Originally Posted by Just a 3
There is no argument that there have been advances in the F30 (as there should have been), but the general consensus is that its less of a driver's car than the E90. Particularly in the steering feel area (I never said heavy means better feedback, but the fact is that the E90's feedback is infinitely better than the F30's). Also in the area of braking - braking performance is poor - probably due to low rolling resistance tires, but that doesn't matter - in the end braking is poorer - not just distances but brake feel as well.
Many reviewers would disagree with your first statement, including myself. I have owned four different versions of E9X, incl. 335i coupe and sedan.
Having had my F30-335i now for two months, I can honestly say that I miss nothing of the E9X series, especially the unforgiving 1st and 2nd generation RFTs and the heavy steering @ low speeds.
If you had driven a F30-335i M Sport with Adaptive M suspension and Variable Sport Steering and factory M Sport brakes, I doubt you would have made the same comments. This car rides very well in Sport mode, the steering is more direct and quicker in tight turns than the E90-335i. The brakes on my F30-335i are fantastic, very powerful and silent.
As for F30 braking performance with standard brakes, the longer stopping distances you refer to were with cars fitted with all season tires. Other reviews, such as Motor Trend's test of the 335i Sport with summer performance tires reported very impressive brake performance (60-0 in 109 ft.). As most enthusiasts know, the type and brand of tires can make a huge difference in handling and braking !
The E9X Series remain first class cars. The F3X Series has evolved and improved upon its predecessor in many ways; it's not perfect, but what car better combines performance, handling, comfort for four adults, a proper trunk and good fuel economy ? The criticism of the F3X Series sounds all too familiar to one who has heard similar comments about each new generation of 3 Series. When the E36 was succeeded by the E46, many enthusiasts said it was the end of the BMW sport sedan. This was repeated when the E9O was introduced and now history repeats itself.
To answer the OP's question, I would suggest that you drive a two year old E90-335i and right after, drive a F30-335i for at least 30-60 minutes. If you aren't impressed by the F30, save yourself some money and go for a low mileage 2011 E90-335i with factory warranty.