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BMW 335i vs Infiniti G37

nc72689nc72689 Posts: 10
I am deciding on which one to get please give me some advice. Which one will you get? Has anyone sat in the back of 335i coupe or the g37? How does it feel? Will you have any problems if you have to sit in the back?
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Comments

  • I have the experience. I am 179cm tall. I have no problem sitting in the back of 335i coupe. As for G37, I have to shrink my body a bit. It is still OK for a 20 mile drive. But there is no room for me to extend my sore waist. My head will hit the rear window and the sunshine is directly on top of the my head (no sunshade above). Hope this help. But the navigation is really cool and maybe more practicable than the i-drive of Bimmer.
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    But the navigation is really cool and maybe more practicable than the i-drive of Bimmer.

    I personally love the i-drive in the 335. Easy to learn, easy to use, and lots of good stuff. Not a necessity, but nice.

    I don't know about the back seat of a G37, but the 335i coupe is short on headroom. But I'm 6' tall and I still fit ok, although I wouldn't want to be there for hours. I have the sedan which has more headroom and is also cheaper.

    Personally I wouldn't base my decision on the size of the backseat of these cars. Drive them and see which one you like better. For me it was the 335 hands down even without driving the G37. But I've always wanted a 3-series, so it was an easy decision. You should also consider the front seat. A friend of mine who is 6'3 sat in my car and it was ridiculous; he needs a bigger car.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    These are excellent responses. I have the G37 and the back seat is actually tight. My 10 year old daughter fits just fine but my 6'-2" son has to lean forward or he touches the glass roof/window. As has been stated the rear window is more like a big sunroof and that may be an issue as well for those rear passengers. On the other hand, I am 6'-3" and there is ample head and leg room for me up front. I actually do not have the seat all of the way back as it's too much leg room set that way. The head room is excellent for me as the roof line "bumps" up. I don't really take passengers in the G, or if I do it's just one, so the back seat is really a non issue. If you are buying the car in hopes of using the rear seat for adult passengers on a regular basis, I would look at the G35 Sedan instead. Best of luck to you!
  • Chirp, how did you decide on the G37? Did you drive the sedan or any other cars? Did you get the sprt or the regular suspension and how rough does it ride and how about the noise or quietness? How about the steering feel? Did you try the competition (3series)? Please give us a report.
  • agnostoagnosto Posts: 205
    I have driven G35, IS350, TL and looked at G37s but did not bother driving it as I have already driven multiple times the BMW 335i sedan (ohhh what a joy!) and always say all other ones are BMW wannabeeees... NOTHING drives like the BMW "The Ultimate Driving Performance Machine" period!
  • I take it you make your mind up about a new beer, wine or vodka without trying it too. Always a good way to go. ;)

    Now, in answer to the original post:

    I just had the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time behind the wheel of a G37 Coupe Journey, with the sport package. The one word that kept coming to mind, in relation to the G35 Coupe is "refined".

    First things first - if you want to cart people around, buy a sedan. Coupes are for two people who want to toss their briefcase or purse in the back, and not pay the insurance premium of a sports car with no back seat. With that understanding:

    The new G37 is quieter, has a better ride quality (even with the sport package), and is more responsive than the car it replaces. While the 3.7 liter powerplant will not propel the car more quickly from 0-60 than the 3.5, the responsiveness in the midrange and upper-midrange is very good, and when asked to accelerate the car from say, 50-70 or beyond, will not disappoint. That with the automatic transmission. I did not get to experience the 6-speed manual. I'm sure the crispness would have been dialed up a notch or two.

    Handling is agile, with no harshness penalty paid for the 19" tires. Speaking of tires - the BMW comes standard with run flats. Pricier, generally not repairable, typically not available at your local tire store if you do damage one. And you pay a penalty in harshness on rough surfaces on a day-to-day basis. But you do get to drive 50 miles with no air in them.

    The BMW has more back seat room. If that is more important to you than the driving experience - buy the BMW. You will receive a dated interior, with a dash design that remains basically unchanged. A sedan-like roofline. And an I-Drive system that wishes it was as intuitive as the controls in the Infiniti.

    Both cars are very good. They are also very different vehicles. The G comes in, at a minimum, around $6,000 less than the 335i. Significantly more of a differential with option packages thrown in the mix.

