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Alternative view: BMW 3 Series (G20)

phope74 Apr 10, 2019

  1. phope74

    phope74 Active Member Team Ibis TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 Audi Avant Owner Group Black Edition S tronic

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    Given that my wife & I have owned her A4 Black Edition for just under two years now, I thought it would be useful to give a quick write-up of of first impressions for the brand new BMW 3 Series...after all both models are in the same market for volume premium mid-size saloons/estates (new 3 Series Touring to follow later this year)

    All new platform and tech for the 3, being based on the CLAR platform that now underpins everything from 3 Series all the way up to 7 Series, X3 to X7 etc, ...comparable to MLB Evo in Audi world.

    Spent a few days in the latest 330i M Sport as shown here - a demo car full of spec. 258hp turbo 4 cylinder petrol with 8 speed ZF auto & sport-differential. Undiscounted OTR is £49k, but likely closer to £43k after discounts & incentives. Black Sapphire metallic with M Sport Plus spec and darkened grilles

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    320i and 320d are also available (both circa 190hp) and a M340i to follow this year (six cylinder turbo with around 340hp and 4wd for an S4 competitor)

    Petrol engine is smooth & quiet, and much like the A4, most external noise is muted by acoustic glazing. Sport mode gives more rasp and the sport-diff gives just enough slip for controlled oversteer on public roads to be fun without being a hooligan/idiot. Nimble handling and felt very controlled/composed

    This car had the Driving Assistant Professional, combining active cruise control, lane keeping assist, steering assist, etc - very simple to use the functions with just a single press of the cruise button (you can manually disable the various functions if required). I've been able to drive 35 miles using the system with just a minimal grip on the steering wheel whilst it regulated speed and steering on a dual carriageway totally under average speed camera surveillance. Traffic jam assist where it could accelerate and brake itself to keep up with stationary traffic was quite a novelty.

    To really make the most of that assisted driving tech in future, it's clear that road authorities are going to have to make sure that road markings and signs are in much better condition - worn out road markings can confuse the land keeping assistant, but this is much the same on other marques with the same type of tech that I have driven.

    Very comfortable cabin which is a BIG step up from the previous 3 which while always solidly built, just didn't have the style or flair to match Audi - there's little to separate the A4 and 3 Series now.

    BMW has updated iDrive to become Operating System 7, controllable via dial-wheel, voice-activation (simply by saying 'Hey BMW') and touchscreen, as well as their Live Cockpit (fully digital). Main controls are grouped together round the gearshift, the main infotainment screens are straightforward and easy to operate, but the new dash display just isn't as intuitive as Virtual Cockpit. Speedometer and rev counter are set to the sides of the display and rotate in a counter-direction to each other. I've tried this in several new model BMW lately and it is getting easier to read, but Virtual Cockpit has a less steep learning curve.

    Even the gesture control on the infotainment worked and OS7 firmware can also be updated remotely using the app or the inbuilt SIM so the usability of the dash could improve over time

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    Tech on the optional extras is top notch, such as:

    * Head-up display - I've always been a bit sceptical of the worth of a HUD, but this is simple, easy to use and gives you just the right amount of info about speed, revs, infotainment and nav directions - a big plus.

    * Laser-lights (fully adaptive LED headlights: at speeds over 40 mph laser-generated light is fired through a series of mirrors located in the light assembly, which reflects and focuses the light into a powerful high-beam - these are a step ahead of Matrix LED in the right conditions)

    * Full 3D parking system accessible in the dash display, as well as the car & surrounding area being remotely viewable from the BMW app when parked up

    Interesting note about the keyless/comfort access and security. The key stops communicating with the car after a period of inactivity such as being laid on a desk/table and 'wakes up' again when lifted - ideal precaution against signal booster attacks if leaving keys near doors overnight as the key is inaccessible to signals until it is physically picked up once more.

