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    1. Member
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      06-08-2020 07:33 PM #1
      Insurance repairs on a family vehicle resulted in a new 3 series ending up in my driveway. I have a busy week of work ahead of me which takes me on the road, so I'll be putting a solid 500+ miles on this car this week alone. The Regal is getting a rest.

      When this car was announced, I was still car shopping so I was watching reviews of this car which made it seem like a return to form for BMW and a class leader. I just don't see it. So far, I've put about 50 miles on it and I hate it. My initial impressions are thus:

      Pros:
      -Handling. The car is so composed and the body control is excellent, especially compared to my boaty Buick.
      -Acceleration is strong for a 2.0T. Car pulls very well thanks to huge torque, excellent gearing and great power curve. Way better than my Buick with similar horsepower figures.
      -NVH is outstanding for an entry level luxury car. I was expecting more road noise with such little sidewall and relatively sport oriented tires.

      Meh:
      -Seats are comfy with plenty of adjustment but after ten minutes or so, I find myself needing to shift my weight due to lack of support. Hoping it's an adjustment issue, but let's see.
      -Infotainment is counter-intuitive, but thorough. If I get used to it after a week, I'll call it a pro. If not, as a tech savvy guy, I'm moving this to con.

      Con:
      -The interior is cramped. The door panels have bottle holders that are constantly pressing against my leg while I drive and driving me nuts. It's just claustrophobic. I've driven an ATS and A4 and didn't feel this cramped up front.
      -The ride is too harsh for a non-sport package car. If it were me, I'd probably spring for adaptive dampers if there was a softer setting. Otherwise, this would be a deal breaker. It's just a bit too much. My 2016 CTS felt as sprightly in the corners but still plenty supple for around town driving. I think BMW could still have this car corner nearly as well with a little more slack built in for crappy roads like we have in NJ.
      -The interior is cheap. The change drawer by the driver's left knee is already broken after 10k miles. The console lid mechanism in front of the shifter is already showing like it is close to giving up also. There are some hard plastics around which, as a GM fanboi, doesn't bother me, but figured I'd note.
      -Visibility out the back is non-existent. Headrests block almost the entire rear window.
      -Most notably, the steering is just impossible to get used to. It firms up too much and too quickly when hard cornering. It's not fluid or natural at all. Also, the car wanders too much on the highway. I can't seem to keep it centered in lane. I kept getting stared at by other motorists who figured I was drunk or texting, but it really was just a matter of my corrections keeping the car centered.

      So as I still have many miles to put on this car, I'd like to know from TCL, is it me or is it the car? What am I missing here? How is this car considered the benchmark, yet I almost can't wait to get back to my vanilla old Buick?

      Rule #1 (not the same car, but similar spec):

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    3. 06-08-2020 07:38 PM #2
      New BMWs aren't ultimate driving machines.

      Sent from my moto using Tapatalk

    4. Member Shmi's Avatar
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      06-08-2020 07:46 PM #3
      Quote Originally Posted by qwikz28 View Post
      is it me or is it the car?
      I had more or less the same list of pros/cons as you when I had that same model as a loaner a few months back, the biggest difference being I thought the ride quality was fine, but meh. Door panels digging into my legs were a huge turnoff. At least the handling and power were pretty darn good though. I had the same issue with the steering, from the weight down to the centering on the highway. Seems like I had to fiddle a lot more with the steering wheel to stay centered than any of my other cars, even those with quick steering. Camber issue? Negative camber would account for the excellent cornering feel/grip but might make it wander in a straight line. Just a guess.
      Last edited by Shmi; 06-08-2020 at 07:55 PM.
      ಠ_ಠ

    5. Senior Member chucchinchilla's Avatar
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      06-08-2020 08:09 PM #4
      I rented a 330i in Dallas back in February. Overall it's a good car but not a great or lovable car, especially for almost $50K with options. Really just another sedan except it happens to have good acceleration.
      Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
      This forum is more and more of an embarrassment every day...

    6. Member VAB5's Avatar
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      06-08-2020 08:16 PM #5
      Tire choice and alignment make a huge difference. Since it's a loaner, it may be out of alignment, among other things.

      My wife has an F30. Ride with the stock Contis was meh. After those were spent I got some Michelins and an alignment, and it was transformative. She couldn't believe it.

      Same deal with my E46.

    7. Member mhjett's Avatar
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      06-08-2020 09:16 PM #6
      3-series hasn't been the benchmark for a while now...

    8. Member Nealric's Avatar
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      06-08-2020 09:31 PM #7
      They’ve changed their tag line. Now, it’s “The ultimate leasing machine.”

    9. Member
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      06-08-2020 09:46 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by mhjett View Post
      3-series hasn't been the benchmark for a while now...
      The reviews I watch seem to talk about it like it's second to none. Chris Harris and TheSmokingTire come to mind.

      What is the benchmark for the segment now? Tesla Model 3?

