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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:44 PM
SoCalRick SoCalRick is offline
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My 335d vs. 335i test drive comparison

I saw a Titanium Silver 335d at a local dealership late on Christmas Eve, but since it was almost closing time I told them I would have to return on another day to give it a test drive. Today I went back and took back to back test drives in both the 335i and 335d. I only got about 15 - 20 minutes in each (wish I could have had more), but it was enough to get a feel for some of the differences between them. My test drive loop was a mixture of about 80% residential/business (25 50 MPH zones) and 20% freeway.

Here are some of my observations/comments regarding the comparison between the two:
335i - this was a new MY 2008 (non-LCI) w/o sport package: There was plenty of power, but it was more noticeable higher up in the rpm curve than with the diesel. It gave the perception that it took just a moment for the power to kick in and push you back in your seat. I was trying to decide if I was feeling a little bit of turbo lag, or if this was just a natural transition to reaching it's powerband (not sure if this was TL or not). I might describe the 335i as being a bit rawer than the diesel. What I mean by that is; there is plenty of power on tap, and when it kicks in you really get moving, but it's a little more frantic, or "high strung" than the diesel. (I'm finding it difficult to put my perception into words regarding this aspect, but this comes close). I know others have referred to this car as a beast, and that's what comes to mind here.
I think everyone knows what the gasoline engine sounds like, which is pretty sweet. Personally, I'm past the age where I rev the engine just to listen to it, so there are not that many times during my normal driving where I really romp on it and wind the rpm's out. So the sound of the high-revving engine is not as big of a selling point for me.
Handling wise; the car felt very responsive, the steering was nimble, and it had great braking. Overall its a great handling car.

335d - MY 2009 (obviously) w/o sport package: First of all, the sound - The diesel engine was very quiet (non-diesel sounding). The engine sound inside the car didn't have that diesel sound to it (even with the windows down), but did have a lower pitched roar to it than the 335i did. It definitely surprised me; I expected to detect more of a diesel sound than was evident. When I got outside the car and listened to the engine noise up by the grill, I could detect a small diesel clatter right after the car was revved up and when it was decelerating again back down to idle. When listening at the rear tailpipes, I barely detected the same sound. It was definitely fainter.
When I stepped on the gas, it felt like the car responded just slightly quicker than the 335i. Like the "pedal to power response" was more instantaneous (it still wasn't 100% immediate, just closer to it than the 335i). It's hard to describe, but there definitely was a smoothness to this car that I didn't feel with the 335i. If I would compare it to my "high strung" comment for the 335i, I would say the diesel was more reserved, while not appearing to compromise on performance. I like the way this car handled when maneuvering in and out of traffic in 35 - 50 MPH zones. I tried a little ebbing and flowing/bobbing and weaving (e.g. speed up's and slow down's) in both cars and again I felt there was a little more smoothness in the response with the diesel.

With regards to handling, I tried to sense the extra weight in the diesel, but it just wasn't apparent to me. Maybe this is because I am currently driving a 5 series and I'm just more attuned to that weight of vehicle, so I might not be as sensitive to this as a 3 series driver might be. In my short drives I didn't notice a considerable difference between the steering and braking between the two cars.

Overall I really liked the diesel and I think I may get one on ED late this spring or early summer. Until then, I reserve the right to change my mind

