-Good ride and handling w/ the adaptive dampers

F30 dislikes:
-Sport seats lower back support needs work
-Harman Kardon audio system is not as good as it was in the E92

Charles
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      06-23-2017, 12:04 AM   #2
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Great unbiased review. As someone who was too young to have an E chassis car, it's nice to heat something besides the usual gripes.
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      06-23-2017, 12:15 AM   #3
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I liked that you called out the windshield wipers. I went from an E90 335i to an F30 335i and had a hard time believing that I couldn't raise the wiper blades. But I love my F30 more in so many other ways.
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      06-23-2017, 03:21 AM   #4
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i can't remember my last ride in an e90.... but i recently drove my friends e92 m3 again and the seating position is significantly higher than the f30. the f30 actually feels sportier in that regard.
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      06-23-2017, 08:27 AM   #5
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Nice job CJ421. Thanks for sharing.
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      06-23-2017, 08:37 AM   #6
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FYI there's a process to raise the wipers, ignition on and hold the stalk all the way up for 3 seconds
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      06-23-2017, 08:42 AM   #7
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Yes the a/c with its green eco-friendly refridgerant is.. well underpowered
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      06-23-2017, 12:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
i can't remember my last ride in an e90.... but i recently drove my friends e92 m3 again and the seating position is significantly higher than the f30. the f30 actually feels sportier in that regard.
I was going to say, my f30 gets way lower in regards to seat position than my e92. E92 feels like I am driving a truck.
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      06-23-2017, 04:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbanks21 View Post
FYI there's a process to raise the wipers, ignition on and hold the stalk all the way up for 3 seconds
Interesting. I did not know that.
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      06-23-2017, 06:59 PM   #10
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Great review and comments Charles! Coming from an E90 n55 335i, I am quickly learning to appreciate this very fine 340i!!!!
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      06-23-2017, 07:34 PM   #11
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nice review, interesting comparative. Love that Blue color on the 335. Good luck with the new 340
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      06-23-2017, 07:43 PM   #12
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Thanks for the review. Great color combo! Waiting for a '18 allocation, and not sure if I'll do MG again, or maybe EB (or Sunset Orange)?

The HK system is mediocre at best. Was hoping it was improved in the last few years (I have a '14). Seems tiring after a while, and harsh when cranked up (past 50% or so).

Lumbar support works well for me, set & forget. It's adjusted out pretty far. But I rarely spend more than an hour driving it.

Cheers!
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      06-23-2017, 08:06 PM   #13
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BTW, this thread is awesome for new F30 owners:
http://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=671526

It's where I learned how to raise the wipers.

Don't want to read 70 pages? Download the handy summary on the last page.
Props to Doublep !!
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      06-23-2017, 10:24 PM   #14
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Thanks guys, I'm glad you found the write-up helpful or interesting.
Quote:
Originally Posted by D's Bimmer View Post
Great review and comments Charles! Coming from an E90 n55 335i, I am quickly learning to appreciate this very fine 340i!!!!
You and I basically came from the same place ...the 340i is a step up in my estimation!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW11 View Post
nice review, interesting comparative. Love that Blue color on the 335. Good luck with the new 340
Thanks. I regretted letting the blue go.
Quote:
Originally Posted by otay View Post
Thanks for the review. Great color combo! Waiting for a '18 allocation, and not sure if I'll do MG again, or maybe EB (or Sunset Orange)?

The HK system is mediocre at best. Was hoping it was improved in the last few years (I have a '14). Seems tiring after a while, and harsh when cranked up (past 50% or so).

Lumbar support works well for me, set & forget. It's adjusted out pretty far. But I rarely spend more than an hour driving it.

Cheers!
You're welcome. Best of luck with your allocation. The '18s look like they are going to be very nice, especially with the digital dash and the M sport shadow edition.
I also wish the HK system was better. I guess I don't get why they messed with a good thing. But it's not terrible, and there was no upcharge for it.

Also thanks for the link to the guide!

Charles
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      06-24-2017, 10:33 PM   #15
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Nice write up, thanks!
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      06-24-2017, 10:58 PM   #16
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Can anyone confirm that steering was redone for LCI cars? I've heard different opinions, including that steering was redone on 14' and up, so pre-lci 14' cars have it too
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      06-25-2017, 02:30 AM   #17
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Great write up!
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      06-25-2017, 03:28 AM   #18
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I loved the look of my silver 2011 e92. It reminded me of the Aston Martin DB5 in the early James Bond movies. I'm currently driving a BSM 2014 435i... until Monday, when I pick up the MGM 2018 440i. The 435i has never felt as much *my* car as the 335i.. but the new one is the first I've ordered, as opposed to buying a new car off the dealer's lot, so I'm hoping for that connection.

