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View Full Version : 135 vs. 335D vs. 550


Thycidides
03-20-2011, 08:24 PM
I'm trying to determine what used car to buy. It will be my first BMW. On one hand I want the 135 since it is small and nimble (like the Honda Civic Si I'm going to toss). On the other hand I want the 335d, because, well it is an amazing car that gets good mileage and has great torque. But then there is the little finger poking my brain and telling me to look at the 550.

Finger poking brain: "look at that nice 550... it has lots of cylinders. Sure, it has poor gas milage compared to the diesel, but you don't drive that much anyway. Vroom Vroom!

Brain: "Yes, that is nice... really nice, but I like small cars, and hey, I can chip both the 135 and 335d and get awesome power (and good mileage)"

Finger poking brain: "Vroom Vroom! Yes, but you are just a silly guy now living in Texas. Everyone here seems to drive trucks, Cameros, and Mustangs, and you need the big safe car. Remember when you nearly got squished by the grandma towing horses in the Chevy 3500?"

Brain: "I know, but she was like 90 and was smoking while texting. Most people here are nice and go out of their way not to squish you in your high-strung import. Anyway, I really like the concept of the 135, but it looks kind of ugly. I like the 335d because it is a bit bigger and good on fuel, and looks better. I also kind of want to beat those buggers in Cameros off the line and take a corner while getting twice the fuel mileage.

Finger poking brain: "Vroom Vroom! You are an idiot for wanting to chip a car, little less a diesel. Just get the V8 and be done with it. You can get it used for only a few thousand more than the 135. You are such a tight wad. You are successful now, why are you worrying about a few thousand dollars?"

Brain: "Well, I guess you have a point..."

Mid-life Crisis: "Hey just thought I'd jump into say that an AMG E55 sounds real sexy right now"

Brain: "Aaahhh! Get out of my head, both of you! I like the 335d. I'll wait for one that has a saddle brown interior with a sport package comes on sale. Or maybe a 135 with white interior. Or maybe that big V8.... oh never mind."

hpowders
03-20-2011, 08:31 PM
The 135i is a gem. I drove it with DCT and M Sport. Plenty of power and handled wonderfully. Much better looking in person than the photos would lead one to believe. Recommended.

dunderhi
03-20-2011, 08:44 PM
135? Hmmm...I don't have one of those yet. ;)

GiaGiaJa
03-20-2011, 08:46 PM
135? Hmmm...I don't have one of those yet. ;)

Get it! 135 will be the third one that fits so beautifully as your sig pic :)

To OP: 335d for me hands down

galahad05
03-20-2011, 09:09 PM
I couldn't get over the plain-looking interior of the 135i. Made my 335i interior look like an Audi's in comparison.

hpowders
03-20-2011, 09:11 PM
Maybe it didn't have the premium package. The 135i I drove had materials almost equal to the 3 Series-just a bit tighter in cockpit space. Mine had M Sport and Premium packages along with the nice DCT.

See if you can find the 911 in the photo below.

bayoucity
03-20-2011, 09:41 PM
@OP

If you plan on getting used roundel, I will advise you to scratch 335d off that list. There is only 111 used 335d available for domestic market according to cars.com, 335d has maintain its resale value very well due to fuel efficiency, reliability , supply & demand issues. You will be better off buying a brand new 335d & take advantages of the ECO credits.

If you are in the market for an used 550i, you ought to cross shop against M5 which will give you more bang for the buck.


135i, huh?

bayoucity
03-20-2011, 09:43 PM
...To OP: 335d for me hands down

:thumbup:

hpowders
03-20-2011, 09:44 PM
135i is the one-handles better than the others at a terrific price. The best sport experience is in the smallest possible BMW. The 135i will leave the 335d in the dust.

bayoucity
03-20-2011, 09:48 PM
135i is the one-handles better than the others at a terrific price. The best sport experience is in the smallest possible BMW.

