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General BMW Model Discussion
All non E46 BMW model questions in here. Look below for E36, E90 and F30 specific forum. For additional model specific forums check out bimmerfest.com!

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Old 03-29-2008, 08:43 AM   #1
gokcer
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Talking Just test drove the new M3 & 135i back to back:)

Wow..

I started with 135i. It was an automatic with paddle shifters. Here is my impressions.

Power: There is immense power at any rpm. Plain & simple, if this car only had 1 gear, it would still be prefect drivable car. The thing just moves. You can easily get to triple digits without noticing. Huge amounts of torque at any rpm which pins you to your seat. Again since it was turbo there was no build up of torque as NA engines but it was constant huge torque from 1500 to 6000 rpm. This would easily smack an M3 driver unless M3 remembers to downshift.

Transmission: Auto with Paddle shifter. I hate auto trannys. I drove BMW automatics in 335i, Z4, 325 E46 cars before and they were all laggy, plain automatics with paddle buttons. Z4's tranny was little bit quicker than other but that was it. BUT 135i's auto tranny is lighting quick. There is almost no lag between the input and the shift. It is instant. I taught it was a twin-clutch system or something. I still prefer a proper shifter but the automatic in the 135i is the best auto shifter I have tried to date.

Ergonomics: Driver & Passenger seating is plenty nice. It felt no smaller than my e46 or 335i but the rear seating is a joke. Unless you are a family of midgets or crippled with no legs, back seat will not work out for you. I am 5' 8 and I barely fit with my legs tucked and seat moved forward. It is between Porsche 911 & e46. I would say you can technically fit 2 adults there but it better be a short trip. One nice feature for back passengers is they put a elec-button near to shoulder bolster so you can slide the seat back/forward before folding it which is a nice feature for both rear occupants also people trying to get so they slide the seat without bending down to floor area.


Handling: Awesome. Totally planted on the ground with M suspension and handles like dream. It is quite comfy even though it has no body roll and handles like a a go cart. Perfect combo of handling and comfort. e46 cant even compare. Brakes are huuuge. Multipiston Calipers are huuuuuuge. This thing stops like it throws a boat anchor from the back.

Price: $43K This is where the story turns dark. With may be couple thousand dollars difference from a 335i coupe, it is a tough decision to buy this car. It drives a tad bit better, it is not whole lot lighter but it is whole lot smaller than a 335i. Unless you are a great car fanatic, I find it very hard to not pick the 335i over this since the price difference is so small. You get whole lot of extra room, same engine, same suspension and a lot more usabality. Base price is 36K but premium adds another 3K so you cant buy this less than 39K which is a 335i price or slightly lower. If this car cost 35K as optioned out (Base + premium), it would be a perfect fit for buyers but with a 42K price tag, I rather but a 335i coupe even though I like this car better.





Tadaa M3:

Holly crap this car look like one mean sob. Interior wise, it is not any different than a regular 335i expect for the steering wheel and more bolstered seats.

When the salesman started the car up, I though there was a hot rodder near by trying to show off. This thing sounds like your neighbors 1960s chevy when it starts up. American V8 sound not something you expect to hear from BMW. I loved the sound any way it sounds like a american v8 with modified exhaust.
This sound last only a little while untill the engine warms up and it sounds more like a BMW engine getting a lot quiter at idle.

POWER: Unfortunately car was brand new and I had to practice 5000rpm limit as I was driving it. I could tell, there was alot of power but having to limit your self to 5000rpm screwed up the experience. It sounds like a monster when you hit the gas. Power builds up very quickly but gradually like any other NA engine. Again real power comes after 5000 rpm to 8500 rpm so I never got to experience that. But with little I experienced, this thing is stupid fast like 135i. I would say driving around streets 135i felt faster because of its constant monster torque that starts from 1500rpm. Moving from stand still was effortless with i135 where you have to refrain your self from hitting to gas pedal too much. M3 on the other hand had power that built up as the rpms went up, so you had to hit the gas a little more to get some power to get up and go but once the rpms started to up you could feel the car just wanted to leap forward. City driving I give my vote for 135i where you have your max power at 1500rpm and you get to keep that power untill 6000rpm vs. in m3 power increases with rpm so you have more foot action going on to keep the car moving on the streets.


Transmission: 6 speed. It was smooth and precise. It was not anything special. It felt like a good 6 speed stick shift. Nothing to brag about. I couldnt tell the difference between the one I have on my car and this one. May shorter throws but it cant be whole lot different than mine since I instantly got used to it.

ERGONOMICS:
front cabin did not feel whole lot different than the 135i. It was may be slightly wider. More back seat room where adults can actually get some what comfy. Thick M3 steering wheel was same as the on 135i. One thing you notice though is the power dome. You are constantly reminded that you are driving something special with giant bulge in your view. Yes power dome on the hood is completely visible from the drivers view. Again front cabin is not whole lot different than the 135i or 335i except for more side bolstering. Rear seat space is quite large compared toi 135i and same as 335i.

HANDLING:
Super dupaaa. Almost 0 body roll. This had the active suspension option and even with the stiffest setting, it never felt uncomfortable. I would say they really perfected the suspension on these new cars. It moves like a go cart but never bothersome. It smooths out the imperfections on the road that you dont want and you only feel the ones you ought to feel. Excellent handling.


