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      05-27-2014, 05:03 AM   #1
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The "Ultimate Driving Machine"..

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I've been contemplating to post this, but can't help it..

I have 2 cars in different countries as I spend half of my time in both.. I am mid age, and enjoy driving fast, not doing crazy things, just fast form A to B. Most of my driving is highways and b-roads. I always purchased the top model from the line of cars I choose, usually top specked mechanically. Here is what I have currently:

- F30 335i and a VW MK6 GTI
- Both cars are specked top straight out of their lines.
- F30 with DHP/ 8AT / 19"wheels (Ok, I have the MPPK on it)
- GTI with Dynamic chassis control / DCT / 18"wheels.

Well, I have to say that after 13KMS and 9 months on the F30 and 52KMS and 4 years on the GTI, I still feel more "driving pleasure" and comfort on it at high speeds 140-180KM/Hr.. Somehow, the level of security and stability I feel on the GTI, plus easiness to drive is far better than on the F30. No body roll, solidly planted, straight line riding, no pulling, no bounciness etc.. I don't have to feel on the "edge" as I feel on the F30. Is it because it's more square in dimensions? Is it because of a lower power to weight ratio? I don't know.. What I know, is that on the GTI it feels more fun, driving pleasure, easy and secure at high speeds than on the F30.

Do I have to spend another 5-10K on a 50K car to bring it to that level? If that is the case, then I believe that VW gets a better balanced car straight out of the factory at 30K and I am not talking M3 or R32 versions here.. Just sport cars a regular buyer can have...

So in my garage, for my driving, I am afraid I have to say that the "ultimate driving machine" title goes to the VW GTI.. Now go ahead and flame if you wish, but that does not change my feelings about it.

Have a good day all!
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      05-27-2014, 06:48 AM   #2
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You're comparing a go cart to a mid-size sedan. No surprises in your findings... It's not a fair comparison.
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      05-27-2014, 11:03 AM   #3
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He's right ^

For a well planted and solid kart-esque ride, try a JCW Mini.
A helluva fun ride !
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      05-27-2014, 12:01 PM   #4
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Thank you for your informed and relevant post. Most of the BMW fans here are going to take issue or dismiss your conclusion with non-sequitor ("it's a go kart!"). They don't have the extensive experience in both cars that you do. Your comments and observations are quite valid, and I admire that you've been honest in your description here.

No negative comments or defense from me. What you've stated is compelling, and in fact, I'll certainly give the VWs more notice next time I'm in the market for a vehicle. Thank you again.
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      05-27-2014, 12:28 PM   #5
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At one point not that long ago, I was daily driving both my MK6 GTI and e92 M3 competition package, both in 6 MT and both factory stock.


I agree with your conclusions. In daily driving and everyday situations, I felt more at ease and more fun, thrills and confidence from the GTI. I'm not bashing the M3 at all, but most times I found myself reaching for the GTI keys.


Not sure that I have a good explanation for this either, aside form the fact that the Mk6 GTI is one hell of a bargain!


Also, the GTI MK6 is at such a high quality that it honestly feels like an Audi A3 with VW badging. Very compelling little package, but again, looses to the BMW on several other fronts. If I had to pick only one to live with, it would be the BMW hands down. But I am sure every time I see an MK6, I would ask myself whether I made the right decision.
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      05-27-2014, 12:31 PM   #6
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One last thing. The GTI did feel like it had the overall better suspension than the base suspension in my f30. It was very well composed around town, firm and little body roll when pushed aggressively and just felt "less bouncy" as you put it. Again, excellent excellent car.
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      05-27-2014, 12:46 PM   #7
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Agree that a GTI is a nice package. Drives really well, seems to be well built, and the interior utilizes nice materials. It does have a front wheel drive dynamic to it with the pros and cons associated with this configuration.

