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      06-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
Phil3
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BMW M3 or 335i?

I had a 1998 BMW E36 M3 4 door sedan in estoril blue and 5 speed (see pic) and sold it for a 2007 Porsche Cayman S w/6 speed. That may not have been the smartest move for me and my needs, as the Cayman is more narrowly focused. Harder to get in and out of, long doors, limited luggage capacity, no real trunk, harder to see out of, harder ride, worse fuel mileage, and a high rpm biased engine do not make in my opinion as good a daily driver as the old M3 was. I knew much of this going in. What I didn't realize was the intensity of my feelings over the loss of those things.

To my mild surprise, there really is no good replacement for that M3, except a newer M3 sedan. I test drove one and I liked it a lot. But, felt like the engine was a mismatch for the town/freeway driving I do. I mean, I doubt i would rarely use little more than half the rpm range in daily driving.

I have not driven the 335i, but its engine characteristics would seem to better suit the instant lunge from any rpm often needed in traffic. That kind of power feels effortless, a plus.

I am curious if anyone has had these two cars and what they thoughts were after some seat time for the kind of driving you did. I will never be on the track, rarely drive very hard at all (just briskly). Our roads are bad, traffic often nasty, and fuel cost amongst the highest in the country. These things cause me to look at the 335i, especially on fuel mileage. The biggest problem I have with the 335i is that around my neck of the woods, they are as common as house flies. The old M3 I had was rare, and I guess I still like something special, like the M3, not just a fast regular BMW (335i). I wish there was a "M" variant of the 335i.

I welcome thoughts.

Phil
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Last edited by Phil3; 06-06-2012 at 07:01 PM.
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      06-06-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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The 335i is a great car on its own merits, and with a simple Cobb tune it gets even better, based on your driving style it may be better suited to your needs than the M3. The only way to know is for you to drive them both.

I barely had mine for a year before the need to upgrade to an M3 grew unbearable.
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      06-06-2012, 07:47 PM   #3
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M3 > 335i
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      06-06-2012, 07:51 PM   #4
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i have one question, are you buying the 335 new?


If the answer is no, stay away from the n54/n55.
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      06-06-2012, 08:11 PM   #5
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You know I was just thinking to myself how come I have never seen an M3 vs 335i thread..

[/quote]

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      06-06-2012, 09:00 PM   #6
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LMFAO
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      06-06-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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Cracks me up real bad
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      06-06-2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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Both cars are terrific. Good luck with your decision.
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      06-06-2012, 09:53 PM   #9
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I don't think anyone is impressed by a 335i. It may be a nice car, but so are Buicks. I am not suggesting you buy a car to impress people. But I wouldn't be like "wow, look at that sweet 335i!!!" however, I do say that when I see a high performance car like an M3, Porsche, etc.

Why not buy a Buick?
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      06-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #10
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Had both, wold never go back to the 335. Ever.

That said, the M version of the 335 is called the 335is. Or get the 1M, meets all your criteria (M car, torque, rare).
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      06-06-2012, 10:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Had both, wold never go back to the 335. Ever.

That said, the M version of the 335 is called the 335is. Or get the 1M, meets all your criteria (M car, torque, rare).
+1
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      06-06-2012, 10:46 PM   #12
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Had two e36 m3s. Drove both cars and felt the 335 was soft and needed mods to get to the raw E36 feel. That said, the e90 m3 is great stock, but also does well with mods.

I say if you can afford it, go m!
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      06-06-2012, 11:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karnidge View Post
I don't think anyone is impressed by a 335i. It may be a nice car, but so are Buicks. I am not suggesting you buy a car to impress people. But I wouldn't be like "wow, look at that sweet 335i!!!" however, I do say that when I see a high performance car like an M3, Porsche, etc.

Why not buy a Buick?
I kind of liked the style of the early 80's Riviera. My neighbor's mom had one in seafoam green and it was considered cool when it was new.

