F30 335d Ownership - 3 weeks in

Discussion in 'General chat' started by bishbosh, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    Morning all,

    Having now had the new car 3 weeks I thought a little update about how it's settling in, what's good and what isn't and also how it compares to my old E91. The car is an F30 335d M Sport with a fair few options which I picked up from Burnley just over 3 weeks ago.

    In general I'm very pleased with it (aside from it not having adaptive dampers as advertised :rolleyeses: )

    Technology
    The technology is definitely more advanced than in the E91, the heated steering wheel being my current favourite toy especially in this cold weather (y) it warms up nicely then maintains an even temperature, the button is in an odd position just next to the base of the indicator stalk and I had to consult the manual to find it at first. Gone is the cruise control stalk to be replaced with buttons on the left of the steering wheel, it's quite intuitive. The TPMS system is a lot more advanced with the pressures of each tyre shown in the iDrive. I've used the reversing camera a little but I still instinctively look over my shoulder and find my peripheral vision just as good, the one good thing about the camera is when I reverse on the drive and can see my cat sat there glaring before he decides to move in the last second, he does have a death wish sometimes! The dab radio, phone integration - being able to press the call button then scroll through contacts seems very good although I've not used it yet I can certainly see the benefit - my wife always grumbled that I wasn't contactable while driving, this seems like a decent hands-free solution. I've updated the maps to the latest 2018-2 version using an FSC code generator. The black panel display is nice to have. The HK system is quite punchy, but clarity and distortion suffers if taking the volume really high, however on low to mid volume there's nothing to complain about, it's certainly better than the base stereo but to improve on the current system I'd need to spend the wrong side of £700 for an upgrade so not really worth doing. The auto lights and wipers which some may take for granted are very useful.

    Driving
    What do you do when you have an empty dual carriageway and the lights have just gone green? You see what the car does with pedal to the metal :sneaky: The way the car surges forward with urgency and no wheelspin, the second turbo coming in shoving you back into the seat and only a few seconds later having to slow down as you're at illegal speeds - then looking behind to see everyone else a couple hundred yards back. Not that I do this much at all really as it's not needed, just a gentle press of the throttle is enough to propel you forward at a brisk (but not silly) pace without going all gung-ho.

    The 8 speed box is sublime and makes for a very relaxing driving experience, gone are the days of left leg ache from having to change gear driving around town. MPG is currently at 41.6

    The SE suspension - as standard on the 335d makes for a comfortable ride on the whole - that is it's downfall though as it doesn't cope particularly well in corners with too much body roll. It's not quite the nautical handling of a Citroen Xsara Picasso mind, but not what you'd expect from a premium car. It's also quite crashy on bumps and doesn't feel particularly composed. However, the relaxing driving style and effortless overtaking allows you to make swift progress, the power on tap is totally wasted on these roads and unless in Germany or on a track you wouldn't be able to use the car to it's full potential.

    Comparisons to the E91
    My E91 had the 2.0 diesel N47 engine and I retrofitted various items to lift it out of it's poverty spec status. I won't go into detail on all of the retrofits but only on bits where there's a significant difference.

    I find that the heated seats on the F30 don't get as warm as the ones on the E91 - the old ones you could almost fry eggs on they got very warm indeed. Also the side bolsters really held you in place whereas on the F30 they don't squeeze you much at all - whether that's the general population getting larger or me getting thinner (doubtful) I don't know. The E91 was 10 years old.

    The handling is probably the biggest difference I've noticed in day to day driving. The E91 being lighter and with only a 4 pot up front made it quite nimble, also the Bilstein B12 suspension that I fitted ensured it held the road. In fact the E91 was very chuckable and predictable in corners, point the steering wheel where you wanted to go and it went in that direction. The B12 kit didn't sacrifice comfort but dealt with potholes much better than the F30 does. Feedback through the steering wheel was better too. I've heard that the suspension is one of the let-downs of the pre-LCI F3x models which can be greatly improved with an aftermarket solution. Mind you, the standard E91 SE suspension was a let down so maybe I'm comparing apples with oranges, but you'd think BMW would have sorted it out 10 years later!

