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      10-26-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
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First impressions of my F30 335i xDrive

First impressions of my F30 335i xDrive

2013 335i xDrive – 6-speed maual, Alpine White, Dakota Black Leather, M Sport Line, Summer Tires, Cold Weather Package, Dymanic Handling Package, Premium Package, Technology Package, 19” 403M wheels with Summer Performance tires, Black Kidney Grills, Carbon Fiber Mirror Caps, Performance Exhaust. (Black stripe installed at the port removed before delivery)

A little background… for just over 18 months, I’ve been driving a 550i xDrive configured very similarly to the 335. Same color, M Sport, similar options except 19” wheels and all-season run-flat tires. I leased the 550 and my job has me travelling more than I anticipated, so I was going to be over on my miles but 15-20k. I was never completely happy with the 550. I “bulged” a tire and bent a rim the first week, on a small pothole. I fixed it and replaced the tire, then paid almost $1,200 for the wheel and tire insurance. Over the next year and a half, the dealer replaced 7 tires and had 6 wheels straightened. The 550 also used a quart of oil every 2,000 miles. The 550 also felt very big and heavy to me. I averaged 19mpg with lots of highway miles.

When I let me dealer know I wasn’t very happy with the 550, he was shocked. I’ve been in the brand since 1982 and I found myself looking to get out of my lease and into something else outside of the brand. He explained that the 550’s with the all-season tires on 19’s were a big problem for many people. He told me that the dealership would help me out of the lease and that he should be able to get some factory support for that as well. When he said that in a couple of days, he had 6-speed 335 coming in configured very much like my 550, I was interested. A couple of days later and one short test drive and I was all-in.

I took delivery on Monday and today it’s Friday. Yesterday I drove to Boston and back from Hartford, averaging over 35mpg on my trip. The car is EXACTLY the right size for me. It just feels right. Size, weight, responsiveness…everything feels right. I LOVE being back in a manual transmission. The 550 was my first auto in a long time and I didn’t realize how much I missed the clutch pedal. The Performance exhaust sounds wonderful, just the right amount of “burble” to keep me excited.

The nav is a bit different and there are a few more nice little things that it does, but it’s substantially the same technology. Seat heaters in the 550 were amazing and they’re just average in the 335, no big deal there. The back seat has plenty of room for 4, which was always a drawback with the previous 3-series for me. I need some winter wheels and tires, so I’ll get that done shortly. Looking forward to a long time with this car.

I’m in break-in, so I’m treating the car by the book. I’m looking forward to more aggressive driving soon though. Any I’ll be changing the oil and filter in way less than 15k. That’s just crazy to me. I filled the tank once and it’s nice knowing that I can run 89 in it rather than 91 or higher. The 550 did NOT like anything but 91 or higher.

I love that because the two cars look so similar, not one person has asked if I got a new car ☺

Here's a picture of my 335 on the left and my 550 on the right.
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      10-26-2012, 03:13 PM   #2
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great car, how does the 335 compare to 550 in acceleration, i know you haven't pushed it yet, but what do you think so far
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      10-26-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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Can you please tell me how the Dynamic Handling Package is effecting the performance on the xdrive suspension? Concerned about the adaptive suspension and how it effects the xdrive suspension. Any insight would be great because I'm debating whether or I need this on my 335x order--thanks!!
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      10-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Wait, so I can put 89 octane in my 335i? I went from an e90 to an F30 and I wasn't aware of this. I'm so used to using 91 or higher.
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      10-26-2012, 04:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335iAW View Post
Wait, so I can put 89 octane in my 335i?
Yes, 89 is fine.
The fuel door states 89 is the minimum.

The manual indicates when using "the engine may produce knocking sounds when starting at high outside temperatures. This has no effect on the engine life."

That is, the engine may make sound briefly under this limited circumstance, but it is not harmful.

Many here speculate that since BMW states it used 91 octane when testing for maximum horsepower that somehow the engine will be damaged or compromised by 89. Thus, they argue one should use 91 or better for maximum engine life.

