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      08-12-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
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E90 M3 vs. B8 S4 vs. F30 335i

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Hi Folks,

I'm currently driving F10 535i. Although it's a nice car, it's too heavy and too big for my 4 mile daily commute.

Therefore, I am looking a smaller fun car to replace it.

These 3 cars are in my radar. I have test driven 2 of these.

I just want to hear your opinions especially from people who have owned all three.

Thanks in advance
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      08-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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If you want the sportiest and most fun, get the M3.

If you want the heaviest, get the S4.

If you want the intermediate of practical and sporty, get the 335i...or dare I say it, get the 328i which is noticeably lighter and would still have enough power to have fun.

Or screw all of that and just buy a BRZ/FRS, because none of the above are "Small" cars. They're big cars that just happen to be small-er than a current 5 series.

Although frankly if I were you, I wouldn't jump into the last gen M3 if you're looking to purchase new (not sure if you are looking at preowned) when the F8x is just around the corner. I'd trudge along with your 5 series (first world problems) until the new cars start rolling out in a few more months. All the fun of the E90 M3 with the high quality cup holders of the F30!
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      08-12-2013, 05:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input.

I wouldn't jump to 1st-year car. My 5 series is already 2nd-year production. BMW hadn't fixed the throttle issue until then.

4-door car is required for me since I'm a family man.

I put E90 M3 as one of the options because I loved my E46 NA engine so much. Therefore, I was thinking to get the last NA M car. The big downside of the E90 is the ugly interior especially compared to my F10.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberdemon View Post
If you want the sportiest and most fun, get the M3.

If you want the heaviest, get the S4.

If you want the intermediate of practical and sporty, get the 335i...or dare I say it, get the 328i which is noticeably lighter and would still have enough power to have fun.

Or screw all of that and just buy a BRZ/FRS, because none of the above are "Small" cars. They're big cars that just happen to be small-er than a current 5 series.

Although frankly if I were you, I wouldn't jump into the last gen M3 if you're looking to purchase new (not sure if you are looking at preowned) when the F8x is just around the corner. I'd trudge along with your 5 series (first world problems) until the new cars start rolling out in a few more months. All the fun of the E90 M3 with the high quality cup holders of the F30!
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      08-12-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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I backed out of trading in my 2011 e90 335i for a e90 m3 for a 2013 335i m sport. 12mpg more, full warranty, 11 miles on the odometer and will be almost as fast after ppk, intake and exhaust
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      08-12-2013, 07:00 PM   #5
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I recently went through a similar decision and I ended up in a 335i M-Sport with the M Power Kit and M Exhaust, along with a few cosmetic goodies. On a day to day basis it feels quicker than the M3 due to all the torque low down. You really need to get all over it to see the benefit of the V8, although it sure is fun when at full tilt. The M3 would be a better choice if I intended to track my car, but I don't plan on doing that. I'm very very happy with the 335i and I'm confident I made the right choice (for me). The S4's fatal flaw was a hesitation at turn-in that made me doubt whether I could trust it for aggressive driving. The 335i's response was immediate. That sealed the deal for me.

Good luck! These are good problems to have
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      08-12-2013, 07:15 PM   #6
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Coming from the f10, i believe the 335i will make you very happy. I think the M3 would be too big of a leap (and yes, the e9x interior is still as ugly as you remember it).


F30 335i is sporty, sharp interior, comfy and very practical for family.
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      08-12-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodonx View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm currently driving F10 535i. Although it's a nice car, it's too heavy and too big for my 4 mile daily commute.

Therefore, I am looking a smaller fun car to replace it.

These 3 cars are in my radar. I have test driven 2 of these.

I just want to hear your opinions especially from people who have owned all three.

Thanks in advance
e90 m3 before we have to say goodbye to V8 M3s forever
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      08-12-2013, 07:57 PM   #8
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I venture that once the tri- turbo M3/4 arrives no one is going to care for the NA V8. No need to go nuts about this statement, lets wait one year.
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      08-12-2013, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KORALLROT
Coming from the f10, i believe the 335i will make you very happy. I think the M3 would be too big of a leap (and yes, the e9x interior is still as ugly as you remember it).


F30 335i is sporty, sharp interior, comfy and very practical for family.
When I test drive 335 sport, its sport auto shifts much faster than my F10 sport auto. It's DCT like.

Is it only my imagination or it's true?
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      08-12-2013, 09:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberdemon View Post
If you want the sportiest and most fun, get the M3.

If you want the heaviest, get the S4.

If you want the intermediate of practical and sporty, get the 335i...or dare I say it, get the 328i which is noticeably lighter and would still have enough power to have fun.

