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      09-26-2013, 02:33 PM   #1
puma1552
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320i owners

How are you liking the vehicle? Do you find it has adequate power? Do you regret your purchase at all?

I might get into a 320i (328i with options is too expensive) in the spring if the numbers work out. I figure my current car is 170hp/177tq and I don't think peak torque comes on until north of 3k RPMs, so the flat torque curve of the 320i should be plenty fine, since it also comes on much lower in the powerband.

I'd be looking at sport, lighting, moonroof, and heated seats as the only options.

My only gripe with the 320i is no HK option.

So how do you like it as a daily? I feel the 320i is probably underrepresented on this site being an enthusiast site, so I'm curious to gather impressions/owners in this thread to discuss their cars. I also feel like the 320i with sport is possibly one of BMW's best values.
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      09-26-2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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I'm absolutely loving it. The power is more than enough for me (it's the fastest car that I've ever owned) and I feel that the car is totally underrated.

The torque is the best part. The car pulls well from any gear and downshifting is really not necessary up hills. Additionally, putting it into sport mode really livens it up and it really does feel more responsive. I am always amazed with the power, especially from an entry-level sedan.

The ride is so compliant compared to the previous E90, so it's great as a DD.

The 320i here can be ordered with any option available, so it kinda sucks that you can't. If you're an audiophile, then an audio upgrade may benefit you since the stock sound is pretty bad. It doesn't bother me though since I only listen to the radio.
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      09-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #3
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Here is a short 320i review, which I've posted on here before, that may allay some of your fears:

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FIT for purpose: when a design is suitable for its intended use. It might sound like we’re damning the BMW 320i with faint praise when we apply this term to the entry-level 3 Series, but few cars can claim to be fit for purpose. A Mercedes-Benz S-Class definitely is. Toyota Hilux and Porsche 911? Yep. The 320i? Undoubtedly. And here’s why…
Where the bottom-rung petrol-powered 3 Series used to be the runt of the litter, the F30 320i surprised us with its performance during testing. The 180 kW/350 N.m 328i Sports Steptronic that we evaluated in May 2012 accelerated from 80 to 120 km/h in 4,72 seconds. This 320i, fitted with the same Sports Steptronic eight-speed automatic transmission, took only 5,58 seconds. It was never slower than 0,5 seconds in any of the 20 km/h in-gear acceleration increments than its pricier stablemate.
Furthermore, the 320i reached 100 km/h from a standstill in 8,11 seconds and felt even faster in the daily grind. BMW SA still offers model-designation deletion as a no-cost option. See where we’re going with this?
The 320i and 328i share the 2,0-litre turbopetrol four-cylinder engine. But without the weight of six-cylinder-equalling expectation that hindered the 328i in our test, the 320i’s use of this powerplant surprised all who experienced it.
The 2,0-litre retains the smoothness of the previous generation’s naturally aspirated version, but adds a wallop of low-down grunt and some welcome zing at the top end. Our sole criticism is that it still sounds like a diesel engine on start-up, but this soon disappears as the powerplant reaches operating temperature.
Our test vehicle was equipped with a number of dynamics-enhancing options, including Adaptive M running gear (which features adaptive damping and lowered suspension; R10 900), variable sport steering (R3 000) and 17-inch allow wheels (an inch larger than standard; part of the Sport Line package), which made objective evaluation difficult. However, judging by the favourable comments the 320i’s ride, steering and handling garnered from the test team, we’d advise potential buyers to consider these options.
In fact, the F30’s new-found rolling refinement remains the most significant improvement over the E90, a vehicle hampered by its stiff ride and relatively high levels of road noise. That BMW has managed to make these strides without negatively affecting its breadwinner’s poised, unflappable nature is deeply impressive.
Moving inside, we were relieved to find that this 3 Series, unlike the 328i Modern Line test unit with its bilious oyster-coloured trim, featured Sport Line specification.
Aside from a number of gloss-black trim items on the exterior, this package includes red trim strips (less garish than you’d think) and larger black surfaces, red accent stitching and sports seats complemented by a smaller steering wheel with a thicker rim. Despite the garnish and the glitzy infotainment screen that accompanies the best iteration yet of the iDrive system, it remains a classily conservative cabin that just misses a best-in-class gong because of some suspect material choices along the centre console and a slightly hollow sound when closing the doors.
We’ve yet to test a close-to-standard 3 Series, but the basic spec is sound (leather, auto lights and wipers, cruise and climate control are standard) and admittedly the numerous below-the-surface extras don’t add much to the occupants’ sense of well-being.
They will be grateful for the additional space compared with the E90, however. In all measurable planes, the F30 has improved, especially in rear-seat leg- and headroom. The boot is now larger and the shape more regular, but at 328 dm3 it is still bested by the Audi A4’s 376 dm3.
Test Summary
In the voting for our match-up section, every team member bar one picked the 320i over the equivalent Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Therefore, until we’ve tested a 320d (two CAR staffers have driven this model and commented unfavourably on its lack of mechanical refinement), there’s little doubt that the 320i is the best version of the new 3 Series and probably the best individual model in the premium D-segment.
This entry-level version provides strong performance, averaged just 6,9 litres/100 km on our fuel route, is refined, comfortable and sensibly priced in its segment. It does everything it needs to very, very well. Fit for purpose? We’d counter that the 320i is perfect for all its intended purposes.
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      09-26-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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As they say, it's usually more fun to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow.

