E92 335i coupe vs E46 M3 coupe

m3guym3guy Member Posts: 6
edited March 2014 in BMW
Has BMW dethrone the E46 M3 by creating the E92 335i? Just wanted to get everyone's opinion.

IMO there are many features on an M car that differentiates it from a regular 3 series.

-steering ratio
-gear ratio

I think the 335i is really fast but it would never beat a E46 M3.


  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    I have yet to drive the 335i coupe. But I have to believe that even if it was nearly as quick as the M3, the handling of the M3 would be much more sports car like. The previous 330i with performance package and sports package was nice and tight, but in a sedan/coupe sort of way. The M3 took it to another level. Perhaps not to my 911S level, but about half way there.

    The other thing I immediately noticed about the M3 vs. 330i was the free revving nature of the engine and higher redline. All giving the M3 a far more visceral feel than a standard or sport 3-series coupe. My guess is that, even if they could, BMW would not take the 335i coupe to this level of sportiness. They would lose a lot of buyers who would think it was too hard core for daily driving. And make it that much more difficult to sell their next generation M3 to those who thrive on hard core.

    The new 550i 6-speed with 360hp and 360 ft.lbs of torque looks - on paper - to be close to the previous generation M5. But it's not.
  • jjohnjohnjjohnjohn Member Posts: 24
    I read the comment above remarking the M3 is not at the 911 level. Can you elaborate? I am considering getting a 911 over my current 2004 M3 SMG - great car but always wondered if the Porsche is really better and worth its crazy value. Why the 911S compared over then 911 4S or just simple 911? Thanks, hope to hear from you.
  • dwoodruffdwoodruff Member Posts: 1
    I am a previous owner of a 330ci, then an M3. After spending a few hours in a 335i, I ordered one. It is a FAR better car than the M3. Believe me, the 335i is the king of sport coupes right now. It is faster than my M3. The 335 feels like it has far more than 300hp. I wouldn't be surprised if we later start hearing that these cars actually have 350hp. Especially at altitude (I live in Denver) where normally-aspirated vehicles lose power, this turbocharged engine is INCREDIBLY strong because it does not lose altitude-related power. It has power way down low, the turbo lag is gone in the blink of an eye, the car shoots forward with the thrust of an amusement park ride and the engine winds freely to 7000 rpm. It's really incredible. Go drive one. Only then will you truly understand. It is the fastest "normal" cars I have ever driven (not counting Ferrari 360 or Porsche 911 TT). And unlke the e46 M3, this e90 is also a sublime experience. It is quiet and docile when you want it to be, yet angry and astoundingly fast when that's what you need. For the money, this is an unbelievable car.

    Incidentally, to me it's not just about money. I contemplated a Porsche 997 and even a (used) 911 Twin Turbo. I drove the 335i back-to-back with a 2003 911 Twin Turbo, and the 335i wins hands-down in the overall car experience. Sure, the 911TT is a lot faster (scary fast). But in the end, the 911 is small inside, primitive feeling, and feels squirrely and jittery compared to the 335i. I know, I know, they are a completely different class of cars. But to me the 335i made more sense, because it's $50k cheaper than a USED 911TT, it's still pretty damn fast compared to every other car out there, it's a far more comfortable car to be in, and I don't have a track to drive 150mph anyway.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Member Posts: 3,118
    The BMW M3 is a 2-door sedan. It has a terrific engine and suspension, but it cannot escape it's 3500# curb weight and 107.5" wheelbase. In my opinion, it's a very quick and sporty sedan, but it's no "sports car."

    The Porsche 911, on the other hand, is a sports car (although not in a Lotus Exige / Mazda Miata sort of way). It weighs 400# less than the M3, and has a 15" shorter wheelbase. It's very quick and perfectly suspended, but much more nimble and communicative compared to the portly M3.

    I find the ride/handling of the 911 to be just about perfect for daily driving - especially with PASM engaged (I would never turn it off). I don't see how anyone could think it's darty or unsettled.

    I also think the 911 is easily worth the extra $20,000 over the M3. In my opinion, the Porsche beats the BMW in every qualitative & quantitative area except passenger/cargo space. On the other hand, I don't think these cars belong in the same category - kind of like cross shopping a Mustang and a Crown Vic.
  • smithsongasmithsonga Member Posts: 123
    this is a great discussion.

    I am determining if I get new 335 coupe or slightly used M3.

    I also have concerns the M3 may just dump in value within next 2 years and I can lease a 335 at pretty good rates.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well they don't "dump" but when a new version of an M comes out, the old one is "old news", (technologically speaking I mean) so yeah depreciation is to be expected...as it would on any higher priced vehicle. If you want a real beating, buy a German V-12. But an older M that shows good care and fastidious maintenance should hold reasonable value.
  • vegaszenvegaszen Member Posts: 3
    I tested the g35. Lexus 350
    and 335.

    the previous poster was dead on.

    this car kicks serious butt.

    Go drive one.
    You will want one right away.
    ....lease it.
    I wish I could but buying is right for my situation otherwise I would lease it too.