I think the F30 is a bit more luxury oriented than a GTI - a F80 would be a totally different story - different price tag too.
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      05-27-2014, 03:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo2112 View Post
Thank you for your informed and relevant post. Most of the BMW fans here are going to take issue or dismiss your conclusion with non-sequitor ("it's a go kart!"). They don't have the extensive experience in both cars that you do. Your comments and observations are quite valid, and I admire that you've been honest in your description here.

No negative comments or defense from me. What you've stated is compelling, and in fact, I'll certainly give the VWs more notice next time I'm in the market for a vehicle. Thank you again.
I said nothing negative, simply stated what is obvious to most: the GTI has a virtually square stance and sits so low to the ground, that it cannot fairly be compared to a sedan that is larger in every direction, without nearly as ideal proportions. If you read my post, you'd see I didn't dismiss his conclusion, I said it isn't surprising. The go cart reference was a compliment to the GTI and the way it sticks to the road and turns on a dime. So, perhaps you are the one lacking enough experience, driving go karts.
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      05-27-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chrisny View Post
So, perhaps you are the one lacking enough experience, driving go karts.
LMAO. 1997 and 1998 SKUSA regional champion here; 4th in the SKUSA national standings. Owned roughly 7 125cc shifters over the years. Best bang for the buck going in racing. 1/4 the cost of racing my Formula Ford (82 Van Diemen).
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      05-27-2014, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinweiss 335i View Post
One last thing. The GTI did feel like it had the overall better suspension than the base suspension in my f30. It was very well composed around town, firm and little body roll when pushed aggressively and just felt "less bouncy" as you put it. Again, excellent excellent car.
Thank you! Exactly my point... I drive bith in "confort" Gti just absorbs, no body rolls or bounces. Something like the "sport" on DHP F30, but more subtle, soft.. BTW, i did purchace my GTI in replacement of my E90 335i with M performace suspension as the "closest" thing to my E90 driveability... Saddly, i never found this feeling back on the F30!
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      05-27-2014, 04:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo2112 View Post
LMAO. 1997 and 1998 SKUSA regional champion here; 4th in the SKUSA national standings. Owned roughly 7 125cc shifters over the years. Best bang for the buck going in racing. 1/4 the cost of racing my Formula Ford (82 Van Diemen).
Just makes it more puzzling that you thought it was an insult
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      05-27-2014, 05:52 PM   #12
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My next car will likely be a VW...

More likely the Golf R or R 400 (if they bring it), but definitely in the Golf family. After owning the last three generations of M3 I think they're just too bulky to please me. But I don't buy the size disparity as an argument against the VWs - as I recall the Golf has about the same interior volume as a 3 series.
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      05-27-2014, 06:41 PM   #13
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More likely the Golf R or R 400 (if they bring it), but definitely in the Golf family. After owning the last three generations of M3 I think they're just too bulky to please me. But I don't buy the size disparity as an argument against the VWs - as I recall the Golf has about the same interior volume as a 3 series.
The size disparity, in this conversation, is an argument for the GTI, not against. It's a smaller, lower, almost square car with a great suspension, so it should be expected to have less body roll than the much bigger F30.

Interior, you're right, that thing is like a clown car, small on the outside, huge inside (relatively). I've heard the same about the i3, similar size inside to the 3 series despite begin so small outside.
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      05-27-2014, 06:43 PM   #14
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quick question OP, does your 335 have the 19" run flat tires, and adaptive suspension?

I found my Z435 to very unsatisfying on "b roads", or even slightly undulating highways, with the 19" RFT and adaptive suspension and the car works a lot better with 18" non RFT

GTI is definitely a good deal. It was on my radar screen too when shopping
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      05-27-2014, 08:40 PM   #15
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I disagree. I drive my friend's fully loaded GTI often and while it is a very fun car, it does not have that special feel of a BMW.

In fact, when I decided to let the E90 335i go, the GTI was on top of my list but test driving it back-to-back with a 320i (with sports package) showed that the 320i handles better or at least feels better.

