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View Full Version : Best sport sedan/coupe around $50,000?


Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 05:22 AM
I've driven a lot of the cars in the $50,000+ range that could be considered a "sports" cars, and my conclusion is that the BMW 335i coupe is the best in the segment.

Cars I've driven in this segment:
Audi S4
Audi S5
Audi RS4 (the old one)
Cadilac CTS V (sedan)
Infiniti G35 and the G37s
Merc SLK
Porshe Boxster S

Has anyone driven a car in this segment that they think is better than the 335i? If so, why?

It seems to me that BMW have achieved near-perfection with their rear-wheel drive platform.... at least for 50 grand.

Thoughts? :thumbup:

S4RIN
03-22-2011, 06:24 AM
For 50,000+ the best bang is an M3.

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 06:29 AM
M3 - IF you want an M3. The 335i is a great daily driver that is faster than the previous generation M3, yet quiet and comfy when you just want to chill out. ALSO, mine gets 33mpg on the highway.

E92Submarine
03-22-2011, 06:32 AM
Deleted

Brian278
03-22-2011, 06:46 AM
As a pure "sports car" the Boxster S is a notch about a standard 3-series without question--it's weight and engine placement advantages are too great. Though realistically a Boxster S is $60K+ at the least. For practicality, the 335i coupe is obviously more useful as an only car, and I think the S4 deserves equal footing you're going to option a 3 to $50K+ anyway and want all-wheel drive anyway.

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 07:03 AM
As a pure "sports car" the Boxster S is a notch about a standard 3-series without question--it's weight and engine placement advantages are too great. Though realistically a Boxster S is $60K+ at the least. For practicality, the 335i coupe is obviously more useful as an only car, and I think the S4 deserves equal footing you're going to option a 3 to $50K+ anyway and want all-wheel drive anyway.

I guess you could make that argument - but the 335xi is heavier and does not have the weight balance that the rear-drive boasts. Also, the sport suspension on the 335i is better than the xi.

That being said, the new S4 was, in my opinion, the best contender if you put it up against the 335i. The S4 was slightly quicker-feeling... and it seemed to hold the corners as well, and have road feel on par with the 335i. Only problem? The interior isn't up to par with the quality of the BMW. Therefore, I say the 335 wins... However, it's true that you do get more car for the money with the S4 if you're going to option your 335 over 50k (as I did). When I bought it, though, it was clearly the better car over the RS4.

The boxster is a tough one, though...

It's a pure sports car without the advantages of the 335 coupe or sedan (trunk, rear space etc), but if judged purely on driveability I would agree that it's "better" than the 335... but just...

The 335 is just about as fast as a Boxster S, and you gain the ability to use it as a daily driver. Unless you're taking them around Laguna Seca, I doubt you'll notice the difference in spirited driving on normal roads.

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 07:08 AM
Anyone driven the comparable Lexus IF? How does it compare to the BMW?

bmw325
03-22-2011, 07:09 AM
I guess you could make that argument - but the 335xi is heavier and does not have the weight balance that the rear-drive boasts. Also, the sport suspension on the 335i is better than the xi.

That being said, the new S4 was, in my opinion, the best contender if you put it up against the 335i. The S4 was slightly quicker-feeling... and it seemed to hold the corners as well, and have road feel on par with the 335i. Only problem? The interior isn't up to par with the quality of the BMW. Therefore, I say the 335 wins... However, it's true that you do get more car for the money with the S4 if you're going to option your 335 over 50k (as I did). When I bought it, though, it was clearly the better car over the RS4.

The boxster is a tough one, though...

It's a pure sports car without the advantages of the 335 coupe or sedan (trunk, rear space etc), but if judged purely on driveability I would agree that it's "better" than the 335... but just...

The 335 is just about as fast as a Boxster S, and you gain the ability to use it as a daily driver. Unless you're taking them around Laguna Seca, I doubt you'll notice the difference in spirited driving on normal roads.

You don't realize what you've done. By invoking the name "Audi S4" here, you've summoned WestWest and his cronies who will be more than happy to tell you why the S4 is the best car ever made.

Seriously though, when I factor in everything that matters to me, the 335 coupe is the best new car for 50k out there. I do really like the S4 also though. My only issues with it are that it is actually much more expensive to lease or buy since Audi's ED program sucks. And, it's just too quiet in stock form.

Michael Schott
03-22-2011, 07:10 AM
The Boxster is not a sports sedan or coupe, it's a sports car, pure and simple. If you need rear seats and a trunk it doesn't fit your criteria. If you don;t need these I don;'t think there's any question that the Boxster (or even better IMO the Cayman) is the best choice.

superbrew
03-22-2011, 07:28 AM
Although I have not driven one, I have to imagine the 1 series M will be right up there with the cars mentioned.

