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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > C&D(sedan): 328 vs G37 vs A4 vs TL



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      05-23-2009, 04:09 PM   #1
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C&D(sedan): 328 vs G37 vs A4 vs TL

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Winner!


I'm sorry but the real winner should be!


For those who don't want to read the article:
1st: 328
2nd: G37
3rd: A4
4th: TL
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      05-23-2009, 04:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
2009 BMW 328i

First place: Conspicuous consumption lite.

If Moses had brought down from the big guy himself, chiseled into stone, the chart for rating cars, maybe we’d have a different conclusion here. But he didn’t. So we calls ’em as we sees ’em. Yeah, this is subjective, but we think BMW has a special way with sports sedans.

This car is so seductive that it’s almost embarrassing to read through the comment book: “Love the look, the way the skin stretches tightly over the machinery.” Or: “This is one Crisco-smooth ride.” And: “Clutch and shifter are the same as always, perfect.” Then: “Best shifter and clutch on the planet” and “Great back-road partner” and “Laser-straight steering welcome on long straights” and finally, “Six-cylinder sounds top Beethoven’s best.”

You get the idea. But the subjective side had to push hard against nagging reality. This stripper of a 3-series raises some value issues. Yes, the $36,475 as-tested price is lowest of the quartet, but fake leather on the seats? (BMW calls it leatherette.) No power on those many sport-seat adjusters? No satellite radio?

Add to that a short list of significant annoyances: “The fact that the radio display blanks out when wearing polarized lenses is, frankly, stupid. What is this, 1983?”

The starting ritual raises questions, too. “Why must I insert the remote fob into its dock, then move my hand to the start button? Why is that better than a key?”

“Why are the HVAC controls down by my knees?” And: “BMW must be the last holdout against indicating the fuel-filler location on the gas gauge.”

The 328i topped just one performance category, but it’s one that is increasing in social if not economic importance—fuel economy. Although the Audi does significantly better by the EPA method—23 mpg combined versus 21—the BMW outscored all on our 350-mile test trip at 25 mpg compared with 23 for the Audi, 21 for the Acura, and 19 for the Infiniti.

As a passenger hauler, we judged the BMW to be a shade better than the Audi for two in back but not enough for a full point. It has superior kneeroom, but the rear wheels encroach on the backrest, forcing occupants toward the center of the seat. Forget adding a third adult (none of the others will accept a third, though for different reasons).

In the last meeting of this category in January 2008, we summed up this way: “What the 328i does better than its peers is combine the ingredients of the perfect sports sedan: driving dynamics and luxury.” The luxury component has weakened significantly since, leaving a margin that’s sliver thin.
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2009 Infiniti G37 Sport

Second place: Conspicuous consumption lite.

In that narrow slice of marketing terrain where sports sedan overlaps muscle car is where you’ll find this mid-size Infiniti. Will it exercise the neck muscles? Have no doubts.

Will it satisfy your need for speed? Oh, yes, in megadoses.

When the votes were tallied, the BMW 328i came out on top again this time but by a very small margin: two points. At the track, the Infiniti shamed the Bimmer in every contest except for skidpad (a tie). In acceleration, the chase wasn’t even close, with the G37 ahead by a half-second at 60 mph—5.4 seconds versus 5.9—and leading by 6 mph at the quarter-mile. The G37’s gap was narrower but still significant in the lane change. In braking, its one-foot-out performance from 70 mph—159 feet versus the BMW’s 160—is almost certainly insignificant, but we’ll call that one for the G on the superior detailing of its calipers, finished in glowing satin metallic etched with a subtle Infiniti logo.

The G37 Sport, designated by a red “S” on the tail—plus a subtly reshaped fascia and sill treatments—gets a six-speed manual, shorter final-drive gearing with a viscous limited slip, quicker steering, and very large brakes: 14.0-inch discs in front, 13.8s in back, all vented. Inside, there’s a highly supportive sport seat with power adjusters to tailor thigh and torso bolsters.

