By on April 29, 2012

Last month we reviewed the 2012 BMW 328i and found it less than ultimate as driving machines go. But the reviewed car was a “Luxury Line” sedan with an automatic transmission. For driving enthusiasts, BMW offers the new F30 with different options, among them a larger engine, a six-speed manual transmission, a “Sport Line” trim level, adaptive dampers, and staggered 19-inch summer tires. Check all of these boxes, and the next M3 might seem superfluous. Or not.

Red paint, blacked-out trim, and larger, five-spoke alloys dependably make a car appear sportier. It is somewhat shocking that 19-inch wheels now seem the appropriate size, aesthetically, for a 3-Series. Shod with them, the new car appears as compact as 3s used to be. The previous generation E90 looked good with mere 18s. The next M3 will likely wear dubs. Ever since reading a reader comment on Sajeev’s design critique, I cannot stop noticing the cut line at the leading edge of the hood. BMW’s previous practice of extending the hood all the way to the grille and headlights yielded a much cleaner nose.

Inside, the Sport Line is available with black, gray, or red seats, aluminum or black trim, and coral (more red) or black accents. Whoever ordered the press car went with the most conservative options, so we have classic black leather (that doesn’t look or feel much different from the standard leatherette) with bright red stitching to lend some visual interest. The aluminum trim on the center console was already knicked in a couple of places, suggesting either that it won’t hold up well or that journalists badly abuse the machinery. The Sport Line includes front bucket seats with bolsters that are both larger and (unlike on the current F10 5-Series) power-adjustable. For anyone who’ll be taking turns at speed, these are a must-have. As in the 328i, both the rear seat and trunk are much roomier than in past 3s. For those willing to forego these for a smaller, lighter, more agile car, it’s time for a four-door 1-Series.

Despite kicking out 60 more horsepower than the 328i’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four, the 335i’s 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six does not feel much stronger. BMW’s official test track numbers back up this impression. Pair both engines with a manual transmission, and the six is only 0.3 seconds quicker to sixty, 5.4 vs. 5.7. What gives? Through the mid-range the 50-percent-larger engine is only about 15 percent more powerful, and this is partially offset by an additional 165 pounds of mass. Peak torque is 300 pound-feet with the six, 260 with the four. Only once over 5,000 rpm is the big engine significantly more powerful. Audi’s supercharged “3.0T” feels torquier. It’s time for a new BMW six that’s as power dense as the new four.

The six of course sounds smoother, but its soundtrack is all exhaust (no whirring mechanical bits) and almost generic. BMW has offered sweeter-sounding sixes in the past. When cruising the exhaust drones a bit much. The four’s much more varied repertoire is arguably inappropriate for a $40,000+ car, but is also more interesting.

The EPA ratings suggest that the six isn’t significantly less efficient than the four. Figures for the latter paired with the automatic transmission have been revised downward from 24 city, 36 highway to 23/33. The six with the same transmission? Also 23/33. And the heavier, all-wheel-drive 528i xDrive…would you believe 22/32? Me neither. Something ain’t right. I suspect only one powertrain was retested. You take a hit with the manual transmission. In the 335i it’s rated 20 city, 30 highway. In my driving, the trip computer reported numbers from five to ten miles-per-gallon lower with the 335i 6MT than with the 328i 8AT. While I was able to “Eco Pro” the latter over 40, it proved a challenge to nudge the former over 30. In typical suburban driving, the trip computer reported low-to-mid 20s in the 335i and high 20s to low 30s in the 328i. The harder you are on the gas, the smaller the difference between the two. Count on a sizeable difference on the highway with the manual transmission: it has a shorter top gear (0.85 vs. 0.67) AND a shorter final drive ratio (3.23 vs. 3.15).

Given the manual’s lesser efficiency and equal purchase price, is there a point to it? If you have to ask this question, then no, there isn’t. (I only asked it out of journalistic obligation.) My only issue with the manual other than the fuel economy hit is that second gear can be difficult to find on a quick downshift, a byproduct of locating the lockout-free reverse to the left of first.

With the Sport Line’s sport suspension and the “M Adaptive Suspension” set to “Sport”, the new 3 does feel tighter than the Luxury Line car, but still looser than I’ve come to expect from a BMW. In turns, especially those with imperfect pavement or where you’re being a little too aggressive with the accelerator, the rear end can bobble about a bit. Somehow the car’s line isn’t disturbed, only the driver’s confidence – and not by much. The bond with the F30 isn’t as immediate as with past 3s, but one learns that, when driven with a modicum of sanity, the 335i will go precisely where you want it to go. The misbehavior some people (who clearly don’t know what they’re talking about) refer to as ”snap oversteer”? There’s none of that. Get on the go pedal in a turn and the rear end slides out progressively. Left entirely on, the stability control will cut in too soon. There’s no need to deactivate it; the Sport+ setting puts the threshold about where it ought to be. The electric power steering is no more communicative here than in other recent BMWs. Perhaps BMW reasons that, since the car virtually reads your mind, there’s no need for it to converse. I’m not sure I’d drive the 335i better with more communicative steering, but I would enjoy the experience more. EPS notwithstanding, the 335i becomes enjoyable if you can really push it, the problem being that this is rarely a legal possibility in populated areas. During my week with the 335i I constantly felt like I had to back off just as the fun was starting. I didn’t drive the 328i and 335i with the same suspension, but as best as I can tell, the car feels heavier and less agile with the six, a typical consequence of adding 165 pounds over the front wheels.

One option not on the tested car: the $300 “variable sport steering.” This isn’t the complex active steering offered in the previous 3-Steries. Instead, the steering ratio quickens more rapidly as the wheel is turned. On center, the standard steering is 15:1, the VSS 14.5:1. By the time the wheel has been turned 100 degrees (roughly the amount needed to turn at a typical intersection) the standard steering has quickened to 10.1:1, but the VSS has reduced to an ultra-quick 7.7:1. Intrigued, I dropped by a dealer to sample a car with this option. As the specs suggest, the optional system doesn’t feel much different on-center or in medium-to-large radius curves. Only in tight curves does the steering feel noticeably different, and even then, it’s only really apparent after hopping back into the car without it. The largest difference will be felt in parking lots, where fewer turns are needed to maneuver into a space. Unlike with active steering, the character of the car isn’t dramatically affected. But since VSS is only another $300, I’d opt for it.

The upside of the F30’s less sporty sport suspension? The car rides more smoothly than previous sport-suspension equipped 3ers. I could live with the suspension set to “Sport” all the time, a good thing, as the car can bounce about far too much when set to “Comfort.” (Yes, you’ll need to switch it every time you start the car.) Given the underdamped nature of the default setting, the Sport Line’s standard suspension is probably the way to go. This will also save you $900. To save another $900, stick with the Sport Line’s standard 18-inch wheels. They look and handle about as good and ride significantly better. The 19s don’t ride harshly much of the time, but hit even a small pothole and it sounds like you’ve taken out a wheel. Non-run-flat tires would likely do better, but BMW does not offer them.

