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FR-S / BRZ vs.... Area to discuss the FR-S/BRZ against its competitors [NO STREET RACING]


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Old 08-08-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
nedmundo
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BRZ + TSX v. 328i

I'm simply tired of FWD. Not since high school in the 1980's have I owned a RWD car, and enough is enough! I'm sure you understand. But I live in downtown Philly, where owning multiple cars is not exactly convenient, and can become quite expensive if they move into commercial garages.

Thus this bizarre, mostly just for grins "vs." thread: my 2010 TSX (6MT) PLUS a BRZ, or dump the TSX and replace it with a 328i Sport Line. Figuring I'd get about $18k for the TSX and pay about $44k for a sensibly-optioned 328i Sport Line, these options would cost about the same for the cars themselves, which somewhat validates the comparison.

Normally, this would be a no-brainer: just get the BMW for an enthusiast-grade RWD car that doubles nicely as daily driver and family hauler. But I've driven a 328i Sport Line with 6MT, and it ain't that simple anymore. This car is so refined that it isolates the driver from the road and the machinery itself, and thus lacks the visceral appeal of prior 3 Series variants. In itself, that's not so bad, but the steering is incredibly numb, which is a deal killer for me. Numb steering is my main beef with my TSX, and the BMW's might be even worse. It's lighter, for sure. Supposedly the Variable Sport Steering option improves things (need to test), and I'd wager BMW will refine the EPS for more feedback, but for now there's no way I'd plunk down 44 large for an F30.

I've also driven an FR-S, and even though it was an auto, I loved it for all the obvious reasons. It has a connected feel the BMW lacks, and, though slower, it's more fun to drive. It should also be more reliable and cheaper to maintain. I could probably be happy with a TSX/BRZ pair for many years to come. Unfortunately, unless I'm willing to park it on the street, it will cost me over $2k/year to keep in a garage, and another car will probably jack up the insurance too.

I think I know how most of you would go, but let's get it out there anyway!
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:06 PM   #2
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F30's are huge, I dislike the new style they did on the 3's. Look to much like a 5.

It's personal preference, but judging on your last statement, you obviously already enjoy the FR-S very much, think that's enough to pull the trigger.

Perhaps get a BR-Z instead, with 6MT?

2 vs 1 car, depends on your situation, if you have a need for two, or a need for just one.

BRZ+18k in mods. :P Or trade the TSX in for the BRZ/FRS.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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A 3-series? BMW needs to stay away from Golden Corral, those things just get fatter and fatter, and BMW keeps finding more shit to nail on there.

The little e30 is weeping.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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I'd try out the M sport version with the variable steering one last time, the steering package also comes with the adaptable suspension. The front bumper looks a lot better, on the M sport as well. I just configured one and it was under 45K.

Then go to Germany and pick it up!

In a few years I'm planning on doing that. Well, that's what I'd like to do anyway.

Honestly if you need one car, get one car, I was thinking about keeping two cars and still thinking about getting a weekend car, but in the end all it seems is a hassle.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:39 PM   #5
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Street parking long term in any city especially philly, to me is out of the question. I'd definitely pay to have a peace of mind, so if 2 cars are not within your budget (as much as it pains me to say this) I guess that means going to the 3 series. If you have a good friend that lives nearby in the burbs that you could store the brz, that may be an option since it will probably be more of a weekend / enjoyment car? If you have a family I'd suggest keeping a sedan but if its just your significant other and self, go BRZ! Just make sure they dont think the brz suspension and seats are too harsh.

I had an '04 TSX and the steering was driving me nuts, so I can definitely relate. Finicky steering - the car would lean either right or left even after an alignment/balance.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:30 PM   #6
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Why do you need 2 cars? If you can have 328i as sole driver, then why not just the BRZ? You have to have 4 doors? Save that cash.

I would stay away from newer BMWs. Like you've discovered, it's really numbed down post-E46 era, feels like a Lexus now. It's their inititive to increase sales volume, thus change to fit broader audience. It's really a shame.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #7
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Why do you need 2 cars? If you can have 328i as sole driver, then why not just the BRZ? You have to have 4 doors? Save that cash.

I would stay away from newer BMWs. Like you've discovered, it's really numbed down post-E46 era, feels like a Lexus now. It's their inititive to increase sales volume, thus change to fit broader audience. It's really a shame.
E90's where good.

F30's are like WTF.

And why only 328i's?

