By on December 31, 2008

If you like to drive like your hair’s on fire, deciding between the athletic American 2008 Chevrolet Corvette hardtop coupe and the Bavarian corner carver 2008 BMW 335i is a bit like choosing between cocaine and cocaine. If you’re a more sensible motorist, it’s like choosing between A.H. Hirsch 16 Year Old Reserve Pot Stilled Sour Mash Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Schloss Rüdesheim VSOP brandy. in either case, the question is a matter of taste and price. Hence this test: which performance car offers the better buzz for $40k?

In recent years, BMW designers have suffered from the automotive equivalent of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, in which individuals become preoccupied with imagined or minor defects in appearance. Victims often resort to eating disorders. In this case, BMW turned to compulsive cosmetic surgery, pulling and tightening the sheet metal, and nipping and tucking away curves. Many BMW models look like they’ve had more work than Joan Rivers – with even scarier results. And don’t forget the gluteal implants (a.k.a. the Bangle butt).

Fortunately for the 335i, BMW has dialed back somewhat on the severity of the car’s look. The eyes (headlights) don’t look as overworked, the sides less scalloped, and the bulging trunk less Bangley. The overall comportment is now conservatively sleek and muscular without the distractions.

Compared to the Corvette, the cockpit of the 335i is an over-engineered fussy affair. I wish BMW’s automobilingenieure would have spent more time studying how to make it easier getting in and out of the car, rather than on the creepy mechanical arm that hands you the seat belt. Ingress and egress is much more difficult than the Vette’s. Front seats and steering wheel adjust 1,001 ways, yet I was never quite able to get the seating position exactly where I wanted it. And the tiny back seats? They’re not Mustang bad. How’s that for a compliment.

Much of the tester’s interior was a cream beige– which most buyers should should avoid. With only 14K miles on the odometer, the car was already fouled by smudges that stand out on the light-colored upholstery. The 335i’s instrumentation is classically European, which is a good thing, as are the tiny cup holders, which is a bad thing (unless you are on a diet – or only drink Red Bull).

The door-mounted power window controls are too far out of reach. I know I’m being picky, but BMW need only to take a ride in any Honda to find window controls that lie conveniently where the hand naturally rests. Can’t we expect as much from Germany’s vaunted engineers?

Once you’ve finally lost patience fiddling with the seat controls, you press the start button to animate the 3.0-liter dual overhead cam, 24-valve inline turbocharged engine. At idle, neither ‘Vette nor 335i telegraph their performance potential. But the BMW is a far smoother mill. Tooling around town under 3,000 rpm, you wouldn’t guess you were driving anything other than a vanilla four-cylinder Honda Accord. Give the go-pedal a kick, the turbo spools-up, and I’ll see your zoom-zoom and raise you zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom-zoom– all the way up to the car’s 7,000 rpm redline.

After driving the Corvette for three hours, the 335i’s dearth of horsepower is a major letdown. The fact is that the BMW has 136 fewer ponies to play with and weighs nearly 300 lbs more. This is more a testament to the ‘Vette’s strength rather than the Bimmer’s deficiency. Once the turbochargers catch their breath, the 335i hunts triple digits like a lonely cougar chases young himbos.

Ride quality is fully on par with the Corvette, which is a compliment for cars that offer this level of handling performance. And nimble it is. (Feel the force I do.) Despite its extra heft, the 335i weaves its way through corners with exceptional confidence and ease. The only demerit I would offer: the rear end gets hoppy under hard acceleration on anything less than a glassy smooth surface.

So how does this add up to a win over the ‘Vette? If you like to feel that the world is watching your every move or if you worship at the altar of Hippoi Athanatoi, the ‘Vette is the clear and unequivocal favorite. But the Corvette is frustrating to drive around town. A driver dare not do more than tickle the accelerator for fear of alerting the state police. The car requires a closed track to fulfill the full measure of its creation. The restraint required is maddening.

Conversely, with the 335i, BMW offers an elegant performance package that can be freely enjoyed with unrestrained abandon on surface streets and highways. In the real world, agility trumps epic grip. Day in and day out, the BMW 335i is simply more fun to drive.

[The vehicles reviewed, insurance and gas provided by CarMax]

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77 Comments on “America v Germany: 1st Place – 2008 BMW 335i...”


  • avatar
    Strippo

    In the real world, agility trumps epic grip.

    There’s a joke in there somewhere.

  • avatar

    Continue with the logic in this comparison, and you’ll end up in a Miata. Or an RX-8, if you need a rear seat that adults can actually fit into. While I’m personally a fan of this line of argument, it doesn’t seem to carry much weight for those who value power and grip. And they clearly greatly outnumber those who prioritize fun in everyday driving. Where, frankly, BMWs could be better.

    Switching topics, TrueDelta.com has a lot of reliability information on the E90 3-Series. The cars require very few repairs in their first year or so, then worsen to about average. Too early to say how they hold up after the warranty ends.

    For our latest vehicle reliability information:

    http://www.truedelta.com/latest_results.php

  • avatar

    Strictly speaking, the Corvette is more agile than the 335i; that’s why it is two classes up in SCCA Solo. But I get the idea :)

  • avatar

    Because autocross is the be all end all of car measurement.

    And strictly speaking, the corvette is 4 classes up. SS vs DS.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Strictly speaking, the Corvette is more agile than the 335i; that’s why it is two classes up in SCCA Solo. But I get the idea :)

    To me an agile handling car changes direction quickly, accurately and easily. The Corvette requires much more driver effort to do so. Prior GM efforts to improve this have resulted in numb over boosted steering, which have degraded steering accuracy. I much prefer the way the new ‘Vette’s drive compared to older models. And I’d rather have this steering on a track. But compared to how the BMW steering guides you, the Corvette tiller feels thick and heavy.

  • avatar
    26theone

    I doubt the two cars are cross shopped at all. You either need 4 seats or you dont and these cars are marketed to completely different buyers. Same way you shouldnt compare the Z or Cayman to the 335i. Two seaters are a different animal. I think with the new Camaro coming out they need to take the Corvette further upscale.

  • avatar
    Usta Bee

    I agree totally about the two cars not being cross shopped. BMWs are bought by narcissistic Yuppie pricks, while Corvettes are bought by balding beer-gutted middle aged white males looking to impress bar sluts and women with big hair.