Yeah... but I'll rather compare 1M vs 335d vs 550i. That's just me.

hpowders
03-20-2011, 09:50 PM
Yeah... but I'll rather compare 1M vs 335d vs 550i. That's just me.

I agree about the 1M but that will be a separate category from the regular BMW line.

The 1M is the very eagerly awaited. Should be a real hoot!!:thumbup:

The 1M will be totally poseur-proof!

hpowders
03-20-2011, 09:52 PM
Actually, I would be happy driving any of these three! But for a first BMW, I think the 135i is a nice choice if you are a single person.

bayoucity
03-20-2011, 09:55 PM
...The 1M will be totally poseur-proof!

Another reason I propose : new 1M vs new 335d vs used 550i vs used M5 is the pricing structure. You know, maybe you shall have waited for an orange 1M have you not blow it on 911. ;) Just saying...

hpowders
03-20-2011, 10:13 PM
Another reason I propose : new 1M vs new 335d vs used 550i vs used M5 is the pricing structure. You know, maybe you shall have waited for an orange 1M have you not blow it on 911. ;) Just saying...

You could be right. Porsches are not as comfortable in the cockpit as BMWs. I would be interested but the wife would kill me. It took a lot of negotiating to get her to agree to the 911. Another car in a year or two and I'm living alone! :D

Wish I had Jay Leno's budget and garage space!!!:)

boothguy
03-20-2011, 10:43 PM
Thycidides: nice post. Please continue to hang out here. Horses for courses - each has its own set of pluses and minuses. I was pretty nearly set on a 335D until the gravitational pull of the winter lease rates on the M3 'vert pulled me in. Dooubt that you'd be disappointed with it. Good luck and let us know what youo decide.

Rock36
03-21-2011, 12:22 AM
I can only wish the E91 had a 335d option

3284me
03-21-2011, 04:34 AM
See if you can find the 911 in the photo below.

Looks great. I especially like how you neighbor was able to double the size of their house.:D

trz
03-21-2011, 05:53 AM
We really wanted to like the 135 - but it just didn't feel right or comfortable or something during the test drive (cockpit was probably just too small for us) so we're staying with a 3 series (335D for June ED). Point is you should test drive them all. What looks good on paper may or may not feel good in person. You may fall in love with with a 135 or you may hate it, same for the 3 and 5. Doesn't Texas have a lot of long, straight, flat highways and not too many twisties? Wouldn't that type of pavement suggest a good highway cruiser?

KarlB
03-21-2011, 06:15 AM
Texas has a lot of long straight flat highways , a lot of twisty undulating backroads and quite a few tight twisties out in the hill country and davis mountain areas some fun tight canyons up in the panhandle and great coastal roads to cruise in a vert, little of something for everyone here

hpowders
03-21-2011, 06:20 AM
Looks great. I especially like how you neighbor was able to double the size of their house.:D

Yeah. He lives on Photoshop Lane.:D

superbrew
03-21-2011, 06:42 AM
I think the 135i has the best value/performance ratio of the cars listed. If you are into modifying, then a reflashed ECU, performance suspension and better tires will be all you need for an extremely fun car. I came from a E90 330i, and like the 1 because of the smaller size. I know the size difference is not that much, but the feel is completely different. Also, I like to drive something a little different, and in the month that I have owned my 135i I have seen only one other.

Nordic_Kat
03-21-2011, 06:43 AM
texas has a lot of long straight flat highways , a lot of twisty undulating backroads and quite a few tight twisties out in the hill country and davis mountain areas some fun tight canyons up in the panhandle and great coastal roads to cruise in a vert, little of something for everyone here

+1 not too unlike where these cars were born except a bit warmer.

gizmo jean
03-21-2011, 06:58 AM
Seems to me the M3 would give him all the goods, except for the good gas mileage. V8 vrooom and world-class handling. What's not to love? Although I don't know for sure, I'd bet an M3 and a 550 are pretty close to the same $$.