Equipped with most but not all options, the tested 335i lists for $55,745. Seem like a lot for a compact sport sedan? As just noted, you can save $1,800 by doing without the 19s and adaptive dampers. If you can live without nav and a head-up display (which would be more useful if it included a tach), then you’ll remove another $2,550. Keep cutting the non-essentials, add the optional steering, and you’ll arrive at a mere $47,195.

Still too steep for a vinyl-upholstered compact sedan? Well, there’s a good way to save another $3,700. The 328i is nearly as quick, is considerably more fuel efficient (despite similar EPA ratings), and handles better. Overall, even with the various sport options the new 3-Series feels a little soft and uninvolving for my taste. BMW focused on providing a very well-rounded car, and clearly left room for a future “is” or “M Sport.” Among the current offerings, the 328i Sport Line is the one to get.

BMW provided the tested car with insurance and a tank of gas. Erhard BMW of Farmington Hills, MI, provided the car with VSS.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online source of car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.

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114 Comments on “Review: BMW 335i 6MT Sport Line...”


  • avatar
    Marko

    Great review as always, Michael. You mention the 1-series: how does it compare to the new 3?

  • avatar

    I saw an F30 (328i)and noted that it looked about the same size as my E39 Five-Series (’00 528i). When I checked the numbers I discovered it’s the same size and weight give or take a few inches/lbs.

    • 0 avatar

      Wheelbase is about the same, but the E39 is about a half-foot longer. Yet the F30 has more legroom and a much larger trunk (the elimination of the spare tire deserves some of the credit for the latter). The F30 is about half an inch wider on the outside, but an inch or two narrower on the inside. Increased side crash safety probably explains this one. All cars seem to be getting less space efficient laterally.

  • avatar
    graham

    The F30 in any guise is going to be the 3-Series to forget. Not unlike the E36. or E21. Looking forward to the LCI in a couple of years.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Overpriced. I know a few people that purchased a BMW. After four or so years, the repair bills were a disaster, and they financed those. I don’t know anyone who ever purchased a second BMW.

    • 0 avatar

      “know a few people that purchased a BMW. After four or so years, the repair bills were a disaster, and they financed those. I don’t know anyone who ever purchased a second BMW.”

      Well allow me to introduce myself, I own a 2000 528iA with 140K on it and a 2001 330Ci Cabrio with 79K, both were bought used and neither has ever had a big $$$ breakdown. The pages of Roundel, the BMWCCA ‘zine are full of multiple BMW owners some of whom own four or five.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Did they properly maintain them, including the preventative stuff? There are certainly catastrophic failures associated with various BMW models but they are not as common as the Panther loving B&B would have you believe. I’ve owned my 02 M3 for four years now and while it’s no where near as bulletproof as my golden age Nissan (which just needed fluids, brakes, and tires), it has never been a money pit.

      Also, my boss just bought his fourth BMW and I am planning my second if the M3 version delivers the goods, er tofu, er bratwurst.

      • 0 avatar
        4LiterLexus

        I tend to believe that 3-series Bimmers are the series to own if reliability is a priority. The massive sales numbers ensure a great parts supply, the aftermarket is huge, and there’s generally less equipment to go wrong than on a 5.

        My father’s ’99 M3 hasn’t been any costlier than my mother’s 9-2x over the past five years: the climate control buttons/display needed replacement for $500, the CD changer died ($100), and that is it. Even though his is a convertible (holy cowl shake, Batman!), it’s still a superb-handling car and a good value.

    • 0 avatar
      NTI 987

      I’ve not only had five BMWs over the last 10 years, but four of them were M-cars: two 01 M5s, a 98 M3, and an 06 M5 with $MG. I kept several of them out of warranty, two of them to over 100k. Never had a “repair” bill of over $1,000. Even doing maintenance at the dealer (which I didn’t do often except with the E60 M5 because it’s a tech monster that my indy didn’t want to deal with), I don’t think any of them even cost me $2,000 per year in the worst year to maintain.

      My mother’s 01 325iT that she bought new has NEVER had a serious issue ($500 or more), and my brother’s 00 540i 6MT that he’s had for four or five years has only had a couple of glitches despite that model’s history of being a nightmare for repairs.

      If the car is well-maintained, the stereotype of BMWs being repair bill nightmares is just nonsense. In this time of increasingly complicated cars, they are no more expensive to maintain than any similarly equipped car, and a lot less so than many. Looking at you, VAG.

