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E82 / E88 1 Series (2008 - 2013)
BMWs throw back to the iconic 2002, with a renewed form and function. The smallest car in BMW's line up but still packs a punch. Available in coupe or convertible, powered by either an inline 6 in the 128 or the twin turbo rocket sled 135.

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  #1  
Old 11-07-2010, 03:04 PM
tschryver tschryver is offline
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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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Old 11-07-2010, 03:56 PM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Nicely written comparison. I especially agree with your thoughts about the iDrive/Nav and am sorry to hear the new one isn't an appreciable improvement over the '08.

Tom
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2010, 07:16 AM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
Nicely written comparison. I especially agree with your thoughts about the iDrive/Nav and am sorry to hear the new one isn't an appreciable improvement over the '08.

Tom
I disagree with that assessment. I think the current iDrive is a huge improvement over the older version in the 08, in UI if nothing else.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:55 AM
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thumper_330 thumper_330 is offline
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I disagree with that assessment. I think the current iDrive is a huge improvement over the older version in the 08, in UI if nothing else.
I think the comparison was made against Garmin, not the 08 iDrive. While iDrive '10/11 is FAR superior to the previous versions, it's still an order of magnitude behind the OTS competition. Now, that's just in nav functionality... the iDrive still wins for car integration.

Pity me... I'm still in a 545i with 2004 era iDrive and an 09 NAV DVD... :P
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2010, 12:56 PM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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Originally Posted by thumper_330 View Post
I think the comparison was made against Garmin, not the 08 iDrive. While iDrive '10/11 is FAR superior to the previous versions, it's still an order of magnitude behind the OTS competition. Now, that's just in nav functionality... the iDrive still wins for car integration.

Pity me... I'm still in a 545i with 2004 era iDrive and an 09 NAV DVD... :P
I disagree with that assessment too. I have a Garmin Nuvi I use in rental cars. The only thing is does better than the BMW IMHO is POI lookup. OTOH, with the BMW unit, you can look things up on Google Maps and send the destination straight to the car.

I prefer the BMW unit for the following reasons:

1) I never have to wait for a sat lock.

2) It's instructions are generally clearer than the Garmin's. The lane indications for highways are a huge help.

3) If I ignore a turn instruction (either accidentally or deliberately), the BMW unit recalculates very quickly, the Garmin does not.

4) I can send destinations from Google Maps.

5) The screen is much bigger

6) It doesn't fall off the windshield.

Last edited by adgrant; 11-08-2010 at 01:01 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2010, 02:26 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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I agree. Its common "wisdoM" now to trash in-car nav systems as a big waste of money when you can just use your phone or a garmin. But, I find that when I most NEED navigation (dark and rainy nihgt and I'm lost) the portable options show their weaknesses very fast. When you most need them, they'll have falled off the windshield or not be able to acquire a sat lock. They're fine when you're just using them to track progress. For my next car, i've vowed to get an in-car system. When leasing, the per month additional cost isn't so bad.
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:57 AM
tschryver tschryver is offline
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A couple of clarifications:

1. I was referring to the nav functionality specifically. I am glad I got the package so that I could have the screen for "vehicle management", music, etc. For these functions, iDrive / screen is vastly superior to no iDrive / screen, in my opinion.
2. I have had just a small amount of exposure to the prior iDrive - I did not have it in my 335i. Without question, the current version is a very significant improvement in UI than the last go-round.
3. However, regarding the nav system itself, my experiences just don't match those of you that prefer it to Garmin / TomTom / others. Yes, the integrated screen, lack of a stupid suction cup or sandbag, no cables, immediate start-up, excellent voice integration into the car... all of these are assets compared to portable systems, and significant ones. But given my experience on this trip - route selection, in particular, required a significant of suspension of disbelief (more than once was I suggested a route that could best be described as a "spiral", and I'm not just referring to the drive out of the Welt building). The process of building routes is clunky, and POIs are not great... examples include no mention of a pub that I know has been open for several years; difficulty finding the Eurotunnel entrance; and things like all the entries for CDG starting with something like "Aeroport de Paris - Roissy Charles de Gau", then cutting off, so you miss the ever valuable terminal number. There were also several occasions when the system got confused by road changes that had clearly been in place for more than a year (traffic circles, on / off-ramps, etc.) Perhaps these are nits, but driving at night in a foreign country (especially when on the wrong side of the road) this gets frustrating. My experience using Garmins has been consistently better in these respects. I am looking forward to the google maps integration, which was not available for my drive in Europe, and will likely help a lot.

