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335is v M3

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by Wretched, Apr 20, 2010.

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Loaded 335is or a base m3?

335is loaded all the way! 5 vote(s) 41.7%
M3 base! 7 vote(s) 58.3%
    • Member

    Wretched

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    Next spring god er wife willing I probably will purchase a shiny new BMW! My question to all of you is which one? I can get either a fully loaded 335is or a base M3 for roughly the same price. Which would you pick? I was also sure I wanted the 6mt but I hear so much good about the DCT. Which would you pick? Any feed back from members who have driven both? My main concern with DCT is there is no proven longevity. I know asking a question for a car one year away may be premature but it will help me make a decision sooner hopefully!

    Thank for any help, please leave comments on trans choice or why you would pick one or the other!

    D

    ForcedInduction guest

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    I would test drive both cars because they have much different personalities. The 335i or any model with the N54 engine has a sketchy reliability record. You really need to drive both to make an informed decision.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Agrees with ForcedInduction here

    He's considering the 335is, not the 335i. Difference is 35 hp, and the 335is uses the new N55 six single-turbo, while the 335i makes do with the old N54 twin turbo for now. They are not the same engine. Too early to tell if switching to one twinscroll turbo instead of two single turbos will make any difference. Also, the high oil temperature issue has only affected a small percentage of the total number of cars with this issue. It's an exaggeration to say this engine has a "sketchy reliability record." Most x35i owners report no problems with this engine.

    If the engine was that bad, BMW would have initiated a recall already, and the bad news would be all over the place. Everybody saw the 16 million dollar fine Toyota is paying for trying to hide problems and drag their feet on issuing recalls. I doubt any manufacturer wants to follow that example.


    Test drive them both. Even with NO options, the M3 is an extraordinary automobile! This car will MOVE!

    M3

    Pros - this is BMW's top of the line 3-series. 414 V8 horsepower! Wowsers!

    Cons - this engine is basically BMW's V10 from the E60 M5 with two cylinders lopped off. Oil system is different between the two engines as well as some other differences. Gas mileage is significantly less than the N54/N55 engines. Changing the oil is no longer a DIY job on this engine -- it must be hooked up to a GT1 service computer to turn on the oil pumps needed to change the oil (this is not a joke!).

    335is

    Pros - not an M3, but it does get some of the M3's niceties in the interior. The 335is uses the new N55 engine (single turbo with twin scroll turbines). Not as fast as the M3 but still very fast. Choice of manual or paddle-shift transmissions.

    Cons - no foglights unless it's a convertible :( (although you could probably add them as a DIY if you had to have them). Find out if these come with an oil cooler, or if you have to order them as a option. Whatever you do, make sure you get the oil cooler! Several cars with the N54 turbos have been having high oil temperature issues. Supposedly, the N55 is supposed to have some improvements alleviating that, but only time will tell here. The N54 and N55 engines are not at all the same: the N54 uses twin turbos, the N55 went to ONE turbo with twin-scroll turbines, plus has some other refinements that boost power to 335.

    Oil temperature issue - some owners of cars with the N54 turbos (the old turbo sixes, not the one in the 335is) have been reporting oil temperatures in the 280 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The car's computers will shut the car down a little over 300 degrees to avoid damage to the engine. The problem isn't widespread.

    One other item I thought I'd mention: have you tried the 335d? It's main disadvantage is that you can only get it in an automatic. But if you can look past that -- WOW. The hp is about the same as a regular 335i, but the torque rivals an M3! Yikes! Fuel economy numbers are around the mid-30's -- easily 10 mpg higher than any gas turbo six, and roughly double what the M3 does at the gas pump. The 335d uses a twin-turbo diesel six.

    Might be worth a look, if the auto transmission isn't a deal-killer for you.
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    Sorry bcweir, you mixed up your engines

    Exactly backwards. The 335is and Z435is retain the N54 engine, retuned to make an additional 20 hp (in the 335is; 35 hp in the Z4) and 32 lb-ft torque (with another 37 lb-ft on tap from a short-duration computer-managed "overboost" feature). All other x35 models, as of MY2011 SOP (March-ish) get the new N55 twin-scroll turbo engine, which matches the original N54's output at 300hp/300lb-ft, though with a slightly wider torque plateau.

    The N55 also has the Valvetronic intake system which the N54 did not. N55 output is the same as the old N54. The updated N54 was retained for, and makes more power in, the 335is/Z435is applications because BMW engineers are now very familiar with that engine and know they can safely tune in some additional factory power without compromising reliability.

    The oil cooler could not be ordered as a stand-alone option, it was included with the increased top-speed limiter on cars so equipped. Regardless, it's moot because it has long since become standard equipment.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Thanks to Notthestig! Go with what he says!

    Thanks again!

    I do want to point out that the OP (original message poster) did say he is considering the 335is vs. the M3. ForcedInduction claimed the OP was considering the 335i. Just to clarify the choices the OP is considering.

    ForcedInduction guest

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    I was fully aware that the OP was considering the 335is. The point was the 335is is just a tuned 335i but the torque and handling difference between the 335x and M3 is very different and so to determine which vehicle he prefers, he really needs to drive them both. Opinions can't convey the actual driving experience. Many M3 fans do not like the lack of low end torque while x35i owners are thrilled with the torque of the N54 engine - when it's not broken. ;)
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Point taken. By that logic, I also recommended he try the 335d.

    That is, if the automatic-only status of the 335d is not a deal breaker. The 335d's 425 pound feet of torque can be equally persuasive, not to mention its 30+ MPG rating.