All of our drivers were put off at first by the heavy, abrupt clutch feel, and the shift lever slipped into sixth gear only after a Google search. But by the second day of driving, the complaints were gone. This is a serious machine: planted, professional, poised. The steering always knows how to find straight-ahead, and the effort builds progressively as you turn. Unlike most of the others, the brakes are not overboosted. They have a linear feel, just right for holding the edge of the friction circle as you trail-brake into curves.

The cockpit supports vigorous motoring. There’s a rest for your left foot in exactly the right place. The tilting column moves the instrument cluster so the dials are always centered within the wheel. The buttons and rockers on the wheel are the easiest of all to use. Only the buttons for shuttling through the trip-computer screens are an awkward reach.

There were a few Darth Vader cracks about the all-black interior, but the rice-paper finish of the metal trim contrasts beautifully.
A4 and TL were missing alot of things...you can read those on your own by clicking on the above link.
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      05-23-2009, 04:31 PM   #3
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Agreed that the G37 should've won over the 328i.
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      05-23-2009, 04:42 PM   #4
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They're both good cars. You can't really call one better than the other based on two points of a C&D test.

Though I bought a 328 over the G37. The BMW is still the driver's car.
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      05-23-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jopa489 View Post
Though I bought a 328 over the G37. The BMW is still the driver's car.
I agree, I drove both before I even considered going up to the 335 and I have to say I wasn't fond of the G37. It felt very "Japanese" and numb, and the 7 speed tranny was ALWAYS changing gears.

The A4 was the real contender, and a cloer match in driving fun. IMHO
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      05-23-2009, 11:20 PM   #6
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Weird. Is this the same 300+ HP TL SH-AWD that beat the 335i around the track in some of the early magazine reviews? Now it's in 4th place in this group and takes 6.5 seconds to get to 60? That doesn't sound right.

FWIW, when I test drove back in 06, the TL 6MT was disappointing, but I thought the driving dynamics of the new one were supposed to be much improved. The G35 I drove (these were the days prior to the G37), was closer to the BMW 3-series "feel" than any of its other competitors.
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      05-24-2009, 01:22 AM   #7
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C/D ALWAYS picks the 3-series..
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      05-24-2009, 01:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BK View Post
Weird. Is this the same 300+ HP TL SH-AWD that beat the 335i around the track in some of the early magazine reviews? Now it's in 4th place in this group and takes 6.5 seconds to get to 60? That doesn't sound right.

FWIW, when I test drove back in 06, the TL 6MT was disappointing, but I thought the driving dynamics of the new one were supposed to be much improved. The G35 I drove (these were the days prior to the G37), was closer to the BMW 3-series "feel" than any of its other competitors.
BK, it was a prototype of the 6MT version of the SH-AWD (due in a couple of months) that achieved the feat. I know the transmission sounds quite a tiny excuse for its poor numbers but it is my opinion that Acura do some of the best manuals and most of the worst automatics in the market today (Coming from a self confessed Honda admirer).
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      05-24-2009, 02:56 AM   #9
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i dunnooooo maybe theres more to cars than 0-60. or 1/4 mile. call me crazyyyyy but maybe theres other things. comfort, ergonomics, handling, etc.
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      05-24-2009, 03:35 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by blue2fire View Post
Acura do some of the best manuals and most of the worst automatics in the market today (Coming from a self confessed Honda admirer).

Acura 5AT FTL. though a 6AT is coming in the ZDX, so should be interesting to see how much the 6AT boosts performance in existing cars.
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      05-24-2009, 11:15 AM   #11
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i dunnooooo maybe theres more to cars than 0-60. or 1/4 mile. call me crazyyyyy but maybe theres other things. comfort, ergonomics, handling, etc.
Shhhh! Don't say that! They hang people around here for that!
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      05-24-2009, 11:36 AM   #12
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i mean i have a 335 its plenty fast and comfy and i just ordered a jb3 but after i test drove the m3 i want m3 handling. i want m3 finishes. that car is beautiful
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      05-24-2009, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
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C/D ALWAYS picks the 3-series..
It goes back to icon David E. Davis' 1968 review "Turn your Hymnals to 2002".