I think it is very subjective. When I drive my friend's GTI it does sometimes come close to the fun factor in my car but never exceeds it.

Oh and the 328i feels quicker too, when in sports mode.

Two other cars that I loved (more than the GTI, as much as the bimmers) are the Subaru WRX and the Infinity G37.

Also, I think a lot depends on what suspension your F30 is on when you are comparing.
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      05-27-2014, 09:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smv View Post
I've been contemplating to post this, but can't help it..

I have 2 cars in different countries as I spend half of my time in both.. I am mid age, and enjoy driving fast, not doing crazy things, just fast form A to B. Most of my driving is highways and b-roads. I always purchased the top model from the line of cars I choose, usually top specked mechanically. Here is what I have currently:

- F30 335i and a VW MK6 GTI
- Both cars are specked top straight out of their lines.
- F30 with DHP/ 8AT / 19"wheels (Ok, I have the MPPK on it)
- GTI with Dynamic chassis control / DCT / 18"wheels.

Well, I have to say that after 13KMS and 9 months on the F30 and 52KMS and 4 years on the GTI, I still feel more "driving pleasure" and comfort on it at high speeds 140-180KM/Hr.. Somehow, the level of security and stability I feel on the GTI, plus easiness to drive is far better than on the F30. No body roll, solidly planted, straight line riding, no pulling, no bounciness etc.. I don't have to feel on the "edge" as I feel on the F30. Is it because it's more square in dimensions? Is it because of a lower power to weight ratio? I don't know.. What I know, is that on the GTI it feels more fun, driving pleasure, easy and secure at high speeds than on the F30.

Do I have to spend another 5-10K on a 50K car to bring it to that level? If that is the case, then I believe that VW gets a better balanced car straight out of the factory at 30K and I am not talking M3 or R32 versions here.. Just sport cars a regular buyer can have...

So in my garage, for my driving, I am afraid I have to say that the "ultimate driving machine" title goes to the VW GTI.. Now go ahead and flame if you wish, but that does not change my feelings about it.

Have a good day all!
I absolutely hear what you're saying, my last vehicle was a MK6 GTI with some performance goodies (APR etc.). That car was a blast to drive, a complete "go kart" if you will, but I mean that in the most complimentary way. The car is just so well built, and honestly one of the best "bang for your buck" automobiles made. I actually contemplated waiting for the MK7 Golf R, but in the end decided to give BMW a shot for something different. I've said it many times before, anyone who is a true driving enthusiast should own or at least spend some time driving one (GTI) at some point in their life.

With that being said, I'm glad I did choose the 335i. It's true, they are two totally different cars, and both have their strengths, it's just a matter of what you're looking for. The GTI was "well-planted," even with the stock suspension, more so than my M-Sport when it was stock. However, now that I have suspension mods, the F30 rails around the corners and is totally planted (increasing the fun factor). Also, the F30 is deceptively fast compared to my GTI, the GTI (FWD) pulled hard, and you felt it, the F30 (RWD), pushes you hard and you don't feel it quite as much, although the speedo let's you know you are moving! I also believe the F30 brings a certain level of refinement that the GTI does not, both materially and utility wise.

Either way, both great cars, anyone is lucky to have either as a vehicle. Great German automotive engineering...
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      05-27-2014, 09:57 PM   #17
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I actually own a MK6 Gti as well and totally agree with you how the GTI does feel more connected to the road. The GTI handles extremely well for a FWD car.
They are both great cars, sometimes I feel the GTI is a bit bouncy at times but it does absorb the bumps better than the run flats my f30 comes with.
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      05-27-2014, 10:05 PM   #18
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I don't know about the GTI or Mini but I did notice that when I went from my E46 (330i at that) to the E92 (and now the F30) that I felt more of a connection to the road in my E46; so much so that I plan to buy another E46 in the distant future one day to rebuild and enjoy.
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      05-28-2014, 02:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
quick question OP, does your 335 have the 19" run flat tires, and adaptive suspension?