Most of all though I am looking forward to BMW continuing to work on its UI development... surely if a bunch of nerds in Mountain View can make something as easy to use as Google Maps, a bunch of nerds in Munich can do something even more amazing...??
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2010, 08:32 AM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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Odd you had problems finding the Eurotunnel entrance. I had no issues doing that with the BMW Nav, nor navigating out of Munich. Garmin is great for POI but one major problem I have with it in the UK is the directions though traffic circles.
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  #9  
Old 11-09-2010, 09:08 PM
iamdabest1 iamdabest1 is offline
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135 v 335

i think its pretty simple, 135 is better in regards to driving and feel, 335i is a close 2nd but looks much better than the 135.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:54 PM
jayback42 jayback42 is offline
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Nice write up. My 08' 335i is currently at the dealer and I was given a brand new 135i as a loner. Fun little car. At the end of the day I'm not a fan of the styling. Perhaps some favor the looks of the 135i. Not me, 335i takes it by a country mile in the looks department. 335i for the win.
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Old 11-10-2010, 07:46 AM
adgrant adgrant is offline
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i think its pretty simple, 135 is better in regards to driving and feel, 335i is a close 2nd but looks much better than the 135.
I don't think either of them look that good, particularly compared to the E46 3 series. I particularly don't like the Banglized interior of the E90.
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  #12  
Old 11-10-2010, 10:08 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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I don't think either of them look that good, particularly compared to the E46 3 series. I particularly don't like the Banglized interior of the E90.
It's all pretty subjective. Personally, I prefer the interiors of both my 128i and E91 to that of my ''99 E46 with 2 exceptions - the appalling lack of a temp gauge in the newer n28s and the wonderful tactile feel of the early E46 ZSP wood shifter.

Also, the mirror and window switch location of the 1 is superior to that of the E90, but not to the old console mounted switches of the E46.

Tom
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:51 AM
equ equ is offline
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I've owned neither but had a bunch of test drives in 3er, 5er n54's and n55's. To me the n54's felt stronger... Totally unqualified opinion. The n55 was smooth and efficient but more like the audi 2.0T engine. The n54 felt more like a beast.
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:57 AM
RBinDC RBinDC is offline
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equ's comment turned on a lightbulb.

Before buying my 335is coupe I drove a 2011 335i coupe for comparison. The 335i (N55 engine) was smooth, refined and powerful but it lacked the excitement of the 335is (N54 engine + a mild tune). They were two very different driving experiences.

Driving the 335is on the autobahn revealed the latent "beast" in that vehicle.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:32 AM
BestCS BestCS is offline
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I think a $5 road atlas would be a better option than a $2,500 naviagation system. A real man can plan his trip in his mind before leaving for his destination. Only girly men need a navigation system or those who don't have enough gray matter to memorize a route. Also these fancy electronic systems are a distraction from what should be the real focus of driving or pay attention to the road.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:01 AM
SB 73 SB 73 is offline
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Hi All

Can anyone please help? I had a replacement gearbox fitted to my x5 four months ago, just started getting trans failure prog warning light. I took it to a bmw specialist who could not find any problems, came back on today but now I have lost all drive and could smell a slight oil smell. After approx 15 mins no warning light shows and it drives!!!
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:44 PM
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thumper_330 thumper_330 is offline
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Hi All

Can anyone please help? I had a replacement gearbox fitted to my x5 four months ago, just started getting trans failure prog warning light. I took it to a bmw specialist who could not find any problems, came back on today but now I have lost all drive and could smell a slight oil smell. After approx 15 mins no warning light shows and it drives!!!
Try starting a new thread over here; http://bimmerfest.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=159 if you want help with this. Apart from posting in the wrong forum, replying to a thread about the 135i with this problem isn't going to net you much assistance.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:12 PM
TRS550 TRS550 is offline
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BMW's have gotten HUGE over the past 20 years. My E60 is bigger than an E38 7 series. My old E36 328 was big compared to my E30 325. Last time my 550 was in for service they gave me a 128 loaner. That was a fun little car (except for the slushbox) and it reminds me that when the kids are gone a 135 6MT is in my future. The current 3's are just too big and too heavy for those of us who drove the originals. For that I'm glad the 1 series came along.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:16 PM
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Size does matter; but 135i has plenty of room.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:49 AM
tschryver tschryver is offline
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Thanks for letting me know. This sure clears a lot up - I am a stupid girly man! I am looking forward to the harmony I will feel having recognized your innate superiority. Thank you, Mr. Big Brain Manly Man, for clearing this up!

I am curious from your message - apparently manly men have a choice between "the real focus of driving" or "pay attention to the road". Which do you choose? I don't want to miss any opportunities for your helpful super-masculine guidance - I'll do whatever I can to learn from your testosterone-filled wisdom!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BestCS View Post
I think a $5 road atlas would be a better option than a $2,500 naviagation system. A real man can plan his trip in his mind before leaving for his destination. Only girly men need a navigation system or those who don't have enough gray matter to memorize a route. Also these fancy electronic systems are a distraction from what should be the real focus of driving or pay attention to the road.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:21 AM
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So how do the two compare in terms of handling? Which did you prefer and why?

Thanks for the write-up btw
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:18 AM
H2Orower H2Orower is offline
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My simplified experience:
2008 335i manual --> Ho hum, when does this lease end again?
2011 135i M-Sport DCT --> Wow, this is what it's like to have fun again!