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    Overall, unless you are a complete Audi fanboy, well worth checking out the latest 3 Series as there isn't much to pick between them now
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2019
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  3. cosmicblue

    cosmicblue Active Member Audi RSQ3 5 Cylinder

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    Thanks, great write up. I think the gap has narrowed a lot - BMW seem in a bit of a styling rut though - they all look very similar? Audi are far from perfect but at least they try to move the style topic forward though I look at the Q8 and wonder if it's just me!

    One worries about BMW's pricing policy - big discounts and incentives on new vehicles means that the vehicles residual values are impacted adversely, rolling from one year to the next in a relentless downward spiral. New cars can be had for less than one year old examples...great for the buyer - or is it?

    BMW seem to have a 'build for stock' business strategy, where there is often a broad choice of new vehicles for immediate delivery with the option of a factory order if required. Because stock vehicles are 'paid for inventory' there is a constant drive to move units each month - big discounts and incentives are the only option.

    Audi also do this but it's much, much harder to cut a deal in the dealership consequently residual values are higher year on year.

    Other brands have trodden the same path and it's always ended badly - Rover, Saab, Vauxhall and I'm sure there are others I've forgotten now. Maybe BMW are figuring when electric cars are mainstream the passion of the IC engine will have gone and the vehicles will have the appeal of domestic white goods - a utility to be used and discarded?
     
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  4. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    For a real comparison we need to wait until the new, proper, A4 facelift to come out as obviously BMW looked at current A4 to surpass it. I just hope the urban ride of the 3 series has improved as the previous model was pretty poor with the m series.

    All manufacturers have been looking at keyless security and even ford has just released a similar system where the key sleeps after a period of inactivity. Their's can be backward compatible with certain models as well by purchasing a replacement fob...
     
  5. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    Seems a good enough place for me to look for some sympathy ...

    TX. [​IMG]

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
  6. phope74

    phope74 Active Member Team Ibis TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 Audi Avant Owner Group Black Edition S tronic

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    M5 is a beast...drove the "standard" M5 last summer and wasn't disappointed, especially with ceramic braking to wipe off speed effortlessly
     
  7. X3man

    X3man Well known member Gold Supporter X3 M40i Carbon Black

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    Yep, a very good place for sympathy. @THQuattro got of these recently didn’t he?
     
  8. Philb65

    Philb65 Member

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    How are Audi any different regarding discounts? Just got 22% off an A6 Avant. If I’d gone for the diesel it was around 25%. Second hand cars seem to be wildly overpriced to buying new, it made no sense to buy a used car. All car makers seem to be going down the same business model except the premium brands, Porsche etc....

    I couldn’t get anywhere near the same discount on a 5 series touring.
     
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  9. SPIKE_S3

    SPIKE_S3 Well-Known Member Team Ara Blue Team Daytona

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    22% discount on the new A6 Avant?
     
  10. X3man

    X3man Well known member Gold Supporter X3 M40i Carbon Black

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    Think they are doing £4500 deposit contribution as a starter, that is before any discount you can get
     
  11. Simonwhite2000

    Simonwhite2000 2017 S5 Coupe Daytona Grey

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    A6 leases are cheap too.

    I cant understand how BMW signed off that digital cockpit. It's truly awful. How did they look at what Mercedes and Audi had done and decide this was good enough to sign off. That aside the cabin is a bit plain but a good effort from BMW overall. A 340 is going to be worth a look but I'd take the optional dials over the digital cockpit.
     
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  13. Philb65

    Philb65 Member

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    Yes, got it via car wow for a 45tfsi avant Quattro Sline tech pack. Car should come in May. It worked out at over £10k off, can’t remember the exact figure.
     
