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Old 11-07-2010, 02:04 PM
tschryver tschryver is offline
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Location: Ithaca, NY
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 30
Mein Auto: nothing yet
135i vs 335i thoughts

I had an '08 335i convertible, and am about to end an ED trip where I put about 1,700 mi on my new '11 135i convertible. Some thoughts and reactions, fwiw:

1. Size: For driver and front seat pax 135i is not meaningfully less comfortable than 335i. We had no backseat pax, but clearly that has gone from "children under 7" to "bilateral amputees only". 135i trunk space is generous for a convert of its size. Probably smaller than my old 335i in terms of actual measured volume (have not checked) but not materially so. Very comfortable car, all around.
2. Soft vs hard top: Very pleasantly surprised by the soundproofing and insulation of the soft top. Certainly a bit louder than the hard top of the 335i, but even topping out the speed limiter on the autobahn with the top up conversation was possible. There seems to be a 'break point' above 80mph where it starts to get meaningfully louder... below that it's darn quiet. For American roads, I see no issues whatsoever.
3. DCT vs 6-sp man: DCT is undoubtedly better at shifting than I am. It is clearly economical in 'd', clearly sporty in 's', and whips off lighting fast changes with the paddles. There is no doubt in my mind that it is the technically superior choice in every way. Emphasis on "technically". Maybe it's confirmation bias, but I think I made the right choice... that said, my left foot is wondering when it gets a chance to participate in the fun.
4. Twin-turbo vs twin-scroll single turbo: If the 135i is faster than the 335i, it's not in any way that I can directly perceive (turned in the 335i just under a year ago, so it's not exactly a side by side comparison). If someone were to tell me that they have conclusively proven that the single turbo engine is indeed lower in output, I'd probably believe it... but if so, the differences are small, and this is certainly a car with plenty of get-up-and-go. However, I got the sense with the 335i that on the twisty turnys it had this kind of inner S&M fetishist that wanted to come out, of the "whip me, beat me, push me harder" type. Maybe it's the DCT on the 135i, maybe it's the engine, but it feels a lot more neutral. It's happy to play along, but it wasn't egging me on the same way, if that makes sense.
5. Combox: I have a rather beaten down iPhone 3gs, and trying to manage plugged-in music play (where it inexplicably hiccuped every 3-5 minutes... appears to be my phone, not the car, given that my friend's worked ok) vs bluetooth was a constant pain in the neck. Once running, both worked great; cover flow was cool (does not work with bluetooth play), audio quality was at least fine, everything was great.
6. Nav: I debated this. Reaction now was that the woman in the box who talks to me clearly has an odd sense of direction and likes to take the long and circuitous route. "Fast" does not always mean "fast", nor does "short" mean "short". I wish she would go apprentice with the Garmin folks. The interface sucks - I wish they'd outsource this to someone who is actually good at UI design (deeper partnership with Apple... please???). Price is off the charts crazy expensive. All that negative said, the integration into the car, and the ability to 'manage' the car through that screen, makes it worthwhile. I would grit my teeth and buy it again if faced with the same choice.
7. Lemon interior: I've said before that if I opened up my fridge and saw a lemon that color, I would throw it out. It's much more like an off-white. Impractical as hell, but looks sharp with the contrasting black interior and the black sapphire paint. Glad I got it. Very distinctive.
8. ED experience: I will post some specific reactions on that board, but I am 100% glad I did it and would recommend it to anyone. Can't wait to do it again.

I thought long and hard about another 335i vs the 135i, and given the price difference (amplified by the great lease rates I got) I am very glad with the decision I made and would make the same one in a heartbeat.
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