    You buy one to impress other people. You buy the other to impress yourself. I'll leave you to judge which is which.
  • I just purchased a G37S after months of research on the G, the 336i BMW, and the new Audi S5. I decided to go with the G37 after seeing the Motor Trend online video of a head-to-head test between the G27 and the 335i in which the 335i dies on camera after overheating. I owned a BMW 320 and paid for it twice in repairs. Despite my historic reservations about BMW reliability (my 320 stalled atop a bridge in a rain storm), I gave the 335 a close look. It is a beautiful and powerful vehicle. After seeing the Motor Trend video, however, I quickly went with the G37. As far as the S5 is concerned, it too is a beautiful vehicle, but with a base price at $50,000 without any options, I thought it was substantially overpriced. My new G37S, meanwhile, is quite a vehicle---a kick to drive and loaded with intuitive options from the navigation system to the enhanced cruise control. I'm impressed. BMW needs to do a serious reevaluation of the oil cooling system for its twin-turbo 335. That Motor Trend video has to be costing them lots of customers like me.
  • nolachuck and averagecarguy, I guess refinement and quietness are relative terms and certainly my friend who has the last g35 coupeS constantly complains about the noise the 19" tires make. How do you think they made it quieter on the new one with I assume, the same type 19" tires? And just to get acquainted with both your point of references (what did you both drive before?) are you both saying that the G is quieter than the 335? I had a sport 330 and did wish that it was quieter and did think it rode a little rough. The ideal being: you hear the great motor but not the constant tire roar or the wind noise which detracts.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    Hey Richard, I have the 5 A/T Sport with Premium and NAV. I just broke the G37 in by driving 750 miles in the curving and fast Kettle Moraine hills of Wisconsin. The car is fast, quiet and designed for this type of driving. I have had lots of performance cars over the years and this G is an unbelievable beast while also providing more luxury options than most luxury cars. Great Stereo, full iPod integration, bluetooth, complete voice commands, seats with full bolster controls and lumbar/seat extensions, etc, etc. For my money there was no other choice. In 37 years of driving I have never owned a BMW (Mercedes-yes, Porsche-yes, etc.) and it's because of guys like AGNOSTO that I cannot bring myself to buy this Marque. Come visit over at myg37.com to learn more about this machine. The discussion is open and honest and doesn't suffer from the trolling knightmares that often occur at generic sites such as this. :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    People have different impressions of all cars and edmunds is one of the premium auto sites on the internet where it's possible to have multi-faceted discussions such as this one and the commentary is not canned.

    Unlike other sites, sniping at other posters because you don't like what they wrote or how they wrote it is not very well tolerated.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    To the OP, I hope some of these responses helped in your quest for the right ride.
  • Rather than trying to make a determination through someone else's experience, why don't you drive the G37 yourself?
  • getzgetz Posts: 24
    In response to the previous poster who mentioned the terrible motortrend review of the 335i coupe, I think we need to review the facts more closely. Here is the meat and potatos from the motor trend article reviewing the two cars:

    "The cars are running neck and neck as we wheel into Alabama International Dragway to take a few objective performance measurements. Here BMW's shorter gearing and greater torque erases the Infiniti's five-percent advantage in weight-to-power, allowing it a 0.3-second lead in 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times (5.1 and 13.7, respectively) with a 3.1-mph-higher trap-speed. Braking and lateral acceleration are nearly identical, though, with fade-free 110-foot stops in each from 60 mph, and 0.84 to 0.83g grip, BMW to Infiniti. One race the Infiniti loses decisively is fuel economy, which, at 18.4 mpg on our 400-mile jaunt, trails the lighter, smaller-displacement Bimmer by a whopping 3.3 mpg."

    "So how does the story end? Considering the micro performance margins and the macro price differential, plus that unnerving oil-temperature issue (what other final development work is the current 335i owner performing?), we send the G37 riding off into the sunset with a narrow but decisive margin of victory-and the promise of a fifth installment coming soon."

    Regarding the aforementioned article, I don't think many potential bmw owners are flocking to infiniti based on an overheating car after it was flogged around the track. Of note, the overheating issue has been corrected by the addition of a second oil cooler. Also, the performance numbers obtained by motortrend are fairly conservative, and I dont know how legitimate of a comparison this is when the 335i was supplied by infiniti for this test.

