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      08-09-2009, 03:02 PM   #1
Surfclown
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Any 135i to M3 crossovers?

I still haven't test driven an M3 (American SA is 5hrs away) so maybe this is all for not. I've always dreamed of getting an M3 but after reading a lot of the posts I'm beginning to feel like it might be too much car and not enough fun as a daily driver. I'm looking for the car that's more fun doing free way merges, taking off from red lights, and week-end coastal drives that aren't at ludicrous speeds. If I got the M3 I would probably only track it once to get the experience. I won't mod either one I buy.


I can afford the M3 - just wondering if I would be throwing the extra 20k away for my required usage.

Any thoughts from people familiar with both?
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      08-09-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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Life is too short to not have an M3

If you can afford it, get it. You will put it to good use in ways you cannot imagine right now.
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      08-09-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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Personally, based on what you are describing, around town, in a dense city or just as a commuter, you will enjoy the 135i much more. I've driven both.

It has a much more usable torque curve at the bottom end. This makes passing, merging and stop and go traffic much more fun in any gear. You don't always have to downshift to 2nd gear to pass. Just step on the gas and go.

The shorter wheelbase on the the 135 also makes the car more "nimble" at low speeds. Very similar to a mini cooper. The mini cooper is a super fun car around town. Like a go cart. The 135i is a more refined version of that feeling.

If you don't track or do any kind of heavy, serious driving, you will not feel the effect of the LSD. - "week-end coastal drives that aren't at ludicrous speeds"

Save the 20K and get a E46 M3 as a track car if you really want to get into track driving. Or save the money and add some slight mods to the 135 to make it even better.

I'm not one of those M3 > everything type guys. Don't get me wrong, it's a great car, but personally, the engine and powerband is just too focused. It's a GT3 engine in heavy car. Not a good combination for everyday fun.

I also think if you decide on the M3, DCT makes the car more enjoyable around town. It's easier to keep the car in the powerband. The shorter gearing also helps.

Go test drive both. Hope this helps.
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      08-09-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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This review by Bruce nails it on the head - http://www.m3post.com/forums/showpos...2&postcount=45
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      08-09-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
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I bought a 135 at the end of March. I kept it 6 weeks and then ordered an M3.

There \were many things I loved about the 135: the engine is exceptionally smooth, the bottom end torque is very nice for city driving. Also, the car is very nimble, very responsive, and it has outstanding steering feel. The 135 actually reminded me of my Miata, which is a great compliment considering that the 135 is much heavier. My main gripe with the 135 was the suspension: I find it a little too soft. In particular, I think there's too much squat on acceleration. But that can be easily fixed.

So why did I get an M3? First, DCT was a big factor. I have developed a problem with my left leg that makes activating the clutch painful after a little while. I wanted a car without a clutch pedal, but not an automatic. DCT seemed like the perfect solution, and I have to say I love it. Second, I like the electronic gadgets in the M3, especially M-drive and the adjustable suspension. Third, while the 135's engine is exceptionally smooth, sometimes it feels a bit lazy. It doesn't quite have the responsiveness of a high-revving, naturally aspirated engine. Finally, the M3 was also one of my dream cars. I bought the 135 to be "reasonable", but everytime I saw an M3, I still had M3-envy.

If BMW had offered a 135 with DCT, I would probably have kept it and bought the BMW Performance suspension. But now that I have the M3, I have no regret.

My advice: if you have always dreamed of having an M3 and can afford one, then get it. You only live once.
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      08-09-2009, 05:13 PM   #6
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Thanks - so far 2 to 1 for the 135 and very convincing for my needs. But r53 is efficiently well spoken.


Quote:
Originally Posted by r53s65e90 View Post
Life is too short to not have an M3

If you can afford it, get it. You will put it to good use in ways you cannot imagine right now.
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      08-09-2009, 08:17 PM   #7
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Get the M3. The 135 is fast, but the M3 is faster and more fun to drive. I went into the dealership wanting to buy a 135 and left with a M3. If you can afford it, go for the M!
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      08-09-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfclown View Post
I still haven't test driven an M3 (American SA is 5hrs away) so maybe this is all for not. I've always dreamed of getting an M3 but after reading a lot of the posts I'm beginning to feel like it might be too much car and not enough fun as a daily driver. I'm looking for the car that's more fun doing free way merges, taking off from red lights, and week-end coastal drives that aren't at ludicrous speeds. If I got the M3 I would probably only track it once to get the experience. I won't mod either one I buy.