Try a C2/350? A4/A5?
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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If you can have 328i as sole driver, then why not just the BRZ?
I think most reasonable people would place a 3-series or TSX far higher on the family hauler scale than a BRZ.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:20 PM   #9
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I'd try out the M sport version with the variable steering one last time, the steering package also comes with the adaptable suspension. The front bumper looks a lot better, on the M sport as well. I just configured one and it was under 45K.

Then go to Germany and pick it up!

In a few years I'm planning on doing that. Well, that's what I'd like to do anyway.

Honestly if you need one car, get one car, I was thinking about keeping two cars and still thinking about getting a weekend car, but in the end all it seems is a hassle.
We have similar theoretical "plans." The European Delivery is definitely part of the "BMW track" if I decide to go that route. It might be the only way to get the wife on board, in fact. (I've already mentioned the a possible drive from Munich to Rome, which sparked some interest.)

As of 2013, the Variable Sport Steering is now part of a handling package that includes the adaptive suspension, which seems like a must for a Sport Line 328i.

I'm with you about the hassle of two cars. I hate hassle. But hassle, evil as Satan himself, comes in many forms, one of which is ownership of European cars. After five years in a Jetta GLX VR6 and eight in a Saab 9-5 Aero, I decided to take a break from European "reliability," and man have I enjoyed the Acura in this respect.

That's a huge draw of the BRZ. Yes, it's a pain to have two cars, but possibly much less of a pain than a really expensive car that has incurable electric gremlins, regular dealer visits for Lord knows what, etc. For example, many owners of the new 328i are reporting a steering wheel vibration for which BMW apparently lacks a fix. It's just total .

Fact is, I'll probably do nothing for another two years anyway. I'll watch for more power in the FR-S/BRZ, and possible updates from BMW and others. But the FR-S just felt so freakin' right! It's just impossible to ignore. I know I'd love it.

Anyway, thanks for the posts.
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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If I were in your shoes, I'd go with a used S2000 for $15k. That'd be a great car to pair with the TSX, and the initial cost savings from buying used could go towards the additional insurance/parking costs of a second car.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:40 PM   #11
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If I were in your shoes, I'd go with a used S2000 for $15k. That'd be a great car to pair with the TSX, and the initial cost savings from buying used could go towards the additional insurance/parking costs of a second car.
I've thought about that, but my daughters would be furious if I bought a convertible that wouldn't accommodate them! (This reminds me of one of the best advertising lines, which Porsche used for the Boxter: "The more children you have, the more practical it becomes.")

Actually, my dream second car is owned by one of my wife's relatives: a 2004 BMW M3 convertible, 6MT, Imola Red with matching interior, and only about 35,000 miles. He bought it at 34,000 miles, and it's like new. He barely drives it, and knows I want it, but just can't seem to part with it. Of course, this brings up the hassle factor of an aging, high-strung European performance car, but an M3 'vert might be worth it, especially when I know it's been well-maintained by a true aficionado.

The prospect of the M3 inspired me to start thinking along these lines, and then the FR-S/BRZ came along...and I can't stop thinking about it!
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:38 PM   #12
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A coincidence, but my wife has a 2010 TSX (though an auto ), and I have the FR-S.

I read in your recent post above that you need to accommodate your daughters, and I'm actually in the same shoes, haha... My two daughters are 1 & 4 years old, and they fit reasonably in the back seats of my FR-S... I take advantage of every opportunity to drive the FR-S with my kids in the back.

Thankfully, we did not have to get rid of the TSX in order for me to get into the FR-S, and the extra car still comes in handy for our family.

Furthermore, I wanted a sports car like the MX-5 I had prior, but I still wanted to drive the sports car everyday along with my small kids... And that was one of the main reasons that brought me to the FR-S.

If it were me, I'd stay away from the BMW... Mostly because you want a sports car with FEEL and lightness... I know I did. I had an e90 M3 in the past, and although it was a very versatile / high-performing, luxury car... It was a car that I never felt one with. Maybe it's just my honest & simple personality, but that's how I feel.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:47 PM   #13
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Yes, Texas FR-S, I think we're on the same page! The lightness, the feel -- the new 3 Series isn't quite there.

My daughters are older, 9 and 13, but they could fit in a pinch. The little one would probably like it.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:46 PM   #14
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Yes, Texas FR-S, I think we're on the same page! The lightness, the feel -- the new 3 Series isn't quite there.

My daughters are older, 9 and 13, but they could fit in a pinch. The little one would probably like it.
Good to hear! :happy0180:
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