  • avatar
    anoldbikeguy

    @William –

    While I admire your comments on both vehicles, your conclusion for the making the decision:

    Conversely, with the 335i, BMW offers an elegant performance package that can be freely enjoyed with unrestrained abandon on surface streets and highways. In the real world, agility trumps epic grip. Day in and day out, the BMW 335i is simply more fun to drive.

    … doesn’t make sense. Neither car can be ‘enjoyed with unrestrained abandon on surface streets and highways’, unless you mean until the points on your license end the fun.

    For pure close to the edge of the performance envelope driving that won’t get you arrested, there are any number of cars that will get close to the edge without getting you arrested and or ticketed. I think back many years to my 1968 Opel Kadette Rallye – 1.9L, four speed, extremely primitive by today’s standards, but I could get close the edge with it without undue attention being garnered. By today’s standards, a base model Ford Focus would smoke it in speed, handling and braking, but in 1968 it was a lot of fun. I could easily get arrested and/or ticketed in my muscle car – a 1968 Olds 442 – if I wasn’t careful, though; something about the 13.5 quarter mile time, I seem to remember :-).

    That said, I agree with what others say – I don’t cross shop a two seater against a four seater (kind of). I have had two seaters when I was single and when I was a DINK (remember that, anyone?). And the price of admission does not enter into the equation for me, at least. I have four vehicles, each with specific tasks in mind, from shuttling customers and colleagues in comfort and quiet, to hauling the family and toys, to bringing stuff home from landscaping supplies to Home Depot or Lowes runs. And then there is the cheap to buy, feed and insure four cylinder economy car. Of course we have four drivers, so that does give everyone something to drive – but for the fifth in two years when my third and last (thank God) teenaged daughter gets her license – could be some good pickings out there for the wife to have as her primary driver that I can have fun with on the weekends when I’m not exploring the performance limit (and my sanity limit) on my dirt toys!

  • avatar
    8rings

    BMWs are bought by narcissistic Yuppie pricks

    A stereotype usually uttered by the guy in a 03 Grand Am.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Don’t forget that you can have a warranty friendly 390 hp 335i courtesy of your local Dinan dealer.

    Then you’ll be able to see the Vette taillights disappearing less rapidly in the distance while you enjoy your Ultimate Driving Machine.

  • avatar

    Why don’t you compare it to the M3 like Car and Driver. At least it would have been a fairer fight.

    I agree with the others though. One is a balls to wall sports car and the other is a great sport sedan. Two different markets, if you ask me.

    And I will take the repair bills of the Corvette over the BMW any day!!!!

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    “I agree totally about the two cars not being cross shopped. BMWs are bought by narcissistic Yuppie pricks, while Corvettes are bought by balding beer-gutted middle aged white males looking to impress bar sluts and women with big hair.”

    Wow, bitter much?!

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Don’t you think Usta Bee was being satirical? If that wasn’t meant tongue-in-cheek, ol’ Usta gotta problem.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    So let me get this straight: The heavier, slower, more expensive car wins the comparison? And any advantages the Corvette possesses over the BMW don’t count as disadvantages to the BMW? I guess we’d have to say then, to be fair, that any advantages the BMW has can’t count as demerits to the Corvette? Except I don’t think that’s how you scored this.

    Sounds like you used some pretty obvious double standards to crown the BMW.

    You should go work for Car and Driver!

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    So let me get this straight: The heavier, slower, more expensive car wins the comparison? And any advantages the Corvette possesses over the BMW don’t count as disadvantages to the BMW? I guess we’d have to say then, to be fair, that any advantages the BMW has can’t count as demerits to the Corvette? Except I don’t think that’s how you scored this.

    Sounds like you used some pretty obvious double standards to crown the BMW.

    Due to BMW’s styling choices in recent generations I’ve been somewhat predisposed not to like their cars much lately. So I was quite surprised to discover that I preferred the 335i over the Corvette. In fact, I liked both cars better than I though I would before I began driving them, so there’s really no wrong answer here. But in this case, I preferred the heavier, slower, more expensive car because its real world handling dynamics felt much lighter, precise, communicative, and responsive. Most drivers don’t take their personal cars to tracks to race them, which is where the Corvette’s advantages would become manifest. If you’re a track guy, this Vette’s for you. The BMW’s handling dynamic advantage is something that drivers can tap into every time they take the wheel.

    You should go work for Car and Driver!

    Yes, I hear they have an opening.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I agree totally about the two cars not being cross shopped. BMWs are bought by narcissistic Yuppie pricks, while Corvettes are bought by balding beer-gutted middle aged white males looking to impress bar sluts and women with big hair.

    So what is a narcissistic Yuppie prick with a taste for bar sluts and big-haired women to do?

    (I’m asking on behalf of a friend, of course. This has absolutely nothing to do with me. Nothing.)

  • avatar
    CarnotCycle

    So what is a narcissistic Yuppie prick with a taste for bar sluts and big-haired women to do?

    (I’m asking on behalf of a friend, of course. This has absolutely nothing to do with me. Nothing.)

    Two words: Cadillac Escalade (Escalaid!)

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    So I was quite surprised to discover that I preferred the 335i over the Corvette. In fact, I liked both cars better than I though I would before I began driving them, so there’s really no wrong answer here. But in this case, I preferred the heavier, slower, more expensive car because its real world handling dynamics felt much lighter, precise, communicative, and responsive.

    Well, that all sounds very objective and professional, until I read the following:

    The fact is that the BMW has 136 fewer ponies to play with and weighs nearly 300 lbs more. This is more a testament to the ‘Vette’s strength rather than the Bimmer’s deficiency.

    At this point you’ve abandoned any pretence of being an objective evaluator. If the Corvette’s advantages are going to be automatically discounted from the evaluation by fiat, then what is the point, really? Why didn’t you just write an article about how much loved the BMW 335i, and leave it at that? Then at least you would not have had to pretend you were objectively weighing the pros and cons of each.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    What exactly is everybody complaining about? Mr. Montgomery would prefer to spend his 40K on a BMW 335i over a base Corvette, what is wrong with that? Plenty of other people do the same thing daily, that’s why BMW is increasing its sales (mostly) whereas Corvette sales mostly decline after the first year of production.