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  14. X3man

    X3man Well known member Gold Supporter X3 M40i Carbon Black

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  15. Evil Derboy

    Evil Derboy Well-Known Member Team Daytona Audi RS5 Owners Group

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    On the higher-end cars BMW discount far more aggressively than Audi. The way of the world is that the largest percentage of buyers purchase on PCP or finance and so manufacturers are structuring their pricing to suit. Having had two BMW's (an M3 and an M6) I can tell you that build quality on both of those cars was better than my current RS5 (and better than any of the other Audi's or VWs that I've owned). In terms of interiors and tech, there's really not much in it but I'd go as far to say that BMW have the more driver-focused platform. Typical evidence is the (M) configuration and dedicated M1 & M2 buttons on the M cars whereas Audi just stick with the bog standard drive select setup even on the RS.

    I am loving my RS5 and it's quite probably my favourite car to-date but I don't subscribe to the view that Audi is superior to BMW or Mercedes. I think that all three occupy the different positions on the same podium at any particular time depending on the range they have at the time.

    I actually feel sorry for folk who are blindly loyal to one marque as they never get to experience what else is out there and often stick to their "tribe" even if it has an inferior offering at that time.

    With that in mind an AWD M3/M4 or C63 will be a big draw for me when it's time to change.
     
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  16. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    I think the interior quality of the previous model series three has never been in the same ball park of the current A4, and the general consensus out there agrees with this. So much fake looking aluminium plastic makes me cringe.
    But, as with most things, it's what suits the individual...
     
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  17. alFR

    alFR Active Member Audi A4

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    Not got rid of the RS4 have you? :astonished:
     
  18. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    Yeah gone fella, sad to see it go though as it is a great car.

    TX.

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
  19. X3man

    X3man Well known member Gold Supporter X3 M40i Carbon Black

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    Really? So you going for M5 Comp?
     
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  20. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    Tis here.

    TX. [​IMG]

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
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  21. X3man

    X3man Well known member Gold Supporter X3 M40i Carbon Black

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    ****** hell, and here I thought it was @THQuattro that got one. Did you P/X RS4 or pvt sale? another @FranA3 masterpiece
     
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  22. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    Got a really good deal on PX in fact BM were desperate to buy it afaik they had pre sold it to Audi who already had a buyer!

    Wasn't really looking tbf as the 4 was a lovely motor but I heard a rumour that BM were pushing the M5C as long as you could buy before end Mar 19 (brexit?) and that was it! Always wanted a M5 tbf since I was just a kid.

    TX.

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
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  23. X3man

    X3man Well known member Gold Supporter X3 M40i Carbon Black

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    Win win, WHAT a motor. Was reading the spec and details on the M5 and was impressed, 600bhp etc, then scrolled down to Comp :respekt:
    And no issues with quiet sound like the 4 from that raucous V8 with Sports exhaust :rockwoot:

    I have always had an 'M' itch, but then an 'RS' one too...one day :racer:
     
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  24. alFR

    alFR Active Member Audi A4

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    Congrats on getting that dream car, looks great. :icon thumright:
     
  25. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    You'll get there fella :)

    TX.

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
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  26. Simonwhite2000

    Simonwhite2000 2017 S5 Coupe Daytona Grey

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    My dad is tempted by a standard M5. I am trying to convince him to just do it especially as you can get them for 65 grand used.

    What a motor there mate.
     
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  27. SPIKE_S3

    SPIKE_S3 Well-Known Member Team Ara Blue Team Daytona

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    Gorgeous :thumbs up:

    I think you made a great call on the M5 - great colour to. The best looking M5 for a few generations. They must be doing great deals on them, as my local BM garage keep posting people collecting their new M5 CP. They are mostly people trading in M3/M4’s.
     
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  28. THQuattro

    THQuattro Site Sponsor Site Sponsor Team Avus Silver Team V8 Team V6 Gold Supporter VCDS Map User Team Panther Team Silver Audi RS4 Audi S4 saloon Audi A4 quattro Audi Cabriolet Owner Group S-line owners group Manual

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    Never no way not for me but they are nice inside with great power and the X drive thing.
     
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  29. cosmicblue

    cosmicblue Active Member Audi RSQ3 5 Cylinder

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    Enjoy TX - sorry to lose you from the RS fold!
     
