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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 10-06-2013, 03:20 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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CPO 3 series--manual or automatic?

I currently drive a 2002 Volkswagen GTI, which I've owned since November 2001, and it's time to replace it. I've decided a certified pre-owned 3 series is in my price range, so I've begun to stalk the listings to see what's available.

My learning-to-drive story is probably typical for someone of my generation: not only did I learn to drive on an automatic, but that's all anyone in my family owned, and I never had any access to a manual transmission vehicle. When I bought my GTI, I took a lesson at AAA and intentionally bought a manual because I wanted the experience. It's a lot of fun to drive, and I definitely absorbed the enthusiast philosophy that someone who truly enjoys driving drives a manual.

When considering a BMW, I feel I should get a manual because Bimmers are supposed to be a "driver's car." The problem is, as I'm limited to CPO cars (as I am, financially,) the selection of manuals is severely limited. According to the bmwusa.com website listings, there are currently a total of 5235 CPO 3-series currently available in the USA, but only 226 are manuals. If one limits oneself to a 335 (as I'm thinking about doing, since I'd really like the fun of the extra power) the selection is even worse.

I've heard that automatics have seriously improved, to the point where the reasons the old-school "purists" cite for driving a manual (performance, fuel economy) are no longer relevant. People are saying the only real reason to drive a manual anymore is that you just like the feeling of shifting yourself. And while I know this isn't a good reason, I'd be lying if I didn't say that for me, having other people think I'm cool is part of the kick I get out of driving a manual. But I do spend some time daily in stop-and-start traffic, and wouldn't be averse to an automatic.

I still think I'd get a manual if I had the choice, but it seems like the choice is going to come down to either being able to take my pick of automatics with the features, options, color*, mileage, etc. that I want, or holding out for a manual for who knows how long, and likely having to compromise on features just for the sake of getting a manual.

What do the BMW enthusiasts around here say? Would I be wussing out, revealing myself to be a mere yuppie poseur, by getting a Bimmer with an automatic? Is it worth holding out for a manual?

*What is it with all the whites and silvers out there? Yuck.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2013, 03:39 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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If you want a manual, get a manual.

If you want an automatic, get an automatic.

Buying something "because a bunch of people on the internet said so" seems a pretty poor reason to me.
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2013, 03:50 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
If you want a manual, get a manual.

If you want an automatic, get an automatic.

Buying something "because a bunch of people on the internet said so" seems a pretty poor reason to me.
Gee. That makes sense!

Arcite, it's true, you very well might be waiting for a very long time depending on how picky you are. I didn't need BT, nav, CWP, ZPP, or whatever other acronyms there are, I was open to more than one color, and it still took me a LONG time to find one that I wanted. And that is in CA, and I didn't even need CPO. Okay, I wanted very low miles. Out in Cleveland, and if you are very picky about packages, colors, I say take a glance at the manuals, if you don't see anything that you want, then I say forget it, save yourself countless hours, and get the automatic you want. If you don't have to have a manual like I did, save yourself the trouble, that is my opinion.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:03 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
If you want a manual, get a manual.

If you want an automatic, get an automatic.

Buying something "because a bunch of people on the internet said so" seems a pretty poor reason to me.
Yeah, but as Ilovemycar alludes to, it's not that simple. Because manuals are much more rare, it's much more difficult to "get a manual" than it is to "get an automatic." I was hoping people could weigh in with their experiences to help me decide how much I'd miss having a manual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
Gee. That makes sense!

Arcite, it's true, you very well might be waiting for a very long time depending on how picky you are. I didn't need BT, nav, CWP, ZPP, or whatever other acronyms there are, I was open to more than one color, and it still took me a LONG time to find one that I wanted. And that is in CA, and I didn't even need CPO. Okay, I wanted very low miles. Out in Cleveland, and if you are very picky about packages, colors, I say take a glance at the manuals, if you don't see anything that you want, then I say forget it, save yourself countless hours, and get the automatic you want. If you don't have to have a manual like I did, save yourself the trouble, that is my opinion.
I'm willing to go long-distance, though it would have to be close enough that I could drive back in one weekend. As much as I love the idea of a cross-country road trip from CA to OH, I currently have to give 6 weeks notice to take vacation at my job. Even so, the options are still limited. There are several out there in southern/western climes that don't have the cold weather package, which is a must-have for me, not because of any actual cold weather features, but because of the fold-down rear seats. This is going to be my only car, and I need to be able to tote a fishing rod/guitar case/whatever on occasion.

