Current BMW 3 Series

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Silk
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Current BMW 3 Series

Postby Silk » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:25 pm

I've just had a new (17 plate) 3 Series for a 4 day test drive with a view to getting one. I just wanted something a bit nicer compared to my Pug 308 which, lets be fair, is not too hard.

The problem is, the car looks fantastic inside and out but it was so uncomfortable to drive I'll probably have to pass. Seats hard, ride hard, gear-change stiff, steering heavy. In other words, extremely disappointing. Everyone else I took out in the car said the same.

The specify model I had was a 316d (yes, I know - I'd be going for a 320d) in Sport trim with 18inch wheels. I really wanted to like the car and the reviews are universally good, to the point of being best in class. Am I missing something? I was actually glad to get back in the Peugeot. My back was still aching two days later.

I'm not having a go at BMW. I just wanted to know if this is a common experience. I haven't been aware of any problems when I've driven or been driven in older models.

Gareth
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby Gareth » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:52 pm

Did it have run-flat tyres? Are there options for smaller diameter wheels?
there is only the road, nothing but the road ...

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AndyP
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby AndyP » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:04 pm

I am sorry to say that is what my experience was, has been, and when examining in all these still is.
After the demo though my wife and I were wracked with back pain
For me as a total petrolhead I feel the same.
I should love being in everyone of them.
What have I missed, what am I missing, what is the matter with me.

I actually gave the local dealer a cheque for a brand new one. After the demo had it back. (luckily)
Happened with a new A45 AMG too.

However a BASE spec Merc or Beemer is different. Very nice in fact. Just does not look the part or is not the ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE.
The last base model BMW X3 and a 5 series estate, and a Merc C350 e I sat in on test were superb for comfort.
It is not WHAT you drive, BUT:-- the WAY that you drive it.
It is not HOW fast you drive, BUT:-- HOW you drive fast.

Cheers Andy

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akirk
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby akirk » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:56 pm

It is one reason why I have gone for older cars - modern car design seems to have forgotten to actually design cars for handling / comfort / enjoyment / etc. - all the reasons why people buy cars - instead they are all designed on the headline figures - performance times / BHP / Ring times... and then on looks and then finance figures...

apparently a vast majority of cars are bought without test drives - based on finance figures and deals, so why bother factoring in comfort...
Alasdair

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby GTR1400MAN » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:52 pm

The 18" wheels and modern trend of keeping the weight down don't go well with our roads.

I have to say I'm really pleased with the way my little Renaultsport Clio behaves on 18 inch wheels. Most people have commented how supple the ride is for a hot hatch. However some still think it "shakes your guts out". I guess a lot is down to what you are used to. Any 'sport' model (where that isn't just a trim level) is always going to be a compromise of performance vs handling vs comfort. Where you fit in that equation can take many test drives, of many machines, over many years. Just don't expect a journalist who track tests and has a car for a few days to have the same everyday use perspective as yourself.
Mike Roberts

martine
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby martine » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:56 pm

akirk wrote:It is one reason why I have gone for older cars - modern car design seems to have forgotten to actually design cars for handling / comfort / enjoyment / etc...

All right granddad!

Seriously, I haven't driven a 3 series 'sports trim' but certainly the 1M has painfully hard suspension...bang, crash, wallop over the usual standard of rural roads...ditto the Fiat 500 Abarth...it would ruin the car if I had to live with one.

Of course there are some modern cars that perhaps get a better balance...Focus ST or Cayman/Boxster for instance...(but then I'm probably biased) and I do understand when some people suggest they are too easy/forgiving for maximum fulfilment...it's just they are wrong, that's all!
Martin - Bristol IAM: IMI National Observer, Group Secretary, Masters (dist), DSA: ADI, Fleet, RoSPA (Dip)

hir
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby hir » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:53 pm

Silk wrote:... The problem is, the car looks fantastic inside and out but it was so uncomfortable to drive I'll probably have to pass. Seats hard, ride hard, gear-change stiff, steering heavy. In other words, extremely disappointing. Everyone else I took out in the car said the same.