So that's my $0.02 from today's test drive comparison; YMMV
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2008, 09:52 PM
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Saintor Saintor is offline
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A 335d is a ridiculous buy these days.
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2008, 11:05 PM
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Nice comparison
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
A 335d is a ridiculous buy these days.
I dont think so, the fuel consumption on the diesel should be alot less, plus it can be tuned for power very easily, and the most obvious, gas prices are not going to stay this low forever.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:31 AM
Ugly Bear Ugly Bear is offline
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Originally Posted by Saintor View Post
A 335d is a ridiculous buy these days.
I don't think anybody is buying an expensive car to save money on gas. But some people may decide to produce less CO2 even if car costs a bit more. According to UK site 335d produces 177g/km while 335i makes 220g.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:39 AM
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Pat_X5 Pat_X5 is offline
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Diesel engines last so much longer than the gasoline engines due to the self lubricity of the fuel (diesel = oil). Have you seen the turbo diesel Benz go on and on ??
My next BMW will be the X5 diesel!
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  #7  
Old 12-30-2008, 06:05 AM
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Thanks for the comparison. I'm going to have to stop by the dealer sometime for a drive myself.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2008, 07:50 AM
BimmerRat BimmerRat is offline
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Nice write up, thanks. Will definitely try it out soon.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2008, 07:53 AM
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Any diesel smell to mention?
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  #10  
Old 12-30-2008, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to write this. I was | | <-- that close to waiting for a 335d. Then I drove the 335i, my bad. I'm headed to my dealer tonight to pick-up a trunk mat. I wonder if they have a 335d
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for the write-up, SoCalRick. For as much as I dislike the 335d on paper, I'm still looking forward to driving one. Other than the poor cost/benefit right now, my biggest problems have been with the Steptronic-only transmission option and the low-revving, bad-sounding (completely muted in this case) diesel engine characteristics.
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  #12  
Old 12-30-2008, 10:27 AM
d geek d geek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat_X5 View Post
Diesel engines last so much longer than the gasoline engines due to the self lubricity of the fuel (diesel = oil). Have you seen the turbo diesel Benz go on and on ??
My next BMW will be the X5 diesel!
if the injection system and timing are working correctly, the lubricity of the fuel should have no effect on the longevity of the engine The fuel system is separate from the lubrication system and the idea is to burn all of the fuel during the combustion process. Lubricity of diesel fuel is very important to the common rail high pressure pump. The tight tolerances required to create the high pressure require sufficient lubricity from the fuel, and this is the only lubrication the pump receives.

Diesel engines normally last longer because they are designed to withstand the high compression needed for the diesel combustion process. Historically this has been true with cast iron blocks and heads or with aluminum heads. We will see how this works with the alloy blocks used by the newer diesels. I'm inclined to believe they will also provide a long service life.
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  #13  
Old 12-30-2008, 10:31 AM
Patrick Patrick is offline
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Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
Any diesel smell to mention?
No, not in the old way, and no smoke either. The smell is just different than a gasoline engine's exhaust.


.
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  #14  
Old 12-30-2008, 11:47 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Thanks for the review. You confirmed that the diesel is a low revving engine with loads of torque. I believe the redline is 4500 RPM. The 335 on the other hand makes its power higher in rev zone and loves to rush to its 7000 RPM or so redline.

Personally I prefer a high revving engine with a manual transmission. As the diesel is only available with an automatic, they are perfectly matched for more sedate driving.

Thanks, Mike.
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  #15  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02 330Ci View Post
I dont think so, the fuel consumption on the diesel should be alot less, plus it can be tuned for power very easily, and the most obvious, gas prices are not going to stay this low forever.
U got info on some modded 335d or 330d ? links??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugly Bear View Post
I don't think anybody is buying an expensive car to save money on gas. But some people may decide to produce less CO2 even if car costs a bit more. According to UK site 335d produces 177g/km while 335i makes 220g.
Well some do, this aint no $120k+ car or something to not to worry about gas costs altogether.
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 100$ GUY View Post
Well some do, this aint no $120k+ car or something to not to worry about gas costs altogether.

lol - like those that buy a $51-54k Yukon hybrid?

http://www.gmc.com/yukonhybrid/index.jsp
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2008, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
No, not in the old way, and no smoke either. The smell is just different than a gasoline engine's exhaust.