Like I said, I've heard the automatics of the past few years are very responsive, there are always those paddle-shifters if you want precise control when passing or engine braking on a downhill, and, while published 0-60 times are still usually faster with a manual, let's face it, I can't shift like a race car driver. I guarantee that with me behind the wheel, the automatic is faster. I just wonder whether I'd miss what has become an essential part of the driving experience for me.
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2013, 09:08 PM
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Bob Shiftright Bob Shiftright is offline
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Have you seen/heard about the 7th generation GTI (or the GTD, which it looks like we're getting here in the US)? http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review

If I buy another DD Eurocar, that would be high on my list.

I drive a manual because I think it's fun. If I didn't think it was fun, I wouldn't drive one. Buying another BMW is unlikely, though.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2013, 09:50 AM
BashedBarrique BashedBarrique is online now
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I LOVE my 6-spd manual. I truly look forward to driving it every time I get in it, and much of the pleasure comes from the smooth and precise shifter and fantastic light and positive feeling clutch.

I don't want to start a flame war with the slush box owners but once a fellow driving enthusiast and I were told that a co-worker had purchased a new 3 series. We were excited to hear of his purchase until he took us out to the parking lot and we saw that it was an automatic.

We didn't say anything to the guy (after all he had just dropped 40 large on a beautiful Bimmer) but after seeing his car we walked away and almost simultaneously said "A 3 series BMW with an automatic? What a waste."

Drive a manual and then an automatic. It's a great car either way and the automatic is one of the better ones I have driven.

That said IMHO you aren't really driving the car if you aren't selecting and engaging the gears, and BMW's are renowned for being driver's cars. If you don't fall in love with the manual then you should buy the automatic.

I'll try not to look down on you.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2013, 10:04 AM
surfcity335i surfcity335i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
Gee. That makes sense!

Arcite, it's true, you very well might be waiting for a very long time depending on how picky you are. I didn't need BT, nav, CWP, ZPP, or whatever other acronyms there are, I was open to more than one color, and it still took me a LONG time to find one that I wanted. And that is in CA, and I didn't even need CPO. Okay, I wanted very low miles. Out in Cleveland, and if you are very picky about packages, colors, I say take a glance at the manuals, if you don't see anything that you want, then I say forget it, save yourself countless hours, and get the automatic you want. If you don't have to have a manual like I did, save yourself the trouble, that is my opinion.
I would slim the pickens down even further and say you should get a southwestern USA car. A couple winters in OH or NJ or wherever else they have snow take a toll on the car. Plenty of cars in so Cal or AZ and they don't have a spot of rust on them.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:27 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
Yeah, but as Ilovemycar alludes to, it's not that simple. Because manuals are much more rare, it's much more difficult to "get a manual" than it is to "get an automatic." I was hoping people could weigh in with their experiences to help me decide how much I'd miss having a manual.



I'm willing to go long-distance, though it would have to be close enough that I could drive back in one weekend. As much as I love the idea of a cross-country road trip from CA to OH, I currently have to give 6 weeks notice to take vacation at my job. Even so, the options are still limited. There are several out there in southern/western climes that don't have the cold weather package, which is a must-have for me, not because of any actual cold weather features, but because of the fold-down rear seats. This is going to be my only car, and I need to be able to tote a fishing rod/guitar case/whatever on occasion.