    Here is a recent car and driver review:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/shortroadtests/13548/tested-2007-bmw-335i-coupe-auto- matic-performance-payoffs-page3.html

    " Even knowing what we know about the engine and tranny, we were still surprised just how quick the 335i automatic is. Indeed, this particular Arctic Metallic 335i coupe was the quickest 3-series coupe we’ve ever strapped our instruments to, and it also ended up right on top of an E46 M3, with 0-to-60-mph passes in 4.9 seconds and 100 mph in 12.1. The quarter-mile happened in a blistering 13.4 seconds at 106 mph, 0.2 second and 1 mph quicker than the 335i manual we tested last year."

    When you look at these numbers, the performance gap widens significantly. Also, if you forego the nav/idrive and get a coupe with sport package/manual tran/premium package, the price difference becomes not so significant. Also of note is the free maintenace for 4 yr/50k, and a better resale value for the bmw which helps to further narrow the margin.

    I drove both, and both are absolutely stunning for their price point. They both provide the consumer with direct evidence of the value of competition between maufactures, especially when trying to catch a narrow market segment. I ended up with the 335, and have enjoyed every minute. I love the subjective feel of this car, and the money difference wasn't enough to overcome that sensation. To each his own, but to bash on the bmw because of a corrected issue of overheating on a tracked car, or because you don't like the "type of people" that drive the car, seems rather narrow minded.
    I also like the aftermarket potential of the 335i, as there have been countless owners who have "chipped" the car with enormous power gains, and still maintained the reliability. Dinan, a longtime bmw tuner is due to release their ecu reflash in the next couple of months, which comes with a 4yr/50k warranty, and will most likely turn the 335i into a rocket. The proceed chipped cars, and juice box cars are already putting well over 300 hp to the wheels and close to 350 ft-lbs of torque, which is a ton. I know very few people will choose to do this, but its nice to know that you can.

    Which ever car you choose, enjoy it, as they are both beautiful.

    Cheers,
    -Getz
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    Wow, that's a post! The Motor Trend comparo involved two 335i Coupes; one that cooked and one that just got hot. I hope the mechanical issues are now solved as you say and I agree that they are both spectacular machines that are very closely matched. I'm at 2,000 miles now and not a hickup. I wish you the best with the 335i BMW experience. :)
  • viralviral Posts: 12
    getz - your post contains lots of good info and appears well thought out. However, your conclusions appear to be based more on your opinion than the facts you present. Let's follow through on some of your points:

    First off, you can't pick and choose performance numbers achieved by different magazines and compare them to each other. There are simply too many variables (temperature, altitude, track conditions, weather, drivers, etc.) So you need to stick with actual comparisons from the same day and the same drivers for anything close to an apple-apples comparison. C&D hasn't performed one yet that I've seen. Motor Trend has, as you quoted, and the G won. Road and Track also has, and the G won (at least off the race track):

    http://web2.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=5496

    Here's a snippet:
    "The G37 is a great street car that borders on the luxury side of the BMW, which weighs less, costs more and jiggles your kidneys. The G sacrifices the performance of its predecessor for a more compliant ride, supple interior, great comfort and quietness. All the complaints we had of the first-generation G35 have been remedied, except its performance, which we found to be essentially unchanged. From a handling standpoint, the cars are equally footed running the same Bridgestone rubber. The G37 with its active rear steering was very stable in the slalom, making it possible to squeeze through the cones a tad quicker. Where the cars don't compare is on price. The G37 undercuts the German brand and, on top of that, offers more features and technology. It's a simple choice, the 335i for the track, or the G37S for the Autobahn."

    (Those bridgestones, btw, are a different tire from the previous Michelin Pilot Sports and are supposed to be a big reason for the tire noise reduction.)

    That brings us to your next point - Price. I priced out both cars exactly as you suggested and came up with these numbers:

    BMW 335i Coupe, Manual/Sport/Premium: $45,700
    Infiniti G37 Coupe, 6MT Sport/Premium: $39,465

    However, with only those options, the Bimmer is nowhere NEAR feature parity. To even get in the ballpark, you'd have to add Heated Seats ($500), 19" Wheel Pkg ($1000), Comfort Access ($500), Sat Radio ($595), and Ipod dock ($400), which brings the total MSRP to $48,695. That still leaves you short of the G options by quite a bit.