    10. Member DrewSXR's Avatar
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      06-09-2020 12:56 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by qwikz28 View Post
      The reviews I watch seem to talk about it like it's second to none. Chris Harris and TheSmokingTire come to mind.

      What is the benchmark for the segment now? Tesla Model 3?
      Alfa Romeo Giulia is the benchmark. It keeps getting better and better. Especially the 2020 refresh.

    11. Member KevinC's Avatar
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      06-09-2020 02:32 AM #10
      I ASSume they're still putting runflats on these things? If so - there's your ride harshness explained.

      I remember when BMW first starting using runflats, when the E90 3-series came out. "Engineered for runflats" they claimed of the suspension. What a load of marketing dept malarkey. This "engineering" was merely softer bushings to try to mask some of the harshness the ultra-stiff sidewalls produced. Just what everyone wants on a car that's supposed to be renowned for handling prowess.

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    12. Member
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      06-09-2020 06:09 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by DrewSXR View Post
      Alfa Romeo Giulia is the benchmark. It keeps getting better and better. Especially the 2020 refresh.
      It is?

      https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...020-volvo-s60/

      They break it down pretty simply if you want a 330i equipped as a sports sedan in the most inexpensive manner:

      If the broad strokes of the car’s behavior are familiar, though, so too are the complaints about BMW’s pricing. But by equipping the 330i with just the $2450 Track Handling package and the $5000 M Sport pack, you’d have a dynamically identical car for $48,695.
      Last edited by ND40oz; 06-09-2020 at 06:13 AM.
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    13. Member
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      06-09-2020 08:36 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by VAB5 View Post
      Since it's a loaner, it may be out of alignment, among other things.
      That's what it sounds like to me, my guess is that toe is out. Also, with all of these active steering assist type things, I'll bet that if someone without BMW diagnostic tools aligned the car and didn't recalibrate the steering sensor, it would make the assist ramp act all funky. I know that starting with the F-series cars, the dealer has to do some sort of coding during the alignment process.

      I wonder if you could take it to a BMW dealership for a warrantly alignment and get a loaner for your loaner?

    14. 06-09-2020 09:17 AM #13
      i have rented more than a few of these and have had similar complaints about them. Honestly the steering in my 80's 3 series (I owned a couple) was more communicative than the cars I am renting. And the inventors of run flats should be shot....but thats a rant for another day.

    15. Member
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      06-09-2020 09:29 AM #14
      I found the artificially heavy weighted steering on the 330i awkward. It almost seemed like BMW overcorrected after making the F30 so uncommunicative compared to past models, so they unsuccessfully tried to imitate old school hydraulic steering racks. Otherwise, I liked the car quite a bit.

    16. 06-09-2020 09:34 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      It is?

      https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...020-volvo-s60/

      They break it down pretty simply if you want a 330i equipped as a sports sedan in the most inexpensive manner:

      Do you still get the "privilege" of paying $475 for a split-folding rear seat?

      I think the new 3 is one of BMW's better looking exterior designs, but the interior is still meh and the price gouging and size inflation is meh.

    17. Member
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      06-09-2020 09:39 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
      So like $48k for poverty spec?

      Do you still get the "privilege" of paying $475 for a split-folding rear seat?
      Kind of the exact opposite of poverty spec if it has 7k+ worth of options, no?

      I thought the 40/20/40 folding seat was standard now.
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    18. Moderator Oliver@triplezoom's Avatar
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      06-09-2020 10:16 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
      Do you still get the "privilege" of paying $475 for a split-folding rear seat?
      It's crazy how long BMW got away with charging that much for a feature that was standard in my dad's 1983 Mazda GLC.

    19. Member
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      06-09-2020 10:33 AM #18
      Update:

      Infotainment froze on me this morning and I finally realized the lumbar support was on its highest and most protruding setting. That improved comfort but caused me to have to drive in today without a radio for a chunk of the trip.

      It's just not something I would want to drive. I did test drive the Guilia too which I would take in a heartbeat over the 330i, but since I drive over 20k miles per year, I would need to own and not lease which is suicide with an Alfa, I'm told.

    20. Member GTijoejoe's Avatar
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      06-09-2020 10:40 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by philf1fan2 View Post
      New BMWs aren't ultimate driving machines.

      Sent from my moto using Tapatalk
      Y'all don't say that!!





      One thing I do give BMW credit... they typically look pretty good (and then 4 series is released lol)
      2.0T+034efi+meth = 300+whp = RIP

      Quote Originally Posted by Ryukein View Post
      Everyone always praises function over form until the form is something that they don't like

    21. 06-09-2020 10:52 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      Kind of the exact opposite of poverty spec if it has 7k+ worth of options, no?

