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      09-11-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
manteroo
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F30 320i vs F20 118i

Hi

For those of you who are interested, I own a 118i Auto F20. Had it for 7 months now and was interested to see how it compares to the new F30 320i.

Took a 320i out for a spin in the glorious Cape Town sun this morning. Impressions...........

Exterior - -

Much improved over the E90 even though the changes from the side are subtle. The fornt is very nice and aggressive looking. Really neatly finished off and not as chunky as the E90 was. You cannot compare the F30 to the F20 here as they are different cars, sport vs sedan.

Interior - -

The F30 is almost identical to the F20 in trim and finish. I have the aluminium finish with black leather. This was the same in the F30 I drove. The F30 is a little wider and there is a bit more leg room at the rear. The boot is much bigger than the F20 but not massive by any means. Overall I flet that the F20 cabin was more talored around the driver - that "hug" kind of feeling, whereas the F30 was more "flat" if that helps at all. It is very nice though and light years ahead of the old E90 interior.

Performance - -

This is where things get a bit hairy. The ride is smooth, I was very ciritcal and found it to be as smooth as the F20 1'er. I purposely drove over some road surfaces that I find a bit rough in the F20 and I found the same on the 320i. There was also a bit more tyre rumble from the 320i but I am not sure what tyres were fitted. I have Bridgestone Potenza 17's on my 118i and I find them very comfortable.

Acceleration on the 320i auto is much much better than the old E90 320i. The car picks up speed quickly BUT with a fair amount of engine noise. Lots of revs in Sport mode BUT did not seem as quick as my 118i. If you look at the official spec on BMW website you will see that the F20 118i Auto is about 0.5 secs quicker to 100 than the F30 Auto 320i. This is evident when you drive the 2 cars. Power to weight ratio must come into play here.

Verdict - - -

I like both cars, very much. I just like the F20 that little bit more. It's a sports car and the 320i is a family sedan. The experience in the 118i is more intimate - you feel more "at one" with the car. The 118i also seems to handle a bit better around corners - I suppose it would as the car is more squat on the ground, especially with the 17 inch rims. I think the 328i F30 is probably a different animal all together but then again, the F20 125i or 135i will take care of that !

Hope you enjoyed.
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      09-11-2012, 07:46 AM   #2
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Nice piece of information

I'm still undecided between a 118i or 118d. So i checked LOTS of reviews and youtube videos of those engines and also the 320i, because there isn't ALOT of difference in that one (20NM more torque isn't substantial considering the weight difference).


How do you find the 118i in daily driving? Is it easy to overtake? I'm used to driving a diesel, but now with the turbo petrol engines, it seems the need to go high in revs just to go forward is a thing of the past seeing you get the full torque at just 1500RPM
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      09-12-2012, 03:07 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Btdew View Post
I'm used to driving a diesel, but now with the turbo petrol engines, it seems the need to go high in revs just to go forward is a thing of the past seeing you get the full torque at just 1500RPM
These new petrols behave very much like a turbodiesel, they even sound like one
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      09-12-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Btdew View Post
Nice piece of information

I'm still undecided between a 118i or 118d. So i checked LOTS of reviews and youtube videos of those engines and also the 320i, because there isn't ALOT of difference in that one (20NM more torque isn't substantial considering the weight difference).


How do you find the 118i in daily driving? Is it easy to overtake? I'm used to driving a diesel, but now with the turbo petrol engines, it seems the need to go high in revs just to go forward is a thing of the past seeing you get the full torque at just 1500RPM
The 118i (mine is a manual) comes amazingly close to driving like a diesel. I drove my old man's Landy 90 Puma (diesel) on a long trip a few weeks ago and specifically joked about how I shift at exactly the same rev range in my F20. Yes there's a little bit of turbo lag until you get up to 1500rpm, but once you're there it's impressively smooth and linear. I find that with the 6spd, I tend to shift up at exactly 2000rpm, which in most gears drops the revs down to exactly 1500rpm in the next gear, at the torque sweet spot.

Overtaking ability in all gears except 6th is impressive and confidence inspiring.

If I had to drive in traffic daily however, I'd take the auto. The manual's clutch action is not quite light or smooth enough to make it pleasant for daily commuting in stop/start traffic. A VW Polo, Golf or even my previous car - Renault Megane - beats it hands down in ease of driving.
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      09-12-2012, 10:21 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rickk View Post
These new petrols behave very much like a turbodiesel, they even sound like one
Yeah, I was going to say that. Seriously, in the car park at idle or low revs with the window down, it really does sound like a diesel!