    It seems to me that a good portion of the readership on this website is really well off starting with anoldbikeguy ‘the price of admission does not enter into the equation for me’. I wish we all could have the luxury of buying cars with price being no object but, alas, most of us don’t. Considering how to spend 40K on 1 car and 1 car only is a lot more common than having no price limit. In that group sure there is a good number of people who won’t cross-shop Corvette and BMW coupe but I would bet a princely sum, assuming I have had it, that a lot more people do cross-shop these 2 cars, even if only in their head if not the actual dealer visit.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Why not just get the plain BMW 328? Where I live any car that accelerates to 60 in under 11 seconds would just end up smashed into the back of a minivan so a fast car is pointless. All BMWs pretty much handle the same so you might as well save your money. The extra power is really just something you can crow about on the internet.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    It is like listening to Dick Vitale rattle on about the Duke Basketball team. After a while you grow to hate both Vitale and Duke.

  • avatar
    DeanMTL

    “Hippoi Athanatoi?”

    Immortal horsepower?

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Well, that all sounds very objective and professional, until I read the following:

    The fact is that the BMW has 136 fewer ponies to play with and weighs nearly 300 lbs more. This is more a testament to the ‘Vette’s strength rather than the Bimmer’s deficiency.

    At this point you’ve abandoned any pretence of being an objective evaluator. If the Corvette’s advantages are going to be automatically discounted from the evaluation by fiat, then what is the point, really? Why didn’t you just write an article about how much loved the BMW 335i, and leave it at that? Then at least you would not have had to pretend you were objectively weighing the pros and cons of each.

    This was a road test, not a drag race or tractor pull. If HP were the only measure of what constituted a good car, there wouldn’t be any need to test drive them. We could just read the Dino results and proclaim the car with the most peak HP the winner.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    “Hippoi Athanatoi?”

    Immortal horsepower?

    Yes sir! The immortal horses of the gods, the divine steeds that pull their chariots.

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    I’m usually the first one to claim that people who say “Car X is never cross-shopped with car Y” are wrong, because I know from experience that very different cars are cross-shopped quite frequently. But in this case, I have to say the “these cars are not cross shopped” argument is correct.

    Sure, these cars are cross-shopped with each other since they’re the close to the same price, but it’s pretty stupid to compare the two if you aren’t going to use a level playing field. If you want ‘refinement’ and ‘agility’ then you’ll take the BMW (although the Vette is more than refined and agile enough in my opinion), and if you want supercar-level performance (the base C6 not only absolutely destroys the 335i performance-wise, but outperforms many other more expensive cars as well) the 335i can’t even compare.

    So it’s not as if you can’t compare these cars, but if you lean heavily towards either the refinement side, or the performance side, it is impossible to make an objective comparison. I don’t really see what the point of this exercise is, because you really didn’t need to even drive the cars to come to your conclusion.

    By the way, based on your criteria, wouldn’t the 335i beat the M3 as well? Wouldn’t it beat a Ferrari F430 too? Comparison tests are great, but if you don’t see the appeal of supercar-level performance then you might as well compare the Vette to a Dodge Caravan

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    We could just read the Dino results and proclaim the car with the most peak HP the winner.

    Bill, I fail to see what Fred Flintstone’s pet has to do with this comparo. ;-)

  • avatar
    Areitu

    William–Thank you for writing these two articles. I think it’s refreshing to see two different cars compared against each other, beyond the usual performance metrics.

  • avatar
    anoldbikeguy

    @ra_pro :
    December 31st, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    “It seems to me that a good portion of the readership on this website is really well off starting with anoldbikeguy ‘the price of admission does not enter into the equation for me’. I wish we all could have the luxury of buying cars with price being no object but, alas, most of us don’t.”

    I think you misunderstood my comment. Why I buy a vehicle I don’t get up in the morning and say, gee, I want to buy something today for $xx, let me see what I can buy for that amount. Rather, I need a vehicle for a specific reason, like a third vehicle when daughter number 1 got her license. I wanted something safe, not too fast and that she couldn’t get a whole bunch of kids into. Also, having bought a new house the year before, I was heavily into the landscaping/decorating phase, ergo, I bought a compact pickup with a four cylinder.

    Years earlier, when we had out third daughter, it became necessary to get something big enough to haul a double stroller, portable crib, etc., while still able to pull my boat – therefore we got a GMC Safari – much roomier than a minivan or sport ute, but able to tow the boat while still getting pretty decent fuel economy.

    My point is that I have a specific need and buy according to that need and set a price limit before seriously looking by investigating what the price of admission is for various vehicles that meet that need. And I rarely have more than one car payment – that is one of the crazy things I see with people – two car payments that added up are half as much or more than a house payment makes no sense to me at all – but I am a frugal SOB!

    BTW, the last new car I bought was in 1995. I tend to buy from the original owner or at least certified pre-owned, as I drive on the order of 30-35K miles a year and don’t intend to get ‘upside down’ on the loan as a previous article implied a majority of people who buy new cars are for the first three years after purchase.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Bill, I fail to see what Fred Flintstone’s pet has to do with this comparo. ;-)

    Oops!

  • avatar
    coatejo

    While I’m still at odds with this comparison, if you did cross shop these two with the intent to make a long term ownership purchase, I beleive the Corvette would return more value for the money. Older Corvette’s, if well cared for, tend to become quite collectable, special automobiles, while a BMW will likely become a rather ordinary, throw-away car as it gets older.

  • avatar
    konaforever

    When I was shopping for a car in 2005, I cross-shopped the C6 Corvette with the E46 M3.

    If I was buying a car today, I would cross-shop a 335i and Corvette (the new M3 is in Z06 price range now), so there are people who would chose between the two when looking for a car.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    If you want ‘refinement’ and ‘agility’ then you’ll take the BMW (although the Vette is more than refined and agile enough in my opinion), and if you want supercar-level performance (the base C6 not only absolutely destroys the 335i performance-wise, but outperforms many other more expensive cars as well) the 335i can’t even compare.

    The fact is, nearly all people who buy these kinds of cars are buying for material rewards, and would hardly if ever use the qualities they are known for.

    If you don’t believe me, think about the times you’ve been to local track events. Extrapolate the counts of unique cars you see there, then divide by approximate number of those performance vehicles in your area. You’ll find that percentage to be close to 0.

    There’s this persistent and incorrect meme among the “enthusiast” crowd that more is better. But cars like these are so far up on the curve of diminishing returns since they can’t really be driven to their ability regularly.

  • avatar
    roadracer

    Agenthex, I see Vettes at SCCA wheel to wheel road races all the time. BMWs not nearly as often, though when I autocrossed I’d see both very regularly.

    Interesting comparison; I for one would not have thought to compare the two.