... Am I missing something?


No, you're not missing anything. Congratulations in insisting on an extended test drive and discovering just how harsh is the car's ride.

I had exactly the same experience 3 weeks ago. Test drove a 3 series saloon [standard 2 litre model] and immediately decided that I couldn't live with the harsh ride. My wife sat in the back during the test drive and said she could feel every bump in the road. My wife and I have owned eight BMWs over the past 28 years, but never again. Not until BMW abandons the idiotic notion that everyone wants to have run-flat tyres.

I've ordered a Golf GTi instead. An extended drive in my son-in-law's GTd confirmed the superiority of the ride over the BMW's. Interestingly, although the Golf is a smaller car overall than the BMW 3 series, the cabin width and space in the front of both cars is virtually identical; [no, I didn't believe it either, so I took my tape measure to the showrooms and confirmed the measurements]. With the Golf all one is foregoing is the boot space of the 3 series. That being so, how do BMW explain that there is no room for a space-saver wheel in their car, whereas VW supply one as standard equipment on the Golf? Oh, yes, I've just remembered! With run-flats one doesn't need a space-saver. But, I know from personal experience that when tyres get punctures having a space-saver wheel can be far more preferable than having run-flats. And, anyway, if run-flats are so brilliant why did BMW supply their M5s on non-run-flats. Maybe they still do. Perhaps we should be told?

I've even had BMW salesmen tell me that the harsh, sorry "firm", ride of BMWs is because they are "sporty" cars. Give me strength!!! :roll:

Congratulations once again on your narrow escape from the clutches of BMW's stupidity. :)

fungus
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby fungus » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:32 pm

My daughter ditched the run flats on her R53 Cooper S with 17 inch rims and it has made quite a difference. Previously the car crashed and banged over bumps and would tramline a white line. The ride is still hard but far more comfortable than before. The gearbox is very heavy, as is the steering which is fine at speed, but a real pain around town.

Nigel.

Silk
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Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby Silk » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:50 pm

Thanks for all the replies. At least it confirms I'm not going mad or, at least, madder.

The demo car had 18inch run-flats. I would be going for the 320d Efficientdynamics, which has ordinary 16 inchers (comes with "eco" tyres, but they can be replaced with ordinary tyres when they wear out). I don't really get this obsession with pointlessly large wheels. The 16s look absolutely fine on the 3 series and the tyres cost about a third of the price of 18 run-flats.

The wheels will no doubt improve the ride, but I doubt they'll do much for the comfort of the seats (lumbar support is an optional extra) and the agricultural gear shift which takes far too much effort to get into reverse. I liked the proper handbrake though - but it would have been better if it had worked properly (this is a car that had 1100 miles on the clock when delivered and the handbrake would not hold the car on a slope unless it was pulled extremely hard as I found out when I was waiting at a junction and it started to roll back once the hill-hold disengaged :shock: )

Very dissappointed. I'm just glad I got to have a proper test drive.

I get a new Mazda 6 to try on Thursday. The problem is, I have to go for the top of the range Sport trim in order to get LED headlights and it comes with 19 inch wheels only. I'll have to see if the dealer will swap them for 17s if I decide to go for one.

Silk
Posts: 385
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:24 pm
Location: South Glos.

Re: Current BMW 3 Series

Postby Silk » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:05 pm

martine wrote:
akirk wrote:It is one reason why I have gone for older cars - modern car design seems to have forgotten to actually design cars for handling / comfort / enjoyment / etc...


Of course there are some modern cars that perhaps get a better balance...Focus ST or Cayman/Boxster for instance...(but then I'm probably biased) and I do understand when some people suggest they are too easy/forgiving for maximum fulfilment...it's just they are wrong, that's all!


I don't mind a certain amount of firmness - I find it can be just as uncomfortable to have too soft a ride. As I'm sure you're aware, I'm not the sportiest of drivers, but I have a feeling that even a modest modern car can easily out handle the limits of safe road driving, so anything else is just a waste of time. But what do I know? :?


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