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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 02-23-2011, 08:06 PM
mbroadway mbroadway is offline
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Drove a 335i tonight! Wow. Help me decide.

I'm new here, but glad i found this forum.

I've been car shopping for three months now trying to decide what to buy. I've driven the Infiniti g37 Coupe, the Lexus ES (currently own a 2001 version), Nissan Altima Coupe, Audi A4, Mercedes C and CLK (Love the look of the CLK but won't work for me in the snow.)

Tonight I drove a new Mustang. Very impressive but seemed a bit unsure of itself when I asked it to do anything other than go very fast in a straight line.

After that, I went by my local BMW dealer to see what the salesman had found for me. It was a gorgeous 2011 335 i xDrive in a light gray or silver color. Leather interior and some kind of package which I can't remember the name of (comfort or something). It has Homelink and heated seats. I loved the way the car drove. Not mushy like my Lexus ES and very responsive. No dip of the nose when braking hard either, and no leaning, none, in the tight corners. Just an all around good feel like it really knew what I wanted it to do. Amazing that BMW has escaped me for so long.

But I do have a couple of questions I'm hoping some of you experts can answer for me before I take the plunge and purchase.

First of all, I'm really not overly happy about the bright orange instrument panel lights. Are those alterable like they are on the new Mustang? Can you change the color of them? I guess if you dimmed them down a bit they wouldn't be so glaring.

Secondly, the tachometer was very busy during my test drive. It seemed as if the transmission was continuously trying to find a better gear based on my driving. The car seemed, how should I put this, a little "jumpy?" If this a common feature?

This car is from their loaner fleet that they provide to customers when they're getting service done on their cars. It has 9,000 miles on it and is priced at $39,900 which seems pretty reasonable to me, especially since the 4-year warranty starts when it's purchased and not on the in-service date. Plus free maintenance for the 4 years.

So, any info on the 335i with xDrive would be helpful. I'm excited actually, and hope this car is okay and I'll get used to the frequent shifting. Maybe it was because we were in the city rather than on the highway. The salesperson sent me an email with a list of options. One of them was something called Adaptive Lighting Option. I'm not sure what that is unless it's an option to alter that tangerine orange instrument panel lighting. Hope so.

Thanks in advance for any info. Any info. I may also drive a 328i with xDrive since it's about $4,000 less than the 335. However, I may go with the 335. It's a twin turbo, and I thought they went to a single turbo this year. Maybe this was an earlier model?

Thanks and I'll shut up now and you can talk some.

Last edited by mbroadway; 02-23-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:48 PM
bbbuzzy bbbuzzy is online now
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Before you buy that loaner, spend a little time on this forum and read a bunch of posts. Loaner cars are often severely beat on. Personally, I'd stay away from the loaner and find a nice CPO or other used vehicle; perhaps even one from a forum member. Great cars, just wouldn't want the dealers loaner. Good luck with your car search.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:49 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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1) The orange instrument cluster is WYSIWYG. You can modulate the brightness of it.
2) Comfort Access. Keyless entry/locking and you don't have to insert the fob into to the dash to start the car. Kind of a love/hate thing -- people either love it, swear by it and wouldn't do without it or want nothing to do with it. On the other hand, you will read plenty of posts about weird behavior attributed to it. Personally, I don't have it and don't feel inconvenienced by not having it.
3) Automatic High Beams - sometimes referred to as Adaptive Lighting. From the BMWUSA website: "The assistant helps the driver at night by automatically switching between high or low beams, according to oncoming traffic, vehicles driving ahead, and the quality of the road lighting."

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:56 PM
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You get used to the orange lighting real quick, so don't worry about that.

Loaner cars, especially a hot one with the 300HP twin turbos get the crap kicked out of them. I would not buy one.

