BMW E90 3 Series vs F30 3 Series. What's the Difference?

BMW F30 3 Series vs E90 3 Series 1 photo
Photo: Car and Driver
Once the F30 3 Series hit the first reviewer, his first thoughts were: "This is different". That's normal. After all, BMW wanted to create an even better car but the most important thing is how different it is and, furthermore, did it change for the best or the other way around?
The guys from Car and Driver just couldn't sleep anymore with this thought in their mind. Therefore, they took an E90 3 Series and an F30 one down to a nearby shop to take a closer look under all that sheetmetal of the two Bimmers.

The machine they used is no ordinary lift. For USD 3 million, it better not be. They tested the two car's reactions to cornering, steering and braking forces and the results were, interesting, to say the least.

The newer model was a 328i with a 2-liter turbocharged engine under the bonnet whilst the older one had the typical 3-liter inline 6-cylinder engine old 335i models used to have.

The measurements showed that the 328i had better weight distribution (49.2/50.8) but the 335i had a lower center of gravity. At the same time the overall suspension stiffness was 2 percent softer on the front axle and 10 percent softer in the back on the F30, a first explanation for the smoother ride.

On the handling scheme, the 328i has less body roll thanks to a higher roll center so all those people that claimed the old model had better handling and less roll were just used to the E90 and had no hard facts to base their allegations on.

On the other hand, the measurements also showed that the steering is softer and that the rear axle is prone to understeer, being designed exactly to do so, both of them taking away some of the feeling a 3 Series is supposed to give you.
Bottom line, the biggest difference was made by the electrically assisted steering, the one that doesn't allow you to know exactly what is happening at the front of your car. Most of the other parameters stayed the same or were improved but the steering makes a big difference.

For all the other important details they found out, check out the full article.
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