    Next, you mention that the better resale value of the 3 series will help offset the $9000 price differential, right? Wrong. I think you might still be looking at the world through rose colored BMW sunglasses. According to Kelly Blue Book's "Best Value Holders" list ( http://autos.msn.com/advice/article.aspx?contentid=4022645 ) The G Coupe wins the Coupe category and is the 4th best value holder in any category at any price point. Here are the top 10:

    * BMW 5-Series
    * Chevrolet Corvette
    * Honda Accord Hybrid
    * Infiniti G35 Coupe
    * Infiniti M45
    * Lexus GX 470
    * MINI Cooper
    * Porsche Cayenne
    * Toyota Prius
    * Volvo XC90

    In fact, the 3 series wasn't even the runner up in the coupe category. Infiniti wins there, hands down. Even their 4 yr/50k warranty is bested by Infiniti's 4yr/60k bumper to bumper. You're correct, though, in that BMW's does include oil changes for free. At $20 each over 4 years, you could potentially save $300 there.

    Like someone else pointed out before. You buy a BMW to impress others. You buy a G to impress the driver. All BMW has left these days is (admittedly well deserved) cache. All you have to ask yourself is if that is worth $10,000 and fewer features to you.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Of course your post is completely factual and unbiased. Right?

    "You're correct, though, in that BMW's does include oil changes for free. At $20 each over 4 years, you could potentially save $300 there."

    Ummm, no. Seven quarts of synthetic oil, a long life filter and labor usually costs about $100 per oil change. In addition, the brake fluid needs to be flushed every other year, the coolant every three to four years, and usually at least a set of front and rear brake pads, rotors and sensors are required during the maintenance period. All are covered at no extra cost to the owner of the car.

    "You buy a BMW to impress others. You buy a G to impress the driver."

    That's not unfounded personal bias? Yeah, right.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,366
    image

    Here is the KBB list I got. where is the G????? Where is Infinity at all?

    Regards,
    OW
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    "The G37 is a great street car that borders on the luxury side of the BMW, which weighs less, costs more and jiggles your kidneys. The G sacrifices the performance of its predecessor for a more compliant ride, supple interior, great comfort and quietness. All the complaints we had of the first-generation G35 have been remedied, except its performance, which we found to be essentially unchanged. From a handling standpoint, the cars are equally footed running the same Bridgestone rubber. The G37 with its active rear steering was very stable in the slalom, making it possible to squeeze through the cones a tad quicker. Where the cars don't compare is on price. The G37 undercuts the German brand and, on top of that, offers more features and technology. It's a simple choice, the 335i for the track, or the G37S for the Autobahn."


    To me, it's an even simpler choice. I sat in a G37 and didn't like it as much as the 335. Yes, that is my totally biased and subjective opinion. But since I am spending my own money, I think I am entitled to that opinion. At the end of the day, it's what you like and not what the magazine editors like. I will certainly read these reviews to see if there is some sort of fatal flaw in the vehicle that I am considering, but whether one is 0.1 seconds faster or slower, err, yawn.

    You buy a BMW to impress others. You buy a G to impress the driver.

    I couldn't disagree more with this statement. I parked my car this morning between two other bmw's. I don't think anyone else is impressed. But I certainly am very impressed every single time I drive my 335. The car rocks and puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. And that is why I bought it.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    So, to recap:

    1. The 335 is better on streets.
    2. The 335 wins all performance numbers, except the slalom where rear active steering helps eek out the G a *tick* faster. Seems like a whole lot of hardware for a *tick*. :surprise
    3. BMW puts it's technology into the drive, Infiniti into the stereo system.
    4. The "G" offers more gadgets per dollar, while being less expensive.
    5. The 335 is more efficient gas wise.

    "Like someone else pointed out before. You buy a BMW to impress others."

    Yeah right.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,366
    You buy a BMW to impress others.

    Maybe if you buy one of each, you do. Whoever buys anything to impress others needs to get a life. (of their own) ;)

    Regards,
    OW
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    Wow Viral, you awoke the sleeping beasts! I'm loving the G and I don't read magazine reviews to see what I'm missing. As long as I am happy, that is the only critic I need to satisfy. Looks like the frustrated and disappointed High School debaters are still alive and well. :)
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    Wow Viral, you awoke the sleeping beasts! I'm loving the G and I don't read magazine reviews to see what I'm missing. As long as I am happy, that is the only critic I need to satisfy. Looks like the frustrated and disappointed High School debaters are still alive and well.