I get around 25mpg in everyday driving in my 535, when I got a loaner 535, the computer showed 15mpg. Why? Stomp all over the turbos every chance you get, and it will suck gas, ergo, since the computer showed the car sucked gas, it had been stomped on at every opportunity.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:56 PM
mbroadway mbroadway is offline
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Thanks, Kat. I like the idea of the automatic high beams. This car is supposed to have rain-sensing wipers too, along with self-drying brakes and headlight washers. Stuff I never knew I needed.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:58 PM
mbroadway mbroadway is offline
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Kamdog. Thanks. Makes sense and verifies what bbbuzzy said. Crap. But thanks for pointing that out, both of you.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbuzzy View Post
Before you buy that loaner, spend a little time on this forum and read a bunch of posts. Loaner cars are often severely beat on. Personally, I'd stay away from the loaner and find a nice CPO or other used vehicle; perhaps even one from a forum member. Great cars, just wouldn't want the dealers loaner. Good luck with your car search.
+1

Loaners are treated like complete crap, I've even heard of people (on different forums) talking about doing donuts and doing top speed runs in their loaners. They are pretty much the dealers beaters, steer clear, that is unless you are willing to accept that and take the risk. I also think loaners should be priced accordingly, I don't think know if 40k is low enough considering it's a loaner.
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  #8  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:30 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is offline
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The adaptive headlights are a GOOD THING (tm).
It's nice vision aid when driving at night.
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Last edited by galahad05; 02-23-2011 at 09:31 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:42 PM
Thumperx Thumperx is offline
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Most importantly, you're EXCITED about the car, and you should be at this stage. You looked at all the right competitive cars and you know what you want -great.

I'm not keen on loaners, even at attractive prices. Right now you're in ether land, so come down to the ground and be smart. Keep looking around. If you're not picky about the year, but you can get the same type of car (that hasn't been a loaner or pass through many hands and lead feet) with that amount of mileage, pay roughly the same amount, but may be a '09 or '10. They're out there; you must be patient and keep looking.

Must you have an xDrive? I don't know if snows a lot in Kansas, but if it does then it good feature for safety sakes. If not, then it may be a waste of gas usage and added weight.

You've mentioned shifting, so are you a manual or auto type of guy? Have you tried the steptronic version? This may quell the rapid movement of the RPM needle. Personally I like the dance of the RPM needle when going through the gears.

It sounds like it has all the right types of features: Premium, comfort, but does it have sport or iDrive features? If not, have you looked and tried out at these features?

Like bbbuzzy stated, "spend a little time on this forum and read a bunch of posts". Also, lurk around over on E90Post.com too.
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Last edited by Thumperx; 02-23-2011 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:43 PM
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SD Z4MR SD Z4MR is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadway View Post
However, I may go with the 335. It's a twin turbo, and I thought they went to a single turbo this year. Maybe this was an earlier model?
3 Series from 2007 through 2010 had the 3.0L twin-turbo N54 engine. In 2011 they went to the N55, a twin-scroll single-turbo engine, somewhat confusingly labeled "TwinPower Turbo".

My wife and I looked at the G37 6MT Sedan and it was a strong contender. But after driving them back to back, the G37 just wasn't a BMW.
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:59 PM
mbroadway mbroadway is offline
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So much great info and good advice. SD - Yes, I think you're right. I think it did say "TwinPower Turbo" so maybe it is a single turbo.
This car was an automatic. If it was "beaten up" they did a great job of covering up the evidence. It was like new inside and out. I know it could have been driven hard and that wouldn't show, but that could be the same with a used car, it seems.

Thumperx. Good advice.

The thing that I found attractive about this car was the fact that the warranty begins when it's purchased, not when it was put into service. It also qualifies as a CPO somehow, so there's the 4 years with no service charges plus another 2 years on top of that for a total of six years. Seems like a much better deal than Lexus has on their CPOs and Acura and Mercedes and all the others. So my logic is this: worst case scenario possibility that it's been "rode hard and put away wet" it's still covered by the warranty. If i doesn't run right, they should fix it.

Bottom line tonight is that I'll go back tomorrow during the daytime and look at the used and new BMWs (five miles or less) and see if I can find a 328 that fits the bill any better than this 335. And yes, I do need the xDrive here in Missouri. We have two feet of snow sometimes.