  • dougsilverdougsilver Member Posts: 62
    That brings up a question that probably does not belong on this thread but maybe you can direct me to the right place. My impression by reading various posts that include discussions about BMW is that many/most lease rather than buy the BMW. The several times in the past that I have tentatively looked into leasing ended quickly as I have always been told that leasing makes sense if you keep a car 2 or 3 years but if you keep longer then buy. If that is the case, do most BMW owners only keep 2 or 3 years?

    I tend to keep cars more than 5 years and generally put a decent amount down to keep reasonable payments. So where am I going wrong?


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You aren't. Leases have hidden expenses beyond the advertised "$399 a MONTH!!!" and you will come out far ahead if you buy the car AND if you hold onto it. If you buy the car and re-sell it after 3 years, you'll still be ahead of a lease holder, but not as much--it rather depends on how much equity you have in the car.

    People change cars frequently because the new ones are always so appealing. :)
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Mr. S, in addition, leases only makes sense if you can keep within the mileage or write off as a business expense.

    It costs more to lease but allows you to afford a higher priced car. You need to make sure it is right for you. In the case of some of the seasoned BMW buyers, with ED, they kept the lease costs lower but that also means you can save if the car is purchased.

    One should not lease until they completely understand all of the details as you have pointed out. It is a financial lesson everyone needs to have.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well yeah like if they ask for $2,500 up front, you can divide that right into the 36 month cost. That's another $70 a month. And if the mileage is restrictive, that's .15 a mile. So if you're over 3,000 miles a year you can add another $37.50 a month to the lease costs. So suddenly $399 a month is $506/month. Plus any damage, you fix that, too. Plus you'd better not customize the car in any way.

    BMW is not the best lease program if that's even offered on the M3. It's not the worst, either, to be fair.

    Visiting Host
  • james31278james31278 Member Posts: 78
    I have heard speculations/rumors that the 335i's engine really produces more like 350hp, if thats true this car will smoke alot of cars. I wish BMW would update their site with accessories and stuff already.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    No speculation. Reported 1/4 mile E.T.'s indicate that stock 335 and current gen M3 are a dead heat. Mid 13's!

    Here is some interesting feedback from Automobile. If this is correct, then the 335 is most likely the most powerful in it's class. It's a whole lotta luvin'!

    You may remember our previous story about the BMW 335i being run on a dynometer and displaying some impressive figures. In the earlier tests, the 335i made 275hp and 406Nm torque at the wheels. Estimating drive-train loss of roughly 20-25%, this equates at close to 350hp and 480Nm of torque at the flywheel.

    Automobile mag went back to the dynometer and tested the 335i again, this time under cooler conditions that would yield better figures. The 335i managed to get 285hp, then 282hp, and finally 287hp, which is even more impressive than the last unit. Finally, they found one case where the 335i peaked at almost 300hp at the wheels, which puts actual output at close to 375hp. It looks like BMW engineers have seriously underrated this engine.

    This is NET HP to the wheels!

  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Just to state what may be obvious, but lost in the horsepower thing: The difference between the M3 and 335i is a LOT more than which car can scoot down a 1/4 mile track in the least amoung of time. There are slushbox equiped 2+ ton AMG cars that can do it in under 12 seconds, so "mid 13's" is not the Holy Grail, if that's all you care about.

    Having now driven both the 335i and M3, there is still a significant advantage to the M3 in handling and braking feel, IMO. Not that the 335i isn't better than virtually all of its ELLPS competitors. But it's not an M3, period. Nor is the very competent 550i 6-speed equivalent to the previous generation M5, in spite of being nearly as quick.

    A few test drives with your rear in the seat of the cars should confirm this, as opposed to relying too much on magazine reading with your rear in another place. ;)
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    The difference between the M3 and 335i is a LOT more than which car can scoot down a 1/4 mile track in the least amount of time.

    Second that!

    This difference will be even more apparent in the next gen M3 with 8 sleeves and a step past the 335I SP's handling performance.

    Should convince your rear which hopefully can make it to the other place after a spirited drive in the new variant!

    No reading necessary! ;)

    It looks as though the i6 is just about boosted silly. Super Charged next?

  • bmorofskybmorofsky Member Posts: 13
    But the whole point of leaseing is not to put any money down upfront. Also if you give back the car to the leasing company, yes you would pay a mileage penalty, but you probably can a make a deal with the dealership to "trade " it in for its value just as if you owned it. Besides any of those fees are way less than any amount of money you have to put down upfront to get a payment most people want if they buy. That down payment is gone forever. Also, even if you plan on keeping the car if you bought it and you have a 48 mo. loan you put a couple grand down at inception, and at the end you own a depreciating asset thats worth half of what you put into it. Unless you are paying cash, or getting into a car that INCREASES in value leasing is a better deal. just do not put any money down, and READ the fine print.
  • james31278james31278 Member Posts: 78
    If it really does have 375hp thats very cool. Even 350 is good. I can hope.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    This is why the 2008-2009 M3 will probably have ~ 425 HP. The 335 is that good.

  • james31278james31278 Member Posts: 78
    BMW is that good lol.
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