2017 BMW 3 Series 320i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
The interior design is severely basic for the dollar value and poorly designed for userability. There are no power lock buttons on this car and I didn't realize this until I drove it off the lot. What car doesnt have power locks?? You have to pull the door handle twice to unlock then open the door. Car is very low to the ground so getting in and out is very uncomfortable. Car also lunges aggressively on acceleration. Have had the car for 6 months and still cant find the sweet spot on the accelerator so it goes smoothly (probably because there is no sweet spot). Upholstery is unimpressive. USB port is inside of center console which means charging something outside of your shallow, narrow center console requires smashing the USB cable (poor design). BMW dealership refused to give me any written details of what my warrantee included and said "all new vehicles are given the same warrantee standards" - ok but what are the standards?? So now I am writing to the BBB. Awful experience in purchase and in driving this car. Overall, for the dollar amount, there are far superior vehicles to be had.
2017 BMW 3 Series 328d xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 8A)
The car looks, feels and drives very nice. This is my second 328d! The first is a 2014 with 30K miles never had issues like both of my 2014 E250 and 2015 Q7 tdi have been at the dealerships for repairs.
2017 BMW 3 Series 330i SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I have mixed feelings about this car, and considering the premium you pay to drive a BMW, mixed feelings don't make it. I lease the car as a daily driver, and drive a 2008 Corvette Z06 for fun. I wanted a stick so I wouldn't get bored, and I wanted the four because the sixes feel heavy and not particularly sporty. Even the previous-gen used M3s I drove felt lacking: all muscle and no soul. This is my fourth BMW in the last six years, and while each has had its strong points, they don't feel like the Bimmers I test-drove back in the '90s. They're heavier, as are virtually all cars these days, and they've tilted so much toward refinement that they feel almost like a Benz. But in its quest for refinement, BMW doesn't seem to have put much effort into the clutch and shifter. The clutch can be abrupt. When new, the shifter was rubbery and would frequently hang up. Now that it's worn in a bit, it's smoother but still hangs occasionally, and it feels almost as clunky and Mattel-like as the shifter in the '89 Olds Cutlass International I owned years ago. Given the customer take rate for sticks of one percent or so (Edmunds doesn't even offer a user review category for 3 series with stick) I can understand why BMW may not care much about clutch and shifter smoothness, but it's the last BMW stick I'll get, and probably the last BMW. At least I've figured out how to drive the car: like I stole it. Drive it normally and you travel through (and occasionally dwell in) the Valley of Turbo Lag that's right off idle, lag you don't feel in an automatic because the torque converter masks the weak throttle response at very low RPM. I had the same problem with a 2008 C300 with stick that I bought new--off the line the throttle feels like an on/off switch. It's a fun sports sedan when put in sport mode and driven hard on a back road. But drive it in traffic and it's actually more challenging to drive smoothly than my Z06--more challenging even than the STI I test-drove, a car not known for its smoothness. And the STI felt far sportier. BMW still does fine engineering, but in my experience it focuses these days on the mainstream customer, not the enthusiast looking for a nimble sports sedan.