    • 0 avatar

      Another member and the Cult of the Roundel here, and currently have in my collection:
      - 2006 M3 Coupe ZCP (“CSL Lite”) 6MT in Alpine White over Imola Red Leather with 59K miles of which 8K are on the track (full Vorsteiner lineup of dual-sided dry carbon fiber body pieces including GTR hood + CSL trunk + rear diffuser + side mirrors + CSL sideskirts + full front bumper + splitter + CSL roof which remember is all pure carbon fiber, Performance Friction BBK w 6-piston monoblock calipers and 380mm 2pc floating rotors front + 4-piston monoblock calipers and 365mm 2pc floating rotors rear, VAC Carbon Fiber CSL Intake, Akrapovic full-Titanium exhaust, Fabspeed long equal length tubular headers, cat delete, TC Kline Race coilovers, GC adjustable sways, UUC engine and transmission “race” mounts, TMS diff mounts, UUC EVO3 SSK+DSSR, full OEM CSL carbon fiber interior, Schrick Stg2+ Cams, TMS pulleys, Stewart water pump +ZZionsville Race radiator + Samco Sport hoses, CSL oil filter housing, SuperTech +1 inconel valves and titanium spring/retainer set, Dinan bored throttle bodies, OS Giken 28-plate 3.38:1 Limited Slip Differential, Genuine BMW Performance carbon fiber frame w Alcantara seating surface 19lb seats from Europe, Extrude-honed head and manifold which were also flow-tested and benched then flow-matched, 5-angle grind for valves and seating area which with the head work resulted in a perfect flow curve eliminating all dips and flowing between 8 and 45 percent more total air with the more important velocity increase of 182 percent, Bosche Revision 3 uprated injectors (R3 have the best atomization of any injector ever made to date), ATI hydraulic dampener, UUC Stg1 Dual-mass clutch kit (25lb total for a true dual mass clutch + LTW flywheel kit rated for 650bhp yet is smoother than stock) + UUC SS clutch line, TMS wheel lugs, BBS LM 19×9″ & 19×11″, Rays Engineering Volk TE37 19×9″ 19×10.5″ gunmetal, Apex 18×9.5″ & 18×10″ matte black extreme-lightweight race wheels (18.8lb/19.2lb, total of 46.9lb lighter), CCW Classics 19×9.5″ & 19×11″ w polished lips (2.5″ front and 4.75″ rear lips), Michelin Pilot Super Sports for street (245-265 front and 265-295 rear) and Pilot Sport Cup for street-legal race rubber (255f 285r), 7″ touchscreen head unit from Pioneer + Focal Utopia component speakers replacing all stock speakers + 2 700W 4.5lb Class D3 amps, Odyssey 13.7lb battery, ZHP shift knob, Alpina genuine pedals, OEM HID’s w upgraded 6800K bulbs + Fog HID conversion w high end projectors and the same 6800K bulbs + 110-LED Angel Eyes w matching 6800K color temp, Clear Turns and Clear Rears, LED Tails, Conversion to LED sidemarkers, Blackout Exterior Trim + Full CF kidney grills + CF headlight interior housing + CF door handles, and a lot more. 378.7rwhp and 299.2rwtq naturally aspirated on 93 pump gas w custom tune and about 36hp/25lb-ft more on 100 race gas; total weight loss is about 295lb with a huge reduction in unsprung weight and a center of gravity 3ft 5in lower) Apart from the test pipes it’s 100pct Street Legal but we don’t have emissions in my state, and as its a “fun track” rather than “serious/competitive track” car, and I don’t do any wheel to wheel in it, the race harnesses with welded-in custom mounts and a bolt-in custom chromoly cage (reinforced steel panels welded to the chassis where it bolts to, which actually help, along with the TMS weld-in full chassis reinforcement kit + Rogue Engineering “RaceBrace” 3-point front strut brace and 2-point rear shock tower brace, to stiffen it up a bit even when the cage is not installed) which was made specifically to minimize the downsides of bolt-ins such as the welded mounting plates that are more than 3x larger than anything I’ve seen off the shelf and which use 12x half-inch thick bolts that mount through and alternate head or thread side down to prevent rattling from loosening the cage. It’s not as good as a “real” cage, but every single instructor or racer who’s seen it has said that they’ve never seen anything close to it in design or quality. It’s also wrapped with 2″ high density closed cell foam padding, which is then covered in OEM Imola Red Leather that I got from a totalled car and the interior specialists even matched the M3 trim stitching perfectly. It looks factory, for real.
      2010 E92 335i 6MT in Alpine White over Natural Leather with Sport, Premium, Premium Audio, Full Bixenons, and Cold Weather packages (far fewer mods; all bolt-ons including 3″ downpipes w/o cats, and a custom tune, AA large intercooler w silicone XL Tubing, twin oil coolers, UUC Stg1 dual-mass clutch kit, UUC EVO3 SSK+DSSR, M-Technik M3 front bumper, Vorsteiner Hood+Trunk+Diffuser+Mirrors all dual-sided dry carbon fiber, Akrapovic titanium exhaust system, StopTech Trophy BBK 8piston 380mm 2pc floating front and 4piston 365mm 2pc floating rear (Monoblock calipers with bare aluminum finish aside from protective coating, titanium pistons, SS Lines), custom widened fenders with +1.2″ front and +2.5″ rear, BBS LM 19×10 and 19×12, Kinesis 20×9.5 and 20×12 ultralight wheels, Custom Quaife 5-plate LSD, KW V3 coilovers, Hitchkis sways, all upgraded bushings and mounts, and misc other stuff. It’s making 442.1rwhp and 468.3rwtq with 90pct of torque from 1950 to 6825rpm!).
      2006 330Ci ZHP 6MT in Imola Red over Charcoal Alcantara and Leather mix, ZHP/Sport/Audio/Cold packages w Bixenons; daily driver with bolt-ons, suspension and brakes, LSD, 19″ staggered lightweight wheels, and SSK/similar “daily driver enhancing mods” + aesthetics like the genuine CF Clubsport splitters
      2000 328Ci 5MT (6MT swapped in tho) in Topaz Blau over Dove Grey Leather with every package and option except for the useless auto trans, and this is my all out no holds barred car, engine built with the absolute best of everything and supercharged with a modified ESS TS2 Lysholm twin-screw supercharger kit (ie plumbing an FMIC, boost increased from 8psi to 13psi on a two-points-higher-than-stock compression ratio, and made to fit the S54B32 individual throttle body conversion), everything down to literally the nuts and bolts have been upgraded in suspensions, brakes, drivetrain, most of the body has been modified (same setup as my M3 but with more, plus custom fenders, and brand new M3 full front and rear axles/hubs/suspension points/etc to allow me to use M3-specific Performance Friction monoblock race 16″/15.2″ BBK + the larger diff housing + stronger driveshaft mounting etc… She is my baby. 449.5rwhp and 431rwtq on pump 93 or 491.2rwhp and 474.8rwtq on 100oct race gas. Total of 76.2lb dropped from suspension/brakes, 42lbs from wheels, 69.8lb from drivetrain mainly from the CF driveshaft + UUC Stg1 dual-mass clutch kit but the con rods are each 0.8lb lighter and the pistons are each 0.38lb lighter, for example, and the combination of razor honed blueprinted crank and dry sump conversion reduces a lot of friction as does the same SwainTech coatings as the M3 but more, where I’d say the M3 has “Level 3″ coating work, this would be “Level 5+” and don’t dismiss the stuff as I couldn’t run this boost without it and the engine bay is over 60deg cooler (intake air temp is never more than 3-6F above ambient, and below 2when mmoving more than 25mph), all in all reducing parasitic losses from 15.2 percent to 7.8 percent or less, and the sprung weight is down by 352.9lbs, for a sub-2600lb E46 Coupe with nearly 2.5x the stock rigidity and chassis strength, and a center of gravity below the mid-section of the car… Oh, and corner weighted, it still has perfect 50:50 weight distribution, set for me in the car, the variance F/R, R/L, and corner-corner is a maximum of 2lb 3oz.)
      2001 E46 325i 5MT Sport TiAg/Black and a genuine European model. 162,890mi as of today and never once have I done any repairs, only preventative maintenance. And I always upgrade what I replace, because KW V2′s, Hotchkis sways, PowerFlex poly bushings, UUC mounts, TMS camber arms, BMW 135i 6-piston front calipers and Euro 2pc floating rotors kit + Wilwood rear caliper spacer and up sized M3 ZCP 2pc floating rotors, and so forth, they are lifetime parts with the warranty to match. Same with the Stewart pump, Fluidyne rad, Samco hoses, Zionsville expansion tank, etc. The car has only BimmerBrakes ceramic headers, UUC TSE3 exhaust, Dinan carbon fiber long-tube true CAI, 3.5″ MAF + Silicone Intake tubing, Shark Injector tune, and Rogue Pulleys as far as power parts, and while a totally different beast from my 328 or M3′s/M5, is still a blast to drive. The suspension is more capable than the limits of any backroad, yet even with the 19×8.5″ & 19×9.5″ J-Line 5LR2 2pc forged wheels (19.9lb/20.7lb) and Pilot Super Sports 235/30R19 and 255/30R19, it’s not just comfortable enough to be a daily driver for a 78mi round trip commute, it is a daily driver for that commute 4-5 out of 5 days a week, and it’s the only one I drive in winter (and as such, the entire underside was steamed, stripped down to the original surface, and it has a thick layer of clear protective coating that’s basically “stronger clearcoat”, and all the suspension and other underside bits were either steamed and scrubbed and coated, or were coated when brand new; the difference is incredible, as 2min with a hose and everything looks newer than a show car’s underside!). I recently changed out plugs and such, and did a new headgasket and other things, and incredibly there is zero oil sludge and barely even a patina, the cams have extremely little visible wear, piston and valve surfaces show the wear I’d expect from 40k miles not 170k, and neither had any carbon buildup. I went ahead and upgraded the PCV system at the time to the enhanced cold weather version to keep the possibility of sludge even lower.
      I attribute this to using ONLY true synthetic oil, Group 4 and 5, specifically Redline (G5) or occasionally Royal Purple (G4), as I do in all my cars. 5W30-40 summer and winter, with Redline D4 ATF in the tranny, RL 75W90 in non-LSD diffs, Motul RBF600 brake fluid for street, RL ATF in place of BMW brand PS fluid, and a 30-70 anti-freeze to water coolant ratio with a bottle of RL Water Wetter in the cooling system. Hundreds of thousands of miles and never a single problem, in fact when my friend, who’s a BMW master mechanic and has his own shop, was helping me tear down my 328Ci’s motor prior to the build for the blower, he asked when I replaced the stock cams and why, but he was holding my original cams, not replacements because they hadn’t been. 82k miles, at the time (the rebuild brought everything but the block back to “0″, as it exceeds the criteria for a new motor more than 3 times over, and tolerances for everything were exactly the BMW tolerance, not a single ten thousandth off, and not at the loose end of allowable, but the exact ideal tolerance)… They had no wear marks, aside from an almost imperceptible color difference at the contact points, they looked brand new. I had them checked, and sure enough they were not even close to being outside allowable tolerances, and the report asked me to call because they thought 82k was a typo, and it even said “if not, call anyway, because I want to know what you’re doing!”. I have only run Redline and occasionally Royal Purple in the motor, the only time it had anything else was during break in (1600mi) after which the oil was changed by the dealer, I drove home and dumped it and replaced it with RL, did OC’s every 1K til 6600mi, then 2.5k til 15k, and have done 5k max ever since.
      Now, my buddy, who had formerly always told me I was crazy for not using BMW fluids, only carries Redline (aside from the Castrol that’s the “Warranty Oil” for the cars that require it for warranty), and I let him “borrow” the cams, along with the cam wear report and Blackstone full oil analysis (6329mi, zero wear metals), on the wall of the waiting area in his shop. He said that since switching most of his customers to RL on a 7.5k OCI, he has had on average 22 percent fewer engine repairs compared to prior.
      I also do every 15k on transmission, 15k on regular or 7k on LS diffs, 15k PS, and coolant every Spring and Fall (go to 60-40 water-AF for winter).

