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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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  #26  
Old 08-18-2012, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
Yep I agree. And that's my concern-that a 135 dct isn't going to be much different to drive than a 335 step since one is basically a shorter version of the other. And you're probably right that liking the looks will fade fast. But I do think the narrower body and shorter wheelbase could make a big difference in the overall feel. I'm a bit more skeptical about whether the dct will make having an automatic any more fun then my current step with paddles. And of course the easy torque of the turbo engine will be the same for better and worse. Going to try and find one to test drive on Monday...they're getting harder and harder.
Forgot it was dual clutch, that should be way more fun than the step. If you could afford an m3, what about looking for a 1M?
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  #27  
Old 08-18-2012, 06:21 PM
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Too bad the M1/1M were not available. Others are:
I would suggest the 991 cerrara S or at a lower price point the Boxter. The Boxter too will navigate tight turns quickly and nimbly.
True that, the 1M time kind of slid by me when I was involved with another car. It probably would have been a great choice.
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  #28  
Old 08-18-2012, 06:25 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Originally Posted by Chris90 View Post
Forgot it was dual clutch, that should be way more fun than the step. If you could afford an m3, what about looking for a 1M?
While I could afford an m3 id want to be very sure I'd love it before pulling the trigger. Just the fact that it's almost twice the cost of a 135 gives me pause cause no matter what I don't think it's twice the car. And ive realized that having a more competent car isn't necessarily a more fun car. But as a car enthusiast id rather spend money on a fun to drive car than most other things. The 1m is off the table because it's manual only..wife is dead set against that. What No12 said about his 135 vs his old e90 m3 really rings true for me.

In your opinion what makes the double clutch so much more fun? The step has paddles and shifts instantly but it's still not much fun.
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  #29  
Old 08-18-2012, 06:28 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Too bad the M1/1M were not available. Others are:
I would suggest the 991 cerrara S or at a lower price point the Boxter. The Boxter too will navigate tight turns quickly and nimbly.
991s is way more money than the bmws I'm considering. And the boxster doesn't work cause this would be our only car so it has to have some measure of practicality and a back seat. Even the 1 is pushing it as far as my wife is concerned.
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  #30  
Old 08-18-2012, 06:39 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
I hope you get an opportunity to drive an M3.
If cost is not a factor, it is a far more enjoyable car.
Your wife will not get 31 MPG but easily 22 city and 24 hy.
The car runs so predictably and is balanced.
I have a sedan which really helps it be a dd.
I have had a lot of BMWs and I like it best without question.
Didn't think 24 hwy was achievable by anyone in that car.
I actually have driven an e90 m3 for a few hours. My average was 17mpg. I liked it but am still not sure it's worth the added cost for me. On one hand I love the naturally aspirated high revving v8 and the steering on the other hand the short range of the fuel tank and the fact that it's still a big heavy car like my e92. Gotta say though that all the reviews you read are glowing whereas the 135 is very much love it/ hate it.

If I did get an m3 id be totally fine with dct cause I didn't like the manual (seemed very clunky) and its sort if fitting with the high rev nature (lots of opportunities to shift repeatedly)

I will admit however to really liking some of the luxuries of it such as the soft leather and solid metal paddes. (the one I drive was a manual however)
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  #31  
Old 08-18-2012, 07:00 PM
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While I could afford an m3 id want to be very sure I'd love it before pulling the trigger. Just the fact that it's almost twice the cost of a 135 gives me pause cause no matter what I don't think it's twice the car. And ive realized that having a more competent car isn't necessarily a more fun car. But as a car enthusiast id rather spend money on a fun to drive car than most other things. The 1m is off the table because it's manual only..wife is dead set against that. What No12 said about his 135 vs his old e90 m3 really rings true for me.

In your opinion what makes the double clutch so much more fun? The step has paddles and shifts instantly but it's still not much fun.
DCT gives you that race car feel, very much like a manual except you don't have to involve your feet. Step w/ paddles just feels like any other auto to me, from the E90 loaners I've driven.