Or screw all of that and just buy a BRZ/FRS, because none of the above are "Small" cars. They're big cars that just happen to be small-er than a current 5 series.

Although frankly if I were you, I wouldn't jump into the last gen M3 if you're looking to purchase new (not sure if you are looking at preowned) when the F8x is just around the corner. I'd trudge along with your 5 series (first world problems) until the new cars start rolling out in a few more months. All the fun of the E90 M3 with the high quality cup holders of the F30!
heaviest yes but just as fast as the F30, has more cornering grip than the f30, can do a figure eight faster than the F30, less body roll than the F30, and more importantly goes around the track faster than the F30. So what is the point of being lighter if the car doesn't act like it. A civic is lighter than the S4 also.
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      08-12-2013, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodonx View Post
When I test drive 335 sport, its sport auto shifts much faster than my F10 sport auto. It's DCT like.

Is it only my imagination or it's true?
Test drive both the F30 and S4 and buy what you like best. If you want the last of the V8 cars in this class with great handling than you better get the E90 ASAP. The turbo/supercharger engines won't be as high revving that is for sure so if you like to rev your cars than get the E90 now.
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      08-12-2013, 10:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberdemon View Post
If you want the sportiest and most fun, get the M3.

If you want the heaviest, get the S4.

If you want the intermediate of practical and sporty, get the 335i...or dare I say it, get the 328i which is noticeably lighter and would still have enough power to have fun.

Or screw all of that and just buy a BRZ/FRS, because none of the above are "Small" cars. They're big cars that just happen to be small-er than a current 5 series.
There is a huge difference in driving feel between E90/F30/S4 and F10. The former may not be "small" cars per se but they are still much smaller than the latter.

Personal opinion: E90 M3 > B8 S4 > F30 335i > mule-drawn cart > BRZ
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      08-12-2013, 10:50 PM   #13
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i drive a f30 335i and have to vote for a m3! (sorry my caps lock is not working, kids! lol)
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      08-12-2013, 11:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaBMW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberdemon View Post
If you want the sportiest and most fun, get the M3.

If you want the heaviest, get the S4.

If you want the intermediate of practical and sporty, get the 335i...or dare I say it, get the 328i which is noticeably lighter and would still have enough power to have fun.

Or screw all of that and just buy a BRZ/FRS, because none of the above are "Small" cars. They're big cars that just happen to be small-er than a current 5 series.

Although frankly if I were you, I wouldn't jump into the last gen M3 if you're looking to purchase new (not sure if you are looking at preowned) when the F8x is just around the corner. I'd trudge along with your 5 series (first world problems) until the new cars start rolling out in a few more months. All the fun of the E90 M3 with the high quality cup holders of the F30!
heaviest yes but just as fast as the F30, has more cornering grip than the f30, can do a figure eight faster than the F30, less body roll than the F30, and more importantly goes around the track faster than the F30. So what is the point of being lighter if the car doesn't act like it. A civic is lighter than the S4 also.
You forgot one...is uglier than the F30.
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      08-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #15
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Having gone through basically this same decision process very recently, I can sympathize. Not an easy choice. The good news: you'll end up with a great car no matter what.

Here are my thoughts:

B8 S4 and F30 335 clearly belong in the same category. They are fundamentally comparable in terms of power, features, performance, and price.

E90 M3 is in a totally different category (both in terms of price and performance).

So you have to decide what's more important: price, or performance?

If performance is your priority, get the M3. It's simply the better car. Period.

If price is a factor, and you're more comfortable in the 335/S4 price range, your choice comes down to a simple question: how do you plan to finance? If you plan to lease, the Audi is a non-starter. Residuals for Audis are atrocious, and you'll end up spending a couple hundred more per month over what you'd pay for a 335. Easy choice.

On the other hand, if you choose to buy, you really do need to decide which car speaks to you more. Again, they're both great cars. Obviously everyone here prefers the BMW... but there are just as many Audi loyalists. And the Audi comes with the "S" badge, which connotes a degree of exclusivity you don't get with the 335 (I can't tell you how many people lump the 335 in with the 320; they don't know the difference). And those S4 quad exhaust tips are kind of irresistible.

Again, if you can afford the M3, you should get it. The M3 is a veritable automotive icon. While it's a great car, the 335 is not an icon... and while the S4 badge itself is somewhat iconic, the current car that hosts that badge isn't an icon, either.

But your decision isn't really between three cars; it's between just two (S4 vs 335). If you are a logical person who is driven at least in part by financial considerations, I don't see how you choose the S4. If you are an emotional person who is more motivated by your relationship with a car than your relationship with your wallet, I can absolutely understand choosing the S4.