Like I said, I've heard the automatics of the past few years are very responsive, there are always those paddle-shifters if you want precise control when passing or engine braking on a downhill, and, while published 0-60 times are still usually faster with a manual, let's face it, I can't shift like a race car driver. I guarantee that with me behind the wheel, the automatic is faster. I just wonder whether I'd miss what has become an essential part of the driving experience for me.
Have you tested a BMW automatic equipped car? I get the impression you have not. My recommendation would be to first drive both first hand. You may learn one or the other is not to your liking.

I'd also ask if it's possible to consider a new vehicle. Since CPO is important to you perhaps a new car is more in order. Might want to compare a new 320/328 to a used BMW. You might be surprised to learn over the long haul new is no more expensive than used. Buying new would allow you the exact configuration you want.
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2013, 11:26 AM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is online now
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The correct answer is manual




But in the end, its most important to buy what makes you happy. Test drive both transmissions and many cars. MT was most important to me so I didn't really care about options/packages. It was about the driving experience...everything else was just gravy.

Be patient in your search if you can, and buy want you want. Its too easy to get caught up in car shopping and end up settling for something that you weren't 100% sold on.
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2013, 01:03 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Location: CA
 
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Mein Auto: '08 335i coupe 6MT sport
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
Yeah, but as Ilovemycar alludes to, it's not that simple. Because manuals are much more rare, it's much more difficult to "get a manual" than it is to "get an automatic." I was hoping people could weigh in with their experiences to help me decide how much I'd miss having a manual.



I'm willing to go long-distance, though it would have to be close enough that I could drive back in one weekend. As much as I love the idea of a cross-country road trip from CA to OH, I currently have to give 6 weeks notice to take vacation at my job. Even so, the options are still limited. There are several out there in southern/western climes that don't have the cold weather package, which is a must-have for me, not because of any actual cold weather features, but because of the fold-down rear seats. This is going to be my only car, and I need to be able to tote a fishing rod/guitar case/whatever on occasion.

Like I said, I've heard the automatics of the past few years are very responsive, there are always those paddle-shifters if you want precise control when passing or engine braking on a downhill, and, while published 0-60 times are still usually faster with a manual, let's face it, I can't shift like a race car driver. I guarantee that with me behind the wheel, the automatic is faster. I just wonder whether I'd miss what has become an essential part of the driving experience for me.
Only you can answer the last part. For folding rear seats, well my coupe doesn't have CWP, but they fold down. OTOH, I wonder how much more susceptible to creaks/rattles this might make a car. Anyway, do you not only need folding seats, but four doors as well?

Another thought, as far as used, manual, hopefully good condition... is maybe hang out at the classifieds here? I am convinced that MTs are extreeeeemly rare, but as far as bimmerfest members, they are not terribly rare at all. Also, many of us take much better care of our cars than the vast majority of other car owners, we are enthusiasts here, why do you think we waste so much damn time here!? In fact, to buy cars from certain people here is practically better than new, broken in already for you, polished and detailed, bugs and recalls all taken care of. Okay I am half kidding around, and have spent almost no time in the classifieds, but it's an idea.

I don't quite agree with sunny's point, but he does bring up a good point about how much closer the final cost can be if and how you are financing. Many of the MT owners here used European Delivery. If you have a ton of frequent flier miles built up, this can save you some money while also getting the car you exactly want. BTW, I think Alpine White, Mineral White, Space Gray, and Titanium Silver are all great colors, but you could order it exactly as you like. ED description at BMW's site says you can save up to 7%. I'd hang out in ED forum perhaps if interested. Between that 7%, financing differences... and all the days and days and days scouring the nation's MT BMW inventory... it could be worth it.
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2013, 01:13 PM
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need4speed need4speed is offline
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If possible get the MT. IMHO it lets you get more of the "BMW feel". The auto on the 335 is also good, if to me not as good as the MT. Many here on the fest have had issues with the AT on the 328's. Not the same make as the one used on the335. As I said, to some it works out OK, others have had issues with the way it works. N4S
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2013, 02:22 PM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Re: CPO 3 series--manual or automatic?

OP, whatever you do, DO NOT COMPROMISE. Compromising is fine if you are buying 99c bag of chips, it is not when you are putting north of 20k on something.