  • avatar
    noreserve

    William,

    Why test a BMW with a manual transmission, but not the Corvette? I just assumed the BMW would be an auto when I read the Corvette review. I traded in my 99 C5 (Z51, manual) for an 01 330i sedan (sport package, manual). I did not consider for a moment even test driving the automatic BMW. And yes, the coupe is the more appealing shape, but I chose the practical route of having actual headroom in the backseat, along with ease of entry from real doors.

    Also, what’s with the “I’m ugly” caption for the second BMW photo? I’m just confused on that one. Are you serious? Maybe my facetious meter is taking the day off.

    You mention that you just never got comfortable in the BMW’s seats. You don’t mention your height/build. Those sport seats can be pretty snug, but it helps to have a driver reference.

    Also, am I the only Firefox user that has to click twice on the stars to get that section to come up? Works in IE with a single click.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Why test a BMW with a manual transmission, but not the Corvette?

    Availability at the time of the test.

    Also, what’s with the “I’m ugly” caption for the second BMW photo? I’m just confused on that one. Are you serious? Maybe my facetious meter is taking the day off.

    The editor captions the photos. I understood this to be a humorous play on the Body Dysmorphic Disorder analogy I wrote about.

    You mention that you just never got comfortable in the BMW’s seats. You don’t mention your height/build. Those sport seats can be pretty snug, but it helps to have a driver reference.

    I’m pretty average: 5’11”, 200 lbs

    Also, am I the only Firefox user that has to click twice on the stars to get that section to come up? Works in IE with a single click.

    I sometimes have this problem with IE as well. The only time I never have this problem is when I use Safari on a Mac.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    This was a road test, not a drag race or tractor pull. If HP were the only measure of what constituted a good car, there wouldn’t be any need to test drive them. We could just read the Dino results and proclaim the car with the most peak HP the winner.

    But my argument with you isn’t about who won, but the basis on which you made your decision, and the criteria you used. You state quite openly that you refused to use the Corvettes advantages as demerits against the BMW. Which is not only illogical, it makes you look foolish as an objective reviewer.

    I’m sure if you were judging their abilities in a tractor pull, you would discount the Corvette’s advantage if it could pull more.

    Etc.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    You state quite openly that you refused to use the Corvettes advantages as demerits against the BMW.

    He clearly thinks the BMW has more than enough power for driving purposes, and therefore addition hp is diminished returns.

    I can’t see why anyone would be confused. Are you thinking of a situation where the reader is literate enough to read the review but so much as to compare two numbers?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    You state quite openly that you refused to use the Corvettes advantages as demerits against the BMW. Which is not only illogical, it makes you look foolish as an objective reviewer.

    I guess that I read a different set of reviews. The ones that I read selected one each of the best $40,000ish performance cars available from the US and Germany, and addressed which one that the reviewer would prefer to live with, on the street, in day to day driving.

    You don’t have to agree with the conclusion, but the question was reasonable and the thought process was rational. If the reviews had focused on the question of which car would be preferable on a race course, it’s clear that the author’s opinion would have been different.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    You don’t have to agree with the conclusion, but the question was reasonable and the thought process was rational.

    I’ve already stated that my problem wasn’t with the conclusion. But with the explicit statement that the reviewer was not going to let the Corvette’s strengths count against the BMW. Which, any way you look at that statement, is a clear and obvious contradiction of the whole point of doing a comparative review.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    You don’t understand what diminishing returns means. I’ve used it twice and you are still confused.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    You don’t understand what diminishing returns means. I’ve used it twice and you are still confused.

    Thank you for providing a very good example of same.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Which, any way you look at that statement, is a clear and obvious contradiction of the whole point of doing a comparative review.

    Again, that’s wrong. The question posed by the review was one of which of the two cars that the reviewer would prefer to live with as a daily/frequent driver on the street in this price range.

    The answer here was the Corvette’s strengths didn’t appeal to the reviewer in the context of day-to-day street driving as much as did the BMW. The Vette’s popping issue, which is the subject of a TSB, had something to do with it.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    I think it’s humorous that you keep asserting that I don’t understand the purpose of the review, which is nonsense. Of course I understand what the reviewer was attempting (?) to accomplish (?). My criticism is with the how, not the what.

    And it is precisely within the context of the review’s goals as described by you that the reviewer’s methodology becomes – how to put this delicately? – hazy.

    So the goal is/was to discover “which of the two cars the reviewer would prefer to live wtih as a daily/frequent driver on the street in this price range.” OK. In that case, why would the reviewer pick the car that had this problem:

    “Compared to the Corvette, the cockpit of the 335i is an over-engineered fussy affair. I wish BMW’s automobilingenieure would have spent more time studying how to make it easier getting in and out of the car, rather than on the creepy mechanical arm that hands you the seat belt. Ingress and egress is much more difficult than the Vette’s. Front seats and steering wheel adjust 1,001 ways, yet I was never quite able to get the seating position exactly where I wanted it.

    This seems to me to be a fatal flaw for a “daily driver” that you want to use “every day” on “the street”. Note as well even reviewer had to concede that the Corvette was far superior in day-to-day convenience and liveability.

    The Corvette is also faster. And lighter. And cheaper. So why did the BMW win?

    Well, because first you discount all the Corvette’s advantages. THen, apparently, you discount all the BMW’s disadvantages. Then you’re left with the BMW as the “winner” because of its greater “precision”.

    Ha ha. Am I the only one who sees the comedy in “precision” being the defining quality in a review that itself possesses none?

    Give it up, people.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    I think it’s humorous that you keep asserting that I don’t understand the purpose of the review

    Keep laughing, because it’s obvious from your replies that you don’t.

    The summary of the reasoning used is included in the final paragraphs above

    But the Corvette is frustrating to drive around town. A driver dare not do more than tickle the accelerator for fear of alerting the state police. The car requires a closed track to fulfill the full measure of its creation. The restraint required is maddening.

    Conversely, with the 335i, BMW offers an elegant performance package that can be freely enjoyed with unrestrained abandon on surface streets and highways. In the real world, agility trumps epic grip.

    Apparently, the author disagrees with your priorities. Live and let live, except on the internet, I guess.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Thank you for providing a very good example of same.

    Without understand what an absolute comparison is (which you seem to), and then what a linear relationship is (twice as fast is twice as good), one cannot then understand diminishing returns.

    In general, you seem unable to assess relative size relationships. Perhaps to make it easier for some readers, the author should put explicit ranks and quantities on his descriptions. That could be an educational opportunity for them.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    Apparently, the author disagrees with your priorities. Live and let live, except on the internet, I guess.

