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      07-07-2012, 12:28 AM   #111
RPM90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnsbrae View Post
"Better software"

Fascinating. Makes you wonder why they would put better software on one car and worse software on another...

I feel such a fool for not noticing just how bad the standard automatic box was when I test drove it. What was I thinking about? What with the constant power interruptions and all. Tell me again - how much faster is the car with the sport auto?

And to think I could have seen the difference on YouTube.

Anyway, it's great to see how much you love your car and the choices you have made on the options list. Nothing wrong with a bit of enthusiasm.
I see what you did there.

I wouldn't call the sport AT software "better".
Simply, it has programming that allows for quicker shifts over the stanard AT. The faster shift programming likely comes into play in DS mode and likely during full manual mode.

Shift times for the standard AT I haven't found.
I have found specs for the sport AT describing the faster shifts.
Single gear up shifts 200 milliseconds. As fast as DCT.
Down shifts can occur in 100 milliseconds, faster than DCT.
Plus, sport AT allow for non sequential down shifts, so you can go from 6th to 3rd without having to shift down to 5th, then 4th, then 3rd.
That's another benefit over DCT, which has to do some sequential down shifts.

I'll post if I can find information on the standard AT.
It too is a great AT as it's really the SAME AT. The difference being shift times.

According to the new accel specs listed on BMW's website, the AT 0-60 has improved by .3 seconds for the 335i AT, and .1 for 328i AT.
Not sure why this happened as no power increase has been shown.
Maybe, they tested the sport AT this time and used the standard AT before? Can't be sure. We need more info to know why accel has improved for the AT.
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      07-07-2012, 02:41 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
I see what you did there.

I wouldn't call the sport AT software "better".
Simply, it has programming that allows for quicker shifts over the stanard AT. The faster shift programming likely comes into play in DS mode and likely during full manual mode.

Shift times for the standard AT I haven't found.
I have found specs for the sport AT describing the faster shifts.
Single gear up shifts 200 milliseconds. As fast as DCT.
Down shifts can occur in 100 milliseconds, faster than DCT.
Plus, sport AT allow for non sequential down shifts, so you can go from 6th to 3rd without having to shift down to 5th, then 4th, then 3rd.
That's another benefit over DCT, which has to do some sequential down shifts.

I'll post if I can find information on the standard AT.
It too is a great AT as it's really the SAME AT. The difference being shift times.

According to the new accel specs listed on BMW's website, the AT 0-60 has improved by .3 seconds for the 335i AT, and .1 for 328i AT.
Not sure why this happened as no power increase has been shown.
Maybe, they tested the sport AT this time and used the standard AT before? Can't be sure. We need more info to know why accel has improved for the AT.
Thanks RPM90 - great post.

I've decided to go with the sports automatic on the basis of rational, thought out advice like yours.

An earlier poster tried to polarise the debate by saying the standard automatic is poor, which is just plain wrong.
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      07-07-2012, 09:46 AM   #113
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Isn't the issue around the 200-milliseconds change time? Does that mean the standard box uses slower times, or even the sport uses slower times in drive mode?

ZF use the '200-milliseconds' in most of their media and technical data. But when we read that someone like Landrover boast a 200-millisecond change time in a Discovery, it sort of knocks the faster 'sport' change idea a bit sideways.

Alpina on the other hand emphasis the software development and engine management strategy for the ZF 8-speed, for how they achieve fast change times. Even adapting cylinder fuelling and not retarding timing to enhance the gear change time.

Step back a bit and Alpina were able to get much better change characteristics out of the ZF HP 5-speed box for their Switchtronic with software programming and engine management, compared to how BMW used the 5-speed in steptronic mode.

Personally I don't think it is all about how fast the box will mechanically change or block change, but at least partly on how it is managed.

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      07-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #114
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I've added more photo's from this evening. These can be found at the end of my first and last post on the 1st page of this thread.

I've also added more video's, which is the frequently asked for 328i 0-60mph and a comparison to my E90 330d doing the same. These are on the first post, in the Performance section.
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      07-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevefoster View Post
Here's a review I wrote for the E90 forum. Over-all a great car.

Not really an apples-apples comparison since mine is an E92 335iMT and the car I had for the day was an F30 328i sedan automatic. That said, here's what I find:
Engine--the N20 pulls well and the car is adequately quick, linear and smooth. Those who say it's about the same as an N55 are just silly.
Definitely not "the same" as the N55. But the N20 is much closer to the N55 than to ... whatever engine the E90 328 had, I can't keep track anymore. To me, the low-end sixes were always way too weak, and it's what kept me from considering the Touring in the past.. too little engine, too much weight. The N20 has solved the 'crappy low-end engine' problem, entirely. I'm highly impressed that a big-ass sedan with a 4-banger and a slushbox would give my M Coupe a run for its money, 13 year old car or not.
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      07-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #116
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Wow, only just seen this. Congrats on the car, so pleased that (a) you finally have it, and (b) that you're loving it!

