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      11-22-2013, 05:47 AM   #1
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2011 335i w/sport package ride vs. E9X M3 w/EDC in comfort

Ok, there are tons of threads about 335 w/ sport package vs. M3 ride quality, RFT bashing etc, but I can't find any specifically about the '11 335i sport package that has the new Sachs dampers and softer RFT tires comparing it to an M3 with EDC on comfort for rough roads (New England).

Anyone have some time behind the wheel of both to compare? I'm in the market for either an '11 335 or '09-'11 M3 w/EDC and ride comfort is a priority...performance, handling and steering feel is too, but not at the expense of ride comfort.

Thanks!
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      11-22-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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I had a 335is and drove it for 30k miles. I know the face lifted coupes had newer softer dampeners compared to 07-10 coupes, so I'm pretty sure I had the ones you are talking about.

So, one thing to note is that RFT tires are no different on this model year than the years before it. The bridgestone RFT still bubble like crazy and the P-zero run flats are probably a bit better.

Secondly, I drive my zcp M3 in comfort 95% of the time now.

The '11+ non M coupe suspension is too floaty and soft. The worst type of bump was a freeway speed dip. Rear passengers would literally hit their head on the ceiling of the car because the car was so soft and bucked. Also, god forbid theres a dip on a sweeper freeway overpass. Better be able to reel that car in when it lifts up and comes back down on the pavement a bit. That suspension is fine for slower city driving as it is not as harsh on small bumps and minor pothole type irregularities. But if you're going to try and do any fast driving on roads that are less than great, be prepared for a pretty skittish and floaty car that just does not feel planted.
Also, RFT tires blow hard. if feels like you are driving on rims. It's backwards as hell to soften up suspension to mitigate harsh feel from the stiff tires. I cracked three stock 19" rims on stock suspension. one cracked in so many places that it would not hold air for more than 10 minutes.

M3 on EDC comfort offers far less suspension travel to you don't get unwanted vertical inertia on dips and longer bumps. But the dampeners are much better at handling imperfections during any type of driving.

This car won't buck you up in the air as a 335 would. It squats right back down to where you were.

EDC on its stiffest setting though, I'm starting to feel is pretty pointless. The car is too stiff for its good at that point. Probably better to upgrade sway bars and stiffen up the chassis more than simply stiffening dampening at that point.
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      11-22-2013, 12:27 PM   #3
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I had the 335i and in no way can it compare to the ride comfort of my M3, period.
M3's also do not have RFTs. The RFTs on my 335i sucked, and I quickly tossed those for some Forgeline 18" wheels and Michelin PS2s which were awesome.

Like the other guy said: go test drive one if you'r elucky enough to find one avail on a dealer lot. There are always e93 M3s on lot's but that's also a different animal.
Good luck.
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      11-23-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback all. I certainly want to test drive both, but want to do it back to back on like roads and have both cars be manuals...no dealers have this currently, so I want to make sure I don't test drive a 335 and make a quick decision I'll regret later thinking I should of waited for an M. I'll probably have to settle for testing at different dealers and trying to objectively compare the two, but that's better than nothing.

I've experienced the floaty suspension on my '08 328xi, especially a big dip on 128 South somewhere after you cross the Mass Pike that would launch the car at 80 MPH and I almost hit my head, not just the rear passengers, they've improved the road flaw a little bit, but it's still there, sounds like the LCI changes in '09 and further changes in '11 on the suspension didn't address that.

This car is going to be a daily driver, so now I just have to rationalize if pulling the trigger on an M that going to be hindered by traffic 80% of the time is worth it...in the end, I'd probably say, damn right it is. I'm not set of tracking the car, but it is something I'd like to explore after some instruction. Drove a Lambo Gallardo on a cone course (in a parking lot) at NHMS a month ago and a stock car on the oval track a few years ago...lots of fun!
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