      Also, in the garage, are my 1999 M3 naturally aspirated over 400bhp Euro motor/trans race car, a 1995 E34 540i M-Sport 6MT (one of 133 ever made) w just 65k miles, 2003 E39 M5 w all options in a very rare blue, Estoril Blau, and only one of about a dozen and the only Estoril over Tan leather (48k miles), 1995 M5 Euro with the full European engine and 6MT (NA version made a lot less power and was essentially the same as comparing the NA E36 M3 vs the European versions), a European and 9.8/10 quality last-model-year E24 M6 with a manual (deep but bright red over natural tan leather) which again was a hugely better car than the American one (not just motors, but it doesn’t have the ugly US bumpers), a 1991 E30 M3 in Helrot over Caramel Leather with the entire EVO II OEM parts collection installed (all brand new from BMW Germany) including an EVO II motor and transmission my friend got for $2600US from a car that was wrecked from the rear in Germany with only 9728miles on them! Oh, and a 2002Tii Turbo project car, a 325iS E30 undergoing a heart transplant to the Euro S50B32 converted to OBD1 and 6MT and LSD, my other project.

      You don’t see any pristine 35yr old Toyota’s, do you? It’s because while they have their faults, BMW makes insanely overbuilt engines and has the absolute best body panel fitting in the world, and they don’t use cheap materials. My friend has an E30 325iS that’s on the original motor and transmission that’s his DD, and he hit 500,000 this year. Never had a repair bill over 500US, instead he does preventative maintenance and saves huge money and time.

      This is the key: if you are vigilant, and go beyond the BMW service recommendations while knowing what the trouble areas are, and doing the maintenance preventatively instead of as repairs, and use high quality Aftermarket (upgraded) parts from reputable companies (which are cheaper than, or the same price as, the weaker OEM part), You will pay less for repairs than anything else. I would keep a slush fund as with ANY car, but if you know when and how much months and years in advance, and always minimize labor by doing all like items together, these are EASIER AND LESS COSTLY TO OWN THAN JUST ABOUT ANYTHING! If you don’t care about cars, and You just want a status symbol w wheels, buy a dam Lexus!!!

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?
    The dashboard on this car is giving birth to an ipad.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      In my opinion, the best car contains no Sync like stuff. Useless trash. You are better off with your smartphone at your side, and bringing along a new smartphone every 18 months.

      • 0 avatar
        SunnyvaleCA

        Compared to a smartphone or iPad, these car dashes are several years outdated technology even before the first vehicle rolls off the line. Why someone wants all this complex stuff is beyond me.

        People are shocked if I tell them that my car has only a single button on the steering wheel. Judging by the pictures of the dashboard, I see this BMW has my car “completely outclassed” in the driving computer-game department.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > Why someone wants all this complex stuff is beyond me.

        To be able to control the settings of the aircon, radio, navigation, suspension, steering, lights, gearbox, seats, assisting systems using etc. using ONE single interface instead of hundreds buttons all over the car?