    Ah, these reviews are the gifts that keep on giving, aren’t they? Thanks for giving another wonderful example of how totally confused and self-contradictory our reviewer turns out to be. After discussing the tremendous power available in the Corvette, our reviewer states quite categorically:

    “Nonetheless, the Vette makes for an easy daily driver with a surprisingly smooth ride.”

    So which is it? Is the Corvette an “easy daily driver”, or a smoking, snorting, meth-addicted beast that can only be enjoyed on the Nurburgring? I guess we’ll never know.

    You see, one key to writing a credible review is that your evaluation of the various parameters of comparison doesn’t change from paragraph to paragraph for the same car.

    Yeah. It must be that “precision” thing again.

    Lolz.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Is the Corvette an “easy daily driver”, or a smoking, snorting, meth-addicted beast that can only be enjoyed on the Nurburgring? I guess we’ll never know.

    His point wasn’t that the Vette was difficult to drive around town, but that it was “frustrating.” It’s apparently not a challenge, it’s just annoying.

    I thought that it was pretty obvious, but the reviewer is saying that even though the Vette may be better when driven at 10/10th’s on the track, it’s not as much fun as is the BMW on the street at the 5/10th’s where most of us end up most of the time.

    If you want to debate that assessment, that’s fine, but thus far, you’ve done absolutely nothing to refute that. Your idea of what constitutes a strength is clearly different, and for whatever reason, you have a tough time when someone doesn’t share your criteria.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    His point wasn’t that the Vette was difficult to drive around town, but that it was “frustrating.”

    Nonsense. If you find a car frustrating to drive, you don’t call it an “easy daily driver”. It’s simply not possible (or coherent) for the Vette to be both an “easy daily driver with a surprisingly smooth ride,” and a car in which “A driver dare not do more than tickle the accelerator for fear of alerting the state police.” It’s a clear and obvious contradiction from a reviewer who is hopelessly muddled about his own opinions and how to present them.

    And of the two cars, recall it was the BMW that was the most frustrating to drive because of its ergonomic issues and its egregious rear-axle hop on anything but “glassy surfaces”.

    You’re trying to somehow make a coherent argument out of this self-contradictory mess, but it’s not working.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It’s simply not possible (or coherent) for the Vette to be both an “easy daily driver with a surprisingly smooth ride,” and a car in which “A driver dare not do more than tickle the accelerator for fear of alerting the state police.”

    Funny, but I didn’t have a problem comprehending the point being made. It’s fairly straightforward, but you are clearly motivated to take issue with it.

    You seem to have a problem that those aspects of the Corvette that you find appealing are not admired by the reviewer. I’m guessing that he doesn’t like the drive by wire throttle in this particular application, which I believe that the LS3 has.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    Funny, but I didn’t have a problem comprehending the point being made. It’s fairly straightforward, but you are clearly motivated to take issue with it.

    What is the point then? That the Corvette is both very easy to drive on a daily basis, and also very difficult to drive on a daily basis?

    Please advise.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Let’s put this in terms you can understand, absolute number comparisons.

    The author may have an internalized ranking system of 1-10 with first priority attributes worth twice as much a secondary priorities:

    Priority 1 quality: daily drivability.
    bmw 9.5, corvette 8.

    Priority 2 quality: absolute performance.
    bmw 8, corvette 10.

    Sums: bmw 9.5 * 2 + 8 = 27, corvette = 26.

    Notice I was somewhat generous to the corvette, and likely the author was also to appease nitpicking fanbois, and the still bmw wins.

    You should study this example.


    Your understand of context is also suspect. In the first instance he was likely referring to the vette individually in light of its power, and the second case comparatively to the bmw.

    Clearly it is not rigid arithmetic as in my example.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    What is the point then? That the Corvette is both very easy to drive on a daily basis, and also very difficult to drive on a daily basis?

    Difficult = something that is hard to do.

    Frustrating = something that annoys.

    It is quite possible for something to be annoying (frustrating), yet easy enough to do (not difficult) simultaneously.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    Agenthex and Pch101:

    Repeating a self-contradiction doesn’t make it magically not a self-contradiction. Anything that is “frustrating” to do is also “difficult” to do. The one idea is contained within the other.

    As for the reviewer’s internal ranking system: Your example is irrelevant, because I’m not disagreeing with the reviewer’s internal ranking priorities. I’m pointing out that he reaches diametrically opposed conclusions about the same characteristic of exactly the same car in the same set of reviews.

    This is a problem no amount of “ranking” can take care of.

    Ciao bambini

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Your example is irrelevant, because I’m not disagreeing with the reivewer’s internal ranking priorities

    You were when you were complaining that the reviewer “ignored” the vette’s power advantage. The ranking system is to clarify that it’s very possibly not a significant enough priority.

    On the other issue, my context point is relevant, but you dodged it. It’s also worth mentioning that in english prose, superlatives tend to be somewhat fluid, therefore my suggestion for subsequent quantification to reduce confusion.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    You were when you were complaining that the reviewer “ignored” the vette’s power advantage.

    I don’t understand the quotation marks around ignored, since that’s what the reviewer openly did.

    I think what you’re refusing to acknowledge is that however we choose to optimize the rating system the reviewer used, we come up with gaping contradictions. Did the BMW win because it’s easier to drive in the “real world” and the Corvette is only good on the track? Then why state, categorically, that the Corvetee is an easy day to day drive with a smooth ride?

    And if ease of day to day use was the priority, why not significantly ding the BMW for what are, to the reviewer at least, horrendous lapses of ergonomics that never ceased to annoy said reviewer?

    The problem remains as I stated it. It’s not that the reviewer decided that X would count as an advantage, and Y would count as a disadvantage for both cars equally, and that I thought he should have had different priorities. Rather, the problem is that he counted X as an advantage for one ca, but a disadvantage for another. That’s the problem. The reviewer clearly and demonstrably refused (a) to credit the Corvette with its advantages, and (b) to have the BMW’s failings count against it.

    As I pointed out, this is not a problem with ranking, or priorities, or preferring real world utility over fantasy track prowess. It’s a fundamental problem of honesty. Or the complete lack of a working logical faculty.

    I’m not sure which is worse.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Look at my numeric example. It very clearly shows how it’s easy to lose a comparison when you advantage is on a secondary priority. If you have any question about it, you should ask them.

    Then why state, categorically, that the Corvetee is an easy day to day drive with a smooth ride?

    Look at my statements about context. It answers this. If you don’t know what it means, you should ask instead of repeating yourself.


