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      01-29-2013, 03:07 PM   #23
Just a 3
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Originally Posted by DerekS View Post
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.
A majority of reviewers have said that the E90 is the better drivers car. You may not want to give credence to them, but even the same MT you refer to for the braking performance, said the same. Car & Driver, Road & Track, Automobile, Motor Trend, Inside Line et al.

You are right, I don't think I drove the Msport with DHC, so can't comment on that particular variant - but those that have, still say the E90 steering feel and braking is better. The steering may be quicker, but its very light - that's across the board (I drove a sport line/pkg car, and drove it in Sport + mode - felt no difference in the numb feel. The MSPort brakes I believe are quiter, but don't improve braking distance. Again, I use the word 'I believe' because I haven't driven one so equipped - just basing it on what I have read right here on this site.

Third, used to be that any variant of the 3er had great brakes - so are we supposed to be satisfied with the fact that bar the staggered set up car, the rest of the lineup exhibits poor braking?

I am not saying it is not a good/great sport sedan - in fact, my first piece of advice to OP was that he should drive both, before I got into this 'which is better' argument. My personal opinion (and shared by most professional reviewers) is that the E90 has the F30 beat in the enthusiasm category. There's enough evidence out there, but then again, its to each his own. What may be sport for me may be too stiff for you...therefore the 'drive it yourself' advice which both of us agree on.
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      01-30-2013, 03:10 AM   #24
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My experience with the F30 has been the test drives I have taken. My point about professional reviewers was made as a case in point. But then comprehension seems to be an issue with you, so no point wasting time.

Second, you asked me, unashamedly, whether 'I knew how to drive' - not 'are you a skilled driver'. So clearly in addition to being an impolite person, you are also a liar....go read your post again.
Professional reviewers? Is it professional to complain about the brakes when you have all season tires fitted, which he (above) said was the case ?

A few test drives are, in my eyes, not enough when you clearly are an owner of what you yourself consider to be a legendary and awesome machine (judging by how you talk about your N54 equipped monster). Bias?

And for your second point, you´re right, I didnt ask "are you a skilled driver" so why insinuate that I did. I used another way of describing "knowing how to drive" with "being skilled", is THAT hard to comprehend. Trying to catch cheap points or what? Well you dropped the ball on that one as well
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      01-30-2013, 10:08 AM   #25
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E90 xDrive cars only came with the base suspension. F30 xDrive cars can get the Adaptive M suspension. So when it comes to xDrives the F30 is the better performance choice, not the antiquated E90.
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      01-30-2013, 01:39 PM   #26
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Professional reviewers? Is it professional to complain about the brakes when you have all season tires fitted, which he (above) said was the case ?

A few test drives are, in my eyes, not enough when you clearly are an owner of what you yourself consider to be a legendary and awesome machine (judging by how you talk about your N54 equipped monster). Bias?

And for your second point, you´re right, I didnt ask "are you a skilled driver" so why insinuate that I did. I used another way of describing "knowing how to drive" with "being skilled", is THAT hard to comprehend. Trying to catch cheap points or what? Well you dropped the ball on that one as well
You can pick on professional reviews as much as you want - doesn't change the fact that the braking performance is roundly criticized as poor. As I said, MSport doesn't offet better/bigger brakes - just less noisier ones. With respect to tires - a majority of BMWs are sold with all seasons - why would anyone have to put up with 190 feet stopping distances if they had all seasons - 20 feet more than the plaid Honda Accord? You call that great braking?

With respect to bias - of course some bais comes in, but I was one who really wanted to like the F30, but couldn't. As you probably read (but obviously not comprehended) - I kept saying 'IMO' before you butted in with your insults.

Third - I didn't insinuate anything - you asked me first 'if I knew how to drive' to which I answered 'yes I did', and mentioned my car - and your retort 'does driving an N54 make you a skilled driver?' plus your usual silly emoticons. To that I responded that I never said that I am a skilled driver because I drive an N54 - only that yes, I do know how to drive in the literal sense. Drop the ball anyone?

Last - with trying to make cheap points - you are the master of that - from your first post all you are trying to do is score cheap points.
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      01-30-2013, 01:41 PM   #27
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E90 xDrive cars only came with the base suspension. F30 xDrive cars can get the Adaptive M suspension. So when it comes to xDrives the F30 is the better performance choice, not the antiquated E90.
Again - drive both - then decide. I haven't driven an xDrive with adaptive suspension, and if you have, you may very well be right. Don't see how that would improve the lifeless steering feel (IMO) though.

Anyway, this is not an E90 v/s F30 post - just everyone making their suggestions to the OP, before we had a particularly smartass nut jump in.
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      01-30-2013, 02:18 PM   #28
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Again - drive both - then decide. I haven't driven an xDrive with adaptive suspension, and if you have, you may very well be right. Don't see how that would improve the lifeless steering feel (IMO) though.