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 07:45 AM
You don't realize what you've done. By invoking the name "Audi S4" here, you've summoned WestWest and his cronies who will be more than happy to tell you why the S4 is the best car ever made.

Seriously though, when I factor in everything that matters to me, the 335 coupe is the best new car for 50k out there. I do really like the S4 also though. My only issues with it are that it is actually much more expensive to lease or buy since Audi's ED program sucks. And, it's just too quiet in stock form.

Oops :D

Seriously, though, the S4 is WAY too quiet! I love the straight 6 sound in my 335. Can't beat it!

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 07:49 AM
The Boxster is not a sports sedan or coupe, it's a sports car, pure and simple. If you need rear seats and a trunk it doesn't fit your criteria. If you don;t need these I don;'t think there's any question that the Boxster (or even better IMO the Cayman) is the best choice.

Ok, good point. +1

However, I don't really need any of those things... but when I considered my possibilities over 50 grand, the BMW won because it's quick, handles great, and has room for every day stuff. I'm not saying they should be put up next to each other in a Car and Driver comparison, but they were both on my radar.

My wife's car is where we store the dog on long trips... and has a bigger trunk.

BTW - driven a Cayman - amazing car.

///M-ratedE90
03-22-2011, 08:00 AM
Ford Mustang Shelby
Ford Mustang Boss 302

I have driven neither, but I have driven the Mustang GT, which is cheaper than 50K, so I figured I'd nominate the more expensive models. It is no M3, but I would put it up against a 335 coupe easily.

Yeah, you can come up with the live axle crap, but unless you are competent racer on a track, it doesn't make any difference.

: popcorn:

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 08:01 AM
Although I have not driven one, I have to imagine the 1 series M will be right up there with the cars mentioned.

Yeah, I guess... but I've read that the 1 series M is too harsh for every day driving, and therefore is more suited as a track day car.

The proof is when you drive it, though, since I've always read that 80's 911 Porsches are death machines... but when I drove one I never was able to get it to the point that it scared me. I guess the power-on front wheel lift-off was never a problem in my city driving.

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 08:05 AM
Ford Mustang Shelby
Ford Mustang Boss 302

I have driven neither, but I have driven the Mustang GT, which is cheaper than 50K, so I figured I'd nominate the more expensive models. It is no M3, but I would put it up against a 335 coupe easily.

Yeah, you can come up with the live axle crap, but unless you are competent racer on a track, it doesn't make any difference.

: popcorn:

I just got rid of an 06 mustang GT with the manual 5 speed, and it was a great muscle car. With that being said... it's a muscle car. The new ones can go around a track, but the interior is the cheapest, shiniest black plastic you'll ever see. The rattles from the dashboard? Ugg.

Remember when you would build a model car and you'd snap the pieces off of those plastic sheets, and you had to sand off the little plastic tabs on the finished piece??? I SWEAR TO THE LORD that some of the pieces in my '06 had traces of those plastic tabs still attached.

The new Mustang's interior is much improved... but still... 335i wins.

Also, difference between live rear axle and 335 is apparent even over rough pavement. Trust me...

///M-ratedE90
03-22-2011, 08:27 AM
Okay then. The 335 is the greatest car ever, ever, ever... (under 50K) :rofl:

Some people complain about the rough ride of the 335 on RFTs...:confused:

This car stuff is all very confusing

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 08:40 AM
Okay then. The 335 is the greatest car ever, ever, ever... (under 50K) :rofl:


I'm glad we agree ;)

E92Submarine
03-22-2011, 08:43 AM
Okay then. The 335 is the greatest car ever, ever, ever... (under 50K)

Thou shall taketh the 335i as the superior to all other cars under 50k and will not make mention of any Audis or Mustangs.

- The 11th Commandment handed down

Radiogeek
03-22-2011, 08:44 AM
Frick... I forgot about the Jaguar XKR...

Damn, I have to rethink my whole outlook on life.

ALSO - surprised no one tried to make an argument about the G37s! Not that it would matter. The 335 has already been declared better than the G.

///M-ratedE90
03-22-2011, 08:55 AM
Damn, I have to rethink my whole outlook on life.



[deleted]

RaceBlood
03-22-2011, 09:44 AM
I agree with above sentiments, though defining the segments is personal based on needs/wants/desires.

1- The A5/S5 is a lovely package, best looking coupe out there IMO, but performance for money is lacking IMO, needs some more HP.

2- The S4 is a dynamo, a very good package, though there are short comings in many of the things I cherish, mainly the gear box and the interior/comfort and ride, and room.