I can afford the M3 - just wondering if I would be throwing the extra 20k away for my required usage.

Any thoughts from people familiar with both?
i had a 335 and got m3 sedan
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      08-10-2009, 08:15 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by bobbyd1961 View Post
i had a 335 and got m3 sedan
What your thoughts on the upgrade as a daily driver?
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      08-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #10
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Get the 135i and add a JB3 tune (~80hp).
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      08-11-2009, 02:49 PM   #11
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I got to drive a 135i for a couple days as a loaner. It's a fun and peppy car to drive. It gets the job done and gets it done well, and I love it! HOWEVER... it does not excite me the way my M3 does. True, I do wish my commute had more twists, turns, and high-speed straightaways to really appreciate what my car could do, but it doesn't detract from the fact that I still have lots of fun with this thing as a daily driver.

You can't go wrong either way, but get the M3.
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      08-11-2009, 04:50 PM   #12
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I have a 135...had it for 4 months now, im looking at changing to a M3 already.
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      08-11-2009, 05:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivendriver View Post
My main gripe with the 135 was the suspension: I find it a little too soft. In particular, I think there's too much squat on acceleration. (...) My advice: if you have always dreamed of having an M3 and can afford one, then get it. You only live once.
+1.

I was originally dead-set on buying a 135i, had all the options selected and everything. But in the end, I would have had to modify lots of things to bring it to my ideal spec (entire suspension including M3 control arms, LSD, wheels, tires, engine, exhaust, etc.). That would have brought the total cost within spitting distance of an M3 sedan with few options, so I went the M3 route in the end.

I ran a 335i for 2 years and I loved that engine. But the cost to modify it or a 135i properly is just too much. If BMW had offered a 135i supersport with all the correct suspension/drivetrain bits, I would have bought that in a heartbeat.

But since they don't, I find the M3 a much more exciting and complete automobile.
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      08-14-2009, 01:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeldorian View Post
Personally, based on what you are describing, around town, in a dense city or just as a commuter, you will enjoy the 135i much more. I've driven both.

It has a much more usable torque curve at the bottom end. This makes passing, merging and stop and go traffic much more fun in any gear. You don't always have to downshift to 2nd gear to pass. Just step on the gas and go.

The shorter wheelbase on the the 135 also makes the car more "nimble" at low speeds. Very similar to a mini cooper. The mini cooper is a super fun car around town. Like a go cart. The 135i is a more refined version of that feeling.

If you don't track or do any kind of heavy, serious driving, you will not feel the effect of the LSD. - "week-end coastal drives that aren't at ludicrous speeds"

Save the 20K and get a E46 M3 as a track car if you really want to get into track driving. Or save the money and add some slight mods to the 135 to make it even better.

I'm not one of those M3 > everything type guys. Don't get me wrong, it's a great car, but personally, the engine and powerband is just too focused. It's a GT3 engine in heavy car. Not a good combination for everyday fun.

I also think if you decide on the M3, DCT makes the car more enjoyable around town. It's easier to keep the car in the powerband. The shorter gearing also helps.

Go test drive both. Hope this helps.

this man talks some sense listen to him hes frank with you
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      08-14-2009, 08:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ru55 View Post
I have a 135...had it for 4 months now, im looking at changing to a M3 already.
Yes, my overall impression is that while some people miss the torque factor, there are very few complains about getting an M3

Why are you looking at changing?
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      08-14-2009, 09:02 PM   #16
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i don't understand the complain of downshift to pass someone. Isn't that part of the fun? downshift, redline, listen to the M engine music, and upshift. I mean it is pretty pointless to drive around in the same gear all the time.
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      08-20-2009, 11:56 AM   #17
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I just traded my 08 135i sport package with JB3 for a carbon black 04' M3.