    Obviously technology improves and so proved the case, driving the E91 around town was not particularly pleasant, occasionally I'd find myself in the wrong gear - too fast for 1st and too slow for 2nd so would have to slow down even further to then speed up in 1st before finally moving to 2nd. Most likely that was a result of the tall gearing in the 6 speed manual.

    The E91 was more practical obviously being a touring. Sadly to my detriment I've found that my F30 doesn't have folding rear seats as standard (on a £41k car no less:ranting: ) unless they were specced as a £450 option. Not handy for fitting my model planes into. For trips to IKEA the seat backrest can be removed though but it's not practical to do that regularly.

    Overall
    In general the F30 is a big step up from my old car. Bigger better engine, better gearbox and better interior. The 41.6mpg I'm getting surpasses the 38mpg I was getting in the E91 and that had a 2.0 engine! It's a relaxed cruiser and will soak up the motorway miles. Driver involvement is more lacking and maybe this is case with ever more gadgets and safety devices present, a big part of that is the XDrive I'm sure with the car not feeling like a typical RWD BMW. I'm pretty sure with sorted suspension a lot of that feeling would be ameliorated somewhat and I'd at least gain comfort on today's roads and more predicatable handling. With trips up to Durham in the winter I can forego the RWD feeling for at least knowing I have more chance of not getting stuck on snowy roads (y) There were fewer distractions in the E91 and so concentration was only on the road ahead. The sore point is the lack of through-load access, which we'll have to see how that fares over time.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  2. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    If its anything like mine you can adjust the heated seats in the idrive as well as the usual buttons. I think you'll think yours is the same as I even had this on my E61.
     
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  3. Merc? No. BM!
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    Merc? No. BM! WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Great report. (y)

    Any chance of a couple of pics to, literally, illustrate?
     
  4. Kev2005
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    You can also adjust the side bolsters on the seat i believe, its the handle towards the top on the right hand side if i recall correct...

    Kev
     
  5. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Good to read your report, and glad to hear that you're enjoying the F30. (y)

    It's a shame that it doesn't have the adaptive suspension which IMO is far better than the standard suspension. Mine soaks up rough road surfaces and gives a smooth ride, even in Sport mode. I'm also assuming that yours is the standard SE suspension setup, rather than the MSport which would be firmer with less body roll? Obviously it could be improved by fitting quality units such as Bilsteins at a later date, but at a cost.

    In the 31/2 years that I've owned mine, I have found the 330d xDrive to be a quick, comfortable mile muncher, that so far has been reliable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  6. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    @kleynie

    This is what I have in the climate section, nothing about seat heating. They do get warm and toasty, just maybe not as quick as the old seats.

    20181107_185600-1440x1080.jpg
    @Merc? No. BM! These are the rear seats, love the coral red but they don't fold. They're simple enough to remove for said IKEA trips though.
    20181107_185716-1280x720.jpg

    This is the heated steering wheel button, but when switching on and off you do get a message showing in the black panel display :)
    20181107_185726-1280x720.jpg

    @Kev2005 I've used the rocker switch for the bolsters but they don't inflate as much as before. Or it's possible they do but the seats wider.
     
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  7. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    @Mieke all 335d have se suspension, even m sport models. I presume bmw have some reasoning behind this but it does make the car a bit wallowy, pity as the e91 was so precise. I've heard Ac schnitzer springs are what to go for at the very least and they're reasonably priced. Springs and dampers though are more like £1.5k but take the suspension to a whole new level. The improvement is such that it renders adaptive suspension unnecessary. Birds do a similar kit with custom valved bilstein shocks for about £1200 so a little cheaper.
     
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  8. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    This is what I have in climate which you seem to be missing:


    BADBADB9-FA58-4E0D-8A17-B38334736267.jpeg

    D7C5A69A-2FF7-4247-A1C6-8242859A5730.jpeg
     
  9. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    Do you have comfort seats Ian? I'm wondering if that's why you have idrive settings for them?
     
  10. kleynie
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    kleynie WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Yes, but my old car did not and that had the same option in the idrive.