Thanks for all the comments and keep them coming if you have an opinion or suggestion.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:05 PM
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Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadway View Post
So much great info and good advice. SD - Yes, I think you're right. I think it did say "TwinPower Turbo" so maybe it is a single turbo.
This car was an automatic. If it was "beaten up" they did a great job of covering up the evidence. It was like new inside and out. I know it could have been driven hard and that wouldn't show, but that could be the same with a used car, it seems.

Thumperx. Good advice.

The thing that I found attractive about this car was the fact that the warranty begins when it's purchased, not when it was put into service. It also qualifies as a CPO somehow, so there's the 4 years with no service charges plus another 2 years on top of that for a total of six years. Seems like a much better deal than Lexus has on their CPOs and Acura and Mercedes and all the others. So my logic is this: worst case scenario possibility that it's been "rode hard and put away wet" it's still covered by the warranty. If i doesn't run right, they should fix it.

Bottom line tonight is that I'll go back tomorrow during the daytime and look at the used and new BMWs (five miles or less) and see if I can find a 328 that fits the bill any better than this 335. And yes, I do need the xDrive here in Missouri. We have two feet of snow sometimes.

Thanks for all the comments and keep them coming if you have an opinion or suggestion.
I would suggest getting the car taken to an independent shop and get them to check it over up and down, tires too (especially the tires when it's a loaner). The warranty doesn't cover wear and tear things such as tires, and they can set you back around $1k. Also, if you are planning on owning this car out of warranty then you should worry about how it was treated as a loaner. And loaners are usually treated far worse than someone's car that they own, people feel less inclined to take it easy and baby the car when it doesn't belong to them. The problem is not in the interior of the exterior (though the exterior can be problems), the problem is in the engine, suspension and brakes. Get her checked out to be safe.
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2011, 10:10 PM
mbroadway mbroadway is offline
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Thanks MK. Good idea and suggestions about getting it checked out. I will say that the car drove very good when I tested it. The brakes were great. And I know about tires. I just put new runflats on my Corvette for $1,400. I asked the salesperson about the tires and he said they replace them if they have less than 95% of their tread left.

Great suggestion. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:43 AM
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Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadway View Post
Thanks MK. Good idea and suggestions about getting it checked out. I will say that the car drove very good when I tested it. The brakes were great. And I know about tires. I just put new runflats on my Corvette for $1,400. I asked the salesperson about the tires and he said they replace them if they have less than 95% of their tread left.

Great suggestion. Thanks for posting it.
They said tires were covered if 95% of the tread was gone, after you own the car? I find that hard to believe... I would ask if you could get that in writing, I doubt they will do it though.

If they will cover tires and putit in writing (with a signature) then I'd say that's one less thing to worry about, but I still find it hard to believe that a dealership will cover tires... I guess I've heard crazier things...

Let us know what they say.


*edit*

Make sure if you do get it in writing to state that the brand of tire that your car will be replaced with will be Michelin blah blah blah, or whatever tire is currently on the car. I could see them using a cheapo brand to weasel out of giving you a decent set.
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Last edited by Mk23; 02-24-2011 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:27 AM
zerbitini zerbitini is offline
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Agree with what everyone else has posted about loaners. I've had a couple of great loaners (brand new 335i and a brand new John Cooper Mini) from the dealer you are working with and I thoroughly "enjoyed" them. Also agree with your comments about xdrive. You don't need it very often in KC, but it is far hillier here than many people realize, and when it does snow, you won't get around in a RWD BMW. I saw several stuck in the last big snow we had.

That dealer had some great discounts a couple of weeks ago on their inventory. $8,000 off of new 3 series diesels! You should be able to negotiate some nice pricing on their new inventory.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:20 AM
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Don't buy a loaner, executive test model, or showroom car. They get beaten the hell out of.

