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      04-16-2018, 09:41 AM   #1
Parmb24
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Review: 2016 M135i 5door LCI Manual (Stock) to a 2011 335i LCI DCT Coupe (Stock)

Hi All,

For those interested I thought I would share my thoughts after living with the 335i for 3 weeks coming from an M135i. Reason for the change, was I always wanted a 3 Series coupe! It also needed to be a daily driver so the E92 looked like the best choice in terms of having modern technology. I still have an itch to scratch with an E46 M3 however I couldnít quite find the right one in the last couple of months.

Initial thoughts: Initially I thought I had made a big mistake! The steering felt very heavy in the 335i in comparison to the M135i. At slow speeds it feels like the accelerator needs to be given half throttle to get moving along with the heavy steering, this felt very frustrating to begin with. I missed having the driving option modes from the M135i, particularly Sport+ which felt sharper and readier with a touch of throttle compared to the sport mode in the 335i. The M135i felt nimbler and fun. I think mostly I missed the manual gearbox and third pedal!

Engine: Both cars have the N55 engine the M135i with around 322BHP & 332lb ft is delivered from just 1300rpm. The 335i with 302BHP & 295lb ft delivered from around 1200rpm. Above 4500rpm the 335i really starts to open up and revs out freely with a great exhaust note.

Gearbox: The DCT is great, satisfying feeling when timing the upshift at the right time for the seamless upshift. In normal drive mode works well around town and local driving, when in manual / sports mode works brilliantly and the gear shifts feel lightning quick! Again, difficult to compare to the manual gearbox in the M135i as both give a different driver experience. The kickdown feature in the 335i is great too when needing to drop a few gears to pick up revs / speed. I havenít given launch control a test yet!

Steering: After living with the weighted steering for a few weeks I have begun to appreciate the weightiness in the 335i, it definitely gives a more authentic and genuine steering feel. In comparison to the electronic steering in the M135i which felt numb at times and gave lack of feedback. Also, the 335i steering wheel is smaller in diameter and feels better in the hands compared to the M135i steering wheel.

Tyres: Difficult to give a like for like comparison as I had the brilliant Michelin Pilot Super Sports on the M135i which were superb in dry and wet conditions. I currently have four brand new Bridgestone Potenza RFTs on all four corners of the 335i courtesy of the previous owner which I believe from reading contribute to the heavier steering. I think Iíll be switching to some Michelin sport 4s next! I think this will make a drastic improvement in how the power is put down, grip levels and drive overall. Saying this the Bridgestoneís havenít been too bad!

Chassis: The chassis in the 335i is great, the car feels competent at high speeds and a lot more planted than the M135i. Whereas the M135i rear end used to feel a bit floaty at higher speeds and didnít inspire much confidence. Mine also didnít have the (under body strut brace) which I believe improved the back end particularly on the 5 door.

Suspension: Feels quite similar in both cars I had the passive suspension on the M135i, personally I canít notice much difference even with the 19inch alloys on the 335i. Only when going through pot holes / imperfections in the road this feels noticed. However overall, I would say the M135i suspension was a bit more compliant the 18inch alloys may have been a contributing factor to this.

Engine Sound: The 335i has a bit of a flat spot under initial acceleration at the start of the pedal, as you get past the initial flat spot it revs out well. The natural sound of the 335i is more appealing, I appreciate this a lot more especially with the sunroof open and windows down. Whereas the M135i has the simulated sound pumped back through the speakers which gives a fake sense of engine / exhaust sound.

Brakes: M135i felt a bit sharper and more responsive with a touch of braking, in the 335i you need to really press down but the brakes do work well.

Final thoughts: The 335i is definitely starting to grow on me it feels more robust, I prefer the natural engine sound. It feels more planted & holds the road well especially at high speeds. Day to day it mooches around town seamlessly then turns into a different animal when sport mode and manual mode on the gearbox is engaged. I think a change of tyres will help improve the low speed steering, remap to remove the initial dead spot and I think the car will grow on me more!
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      04-16-2018, 12:47 PM   #2
CitizenKane
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Interesting write-up, thanks.

The fundamental question is this though: are you glad you moved from the M135i to this??
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      04-16-2018, 02:50 PM   #3
snedanator
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Great review :-)
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      04-17-2018, 04:20 AM   #4
Parmb24
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CitizenKane In all honesty I'm not too sure theirs pros & cons to each, but the M135i felt like an easier get in and go.. fun car particularly as a daily driver was a brilliant all rounder, I may be tempted to get back into one before they discontinue the RWD 3.0 6cyclinder engine and transition across to a 2.0 4 cyclinder x-drive format late this year / early next year. Having said that its only been 3 weeks hopefully the 335i wins me over time.

snedanator Thanks!
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      04-17-2018, 04:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parmb24 View Post
CitizenKanebefore they discontinue the RWD 3.0 6cyclinder engine and transition across to a 2.0 4 cyclinder x-drive format late this year / early next year
Why are BMW so hell-bent on making their cars worse?
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      04-17-2018, 06:03 AM   #6
Parmb24
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CitizenKane I believe they are bringing the production for the 1 series over to the Oxford plant and majority of 1 series owners use this as there first step into the Bmw brand and can't tell the difference between whether the car is FWD or RWD! I think the switch to X-drive allows them to gain more boot space and rear seat space also allowing them to be a bit more competitive with the likes of the S3 and Golf R with the AWD offering, I would imagine there would be a mode to allow it to be a bit more RWD bias similarly to whats offered in the new M5. However I think the M240i is staying 3.0 6cylinder for now! .But I agree for us enthusiasts it definitely feels like a backward step!
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