VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner

1 - 20 of 48 Posts

·
Moderator
2011 BMW 328i xDrive Touring 6MT ZSP
Joined
·
48,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The lease on my Clubman JCW is up in September so a while ago I started looking for a replacement in earnest (since I'm always "looking"). I was a bit all over the place. Before the Clubman I had a MkVII GTI and loved it so I thought about getting one of those, either a used '18 or waiting for the '21s to hit the lot (counting on VW Canada offering a special end of model run Wolfsburg edition as they often do). Then I was on a Benz S212 kick for a bit, looking for a '15-'16 E400 (not offered in the U.S. btw). But those are big and automatic only. Also a top contender was an F30 335i or 340i, which is what I had planned to get before I leased the Clubman.

I was reluctant to spend a bunch of money on a newer car though. We moved from outside of the city to right outside of downtown in January and went from two cars to one. Both of our commutes are super short so it didn't make sense to me to have another big car payment.

On a whim I did an AutoTrader search for manual BMW wagons. There's always a handful for sale across Canada but rarely do you find a good one with the sport package. This time a 2011 328i came up. The ad was super detailed but these were the highlights:
- one owner, custom ordered
- 175k km (just under 110k miles)
- had been optioned with all five option packages available that year in Canada, most importantly the sport package (also premium, executive, navigation, and premium sound)
- came with staggered 18" BBS RG-Rs along with the stock 17" sport package wheels with brand new winter tires. The BBS wheels had been purchased when the car was new and had been professionally refinished a couple years ago
- only mods aside from the wheels were tinted windows and black kidney grilles - exactly what I would have done anyways
- front end was covered in PPF when the car was new
- meticulously maintained with all service records
- black sapphire on black leather
- priced reasonably at $13k CAD (under $10k USD)

I immediately messaged the owner and went back and forth with him a bit. The car was near Ottawa, about 1000 km away. Normally not a big deal to fly there and drive a car home but due to COVID I would have to self isolate for two weeks once home. I had someone from another car forum look at the car for me the next day. He basically said, "If you don't buy this car I'm tempted to." Before I could ask, the owner suggested getting a PPI done and he arranged it at his local BMW dealership.

A few days later, while we were waiting for the PPI appointment, I lost my job due to COVID. Crap. For a second I thought about canceling the deal, but then realized we would need a car in a few months anyways. In the end it was a moot point since I was out of work for less than two weeks and got a generous severance package.

PPI gets done and the only two major things that come up are the fact that it needs new summer tires and that there's an oil leak. The owner immediately books the car in with his indy mechanic to replace the oil pan gasket and we agree I'll take care of the tires myself. Meanwhile I arrange to have the car shipped. The owner was great to work with in all of this. Super professional and forthcoming about everything, and had no problem at all with dropping the car off at a shipping terminal 45 min from his house.

The car came more quickly than expected which was a nice surprise. I got it last Thursday and got it registered and plated yesterday (had to make an appointment at the DMV for COVID reasons). It's in amazing shape considering it's almost 10 years old. A couple of minor scratches on the exterior but that's it. I think the car looks great with the BBS wheels, tinted windows, and blacked out grilles. Black wouldn't have been my first colour choice but it's near the top (especially since the 2011 model year had very few colour options in Canada).

The summer tires on it now are very worn Bridgestone RE-71s which are loud AF but I ordered a set of Potenza S-004s which should be here next week. Other than that the car drives very well. The steering is nice and heavy, although I'm having a hard time getting used to the steering because it's quicker yet lighter in the Clubman. I've taken some ramps quite aggressively and it handles them very nicely. It feels very analog which is exactly what I wanted. The N52 is so smooth and linear. It's interesting that on paper it's about as quick as the Clubman but the two engines couldn't feel more different.

The interior in all black is a bit drab, especially compared to the Mini which has the two tone red and black JCW seats, ambient lighting, chrome, etc. But the layout is simple and usable and the sport seats are super comfortable – I'd say on par with the Mini's. The Logic7 stereo sounds better than the H/K one in the Clubman and the Bluetooth audio connectivity is more reliable too. The older iDrive is definitely a step back but it works fine; I might look into an aftermarket Apple CarPlay solution though.

Since it was only plated yesterday I've only driven it around town so far but I'm really happy with it. For $13k I can't think of a better car to own that is reasonably quick and fun while at the same time being comfortable and practical.

Here's some quick pics I took last night after washing it. Notice the plate the DMV gave me too. :)























 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,380 Posts
Nice job! These cars are really holding their value.
 