I waited for 4 years on BMW to bring a reasonable diesel engine here. They did. Without the possibility to order MT so I bought new Golf TDI (second car in signature). Eff them. If they want my money (north of 40k in this case) they better give me exactly what I want, not the compromise.

I'm also suggesting to wait for mk VII Golf GTI or even get current one on fire sale when new one gets into dealerships.

Look, there were more Golf GTIs passing me in June track event than Bimmers. The only car that passed me in the last session a month ago at MidOhio was a Mini while I went around M3s and one M5 without even trying hard.

You can most certainly drive very enthusiastically in a Golf GTI with proper transmission - that woul d be the one you prefer and the one you don't want to compromise on. Besides, getting a new car is 100 times better nowadays with longer warranties and paid maintenance.


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  #13  
Old 10-07-2013, 03:02 PM
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cwinter cwinter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
My learning-to-drive story is probably typical for someone of my generation: not only did I learn to drive on an automatic, but that's all anyone in my family owned, and I never had any access to a manual transmission vehicle. When I bought my GTI, I took a lesson at AAA and intentionally bought a manual because I wanted the experience. It's a lot of fun to drive, and I definitely absorbed the enthusiast philosophy that someone who truly enjoys driving drives a manual.
Since CA might still be under the weather, I'll pick up the slack. Clearly, these guys must not enjoy driving much. Wussy automatics...



Drive what you like, not what others make you think you should like. The efficiency between a manual and automatic is about the same, the modern autos are even more efficient than MTs these days. From a reliability point of view, I still think a MT is the better choice if driven properly.

Beyond that, it is up to you. If you even have doubt that driving an MT in stop-and-go/slow traffic might be a problem, perhaps you are not sure whether it is for you or not. These days, I find driving an AT in traffic annoying with the constant brake and throttle and the dang car rolling free all the time.
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:25 PM
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pablo645 pablo645 is offline
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This brings back memories. My first car was a VW rabbit manual and I loved that car! I sold it and got into BMW's and my frist was a 318 manual. Never looked back since then when it comes to the transmission I prefer. BMWs are great in the speed manual configuration. Everytime I take my car in for service and get a 3 series loaner that is automatic I get disapointed in the feel. The autos are great but if you are a GTI driver you will appreciate the manual in the BMW especially the 335 even more. Good luck on your choice.
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2013, 04:44 PM
Arcite Arcite is offline
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Originally Posted by Majikthese42 View Post
Have you seen/heard about the 7th generation GTI (or the GTD, which it looks like we're getting here in the US)? http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...t-drive-review

If I buy another DD Eurocar, that would be high on my list.

I drive a manual because I think it's fun. If I didn't think it was fun, I wouldn't drive one. Buying another BMW is unlikely, though.
Thanks for the advice, but I'm philosophically opposed to getting essentially the same care 2 times in a row. It's time for something other than a hatchback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BashedBarrique View Post
I LOVE my 6-spd manual. I truly look forward to driving it every time I get in it, and much of the pleasure comes from the smooth and precise shifter and fantastic light and positive feeling clutch.
I had a housemate with a manual 335. I never drove it, but he did borrow my GTI, and he said the clutch was actually smoother in my car--that in his car, it was too sticky, and too hard to ease up on without making the car lurch. OTOH, I did drive a manual Z4 briefly and didn't have a problem with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Have you tested a BMW automatic equipped car? I get the impression you have not. My recommendation would be to first drive both first hand. You may learn one or the other is not to your liking.
I have been behind the wheel of a circa 2002 325, and a circa 2007-2008 528, both automatics. But nothing quite like what I am currently considering buying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by surfcity335i View Post
I would slim the pickens down even further and say you should get a southwestern USA car. A couple winters in OH or NJ or wherever else they have snow take a toll on the car. Plenty of cars in so Cal or AZ and they don't have a spot of rust on them.
I don't think that's an option for me; as I said earlier, I'd have to give 6 weeks notice to take time off to take a 3-day drive back, and I don't think a dealer would be willing to sit on a car for 6 weeks on my word that I'm going to come buy it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
Only you can answer the last part. For folding rear seats, well my coupe doesn't have CWP, but they fold down. OTOH, I wonder how much more susceptible to creaks/rattles this might make a car. Anyway, do you not only need folding seats, but four doors as well?