Interestingly though, VW's TSIs are very smooth and quiet. The Polo GTI's powerplant (comparable in performance to the 118i) sounds super smooth and refined in comparison.
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      09-12-2012, 10:24 AM   #6
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There is a very noticeable turbo lag also at high RPM in my 116i. In fact I have never driven a turbo car without it. The noisy anti lag response system they use in rally cars is there for a reason.
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      09-12-2012, 10:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manteroo View Post
Hi

For those of you who are interested, I own a 118i Auto F20. Had it for 7 months now and was interested to see how it compares to the new F30 320i.

Took a 320i out for a spin in the glorious Cape Town sun this morning. Impressions...........

Exterior - -

Much improved over the E90 even though the changes from the side are subtle. The fornt is very nice and aggressive looking. Really neatly finished off and not as chunky as the E90 was. You cannot compare the F30 to the F20 here as they are different cars, sport vs sedan.

Interior - -

The F30 is almost identical to the F20 in trim and finish. I have the aluminium finish with black leather. This was the same in the F30 I drove. The F30 is a little wider and there is a bit more leg room at the rear. The boot is much bigger than the F20 but not massive by any means. Overall I flet that the F20 cabin was more talored around the driver - that "hug" kind of feeling, whereas the F30 was more "flat" if that helps at all. It is very nice though and light years ahead of the old E90 interior.

Performance - -

This is where things get a bit hairy. The ride is smooth, I was very ciritcal and found it to be as smooth as the F20 1'er. I purposely drove over some road surfaces that I find a bit rough in the F20 and I found the same on the 320i. There was also a bit more tyre rumble from the 320i but I am not sure what tyres were fitted. I have Bridgestone Potenza 17's on my 118i and I find them very comfortable.

Acceleration on the 320i auto is much much better than the old E90 320i. The car picks up speed quickly BUT with a fair amount of engine noise. Lots of revs in Sport mode BUT did not seem as quick as my 118i. If you look at the official spec on BMW website you will see that the F20 118i Auto is about 0.5 secs quicker to 100 than the F30 Auto 320i. This is evident when you drive the 2 cars. Power to weight ratio must come into play here.

Verdict - - -

I like both cars, very much. I just like the F20 that little bit more. It's a sports car and the 320i is a family sedan. The experience in the 118i is more intimate - you feel more "at one" with the car. The 118i also seems to handle a bit better around corners - I suppose it would as the car is more squat on the ground, especially with the 17 inch rims. I think the 328i F30 is probably a different animal all together but then again, the F20 125i or 135i will take care of that !

Hope you enjoyed.
Good summary, similar to what I found. I felt the F30 to be slightly smoother in ride quality, but I think that could have been influenced by being a passenger and not holding onto a steering wheel or touching pedals.
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      09-12-2012, 10:41 AM   #8
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Since the F30 is heavier, and has a longer wheelbase, it should be slightly more comfortable, and less nimble to drive.
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      09-12-2012, 09:28 PM   #9
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Mantaroo
I am informed that the F30 you drove is built there in RSA where the F20 is imported from Germany. This could explain the power difference and drive feel.

I have driven many 3ers in RSA and they certainly differ in many ways from the German built car. I would expect that the current F30 purchased there is also detuned and has a soft ride as per all previous model 3ers made there. I do not know why they do that.

Sol01 is comparing the German built F30 v F20.

I think that the F30 and F20 are two different drives.

I like several BMW models, I could not compare them one to one. EG new X1 and F30
You either like the F30 for what it is or you like the F20 for what it is.

The F20 is not a lesser F30. They share engines but have different characteristics.

I am sure that there are some people who opt for a F20 if they cannot afford a F30 and still want a BMW and there are some like me who just prefer the F20 and how it works.
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      09-13-2012, 12:49 AM   #10
manteroo
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Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

I cannot comment on if there is a difference in build S.A. vs Germany.

My decision on taking an F20 was not money based. My F20 with all the extras actually cost more than the entry level F30 !

These are 2 very different cars with 2 very different rides experiences. I would definitely consider the F30 as my next car as my 2 kids get older and bigger. I would however opt for the 328i F30 and not the 320i. The 320i entry level 3 series has always been for the masses. The F30 320i is far far better then the E90 320i - this is clear as daylight.

