Originally Posted by Just a 3
Here's my 2 cents - having owned an E90, and driven the F30 a couple of times (both 335i's and sport pkg equipped). And this is IMO, coz' I don't want to be flamed....this being the F30 board..
The E90/92 seems to me to be more of a sport/handling focused car, where as the F30 seems more of a luxury/slightly softer feel oriented car. The biggest difference to me was from the steering feel perspective - the E90 steering is 'alive' and IMO provides the legendary BMW steering feedback, whereas the F30 steering is very light (almost numb IMO). From a power/acceleration perspective, both should be similar, though the earlier N54 engined cars kick more ass. From an fuel economy perspective, the F30 is better (at least per EPA), and also from an interior perspective it seems to be more luxurious (not necessary better materials ). Exterior looks are subjective - I especially like the Estoril Blue M SPort cars - they are really pretty.
It really is a very personal preference oriented thing - I would suggest you drive both and make up your mind. For someone like me, I would find it hard to go from E90 to F30, but as you will see here, there are a few who will swear they prefer the F30.
So go drive both
With all due respect -- which seems to be an issue in this thread -- the E90, and E92 are not the same things. I have an E92 335. I drove E90 335i loaners on several occasions, including a week while my car was having body shop work done. My cousin has an E90 328 and my daughter has an E93 328. The feel of the coupe differs from all three of the other cars I mentioned.
Having written that, I agree that the E9x cars are more sport focused and it's pretty clear that's so from the moment one first drives one. Having driven a couple F30s -- a pure base model and a 335 sport -- I would also say that the F30 doesn't give up any of the sporting ability to the E9x, it's definitely not a less capable car, but rather it's a less communicative car as to the limits of its capabilities.
Now does that matter in every day driving? For 99.9% of people and situations, not at all. And I'd argue that it'd be silly to make a buying decision based on 0.01% of anything. Where it does matter is on the track. The extent to which a car communicates clearly and completely affects directly the driver's confidence and ability to exert the most from the car.
In daily driving situations, the driver is going to do what's appropriate and/or presumably called for to/by the situation. Emergency maneuvers are made without regard to the feedback the car gives, but rather with regard to situational exigencies. If an unfortunate outcome is the result, it won't be because the driver didn't try to push the car as much as possible to avoid such a thing happening. It will have had nothing to do with confidence.
On a track, in contrast, actions are deliberate. If one feels one can rely on the car's feedback, one will push to that point. If the car doesn't clearly communicate its limits, the driver is uncertain and may not push hard enough or will push too hard, both actions resulting from just not really being 100% sure of the situation at that moment and how the car is responding to it. It's about the car letting the driver know if s/he can dial in a bit more throttle, or whether to brake now or a second later/sooner, or whether to turn this or that direction a bit more or less.
If you are indeed a safe driver on public roads, you will never be driving in a way that you'd be deliberately making such calls and planning such limit-treading handling actions that far in advance that it matters. Yet, you may find yourself making the exact same"at the limit" handling moves in a crisis. In the crisis scenario, the F30 is just as capable as the E90 and so you'll crash, or not, with either car depending on whether you exceed the car's ability, again, because you are going to make the car do what you think is necessary as a result of the environmental cues, not as a result of the car's feedback.