Last post on Nov 29, 2013 at 8:57 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Lexus IS 350, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac CTS, Volvo S60, Audi A4, Acura TSX, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#15881 of 16981 BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04
Apr 02, 2013 (5:22 pm)
Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. I'm sorry in advance if my question has been discussed before (haven't been able to go through 15000 previous posts yet, but I will).
And also sorry in advance to BMW 3series fans because what I'll write may sound like I'm trashing BMW. But in fact, on the opposite, I'm looking for your help to make the case that BMW 3 is still the right car for me.
That's all for the opening, here's my story:
I'm having an Acura TL2004 at 125K miles. I love this car, inside out. But recently, it's been having so many problems that I decided it's time for a new car. Actually, my TL has been having quite a few problems since the warranty expired but I kept fixing it hoping that problem would be last but it's not the case...
Anyway, since I'm looking for a new car, BMW 3 series is on top of my list thanks to all what I read about how great it is... a benchmark for the performance segment....
So I test drove a BMW 328i xdrive and a 328i 2013 model last week, and here's my first reaction:
- Interior: far worse than my TL, materials look cheap and feel cheap. The seat leatherette looks like it's not fully stretched leaving "waves" here and there (hope you understand this, English is not my native language). The steering wheel stitches feel rough on the hands. For me, the best phrase to describe the cabin is "made in China" kind of stuff (just the feeling, not fact)
- Performance: trying to overcome the disappointment with the interior, I was hoping that the German approach was no nonsense and put all the money into the driving experience. However, I felt only marginally better driving dynamic and that's only achieved with Sport mode because when I started with Eco mode, I could hardly tell the improvement vs. my TL. You may say that I'm not that sophisticated a driver to really feel the difference. But the fact is that when I drove a Toyota Camry and a Nissan Maxima just a few weeks ago (rental cars), I clearly felt the difference with the Camry and Maxima feeling like it's "floating" on the road vs. my TL's my firmer, controlled and composed dynamic. Driving 80mph in the Camry and Maxima I didn't feel as secured as in my TL. I was hoping for that "leap" from the TL to the BMW 3 but it was not the case.
Long story, hope I didn't bother you too much. Here are my questions:
- Have someone owned both Acura TL (04-08 model) and BMW 3 series? What's your opinion about the 2 cars?
- Could my limited excitement be due to the fact that the test drive was to short to really feel the difference (I was on each car (328i and 328i xdrive) for about 20 mins)? Or could it be because the TL is really good and all that driving performance superiority of BMW 3 was compared to the mainstream car like Camry so I didn't feel that much of a jump?
I still really want BMW 328 to be my next car and I hope you could help me to really understand the difference.
Thank you very much.
Apr 02, 2013 (6:29 pm)
I had an '04 TL and then an '06 and '09 325i and 328i, respectively, among many other cars. The TL drove admirably well, but not exceptionally. It felt light and much less planted and confidence-inspiring compared with the two 3-series BMW's. The Acura developed numerous squeaks and rattles and the leather seats wrinkled and showed wear. The TL was reliable but with a much more "hollow" feel compared to the firm and steady and rock-solid feel of the BMW's. The interiors of the BMW's, although not the best in the business, wore well and were ergonomic (I happened to like the iDrives I had in each.). While I could ride with others in the BMW for prolonged time without fatigue, for example, the passenger seat in the Acura felt compressed like sitting in a hole or on a commode.
Leoblue, these are just a few observations of mine on the differences of the two cars; keep in mind that this is a very subjective thing. You have to buy with a car that appeals to you. There are many fine car choices you have and you should not go solely on other's opinions but mainly the opinion that matters the most, your own.
#15883 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [leoblue]
Apr 02, 2013 (6:17 pm)
One thing is BMW has many options and lines. I would not even touch leatherette interior. The wood or sport line inlays look so much better than standard silver, it's not even funny. Sport and M lines have much better seats. I understand there is also different suspension on M line, not sure about sports. If you option it right, not just get some base level from the dealer's lot, the car will be different. The only true downside is the price. To get "right" BMW, not just the badge, you got to pay more than starting price. Worse, many dealers don't even keep good cars, not to spook buyers with 50k+ stickers. I looked my dealer's and it seems majority are basic, one two options, not even those designer lines, which trully add nice touches, for a price of course. Bottom line, if you aren't ready to pay up, you better go with Acura. The price is simply better, especially if you want to stay well below 50 grand.
#15884 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [dino001]
Apr 02, 2013 (6:57 pm)
To get "right" BMW, not just the badge, you got to pay more than starting price. Worse, many dealers don't even keep good cars, not to spook buyers with 50k+ stickers.
R&T said this about the 3 series: "The 3-series, which used to make so much more sense than the 1, is now a perfectly nice car that barely registers on the fun-to-drive scale." Barely registers according to them. They also said that it focuses more on electronics than on feedback.
So, all of this probably does not matter to many people who mainly buy these cars to "show off". To say that they have arrived. To say that they are sophisticated.
#15885 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [xrunner2]
Apr 02, 2013 (7:29 pm)
I agree. The F30 loaner I got was a real disapointment in terms of feedback. But it was larger and faster than my E91, so for some that's enough. R&T is probably excaggerating, because all others go same direction, but it may not be as far off.
#15886 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [leoblue]
Apr 02, 2013 (8:03 pm)
Welcome to the forum Leoblue.
I have an '05 TL, very similar car to yours. Fortunately for me, at 130K I've had very few problems.
I also have found the BMWs underwhelming on test drives. Like you, I really like a nice interior and that's not BMW.
I could suggest you check out Audi A4 or Mercedes C-class. Those cars are still taut and handle well, but would have the nicer interior that you may be looking for.
#15887 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [leoblue]
Apr 02, 2013 (8:37 pm)
With everyone else here. I'm a big fan of both Acuras and BMWs. The new edition of BMW 3s (known as F3x series) really are a significant departure from their fun to drive roots. They're still good driving cars, but to get the premium features you noticed missing, you have to option a 3 up close to $50K.
I'd look very seriously at the new TLs, particularly the SH AWD versions. They are super handlers and good performers. Plus, they still have some of the best tech in the industry.
The Infiniti G37x is really a particular "buy" right now because the new version will hit dealers in August. So, they're blowing them out.
Lots of good deals on really nice cars right now.
#15888 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [leoblue]
Apr 03, 2013 (2:48 am)
From what I have been reading, if you want the BMW experience of old you either have to go with the one series, or with the Cadillac ATS
#15889 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [leoblue]
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Apr 03, 2013 (7:56 am)
(haven't been able to go through 15000 previous posts yet, but I will).
Why put yourself through that agony? We like to welcome new members, not torture them.
#15890 of 16981 Re: BMW 328i vs. 328i xdrive vs... Acura TL04 [kirstie_h]
Apr 03, 2013 (8:44 am)
Do you mean to tell me I could have skipped initiation and not gone through all 1,500 posts befor joining?