My comparison excercise was out of curiosity. I needed to put the itch to bed an I am very glad I did. My F20 118i is more fun to drive. Case closed.
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      09-13-2012, 01:21 AM   #11
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I could also afford the F30, but prefer the F20.
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      09-13-2012, 01:34 AM   #12
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Same here
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      09-13-2012, 02:40 AM   #13
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118i has the advantage of lower capacity of the engine when we take into consideration the taxes.I also think it is sportier than 320i.
But for some really good performances, 125i (or much better M135i) is the way to go
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      09-13-2012, 02:49 AM   #14
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chose 125i over 3 series as its just much more fun to drive.
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      09-13-2012, 10:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AusF20 View Post
Mantaroo
I am informed that the F30 you drove is built there in RSA where the F20 is imported from Germany. This could explain the power difference and drive feel.

I have driven many 3ers in RSA and they certainly differ in many ways from the German built car. I would expect that the current F30 purchased there is also detuned and has a soft ride as per all previous model 3ers made there. I do not know why they do that.

Sol01 is comparing the German built F30 v F20.

I think that the F30 and F20 are two different drives.

I like several BMW models, I could not compare them one to one. EG new X1 and F30
You either like the F30 for what it is or you like the F20 for what it is.

The F20 is not a lesser F30. They share engines but have different characteristics.

I am sure that there are some people who opt for a F20 if they cannot afford a F30 and still want a BMW and there are some like me who just prefer the F20 and how it works.
For interest's sake (not many people know this), F30s produced at the Rosslyn plant are exported to many primary country markets (http://www.wheels24.co.za/News/Indus...tarts-20120220)

As far as I know, they are not detuned. Where did you drive the 3ers in SA? At the coast, or up in JHB?
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      09-14-2012, 09:26 PM   #16
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Sorry I have a very simple answer for my own preference.

Fun: F20
Usage: F30
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      09-15-2012, 04:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickk View Post
These new petrols behave very much like a turbodiesel, they even sound like one
100% right.
I have another diesel company car and whenever I start the 118i F20 engine I have to double check because for a moment I'm not sure which one I'm in.
After a few seconds the diesel sound goes away though.
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      09-17-2012, 07:55 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinHattingh View Post
For interest's sake (not many people know this), F30s produced at the Rosslyn plant are exported to many primary country markets (http://www.wheels24.co.za/News/Indus...tarts-20120220)

As far as I know, they are not detuned. Where did you drive the 3ers in SA? At the coast, or up in JHB?


I have hired many 3ers in RSA (Cape Town, JBerg, PE, Durban) over many years and all RSA built cars were slower and appeared less powerful in comparision to the same car driven in UAE and AUS (even the last model here which was built in RSA). The latest 3er sold here in AUS is made in Germany. My conclusion is that RSA ones are detuned for some reason.
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      09-17-2012, 08:44 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manteroo View Post
Hi


Verdict - - -

I like both cars, very much. I just like the F20 that little bit more. It's a sports car and the 320i is a family sedan. The experience in the 118i is more intimate - you feel more "at one" with the car. The 118i also seems to handle a bit better around corners - I suppose it would as the car is more squat on the ground, especially with the 17 inch rims. I think the 328i F30 is probably a different animal all together but then again, the F20 125i or 135i will take care of that !

Hope you enjoyed.

I test drove a F30 320d and an F20 118i and I agree with you in every aspect of your review, even though the F30 I tested is a diesel it has the same horsepower I found the 118i as comfortable as the F30, same quality feel inside but a lot more fun in my opinion. I got out of the F20 smiling , and in the case of the F30 I just liked the car and wasn't impressed at all.
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      09-17-2012, 11:30 AM   #20
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I had the opportunity to drive the new 328i sedan, here in the states at a BMW event. I also drove a X1 right after.

1. The steering on the 328i sedan is a deal breaker for me.

2. The X1 came closer to driving my friends 10" 328i x.

Question is the M sports steering different then the base model on the new 1 and 3 series. Thanks
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      09-17-2012, 12:16 PM   #21
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There are three types of steering available. In some countries you can select between all three with the M Sports package. I have the basic steering, and I am happy with that one. Would not want to change for the two more expensive options.
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      02-25-2013, 02:52 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brenyaman View Post
100% right.
I have another diesel company car and whenever I start the 118i F20 engine I have to double check because for a moment I'm not sure which one I'm in.
After a few seconds the diesel sound goes away though.
Just when I have clear that I want the 118i, I read this and all change... I worry when you said it just sounds like a diesel engine !!! I want a petrol because I like an engine wich doesn´t sound like a truck,,, If botf (118i, 118d) sounds the same, then I would go for the diesel because the compsumption... wouu
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