Anyway, this is not an E90 v/s F30 post - just everyone making their suggestions to the OP, before we had a particularly smartass nut jump in.
Unlike you, I did drive both, and now own the F30.
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      01-30-2013, 02:32 PM   #29
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I have to say, I don't see how you are considering a coupe in one generation and a sedan in the other. That said, as someone noted above, when you use sport mode, the steering feel of the F30 does go up a bit. A coupe will always look sexier than a sedan of the same model.

I have an E92, and I just love the car. It's fun to drive and practical all at once. Also, as it's a coupe, it's going to be a long time before it stops looking good.

Check the post that shows all the generations of 3er coupes. The first two do look a bit dated, but still not bad looking. The E36 and E46 still look great, I'm pretty certain that'll be the case with the E92 for some time to come.

If you are going to lease the car, definitely get the E92. By the time your lease is up, you can then choose between the F30 and the F32, or you can choose to buy your E92.

If you are buying, you just have to drive them both and see which one you are more comfortable living with for the time you'll own it.
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      01-30-2013, 02:41 PM   #30
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...With respect to tires - a majority of BMWs are sold with all seasons - why would anyone have to put up with 190 feet stopping distances if they had all seasons - 20 feet more than the plaid Honda Accord? You call that great braking?...
At what speed is any 3er needing 190 feet to come to a stop?

At reasonable speeds (60 mph) I've only heard 110 feet (give or take) cited as the distance to stop. And based on the few times I've made emergency stops, I'd say that's about right.
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      01-30-2013, 03:15 PM   #31
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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.
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      01-31-2013, 04:15 AM   #32
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You can pick on professional reviews as much as you want - doesn't change the fact that the braking performance is roundly criticized as poor. As I said, MSport doesn't offet better/bigger brakes - just less noisier ones. With respect to tires - a majority of BMWs are sold with all seasons - why would anyone have to put up with 190 feet stopping distances if they had all seasons - 20 feet more than the plaid Honda Accord? You call that great braking?

With respect to bias - of course some bais comes in, but I was one who really wanted to like the F30, but couldn't. As you probably read (but obviously not comprehended) - I kept saying 'IMO' before you butted in with your insults.

Third - I didn't insinuate anything - you asked me first 'if I knew how to drive' to which I answered 'yes I did', and mentioned my car - and your retort 'does driving an N54 make you a skilled driver?' plus your usual silly emoticons. To that I responded that I never said that I am a skilled driver because I drive an N54 - only that yes, I do know how to drive in the literal sense. Drop the ball anyone?

Last - with trying to make cheap points - you are the master of that - from your first post all you are trying to do is score cheap points.
Gahh, you're obviously more stubborn and wise ass-ed than me, so I gotta resist continuing this haha god speed and enjoy your rocket on super brakes my man
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      01-31-2013, 10:26 AM   #33
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Unlike you, I did drive both, and now own the F30.
Why did you say 'unlike you?' I did drive the F30 - haven't you read my posts?
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      01-31-2013, 10:27 AM   #34
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At what speed is any 3er needing 190 feet to come to a stop?

At reasonable speeds (60 mph) I've only heard 110 feet (give or take) cited as the distance to stop. And based on the few times I've made emergency stops, I'd say that's about right.
Car & Driver tested it at 190 feet from 70mph to 0 (C&D's standard braking test is 70-0)
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      01-31-2013, 10:29 AM   #35
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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.
Great post!
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      01-31-2013, 10:30 AM   #36
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Gahh, you're obviously more stubborn and wise ass-ed than me, so I gotta resist continuing this haha god speed and enjoy your rocket on super brakes my man
Glad both of us are able to shake this off in a good humored way

Thanks - and enjoy your new ride!
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      01-31-2013, 10:39 AM   #37
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Why did you say 'unlike you?' I did drive the F30 - haven't you read my posts?
"I haven't driven an xDrive with adaptive suspension" - you
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      01-31-2013, 10:42 AM   #38
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I'm pretty sure most people who won't shut up about how the E9x is supposedly the "real enthusiast's" choice base their judgment entirely on the fact that the E9x ride is worse than the F30.
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      01-31-2013, 05:04 PM   #39
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"I haven't driven an xDrive with adaptive suspension" - you
Comprehension problem anyone? When I said drive both, it was for the OP - drive both (i models, not Xi).
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      01-31-2013, 05:10 PM   #40
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I'm pretty sure most people who won't shut up about how the E9x is supposedly the "real enthusiast's" choice base their judgment entirely on the fact that the E9x ride is worse than the F30.
If I use your logic, should I say that the "enthusiasts: are those that base their judgement that the F30 is better because of a softer ride? And since you can't use polite language - what will it take for YOU (the AWD 'enthusiat') to shut up?
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