    Hmm, I guess I am part of the "sleeping beast?" Why, because I responded to a posting on a chat board of all things? I thought that's the kind of thing we do here.

    I do agree with you however. I am loving my 335 and not because magazines say it's good or because I am trying to impress someone else. I am neither frustrated nor disappointed and I am certainly not trying to convince you that you should have bought the 335 instead of the G. It's a personal choice and if you like the G better, by all means enjoy it. IMO, these cars are so good that it really comes down to personal choice. I was willing to pay the premium for the 335 because, to me, in my very biased opinion, it looks better inside and out and feels better when I drive it. The G made me say "nice!" while the 335 made me say "wow!"
  • viralviral Posts: 12
    chirp - Yeah, that tends to happen when you post facts AGAINST a bmw. :)

    shipo - You're correct. My $300 comment was a jab at BMW's lesser warranty that they brag about and me being sarcastic. It's nice that they offer free maintenance, but my point still stands that it hardly offsets the cost difference by even a slim margin. And yes, I ended my post on a personal opinion. Am I not allowed to have it like everyone else here?

    circlew - You're right. My search showed 2006 models, yours shows 2007 models. Since neither the 335 or the g37 won that category in 07, the best option left was to look at the actual kbb.com pages for each car and compare their respective resale values. Unfortunately, they don't give a residual value number, only a graph comparing each (grey line) to the overall "coupe" category (blue line) to which they both belong.

    Here's the 335i coupe graph:
    image

    and here's the G37 graph:
    image

    Although somewhat unscientific, it sure looks again to me like the G has better resale value the bimmer. If nothing else, it should be close enough to eliminate that argument against the Infiniti. I've already shown the G Coupe won in 2006. It also won in 2005:

    image
    (http://www.autospies.com/images/12-11/ALG.JPG)">

    dan12 - You're absolutely entitled to your biased opinion, as we all are. I'm simply pointing out the facts that prove others opinions and speculation wrong. Nobody has contradicted a single fact I posted yet.

    kdshapiro -
    1) Incorrect. G wins on the street, BMW wins at the track
    2) Correct.
    3) too silly to even acknowledge...
    4) Correct.
    5) Correct.
    So to recap your recap, the G is on par with the 335 in driving dynamics, handling, braking, etc. It's a bit faster in the slalom and slower in a straight line. It's less fuel efficient but costs about $10,000 less (you'll never drive enough miles to make up that price in fuel savings). And yes, it has much more technology/options/features for the money.

    I'm not trying to bash the bmw here, it's a fantastic machine, nobody would argue that. The OP wants a comparison of the two, so I felt it was only fair to give him as much accurate and factual information as possible.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    My comment about the sleeping beasts essentially was because this board sat quiet for a long time with about one post every week until Viral's post! Anyway, I am glad you are enjoying the BMW and at least both you and I are driving the two under discussion here as opposed to some who argue with no real world experience. My luck with German cars has been bad. I had a 911 that I finally had to find a private mechanic to sort out some issues and I had a AMG that was plagued with all sorts of gremlins. Maybe I'm just hard on the equipment, but my experience with japan brand autos has been much better, but that's off topic.
    If you're near Chicago we should swap rides some day! :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "1) Incorrect. G wins on the street, BMW wins at the track"

    My comment stands as correct. BMW wins on the street, drive wise and performance wise. G wins on the autobahn.

    3.too silly to even acknowledge... Hmmm. Seems like when a G "fanperson" someone brings up the toys it's okay.

    So to recap. From what I can gather the majority is saying the BMW has better driving dynamics on the street, but the active steering gives the G the slight edge on the track.