M3 is just overkill for the street. Even if I tracked the car I'd still rather have a lighter car w/ less power.
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  #32  
Old 08-18-2012, 07:28 PM
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Shoot .... I meant to say a Caymen or Caymen R rather than a Boxter, but either are nice as the 135i
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  #33  
Old 08-20-2012, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
In your opinion what makes the double clutch so much more fun? The step has paddles and shifts instantly but it's still not much fun.
The step with paddles isn't even in the same zip code as the DCT in my opinion. In fully sport mode the shifts have a rifle-bolt precision that's just other-worldly when you're running the car up to speed. It also runs slightly higher RPMs in top gear than the stick, so although that does reduce highway mileage a little it also means that even at 60mph you can nail the gas without downshifting and REALLY take off. I'd still recommend downshifting... but the power band of the car is so wide anyway you almost don't have to.

The steptronic in the 3'ers I've driven (as loaners mostly) are OK but even with the paddles they feel just like any other automatic with that long pause before the gear engages.

Having said that the DCT isn't perfect; if you rapidly downshift and then try to upshift again it'll take a moment to sort itself out again because it has preselected the next downshift and now needs to do a longer upshift... some people perceive this as a "lag" but it's really just the mechanical limits of the system. Still, regardless it's faster than a human being can shift.

Which reminds me; I don't remember where I read the review but there was one review of a 135i with a DCT that complained that the DCT just couldn't predict the curves of the road in the same way as the driver of a manual. This is true... but only if you're driving it like an automatic! With the paddles and shifter you're always in the right gear... often before the guy in the stick.

I personally don't think that I gave anything up by getting the DCT. In fact, I gained a car that when I am stuck in stop and go traffic because some idiot on their cellphone got creamed half a mile further up the highway, I can slap the transmission back into "Drive" mode and then just relax and crank the tunes
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  #34  
Old 08-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Originally Posted by dalekressin View Post
Shoot .... I meant to say a Caymen or Caymen R rather than a Boxter, but either are nice as the 135i
I was this >l< close to test driving a dark blue Cayman S, but I didn't. I guess I was afraid that I would like it too much, and I really wanted 4 seats.

So . . . bmw325 seems to be leaning towards . . . a white 135i with DCT so far?

Hey I have a dumb line of questioning, regarding sunroof delete? How much weight does that lose, how much does it cost, and is it even available? Lower CG, maybe stiffer chassis(??), could make it more fun? The 1M doesn't have a sunroof, right? So obviously they've done this kind of thing, kind of.
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  #35  
Old 08-20-2012, 02:34 PM
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I personally don't think that I gave anything up by getting the DCT. In fact, I gained a car that when I am stuck in stop and go traffic because some idiot on their cellphone got creamed half a mile further up the highway, I can slap the transmission back into "Drive" mode and then just relax and crank the tunes
The only downsides I can think of are higher cost when it breaks, and not having the satisfaction of shifting and involving your left foot. And cost.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:36 PM
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Hey I have a dumb line of questioning, regarding sunroof delete? How much weight does that lose, how much does it cost, and is it even available? Lower CG, maybe stiffer chassis(??), could make it more fun? The 1M doesn't have a sunroof, right? So obviously they've done this kind of thing, kind of.
Unfortunately no. If you don't want a moonroof, buy a 1M, a 128i or E46 M3.

I wish BMW would go back to moonroof delete.
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  #37  
Old 08-20-2012, 06:51 PM
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Thumper-when you tried the step it was on a 335 right? I ask cause the 128 and 328 use a gm trams that is much slower to shift.

I guess my only other annoyance/hesitation with the dct is the way they geared it. 7 speeds with no overdrive? And the lag people report when leaving a dead stop or parking and shifting from d to r.

I guess I'm just trying to figure out if it's enough to make up for the clutch pedal that I crave while hoping the downsides compared to the step don't irritate me.
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  #38  
Old 08-20-2012, 06:54 PM
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Ilovemycar-yes that's what I'd want..saw another one like that on the highway today.

