2011 BMW 3 Series Consumer Review: powerful in any gear

2011 BMW 3 Series Sedan - Consumer Review

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
powerful in any gear
By i_heart_bmw on


2011 BMW 3 Series 335i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)


This is my 48 hr review of the car.
I have only had it 2 days I can only rate it based on my current experience.
I have owned a '98 328i and a '05 330ix, both I have loved.
Both manual trans and were extremely reliable.

I would highly suggest getting a manual to take advantage of the torque curve.
The automatic, though fine, lags a little bit in my opinion because it wants to downshift if you stomp on the accelerator.
In a manual, with the 300 fps starting at 1200 rpms, you have the power to climb a hill in any gear so you don't necessarily have to down shift.

I bought this with nearly every package and option available.
Definitely buy this with the M sports package.

Best Features

The I drive system is very intricate. It greatly improves a drivers experience and you can fine tune how the car operates down to the chirp with the door unlocks. But there is a learning curve to it, take your time to get to know it. The blue tooth is very nice. I use a Droid 2 and I just have to enter the car with my phone and it automatically pairs up. The M sports package with the improved steering wheel makes for a very comfortable and confident steering feel. The bucket seats hug me perfectly and I don't slide around in a tight turn. The short shift kit it comes with is wonderful Comfort access, I just have to touch the door handle to enter or lock the door. Power and handling.

Worst Features

The I drive is very intricate. I have not compared it to another vehicle by personal use, but observationally it seems they could improves this via a touch screen display. Other than that as I have only been using it for 2 days, I am just getting used to how it operates and I am sure I will be just as happy with the way the UI stands as it is. After TTL I paid 66k for this car. Mind you I added pretty much every option, including a mechanical rear sun shade. You can find this for a lot less and if you do not need to finely tune an experience, drop the I drive, the convenience packages. I did add the extended mechanical warranty as well. Without the warranty and tax it listed out at 57k
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By i_heart_bmw
on 04/04/11 19:48 PM (PDT)

Additional add on. After owning this for about a month and now tacking on 1200 miles and breaking in the car I feel I can put my final two cents in. I have been getting to know the iDrive system a bit more and do still like it. However it does provide a bit of distraction while driving to operate the phone, CD player, radio or navigation (safely I might add). There are shortcuts but it still takes the eyes off the road. There are voice commands for nearly all functions but I have not set them up yet. Take your time to get used to it. Read the manual and while someone else drives try to work the system to understand what you might have to do while driving yourself. One negative point I have is that I cannot (or haven't been able to find a way) to label a CD album I have uploaded. Some albums do not automatically come with information burned into it so it just comes up as Audio CD/Track 1....2 etc. I have uploaded several albums like this and it is a bit annoying not knowing the difference. I love the M sport seats with the side supports that are electronically adjusted. Apparently in the M5 they move on their own depending on how hard you corner but I have not seen or felt this happen on my 3 series with M seats. However, that additional mechanical adjustment really helps conform any body shape to the seat. The fuel economy is very nice for how powerful the car is. The computer is saying I am getting 19 in the city and I do tend to push the car. Outside of a few issues like the setting/timing of the intermittent wipers and no DC outlet on the dashboard for accessories like dashboard mounted electronics I love this car. The DC outlet is in the center console under the arm rest for your phone but not having one for a dashboard accessory is a fail IMO. The manual shows a cigarette plug for the ash tray infront of the shifter and two in back under the air vent and the back of the center console. But none are on my model. Other than that I love love love my car. I have no regrets buying it and love every option that I put into it. Although it added 15k to my price tag, it was worth it. Doing it all over again I am not sure what I would leave out because I use all the options on a regular basis.

