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      12-18-2012, 08:39 AM   #1
KennyPowers
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Thumbs up 335is test drive - brief review / comments

Yesterday evening when helping a friend of mine shop for a new m6 (wow, what a badass ride) i drove a 2011 335is as this is a car i am considering picking up in the next 2-6 months.

It was silver with red interior, 19s, and all the options. It was also a 6mt.

Previously i have owned cars with an n54, s54 (m3), s65 (m3) and n55.

My impressions......

Positive

-sounds great, stock exhaust is awesome and you can hear the turbos at higher RPM which i did not notice in my prior n54 or n55
-looks good, i really like the diffuser in the back and the m sport kit
-seats and interior felt great and high quality
-car felt FAST to me, almost as fast as my old tuned 335i
-transmission felt great, light clutch but lightyears easier to drive than my e90 m3
-good ride quality
-nice firm steering
-smoothest engine ive ever driven, much smoother than my prior n54 and definitely smoother than my n55, not sure if this is due to refined software or what?

Negatives

-looks good, but the wheels are sort of narrow and too tucked in to the wheel wells
-car looks a little narrow compared to an m3 or s5, but with better wheels / offset it would probably fix this issue
-a little more lean in the corners than i like, but a stiffer sway and maybe m3 subframe bushings could fix this


Overall i really enjoyed it. It felt just about perfect for a DD as it was smooth, fast, easy to drive and very nice on the interior. I think i will continue looking as i really want a white one, but i was as impressed as i hoped i would be from driving this car. With a stage 1+ from cobb and a couple m3 suspension bits, it would be perfect.

Anyway, its a great car at a very good price point now that used ones are on the market (this one was 44k for a 2011 with 18k miles). I prefer it over the m3 in 6mt form for DD purposes. More useable power and more fun on the streets. Limits you can reach easier and more fun to push the car at speeds that wont kill you.

Great car. Thanks for reading.

EDIT : all of these impressions were with 3 people in the car, one of whom was a massive 300lb salesman. So, considering the car still felt FAST and handled pretty well despite the weight, its impressive.
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      12-18-2012, 09:00 AM   #2
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Great review Kenny...maybe the e90 folks aren't too familiar with your suspension and overall BMW knowledge, nonetheless much appreciated. I was and still am curious about the 335is...maybe one for me in the future. That said, I am itching to get into an M5
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      12-18-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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You'll love it! I love mine
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2015--F15 X535i; 2015--F82 ///M4 [ED 6/26/14]; 2015--V60 Polestar (#62:80)*; 2012--E92 335is*; 2011--E70 X5d; 2011--E89 Z435is*;2009--E89 Z435i*; 2008--E92 335i [ED 2/23/08]*;
2007--MkV GTI*; 2006--E90 330i*; 2005--E83 X3*; 2004--E83 X3*; 2003--E46 325Ci* *retired
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      12-18-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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Well done review!

I replaced my '07 335i with a '11 335is MT. Very pleased
Yes almost as fast, but not really, as a BMS tuned 335i.
But handles better.
Great sound!

You'll be pleased.
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      12-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #5
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Do not hesitate, this car will have you smiling daily.
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      12-18-2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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Great post. I went through a similar thought process. I was determined to buy a low mileage M3, but as the logical side of my brain got involved, the 335is started to come into focus. It was partly a function of having missed out on the really "cheap" M3 deals of a couple of years ago, as I had to wait until spring to sell my Elise, but also acknowledged the more high strung nature of the M3 as a daily driver. I'm doing the M3 front suspension conversion kit and rear bushings and braided brake lines and then wait for summer and a set of non RFTs. Maybe a Wavetrack is in the future.
I'm not saying the 335is is as good as an M3, but for me, as a daily driver, it was the better choice.
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      12-18-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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I have been pleasantly pleased with mine. Overall a very well balanced car. It's fast enough for most road use IMHO.

However, the car is getting some funny noises out the engine compartment, such as a mild clatter going up through the rpm at very light throttle. This happens around 2,000 - 2,500 rpm, for a second or two then it goes away. I do mostly freeway travel right now and the car returns about 30 mpg if not pushed too hard.

The car has about 11k miles and seems to be getting faster.

I am not sure I will keep mine past the 3yr lease though unless I really love the car. Then an extended warranty or CPO would definately be in order.
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      12-19-2012, 10:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the comments guys. I am actually trying to ger some quotes for a lease or purchase on a new one. I like the n54 much more than the n55 even in stock form.

Build is

Mineral white
Saddle leather
Sat radio
Nav
6mt
57345 msrp

I hope with euro delivery I can get the purchase price under 50k. Discounts should b good with the new 3 series coupe coming out.....

Getting excited. Would be the first time I ever had a car built the way I want..
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      12-19-2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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Nice review. The 335is is surprising loud stock!
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      12-19-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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Cool review...but I'd really like to hear one from someone that drives a 335i (N54 or N55).

Ideally I'd like to see what's different compared to a normal 335i.
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      12-19-2012, 04:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pimp4cheddar View Post
Cool review...but I'd really like to hear one from someone that drives a 335i (N54 or N55).

Ideally I'd like to see what's different compared to a normal 335i.
me too.
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      12-19-2012, 04:56 PM   #12
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Dont wait to long and go get it.
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      12-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #13
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I owned a 6mt n54 335 and a dct 135i
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      12-19-2012, 09:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
I owned a 6mt n54 335 and a dct 135i


I'd like to see what your thoughts were/differences between the 6mt 335i and the 335is.

Of course the DCT is awesome...but what else is there. I think the exhaust is deeper...but the seats are the same I believe...
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      12-19-2012, 09:17 PM   #15
KennyPowers
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I didn't drive a dct. After having a dct, it's cool but I much prefer 6mt even for dd in traffic.

Key differences

-looks with wheels / msport kit / diffuser
-interior trim and gauges is nice
-sounds much much better
-less lag and much more midrange power
-better throttle response, much better than n55
-suspension very well sorted out, this could be the case for any sport model 2011+ though
-better cooling gives me more confidence on the track and if I were to further mod the car. Even with fmic my prior n54 ran extremely hot

The combo if all those things makes it feel more special and I enjoyed the drive much more than my old 335. It is more engaging. The clutch / transmission and throttle response gives it a more aggressive and willing feel. Especially with the exhaust sound as well which is phenomenal.

I loved it

Edit : I left the 335i initially bc it was technically very good but didn't beg you to rag it out or really drive it hard like m3s did. This car, being twin turbo, fits the side of me that likes to mod and have an aggressive and engaging car, but with limits and a powerband that are more useable on the street
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      12-22-2012, 11:01 PM   #16
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I love mine. I've got the limited Canadian edition with the twin turbo and xdrive. When I drop it into DS mode and give it a push, it still makes me giggle. Passed a jerk on the highway goofing around yesterday - looked down after a little punch and checked my speed. Holy crap.
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      12-22-2012, 11:40 PM   #17
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The 335is IMO is what the 335i should have been. Much needed cooling with the additional radiator, oil and a larger cooling fan. In addition because its factory tuned w/overboost it has different plugs, stiffer motor mounts and throatier exhaust note. Also it's nice you get the option of the DCT if you choose and of course all the interior/exterior cosmetics.

P.S. I had a 2007 335i and went to the "is", yeah it's a different car.

Last edited by Tag; 12-22-2012 at 11:46 PM.
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