My wife still thinks its ugly and hates white cars. She uses the small backseat as an excuse. So a 335is with dct in space grey might be on the table.
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  #39  
Old 08-20-2012, 09:03 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Unfortunately no. If you don't want a moonroof, buy a 1M, a 128i or E46 M3.

I wish BMW would go back to moonroof delete.
Hey thanks for that info. (Note to self, try to use the term "moonroof" from now on, haha.) May I ask how you find that info, thanks? I can understand certain M cars getting this option, but I do think it's a bit peculiar that the 128i can get it, but not the 135i! Well, the 128i is the lightest car they make, so I guess maybe it makes certain sense.

A quick google shows me that the 128i is pretty darn close to the weight of the E46 325i, and I bet with the moonroof delete, stick shift, OP might have a shot at fun here.

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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
Ilovemycar-yes that's what I'd want..saw another one like that on the highway today.

My wife still thinks its ugly and hates white cars. She uses the small backseat as an excuse. So a 335is with dct in space grey might be on the table.
Oh well. I think one of the nicest BMW colors I have ever seen is Mineral White, it is a pearlescent, and it's really something else. It is too bad that the 1ers don't have it available. Space Gray is pretty cool, NK was talking about how they have an exhibit at the Welt or something called "what color is space gray", as apparently it is or was the most color neutral paint they have. (It is a chameleon and changes quite a bit depending on what's around and time of day.) It's what I got.

The small backseat area (I should say specifically the legroom with 1er in particular), is my main personal complaint. On my test drives, I always sat directly behind the driver's seat after adjusting for my preference there, to see what it feels like to sit behind me. The E92 is *much* better here when compared to the competition, than many people realize. The S5 is super cramped there in comparison, which surprises some people. The G35/G37, my head bangs the rear windshield on speed bumps and I'm only of average stature. When I used to sit there in my friend's previous G35 coupe, I told him to warn me of any speed bumps so that I wouldn't inadvertently bite my tongue off while jibber jabbering back there, he would never remember, and luckily I still have my tongue.

2 cars is still totally off the table? White 128i MT moonroof delete & Golf TDI AT whatever color she likes?
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  #40  
Old 08-21-2012, 06:56 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Ilovemycar-problem is we live in NYC but are fortunate to have a single parking place in our building. 90% of the cars use is weekend road trips with my wife and she occasionally uses it to travel for work by herself. Even if I wanted to pay for another parking space (which would be atleast a half mile away) the "fun" car would almost never get used unless I took it out by myself on a weekend morning.

And so it would be a lot of extra money for a car that would prob get about 2k a year. Granted some people with cars like ferraris use them rarely. But I'd rather be able to enjoy the car I'm in most of the time. So in the end I'd prob rather have a dct 335is than a golf tdi in that "only car" role. We've played around with various rental options to be able to switch to diff types of cars but they are much less convenient and more costly given how much driving we do. (unless I want to drive a Chevy cruze every weekend)

And to me that's the whole point of bmws..they manage to do it all in one package. Guess I just didn't anticipate how much I'd miss a manual...and how anti manual my wfe us.

You are quite right about the e92's space..it's much better than most 2 door cars including longer ones like the mustang. The 1 series even has more rear legroom than the coupes you mentioned but is much shorter. And it's actually the reason my wife agreed to the 335 coupe over a sedan in the first place. Guess I won that battle so why push it with a manual 128. Oh well...some of my pining is probably just wanting what I can't have. And I should be thankful that she's even entertaining a 335is-most wives I know would find that completely frivolous. And she hates minivans which is a big plus.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:32 AM
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bmw325 - Yeah, the 335 was the steptronic I tried. A lot better than the 328 units from what I understand; never drove an auto 328.

Chris90 - Well, the cost when it breaks isn't really an issue so long as it's in warranty... and no-one's had one wear out yet that I'm aware of so we don't really know how long the clutches last, or what the cost or difficulty of replacement actually are. Also, the problem with involving my left foot is that it also means involving my left knee which underwent surgery earlier this year (hence the reason for not buying a manual car last year; I knew this was coming!). Maybe in a year or two I can buy another manual, but right now it's a good thing I don't have one.

