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      03-07-2013, 09:52 AM   #1
finnersj
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320i F31 M Sport Passive - Initial Thoughts

Well I ordered it off the page without a test drive (it was a great deal) and now it has arrived, my white 320i M Sport. My biggest worry was with the suspension. All the reviews say you MUST go for the adaptive M Sport suspension but they are not spending their own money. My car was ordered on a 2 year lease so any extras are expensive and I decided that I would rather save the £24 a month. I am a veteran of an E92 Coupé M Sport so I decided I could take it as I never thought it rode that badly although my rear seat passengers moaned incessantly! As it is I have nothing to worry about with a firm but comfortable ride that soaks up potholes and speed humps better than my previous car, a Volvo V60 R Type. The steering is sharp and positive and the handling feels responsive with the car seeming to shrink when you drive it. It is early days yet but I am very pleased with my decision and while I can offer no comparison with the active option I can confirm the passive M Sport suspension is a fine compromise. As someone who likes a firmer ride I have noticed my car always defaults to "Comfort" when you start off. I have not found a way to change this but if this is the case it is another reason the passive option suits me.

The engine is smooth and reasonably lively although not opened it up yet as BMW still recommend some running in. I am under no illusions that the diesel will be more economical but I like the smoothness of the petrol engine and as I only do 10000 a year the cheaper cost of the petrol option makes the difference negligible. I do hope it does better than the 1.6 T3 Volvo though which struggled to reach 30MPG. The difference in gearing makes the real world performance less than the torque figures would have you believe especially if you are willing to use the gears. On that subject the gear-change is a little stiff with a longer throw than I remember although I am sure it will loosen up with miles.

As for the rest of the car I managed to get a great deal with the Professional Sat Nav bundled in and this is superb. My old 30Gig iPod has synched perfectly and is fully controllable from the iDrive without any special leads. I just use the standard Apple one into the USB connection. DAB Radio is now included and works well while the standard Hi-Fi is far better to my ears than I was expecting reading some of the reviews. The red leather sports seats make a welcome change from the default black I normally choose and the inflatable bolsters hold you securely when cornering. When delivered the electric tailgate only opened half way which I thought was a fault until I found the height is configurable and was set on its lowest setting (useful if you garage the car). Bluetooth peered first time with my Blackberry (not a given) and the hands free works well with a driver and passenger microphone.

Overall I am very pleased indeed, good Looking and great to Drive and no downsides so far. A few pictures attached.

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Last edited by finnersj; 03-07-2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Wrong area
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      03-07-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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Nice car enjoy, shame about that poor bastard you ran over, not much left of him
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      03-07-2013, 11:32 AM   #3
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Liking the colour combo very nice enjoy , i bottled it and went EBII with Black i have always gone light current Lemon Leather, would have liked something similar again but could not see what i wanted.
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      03-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #4
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I've not regretted the passive set up on mine either, body control and ride suits me down to the ground.

glad your enjoying the car
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      03-07-2013, 12:52 PM   #5
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just reading your review.....

DAB... when I ordered mine that was an option... and option I wanted but couldn't afford. Are you saying that its standard now?

I feel a disagreement with the dealer coming....
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      03-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #6
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I think DAB has only recently become standard, it is an extra in the brochure but was standard when I put the order in early Feb.
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      03-07-2013, 01:35 PM   #7
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My car was actually ordered on 21st jan.

Looking at the info available it should be standard on any car ordered from jan 2013 onwards... Hence the very good deals on eg 5 series in dec 12.

So in theory mine shoud have it.. The only problem I have is I did ask about it and was told it was £305.

So either the dealers didn't know, or... They had already preordered my car, which may be the case.

Hmm I bet this goes wrong. First no 403's, now I missed out on a free dab!
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      03-07-2013, 02:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by changed
My car was actually ordered on 21st jan.

Looking at the info available it should be standard on any car ordered from jan 2013 onwards... Hence the very good deals on eg 5 series in dec 12.

So in theory mine shoud have it.. The only problem I have is I did ask about it and was told it was 305.

So either the dealers didn't know, or... They had already preordered my car, which may be the case.

Hmm I bet this goes wrong. First no 403's, now I missed out on a free dab!
If you've ordered after jan then any build will include DAB as standard.