        Really, before posting such ridiculous criticism, imagine for a second you are an automotive engineer and you have to solve the task of providing the driver with control over so many adjustable parameters.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Toucan

        I question the need to have so much control in the first place. Note that I drive an e91 BMW without i-Drive. I can change nearly all of the same settings that someone with i-Drive can using the buttons on the turn signal lever.

        I’ve grown to like the look of the exterior of the new 3-series, but the interior is an abomination. Though usefully larger. Plus they STILL won’t say if we are getting the f31 in the states!

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > I can change nearly all of the same settings that someone with
        > i-Drive can using the buttons on the turn signal lever.

        You can only control car features to some extent by steering column mounted switches. But not everything. You will still need i-Drive or anything like that.

      • 0 avatar

        +1 Jimmyy.
        When I bought my car in 2003, the GPS/nav in dash was the trickest thing going, even with DVD maps ! Fast forward to 2012 and it is a big, clunky thing outclassed by a $200 Garmin-my next car won’t need built in Nav, unless of course the maker of my next car bundles some other must have option with it……

        Keep it simple, with just bluetooth, and let the phone do the work. My Blackberry does the speech recognition and all the heavy lifting, and an aftermarket Bluetooth module gets the signal into the car.

        By the way, I learned all about i-Drive on the autobahn last summer. I drive is great as you can do everything without taking your eyes from the road, which you can’t do with my Acura-zillion-buttons approach to the same problem. The early i drives were even smarter, with different “feel” depending on what you were trying to do. Yes, they are not intuitive in the first five minutes, but after a week, they are for any computer literate person.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Forget giving birth to an iPad, how bout the “wall” between the driver and passenger. Apparently BMW has forgotten the pleasure of grabbing a thigh while driving.

  • avatar

    How well does an E60/E61 BMW 5 do on True Delta in terms of reliability?

    I took someone looking for a used car earlier today and they liked the plethora of available BMW5′s being sold for less than $28,000, but, I warned them about expensive maintenance.

    How is this new 3 and the new 5 in terms of maintenance/reported problems?

    • 0 avatar

      The new 3 is too new to have reliability stats for.

      The E60 and F10 5-Series run from average to worse than average, depending on the model year. But be aware that we’re counting the number of repairs. If and when you do have a repair for a BMW, it’s going to be expensive. Even something that is simple with other cars, replacing the battery, costs $500 at a BMW dealer because all of the electrical systems must be calibrated to work with the new battery. I’ve been told that independent shops will do the deed for a mere $300.

      http://www.truedelta.com/BMW-5-Series/reliability-20

      The market is pretty good about reflecting the likely reliability of a used car in its price. If a car that was expensive when new is much less expensive used, reliability is often the reason.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        I know some people in the used car business here in Miami and they tell me that used BMW prices take a nosedive after four years – not coincidentally, four years is also when the free BMW Ultimate Service runs out.

      • 0 avatar
        theslik1

        And that four year’s worth of “free” maintenance is the beancounter-driven bare-bones minimum service to get the car through the warranty period, with a very high likelihood of an expensive failure after the warranty period runs out due to those same truncated service intervals.

        Let’s also be clear that BMW is stubbornly unresponsive to major quality issues (engine failures blamed on “American gasoline”, plastic water pump impellers disintegrating, rear subframe structural failures, turbo wastegate issues, overheating, software refashes that degrade performance). The bottom line is that undermaintaining a seemingly overengineered yet ironically underbuilt automobile is a recipe for repair headaches and plunging used values for non-CPO vehicles.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    One thing BMW is good at is keeping the brand steady. If you saw a picture of the next 3 series, and no one told you what it was, you could guess it quickly. The Japanese have copied this strategy with most of their models. Detroit still does wild changes on remodels … almost impossible to guess the vehicle from the picture. I have no brand marketing background, but a friend of mine who is a brand expert seems to think keeping the brand steady is most important. And, this brings me to the new Escape. The old one looked good. Ford totally dumps the Escape look, and makes a CRV lookalike. I don’t get that move.

    • 0 avatar
      SV

      It’s amazing how you manage to mention Ford negatively in 99% of your posts, even when the original topic is totally unrelated.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        jimmmyyyy is not exactly open minded when it comes to things that are not Toyota or Honda, and neither company builds a sport sedan, and nor are they likely to drift from their core mission. Which is fine. He could have mentioned the Cadillac ATS, which is supposed to be a competitor, but bashing Ford is more his thing. One truism to his post is the sillyness of all the touch screen dashboards that are pouring out of the woodwork. And Ford is hardly alone in that department. Hopefully that trend will end much like “Tokyo by Night” digital dashboards did in the 80s…

        Michael, while you were comfortable with the “mouse” controller, is it an improvement or is it just a different way to do the same thing? Technology that comes with a learning curve is fine if the end result is a better mousetrap, but often it seems that tech is used just for the sake of it and for advertising reasons…

        Also, I can’t help but feel that this review makes the car sound, well, just ok but nothing special. Two of my friends own 3 series convertibles with a stick and both are an amazing drive. The tested car seems to be a step back, or at best it seems to be less of a driver’s car and more of a cruiser…are the days of being the Ultimate Driving Machine coming to an end?

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > It’s amazing how you manage to mention Ford negatively
        > in 99% of your posts, even when the original topic
        > is totally unrelated.

        Buy he is absolutely right. Look at the past models of:
        - fiesta: every generation completely different from the previous one
        - mondeo/fusion: same here, from asian to european/new edge, then to kinetic, then to aston wannabe
        - focus: only the shape remains
        - taurus/500: no similarities at all
        - ka: as above

        It makes the Ford just “yet anothet forgettable car”.

        From the E36 ongoing, the 3er was always the 3er, recognizable at the first glance. Same for 5 series, same for 7, same for 1er. Even if details and cues changes, the shape, proportions and design concept was exactly the same.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        So how do you explain Mercedes Benz? The styling of the current model range has almost nothing in common with their 1990s counterparts. The latest E and C range could be mistaken for Korean styling efforts with only the grille being a clue that the cars are German “premium”. Even that is shaky in that Mercedes has all but abandoned the traditional grilles on the C class.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        > So how do you explain Mercedes Benz? The styling of the current
        > model range has almost nothing in common with their 1990s
        > counterparts. The latest E and C range could be mistaken for
        > Korean styling efforts

        Not agree. The specific proportions and solid, beefy look is still there (which, well, define the Daimler), so is the slightly evolved grille. Yes, the iconic triangular rear lights are missing and should come back as soon as possible. But one detail does not make the Benz look Korean. It is the Hyundai Genesis that mimics the E class shamelessly.

        > Even that is shaky in that Mercedes has all but abandoned
        > the traditional grilles on the C class.