As for the satisfaction of shifting; I have that in spades thank you. While I might not be actuating the clutch, I am still changing gears, still choosing which gear I wish to be in and still driving the car like it had a stick. I almost never drive the car in anything but sport/manual mode... and in that mode it does not shift unless you tell it. That's something people don't seem to get about the DCT; yes it acts like a traditional automatic by default but it takes minimal extra movement of the shifter to put it in the sequential manual mode and keep it there... as many moves as putting the car in first. Hell, almost the same motion! The only difference is this is a sequential manual... kind of like on a motorcycle. You can't shift from 5th to third without going through 4th... but so long as you understand that it's not that big a deal. Plus, going from 5-4-3 is actually faster than I would be doing the 5-3 shift on a stick.

As for the launch lag issue; well that's not so much a transmission problem as it is an engine problem. This is a turbocharged car and as such you have to drive it a little differently. The only difference really between the DCT and a manual there is that you can't rev it before take off unless you're using launch control (which by the way is really good fun). Yes, you can be more subtle about your take-off with a stick by bringing the revs up before putting it in gear, but once moving the DCT equipped car will handily beat all but the best driver with a traditional stick in pure acceleration because there's no drop off in power between gears... or even a delay per se.

I find the DCT to be a great balance between the control of a stick and the convenience of an automatic... and especially given my leg issues the stick just wasn't an option for me.
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  #42  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:09 AM
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Thanks thumper. The 335 step has all of those characteristics as well a and won't shift in manual mode unless at redline (but holding the down paddle prevents this). Also I feel 0 lag when starting from a stop or really in any gear (which is as I'd expect given the engine makes full torque from 1500 rpm). So when I read those complaints it leads me to believe its due to the time it takes for the dct to slip its clutch and engage.

As far as shift time it feels instantaneous to me but may e the even faster shift time of a dct will add that special ingredient that I didn't know was missing.

Like you I drive my step in manual mode all the time but I do miss the extra involvement of a clutch pedal and applying the right pressure to the gear knob and the feel of a shift done right. To me driving a manual is more than just choosing the right gear.

Not trying to argue against what you saud but trying to see the light since a manual is not in the cards for me either.band I'm pretty sure in a few years it won't be possible to buy a new car with a manual anyway
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  #43  
Old 08-21-2012, 06:49 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Ilovemycar-problem is we live in NYC but are fortunate to have a single parking place in our building. 90% of the cars use is weekend road trips with my wife and she occasionally uses it to travel for work by herself. Even if I wanted to pay for another parking space (which would be atleast a half mile away) the "fun" car would almost never get used unless I took it out by myself on a weekend morning.

And so it would be a lot of extra money for a car that would prob get about 2k a year. Granted some people with cars like ferraris use them rarely. But I'd rather be able to enjoy the car I'm in most of the time. So in the end I'd prob rather have a dct 335is than a golf tdi in that "only car" role. We've played around with various rental options to be able to switch to diff types of cars but they are much less convenient and more costly given how much driving we do. (unless I want to drive a Chevy cruze every weekend)

And to me that's the whole point of bmws..they manage to do it all in one package. Guess I just didn't anticipate how much I'd miss a manual...and how anti manual my wfe us.

You are quite right about the e92's space..it's much better than most 2 door cars including longer ones like the mustang. The 1 series even has more rear legroom than the coupes you mentioned but is much shorter. And it's actually the reason my wife agreed to the 335 coupe over a sedan in the first place. Guess I won that battle so why push it with a manual 128. Oh well...some of my pining is probably just wanting what I can't have. And I should be thankful that she's even entertaining a 335is-most wives I know would find that completely frivolous. And she hates minivans which is a big plus.
Oh I see, thanks for obliging my curiosity, yes two cars does seem like a very bad idea when you put it like that. If it does turn out that it must boil down to an E92, whether it's your current ride vs a DCT-is (disregarding the M3 just for this discussion's sake), well I'll say if it was *me*, I would probably mod the current car. That's coming from someone, who if forced to buy AT, would be shopping DCT first. This is all with only a moment's speculation about what the financial details could be like (and I should say I've not leased, nor bought new, and in CA the registration cost varies quite a bit with age).

