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      01-07-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Drives: M6
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cheshire

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Originally Posted by johnbmw6 View Post
With Variable Steering and M Sport adjustable Suspension the car is transformed , shame you did not try it.

I drove the M135i for a day and found (for me anyway) it was to noisy over 3K rpm for general driving and on the motorway revs were high at 80 MPH cruising speeds, this and the small size would limit it's appeal to me, but thats my requirements only.
Driven hard the M135i was great, but in my neck of the woods "performance" would not used much, so it's advantage lost in that department.
I still marvel at the Pace of the 330D and astounding accompanying economy.
VSS and M Sport suspension - Oh yeah sure they are good in the 3er - i really missed them!

i remember your review...agree it is more noisy on the mway, and the 3er is just that bit more refined. As obvious as this is - the 3er sits in between our 5 series and 1 series. And of course, for me we use our 5 series for all the longer trips....

Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
Good write-up TMP, interesting to read.

I came from a 135i (E82), having had a 335d (E92) before that.

The 135i was a fun car, for sure, loved the sound of the engine (when you were in the mood), little pocket-rocket. The sound - both starting it up in the morning - and when motoring on, did get a bit tiring for me though, as it wasn't something I wanted on every single drive. To overtake a car in a tunnel, I didn't want to scare them half to death, just to subtly overtake, but all the drama and soundtrack eventually became grating for daily driving; and I personally felt the engine - needing to be rev'd more than the big diesels I was used to when pottering about - sort of "egged you on" and I personally found it difficult to drive as smoothly or as calmly as the 335d, and found myself driving more aggressively than I'd like most of the time. I also felt I'd stepped back in time a bit to my MINI Cooper S Works/Golf GTI days when I was younger, the car was the next logical step up from those I guess.

In contrast, the F30 330d is very similar to the E92 335d: effortless, quiet, just gets the job done without shouting about it. The torque available is great. I agree that it's difficult to get going (the 335d was the same), and when on WOT, the diesel obviously runs out, while the 135i keeps on building and building; but for the majority of normal driving, I find the 330d a much better drive, with more accessible power, unless you're wanting to drive like an idiot (which I found happened more than I'd like in the 135i!).

Economy-wise, I'm getting 34mpg in the 330d vs 22mpg in the 135i in the same town/traffic driving. On the motorway: close to 50mpg in the 330d and I got around 35mpg in the 135i, so a good improvement. I also like the different driving modes and have found I use them a lot more than I'd thought: I stay in Comfort most of the time, switching to Eco-Pro when in either heavy traffic or when cruising on the motorway; and occasionally switch to Sport mode if I get an open stretch of nice road, and/or to whip past a couple of cars should the need arise

Interior quality is much better obviously, and the car is more refined generally (though wind and tyre noise are still higher than I was expecting!). I'm also loving the new tech e.g. HK/new Nav/Adaptive Lights/HUD.

The suspension (I have Adaptive M Suspension as well) gives a much better ride in Comfort mode; and it firms up nicely in sport mode. I'm also happy with the steering (non-VSS); my 135i had hydraulic steering, which I thought I'd miss, but I find I actually like the lighter steering in Comfort mode (which is still very accurate and precise, despite being light); and it's nice to have the option to firm it up in Sport mode. There is definitely more body-roll than the smaller 135i, but on the other hand - due to the longer wheelbase at least in part - it feels more stable, planted, and controlled, particularly at speed, and I personally prefer that.

The 330d is - for me - the better car if this is going to be your only car. It's much better for longer journeys, more practical with the extra space and 4 doors (for me, compared with the E82 coupe), and gives you a more appropriate daily drive, with the option of making it sportier if you're in the mood. I loved the 135i and will miss it - my girlfriend particularly so, as it suited her better and I'm having a had time selling the 330d to her [it's our only car]! - but as we only have the only car, for our needs, the 330d suits us much more. All are exceptional cars though - M135i even more so than the 135i obviously - just for different needs
As above, I do have the 5er for our longer trips, but do totally agree with your rationale. You and John do seem to be saying the same as me i.e. the 330d does sit as one of the most perfect performance GTs

I also hear the M135i is far more refined than the 135i. In fact in comfort the exhaust is refined on cruise and gentle acceleration. Only in sport mode does it really make a noise. So more of a jackle and Hyde car...

Originally Posted by F30AM View Post
Excellent write-up TMP. Lots of effort. A great read.
Thanks mate
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