    I do remember on my E61 that the option had to be coded into the idrive, maybe the same on the F30?
     
  11. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    Oh I see, i have a few things to code so I'll check that out (y)
     
  12. idrussell
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    A great write up and I am glad you are enjoying it:). It does seem a bit penny pinching from BMW not to have a folding rear seat though!

    I was interested that you said you updated the maps using a FSC code generator. Can you elaborate how this is done?
     
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  13. Peter
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    Historically xDrive cars were sold into markets for the "All-weather" abilities. Hence the suspension with the SE ride height. The introduction to the UK with the F3x models was for the same reasons, (know a bit about the issue from our Scottish dealers), plus the marketing blurb showed that was the case. But the UK market is dominated by M-sport models, sort of posed an issue, M-sport means lower and firm suspensions. Is being addressed with the G20 3-series, (like the G30/31), xDrive can now have the M-sport suspensions.

    Adaptive M-sport gives the best stock suspension for xDrive, particularly if you want better control and improved handling. Many users have fitted ACS springs, both to passive and active suspensions, makes for the best improvement without a full suspension change, with little compromise in comfort.

    Peter
     
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  14. rigeng
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    Excellent write up, I was very surprised to read the 335d MSport has SE suspension. Had to go back and read your report twice, I was so surprised!
     
  15. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    If BMW can penny pinch then so can I :sneaky:

    I used my ENET cable and ESys to read the 'DE' file from the NBT system in the car. Then I used an FSC generator program someone had written to produce the key. It's the same key that you'd be given by BMW when updating the maps. The program reads the file and produces a key based on your VIN and also which map version you're installing. Have a look here: https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1456836

    The maps had never been updated so were very out of date. I managed to install the 2018-2 maps for Europe NEXT. I needed a 64Gb memory stick though as the package is about 33Gb.

    Thanks @Peter for the insight. I will probably go springs only, I'm sure my wife can think of a million and one better ways to spend the £1k extra it'd cost to get a full suspension change! :rolleyes:
     
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  16. Peter
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    Not exactly simply penny pinching. Again a bit of BMW history. Body rigidity was/is the focus. When folding rear seats first became popular in saloons, BMW's first introduction was an option. BMW even published the difference in body (torsional) rigidity for the two different structures. The enthusiast who wanted the sportiest chassis would skip the folded seats, as it was a compromise to the vehicle's dynamics.

    Times have changed, who really worries about the rigidity of the chassis these days, or extra weight, with all the options we can now have fitted. Seems BMW have changed their stance in the latest models. Perhaps due to the much stiffer body construction on the G20, or simply user demand has put the technical reasons in the background, BMW list they will be fitting folding rear seats as standard in the G20.

    Peter
     
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  17. bishbosh
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    bishbosh Site Supporter

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    Following on from that, I think F30s sold in America came with folding rear seats as standard from 2015 onwards IIRC.
     
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  18. Peter
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    Yes market demands...

    Just had a quick 'Google' to see if I could support my comments on older models and the focus on torsional rigidity. An example, the figures for the E46 saloon, values Nm/deg.

    BMW E46 Sedan (w/folding seats) 13,000
    BMW E46 Sedan (w/o folding seats) 18,000

    We see what a reduction it was in torsional rigidity, once we 'cut away' the structure and add folded seats. It mattered in the days of the E46. (y)

    Peter
     
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  19. idrussell
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    Thankyou for the info @Peter I didn't think of this and TBH I am surprised that the rear seat forms any part of the structural stability! When moving from the practicality of the E61 it would have been a deal breaker for me if the F06 did not come with folding rear seats as standard. Even though the feature is rarely used transporting teenagers and all their 'stuff' to University would be almost impossible without the option.
     
  20. Mieke
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    Mieke WARLORD Site Supporter

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    It doesn't matter how old or new the model is - the laws of physics don't change. If the rear bulkhead forms part of the stressed structure of the car, then removing it to facilitate folding rear seats will inevitably reduce the torsional rigidity to some extent. It's all a question of compromise - convenience versus performance.
     

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