These Car Choices:
We live in different areas, have different needs and wants and therefore require different qualities in our cars.
First of all, I live in a country with unenforced speed limits so we drive quite fast. Between cities I get to speeds of at least 180kmph…every time. Overtaking ability is also very important. For travelling, some refinement is a must. We also do not have race-tracks so track day abilities are not a consideration.
Right now I have a 2008 335i coupe and a 2008 M3 convertible (just bought with 6k miles) and these are my observations
Refinement: The 335 wins this. I have done many trips with it and always arrived as my destinations totally unstressed.
I wouldn’t ordinarily have bought a convertible but sometimes when you buy a pre-built or used car, you simply buy the best you see. The convertible rigidity is noticeable by its relative absence. It rattles and creaks like crazy too.
Drivability: M3 DCT is jerky and clonky in traffic so again the 335 wins. Road and other unattractive noises are much lower on the 335.
Engine noise: No competition here. The howl of the V8 is blood curling!!
Tyres: Now, the 335 has runflats so it can give excuses for not having a spare but the M3 doesn’t have run flats and doesn’t have a spare. That is really beyond comprehension for me so I cant go far away from home. I have tried to get runflats for it but cannot find a rear tyre so now searching for a spacesaver spare.
Steering: I know some might consider this blasphemy but I prefer the 335’s steering. The M3 steering can be quite lifeless at low speed. The 335 also feels like a much more nimble animal that its big brother
Visual: The M3 makes the 335 look neutered. People somehow know the car means business and gawk!!
Speed: M3 is faster. 335 speed, easier to access. When you do rev up the M3, the scream makes it all worthwhile.
Verdict: The 335i coupe is a better daily vehicle and better long distance. Except there is something else I am missing, the M3 may go. It is a pity as I’d always dreamt of owning this car.