There are probably few to none here who are familiar with both a highly modified 335i AND the 335is version, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask for opinions in the E9x forum. Maybe even the "other" forum, where I've not posted. The people I think of with highly modified e9x suspensions here happen to drive E93s though, including Bcube who I remember was pretty high on the M arms. I don't know about NYC, but where I live, I wouldn't be surprised if M susp components (and whatever shocks, Konis or otherwise), UHP tires, and LSD coupled to a ZF would make for a more exciting ride than a DCT + tune + exhaust. I imagine the former would still be cheaper by 5 digits easily as well, but then again it is a used car after all. (More aggressive aftermarket tunes, as I'm sure you're aware, can be had for much cheaper, but this doesn't seem to be a priority for you anyway. I'm also doubting that the launch control on the IS will mean much to you either.) Really though, for me it would be about the money and what I'm getting, as I was trying to say, but that doesn't mean I don't think ordering an IS exactly how I want it would be a great thing!

My 8-ball fortune teller tells me your next rental will most definitely have a DCT. It seems to me, and I'm pretty certain you agree, that this will be the deciding factor in how you proceed . . .
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  #44  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:10 AM
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bmw325 - Honestly, the DCT isn't a magic bullet if you are a dyed-in-the-wool manual driver. You will never get that feeling of a perfectly executed shift, the vibrations of the shifter... none of that.

It is however much better than an automatic. I agree the steptronic is a very fast shifter, but there's still a feeling of "mushiness" simply because a torque converter doesn't have the mechanical link between the engine and the wheels... it's still all fluid and hydrodynamics, and as a result the shifts are slower. There's also a precision to the DCT's shifts; a feeling of solidity that I don't get even with the best auto transmissions... as I said earlier the DCT I feel is more akin to the sequential gearbox on a good sportbike than either an automatic transmission or a traditional manual. The only difference of course is the computer operated clutch.

The advantages of the DCT are numerous though; theoretically because it's all computer controlled there should be less clutch wear than with a true manual... the shifts are precise and fast (and can be harsh in sport mode at high RPMs... but no more than driving a stick hard) and you get the option of driving it like a normal automatic. In straight non-sport Drive mode it even emulates the long, lazy shifts of a torque converter so well you'd almost think it was one. Oh, and as I also hinted; Launch Control is an absolute blast and can be addictive. Not good for tire life though

At the end of the day you have to make the decision for yourself. If I were to have just one car and a wife who wouldn't drive a stick, I think I would be driving anything with a DCT before an auto. I have the luxury of having no wife and two cars (well, my live-in girlfriend has her own car) AND a motorbike... or two... but in your situation I'd seriously consider a car with a DCT.

Whether the 1'er is right for you or not, well again you'll have to make that decision yourself. Note that a 1'er is going to be cheaper to buy than the 335is by a significant chunk of change, and the difference in room is not that huge. If you routinely carry 5 people on short trips you probably are looking at the wrong cars anyway since the 335is is coupe only, but you CAN do it in the 335is and can't in the 135i. That's really the only truly significant difference in my experience. Leg room is a little tighter, but if you're not overly tall it wouldn't be so bad for the rear seat people. I know I can get behind the drivers seat in my normal driving position and be comfortable.

