Originally Posted by DarkTrigger
It seems a lot of the reviews are becoming personal preference now. The 335i beat out the ats and c350 in performance numbers both in the figure 8 and drag. However, it got dead last because of creeks and rattles and it's 6k price premium in the latest motortrend article. Although, I think they breezed over the practicality part where the 335i trunk is 17cuft while the caddy is 10cuft and had the only back seat that comfortably sat a 6' person.
You must understand though that the article started with, "I think the problem here is that we've got three second-place cars." Only way to break the tie are with minor things. The caddy shamelessly copied the 3 series anyways, and the 3 series hasn't really changed that much in driving dynamics regardless of what people say.
I agree with this. My only comments to add would be... hard numbers in performance tests are only one piece of the equation and I can understand rating a car more poorly due to squeaks and rattles as they drive me nuts too.
There have been lots of cars that BMW has beaten based on driving dynamics and feel and not objective scores. We didn't argue with the results then. Other cars have improved in this regard... whether they were copying or not is irrelevant because the result is the result.
A car with squeaks and rattles leaves the impression of cheapness. If they had an example of a 335 that was bad in this regard, it would be hard not to feel like the car was cheaply made. That would cloud judgment and leave a bad impression of the car.
These reviews are largely subjective anyway. When you test drive a couple of cars, you make your buying decision based on impression, feel (and some the badge). They are doing the same. I don't think it is that BMW has slipped but that others are catching up and if you get a bad example of a 335 with some "subjective" issues, it is enough to result in a low placing. Different magazine, different tester and different test car and the result could have been very different.