    Overall, I’m don’t think the conclusion is a surprise to anyone but devout vette fanbois. These same platforms and lineages have had more or less the same qualities for generations. The BMW is simply the more practical car. The corvette is more flamboyant, and that’s ok if that’s what the buyer desires. In fact, I suspect Johnnie Lieberman would swing that way.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with anyone preferring a 335 over a C6. To each his own. I think both are great buys at 40K, and either car makes a strong case. BUT, when someone (anyone) makes comments when reviewing PERFORMANCE cars like, “A driver dare not do more than tickle the accelerator for fear of alerting the state police”, well, then I get ‘FRUSTRATED’!!! 95% of people who buy EITHER of these cars REGULARLY exceeds the speed limit. PERIOD! Otherwise, you would not buy such a car. I’m not saying they are reckless, or bad drivers. Actually, it’s quit the contrary. BUT, they do exceed the speed limit. And they sure as h*ll enjoy acceleration. They have wet dreams about slamming the gas pedal on a Veyron. Therefore, there really is no such thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to these buyers. To imply 300 HP is all one needs is the fatal flaw of this PERFORMANCE car review. Unless you’re part of that 5%, which means you should not write articles for the masses (95% of buyers). This is not to say the faster car MUST win, but the ‘faster category’ must not be excluded reviewing any performance car. EVEN when used exclusively on the street. (ie. – 95% drivers > speed limit).

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    @ gaycorvette:

    Did the BMW win because it’s easier to drive in the “real world” and the Corvette is only good on the track?

    No and no. I stated that the BMW was more fun to drive in the real world because it is more nimble. I never said that the Vette was ONLY good on a track.

    Then why state, categorically, that the Corvetee is an easy day to day drive with a smooth ride?

    It is a good daily driver because the ride is nice and it is easy to handle for a car of its potential. So is the BMW.

    And if ease of day to day use was the priority, why not significantly ding the BMW for what are, to the reviewer at least, horrendous lapses of ergonomics that never ceased to annoy said reviewer?

    I did ding the BMW for ergonomic lapses. However, from a livability standpoint I would rather spend a little more time working to get the right driving position than listen to the infernal and obnoxious popping that the sample Vette made.

    The problem remains as I stated it. It’s not that the reviewer decided that X would count as an advantage, and Y would count as a disadvantage for both cars equally, and that I thought he should have had different priorities. Rather, the problem is that he counted X as an advantage for one ca, but a disadvantage for another. That’s the problem. The reviewer clearly and demonstrably refused (a) to credit the Corvette with its advantages, and (b) to have the BMW’s failings count against it.

    Let me attempt clarity and logic one last time:
    1. Exterior: Draw. Both are muscular and handsome vehicles.
    2. Interior: Advantage BMW. Both cars had ergonomic flaws which are mostly irritating but not deal killers. For example, the Corvette’s radio button placement and BMW’s ingress/egress, small cup holders, window control placement, and difficulty finding a good driving position. These minor niggles would have added up to a minor advantage for the Corvette except for the intolerable popping noise.
    3. Handling: Advantage BMW. The Corvette might have more actual skidpad adhesion but it’s easier to put the BMW where you want it. It feels lighter even though it isn’t, which is an accomplishment. As such, the grip that it has, which is also outstanding, is much more useable by most drivers in real world conditions.
    4. Power/performance: Advantage Corvette. The reason why Corvette’s advantage in this category was not so overwhelming, as one might conclude from the disparity in HP, is because I got a lot of satisfaction from gunning around in the BMW as well. In fact, because the BMW doesn’t have “arrest me” looks, I actually felt more liberated to drive it hard, which I in fact did. Furthermore Corvette’s power advantage puts it so far outside of the typical driver’s (even most enthusiasts) experience that the additional power, as another reader repeatedly pointed out, is largely in the realm of diminishing returns. For example, the335i (sans Sport package) is electronically governed to a top speed of 130 mph while the base C6 coupe is probably good for 150+. While this is in the decided favor of the Corvette, this factoid held little sway for me. I suppose it’s somewhat like owning a bigger nuclear bomb (what’s the point – they’re all devastating and you never get to use ‘em anyway?). It’s not that I dismiss Corvette’s advantage – I fully credited the Vette for such throughout both reviews. I’m just not prepared to give it the same game changing weight that would satisfy you.

    I think that an honest evaluator can only speak for him or herself. I did not, and will not ever, conduct a review presuming to answer to someone else’s preferences. In the end I concluded that the BMW had a higher-fun-to-drive quotient than the Corvette on a day in, day out basis. I acknowledged that people that place a high premium on power alone (e.g. “you worship at the altar of Hippoi Athanatoi” [the horses that pulled the chariots of the Greek gods]) would make a different choice. I wouldn’t.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    the335i (sans Sport package) is electronically governed to a top speed of 130 mph while the base C6 coupe is probably good for 150+.

    FYI – The top speed of the ‘base’ Corvette is 190 MPH. No governer.

    For myself, the performance advantage of the Vette is significant. Actually, huge. And these are performance cars… I respect your review, but do feel that ‘ultimate’ performance should have had more ‘weight’ in the final analysis. Unlike yourself, I find this performance advantage is ‘useable’ in real world driving. Not the top speed specifically, but the extra thrust.

    As for ‘arrest me looks’, I find that has little to do with tickets. IMHO, a police officer could care less what you are driving. If he clocks you exceeding the speed limit by a large enough amount, you’re getting pulled over. Period. So giving the BMW a ‘plus’ for looking more subdued seems kind’a silly. Matter of fact, most cars I see pulled over for speeding are usually junkers. And if you do get pulled over, at least in the USA, your odds of getting a warning are nearly ZERO with a BWM. The image is ‘rich yuppie’, which most policeman cannot identify with… On the other hand, the Vette has a blue collar (USA) image. Trust me, I know from experience… Never talked my way out of a ticked with the BMWs and Saabs I’ve owned. But did a majority of times with my 1969 Vette and Viper GTS. There’s a respect (in the USA) with the American iron vs. the Euro sedans.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Unlike yourself, I find this performance advantage is ‘useable’ in real world driving.

    Agreed. If tickling the Corvette’s accelerator alerts the local gendarme….trust me, the 335 is only a few tenths behind. If that’s what worries you, you need to be in a lesser car.