      I thought the 40/20/40 folding seat was standard now.
      I mean it's two packages, and without looking, I'll assume neither really have any amenities. So you're talking about a car that might not even have an auto dimming rearview mirror or heated seats? Again too lazy to look and maybe those things are standard now, but in terms of amenities it's still spartan compared to what options are available since that's $7k in performance options, and it's basically $7k you need to pay for just to get an acceptable driving machine.

    22. Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      06-09-2020 10:58 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by ND40oz View Post
      It is?

      https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...020-volvo-s60/

      They break it down pretty simply if you want a 330i equipped as a sports sedan in the most inexpensive manner:
      Well, they also said:

      Quote Originally Posted by Car and Driver
      The Giulia feels deft and agile in a pure, joyful way that none of the other cars here come close to replicating. This is the modern sports sedan.
      I'd say the 3-series remains the most well rounded,, but the Alfa is still the quintessential [compromised] sports sedan.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

    23. Member TurboREX's Avatar
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      06-09-2020 11:08 AM #22
      I dont think you should be considering a base spec model as the benchmark since cost savings is usually the focus of those models to make them appeal to more buyers. You might have a completely different opinion in a 340.

    24. 06-09-2020 11:08 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by qwikz28 View Post

      It's just not something I would want to drive. I did test drive the Guilia too which I would take in a heartbeat over the 330i, but since I drive over 20k miles per year, I would need to own and not lease which is suicide with an Alfa, I'm told.
      There is a Alfa dealership next to our corporate office that I occasionally have to go visit. For a dealership that really doesn't sell a LOT of cars it sure has a LOT of cars in the service lot.

    25. Member
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      06-09-2020 11:08 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
      I mean it's two packages, and without looking, I'll assume neither really have any amenities. So you're talking about a car that might not even have an auto dimming rearview mirror or heated seats? Again too lazy to look and maybe those things are standard now, but in terms of amenities it's still spartan compared to what options are available since that's $7k in performance options, and it's basically $7k you need to pay for just to get an acceptable driving machine.
      I just grabbed the 2021 guide to check what it includes, pricing has been lowered on the ZMP to $3800 and now the adaptive suspension is a $700 option in it. ZMP also includes ZCV, the Convenience Package. So you get:

      ZCV Convenience Package

      322 Comfort Access keyless entry
      488 Lumbar support
      4UR Ambient Lighting

      ZMP M Sport Package

      1PM 19" M Double-spoke bi-color jet black wheels, style 791M with all-season rft
      (19x8.0, 225/40 R19)
      or 1PL 19" M Double-spoke bi-color jet black wheels, style 791M w/performance rft
      (19x8.0, 225/40 R19 front and 19x8.5, 255/35 R19 rear)
      or 1PP 19" M Double-spoke jet black wheels, style 791M w/performance rft
      (19x8.0, 225/40 R19 front and 19x8.5, 255/35 R19 rear)
      or 1PR 19" M Double-spoke jet black wheels, style 791M with all-season run-flat
      tire
      (19x8.0, 225/40 R19)
      or 1PU 19" Double-spoke bi-color orbit grey wheels, style 793i w/all-season rft
      (19x8.0, 225/40 R19)
      2VL Variable sport steering
      337 M Sport Package
      3DZ Without Lines designation outside 4AW SensaTec Dashboard
      4KK Aluminum Tetragon trim
      or 4KA Open Pore Fine Wood Oak Grain trim
      or 4KB Open Pore Fine Wood Maple trim
      or 4KC Fine Wood trim with Ash Grey-Brown high gloss or 4KL Aluminum trim with mesh effect
      5A1 LED Fog Lights
      704 M sport suspension
      or 2VF Adaptive M Suspension $700
      or ZDH Dynamic Handling Package $2450
      710 M steering wheel
      715 Aerodynamic kit
      760 Shadowline exterior trim
      The Dynamic Handling Package adds:

      ZDH Dynamic Handling Package

      1PN 19" M Double-spoke jet black wheels, style 791M w/high-performance non rft (19x8.0, 225/40 R19 front and 19x8.5, 255/35 R19 rear)
      or 1PL 19" M Double-spoke bi-color jet black wheels, style 791M w/performance rft (19x8.0, 225/40 R19 front and 19x8.5, 255/35 R19 rear)
      or 1PP 19" M Double-spoke jet black wheels, style 791M w/performance rft (19x8.0, 225/40 R19 front and 19x8.5, 255/35 R19 rear)
      2NH M Sport Brakes with Blue Calipers
      or 3M2 M Sport Brakes with Red Calipers
      2T4 M Sport Differential
      2VF Adaptive M Suspension
      So really, it's now $6250 for everything and you do get a lot of kit for the price. Just the M Sport Differential was $2630 on the F30 and it was a dealer installed part so tack on the install price to that.
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    26. Moderator Oliver@triplezoom's Avatar
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      06-09-2020 11:25 AM #25
      How many 330is are gonna be specced with that Dynamic Handling Package? I doubt you'll ever be able to find one on a lot.

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