Hope this helps
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2001 E46 BMW 330i Sport Package 6MT *SOLD*
2004 BMW R1150GS - *SOLD*
2004 E60 BMW 545i Sport 6MT - *SOLD*
2012 BMW 135i - Deep Sea Blue / Terracotta / DCT *SOLD*
2012 BMW K1600GT - Vermillion Red Metallic
2008 BMW E90 M3 - Interlagos Blue / Silver / 6MT

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  #45  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:11 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Yep modding my current ride could be on the table too. Perhaps a set of lightweight wheels, non runflat tires and m suspension components could help give me that more tossable feeling. Actually just remembered that my wife is very "pro run-flat" and considers them a safety feature. We've actually gotten 2 flat tires in the past year so it's not like I can claim it rarely happens.
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  #46  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:27 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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Thanks thumper. Interesting that you mentioned that it reminds you of the smg. I had an opportunity to drive an m6 once and really got a kick out of how abrupt and harsh it was..it made this very mechanical sound and you could feel it. That put a smile on my face..I also liked the solid metal feel of the paddles.

You're right though. It's not like I have much choice here. personally a 135 with dct would fit our needs perfectly but my wife has an irrational dislike of it. I completely agree that the extra space of an e92 is largely a moot point. And, interestingly, if we were to have a kid you can put a rear facing seat in the middle position of the 1-not possible on the e92! There could be a few edge cases where the slightly bigger trunk opening is useful I guess.

It all becomes grayer if I have to compare a 335is to my current car. Barring a manual I really need to analyze what I feel is missing that the 335is has. That extra mechanical feel that a dct provides could be ..enough. Or maybe the sound that the combo of the dct, n54 and sportier exhaust creates on upshifts and downshifts.

One note on what you said regarding the torque converter. With the ZF auto the converter is locked up unless you are crawling in traffic. Redline upshifts feel pretty good but anything less is a bit too smooth if that makes sense.

If I'm really honest with myself a vw gti would be the best choice. It has a dct, and is lighter, cheaper and more practical than a 1 or 3 coupe. I have an irrational dislike of front wheel drive and just don't like the boxy van like profile. Actually prefer the interior to the bmws too but the seats aren't as good as BMW sport seats. I do enjoy all the liitle extras you get in a BMW but sometimes wonder if it's worth the extra money for what is ultimately a compromise for me.

But I am a diehard manual liver who would even choose a manual vw over a dct m3! Now a paddle shifted Ferrari might be a different story...

I'm not stressing over this but obsessing over cars is something I enjoy. Thanks for playing along!
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Last edited by bmw325; 08-22-2012 at 05:50 PM.
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  #47  
Old 08-22-2012, 05:55 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
If I'm really honest with myself a vw gti would be the best choice. It has a dct, and is lighter, cheaper and more practical than a 1 or 3 coupe. I have an irrational dislike of front wheel drive and just don't like the boxy van like profile. Actually prefer the interior to the bmws too but the seats aren't as good as BMW sport seats.

I'm not stressing over this but obsessing over cars is something I enjoy. Thanks for playing along!
Speaking of VW, I get a little envious about how terribly happy two of my friends are with their recent purchases, a Jetta TDI wagon (and he was considering a WRX at one point) and Passat TDI sedan (which can be had in manual too, but he failed to locate one, coming from BMW, Audi, MB). After a month had passed with the latter, I asked my friend, so hey where are the diesel stations around here anyway? He didn't know, because he didn't need to refill yet! (And he drives as many miles as anyone else.)

I hear you on the FWD thing, perhaps I otherwise would have more seriously considered the likes of a Mini (not crazy about the interior), Mazdaspeed3 (pretty loud drone, and super thin paint), even maybe an Acura if I felt a little more "normal", depending on model/year. At another forum, there is a track instructor with several nice cars, one of which is a Mini that he drives quite a bit. If it's good enough for him, I'm sure it's good enough for many.

I wonder with the super high gas mileage, greater utility, if you could convince the better half finally of getting a manual . . . with a Passat TDI? Anyway, probably not the funnest car, but maybe you can sneak in some mods when she's not looking.
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  #48  
Old 08-22-2012, 07:11 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is online now
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I played that game with her the other day. Would you learn manual for x type of car. The only one that she almost agreed to was a classic Karman gia but even then it was iffy. A TDI vw isnt enough to convince her. And if I did id get the golf not the passat
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