    I'm not trying to bash anything, but this is the impression I gathered from the various articles.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    Both of these machines are very very closely matched. It's scary how close they really are and to say one is better at this or that is really splitting hairs and different drivers would be enough to sway results one way or the other. As consumers we should be delighted to have these two great choices and it is the consumer's individual taste that should be the final deciding factor in which one to buy. I'm sure the BMW is as great an Autobahn cruiser as the G is and I will bet that on a short race track the G will keep right up with the BMW.
  • I'll apologize for a long, rambling post. So, either pop open a cold one and settle back for a loooong read, or skip this rant completely. These are also just my own personal thoughts; there are few absolute “rights” and “wrongs” or “goods” or “bads” with cars. That’s the beauty of taste and freedom of choice, just buy what you like and enjoy it.

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about whether to buy a 335. I am a hard core car nut, have owned 95 cars in the past 33 years. I am completely brand agnostic, have no loyalty to any particular one. I have restored, raced, and worked on many cars, and look at them from perspectives that most people don't (I also tend to be a perfectionist, and want reliability and fair value as well as being fun to drive). I have owned a couple of BMW's, and looked long and hard at the 335, but am getting the feeling it might not be as much fun to own as it is to drive.

    The 335 is an absolute blast to drive, as are most BMW’s. It is a great combination of performance and luxury. The company should also be applauded for offering manual transmissions in many of their models at a time when most companies don’t. However, BMW has also done a fantastic job of marketing itself over the past 20 years. Where do you think the whole “ultimate driving machine” mantra came from? BMW itself, with brilliant, persistent marketing. The company has set standards for skillful product placement. So many movies and television shows over the past two decades have BMW’s in them whenever “upscale, affluent” lifestyles or “beautiful people” are depicted. BMW itself now touts the “BMW lifestyle” in their marketing. Their efforts have been phenomenally successful. Most people think “BMW” when they think “upscale” car, or “upscale” lifestyle. Just like the cigarette advertising of the second half of this century, a whole generation – us – now has BMW successfully branded on our psyches as the “it” car to have. Most people that are – or want to be – “upscale” want to have a BMW (like, it seems, most of the population of Southern California).

    For many years BMW richly deserved that reputation. The 2002, which started the whole legend, was a fun to drive, beautifully engineered, reliable, reasonably priced car. Unfortunately (also IMHO), BMW’s today are morphing into a different animal. After 20 years of aggressive marketing, BMW now seems to be more focused on maximizing profits.

    If you take a close, critical, objective look at the 335, it is apparent that the company has gone through it with a fine toothed comb looking for ways to cut costs. I know people in the car biz, and they admit that they look at everything and ask, “will people still buy it for the same price if we do this”? Flimsy windshield wipers. Some interior control knobs that would shame a Hyundai. No spare tire (saves $50, and most people will still buy it and pay the same price as if it had one). It even lacks an oil dipstick. Save $5 here and $10 there, the next thing you know, it’s $1,000 more profit per unit, an impressive accomplishment in the razor-thin margins of the automobile industry.

    More worrisome is the overheating problem with the 335, which clearly points to some serious thermal management issues. First Road & Track experiences an engine overcooking its oil and going into limp mode after a few gentle laps on a track. Then, all sorts of reports of engines grenading themselves start showing up on the BMW forums. BMW seems to have cut the corner too closely on this one, and it’s not going to be solved just by adding an oil cooler. The engine is maxed out, stressed to its limits to squeeze out as much power as it is generating from its displacement. Impressive from an efficiency perspective, but worrisome for longevity and reliability.

    The 335 seems to have been designed to make owners dependent on the dealer, and addicted to expensive – and not easily substituted – maintenance. To wit: composite brake rotors, which cannot be turned and must be replaced at every brake job (20,000 miles or so), to the tune of $740. Those windshield wipers which you can’t get anywhere else? $48. I got quotes for oil changes from two dealers: $130 and $200. For an oil change!

    BMW’s brilliant marketing also promotes “free maintenance”. Which, of course, it isn’t – the cost is simply built into the price up-front. The “free” maintenance also gets you oil changes every 15,000 miles (= 3 oil changes during the warranty period). Even a company that builds engines as wonderful as BMW cannot repeal the laws of physics and metallurgy. While synthetic oils certainly last longer than conventional, this is partially offset by the higher operating temperatures that are used to extract better efficiency – and as a result, shorten oil life. This is especially true in a turbo engine like the 335 (turbos actually get red hot in operation). After 5,000-7,000 miles of this kind of thermal stress, even the best synthetic oil is going to have its shear properties significantly degraded. The number of early engine failures is already showing that thermal management is a problem – and oil temps and lubricating properties are critically important. Bottom line, 15,000 mile oil changes will get almost any engine through the warranty period without any problems, but I would hate to see what the bearings look like after 100,000 miles – or own the engine once it’s out of warranty. Some people have commented that they see the 335 as a “lease and return”, one to have fun with but that you wouldn’t want to own once the warranty has expired.