    No problem!

    Cheers!
    • Member

    rwhgme

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    Just a brief note, if the 335is has the same performance upgrade that I ordered for my car that never worked properly, hopefully BMW has worked out all of the software kinks.

    leventor guest

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    I think it is about what driving characteristics you want. If you want an aggressive 3 then get M3, if you want a mellowish but still fast car then 335 is. V8 is very heavy and you will feel it if you autocross it or sth. 335 is more nimble but it is no MMMMMMMmmmmmmm!
    • Member

    bcweir

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    if you just wanted to autocross, either one would be a very expensive track car.

    There are much less expensive ways to race than hitching yourself to a $40k to $50k worth of financing and years of monthly notes. For a DE (Driver Education) event, sure. For autocross? Many autocross racers just purchase a beater E30 or E36, gut the interior, weld in the rollbar, and they are on their way without things like warranties and monthly notes getting in the way. A lot cheaper that way.

    That and DamienM3 didn't mention any kind of racing or tracking the car. Not to rule it out in the future, but for now, the OP didn't say anything about tracking either vehicle.

    The M3 granted is a very aggressive, very high performance vehicle, but the 335i or 335is aren't exactly slow poke beaters either. In normal street driving, at legal highway speeds, you wouldn't have to poke either car with a stick to get it moving. An M3 isn't an uncivilized vehicle either.

    But for normal street driving, either vehicle would be an extremely competent car for their purposes.
    • Member

    Wretched

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    Thanks to all so far for the input! The car will be my summer garage kept in winters and occasional HPDE use. I have a E90 330i that I use as a daily and HPDE car. I will more then likely trade it in on the new car and find a E36 or E46 possibly M car for track and winters. Basically the car will be my baby... When it is out and about it will be a fun toy and event cruiser. Our local chapter events can turn into some fast... Never mind about that!

    I really like all the tech in these cars but fear the more there is the more can break rule. I will purchase the extended warranty with it as well. One thing that didn't consider yet is the insurance difference. I don't know if American insurance companies know the difference between a 335i and a is but I sure they know about a M.

    I have driven both the N54 335i and a M3. Neither was slow! The M felt more engaged with the road IMO.

    Maybe this information might change some minds?

    Thanks again all!
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    That is the M brand hallmark in a nutshell. When trying to decide, either that trumps all other concerns, or it doesn't. ;)
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I hope you don't take this the wrong way...

    ...but I hope you put both cars through a workout. Don't let the leather and electronic toys fool you. Both are serious BMW performance cars.

    Don't drive them like a grandma -- the dealer is insured!! :D

    Just don't hurt or kill anybody ok... LOL.

    Let us know which car you wind up adopting -- or should I say, which one adopts you instead.
    • Member

    Wretched

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    To be responsible I must wait until spring 2011. Wow I don't want to wait! But I will be a adult and wait 11 more months... i will post back what I get but I am leaning heavily to the M3!
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Just curious but why the wait?

    BMW is offering quite a few incentives. There is a $2500 BMW Spring Fever incentive, as well as a one point discount from the APR (from what I heard, correct me on this, if I am mistaken on any of these), and a $500 BMWCCA membership reward on all 3-series vehicles (including the M3). That's $3,000 right there.

    Here's another question: how do you feel about the E9x M3 four-doors? The scuttlebutt I heard is that BMW dealers can't GIVE those away. Seems to me like the right dealer ought to be willing to make you a heck of a deal on one of those.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Or you could just wait another year after that for the new 3er's... given the current "post-Bangle" model designs (Z4, for example), I think it's going to look nothing short of friggin' awesome...
    • Member

    330indy1

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    I lean to the M. Mostly because it has more edge to it, oh yeah, AND that limited slip differential.
    The test drive will tell all.
    • Member

    Wretched

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    The 335is will NOT have a LSD?!? If thats the case then the M3 is a clear victor. My purchase timing seems to put me in between models so I may get lucky and be able to pick new or old. Or is it not until 2013 that it comes out? Perhaps I will be able to order a 2012 E90? That may be ideal with the new pedestrian crash laws. My wife and I have revised our car situation and the M will be track day HPDE use and sunny day events. I think between that and a LSD the M3 will be my choice!

    Thanks to all for input! I welcome more if you think of anything else.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    The choice of an LSD typically tends to be purely subjective...

    Most modern BMW's have some form of traction control. Depending on which system used, a traction control system can either use the ABS to apply the brake to a spinning wheel, or reduce engine power to restore traction. Since the end result is very similar to the way a LSD works, BMW could argue that traction control using an open differential is just as effective as a non-traction-controlled vehicle with an LSD.

    Although I agree that with your preference for an LSD, I do not believe that an LSD should be the sole criteria for determining a choice in a performance vehicle, especially since an LSD can in many cases be retrofitted to a vehicle not originally equipped with one.

    Choosing a modern car equipped with traction control solely on their status as LSD or non LSD equipped is like claiming an identical M3 with one color is faster than an identical M3 of another. I should also point out that (at least with the older cars this was true), you may be able to order an LSD as an option.
    • Member

    CSBM5

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    No, you've not been able to get an LSD on a new BMW on a non-M car since 1995. I agree with DamienM3 as a real LSD diff is a lot different than a one-wheel-braking induced LSD like function. Of course you could always have Dan at diffsonline.com build you a nice custom ramped LSD for the 335i for about $3k or so.

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