Honestly, i wouldn't even buy a former lease.
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:26 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
Automatic High Beams - sometimes referred to as Adaptive Lighting. From the BMWUSA website: "The assistant helps the driver at night by automatically switching between high or low beams, according to oncoming traffic, vehicles driving ahead, and the quality of the road lighting."
This has been around, what, 70 years?

Originally operated by a photocell tube mounted on the dash.

Microcontrolled, much more can be evaluated. How does BMW's system work?

Anyone?
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:32 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadway View Post
This car is from their loaner fleet that they provide to customers when they're getting service done on their cars. It has 9,000 miles on it and is priced at $39,900 which seems pretty reasonable to me, especially since the 4-year warranty starts when it's purchased and not on the in-service date. Plus free maintenance for the 4 years.
Comfort access I have to have or no deal. In fact, more options = better deal for me, BMW's option list being real benefits. Price not bad but nail down exactly what you're getting.

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:08 AM
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ProfessorCook ProfessorCook is offline
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Funny thing about silly options which nobody really needs. You get a few, get used to them, and the next thing you know, you'd never own another car without them. My examples? Comfort access and a heated steering wheel.

OP, I can see why you'd want the xDrive... I just want to point out that RWD with snow tires can work very well in the snow. (I'm not saying it's as good, just that it can work. I love my RWD in the snow. It's great fun.)
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:45 PM
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JŠnos JŠnos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nordic_Kat View Post
3) Automatic High Beams - sometimes referred to as Adaptive Lighting. From the BMWUSA website: "The assistant helps the driver at night by automatically switching between high or low beams, according to oncoming traffic, vehicles driving ahead, and the quality of the road lighting."
Adaptive Lighting is different from the optional High Beam Assistant. Adaptive lighting means the headlights follow the direction of the front wheels. Look for Xenon Adaptive Headlights on page 2:

http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Conte...ns/Safety.aspx

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbroadway View Post
First of all, I'm really not overly happy about the bright orange instrument panel lights. Are those alterable like they are on the new Mustang? Can you change the color of them? I guess if you dimmed them down a bit they wouldn't be so glaring.
The red/orange glow of the dashboard is a good design. The way I understand it: the pupil of the eye reacts less to the reddish color which allows our night vision to be more acute.

Last edited by JŠnos; 02-24-2011 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:13 PM
twhisten twhisten is offline
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Janos is right.......adaptive lighting is when the headlights turn as you turn the steering wheel. This option works only when it is in the auto headlight mode(headlight switch all the way to the left). Auto high beams is a seperate option.
I dont think you will be as excited with the 328 if you love the responsiveness of the 335. Two different motors.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:59 PM
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Hound Passer Hound Passer is offline
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335 kicks any of those cars for pure unbridled fun. BUT as others said I'd never buy a loaner. I push loaners in ways I'd never do to my own car. Multiply by a new experimenter (driver) every day or two. If you want to go used find a single owner car that was previously owned, not leased or loaned. Also if you are trying to save a few bucks take a look at European delivery. It's a great program and fun too. Small price to pay waiting for redelivery but worth it in so many ways. As for the tach -- in pure auto mine shifts down at 3 to 2.5 or so. It doesn't wobble erratically. In auto-manual it's solid as a lead pipe. Orange lighting can be dimmed if it's too bright but you can't change colors.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:34 PM
mbroadway mbroadway is offline
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European Delivery? I'm not sure how that works. Do I have to go to Germany and then have the car shipped back to the US? Enlighten me.
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:39 PM
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markl53 markl53 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twhisten View Post
Janos is right.......adaptive lighting is when the headlights turn as you turn the steering wheel. This option works only when it is in the auto headlight mode(headlight switch all the way to the left).
+1. However, adaptive xenons are standard on the 335i, they are not an option.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:42 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
+1. However, adaptive xenons are standard on the 335i, they are not an option.
This is what confused me. I thought adaptive xenons were standard issue (they were standard on my E93 328i), so I assumed OP was talking about the High beam assist.

So sorry if I caused confusion.
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