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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 > Honest Opinion Needed - e90 335i or e90 M3?



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      01-18-2013, 12:33 PM   #1
dachtor
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Honest Opinion Needed - e90 335i or e90 M3?

All,

I know this is likely a heated topic, but I've been wavering on this for months. As the result of a business I co-founded (www.velocitymotorsports.com .........shameless plug), I am a member of a motorsports track in Dawsonville, GA (www.atlantamotorsportspark.com). I want a personal car I can drive every day, but also track a few days a month. However, I have 2 young kids and need four doors. I have considered e36 M3's, e90 335's and e90 M3's. I can pickup a pretty nice '08 335i sedan (MT) for the low 20's. I can pickup a pretty nice '08 M3 for the low 30's. On one hand, a 335i is the more economical decision, but I also have read stories on here regarding reliability and track use. I don't want to spend the few days I have every month at the track troubleshooting issues. So do I buy the 335i and put $3000+ into it for oil cooling, radiator and performance upgrades, or buy the M3 and just drive it?

Any thoughts or experiences would be helpful. Thank you..... this is a great forum!

Jeff
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      01-18-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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I'd be willing to about 90% of the people on this forum have battled this exact same question. haha. It is all a matter of tradeoffs. Obviously an M is an M and the performance is going to surpass that of the 335i. However, you will lack a lot of the comfort of a 335i on your daily drive. If you go with a newer 335i, you will most likely have much smaller maintenance and upkeep costs compared to the M3. Furthermore, running an M3 hard around a track might help you sleep at night and easily justify the extra costs over the 335i. It is pretty early to tell but I've heard that many of the kinks with the HPFP have been worked out but I have definitely still read complaints with the n55.

This is only my personal opinion. I have a 335i and it is plenty a car for everyday driving. The low end torque is a blast in LA traffic. With a few dollars in mods (meth, tune, etc) you'd beat an M3 a straight line, but game over when it comes to handling.

Just my .02. Hope this helps
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      01-18-2013, 01:00 PM   #3
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If gas is not a concern, get the M3.

Last NA M3 for the foreseeable future.
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      01-18-2013, 01:00 PM   #4
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Well as a daily driver car go with upgraded 335i.

Of course this is my opinion!
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      01-18-2013, 01:02 PM   #5
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I have made this simple for you:

Initial buy in: 335i
Reliability: M3
On-road performance: 335i
On-track performance: M3
Fuel economy: 335i
Resale value: M3
Exclusivity: M3
Cost to own: tie
Looks/styling: M3
Practicality: tie

Just decide which three categories are most important to you and see which car takes the win. I know what I would choose.
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      01-18-2013, 01:18 PM   #6
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      01-18-2013, 01:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallseafishie View Post
If gas is not a concern, get the M3.

Last NA M3 for the foreseeable future.
+1
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      01-18-2013, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallseafishie View Post
If gas is not a concern, get the M3.

Last NA M3 for the foreseeable future.
This.

If I had known what was coming years ago when I bought my 335i, I might have saved a little longer for an M3.
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      01-18-2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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Definitely an 08 m3 over an 08 335. If you're considering 335, go LCI, which would also probably be still in warranty.
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      01-18-2013, 02:31 PM   #10
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Is this really a conundrum? M3!
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      01-18-2013, 02:56 PM   #11
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The answer to this question is not as clear cut as many of you are making it out to be. The two cars he presented as options pose two very different sets of ownership prospects. A 2008 335i can be had for essentially half the cost of a 2008 M3. This really comes down to budgeting and priorities. I was chiefly concerned with initial cost to buy, fuel economy and on-road performance so I chose a 335. The almighty M3 is not the answer to every question.
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      01-18-2013, 03:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upstatedoc View Post
Is this really a conundrum? M3!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CombatNinja View Post
The answer to this question is not as clear cut as many of you are making it out to be. The two cars he presented as options pose two very different sets of ownership prospects. A 2008 335i can be had for essentially half the cost of a 2008 M3. This really comes down to budgeting and priorities. I was chiefly concerned with initial cost to buy, fuel economy and on-road performance so I chose a 335. The almighty M3 is not the answer to every question.
Yea, its a tough one. Obviously it would be easy for me to say "M3" if money were not a concern at all. If I choose the m3 option, I'm looking at a couple with around 50k miles for $35k or less. I would also opt for an aftermarket warranty (Route 66 via PenFed). The 335i I was looking at is $23k (asking) with 38k miles on it and CPO for another 14 months. If I start looking at newer ones, the prices go up, thus making the m3 argument a little easier to make.

I was leaning towards M3 anyway, particularly when I consider resale value.
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      01-18-2013, 03:11 PM   #13
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If I could have justified it to my wife, I would have picked up an M3 over my 328i. I love NA engines and BMW makes some of the best in the world.

I chose the 328i over the 335i because I needed reliability in a daily driver and it stacked up nicely against my old E36 M3 in every category that mattered to me. Also the fact that it would be the last NA I6 in the US for some time to come, if ever, made me buy even though I could have ordered an F30 the next month.

For the track, the low end grunt and strong mid range power of the M3 will have you shutting down higher powered cars in and out of the corners with a nice 8000+ rpm rev in the straights to pull away. Some M3's have had cooling issues on track, but that is mostly here in the west where track temps are really high.

The 335 does really well at the track too but many of its components need replacement to make it a good track day car and really lower its daily driver comfort. You would need better wheels, brakes, intercooler, tune, intake, suspension, roll/sway bars and numerous other bits to be up to snuff if you are using it as a marketing vehicle for your business. The upside is that you may be able to Write it off.

They refer to a nicely modded 335 as an M3 killer, but only a stock M3, unless the driver is an idiot. The money spent to get there would be better spent on the M3 up front in my opinion. Then if you want to go crazy, you can mod it into a ZR-1 killer. I see M3's chew up Z06 vettes all the time, rarely see 335s take them down.

My father in law picked up an N54 e92 335 and has regretted not getting the M3 a few times, but has enjoyed it regardless.

Either way, I hope the 6MT is included In your criteria. Good luck and let us know!
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