Outstanding review and pics too, what a stunner!

Just passed the 1,200 mark in my 320d (I don't do a lot of miles) and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said here.

Happy driving!

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      07-08-2012, 07:28 PM   #117
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Great review and pics! Thanks for taking the time to do the write-up.

I've a couple of questions:

1) Black panel display - what actually is this and whats the difference between this and standard?

2) The Sport Display where it shows 2 dials for power and torque - this is an option? If so which one? Or is it standard on all F30's?

3) I see the M Sport range now has an optional "M Sport braking system" upgrade. Could you see any point in wanting to upgrade the brakes? How good are the standard brakes?


I was a little bemused by your following comment:
"I also got my favorite Bridgestone Potenza's back"
Are you serious? You must be the only person I've heard of that likes these tyres! LOL!!

Thanks.
Andy
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      07-08-2012, 11:55 PM   #118
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM90 View Post
I see what you did there.

I wouldn't call the sport AT software "better".
Simply, it has programming that allows for quicker shifts over the stanard AT. The faster shift programming likely comes into play in DS mode and likely during full manual mode.

Shift times for the standard AT I haven't found.
I have found specs for the sport AT describing the faster shifts.
Single gear up shifts 200 milliseconds. As fast as DCT.
Down shifts can occur in 100 milliseconds, faster than DCT.
Plus, sport AT allow for non sequential down shifts, so you can go from 6th to 3rd without having to shift down to 5th, then 4th, then 3rd.
That's another benefit over DCT, which has to do some sequential down shifts.

I'll post if I can find information on the standard AT.
It too is a great AT as it's really the SAME AT. The difference being shift times.

According to the new accel specs listed on BMW's website, the AT 0-60 has improved by .3 seconds for the 335i AT, and .1 for 328i AT.
Not sure why this happened as no power increase has been shown.
Maybe, they tested the sport AT this time and used the standard AT before? Can't be sure. We need more info to know why accel has improved for the AT.
Quite curious here, just for getting a better understanding on what the transmission technologies are capable these days...

So this AT and Sports AT available now are both traditional type automatic gearbox? What I mean is that it is not one of those "automated manual gearbox" (SMG, DCT, etc.), is that true?

I am quite amazed that a traditional type automatic box is as fast at upshift as DCT and even faster at downshift as DCT. Also how exactly does the Sports AT allow for direct downshift for example from 6th to 3rd?

I hope the key to all that is that it is not of the traditional type of automatic box underneath please share any technical info on that if available.
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      07-09-2012, 12:51 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnombe View Post
I hope the key to all that is that it is not of the traditional type of automatic box underneath please share any technical info on that if available.
It is a "traditional automatic" but with so ZF new age magic.
Here is a link for more information, video and pictures.
http://www.zf.com/corporate/en/produ...nsmission.html
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      07-09-2012, 11:35 PM   #120
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenwelch View Post
It is a "traditional automatic" but with so ZF new age magic.
Here is a link for more information, video and pictures.
http://www.zf.com/corporate/en/produ...nsmission.html
Cool!! Thanks for the link. Just watched its animation video, you are right calling it ZF new age magic
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      07-10-2012, 05:05 AM   #121
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Great review!!!

I been driving a 328i loaner car and I have to say I am very very impressed!!!!!!
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      07-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceBarin View Post
Wow, only just seen this. Congrats on the car, so pleased that (a) you finally have it, and (b) that you're loving it!

Outstanding review and pics too, what a stunner!

Just passed the 1,200 mark in my 320d (I don't do a lot of miles) and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said here.

Happy driving!

Cheers!

I'm waiting for your review now! I think you should rub in just how good the 20d is to the Yanks on here
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      07-12-2012, 11:54 AM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dopper99 View Post
Great review and pics! Thanks for taking the time to do the write-up.

I've a couple of questions:

1) Black panel display - what actually is this and whats the difference between this and standard?

2) The Sport Display where it shows 2 dials for power and torque - this is an option? If so which one? Or is it standard on all F30's?

3) I see the M Sport range now has an optional "M Sport braking system" upgrade. Could you see any point in wanting to upgrade the brakes? How good are the standard brakes?


I was a little bemused by your following comment:
"I also got my favorite Bridgestone Potenza's back"
Are you serious? You must be the only person I've heard of that likes these tyres! LOL!!

Thanks.
Andy
The black panel display just looks more aesthetically pleasing, is capable of displaying more things and colours and allows navigation directions to be shown on it, change music on it, telephone stuff, and cool animations of the car and the Efficient Dyanmics MPG thingy and it just finishes off the car really nicely if you go for Navigation Professional. Without it, it looks more like the instruments in the E90, with the live MPG needle.

The Sport Display is only available with the widescreen iDrive, so F30's equipped with Navigation Professional.