I also like the 335i and would call it a nice car. Probably because owners are enthusiastic for them, and if you don't want to drop big money on a car, it's a great option.

ow

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      06-06-2012, 11:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karnidge View Post
I don't think anyone is impressed by a 335i. It may be a nice car, but so are Buicks. I am not suggesting you buy a car to impress people. But I wouldn't be like "wow, look at that sweet 335i!!!" however, I do say that when I see a high performance car like an M3, Porsche, etc.

Why not buy a Buick?
If you are not suggesting one buy a car to impress people, then why mention what other people, including yourself, think of it? I really could care less about what others think about the car I drive. I am looking for what people think of when living with the car in normal daily driving environments.

It is plain you are trying to insult the 335i by putting it in the same category as a sterotypical Buick. I expect you know the 335i is a far more serious performer than even the highest performing Buick.

Phil
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      06-06-2012, 11:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
Had both, wold never go back to the 335. Ever.

That said, the M version of the 335 is called the 335is. Or get the 1M, meets all your criteria (M car, torque, rare).
What are some top things you value in the M3 that were not there in the 335i? What is your driving environment and how do you drive your cars? That would help me use your input. A test drive is one thing, but comments from someone who has lived with both is more valued.

Thank you.

Phil
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      06-07-2012, 12:20 AM   #16
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      06-07-2012, 12:48 AM   #17
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I read that test some time ago. Good effort by Buick, but not a competitor to the 335i. Also, a front wheel drive car, a far different driving dynamic than rear wheel drive.

Phil
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      06-07-2012, 12:54 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil3 View Post
What are some top things you value in the M3 that were not there in the 335i? What is your driving environment and how do you drive your cars? That would help me use your input. A test drive is one thing, but comments from someone who has lived with both is more valued.

Thank you.

Phil
I haven't had M3 for too long (one month) and I owned 335cpe for 5 years. To put it shortly: Immediately M3 feels much more sportier in all aspects. You can immediately tell how much r&d, engineering, and attention the M division put into it. From steering, suspension, engine, materials, brakes, transmission, sound etc. the balance is just incredible. BTW the tq at 2k rpm's is plentiful, for daily driving. M3 is "tuned up" 3 series by the ///M and they really did an amazing job!
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      06-07-2012, 01:00 AM   #19
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everyone on here is comparing the 335 to the m3. This is not the right argument to make. Listen to what the OP is saying...I am never going to rev more than 3k, I want fuel economy, traffic is terrible and I am concerned about fuel prices. Shame on you M3 owners for saying yeah you should really get an M3 to do those things. That is silly.

That sir is an argument to get yourself a 328i or even better, whatever has the nicest darn seats you can sit in cause apparently that is pretty much the most exciting thing you will be doing in your vehicle. You literally argued the fact that there is no point to having a performance vehicle cause you won't use it the way it is intended. If that is the case then don't spend 20k on something you wont use!

(give it to me instead)
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      06-07-2012, 04:42 AM   #20
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OP says he wants something with 4 doors, sporty, decent gas mileage, and rare (335 common around him).

If he was talking M3 money... Why not 640 GC and on the cheaper end the 535i/ m sport? M3 sounds like everything he's not looking for. Only reason he's considering the M is because its a rareish bird.

There is the 335is ... But it still is just a fancy 335.
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      06-07-2012, 04:50 AM   #21
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F30 335 or 328 would do nicely for OP's needs.
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      06-07-2012, 08:17 AM   #22
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I commute 50 miles a day in my M3. It may not get the best gas mileage but it is fun to drive. I drove my Porsche to work every day too when I had it. Not sure why you come to an M3 forum to ask people to talk you out of buying an M3. The 335i is not an M3. Not even close. Why does he want something rare? They don't make rare special edition commuter cars. Those are called Buicks, Fords, C300, 328i, etc. Go get a 4matic C300 and call it a day.
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