This is nonsense. While 91 will do no harm, there is nothing to indicate it is safer or in any way "better" for the engine. One may get a bit more power given BMW's call-out of 91 along with the power specifications, but we do not actually know.

Bottom line: 89 is fine, will definitely not hurt. 91 is fine, will definitely not hurt, may potentially provide a tad bit more maximum power. If emotionally 91 makes you feel better, use it. It is not much more on an annual basis.
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      10-26-2012, 05:28 PM   #6
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Why 89/91 --> only hurting your overall performance of the engine.
The engine knocks because of timing, might as well drive a different brand then.
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      10-26-2012, 06:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
Why 89/91 --> only hurting your overall performance of the engine.
The engine knocks because of timing . . .
Do you have anything that backs up this assertion?

I summarized above all of the information previously posted on the issue. Do possess any additional information I have not included?

The star-up routine of a modern car is very different than when it is running. The possibility the engine may make knocking sounds in the limited circumstance of elevated temperature on start-up indicates only this. Only pinging when driving means anything.

Again, use 91 if it makes you feel better; 89, if you would like to save a bit. Neither compromises the engine in any way.

Amusingly, the difference in power power produced by a modern engine with one step of pump octane is one to two percent; three to six horsepower on a 335. This is meaningless for the driver (no, you are not going to feel this) but critically important for BMW's marketing when publishing engine specifications.

Burn rate is vastly more important for power output differences - and burn rates has nothing to do with octane.

Of course, if anyone has any objective, real information to add - please do.
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      10-26-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
It is not much more on an annual basis.
So, why would anyone want to use 89 then? Especially considering that N55 actually can use the difference, it's not like putting premium into a Corolla.
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      10-26-2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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7 tires and 6 wheels in one year? How did you manage to do that? Is CT that bad now a days? -
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      10-27-2012, 07:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmargolis
I love that because the two cars look so similar, not one person has asked if I got a new car ☺
Pretty funny.. "Did your car lose weight?"
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      10-27-2012, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_K View Post
So, why would anyone want to use 89 then? Especially considering that N55 actually can use the difference . . .
I agree the nominal cost difference is such one should just use whatever octane appeals to the individual owner.

However, we don't know if the N55 can use the difference. Many are making this assumption, but there is little indication it can. BMW does not tell us this.

Cars with engines which can benefit from, or require, premium fuel have manuals that state this is the case. For example, the Grand Sport and base Corvette manuals state "premium recommended." The manual for my Z06 however calls out "premium required."

If BMW determined higher octane fuel had a benefit, it would follow the industry convention and state "premium recommended." The fact our manuals only indicate 89 minimum is a strong indication there is no benefit.
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      10-27-2012, 09:46 AM   #12
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i would never put in anything below 91. i know it's a different car, but my friend has a honda civic she just bought from the dealer. the owner ran 87 all the time and she just had to have the motor taken apart. the piston rings just fell apart. valves were not sealing properly. why risk it? you save like $100 a year using cheap gas.
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      10-27-2012, 10:21 AM   #13
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Civics, other than the Si, specify 87. The specific failures you cite have nothing to do with the octane used and would not be present even if the car specified 91 or higher.
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      10-27-2012, 11:57 AM   #14
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Here in the UK our premium fuel, the higher octane RON 97/98 is usually a fuel 'package' that has extra additives, cleaning agents, etc.. So besides the thinking that the higher octane allows optimised timing, due to the knock control, and 'should' ensure peak power outputs, we have better internal engine care, keep injectors in tip top condition, etc.

I'm using (UK market) Esso super unleaded RON 97 in my 535i. Esso, in their spec' sheet state is has double the additive values as their standard Esso unleaded RON 95 fuel. As I can be making short trips I do it for that alone, as if anything can help keep the engine A1, that is where I'm at.