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By i_heart_bmw
on 12/20/11 10:06 AM (PST)

Ok, me again. This is my 15K+ review. I have owned this car for about 6 months. I have had very little problems with it. One or two very minor electrical issues. Pretty much is was a solenoid that did not effect the car other than a warning light. Replaced under warranty. The one beef I have is the navigation is horse doodoo. The only way to get the Idrive is to have the navigation. 2012 on it seems the Idrive is standard and navigation is extra. I wish I could have done it like this. Although I still probably would have bought the navigation anyway only to be writing this review about it. It can send me to the wrong place. You ask it to take you to the airport and it brings up 12 addresses and the one you select can be some arbitrary hanger on a public side road well away from the main terminal. Even though you can select a route (quickest, shortest or most efficient), it still might not be the one you want to take. The other big thing that is coming up for me is if you have two highways/freeways merging together. IE the 280 in the Bay Area. The 101 will merge into it then off of it. While on the 280 it will say that you are on the 101, then back on the 280. And when the turn by turn directions are running, it will seem like it wants you to merge onto the 101, you do so, going across 6 lanes of bumper bumper traffic only to find out you needed to stay on the 280. Voice navigation on it sucks. This has ruined many dates for me. I wish I could explain this better. I can't compare it to others, but I probably will get a hand held device or google maps on a cell phone with navigation pretty much has always gotten me there better. Everything else with the car is awesome. People love it. In 6th gear it wont falter in speed as it climbs up steep hills, even with cruise on. Oh, the subwoofer under the front passenger seat seems to rattle under heavy heavy bass. Seems universal so pay attention and get it replaced under warranty. Still no regrets with this car. I would buy it again for sure. For CA I probably would have gone with the two door IS with the M steptronic shifter just to help with driving in traffic instead of having the Manual that I have. That it, write a comment if you have any questions.

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By dice6
on 03/04/13 10:28 AM (PST)

agree that the Navigation can be sub-par. I updated to 2013 by obtaining the memory stick for about $45 and then reaching out to someone in cyberspace for the code, another $55. MUCH CHEAPER! With regard to navigation, my system used to read the street addresses but with upgrade that happens much less! The 2011 version was dated and many streets/POI missing. This has been addressed, somewhat, with the 2013 upgrade. I did happen to find a huge benefit to the NAV and this is searching by NAME (A to Z). So you can just type COSTCO and find the nearest one instead of searching through shopping and going down the list. I also use GOOGLE MAPS to email a destination directly to the BMW. This is great! When in GOOGLE MAPS, simply enter the address and click MORE then SEND and then SEND TO YOUR CAR. When you bought the car, your email was registered to the BMW, which enables this feature. It's awesome to enter the car and check your messages and voila! The address is there and you simply click START GUIDANCE! There are educational BMW videos on the BMW website that provide that info and more. I enjoy the iDrive...18months and $19k miles, 21.9mgp and I ONLY USE REGULAR GAS. Have fun!

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By i_heart_bmw
on 03/17/11 10:54 AM (PDT)

This is an add on by the reviewer. I have one complaint about the I drive. So far using the navigation it will give accurate and reliable directions. However, it will not tell you what street to turn onto. It will simply tell you to "turn right in 500 ft" then "turn right" once you traverse that distance. I am not aware of an upgrade to that. After approximately two weeks and 500 mi of driving, I am still learning the I drive. How to navigate through the menus back and forth is a little tricky. However I still like the higher level of the UI. I am uploading my audio cd's to the hard drive and the play back is beautiful. It takes about 3 min for it to fully upload a full audio CD into its HD It is getting nearly 18 mpg in the city per the trip computer. But in my last two cars it over compensated by a one or to mpg based on my math of gas used per miles traveled. I have not tested this in this current car as I have only filled it a couple times. I have only used non oxygenated gas in it and that is all I will add to it. Find what gas stations have it and enter it as a saved destination in your gps just in case you run a bit low and can't drive to your favorite station. I have at least 3 saved in different parts of the city. I am also only using a soft cloth car wash which is recommended by the manufacturer. Watch your car wash because a lot use the track to pull a car through, this can damage low profile tires like on the M sports package. I will say this again, based on my experience and although I do like the I drive, if you don't need it, don't get it. Save the money. But if you can afford it, want to store a bunch of MP3s and have a much higher level of interaction with your car, do it. But it is a bit more complicated. Otherwise I absolutely love this car and so does everyone else. One more thing. I paid 63k for this car and not 66k

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