It's a religion at C/D!

http://www.caranddriver.com/content/...r+%2768%29.pdf

Even when C/D doesn't seem to like the 3-series in question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by C/D
But the subjective side had to push hard against nagging reality. This stripper of a 3-series raises some value issues. Yes, the $36,475 as-tested price is lowest of the quartet, but fake leather on the seats? (BMW calls it leatherette.) No power on those many sport-seat adjusters? No satellite radio?

Add to that a short list of significant annoyances: “The fact that the radio display blanks out when wearing polarized lenses is, frankly, stupid. What is this, 1983?”

The starting ritual raises questions, too. “Why must I insert the remote fob into its dock, then move my hand to the start button? Why is that better than a key?”

“Why are the HVAC controls down by my knees?” And: “BMW must be the last holdout against indicating the fuel-filler location on the gas gauge.”
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      05-24-2009, 11:53 AM   #14
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i never even considered the G37 sedan or coupe
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      05-24-2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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BK, it was a prototype of the 6MT version of the SH-AWD (due in a couple of months) that achieved the feat. I know the transmission sounds quite a tiny excuse for its poor numbers but it is my opinion that Acura do some of the best manuals and most of the worst automatics in the market today (Coming from a self confessed Honda admirer).
Ah, thanks, didn't realize that. That early review made me want to go test one myself. Ugly as it is outside, if it drives great, it's worth considering. Interesting that the transmission would make such a big difference.
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      05-25-2009, 01:32 PM   #16
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its funny, but the G37S sedan will hold its own against a stock 335 sedan. I tried to get away from one goin south on the Hudson Parkway into the city once, and I got the jump on him by about 2 cars, but that was it. Couldnt shake him.

I figured the G37 would have won out in that comparo.
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      05-25-2009, 01:49 PM   #17
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Sometimes I hate these comparos...just depends on what kind of driver you are, and what you're looking for in a car. But, I'll take the one with a blue and white roundel on it's hood any day, any time.

I would like to take a new A4 out for a drive. At the end of the day they're all decent cars.
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      05-25-2009, 01:54 PM   #18
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no doubt that G37 is the winner!
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      05-25-2009, 02:35 PM   #19
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i never even considered the G37 sedan or coupe
You should have.

Money no object, there is no doubt the 335 is a bitchin car however. But for a $10-20k price break between the G35 and the 335, it was too hard for me to justify it.

I do love your coupe however. Just make sure you keep it clean, and for gods sake get a clear bra on the front of that thing before the paint is destroyed.
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      05-25-2009, 02:53 PM   #20
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would the 335 not have been a beter comparison to the Infiniti?? Just my two cents..
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      05-25-2009, 03:01 PM   #21
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i mean i have a 335 its plenty fast and comfy and i just ordered a jb3 but after i test drove the m3 i want m3 handling. i want m3 finishes. that car is beautiful
LOL where in this thread did u even see the M3 being mentioned?



now to the point...

i have an 08 335 sedan and when i bought it i was torn apart in whether its going to be the bimmer or the G35s sedan. i test drive both (keep in mind at that time i was coming from a 350Z) and must say that both were great cars. both were fast and had great handling. the only reason why i went with the bimmer, and i know it might sound dumb, is because i had put both cars on order to fit my custom needs, and the bimmer got here in 1.5 months. it took Infinity a lil over 4 months to receive the G that i ordered.

i think comparing a 328i to the G37s was just retarded because the they have almost nothing in common except being 4 door sedans and handling.
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      05-25-2009, 03:04 PM   #22
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And price....
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