It is a shame no ones seems to have dyno'd the N55 engine, to see what different fuels do to HP and torque. Like our Fifth Gear have done to some other engines. Couple of videos in the following link and discussion.

http://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=762416


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      10-27-2012, 02:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roki_014 View Post
great car, how does the 335 compare to 550 in acceleration, i know you haven't pushed it yet, but what do you think so far
You're correct, I haven't pushed the 335 yet. The 550 pulls like a beast, but the damn car weighs WAY more than the 335. I'm not sure of the actual numbers, but my 2007 335 "felt" faster than the 550.
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      10-27-2012, 02:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howiegu View Post
7 tires and 6 wheels in one year? How did you manage to do that? Is CT that bad now a days? -
That's the funny thing. The roads here aren't THAT bad. It would only take one "hit" sometimes at slow speed to damage the wheel or tire. Quite amazing actually. My guess is between the car's weight, 19" wheels and the crappy Goodyear all-season run flats, it was a recipe for disaster.
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      10-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
I agree the nominal cost difference is such one should just use whatever octane appeals to the individual owner.

However, we don't know if the N55 can use the difference. Many are making this assumption, but there is little indication it can. BMW does not tell us this.
I don't know. My car has N55 and it says clearly "minimum octane rating (AKI) 91 - see owner manual" on the fuel door. Note "minimum". Assuming they made software changes to be able to recommend 89 for F30 (my car is E92), it would seem very improbable that they ALSO took off the capability to use 91 which was minimum recommended just 1 year prior.

That's why assumed it can use it to its full extent.
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      10-27-2012, 04:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_K View Post
I don't know. My car has N55 and it says clearly "minimum octane rating (AKI) 91 - see owner manual" on the fuel door. Note "minimum". Assuming they made software changes to be able to recommend 89 for F30 (my car is E92), it would seem very improbable that they ALSO took off the capability to use 91 which was minimum recommended just 1 year prior.
This is a nice factual bit. I was unaware the E92 indicates a minimum of 91.

I agree; one would expect that if BMW added capability to handle lower octane they would not remove the ability to utilize higher octane.

Others have raised the issue of decreased power. When Hyundai first released for its Genesis sedan, it stated on 91 the 4.6-liter V-8 produced 375 horsepower; on 87, 368. This is less than a two percent drop.

Ford indicates the Mustang produces 412 HP on 91, 400 on 87 - a three percent decrease.
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      10-29-2012, 10:01 AM   #19
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Man you've got me freaked out. I'm in the process of finding a very lightly used CPO M Sport 550i RWD. Decided to go this route versus a new 335i. Both run around the same price..

Which RFTs did you have there were blowing every other month? How were your 550i rims being damaged? Were they cracking or going out of round? Are the M Sport wheels really that brittle? Going through 6 rims and 7 tires in 18 months is unheard of. I've had 19" wheels on other cars without ever having a single problem. Maybe I should swap out the MSport wheels for a different set. I've been frequenting the 5 series forum and I hadn't seen much complaints around constant damage to the wheels.

19 MPG highway is a little depressing too. I had been seeing reports of mid-20s for highway commutes.

Congrats on the new ride though, that thing is gorgeous. Would love to get an alpine white just like your 550i but jsut can't do it. Already have one alpine white BMW in the garage and a white Tahoe Z71. Too much white!
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      10-29-2012, 10:16 AM   #20
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I had a similar experience with my brother's 135i (or rather witnessed it with his RFTS)...the older generation RFT's had wicked strong sidewalls that wouldn't absorb bumps/potholes very well, and rather then dispel the insult, would amplify it -->end result were bent rims (my brother had literally 5 or more over the course of his 135i, with a 40 series side wall).

That experience actually drove my decision when buying my 335i, opting for the 18 rims that had a 45-series side wall; the P7's are actually pretty nice in absorbing road imperfections. I wouldn't be too worried n55x3...
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      10-29-2012, 11:50 AM   #21
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xDrive + 6MT = JOY

Congrats!
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      10-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #22
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Good info shiva. I too am usually more fond of a bit taller sidewall for this exact reason. Maybe I'll look into some wheel insurance when I find the right 550i.
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