    If anything, the instant vertebrae relocating thrust of the LS3 is more entertaining at legal speeds….even from say 5-30 mph…. than the BMW, which needs a few ticks for the turbos to wake up and differentiate itself from a regular 3 series.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    BUT, when someone (anyone) makes comments when reviewing PERFORMANCE cars like, “A driver dare not do more than tickle the accelerator for fear of alerting the state police”, well, then I get ‘FRUSTRATED’!!! 95% of people who buy EITHER of these cars REGULARLY exceeds the speed limit. PERIOD!

    I respect your review, but do feel that ‘ultimate’ performance should have had more ‘weight’ in the final analysis. Unlike yourself, I find this performance advantage is ‘useable’ in real world driving.

    I don’t really understand these sentiments.

    I drive fast. Quite fast. And I find cars that would be considered fairly basic transportation adequate for such driving.

    “Economy” cars these days (<200hp) can fairly easily reach around 2 to 2.5x the legal limit, and with with decent suspension, sustain that corners. This is more than enough to get into serious trouble.

    I guess more is always better in a somewhat perverted sense, but it’s neigh impossible to push the boundaries, where the real fun is. Hell, 400hp is more than WRC cars have, and there’s a reason why GroupB was banned.

  • avatar
    noreserve

    I’ll repeat what I questioned earlier about comparing a MANUAL car (BMW) to an AUTO (C6). I’m not implying that the C6 would have won. I’m stating that it pits the two in a more similar vein. Yes, their manuals are different, but the characteristics of the throttle tip-in and/or take-off modulation, differing gear ratios, and so on between even the same vehicle can be enough to sway one.

    Regarding driving ease and around-town manners, both can be driven like the most tentative retiree. Yes, the C6′s instant and huge torque will make it difficult to resist the adrenaline rush. They are very different cars to drive in parking lots and smaller areas due to the C6′s very large turning radius. The BMW’s higher seating position makes for a completely different feel than the low-slung C6.

    Speaking of low-slung, the C6, like all Corvettes, have notoriously difficult ingress/egress. Ingress is a drop and plop affair for most. It affords one little more grace in egress, as that is like a splayed leg climb from the depths, particularly for your female companion. This is just the price you pay for being so low to the ground, both car and seat frame.

    The BMW, while a fairly small vehicle, is nowhere near as difficult for me to get in and out of. The only thing I remember from the otherwise superb seats from my 01 330i is that they were a bit snug in the thigh area. Not the same exact seats as the 335i, but close enough, as I’ve driven one briefly. This is why I’m surprised to hear William’s exact opposite conclusion.

    At the end of the day, I would have preferred that William talk with a regional Corvette group and see if someone would have been willing to provide use of their car for a short eval. I bet on it. It would have been a more meaningful comparison. Kind of sad that you have to rely on CarMax inventory. It did appear to me that the review was affected by this. Your popping roof sample clearly did it no favors.

    How about a Take Two that has new models from both that are free from popping defects and that have the same transmission type?

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    “Economy” cars these days (<200hp) can fairly easily reach around 2 to 2.5x the legal limit, and with with decent suspension, sustain that corners. This is more than enough to get into serious trouble.

    My first question would be, “Where do you drive?” I suspect it may be lots a lower speed roads with many corners. If that is the case, then yes, 436HP can be overkill. But if this is true, why consider either of these cars? Just get a Mazda Miata and be done with it…

    Like many people, 1/2 of my driving is on highways. The difference between a 436HP V8 and your typical 200HP car is astronomical. Think of it this way. Imagine taking a corner at .50 G’s, and then 1.0 G’s. Big difference, right? Well the G’s you feel going in a straight line can be thrilling as well. Whether it be from a stop or higher speeds. This is where a 200HP car can’t deliver. Therefore, 50% of my driving would be booooooring in such a car.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    My first question would be, “Where do you drive?” I suspect it may be lots a lower speed roads with many corners.

    I would think most enthusiasts seek out these roads to get their fun on. Even then, it’s not smart to drive a particularly fast car on them. Unless it’s extremely twisty, even rental cars can exceed 60mph; and it’s a poor idea going faster than that between trees or on the side of a mountain without a rollcage.

    For highway driving, I find a v6 family car (~250hp these days) more than adequate for runs to >100mph, even going through sweepers (the initial physical exhilaration you mention tends to wear off quickly). Cars like newish corvettes or top end eurocars are designed for easy >150mph on relatively straight sections, which is just too much for me (I don’t think US highways are maintained for such, not to mention serious legal trouble).

    I guess the general point is that passenger car capability in the last 10 years or so is exceeding what is marginally safe when pushed, even for pretty decent drivers.

  • avatar
    onerareviper

    I don’t know, I’ve owned my Viper GTS for about 8 years. And it is still a thrill to slam the throttle/bang gears from 0-100 on a safe stretch. But I do agree the twisties are where the action is… And I do seek them out, but have no choice 50% of time (stuck on highways/on ramps/etc…).

    I also agree going 150+ on 95% of US highways is a recipe for disaster. I’m not recommending that, just that the ‘thrust’ factor is a big deal in ‘my’ purchase. Going from 0-100 in my 210HP Saab and 0-100 in my 500+HP Viper GTS is a ‘totally’ different experience ;). One that I enjoy and adds value to my overall driving experience.

  • avatar
    shelly carroll

    william,
    I know who you are and you know me…clarion, pa.
    Am I right?
    Shelly

  • avatar
    robertplattbell

    Hmmm…

    From a long-term quality standpoint, I’d have to give the Corvette the nod.

    The Corvette interior bits and trim may not be at Bavarian levels, but the basic engine and drivetrain are pretty robust.

    The BMW six is indestructable, but BMW automatics have a checkered history. The old GM-based boxes, sans dipsticks, had a spotty reputation. The new ZF boxes, well, see http://www.noreverse.org on that.

    Electronics and small annoying bits on modern BMWs are at a level of quality that GM surpassed ages ago. Door regulators in the X5 and E46 have a habit of snapping off a 95-cent attachment bracket (repeatedly) that requires an hour or two to replace. Then the regulator itself cracks. Don’t EVER slam the door on a BMW, you’ll pay for it! Pixels disppear from naviation displays, the odometer, radio, on-board computer, and more troubling the odometer.

    Want to upgrade to a BMW V-8 or V-10? Some come equippted with a water-cooled alternator. I kid you not, and it’s a $1900 part, plus labor. There also is a neat water jacket gasket in the back of the V-8 which, if it fails, requires removing the engine to replace. Plus four VANOS actuators… you get the idea.