Since 1999, I've had three BMW 3 series (99 323i manual, 2004 330i SMG, 2008 335i manual). With each successive car came more performance and options, which was great, but it didn't necessarily equate to a better overall experience for me. Looking back at the three, I was most impressed with my 330i SMG. The engine & transmission combo proved exciting. The interior build quality seemed superior and surrounded me like a cockpit.

The interior feel of a car is hugely important to me, and a significant reason why I was so disappointed with the 335i. That, along with the fact that I still missed the technological slickness of the SMG, made for a very unfulfilling 3 years with the 335i.

The 135i DCT has brought back the thrill of driving again for me. I find myself wanting to get in the car and run an errand or take an afternoon road trip. In two weeks of ownership, I've put on about 1500 miles and loving it. The 335i was turned in with 4500 unused miles. That sums it up for me!

With the upcoming 3 series makeover, they'll hopefully improve the lack of interior cockpit feel, and it's only a matter of time before the DCT is made available in the non M and IS models. Perhaps, when those two things are taken care of, I'll be back in a 3. Of course, by then, a fully loaded regular 3 will likely exceed the $60,000 threshold.


P.S. As far as Nav, I love it and wouldn't want to go without it. The iDrive in the 2008 335i was good and suited me fine, although I didn't have anything to compare it to at the time. The new iDrive is even better. I'm happy with it. Call me a sissy, but I appreciate performance AND technology.

Last edited by H2Orower; 11-17-2010 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:19 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Being an e46er myself, I do have misgivings about the interior quality of both the current 1 and 3 series...the design and quality just doesn't seem as nice as it once was. Having owned all 3, do you think the inteiror quality is actually worse than the e46?


Quote:
Originally Posted by H2Orower View Post
My simplified experience:
2008 335i manual --> Ho hum, when does this lease end again?
2011 135i M-Sport DCT --> Wow, this is what it's like to have fun again!

Since 1999, I've had three BMW 3 series (99 323i manual, 2004 330i SMG, 2008 335i manual). With each successive car came more performance and options, which was great, but it didn't necessarily equate to a better overall experience for me. Looking back at the three, I was most impressed with my 330i SMG. The engine & transmission combo proved exciting. The interior build quality seemed superior and surrounded me like a cockpit.

The interior feel of a car is hugely important to me, and a significant reason why I was so disappointed with the 335i. That, along with the fact that I still missed the technological slickness of the SMG, made for a very unfulfilling 3 years with the 335i.

The 135i DCT has brought back the thrill of driving again for me. I find myself wanting to get in the car and run an errand or take an afternoon road trip. In two weeks of ownership, I've put on about 1500 miles and loving it. The 335i was turned in with 4500 unused miles. That sums it up for me!

With the upcoming 3 series makeover, they'll hopefully improve the lack of interior cockpit feel, and it's only a matter of time before the DCT is made available in the non M and IS models. Perhaps, when those two things are taken care of, I'll be back in a 3. Of course, by then, a fully loaded regular 3 will likely exceed the $60,000 threshold.


P.S. As far as Nav, I love it and wouldn't want to go without it. The iDrive in the 2008 335i was good and suited me fine, although I didn't have anything to compare it to at the time. The new iDrive is even better. I'm happy with it. Call me a sissy, but I appreciate performance AND technology.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:39 PM
BsmithNP BsmithNP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BestCS View Post
I think a $5 road atlas would be a better option than a $2,500 naviagation system. A real man can plan his trip in his mind before leaving for his destination. Only girly men need a navigation system or those who don't have enough gray matter to memorize a route. Also these fancy electronic systems are a distraction from what should be the real focus of driving or pay attention to the road.
Bit of a generalization don't you think? Sounds like the old adage that men don't listen to directions.

Personally I'm on the road ALOT between new clients, old clients, job sites, vendors, and the like. Sitting down in the morning and trying to figure out a route with an out of date atlas for six or seven appointments is not an acceptable alternate to being able to plug in an address to the system and have a guide to my next destination. I'm not late, I'm not lost. What happens when you have to throw in that surprise destination or *gasp* you get lost..... pull out the atlas? You want to talk distractions......
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Old 11-17-2010, 02:52 PM
H2Orower H2Orower is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
Being an e46er myself, I do have misgivings about the interior quality of both the current 1 and 3 series...the design and quality just doesn't seem as nice as it once was. Having owned all 3, do you think the inteiror quality is actually worse than the e46?
I know what you're saying about the E46 interior. There were lots of little things that I think were nice in my 2004 330i. e.g. The all around look and shape of the dash, the wood trim inserts, seats, trim/buttons around map lights, compartments below radio and a/c panel. I think a big problem I had with the E90 interior was too much "dead space". The interior was obviously wider than an E46, but instead of redesigning a nice sculpted curving dash like the E46, they just made this straight across unexciting dash. Other's, of course, may have differing opinions. That's just mine.

The interior in my 135i reminds me more of the E46. BMW certainly didn't use more expensive interior components in the 135i vs. the E90, I think the design just flows better because of the physical dimensions of the 135i cockpit.
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