Yes I've seen that too, but I think the standard brakes are great. On the 328i in the UK, you get bigger brakes than the 320d and < so it... stops..hard. Some have complained they feel mushy and others have said they aren't progressive enough due to energy regeneration harvesting so they can be quite snatchy, but I think they feel really quite good and not too dissimilar to my 330d. Personally, I wouldn't upgrade to the M Sport braking system unless I plan to take the car to the track on a fairly frequent basis.

Haha, I certainly prefer them to the Pirelli's I had on my 330d! They were noisy!
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      07-12-2012, 04:04 PM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SomeRandomer123 View Post
The black panel display just looks more aesthetically pleasing, is capable of displaying more things and colours and allows navigation directions to be shown on it, change music on it, telephone stuff, and cool animations of the car and the Efficient Dyanmics MPG thingy and it just finishes off the car really nicely if you go for Navigation Professional. Without it, it looks more like the instruments in the E90, with the live MPG needle.

The Sport Display is only available with the widescreen iDrive, so F30's equipped with Navigation Professional.

Yes I've seen that too, but I think the standard brakes are great. On the 328i in the UK, you get bigger brakes than the 320d and < so it... stops..hard. Some have complained they feel mushy and others have said they aren't progressive enough due to energy regeneration harvesting so they can be quite snatchy, but I think they feel really quite good and not too dissimilar to my 330d. Personally, I wouldn't upgrade to the M Sport braking system unless I plan to take the car to the track on a fairly frequent basis.

Haha, I certainly prefer them to the Pirelli's I had on my 330d! They were noisy!
Thanks for that.
The black panel thing sounds like a great idea - if only to get rid of the damn live MPG needle! I find it pointless in my car - especially where something more useful could go in its place.

With regards to the brakes, yes I would imagine they are similar to the E90 330d - being similar power output. Out of interest they upgraded the E90 330d when the LCI came out to be the same brakes as the 335i/335d. Would be interesting if the 328i had the same size brakes.
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      07-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #125
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Impressive. Good work!
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      08-07-2012, 11:04 AM   #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dopper99 View Post
Thanks for that.
The black panel thing sounds like a great idea - if only to get rid of the damn live MPG needle! I find it pointless in my car - especially where something more useful could go in its place.

With regards to the brakes, yes I would imagine they are similar to the E90 330d - being similar power output. Out of interest they upgraded the E90 330d when the LCI came out to be the same brakes as the 335i/335d. Would be interesting if the 328i had the same size brakes.
Yeah it would, I'm not sure what the figures for the brakes are on either car.
I quite liked the MPG needle in my 330d because it spent most of its time in the high figures. This meant I didn't feel as guilty when I put my foot down!
The 330d was certainly more encouraging I think to go... Mind you, MT to AT might have a play in that.
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      08-07-2012, 11:11 AM   #127
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I have 3 new opinions!

1) The economy isn't as great as I was expecting. At 3500mls now, it stays inbetween 36-40mpg which yes, could be worse but I wanted to see 38-44 ideally.

2) I don't dislike the engine sound by any stretch of the means, but I prefer my late 330d's sublime soundtrack.

3) Someone asked me which car did I feel was most "punchy". I struggled with this once but I said the 328i just had the edge. And well, it does, it is a little faster than my 330d and that's an end of it really. However, punchy? It is when you go WOT in optimum (lowest) gear (which the 8AT does very well) but I think I'm going to have to change my mind because the 330d with all that torque (and the same BHP output) just hit you harder. It FELT quicker and really punched you into your seat.
So, for the most "punchy", my departed E90 LCI 330d wins.

Love my 328i though, it's by far the best car I have ever owned or even experienced! The tech is awesome.

I do miss my 330d though . If I had the cash, I would've bought it outright at the end of the lease contract.
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      08-08-2012, 02:55 PM   #128
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Building a BMW requires a lot of self control not to tick every option available. This is particularly bad when packages are $5,000 and there are a dozen a la carte options starting at $500. It ranks pretty high up on the list of worst first world problems
"It ranks pretty high up on the list of worst first world problems"

One of the wittiest comments I've heard about BMW options
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      08-18-2012, 07:43 PM   #129
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great review. i have almost the same specs + the gulf package since im living in the middle east.

driven mine 2500kms in over a month. all i can say is that the experience keeps getting better by the day.
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      07-29-2013, 03:51 PM   #130
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Awesome post! This will be my daily read until I get my new car
Do you know if all models with alarm has the panic button on the key?
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      08-26-2013, 11:45 AM   #131
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Interesting review and great pics!

Thank you!
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      09-16-2013, 04:49 AM   #132
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Cheers!
Thanks for the very extensive review, however I didn't notice any comments on noise level such as road and wind noise. Many owners including myself have excessive wind noise over 80 km/h in the b-pillar area. There is no known fix to date but apparently it is not an issue in all f30's. Can you comment?
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