·
Registered
982, F22, E88, etc.
Joined
·
5,505 Posts
Ah, excellent pickup! 6MT+Sport Package+RWD, the enthusiast holy grail in any E9x 328i let alone an E91!!

I'm sure you know this already but the S-004s will quiet it down immensely.

N52s are definitely sneaky with the speed. Very smooth and linear, faster than they feel at first and really need to keep an eye on the speedometer.

On the iDrive, it's good that you bought an LCI. The '06-'08 iDrive was borderline unusable, this one will serve you well it's just not as slick as the modern ones.
 

·
Registered
2018 Accord Sport 2.0T 6MT / 1994 Miata
Joined
·
1,806 Posts
This is my favorite generation 3 series. Looks great nice purchase!
 

·
Registered
982, F22, E88, etc.
Joined
·
5,505 Posts
It's actually xDrive - no RWD E91s were sold in Canada, unfortunately.
Ah, I didn't realize that, but when you mentioned the steering that did sound like xDrive. Still, that'll come in handy for the nor'easters I'm sure you get, and it's a superb config. :thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
Nice find! That’s quite the unicorn.

Love the RGRs. I have them on my R32.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
MINI R60 JCW, BMW F30 B58
Joined
·
4,031 Posts
Very nice find. Congrats.:thumbup:

I was actually looking for a good example like that this month. Long shot but if you win the lottery and plan to upgrade your car this year, please sell it to me.
 

·
Registered
2016 A6, 2014 X3, 1967 Bus, 1963 356
Joined
·
22,659 Posts
I've always been a big fan of these cars in 328i form. Sure it's the "lower" engine but it's plenty powerful, has a great sound, and doesn't come with the HPFP issues of the 335's. Also from a design perspective I think these cars are aging quite well, especially when parked next to new BMWs. The sharp lines and odd geometric shapes are more fitting of a BMW than what they're putting out today.:thumbup:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
Can't go wrong with one of these. Congrats.

The only things I would do:

1) Replace engine intake filter unless it was done recently.
2) Replace the shifter with the illuminated M-sport version which is weighted and shorter/stubbier (to my understanding anyways).
3) Carefully choose how to get a little bit more sound out of the exhaust. Whether that means replacing the rear muffler with a borla or other muffler, or removing the resonator. These motors sound great when rung out, but the stock system almost entirely mutes it. I wouldn't go so far as replacing the whole system because then you end up with something too loud and unnecessarily expensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,054 Posts
Mmm, the silky smooth inline 6s in those things are great. My father had a 330i coupe before trading up to a 335is, and I loved driving the naturally aspirated 6. Just lovely power delivery. And in a wagon? You did good. Real good.
 

·
Registered
982, F22, E88, etc.
Joined
·
5,505 Posts
Mmm, the silky smooth inline 6s in those things are great. My father had a 330i coupe before trading up to a 335is, and I loved driving the naturally aspirated 6. Just lovely power delivery. And in a wagon? You did good. Real good.
Yeah N52 motors are an absolute peach--smooth and linear and just all around great motors--and while they make a lot less power they're a lot lighter than N54s to boot. We absolutely adore our 128i.
 

·
How do I resize a picture?
Joined
·
18,465 Posts
If I got one of these I'd also want the 328.

The extra juice of the N54 isn't worth the cost of ownership to me.
 

·
Moderator
2011 BMW 328i xDrive Touring 6MT ZSP
Joined
·
48,501 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Can't go wrong with one of these. Congrats.

The only things I would do:

1) Replace engine intake filter unless it was done recently.
2) Replace the shifter with the illuminated M-sport version which is weighted and shorter/stubbier (to my understanding anyways).
3) Carefully choose how to get a little bit more sound out of the exhaust. Whether that means replacing the rear muffler with a borla or other muffler, or removing the resonator. These motors sound great when rung out, but the stock system almost entirely mutes it. I wouldn't go so far as replacing the whole system because then you end up with something too loud and unnecessarily expensive.
1. This was brought up in the PPI as well, I should check when the PO replaced it last.
2. Not sure if it's illuminated but I already ordered the ZHP shift knob as that seems to be a popular little mod.
3. It's definitely way too quiet, especially compared with the aggressive exhaust on the JCW. I know the BMW Performance exhaust for these cars is supposed to be good but it's out of production. Someone mentioned the Scorpion muffler back system as being good but I'll need to do more research.
 
1 - 20 of 48 Posts
Top