    Simpler is better. Older BMWs held their resale value because they were simple and robust cars and easy to work on. So people wanted them as older cars. Newer BMWs can be a lot harder to service (BMW refuses to release tech data past 1999) and a nightmare of electronics.

    Old BMW 7-series rapidly depreciate after a certain point, as the cost of maintaining all the systems (the electronic rear sunshade has five electric motors!) becomes prohibitive.

    All that being said, it is a silly cross-shopping comparison. The Corvette coupe would be closter to the MZ4 coupe, which is a very nice looking ride (better looking than the roadster), by the way, and BMW is offering some real deals on that car.

    Get it with a manual, though.

  • avatar
    06M3S54B32

    This whole comparison makes no sense, as you can get an E46 M3 coupe for 30-40K and it is faster, and FAR more performance based than the 335i. I had one for a loaner while my M3 was getting Inspection I. The 335i is an awesome daily driver and city car, but the M3 blows it away in every category.

  • avatar
    willamettejd

    This is a valid comparison. We’re talking about the guy whose ready to drive something (ANYTHING) other than that Camry he’s been saddled with for 10 years. He wants a new car

    My buddy, a county sheriff who lives in the California desert (thus giving him a free pass to drive 100+mph on the OPEN roads out there), purchased a 50th anniversary Vette a while back as a celebration of his 40th birthday. Now he wants to trade it in for a truck. Why:

    FACT: Unless you are taking a Vette to the track, you will NEVER get anywhere near its limits. Off the track, it’s a penis-extender….admit it.

    FACT: 90% of people who have driven a 3-series v. a Vette in daily driving for more than a week will tell you the Bimmer is a more satisfying vehicle…easier to load groceries/kids/life, easier to drive smoothly, etc. Doesn’t make you look like you are constantly trying to show off. And you can’t reach its limits on public roads, either. There’s a reason Bimmers keep flying off the dealerships. The only place the Vette will beat the BMW on public roads in daily driving is from 0-60/0-100 and back down.

    Conclusion: the 40-something who can disconnect himself from his penis will choose the BMW. Unless he really does go the track.

  • avatar
    agenthex

    Unless you are taking a Vette to the track, you will NEVER get anywhere near its limits.

    Since this is the truth about cars, even that statement is an exaggeration. A 400hp car is just as dangerous at the track. At such high speeds, cars without downforce get light, and at the limit, that feels hairy in stock trim w/o rollcage, harness, etc. Which is why you only see such powerful cars at the high end of the totem of real racing.

  • avatar
    aussie2u

    I know I’m late in replying here but since I own the 335i and my brother owns an ’07 Vette, I think I’m qualified to chime in.

    First off, most Vette & BMW owners do not keep their cars longer than 4-5 years, tend to wash them regularly, and generally keep the miles low as this increases resale which they know is coming… The majority of owners will trade for the next new model changeover or major enhancement. That being said, BMW covers ALL costs of their vehicles for 4 years/50K miles. This includes all wear items like brake pads, rotors, and crap you just know the dealer would generally give you a hard time about- not to mention oil changes, etc. With BMW, you can even request new wiper blades during the service at N/C. This is a big plus for BMW and why this is my 4th car from them even though I really like the Vette too. It’s lame to say “only yuppies buy BMW’s” (whats a yuppie in ’09 anyway?.) I feel for the 2-3 years I’ll own the car, I can drive a solid, quiet, extremely quick performance machine that glides past most Highway Patrol without a second glance.

  • avatar
    BilletBones

    I’m late too but what the heck.
    Yuppie? No way…my other vehicle is an H2 and my first sports car was a 98 Firebird Formula with the first LS1 engine.
    My 335i is heaven! I love how it handles and drives and love the fact that my 9 year old can sit in the back.
    The car is a dream but if I was single I’d go with the american powered Corvette any day.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    BilletBones:

    Well put….but to nitpick, the 97 C5 Corvette technically had the first LS1 engine. ;-)

  • avatar
    carve

    Yuppie is slang for “young urban professional”. It doesn’t necessarily mean pretentious asshole like many think. Therefore, I’ll put my hand up: I wear a tie to the office, am 31 years old, and have a nice house on the edge of town. I’m a yuppie, and I drive the 335i. Not only that, but I cross shopped the 07 335i and the 07 Corvette. I was looking for a “fun” car that I could drive to work every day. The 07 Vette makes “only” 400 hp. The 335i is underrated and makes closer to 320-325. Furthermore, I live at one mile altitude, which the turbo, for the most part, compensates for. Therefore, the cars make close to the same amount of power up here. I wanted something sporty and drove both of these cars back to back at the same carmax dealership. I loved ‘em both & wanted which ever one I was driving at the time. The Corvette definitely felt punchier near redline, but the 335i felt more responsive, with a flatter torque curve and, believe it or not, more power down low. The 335i FELT normally aspirated and the Vette, due to the cam, FELT like it was the one with the turbo. Handling was great in either, and even though both cars are similar sized the BMW felt smaller, nimbler, and far more confidence inspiring. The Corvette would also scrape it’s airdam pulling into many driveways- a practical consideration that I think would quickly drive me nuts.

    They were both great cars, and I think they are both strikingly beautiful, but in different ways. The Vette is probably a bit “sexier”, but it is a little too garish / boy-racer looking, which can draw negative attention- particularly from the cops. The BMW is also sexy, but in a more elegant way. Think Christina Aguilara vs. Scarlett Johansen. That, combined with the four seats (I got the sedan, so had 4 doors, too), nicer interior, 2 more years of free maintenance, and 4 more years of warranty (CPO), while being a bit cheaper, and the fact that I see fewer of them around town, sold me on the bimmer. I just found this review and it seemed pretty accurate to me. With the less powerful 07 vette, up here at altitude, the difference is even bigger.

  • avatar
    carve

    @noreserve: The automatic 335i has the same acceleration numbers as the stick: 0-60 in about 4.9 seconds. It is arguably the best automatic transmission out there, and the one in the Vette is damn good from what I hear, too (I only got to drive manual vettes and only automatic 335i’s)

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Wow, lots of people here really wrapped around some details. Good review and honestly, compare what you want. I would easily prefer a 335 myself for the short term fun and long term ownership. They’re both great cars, but I find corvette’s to be too much associated with older men in a midlife crisis.

  • avatar

    The cars are cross shopped by folks in a situation like mine.
    Wife has a car.  I have a car, but I want a fun car.
    Do I keep my every day car for the off season and buy a vette for fun, or do I replace my every day ride with a 335, hoping it will provide enough thrill to kill the third car urge?


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