hpowders
03-21-2011, 07:08 AM
We are talking about someone buying his FIRST BMW. An M3 for someone's first BMW? A 135i or 328i/335i should be great for someone like that. If he likes those, then an M3 could be a future goal.

dnaer
03-21-2011, 07:31 AM
These aren't aircraft for God sakes.... M3 would be fine for first BMW.

hpowders
03-21-2011, 07:34 AM
I don't agree, but I respect your opinion. Problem is the OP never listed the M3 as a choice.

superbrew
03-21-2011, 07:42 AM
These aren't aircraft for God sakes.... M3 would be fine for first BMW.

+1

It seems the M3 would fit all the requirements from the OP, power, styling, handling, maybe not MPG, but I magine the 550 and 135 would get similar MPG's when driven hard.

dnaer
03-21-2011, 07:48 AM
If it was his first car, I would say no on the M3.

hpowders
03-21-2011, 07:51 AM
Okay. I do see your point. So let's pick out the color of his new M3. It comes in a very handsome gray available only on the M3 if I remember correctly.

In 2010, BMW put like 100 of them for sale in the exclusive gray exterior and they sold out in an incredibly short time-like around 5 minutes.

Detailing the car requires special care. BMW's instructions were "complex".

hpowders
03-21-2011, 08:02 AM
The problem is the OP didn't name the M3 to be among his 3 choices. So for him, I'm leaning toward the 135i, but if he chose the 335d, I wouldn't argue.

The M3 may be a bit out of his price range. He didn't sound too comfortable even listing the 550i.

His choice seems to be more realistically between the 135i and 335d.

You guys are projecting what YOU want instead of what HE wants.

hpowders
03-21-2011, 08:32 AM
+1

It seems the M3 would fit all the requirements from the OP, power, styling, handling, maybe not MPG, but I magine the 550 and 135 would get similar MPG's when driven hard.

Except for the fact that the OP didn't list the M3 to be among his choices.:dunno:

hpowders
03-21-2011, 09:56 AM
To the OP: I'm quite interested in which of the 3 vehicles you actually choose. There really isn't a wrong choice. Any of those 3 cars is terrific!! :thumbup:

superbrew
03-21-2011, 10:06 AM
Except for the fact that the OP didn't list the M3 to be among his choices.:dunno:

Maybe he had not thought of it, or did not have one local.

hpowders
03-21-2011, 10:08 AM
Maybe he had not thought of it, or did not have one local.

Any BMW he decides to get whether it be a 1, 3, 5 or M would be a great choice.

BMW makes choosing a car absolutely foolproof! :thumbup:

JŠnos
03-21-2011, 03:44 PM
My first BMW was (is) a 335d: no complaints! :thumbup:

I only wonder what I might get next... 5 series, 1 series, MINI, or :dunno:

Chop362
03-21-2011, 06:55 PM
So your decision making is between a 135-335D-or a 550??I couldn't think of 3 cars soo different in performance and price, as for looks the 1 looks like a thumb while the other two are bigger and better cars so something tells me here you will be driving a 1.

bimmerdiesel
03-21-2011, 08:16 PM
dunderhi (poster#3) has both and somewhere he mentioned 550 and 335d are same in performance. If thats true and you dont need a big car then you should go for 335d

Thycidides
03-21-2011, 08:16 PM
So your decision making is between a 135-335D-or a 550??I couldn't think of 3 cars soo different in performance and price, as for looks the 1 looks like a thumb while the other two are bigger and better cars so something tells me here you will be driving a 1.

Thanks for all your replies. I'll respond to the last one I see, but I appreciate everyone's comments. Yes, they are all different! If cars were like cloths, I'd drive a different one each day. I've settled on a BMW... having a brief thought of the Evo. In spite of my conservative image, I giggle when I spin and redline my little Honda. I long for the days when I rode my motocross, across unbroken fields, and I relish the memories of power sliding across the vast frozen lakes of my native Canada. But here I am now, 38 years old, family man and devoted husband living in the vast flat expanses of Texas. What is a man to do? Do I buy the family car and leave the past behind? I don't think so. I want the best of both worlds.