3- Mustang is a great package for the money, but not in the same park as a German marque, mainly the plastic interior, the cheap feel, and the high belt line turn me off, and its sits high off the suspension, but for the money, a excellent package, and a respectable contender to the 3 in all test on the track.

Whats interesting is the fact nobody even mentions the Infiniti G models....so be it!

MrBonus
03-22-2011, 11:44 AM
I'll go with the new Mustang Boss because that's what I'm replacing my BMW with.

Bcube
03-22-2011, 05:16 PM
I'd go with a used '05/'06 Maserati GranSport because I have driven one.

swajames
03-23-2011, 01:26 PM
I've driven a lot of the cars in the $50,000+ range that could be considered a "sports" cars, and my conclusion is that the BMW 335i coupe is the best in the segment.

Cars I've driven in this segment:
Audi S4
Audi S5
Audi RS4 (the old one)
Cadilac CTS V (sedan)
Infiniti G35 and the G37s
Merc SLK
Porshe Boxster S

Has anyone driven a car in this segment that they think is better than the 335i? If so, why?

It seems to me that BMW have achieved near-perfection with their rear-wheel drive platform.... at least for 50 grand.

Thoughts? :thumbup:

You're not really comparing apples to apples with that list...

That said, the 335 wouldn't be top of my list if these are the choices.

I'd take a lightly used CTS-V, a Boxster, an S5 and a RS4 over a 335 (with the SLK/Boxster being strange additions to your list given that it is the largely coupes or sedans, it seems a little odd to cross shop those with two seater convertibles).


The CTS-V is much, much faster and a better handling car - faster than an E90 M3, E60 M5 and E63 M6 around the Nurburgring
The Boxster is one of the best handling cars money can buy, it will kill a 335 on the track.
The S5 is drop dead gorgeous with a much better interior than the 335
The prior gen RS4 is a monster with a tremendous V8 and a fantastic soundtrack coupled with the Audi interior upgrade compared to BMW.


The 335 is a very good car, but for me it's far from the best way to spend 50K, unless it happens to be the car that *you* want - in which case, it is.

jatbeni
03-23-2011, 01:46 PM
Among new cars - how about a 1 Series M... the starting price is ~$2K more than a 335, but I am sure you could have one lightly optioned for under 50K.

And it has some M components and the engine from the 335is... so should perform much better than the 335. I haven't driven one, but I would like to check it out.

What I am not sure though is if the suspension is as comfortable as the 335 for Daily Driver Duties... so it may lose the battle there. And relative to the Cayman S, it is a few hundred pounds too heavy, so it may not be quite as good on the track.

Radiogeek
03-23-2011, 02:35 PM
All true. Let's be friends

Sent from my DROIDX using Bimmer App

Radiogeek
03-23-2011, 02:37 PM
You're not really comparing apples to apples with that list...

That said, the 335 wouldn't be top of my list if these are the choices.

I'd take a lightly used CTS-V, a Boxster, an S5 and a RS4 over a 335 (with the SLK/Boxster being strange additions to your list given that it is the largely coupes or sedans, it seems a little odd to cross shop those with two seater convertibles).


The CTS-V is much, much faster and a better handling car - faster than an E90 M3, E60 M5 and E63 M6 around the Nurburgring
The Boxster is one of the best handling cars money can buy, it will kill a 335 on the track.
The S5 is drop dead gorgeous with a much better interior than the 335
The prior gen RS4 is a monster with a tremendous V8 and a fantastic soundtrack coupled with the Audi interior upgrade compared to BMW.


The 335 is a very good car, but for me it's far from the best way to spend 50K, unless it happens to be the car that *you* want - in which case, it is.

All good points, but CTSV is just too flash for me... looks like you're trying to hard. Track numbers don't tell the whole story for me.

Also - my list isn't based on cross shopping just so u know. I just drove or owned a bunch of cars that I thought were cool.... no real rhyme or reason other than "I have X dollars to spend and want a good car."

Sent from my DROIDX using Bimmer App

Radiogeek
03-23-2011, 02:41 PM
I agree with above sentiments, though defining the segments is personal based on needs/wants/desires.

1- The A5/S5 is a lovely package, best looking coupe out there IMO, but performance for money is lacking IMO, needs some more HP.

2- The S4 is a dynamo, a very good package, though there are short comings in many of the things I cherish, mainly the gear box and the interior/comfort and ride, and room.

3- Mustang is a great package for the money, but not in the same park as a German marque, mainly the plastic interior, the cheap feel, and the high belt line turn me off, and its sits high off the suspension, but for the money, a excellent package, and a respectable contender to the 3 in all test on the track.

Whats interesting is the fact nobody even mentions the Infiniti G models....so be it!

Yeah, other than the S4 I think the G37s is the best contender to the 335... but no one seems to care about it. Weird.

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