In the end, they're both fast, capable, midsize sport sedans with a fair amount of cachet and a huge amount of driving pleasure. You can't go wrong either way. Choose the one that sings to you.

PS: don't forget: with the Audi, you have to pay for oil changes (and all other maintenance).
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      08-13-2013, 12:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodonx View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm currently driving F10 535i. Although it's a nice car, it's too heavy and too big for my 4 mile daily commute.

Therefore, I am looking a smaller fun car to replace it.

These 3 cars are in my radar. I have test driven 2 of these.

I just want to hear your opinions especially from people who have owned all three.

Thanks in advance
Have you considered the C63 AMG as well?
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      08-13-2013, 05:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaBMW
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberdemon View Post
If you want the sportiest and most fun, get the M3.

If you want the heaviest, get the S4.

If you want the intermediate of practical and sporty, get the 335i...or dare I say it, get the 328i which is noticeably lighter and would still have enough power to have fun.

Or screw all of that and just buy a BRZ/FRS, because none of the above are "Small" cars. They're big cars that just happen to be small-er than a current 5 series.

Although frankly if I were you, I wouldn't jump into the last gen M3 if you're looking to purchase new (not sure if you are looking at preowned) when the F8x is just around the corner. I'd trudge along with your 5 series (first world problems) until the new cars start rolling out in a few more months. All the fun of the E90 M3 with the high quality cup holders of the F30!
heaviest yes but just as fast as the F30, has more cornering grip than the f30, can do a figure eight faster than the F30, less body roll than the F30, and more importantly goes around the track faster than the F30. So what is the point of being lighter if the car doesn't act like it. A civic is lighter than the S4 also.
The F30 you are referring to did not have PPK. I don't think we can still say with certainty that the S4 laps a track faster than the F30. Lets tone that down a bit until the test results are out. I venture that the F30 with PPK should at a minimum match the S4.
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      08-13-2013, 05:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitriol
Having gone through basically this same decision process very recently, I can sympathize. Not an easy choice. The good news: you'll end up with a great car no matter what.

Here are my thoughts:

B8 S4 and F30 335 clearly belong in the same category. They are fundamentally comparable in terms of power, features, performance, and price.

E90 M3 is in a totally different category (both in terms of price and performance).

So you have to decide what's more important: price, or performance?

If performance is your priority, get the M3. It's simply the better car. Period.

If price is a factor, and you're more comfortable in the 335/S4 price range, your choice comes down to a simple question: how do you plan to finance? If you plan to lease, the Audi is a non-starter. Residuals for Audis are atrocious, and you'll end up spending a couple hundred more per month over what you'd pay for a 335. Easy choice.

On the other hand, if you choose to buy, you really do need to decide which car speaks to you more. Again, they're both great cars. Obviously everyone here prefers the BMW... but there are just as many Audi loyalists. And the Audi comes with the "S" badge, which connotes a degree of exclusivity you don't get with the 335 (I can't tell you how many people lump the 335 in with the 320; they don't know the difference). And those S4 quad exhaust tips are kind of irresistible.

Again, if you can afford the M3, you should get it. The M3 is a veritable automotive icon. While it's a great car, the 335 is not an icon... and while the S4 badge itself is somewhat iconic, the current car that hosts that badge isn't an icon, either.

But your decision isn't really between three cars; it's between just two (S4 vs 335). If you are a logical person who is driven at least in part by financial considerations, I don't see how you choose the S4. If you are an emotional person who is more motivated by your relationship with a car than your relationship with your wallet, I can absolutely understand choosing the S4.

In the end, they're both fast, capable, midsize sport sedans with a fair amount of cachet and a huge amount of driving pleasure. You can't go wrong either way. Choose the one that sings to you.

PS: don't forget: with the Audi, you have to pay for oil changes (and all other maintenance).
I financed my F30. It's actually a couple of thousands more expensive than the Estoril Blue S4 I had been looking at. The decision to buy the F30 was purely based on emotion. One look at the Estoril Blue 335i was all she wrote. The numbers were actually stacked against the F30 but that smurfy blue color spoke volumes to me. It's not always about logic
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      08-13-2013, 06:21 AM   #19
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On a 4 mile commute, you're not going to have much fun with an M3. Expect 13mpg, and an interior that will have you wincing a bit, every time you sit inside. Of course it is fun, when you find some on ramps, and can wind it up past 7000.

I owned a '12 e92 M3, and now an F30. I almost bought an F10 recently. If I were you, I'd consider a 328i, loaded up with exhaust, sticky tires, and other performance goodies.
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      08-13-2013, 06:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodonx View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm currently driving F10 535i. Although it's a nice car, it's too heavy and too big for my 4 mile daily commute.