.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2008, 03:28 PM
SoCalRick SoCalRick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100$ GUY View Post
U got info on some modded 335d or 330d ? links??
There is lots of info about this on the PistonHeads forum http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/forum.asp?h=0&f=72.
Carlos (alias dxb335d) is always posting about this topic. I saw some before and after dyno's posted there as well. Happy hunting...
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  #19  
Old 12-31-2008, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugly Bear View Post
I don't think anybody is buying an expensive car to save money on gas. But some people may decide to produce less CO2 even if car costs a bit more. According to UK site 335d produces 177g/km while 335i makes 220g.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:29 PM
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A little more seat time in the 335d will undoubtedly reveal it's lack of HP and heavier nose compared to the 335i. Plus you can't get it with a 6MT, that's a deal breaker for me. It will have great TQ around town, efficiently cruise the highway and go forever but with no MT and the scary cost of diesel vs. regular just a couple months ago, I'm not too interested in it. Plus as far as diesels go, I'm not very impressed with it's mpg's. If saving money on gas is the motivation, I bet it would take years for it to start making sense to buy the 335d vs. a 328i.
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  #21  
Old 01-02-2009, 04:30 AM
Roald32 Roald32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moderato View Post
A little more seat time in the 335d will undoubtedly reveal it's lack of HP and heavier nose compared to the 335i. Plus you can't get it with a 6MT, that's a deal breaker for me. It will have great TQ around town, efficiently cruise the highway and go forever but with no MT and the scary cost of diesel vs. regular just a couple months ago, I'm not too interested in it. Plus as far as diesels go, I'm not very impressed with it's mpg's. If saving money on gas is the motivation, I bet it would take years for it to start making sense to buy the 335d vs. a 328i.
In real world my 330dA is 30 to 50% more fuel efficient than my 330ciA.
And you can't compare a 335dA to a 328i, because it's much faster IRL.

Last edited by Roald32; 01-02-2009 at 04:33 AM.
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2009, 09:15 AM
poiney poiney is offline
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335D all the way - at least until they make a fun affordable electric. Too bad diesel pricing is so erratic, it should be lower cost. I can't believe anyone complaining about a lack of acceleration.

I would have thought the main turn off was only being available in automatic.
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  #23  
Old 01-02-2009, 09:18 AM
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jaaX3 jaaX3 is offline
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Originally Posted by jaaX3 View Post
Thanks for taking the time to write this. I was | | <-- that close to waiting for a 335d. Then I drove the 335i, my bad. I'm headed to my dealer tonight to pick-up a trunk mat. I wonder if they have a 335d
I drove a 335d at my local dealership earlier this week when I picked up my trunk mat. It was a stripper; the absolute only option being heated seats. I'm glad that I didn't wait for the diesel. Options aside, I like the drive of my 335i 6MT a lot better than the 335d auto. My ears also noticed the different engine sound (of which I prefer my 335i). It was definitely quick, although I only drove for about 2 miles on surface streets, so I didn't get to test out the torque on the highway. The worst smell of the car was the leatherette, no traces of diesel smell/smoke.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moderato View Post
A little more seat time in the 335d will undoubtedly reveal it's lack of HP and heavier nose compared to the 335i. Plus you can't get it with a 6MT, that's a deal breaker for me. It will have great TQ around town, efficiently cruise the highway and go forever but with no MT and the scary cost of diesel vs. regular just a couple months ago, I'm not too interested in it. Plus as far as diesels go, I'm not very impressed with it's mpg's. If saving money on gas is the motivation, I bet it would take years for it to start making sense to buy the 335d vs. a 328i.
I would think a 12MT would be more appropriate.
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2009, 09:38 AM
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When it comes to co2 emissions the 335i and BMW engines as a whole, are very efficient engines.
I would'nt buy a diesel solely on the co2 issue, as far as fuel savings, diesel fuel is at least $1.00 a gallon more expensive than premium gas, strike two. Lastly the diesel engine lasts longer than the gas engine true, but I don't keep my BMW's longer than three years ,strike three, so I won't be needing a diesel anytime soon, no diesel for me!
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