    Which is the culmination of BMW’s shrewd marketing: lease their cars, and once the warranty and lease are up, lease a new one. Like a smart drug dealer, get the customer hooked, and then keep them addicted and regularly coming back for more. It is a classic, brilliant business strategy to move a product from a periodic capital purchase (buy a car every several years) to a continuous income stream (lease payments for life). It maximizes and stabilizes the company’s cash flow. I take my hat off my (balding) head to BMW for figuring out how to do this. If I worked for them I would try to do the same thing.

    But I don’t. I am a consumer. I am lucky enough (from years of my own hard work, no trust fund here) to be able to afford any car BMW makes. But I didn’t get here by flushing money down the toilet unnecessarily (well, at least not too much….). I know it’s one of my own pet peeves, but I don’t like being led down the garden path to help line someone else’s pockets. Even the maintenance costs have become a secondary message of BMW’s marketing – the cost of the “BMW lifestyle”. Some people defend BMW’s lack of reliability by saying “you own a BMW for the drive, not the reliability”, and “you shouldn’t buy a BMW if you want a reliable car” – also straight out of BMW marketing. [continued below]
  • If you built a car that was more expensive but less reliable than the competition, what else would you say to keep the addicts coming back?

    There have been many comparisons between the 335 with the Infiniti G37. IMHO, the performance of the new G37 is not significantly different from the 335. The performance specs seem to be within a few tenths of a second of each other, well within the range of car-to-car variability and driver skill. A $1000 driving class would no doubt make a bigger difference in who would be faster around a track. What the G37 does seem to have, IMHO, is more robust construction quality, and likely more straightforward maintenance – for thousands of dollars less (before the fanboys start foaming at the mouth about “driving dynamics”, the reality is that most people don’t know what they are, and rarely experience “driving dynamics” on the way to a SoCal mall). BMW builds some great cars – the E46 series M3 is an absolute jewel, and a terror on the track. But, IMHO, Infiniti may be the truer successor than the 335 to the BMW legend started by the 2002: a solid, straightforward, reliable, comfortable, high-performance car at a reasonable price.

    The enthusiasts here should be saluted for having the passion and cajones to enjoy driving in a society and age that seems to be devolving towards automatic-transmission homogeneity and mediocrity. The posers that are too insecure to have an objective discussion about cars, well, maybe the old joke about (some) BMW owners and porcupines is true….

    We live in a free country, and we are all free to buy (or lease) anything we like, as long as we can afford it (or convince a finance manager that we can). Whatever floats your boat, go for it, and enjoy it. I know many people here will consider it sacrilege for me to not unquestioningly worship at the altar of BMW, and I’m sure I will no doubt be lambasted by the fanboys for my blasphemous comments. Some people on other forums post less than fanatically religious comments on the 335, and the fanboys are ready to tar and feather them and run then out of town on a rail for their irreverent profanity. We are all just expressing our opinions, and we should all lighten up, we’re just talking about cars. Post-purchase cognitive dissonance is a classic human emotional response (that I too am often guilty of): rationalize and justify a decision after the fact, even if it means ignoring objective data.

    But, like the story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, just because most people think something, doesn’t mean it’s true.
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    I'm in northern Cal so swapping rides won't work... :) Sure, I see what you mean about the sleeping beast. But wouldn't you be convinced that the car is completely boring if someone posted "the 335 sucks!" and nobody bothered to reply? :)

    Well, I hope my experience will be better than what you have found. My wife has a 6 year old X5 that has been quite good so far (knock on wood, etc.). I traded in a Jeep for the 335, so the reliability bar is not exactly high, if you know what I mean. I had two Acura's prior to that which were unbelievably reliable. This is my first German car, so I am hoping for the best. So far the 335 has been flawless, but it's still very, very early to say anything about it.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I love BMW's, but they are definitely not the same company they were 20 years ago.

    Very well said Nick.
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