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Old 06-23-2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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335i vs 986

No - this is not a drag race story, or a tale of how I spanked the BMW around some twisty backroads... although I know I could do it!!

No, my DD is aging, and I'm in the market for some kind of a new 4 door sedan. I have looked at a lot of cars - from the Pontiac G8, the new TSX, new TL, used 3G TL, used RL, (I like Acura..I have an 07 MDX for m y wife that I love), IS350, used 3 series, etc etc. I don't know what I want really. part of me wants to get a cheap little TSX and get good gas mileage and just go "cheap"...then sometimes I want something fast and sporty like a 335i, then sometimes I think I want to have a low mileage used RL and cruise in style..quiet, soft, luxurious....

anyway... I went to the BMW dealer and the salesguy was obviously trying to push me into a lease on a new 335i. He offered a test drive so what hte heck...

I was able to try it out on some good turns, as well as open it up on the freeway. The saleguy says "okay you'r going 95...need to be aware of speed"... i swear I thought I was only going 70....

anyway.... if you haven't driven one - it's a neat car. compared to a boxster, it does not have the absolute tossable feel that our cars have - but I guess you can't expect it to, given the physical differences. Midengined 2800lb car vs a 3500lbs sedan with the motor ove the front axle....

although I have to give the BMW credit - it did handle REALLy well, well enough that I would sayh that it is on par with probablyh some sports cars. for a daily driver, this would be a really fun car.

in terms of pure fun - it's not nearly as fun as a boxster. It was nice to know that my little boxster - all 217hp of it - is a more fun car than the $50k+ 335i.

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Old 06-23-2009, 07:57 PM   #2
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I sold my DD Acura TL to get a 330i. It's loads more exciting than a TL, but to me, nowhere close to a Boxster. Definitely a good in-between.

A couple years ago I considered a 335 Coupe to replace the Boxster. Though it's way faster, it's just not as fun. Who knew "fun" could go such a long way.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:11 PM   #3
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the "bad" thing about a boxster is that after you have one - everything else sucks.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:59 AM   #4
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If you're looking for a sedan, it's really hard not to go with BMW since they have a knack with making really good sedans.

I'm currently driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee as a daily driver(pause for laughs) and I've been thinking about replacing it with a 3-series sedan sometime down the line as well. Fast, practical, roomy for it's size, slightly sporty. It's pretty hard to go wrong with it if you have the funds for one.

I also completely agree with you about the fun factor of the Boxster, you can't not drive the car with a smile on your face. It gives you such a satisfying, sporty driving experience that you tend to ignore the slightly lower horsepower in it. I'd like to see someone who drives a different roadster say the same thing about their car.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:25 AM   #5
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Bmw 335i

Well I can't comment on the 335I but I bought my wife a pre-owned 325ci (18M miles) after I got my box. Does it drive nice, absolutely, feels luxurious vs. the boxster comparing convertibles BUT it just does not have the fun factor of the boxster. I look forward to the end of the work day for my 40 mile drive home playing frogger with the traffic. I just don;t get that feeling with the BMW and I love BMW's having a 2 series (old one) 5 series and now the 325.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:24 PM   #6
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I bought a 335 Coupe 2 years ago. I am a BMW fan, and I just didn't like the 335. For a short time, I owned both the Boxster and the 335, so I had a chance to drive them both frequently. Ive long since sold the 335.

As a sportscar, the 335 has some serious flaws:

- Steering is waaaaay too light. Very noticeable assist and vagueness compared to the Boxster. After driving the Boxster, I would find myself making many mid-turn corrections in the BMW.
- I found the 6 speed in the 335 to be the worst I've ever driven. Usually BMWs have some "clunkiness" that goes away over time. My 335 never broke in. 2nd gear was always a crapshoot. I know how to shift smoothly - the 335 made me feel like I was an amateur. In my opinion, this is a fatal flaw.
- The run flat tires were loud, rough and totally lacking steering feel.
- Noticeable lack of traction. Run flats? The car has enough torque that you notice the lack of a limited slip differential.
- Throttle response is poor. Kinda like an on/off switch with a delay. They say there "isn't turbo lag". That might be true, but the car is seriously lacking throttle response. Step on it, and you get ...delay...BAM! This means you can't take a corner on the throttle. Combine this with the vague steering and you see why you are making steering corrections in a turn.
- The 335 has a very similar curb weight, length and width as the last generation 5 series. Its really the "new 540i", instead of the new "3".



In its defense:
- The 335 is very fast. It could accelerate with a force that you can only associate with braking in a Boxster.
- Sounds great under wide open throttle. Different than the Boxster's pipe organ, but likeable. Almost a shreek - like a sportsbike.
- Quiet and fuel efficient on the highway. 30 mpg if you were gentle.
- Modern amenities such as the turning headlights and bluetooth are impressive.
- Serveral in-expensive 3rd party tuning options that can get crazy power increases (400+) hp and torque.

If you want a Grand Tourer with a full backseat, the 335 is an OK choice. Although, I think over time the reliability may prove to be a serious issue. The DFI and the turbos will probably be very problematic and expensive out of warranty. However, the 335 is not a sportscar. Don't get confused. I would suggest buying the 335 in an automatic because the transmission would be a better match for the throttle response of the engine.

By comparison, the Boxster has much better driver inputs. The Boxster's center of inertia is right on the driver. The car makes the world magically "rotate" around you as you go thru corners. The Boxster's steering tells you exactly how your doing. The shifter is precise. The engine is crazy smooth and responsive at any RPM and an organist plays in the background as you toss the car around. Very different experience.
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Last edited by fatmike; 06-24-2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
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you are SOOOOOOOOOOO right!!

I had fun drivintg the 335i on the test drive, but no way I'd buy one. maybe lease, but I have no interest in owning the 335 off warranty. i know boxsters ahve issues, but they are few and far between. yeah, they can be catastrophic...but it's more of a russian roulette kind of a thing.

the 335i, I am guessing, will be a $$$ pit once it's off warranty. lots of little gremlines in that turbo system to go wrong and milk you of money in the service dept....

i'm thinking of something more "regular" like maybre a TL or TL-S as a daily driver.

OR, I could just keep my existing daily driver and fix it up a bit more. if I did that, maybe I can talk mhy wife into buying a newer boxster S... hhmmmmmmm..

now that would be the sell of hte century!!!

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