As long as you don't have much expectations for straight line dominance (my car is a highway queen, so I appreciate the heft and power of the 335) then you could have a lot of fun throwing a 320i into the corners. And the ability to coax some easy power out of it with a tune isn't bad either.

My biggest gripe with the 320 (or the 3 series in general) is at the low end, you really don't get much for your money for a "luxury" car. You don't get the luxuries you'd find in any of the Japanese competitors for the same price, and you don't get the power you'd expect from a performance side, just the knowledge of "German engineering". I'm sure it's still going to be a huge volume seller for BMW though because the majority of people who aren't enthusiasts are going to say "I want a BMW and don't have a lot of money, that one will do".
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      09-26-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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I traded in my E60 550 for F30 320. I like the fact that it's nimble, sporty, and fuel efficient. Ride quality is very good too.

Power is enough for daily drive and with sports pkg, it's very fun to drive.

I had Logic 7 in my 550 and I found sound system in 320 is not bad at all.
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      09-26-2013, 06:28 PM   #6
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I was concerned (initially) about the power as well. It definitely seems a bit underrated, but it's still not fast. That being said, in the six weeks I've had it, there have only been a couple of times where I've encountered situations in which I consciously noted that it could have more power. For my day to day commute, its totally adequate. The power curve is such that you're not forced to constantly row through the gears to get around.

Sport package is a must, manual was a must (for me). If you're going to keep the car sparsely optioned, the 320i is great. Only thing I'd do differently is spec xenons instead of the enhanced Bluetooth package (but I scooped up a car in transit, so it wasn't my call, and isn't a big deal). If you're going to kit a 320i up with nav and whatnot, you're probably better off going for the 328i - it seems like there's a lot of random crap left off the 320i that the 328i has; stuff which you'd probably want if you're spending $40k on a car.

TL;DR: 320i is totally adequate if its a daily.
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      09-26-2013, 09:00 PM   #7
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I started my search with looking at the 328i xdrive but I found it to be just a little over my comfort level for the budget. So I purchased my 320i xdrive last week. I initially had the same thought as you to build one with sport package, headlights, and heated seats. However, the wiggle room off MSRP just wasn’t there for me. I found the below 320i as a 2013 “leftover” and they offered $5500 off MSRP which brought it down to $35,675 which I felt was a fabulous deal for the features. Yes, I do wish I had the headlight package & sport package, but after having the Premium package features I really don’t know how I would live without things like power seats, keyless entry, moon roof, and lumbar support. As far as the audio, I see a lot of gripes on this forum but I actually like it…

*

2013 BMW 320i Xdrive* Mineral Grey

Base MSRP* ******* $34,550

Minearal Grey*** $550

Black Leather**** $1,450

Premium PKG***** $3,200

Heated Seats***** $500

Destination******** $925

Total MSRP******* $41,175
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      09-26-2013, 11:01 PM   #8
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Contrary to your experience, after I had those premium pkg features, I found I don't really care about most of them. I specifically don't want moonroof since it cuts head room. Power seats are not useful to me since once adjusted, I never really touch it. I have to admit memory seats is kind of useful if 2 people drive the car regularly. I didn't need lumber support either since I ended up leave it flat to be most comfortable in my previous car (E60)