        They haven’t been abandoned, they evolved and have been partially resurrected. Look at the 300SL or the W113. It’s exactly the same grille as on the current Mercedes corporate face.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        “Not agree. The specific proportions and solid, beefy look is still there (which, well, define the Daimler), so is the slightly evolved grille. Yes, the iconic triangular rear lights are missing and should come back as soon as possible. But one detail does not make the Benz look Korean. It is the Hyundai Genesis that mimics the E class shamelessly.”

        Perhaps you’re seeing something I’m not. There’s nothing “beefy” about the C-class that isn’t being done in Japan, Korea, or even the US. A Buick Lacrosse or Cadillac CTS looks far more substantial than the smaller Mercedes these days.

        “They haven’t been abandoned, they evolved and have been partially resurrected. Look at the 300SL or the W113. It’s exactly the same grille as on the current Mercedes corporate face.”

        The 300SL and W113 were sports cars, which always had a different grille than the sedan models. The C, being a sedan, should be using the more “traditional” grille. The C’s attempt to go sporty isn’t even accurate in that the old sports cars had a single horizontal chrome bar while the C has two horizontal bars. It just looks like a cheap copy.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “jimmmyyyy is not exactly open minded when it comes to things that are not Toyota or Honda, and neither company builds a sport sedan,”

        What do you think you can accomplish when you open with a fallacy? Do you just want to weed out honest and informed readers so your audience won’t be too clever to consider your ideas? Not a winning strategy.

  • avatar
    PJ McCombs

    So, does that make the Infiniti G37 the new “3-Series” of this class, in terms of fun-to-drive?

    • 0 avatar

      The G37 is more visceral, but also much less predictable. Which car is more fun depends on how challenging the road is. If you have a place where you can push the BMW hard, it’s the better car to have. If you need to get your thrills just tooling around the ‘burbs, then the Infiniti.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    BMW’s have always seemed to have suspiciously similar mileage numbers between the different trim levels. That apparently hasn’t changed much.

    I like the new 3, but I think it looks better in person. Just me, but the red doesn’t flatter it.

  • avatar
    needsdecaf

    The next M3 will most certainly come in sedan form.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for the correction. I was recalling rumors that have recently been disproven.

      http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1065019_2014-bmw-m3-sedan-f30-spy-shots

      • 0 avatar
        wallstreet

        FYI. BMW has revised their nomenclature. Most 4 doors sedan will have odd number series whereas all coupes & Grand Coupes (AKA fancy hatchback) will have even number series. M3′s counterpart will be M4 much like M5 versus M6.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      I do hope the M3 doesn’t come in a sedan, its not meant to be one. But of course Porsches have fricking four doors anymore so if they sold out why not BMW. Next up, Sedan de Corvette.

      • 0 avatar
        ventdiver

        Well, my 1997 M3 is a four-door. So not exactly new territory. Plus it is pretty sweet to have an M3 that can do family duty. Why people feel the desire to limit others choices is beyond me…

        I’m more worried about the ever increasing size/bloat of the M3.

      • 0 avatar
        rickyc

        “Next up, Sedan de Corvette”, IMAO!!!! So true though.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Combining MK’s reviews/comments with the awful sales staff at Reeves and Fields, results in one less (slightly heartbroken) BMW customer.

  • avatar
    WRohrl

    I find it interesting that this car sports black side-view mirrors. I noticed this on the new Honda Odyssey as well. I assume it’s cheaper to produce them all in the same color (as they ARE still painted) but wonder if in year 2 or 3 that’ll be the new feature (hey, look, body-color mirrors!)

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    Michael,

    Do you think the EPS is too light? I’ve an E90 and when I test drive F30, I immediately realize the new EPS complete lack of communication. The best I can describe is like driving with a blindfold and I cannot figure out which side of my wheel is hitting the uneven road surface. I might hold out on upgrading until F30 /or F32 M3 is released.

    • 0 avatar

      Not too light, just somewhat numb. In “Sport” mode it’s a little heavier, but no less numb. It could be worse. It could steer like a Mercedes.

      I grew up equating weight with feel. But you can actually have steering that is both light and communicative. Many people consider this combination ideal.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        My 2009 A4 Quattro’s steering was heavy and numb. My 2012 Golf TDI’s steering is both light and communicative. It’s just about perfect. And the Golf is much more fun to drive than the Audi, believe it or not.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Indeed, BMW has confirmed that the very slight improvement in gas mileage with EPS is not worth the sacrifice in steering feel for M3 drivers so they are using HPS instead. Why they think it’s worth it to any 3 series drivers Is beyond me … Well, not really.

  • avatar
    bbbuzzy

    Makes me so glad my ’06 330i still runs great. Think I’ll wait for the M-sport or is before even considering an F30. I hope BMW’s attempt to build a car for everyone, doesn’t leave the enthusiast with only choices from the M division.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Ughh.

    Another marque trends towards worse in almost every conceivable way.

    I honestly believe the late 80s/very early 90s was peak goodness for Mercedes and BMW, just as the mid to late-ish 90s was peak goodness for the Japanese, and it’s all been a continuous, unrelenting decline from there.

    They can add all the additional horsepower and electronic technology that they want, but if such basic and elemental things such as steering feel are worse (not to mention reliability and overall quality), the additional ponies and doo-dads will never compensate for what was lost from prior generations.

    And for the love of all that is holy, please, please, please, automakers, do away with plastic interior trim posing as any form of metal! It’s a deadly sin. It’s the new polyester or bell bottoms or leisure suit.

    • 0 avatar

      The “aluminum trim” might actually be aluminum. It didn’t seem real, but I’ve read that it is.

    • 0 avatar
      28-cars-later

      Very much agreed DeadWeight, Europe and the Japanese peaked at least ten years ago, and the decent into mediocrity has been unsettling.

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      The fake look is a consequence of trying to make aluminum stay shiny through its life.

      Bare aluminum oxidizes and loses its shine over time. The only way to prevent this is to create an oxygen-proof barrier between the aluminum and the air. This is done with clear lacquer. The lacquer is usually a polyurethane type material – guess what that is? That’s right – plastic.

      Put a layer of plastic over anything and it stops looking like the original thing – wood, aluminum, women…..etc.

      • 0 avatar
        wallstreet

        My E90 has AL trim. It looks & feels just like my 15 years old Zero Halliburton case. BMW doesn’t coat AL with lacquer. The only drawback is its surface get hot during summer months.

  • avatar
    thesilence

    These two reviews confirmed what I feared. Thank God I bought my 328 coupe last year, though I guess they didn’t touch the coupe this year? My mother in law has the 328 coupe in Europe with the 4, and while it’s fun to drive it’s nothing like the 6 on mine. Driving down the Saw Mill to work every day puts a smile on my face.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      You might be envious if she had the 320d. Equal performance to the 328i yet returns 40mpg while absolutely hammering it on the Autobahn and backroads (I had a brand new one as a rental over there … pretty sure that I didn’t follow the recommended break-in procedure).