I found my Z435 to very unsatisfying on "b roads", or even slightly undulating highways, with the 19" RFT and adaptive suspension and the car works a lot better with 18" non RFT

GTI is definitely a good deal. It was on my radar screen too when shopping
Yes, my F30 has 19", DHP and RFTs.. and the comparison is made with the equivalent top specs in suspension from the GTI. Both cars come with a one extra dimension in wheels as factory suggested and their respective dynamic handling suspension. The GTI is with the 18" option wheel and DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control). Hence my statement about what comes out of factory as a more "balanced" car. BTW, for comparison, both have electric steering...
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      05-28-2014, 02:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CK335iMSport View Post
I absolutely hear what you're saying, my last vehicle was a MK6 GTI with some performance goodies (APR etc.). That car was a blast to drive, a complete "go kart" if you will, but I mean that in the most complimentary way. The car is just so well built, and honestly one of the best "bang for your buck" automobiles made. I actually contemplated waiting for the MK7 Golf R, but in the end decided to give BMW a shot for something different. I've said it many times before, anyone who is a true driving enthusiast should own or at least spend some time driving one (GTI) at some point in their life.

With that being said, I'm glad I did choose the 335i. It's true, they are two totally different cars, and both have their strengths, it's just a matter of what you're looking for. The GTI was "well-planted," even with the stock suspension, more so than my M-Sport when it was stock. However, now that I have suspension mods, the F30 rails around the corners and is totally planted (increasing the fun factor). Also, the F30 is deceptively fast compared to my GTI, the GTI (FWD) pulled hard, and you felt it, the F30 (RWD), pushes you hard and you don't feel it quite as much, although the speedo let's you know you are moving! I also believe the F30 brings a certain level of refinement that the GTI does not, both materially and utility wise.

Either way, both great cars, anyone is lucky to have either as a vehicle. Great German automotive engineering...

I came from the same angle. I was considering the MK7 GTI instead of the F30. I was disappointed by its handling wrt the MK6. It was more floatty and bouncy, all specs equal.. I went with the F30 and did not regret (this is not the essence of my original post btw..) I believe what happened to the MK7 was exactly what happened to the F30 when transitioning from the E90. Both BMW and VW transformed 2 very good cars in a more luxurious / plushy way.. Perhaps in an effort to maintain their customer base as it grows older and is stuck to the brand/model? ( my case at least..). I know it is not fair to compare apples to oranges, yet going down to the bones: If "drivability" and pleasure comes at 20K less, I wonder what comes to their minds in changing what works so well. Or, as I asked earlier, do I have to spend 5-10K extra to maintain that same feeling? Has the actual price of "driving" pleasure gone so high wrt to what we used to enjoy as everyday drivers be it MK6 or E90? .. just thoughts!
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      05-28-2014, 07:39 AM   #21
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I bought a package of Pringles potato chips and even though the marketing materials say that "Once you pop you just can't stop" it turns out I did end up stopping once I had a sufficient amount of potato chips.

So I'm afraid to say the people over at Pringles are morons.

This thread is akin to me driving a 7 Series around a back road, then doing the same in a Honda Civic Si, scratching my head and pretending to be surprised that the Si did it better and was more fun to do it in than a 7 Series. Some people take a marketing tag line to irrational conclusions.
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      05-28-2014, 08:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlkD12agon
I don't know about the GTI or Mini but I did notice that when I went from my E46 (330i at that) to the E92 (and now the F30) that I felt more of a connection to the road in my E46; so much so that I plan to buy another E46 in the distant future one day to rebuild and enjoy.
I have been leasing cars since 1996 because I like getting a new car every couple of years (lately not even lasting the full lease term). There are only a couple that I truly missed after I got rid of them and the '99 E46 328i I had is the one I've always missed the most. I too plan on picking one up at some point to keep as a toy.
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