I want Sport pkg, manual transmission, Xenon lights. That's it. I wanted fold down seats but can live without it.
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      09-27-2013, 06:17 AM   #9
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I don't think you will be disappointed with your choice then.. I think the key is realistic expectations of performance especially based on your prior vehicles and what type of performance you are used to. For me I came from a car with far more HP & TQ but I wanted something with AWD for the ridiculous Wisconsin winters and adult styling (man I'm getting old...). I don't expect the 320i to outperform others in that price range as that is not why I purchased the vehicle.
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      09-27-2013, 09:12 AM   #10
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At age 61 and after 10 years of driving Porsches as week end toys, my 320 is a pleasure to drive, I was used to driving fast and did my share of track events but I found my F30 with the AT to be a real joy, I sometimes miss the power of my Cayman S but I am quickly getting used to this new - more relaxed - way of driving
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      09-27-2013, 09:57 AM   #11
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So, I think I might be able to give you the best comparison yet since you are currently driving a Jetta. We just bought a 320i for my wife last month and we're loving it so far. Here's the rundown of the two cars:

Her old car:

2011 Jetta SEL w/ Nav,Moonroof, Heated Seats, Manual Transmission

Monthly: $336 (12k/36 month lease)

New Car:

2013 320i w/ Sport, Lighting, Premium, Heated Seats, Enhanced BT & USB, 6sp MT

Monthly: $422 (12k/36 month lease)

Overall, the 320i is worlds better than the Jetta was. On the inside, it's so much more refined (obviously) and is better in every possible way. My wife absolutely loves it! The 320i has quite a bit more power than the Jetta SEL and it is very noticeable. I have been driving the Jetta as my daily for a couple months until my new car comes and it's brutally slow by comparison. The 320i is somewhat underpowered as BMWs go, however. My last car was a 2011 128i and it was a lot quicker than the 320i.

The handling on the 320i is way better than the Jetta (definitely get the Sport pkg). The xenons are SO MUCH BETTER than the Jetta's lights. It's like driving in the daylight.

The 320 looks really nice w/ the sports package and the 18" wheels look pretty rad in person. I wasn't a huge fan of them on the configurator, but they look awesome in person.

The missing HK sound isn't that noticable to me. I had HK in my 128i for 3 years and I can't really notice a big difference between the 320's stock sound. I'm sure if I had the windows up and a CD in, I could tell.. but I don't think it's a big concern.

As a replacement for the Jetta, the 320i is hard to beat for the price. You can save thousands compared to a 328i equipped with lighting and sport packages. If you decide to get the Premium Pkg on the 320i, you can close the equipment gap between the 328 even more. If you are used to faster cars than the Jetta, you may want to test drive the 320i to see if it feels too slow for you. It's faster than most normal cars, but it's not exactly quick.

Feel free to ask me any other questions and I'd be glad to help!
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      09-27-2013, 10:37 AM   #12
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FWIW: I loved this car when I test drove it!

I started out with a 30k budget for a brand new car with accord v6, GTI and Subaru legacy 3.6R in mind. After test drives, none of those cars gave the bmw feel. Legacy came closest, it had a great feel of its own, truly handles well.

Then test drove the 320i with sport package and almost put down the cash. Then fidgeted a lot between this and the base 328i. Drove them back to back and finally decided I wante the extra power in the 328i, even if that blew my budget away.

Then came back home and wished I had the sport package! If I'd gone for the 320i with sport package, if have had that. But then, I don't know if I'd have wished for 328i power then.. Haha

So IMHO it's a close call between base 328i and sports-package-equipped 320i. Both are GREAT cars and are superior to the fully-loaded Accord v6es of the world. Just my opinion.

Of course if you can afford it, 328i with sport is still better than both.
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      09-27-2013, 12:58 PM   #13
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I' m in the uk and ordered an f31 msport 320i. I came from a mk5 gti which is a little more powerful and also lighter so although I did have some concerns around performance these were largely unfounded.

I specced what is called the visibility pack here which Is essentially adaptive xenons with high beam assist. Would definitely recommend these if you are able to add them.