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  30. Evil Derboy

    Evil Derboy Well-Known Member Team Daytona Audi RS5 Owners Group

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    About 3 or 4 have done the same thing over on 'cutters. Spectacular deals on the go. Was tempted myself.
     
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  31. Evil Derboy

    Evil Derboy Well-Known Member Team Daytona Audi RS5 Owners Group

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    Yeah cos Audi don't do that, do they?

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  32. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    You're correct, the A4 trim doesn't look like plastic, it looks and feels and is, aluminum. Whilst you're at it also have a look at the previous three series black interior plastic.
    The A4 still has an interior that all car manufacturers aspire too, or not bother. It is what defines the new three series and also note with the new three series, no android auto and car play you have to pay for as a subscription. What????
    There's good and bad in every car and the A4 is the one car BMW has based there new three series on. I am interested to see Audi's response with the proper facelift that will be out either late 2019 or early 2020..
     
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  34. Snake Pliskin

    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member Supporter Team Floret Silver Audi RS3

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    OMG the RS4 has been traded :blink: :blink: :blink: :blink:

    Shocked you've gone for a Bimmer mate.

    I don't know a lot about the M5 but I am sure its a cracking car ... & powerful.

    So what triggered the change from the awesome RS4 though ?
     
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  35. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    Loved the 4 and wasn't really looking to change but I heard a rumour that BM were doing some cracking deals on stock new M5s so thought I'd just have a look-see; the rest is history!

    Tbf the 4 was amazing looking, blooming fast but sounded awful to my ears. A real own goal by Audi imho.

    I'm sure I will be back though, perhaps when the new RS6 is out ;)

    TX.

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
  36. Snake Pliskin

    Snake Pliskin Well-Known Member Supporter Team Floret Silver Audi RS3

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    Sounds like it was a sweet deal financially and nice to try a different brand too.
    The M5 does look pretty epic so I am sure it will give you pleasure.
    Shame about the sound of the RS4
     
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  37. D0C

    D0C Well-Known Member Team Nardo Team Panther Audi RS3 TTRS

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    Completely missed this @terminator x

    Great buy. Have looked at these myself. Looks like I might have a buyer of mine but got an itch for a 911...

    What's your thoughts so far on the M5?
     
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  38. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    Is yours not a keeper as it looks like the TT is being phased out?

    The M5 is amazing but tbf perhaps a step up from the 4 as more a competitor for the RS6 I guess. So so fast that you really do have to be careful with it!

    TX.

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  39. D0C

    D0C Well-Known Member Team Nardo Team Panther Audi RS3 TTRS

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    I've been debating in my mind whether to sell it. However, I've been offered £500 less than what I paid for it...not bad for nearly 1.5 years of motoring!

    I'm confused what to replace it with, though. It needs to have the performance, looks and handling that betters it?!

    Edit: one final question on the M5... does it sound good?!
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  40. terminator x

    terminator x Well-Known Member

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    Ha ha yeah it sounds great!

    TX.

    Sent from my BBB100-2 using Tapatalk
     
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  41. X3man

    X3man Well known member Gold Supporter X3 M40i Carbon Black

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    I bet it sound amazing, as my new X3 M40i sounds awesome, and not even a proper M.
    BMW certainly know how to make their cars sound good
     
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  42. GrenW

    GrenW New Member Audi TTS

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    My wife has the X4 with the M40i in it and it's a bit lairy on startup. Very nice. Sound alone was pretty much enough to persuade me to go for a M340i touring later this year instead of the now ruined S4.
     
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  43. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group saloon Audi A4 S-line owners group

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    I haven't driven the new one yet, but I am planning on at some point, however these are quotes taken from Car Magazine's group test:
    "Other than incongruously cheap-looking Sensatec trim (actually far from cheap at £500."
    "Throttle response is good, with generous muscle from middling speeds after fractional turbo lag".
    https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/best/executive-car/

    Proof in the pudding would be drive back to back of my car to make it fair..
     
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