...

I don't quite agree with sunny's point, but he does bring up a good point about how much closer the final cost can be if and how you are financing. Many of the MT owners here used European Delivery. If you have a ton of frequent flier miles built up, this can save you some money while also getting the car you exactly want. BTW, I think Alpine White, Mineral White, Space Gray, and Titanium Silver are all great colors, but you could order it exactly as you like. ED description at BMW's site says you can save up to 7%. I'd hang out in ED forum perhaps if interested. Between that 7%, financing differences... and all the days and days and days scouring the nation's MT BMW inventory... it could be worth it.
I don't need 4 doors. Going abroad would be cost-prohibitive for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinter View Post
Since CA might still be under the weather, I'll pick up the slack. Clearly, these guys must not enjoy driving much. Wussy automatics...



Drive what you like, not what others make you think you should like. The efficiency between a manual and automatic is about the same, the modern autos are even more efficient than MTs these days. From a reliability point of view, I still think a MT is the better choice if driven properly.
Haha, I've seen that Formula 1 rejoinder before. To be fair, though, F1 cars aren't "automatics," right? They use paddle-shifters, but my impression was there's no automatic mode; the driver always selects the gear. If a DSG was available on the 3 series, I'd have no qualms about getting that.

Quote:
Beyond that, it is up to you. If you even have doubt that driving an MT in stop-and-go/slow traffic might be a problem, perhaps you are not sure whether it is for you or not. These days, I find driving an AT in traffic annoying with the constant brake and throttle and the dang car rolling free all the time.
I already do drive an MT in stop-and-go traffic. It doesn't bother me too much. Having to use the brake so much rather than engine braking does bother me in an automatic, though.
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:52 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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CPO 3 series--manual or automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwinter View Post
Since CA might still be under the weather, I'll pick up the slack. Clearly, these guys must not enjoy driving much. Wussy automatics...



Drive what you like, not what others make you think you should like. The efficiency between a manual and automatic is about the same, the modern autos are even more efficient than MTs these days. From a reliability point of view, I still think a MT is the better choice if driven properly.

Beyond that, it is up to you. If you even have doubt that driving an MT in stop-and-go/slow traffic might be a problem, perhaps you are not sure whether it is for you or not. These days, I find driving an AT in traffic annoying with the constant brake and throttle and the dang car rolling free all the time.
Formula 1, ALMS and other high end race series use paddle shifters and 2 pedals as do high end performance cars such as Ferrari, McLaren, Bugatti and the Porsche GT2.

Perhaps the slogan of MT drivers should be:

"Manual Transmissions the choice of amateur drivers in low end cars"

I will say this to the OP. Drive both, get the one you like best. If you feel you will miss an MT then by all means get an MT. The only way you can make a wrong choice is if you make a choice you will regret later.

CA


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Last edited by captainaudio; 01-19-2014 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:08 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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CPO 3 series--manual or automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
Haha, I've seen that Formula 1 rejoinder before. To be fair, though, F1 cars aren't "automatics," right? They use paddle-shifters, but my impression was there's no automatic mode; the driver always selects the gear. If a DSG was available on the 3 series, I'd have no qualms about getting that.


I already do drive an MT in stop-and-go traffic. It doesn't bother me too much. Having to use the or ,brake so much rather than engine braking does bother me in an automatic, though.


Race cars with paddle shifters do not generally have an automatic mode like street cars do but the street cars can be driven in fully manual mode if so desired . Additionally most race car transmissions are not suitable for street use as things like smooth starts from a stop or smoothness in stop and go traffic are irrelevant on a race car.