335d - nice powerful car, but rather expensive since they are somewhat rare.

550 - big powerful car that is almost the same price as the 335d as a used 1996

135 - small powerful boy racer with class. Not punishing like driving the Evo

One last point... My lovely wife of 16 years loves to drive stick. I taught her to drive on those frozen expanses, and she will burn rubber no matter what I get.

So it comes down to the 135, 335, or 550. If I buy the turbo engines, I'm remapping. If I but the V8, I'm just going to leave it alone. Help me decide, what would you do? I***8217;m likely not going to spend the extra money on an M5, and a remapped 135 is a close experience to the M3 (please do not throw stones at me for I am weak).

EdCT
03-22-2011, 10:19 AM
Thanks for all your replies. I'll respond to the last one I see, but I appreciate everyone's comments. Yes, they are all different! If cars were like cloths, I'd drive a different one each day. I've settled on a BMW... having a brief thought of the Evo. In spite of my conservative image, I giggle when I spin and redline my little Honda. I long for the days when I rode my motocross, across unbroken fields, and I relish the memories of power sliding across the vast frozen lakes of my native Canada. But here I am now, 38 years old, family man and devoted husband living in the vast flat expanses of Texas. What is a man to do? Do I buy the family car and leave the past behind? I don't think so. I want the best of both worlds.

335d - nice powerful car, but rather expensive since they are somewhat rare.

550 - big powerful car that is almost the same price as the 335d as a used 1996

135 - small powerful boy racer with class. Not punishing like driving the Evo

One last point... My lovely wife of 16 years loves to drive stick. I taught her to drive on those frozen expanses, and she will burn rubber no matter what I get.

So it comes down to the 135, 335, or 550. If I buy the turbo engines, I'm remapping. If I but the V8, I'm just going to leave it alone. Help me decide, what would you do? I'm likely not going to spend the extra money on an M5, and a remapped 135 is a close experience to the M3 (please do not throw stones at me for I am weak).

Do you really expect anonymous people on a message board to make a decision for you? Next thing you'll want to know is which color to get....

Jeeze man, make a decision.

Thycidides
03-22-2011, 12:23 PM
Do you really expect anonymous people on a message board to make a decision for you? Next thing you'll want to know is which color to get....

Jeeze man, make a decision.

No of course not. I'm trying to spur discussion. This board is for enthusiasts... and I'm looking for enthusiasm, discussion, and disagreement. For example, today I learned from the dealership that manual transmissions are rare because the residual value on them is a negative for leases. So for used cars, most will appear on the BMW lot as automatics. I also learned from the Service people (whom I always talk to first) that they all feel the 335d is the better car (over the 335i), but because they were mostly factory optioned cars, almost none of them have the sport package. I also learned that the 550 is not the way to go, and that the 535 is the better car (according to BMW sales staff). The salesman told me that the 535, only weighs 100 pounds more than the 335, which, in turn, only weights 200 pounds more than the 135. I saw for myself what the difference in a sport package can do to the car, and I learned that people who drive with black interior or convertibles have difficulty in the Texas summer, but oddly enough they are flying off the used car lot.

Anyway, this is the type of discussion I was hoping to get on this board. Perhaps my last post was worded incorrectly, and that is my fault. I know what I want in a car, but I'm looking for the last bits of information before making my decision. I can honestly live with any of the above models, but the 335i looks to be the logical choice at this point.

drrpm
03-23-2011, 07:28 AM
The 1 is too small and not as sharp looking as the 3. The 5 is a nice car but too big. The 3 is just right. The diesel engine is intriguing. I have a friend in Texas who has one and she loves it. I'd pass on the turbo gas engine for now, but either the 328 or 335d would be fine choices.