PRICE: $66K Oh well what did you expect. You could order one with for $56K but once you add premium package and tech package (Elec-suspension, Nav system, keyless entry, Mdrive), price jumps to 66K


I loved both cars. They drove equally well. With 5000rpm limit on the M3, performance was same as 135i may be tad bit less. Sound of M3 is just amazing.

If 135 was $3-5K cheaper, I would buy it a heart beat.
If I can wait 3 more years and pick a used m3 for $40-50K, I would do it in a heart beat.
That is, If I can wait another 2 years and not test drive a Porsche 911S.


Oh yeah forgot to mention. You cant buy either model from the showroom. You put a order and wait for both models. I think he said June for 135i and longer fr m3. Expect to wait 3-6 months for a new 135 or m3. At least in this dealer ship.
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:51 AM   #2
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Nice write-up. I had no idea the 135i's were so potent. Too bad they're priced at $43K. They tease you on the ads with "starting at $29,XXX", then you realize you've got no options and have to add for destination fees.
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:52 AM   #3
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ah... you should've take some pics lol
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:28 AM   #4
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I'd buy the 335i over either...
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Old 03-29-2008, 09:39 AM   #5
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gokcer View Post
Unless you are a family of midgets or crippled with no legs, back seat will not work out for you.





Great write up I'm really starting to warm up to the 135i and I have yet to drive one. As for the M3 I saw one in person yesterday wow what a great looking car.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:58 AM   #7
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great info!!! looks like you had a fun day!!!
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:58 AM   #8
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For $43k i'd be gettin an E46 M3 or a 335 coupe anyday over the 135i. I can't warm up to the look of it for some reason. As for the M3 i think i'd be doing the 335 again. It seems do have the best bang for your buck.
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:54 PM   #9
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i would never buy a 135 for 43k and i love it! the thing is, the price only goes that high if you start adding options like the premium pckg, the nav, and all those BS options you shouldnt need in a sports car. if your gonna add all this you might as well buy 335 because it appears your more after luxury than performanc. Not saying this is a bad thing, just that its different...

BTW My 135 came out to JUST under 38k when i customized it the way i wanted---> AW, black leatherette, sports package, logic 7, usb/ipod adapter. Now i just gotta get some mula together lol
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #10
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For $43k i'd be gettin an E46 M3 or a 335 coupe anyday over the 135i. I can't warm up to the look of it for some reason. As for the M3 i think i'd be doing the 335 again. It seems do have the best bang for your buck.
Me neither. The roofline to the rear quarter is just weird looking. Also for that price you could have a nice 335i.
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Old 03-30-2008, 02:35 AM   #11
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great info!!! looks like you had a fun day!!!
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:31 AM   #12
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if i was in the market for a new toy or a dd, i'd consider the 135 for driving around the city - it'd be easier to park yet provide the performance of the 335 when i want it

but in all seriousness, they should have lowered the price to differentiate it from 335 territory. Imagine, a 135 vert fully loaded will probably come to the same price as a 335 fully loaded, or a 335 vert with no options. these are BMWNA mind games to get us to buy both models
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:06 PM   #13
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if i was in the market for a new toy or a dd, i'd consider the 135 for driving around the city - it'd be easier to park yet provide the performance of the 335 when i want it

but in all seriousness, they should have lowered the price to differentiate it from 335 territory. Imagine, a 135 vert fully loaded will probably come to the same price as a 335 fully loaded, or a 335 vert with no options. these are BMWNA mind games to get us to buy both models
i dont get why ppl compare loaded vs non-loaded/unoptioned cars. i mean if you're gonna compare prices why not compare similarly equipped vehicles . if you wanna play this game a Fully loaded 335 would cost 7 grand more than a bare bones 5. does that mean the 335 and 535 dont have a big enough diff in price? IMHO no.

BTW an exact same comparison between the 135 and 335, where the 135 is maxed and the 335 is bare bones, yields ~7 grand difference. People really need to stop b!tching about the pricing, cuz theres no way any of realistically expected this car to cost less than an evo or sti(similar performance #'s except one comes w/ the luxury of a bmw)
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:10 PM   #14
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nice write up - can't wait - er i can wait - till e92 m3 prices come back down to earth in a few years
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Old 03-30-2008, 05:16 PM   #15
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Transmission: Auto with Paddle shifter. I hate auto trannys. I drove BMW automatics in 335i, Z4, 325 E46 cars before and they were all laggy, plain automatics with paddle buttons. Z4's tranny was little bit quicker than other but that was it. BUT 135i's auto tranny is lighting quick. There is almost no lag between the input and the shift. It is instant. I taught it was a twin-clutch system or something. I still prefer a proper shifter but the automatic in the 135i is the best auto shifter I have tried to date.
Its interesting that you felt the auto was lagging in the 335i and yet you love the one in the 135i, when they the both use the same ZF- 6-speed, steptronic transmission.
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:42 PM   #16
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Its interesting that you felt the auto was lagging in the 335i and yet you love the one in the 135i, when they the both use the same ZF- 6-speed, steptronic transmission.
Sorry about that. Correction... automatic I was comparing to should have been Z4 3.0si not 335i. I drove a manual 335i not an automatic.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:32 PM   #17
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General E46 Forum
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relax - no one's feelings are hurt
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