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    Off topic, but why does the 3 series commercial showing nothing but the car driving sensibly on public roads say “do not attempt” at the bottom of the screen? What are you supposed to do with the car, put it in the living room? The disclaimer makes no damn sense.

    • 0 avatar
      wallstreet

      That claims are on most auto commercial, and other version might say something simliar to :’the vehicle is driver by professional driver, do not attempt…” . Americans are too lawsuit friendly.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The 2012 S4 is the same price and can wipe the floor with this thing. Audi has only gotten better in the past 5 years, where BMW peaked in the 1990s.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Never mind the S4 — the A4 probably wipes the floor with this thing. The current Car and Driver has to torture itself to rate the 3 ahead of the A4 Quattro. In their 5-car comparo, the 328i rates dead last in overall performance, slalom, braking and engine NVH, beats only an AWD Volvo in steering feel, and costs $7,500 more than anything else in the test. The run-flats appear to be a lot of the problem, but hey, that’s how they deliver ‘em.

      • 0 avatar

        Ha! I read that comparo too. I thought the S60 had nicely weighted steering too, albeit a tad numb. C/D really seemed to be reaching this time.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIncognito

        I picked up an a4 last year for pretty much this reason. It was about $7k cheaper than a comparable 328, and the performance difference was negligible on public roads. I felt the A4 was less communicative but probably a little more capable. From the reviews, it sounds like BMW significantly dialed down the road feel, so I can’t see why you would pick it ahead of the A4.

    • 0 avatar
      ZCD2.7T

      Truth!!!

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    The cut line on the front of the hood and the rectangular part of the headlights kind of ruin the front end for me. At least BMW didn’t water down the front fascia and throw on some fugly taillights (please tell me that they’re LED in this day and age) just to make 2015 LCI more enticing down the road. I had planned to break down and buy a new M3 with this model but I’m having my doubts at this point. An E90 M3 LCI CPO might be a better option when the time comes.

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    By looking at the badge I’ve surmised this is probably a BMW. Should be expensive.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    “Still too steep for a vinyl-upholstered compact sedan?”

    Un…freaking…real.

    On a close to 50K sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      NTI 987

      Leather is optional, with MB-Tex (vinyl) being standard, on Mercedes up until you get to the $59,000 E550.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      I don’t want vinyl or leather in my vehicles. I prefer the grip and breath-ability of quality woven cloth. However, my parents recently opted for leather because of my father’s handicaps which necessitates a slippery surface on the seats to ease ingress and egress.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        The same grip that quickly pulls enough pill of a $5000 Brioni suit to make it look threadbare in only a year? And I don’t even dare think about those $100,000 minks :)

        Kidding aside, I like cloth seats too; but they don’t really make much sense to the target buyers of Ultimate Poser Machines.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed Spaniel

      Do they still charge $500 for the metallic paint option? That’s a joke too.

  • avatar
    NTI 987

    As a Porsche owner, it’s not often that I experience sticker shock. But $55k for a non-M 3 series? Holy shit. BMW prices seem to have jumped the shark.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    I would challenge anyone to say that when you pay a premium for a new BMW you are getting more than a badge for your money. It is pretty clear that BMW knows what their customer base has become so they are delivering what they want.

  • avatar
    boombox1

    I’m amazed – what BMW dealer keeps manual transmissions on their lot? The local dealer told me a year ago “we haven’t put in for a manual transmission car in over 5 years”. Special order all the way, I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      If you are spending $50K+ for a car, why would you NOT special order it the way you want it?

      And then do European Delivery for the bonus plan!

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I haven’t seen a manual transmission at my local BMW dealer. The Audi store though did have a manual S4. Nice car. Would be my choice over the 335i.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      They’re still fairly common in Canada. There’s always a few manuals on the lots and a Kijiji search of 2007 or newer 3-Series’ for sale in my region reveals that 25% have manuals.

      My B8 S4-owning buddies special ordered theirs with manuals, from different dealers. Both times, there was a manual S4 on the lot, but not exactly how they wanted it. Why compromise on a car like that?

      Having that MT S4 in stock actually resulted in a sale for the first one, which then led to the sale of the second. After being underwhelmed by the video-game steering on the A4 test drive, he was ready to leave but got talked into taking their showroom S4 for a rip. They knew he loved the style and the Quattro system but needed something to push him over the edge. The torque convinced him that he could put up with the numb steering!

      Runflats and the corresponding lack of any trunk space for a spare knocked the 328xi and 335xi off the shopping list.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    Are these 335 or another model have some issues with High pressure fuel pump?

  • avatar
    vanpressburg

    There is a new BMW 1-Series in Europe. New 1-Series is bigger
    and handling is more like old 3-Series.
    Does somebody know, when the new BMW 1-Series will come to North America?

  • avatar
    maxnix

    In about 2 years for the USA.

    Honest review by the way. But I do like the F30 over the E90 in almost every way. I think that BMW is making a conscious effort to make the sedans more appealing to the owners that use them on the street, so they don’t have the track edge of some of the earlier ones. The N20 is amazing, but the N55 is smoother and more enjoyable.

    The Active Hybrid could be real interesting if it can be optioned out correctly with M Sport.

  • avatar

    Autoblog also said the 328 is better than the 335.

  • avatar
    rickyc

    I agree with Michael, the 328i Sport is the way to go. Perfect balance, plenty of power and it can be had for a tad over $40k. I currently drive a 135i chipped and have a hard time fully enjoying all of its power before reaching seriously illegal limits. 260hp should be about right.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    I’ve been trying to come up with something insightful to say, but based on my experience with BMW recently, I sadly cannot say I’m surprised. It’s simply depressing to think that my current ride may be my first and only BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      rickyc

      I feel ya bro, after being a BMW customer for 17 years i find myself yearning for the older models like the E36 and E46. I have driven pretty much all the current models(except the F30) and have come to a painful conclusion that the best BMWs are already past us.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        When I bought my current ride back in November (a 2004 330i zhp), I test drove all of the various e90 models (325, 328, 330, and 335) and none except for the 335 really impressed me, and even then, I ended up with the e46 because that car seemed more fun and involving to drive than the 335, especially for the nearly $10k difference in price. That the F30 appears to be even less involving than the e90 is very disappointing. That they may have ruined the glorious straight 6 sound to the point that a 4 cylinder is more entertaining is borderline heresy.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Agreed. I miss my e39. Sure, it was underpowered a bit, but always fun to drive and it looked great. I enjoy my e91, but I don’t see owning it for 8 or 9 more yrs the way I liked the e39.