Therefore, I am looking a smaller fun car to replace it.

These 3 cars are in my radar. I have test driven 2 of these.

I just want to hear your opinions especially from people who have owned all three.

Thanks in advance
I was in your exact situation 3 months ago. I had a 2008 EVO X with 60,000KM (still felt new to me), but wanted/needed to change to a different, more comfortable, 4-door. I wanted a "special" car first, so I test drove the C63 (was crazy fast), but could not find an E90 M3 here in Montreal to test. I then proceeded to test the S4, which felt very nice.

Finally, I ended up with a NEW 2012 335i Sport, as I got a killer deal on it (almost 10K less than what they sell them here). My thoughts:

Although it's very nice to drive (comfortable and fast), it is missing something. Maybe I was spoiled with the EVO steering and tossability, but the 335i does not feel that "special", and I watch with envy everytime I see an E90 M3 pass by .

If warranty and gaz is of no issue to you, get the M3. Otherwise, an S4 or a 335i will still be an excellent choice. Good luck.
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      08-13-2013, 07:14 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitriol View Post
Having gone through basically this same decision process very recently, I can sympathize. Not an easy choice. The good news: you'll end up with a great car no matter what.

Here are my thoughts:

B8 S4 and F30 335 clearly belong in the same category. They are fundamentally comparable in terms of power, features, performance, and price.

E90 M3 is in a totally different category (both in terms of price and performance).

So you have to decide what's more important: price, or performance?

If performance is your priority, get the M3. It's simply the better car. Period.

If price is a factor, and you're more comfortable in the 335/S4 price range, your choice comes down to a simple question: how do you plan to finance? If you plan to lease, the Audi is a non-starter. Residuals for Audis are atrocious, and you'll end up spending a couple hundred more per month over what you'd pay for a 335. Easy choice.

On the other hand, if you choose to buy, you really do need to decide which car speaks to you more. Again, they're both great cars. Obviously everyone here prefers the BMW... but there are just as many Audi loyalists. And the Audi comes with the "S" badge, which connotes a degree of exclusivity you don't get with the 335 (I can't tell you how many people lump the 335 in with the 320; they don't know the difference). And those S4 quad exhaust tips are kind of irresistible.

Again, if you can afford the M3, you should get it. The M3 is a veritable automotive icon. While it's a great car, the 335 is not an icon... and while the S4 badge itself is somewhat iconic, the current car that hosts that badge isn't an icon, either.

But your decision isn't really between three cars; it's between just two (S4 vs 335). If you are a logical person who is driven at least in part by financial considerations, I don't see how you choose the S4. If you are an emotional person who is more motivated by your relationship with a car than your relationship with your wallet, I can absolutely understand choosing the S4.

In the end, they're both fast, capable, midsize sport sedans with a fair amount of cachet and a huge amount of driving pleasure. You can't go wrong either way. Choose the one that sings to you.

PS: don't forget: with the Audi, you have to pay for oil changes (and all other maintenance).
Very objective and complete response, I agree with it all. I'd buy you a beer
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      08-13-2013, 07:31 AM   #22
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heaviest yes but just as fast as the F30, has more cornering grip than the f30, can do a figure eight faster than the F30, less body roll than the F30, and more importantly goes around the track faster than the F30. So what is the point of being lighter if the car doesn't act like it. A civic is lighter than the S4 also.
An M5 is a better performance car. Just because it acts fast, does not mean it feels light.

You feel the weight of a car when you drive it. And he's not going to the track, he's driving it around town.

If he's complaining about the weight and size of an F10 I don't expect him to feel like a car that is only 200 lbs lighter and 7" shorter to feel "small".

The speed a car goes around the track has very little to do with how fun it is to drive. A GTR goes around a track like no ones business. It is not a fun car to drive. It's a computerized robot of boring precision. My accountant is great at his job but that doesn't make him a fun guy to drink with.

A Miata is a fun car to drive. A GTI is a fun car to drive, and I would argue that most drivers would probably prefer the 328 in the "Fun" category because you can push the limits, cause the car to misbehave, and use more of the available power in a curve. Most journalists who review both back to back tend to agree. I bought a 335i and even though I use it almost exclusively as a highway cruiser, I almost never find myself able to use all of the power or grip on the twisties. If I were to do it all again, I would've gotten the 328i, made it louder, made it faster, and been completely happy with it.

Again this goes to the OP's wording. "Fun and small" not "heavy and big"

If he asked for the best performing AWD vehicle then I would have a different set of comments.
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