Overall I'm really pleased with it. It's acceptably quick in most normal driving situations and as previous posters have noted has a good amount of low down torque. Occasionally I have also felt that I needed extra power but as I've got used to the car and the way it performs it rarely bothers me now.

Funnily enough I only start thinking about extra power when I read the threads posted by the guys talking about their 330 & 335ds. In the uk I think the majority of 3 series will be diesal.

The other thing about the 320i is how refined the engine feels. If you haven't already had a go in one I definitely recommend getting a test drive. Mine is loosening up nicely now I've done a few miles and I have to say I love driving it.

Good luck with what you decide and let us know how it turns out.
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      10-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the replies, great input everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mntbiker View Post
So, I think I might be able to give you the best comparison yet since you are currently driving a Jetta. We just bought a 320i for my wife last month and we're loving it so far. Here's the rundown of the two cars:

Her old car:

2011 Jetta SEL w/ Nav,Moonroof, Heated Seats, Manual Transmission

Monthly: $336 (12k/36 month lease)

New Car:

2013 320i w/ Sport, Lighting, Premium, Heated Seats, Enhanced BT & USB, 6sp MT

Monthly: $422 (12k/36 month lease)

Overall, the 320i is worlds better than the Jetta was. On the inside, it's so much more refined (obviously) and is better in every possible way. My wife absolutely loves it! The 320i has quite a bit more power than the Jetta SEL and it is very noticeable. I have been driving the Jetta as my daily for a couple months until my new car comes and it's brutally slow by comparison. The 320i is somewhat underpowered as BMWs go, however. My last car was a 2011 128i and it was a lot quicker than the 320i.

The handling on the 320i is way better than the Jetta (definitely get the Sport pkg). The xenons are SO MUCH BETTER than the Jetta's lights. It's like driving in the daylight.

The 320 looks really nice w/ the sports package and the 18" wheels look pretty rad in person. I wasn't a huge fan of them on the configurator, but they look awesome in person.

The missing HK sound isn't that noticable to me. I had HK in my 128i for 3 years and I can't really notice a big difference between the 320's stock sound. I'm sure if I had the windows up and a CD in, I could tell.. but I don't think it's a big concern.

As a replacement for the Jetta, the 320i is hard to beat for the price. You can save thousands compared to a 328i equipped with lighting and sport packages. If you decide to get the Premium Pkg on the 320i, you can close the equipment gap between the 328 even more. If you are used to faster cars than the Jetta, you may want to test drive the 320i to see if it feels too slow for you. It's faster than most normal cars, but it's not exactly quick.

Feel free to ask me any other questions and I'd be glad to help!
Thanks for this, I definitely think there is no argument that the 320i is an overall upgrade from the Jetta, so I can't really lose if I go for the 320i I don't think.

When I bought my Jetta I went for as many posh features as I could get since it's a daily driver that I sit in traffic with and I put driving fun second since I never really push my car to the limit, and really I barely ever even push it past 3000-3500 RPMs. But I'm finding that maybe I should have put a little more emphasis on driving fun since I'm so bored with the Jetta, even just puttering around.

Looking up my Jetta's specs, peak torque isn't actually until north of 4,000 RPMs, so the flat torque curve alone for the 320i I would think would make that car feel loads faster than the Jetta, especially in the sub-3000 RPM range I'm usually in. While I have had cars faster than the 320i, again I seldom rung them out to the point I even really knew just how fast they were, and my old E36 325i I think was only rated for 170 hp anyway and I drove that for four years without complaining about power.

I also don't really care for the FWD understeer in the Jetta. I had my summer toy Camaro out today and the RWD handling was so refreshing.

I think I can live without some of the features in my Jetta, but loss of my great stereo with a subwoofer could be an issue so I'll have to see how it is on the 320i.
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      10-06-2013, 09:23 PM   #15
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I just hated the lack of M sport and some options not available like HK audio.
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      10-07-2013, 06:31 AM   #16
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320 is fine over in UK, all the options are available in all the models so its really just an engine choice - its also mid spec in UK, rather then bottom - it goes 316,320,328 etc
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      10-07-2013, 09:23 AM   #17
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As long as you set your expectations reasonably you'll be fine!
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