      Bummer.

  • avatar
    yosafbridge

    Interestingly, Motor Trend tested both the GS350 F-Sport and the latest F30 335i-Sport with M-adaptive suspension, Sport-Auto 8 speed,Lowered Sport suspension,Variable Gear Ratio Steering(ie basically M-Sport suspension without the cosmetic package) and the GS350 F-Sport pulled better slalom times despite the superior hp/weight advantage of the 335i(the 335i was about 200 pounds lighter than the Lexus GS).

    If I were BMW, I would be very concerned that their sportiest mainstream sedan(the 3 series)is less dynamically capable than a Lexus car 1 size larger and heavier.(1 series really doesn’t count)

    How is it that for a company known to have the “Ultimate Driving Machine”, both their mainstream sedans, the F10 5 series and the F30 3 series, handle worse than a Lexus(The GS350 F-Sport)??

    • 0 avatar
      theslik1

      The F10 is a heavy, heavy chunk and you feel every bit of that weight. I drove one with the “standard” suspension and that, coupled with run-flat tires, inspired absolutely no handling confidence. The suspension is calibrated too far on the soft side in order to compensate for the tire stiffness and it just doesn’t sync up. Going with the M-Adaptive and ditching the run-flats for proper tires would probably fix a lot of that.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    Muahahahahahaa!

    Sorry about that, MK.

  • avatar
    philadendron

    “During my week with the 335i I constantly felt like I had to back off just as the fun was starting.”

    Welcome to owning a 335. I own a 2007 what you just said describes it perfectly.

  • avatar
    TS335i

    Good information, especially regarding some tech specs on the VSS.

    I would like to add a couple of things that I think are a bit misleading.
    Per BMW’s specs, the weight difference between a base 328i and 335i is only 145lbs, not 165lbs.

    The weight difference includes the larger 3.0 of the 335i, plus the standard larger 18″ wheels/tires vs the 328i’s 17′s, and the 335i’s larger rotors and calipers.

    The more important thing is that not all of the 145lbs is at the front. Granted, the majority of the 145lbs is at the front, but not all.
    Weight distribution for the 335i AT is 51.5%/48.5%
    Using that distribution, the front weight is 1831 lbs, and the rear is 1724lbs.

    The 328i distribution is better at 50/50.
    Front and rear are 1705 lbs.
    335i 1831 – 1705 = 126lbs extra pounds on the 335i’s front end.

    Yes, it’s more weight up front on the 335i, but it’s also not 165lbs either. :)

    The other thing is the difference in power.
    I only drove sport AT’s as that’s all the dealers had at the time, but it’s also the trans most taken by a vast majority of 3 series buyers.
    The 335i is noticeably more powerful than the 328i. It’s not subtle either. The 328i’s N20 has great torque at 255lb ft, and compared to the 335i’s N55 300lb ft, the 45lb ft difference may not seem like much.
    But, it’s 18% more torque.
    The 335i also has 60hp more than the N20. That’s an increase of 25% more HP in the N55 over the N20.

    Those figures help show what most drivers will feel. The 335i will pull stronger, and it will pull longer. End result is the faster of the 2 variants. It may not matter to most, but it may matter to some, and that’s why BMW offers a choice.

    Oh, and let’s not discount the sound of the N55/335i at idle and at WFO compared to the N20/328i.
    The N20 is a very competent and potent engine, perfectly suited for the majority.
    The N55 is the whip cream, nuts, and cherry on top of an already good sundae. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      The N55 has more power…at first. Then the intake valves get fouled with carbon and power gradually goes down, if you can keep the fuel pump working long enough to notice. I wouldn’t touch one of BMW’s DI engines with a ten foot pole (unless I hid behind the warranty protection of a lease.)

  • avatar
    TS335i

    More power than what, at first?

    Unless you can cite some sources verifying this as a widespread ongoing problem, then your comment is hyperbole at best.

    ALL DI engines suffer from an increase in carbon buildup. Audi’s 3.0 supercharged is one engine that seems to suffer from this at a higher level.
    Some BMW DI engines get this as well, though not at any widespread rate.

    And, as a matter of fact, ALL internal combustion engines also get carbon build up though at a slower rate.

    Again, your comment is an over exaggeration.
    As for the high pressure fuel pump, the N55 does not suffer from this.
    The N54 did have a problem with faulty HPFP’s, and BMW has issued a recall to replace all old pumps with a new design. The new design has solved the HPFP failure problem. Additionally, BMW has given all N54 equipped BMW’s a 10yr/120K mile warranty in case someone didn’t get a pump replaced, and the original fails.

    Please research and know what you are saying before posting.
    If you don’t want a BMW, that’s your choice.
    My sense is that you don’t know much about BMW’s, and are taking an opportunity to spew negativity at a manufacturer that you don’t like in the first place. I base that on your inflammatory comments that clearly show you don’t really know what you’re talking/writing about.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      Hyperbole? Surely you jest? The problems with BMWs HPFPs is VERY well known and has involved a massive recall and recently a class action lawsuit. Some owners are on their 4th or 5th HPFP. Owners are also reporting failures of the N55 HPFP.

      http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=433273

      My sources are CR, TrueDelta, and various BMW, VW, and Audi forums too numerous to list. Unless you have been living under a rock, the issues with German DI engines is common knowledge.

      Regarding the carbon – It seems that not ALL DI engines have issues with carbon buildup like the German cars have had, or at least with the same severity. I have found numerous posts in Audi, BMW, and VW forums showing heavy buildup on the intakes after as little as 30k miles. Not only that but there have been several before and after dyno results showing the drop in power. I have not found very much evidence of these same issues with Cadillac, Hyundai, or Ford…yet.

      I have been researching Audis, BMWs, and VWs extensively and have sworn off of their DI products until they can show they have the HPFP and carbon issues resolved. I have hopes for the new VAG EA888 engine which will employ DI and PI. Supposedly this was to improve efficiency, but I am pretty sure it is to deal with the carbon buildup issue in a similar way that Toyota has with the DI engines in some Lexus models.

      • 0 avatar
        TS335i

        The hyperbole is that you claim carbon buildup WILL occur at a detrimental level, and that all BMW turbo engines WILL suffer from HPFP failures.
        That is simply not true.

        The HPFP issue has been fixed by BMW.
        It’s rare for the N55 engine to have an HPFP failure, so rare it’s not even a known problem.
        The N54 engine HPFP failures have been stopped with the implementation of a new pump from BMW.
        Warranty for all existing N54′s has been increased to 10yrs/120K miles for anyone still unaware of the recall, if they’ve been under a rock for some time.


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