Here's the deal. The 135i is a great car and with a JB3 the car is STUPID fast. The torque and pull is insane and really it is a much faster car than the E46 M3. The car is special BUT there was just something missing. I didn't feel attached to the road, it was almost too smooth. The E46 has more character, better looks, better sound, better feel. Hard to describe but the M just feels right for me.

One thing that is a heavy factor for me is depreciation. IMO, you buy these cars 2 - 4 years old and drive them for a couple years. That's what I'm going to do with the E46 then I'll sell it for a few grand less then I bought it for and buy a 3 - 4 year old E92.
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      08-23-2009, 12:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
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i don't understand the complain of downshift to pass someone. Isn't that part of the fun? downshift, redline, listen to the M engine music, and upshift. I mean it is pretty pointless to drive around in the same gear all the time.
First of all, it isn't at all pointless to drive around in the same gear all the time - on a cross-country trip, for instance. Or just cruising.

Secondly, pretty much everyone ought to be able to understand the joys of downshifting the M3 and the resultant yank of horsepower and orchestral nirvana.

But why would anyone be confused by the joy of low-end and mid-range punch?

Give it ten seconds of thought. You're out on the supserslab in traffic at speed, and you want to lunge and pounce into a more or less fleeting hole up ahead in the next lane. Rather than waste the second or so it takes you to downshift and gun it, wouldn't just stabbing it in gear and getting a big lunge be better?

Think 135i with JB3. No drama or even fuss. Whoosh you're there.

Simple, no?

Bruce
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      08-23-2009, 01:14 PM   #19
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i had planned to get a 09 135i instead of my M3, but i ended up getting the M3 for cheaper than the 135i, so i went with the M3. And i have no regrets whatsoever!
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      08-23-2009, 10:20 PM   #20
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I don't care what JB3 does to the 135 or how it does not need downshifts for passing or idling along at cruising speeds. Straight line speed is not everything by any stretch.

The experience will never ever be as exciting or sound as good as this. Part F1 car and part muscle car. It is not all about acceleration numbers, this is what driving a performance car is all about. The experience. Period.

http://www.youtube.com/user/leozip#p.../2/Ra53dabSWv8

Last edited by 330CIZHP; 08-23-2009 at 11:45 PM.
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      08-24-2009, 08:23 AM   #21
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The experience will never ever be as exciting or sound as good as this. Part F1 car and part muscle car. It is not all about acceleration numbers, this is what driving a performance car is all about. The experience. Period.

http://www.youtube.com/user/leozip#p.../2/Ra53dabSWv8
I'm going up for a test drive on the 12th - M3, 335i, and 135. I fully expect to like the M3 the best, but am trying to keep an open mind in case I can't get utility out of the extra cost as a daily driver.

My not so open mind was leaning toward the convertible, as I live along the Italian coast. But it seems like almost a waste of talent to not get a car I could take to the track when I get back stateside in a couple of years - though I've never tracked a car. When does BMW come out with the two for one deal?

Sorry to go off my own topic.
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      08-24-2009, 10:32 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce.augenstein@comcast. View Post
First of all, it isn't at all pointless to drive around in the same gear all the time - on a cross-country trip, for instance. Or just cruising.

Secondly, pretty much everyone ought to be able to understand the joys of downshifting the M3 and the resultant yank of horsepower and orchestral nirvana.

But why would anyone be confused by the joy of low-end and mid-range punch?

Give it ten seconds of thought. You're out on the supserslab in traffic at speed, and you want to lunge and pounce into a more or less fleeting hole up ahead in the next lane. Rather than waste the second or so it takes you to downshift and gun it, wouldn't just stabbing it in gear and getting a big lunge be better?

Think 135i with JB3. No drama or even fuss. Whoosh you're there.

Simple, no?

Bruce
no. lol

i have no issue doing that on the highway at all. in fact downshift and punch it allow you to go much faster and merging in/out is a breeze.

i mean if you just want to go faster than someone to merge in/out, might as well buy a full auto like amg. there is no point to buy an mt but not using it the way it should be.
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