This is my second 320ix BMW and I love them. They hug the road, pick-up is remarkable, the interior is roomy and the design is the best around, but of course design is subjective. I like the smooth flowing lines of the interior and the classic outside shape. Road noise factor is pretty good but I wish it was better, I like a quiet ride. I like the AWD so I can get around in the snow and ice. Option packages are good but I think a bit pricey. I do wish it took "regular" grade gas and not mid grade for obvious reasons.
330i xDrive SULEV 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
If you've driven a previous generation 3 series, and fell in love like I did, this car may disappoint you. My 2011 BMW 328i xDrive wasn't perfect by any means - uncomfortable seats, crappy MPG, and nearly exploded on NJ potholes- but it had a "soul". The steering was weighted perfectly - no gimmicky sport/comfort/ ECO pro mode, brakes had a nice bite, and car always felt confident going twice the recommended speed limit through exit/on-ramps. Throaty inline 6, and I could go on... this new model may appeal to Lexus/Mercedes-Benz owners - shiny, colorful displays, and cool lights. The car is definitely more comfortable to drive around town (softer suspension and electric steering). MPG improved greatly (average +10 mpg compared to older model). That's all I can say- I guess BMW is trying to appeal to the mass market buyer. Until the 3 goes back to its roots, I'm planning on buying an Audi next.
I got a manual transmission 330i. It's a great car that is actually addictive to drive, but it's that comfortable and it's technology is lacking a little and you pay too much for options that are usually standard on much cheaper cars. As an example, you don't get Android auto at all, you don't get easy access or lumbar support unless you buy the premium package. You don't get a blind point assist as well.
I have just had my 340xi a couple of days. Estoril blue, beige interior. The manual transmission is like butter. I even like the rev matching after getting used to it. New I drive is much better than previous versions. Only slight negative is the steering, the feel of my old 2009 328 was better. Every thing else is a definite upgrade. I will update later after more time with the vehicle. Now after 3000 plus miles, the car seems better than ever. I am using the sport mode more that causes the car to respond more like my old 2009. The gas mileage is pretty good at 27 combined. The only negative I have found is sometimes the trunk seems to open by itself, I do not know if it has to do with the sensor. It turns out to be the remote. I got a case for the fob and it has corrected the problem. After 8 months, this is the best car I have owned.
Within twenty seconds of pulling out from the dealership I said, "What's wrong w/ this car?" It is the steering. I'd read about the steering in the car magazines but I had no idea what it would feel like. It's as though someone at the factory forgot some part when putting the steering assembly together. It's just weird. Maybe I might get used to it if I bought the car but I don't want to get used this this. I've never felt steering like this in any other car I've owned/driven.