Have to disagree with you about the seatbelt caddy and ingress/egress. Maybe I'm a bit taller, but the longer doors of the coupe agree with me more. A friend has an e90 and it's a little tight for me getting on and out... but he doesn't have an electric passenger seat, so there's less headroom than a power seat that's all the way down. I have a friend who's built like an NFL linebacker, 6'5" and 325 pounds of muscle, and he fits just fine in my car.

My wife and I have become so accustomed to the seat belt caddy that were both wait for it when we're in her Mercedes C300 coupe. We recently rode in a friend's Bentley Bentayga and it even has them in the back seat.
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      06-25-2017, 08:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
The turn signal was more elegant in the E92, I thought. The F30 seems to have been Americanized in this regard, as it stays pushed in whichever direction you put it.
Is this new for the LCI cars? My 2014 F30 always returns to the center after being pushed. Or perhaps I'm reading this wrong?
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      06-25-2017, 09:15 AM   #20
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Hi. Beautiful car. How is smooth is the ride in comfort mode on the 19in wheels?
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      06-25-2017, 09:47 AM   #21
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Nice review, beautiful car!

In regards to your climate control, try putting it on MAX for a few minutes when you get in your hot car until it cools down and you can go back to AUTO. I'm an 'always AUTO' guy, but I too find the f3X doesn't cool down quick enough on a hot humid day.

I miss the tilt out flocked door pockets on my e92s where things stayed put.
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      06-25-2017, 11:12 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteBeard View Post
Can anyone confirm that steering was redone for LCI cars? I've heard different opinions, including that steering was redone on 14' and up, so pre-lci 14' cars have it too
I read it here, see a little further down: "Redesigned electric power steering."
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlmesq View Post
I loved the look of my silver 2011 e92. It reminded me of the Aston Martin DB5 in the early James Bond movies. I'm currently driving a BSM 2014 435i... until Monday, when I pick up the MGM 2018 440i. The 435i has never felt as much *my* car as the 335i.. but the new one is the first I've ordered, as opposed to buying a new car off the dealer's lot, so I'm hoping for that connection.

Have to disagree with you about the seatbelt caddy and ingress/egress. Maybe I'm a bit taller, but the longer doors of the coupe agree with me more. A friend has an e90 and it's a little tight for me getting on and out... but he doesn't have an electric passenger seat, so there's less headroom than a power seat that's all the way down. I have a friend who's built like an NFL linebacker, 6'5" and 325 pounds of muscle, and he fits just fine in my car.

My wife and I have become so accustomed to the seat belt caddy that were both wait for it when we're in her Mercedes C300 coupe. We recently rode in a friend's Bentley Bentayga and it even has them in the back seat.
Yeah, might be because you're taller. I'm 5'9" and have the seat up further, getting in and out is probably tougher for that reason alone.
I think the E92 LCI will go down as a timeless BMW.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnecr View Post
Is this new for the LCI cars? My 2014 F30 always returns to the center after being pushed. Or perhaps I'm reading this wrong?
You can push the turn signal stalk until it hits its first stop point, that's the three-signal blinker for changing lanes, and it returns to center immediately.
To keep the turn signal on, you need to push it past the resistance point. It will stay in that position until you make the turn and are centering the wheel, then it will come back to center. In the E92, even if you pushed the turn signal past the resistance point, it returned the center immediately. I thought the E92 was more elegant in that regard. But the F30 turn signal stalk is of good quality regardless. It's a very minor difference but one I noticed right away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nealh View Post
Hi. Beautiful car. How is smooth is the ride in comfort mode on the 19in wheels?
Thanks. The ride suits me fine. The 19" RFT tire is not forgiving by nature, but the adaptive M suspension makes even larger bumps go smoothly. Broken pavement is generally not a problem either. The ride in Comfort isn't close to what I'd term harsh. Sport mode can move you around quite a bit, but the bump handling still isn't harsh. To me harsh is where you are unnerved by a bump, you feel the seat falling from under you after you go over a large bump, or a sharp jab when you go over a large bump...that is not what the adaptive M suspension is like. It always seems to keep the car in good contact with the road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrickem View Post
Nice review, beautiful car!

In regards to your climate control, try putting it on MAX for a few minutes when you get in your hot car until it cools down and you can go back to AUTO. I'm an 'always AUTO' guy, but I too find the f3X doesn't cool down quick enough on a hot humid day.

I miss the tilt out flocked door pockets on my e92s where things stayed put.
Thanks! I'll try that MAX button next time it's hot.
I was going to say something about the door pockets on the E92 ...the ones on the F30 seem to have a lot more capacity, even though they're fixed in position. I like the little fabric piece on the inside of the F30 door pocket that helps keep things in place.

Charles
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