But you should not have been charged for it. Any car built from Jan DAB is installed.
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      03-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #9
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Should have made you aware if they had pre-ordered it. They tried me with a stock car but early delivery did not suit me as I still had a month on the Volvo. Good luck in sorting it out!
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      03-07-2013, 02:39 PM   #10
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Nice car, enjoy

For what it's worth my first F30 had adaptive suspension, I ordered the second one without it. I think the passive is a better ride, damping rate exactly matching spring rate.
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      03-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venkata View Post
If you've ordered after jan then any build will include DAB as standard.

But you should not have been charged for it. Any car built from Jan DAB is installed.
No but the price of the car has gone up by a DAB radio
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      03-07-2013, 03:23 PM   #12
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I think the cut off point for DAB being a standard install was Jan / Feb as it was part of the new MY13 spec vehicles.

I reckon if it was ordered in Jan you'll have it. If you don't, BMW are supplying aftermarket DAB units - they MUST realise there will be customers who missed out on DAB as standard by weeks if not merely days and will be unhappy.

finnersj - excellent choice looks amazing enjoy it and keep us up to date with how you get on with it over the next few weeks!
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      03-07-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnersj View Post
I have noticed my car always defaults to "Comfort" when you start off.
Nice ride. Love the white on the F31.

Anyway all the cars default to Comfort when you start the car with the exception of the ED models which start in ECO-PRO.
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      03-07-2013, 04:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csjohal View Post
I think the cut off point for DAB being a standard install was Jan / Feb as it was part of the new MY13 spec vehicles.

I reckon if it was ordered in Jan you'll have it. If you don't, BMW are supplying aftermarket DAB units - they MUST realise there will be customers who missed out on DAB as standard by weeks if not merely days and will be unhappy.

finnersj - excellent choice looks amazing enjoy it and keep us up to date with how you get on with it over the next few weeks!
The 'included' DAB spec. corresponds with a price rise of £305 (the cost of DAB), so the only people that have a right to be unhappy, are those that didn't want DAB and now have to pay for it.
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      03-07-2013, 04:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitster View Post
Nice ride. Love the white on the F31.

Anyway all the cars default to Comfort when you start the car with the exception of the ED models which start in ECO-PRO.
Thanks for confirming and saving wading through the menus. Still frustrating though as the car feels a lot more perky in Sport.
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      03-07-2013, 04:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NISFAN View Post
The 'included' DAB spec. corresponds with a price rise of £305 (the cost of DAB), so the only people that have a right to be unhappy, are those that didn't want DAB and now have to pay for it.


Thats a good point, I didn't realise the price had increased by £305, on the BMW press release stating their "commitment" to new technology they worded it very well so much so I didn't even think of that!

Still, in a way i'm glad to have it on the order as standard - it's something I wanted but would have never specced.
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      03-07-2013, 04:20 PM   #17
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I noticed you've come from a E9X 320i, how does the F31 320i engine compare? I've driven a E9X 320i and whilst the engine was smooth and free revving, I had to rev the pants off it make it shift and sometimes keep up with traffic was difficult esp when on hilly roads.
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      03-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #18
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Difficult to say as I am still running it in but the turbo has a lot more torque. The power delivery is still very smooth and it defaults to Comfort which dulls the throttle. It does feel nice and responsive in Sport though and pulls the higher gears nicely. I will update when I start using it more seriously. Agree with your analysis of the E9X 320i. Nice engine but you had to go looking for the power, I kept getting burnt off by Turbo Diesels until the engine got into its stride.
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      03-07-2013, 04:30 PM   #19
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Looking Nice. Get the M Performance Grill, it'll look that extra sweet
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      03-07-2013, 04:44 PM   #20
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Looking Nice. Get the M Performance Grill, it'll look that extra sweet
Even better than my Red Nose one?
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      03-09-2013, 03:30 AM   #21
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Even better than my Red Nose one?
In combination even better
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      03-09-2013, 03:40 AM   #22
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Nice car and good review. On the mpg front i'm getting 30mpg average so far on my commute in my saloon but it's a rather stop start journey. I'm hoping for closer to a 34mpg average soon. Having toyed with the drive performance control a little (in the week i've now had the car i've not had a decent long run to play properly!) I am also finding Sport mode the best for overall handling but also i'm not noticing much of an mpg loss. On my way home though in Sport mode there's a long stretch where it doesn't want to drop down a gear in that mode. Suspension is fine for me, dealer suggested reviews were wrong and that adaptive suspension not worth it, but in my case maybe they knew the xDrive didn't have the lowered set up.
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