The single clutch SMG transmission that BMW used in the older M3 and M5 models was a really crappy transmission and was no where near as good as the newer ZF automatics. The new ZF 8 speed is virtually indistinguishable from a DCT and in some ways superior. I feel that a lot of the
appeal of a DCT is that people can convince themselves that "it is not really an automatic transmission"

To me it all comes down to the user interface and the responsiveness of the transmission. If it shifts when I want it to shift I don't really care what the underlying technology behind the shifting is.

Edit: Drove MTs in Boston and NYC rush hour traffic for years. Never had a problem with it.


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Last edited by captainaudio; 10-07-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:10 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcite View Post
Yeah, but as Ilovemycar alludes to, it's not that simple. Because manuals are much more rare, it's much more difficult to "get a manual" than it is to "get an automatic." I was hoping people could weigh in with their experiences to help me decide how much I'd miss having a manual.
Ok, fair enough. I meant no disrespect. My point was no one, but you, can determine what is right for you.

These are my experiences after 30+ years of driving approximately 500,000 miles with 15 or so vehicles; only one of which was an Automatic.

Driving an automatic does not remotely substitute for the sheer visceral pleasure I get out of accelerating, dipping the clutch, mechanically selecting a new gear, and easing on the gas simultaneously. I find, daily, that driving a MT provides me a constant challenge as I attempt to master (and regularly fall short on) the mechanical ballet of the drive train.

A car with an AT turns me from a driver to an operator. Rental cars (which I use on my job, a lot) create in me in an elbow leaning, steering wheel twirling participant, only vaguely connected to the task of getting to B from A.

Modern automatics are (probably) quicker around track, get better gas mileage and make you look like Leonardo DiCaprio.

I could not care less.

My car (E92 M3, 6MT, Dinan tune) is fast enough to scare the hell out of me; the gas mileage sucks, and I more resemble Radar O'Reilly than DiCaprio.

Good luck with your choice.
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  #19  
Old 10-07-2013, 05:25 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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CPO 3 series--manual or automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post

Driving an automatic does not remotely substitute for the sheer visceral pleasure I get out of accelerating, dipping the clutch, mechanically selecting a new gear, and easing on the gas simultaneously. I find, daily, that driving a MT provides me a constant challenge as I attempt to master (and regularly fall short on) the mechanical ballet of the drive train.


.
I also exclusively drove MTs for years. After several years (and thousands of dollars worth) of professional training and track experience I reached a point where a double clutched heel and toe down shift was second nature. I did not have to think about it and it was not particularly challenging. I also came to realize that shifting an MT is a rather minor aspect of performance driving and anyone who thinks an AT makes them an operator rather than a driver has a very limited concept of car control and is probably used to driving so far below the limits of the car that they don't even realize what they are doing wrong. And I say this based on my own experience as a driver.


I still enjoy driving MT but transmission type is not the most important thing for me when choosing a car but I understand that not everyone feels the same way I do.

As I said in another thread. In spite of all of the "this one gives more control", "race drivers use this one", "enthusiasts drive this one", etc. posts you see on these forums there is no particular mechanical or performance advantage to either type. It is strictly a matter of preference and arguing about it is as pointless as arguing about which color is best.

CA

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Last edited by captainaudio; 10-07-2013 at 05:44 PM.
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  #20  
Old 10-07-2013, 06:08 PM
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Salvator Salvator is offline
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I prefer MT.... However, i'm not sitting in traffic in the city... If you are, it might behoove you to get an automatic, otherwise, you end up with an oversized calf on your left leg!
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:41 PM
jetblkbimmer jetblkbimmer is offline
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Sounds like you need to seek out a manual transmission and compare driving it to an automatic in the same model. I purchased my 2011 328 MT back in January this year in Canton, OH. I test drove multiple times for probably 6 months automatics vs. manuals between 328 and 335 models at various dealers. I have always driven MT my whole life and felt I would have a panic attack without one if I settled for an automatic. I decided it is much more fun to drive MT, more control and power over the car, less costly problems can arise in MT vs. auto and they are rarer to find...perhaps this is a resale point for the future. MT are out there to find, you may have to wait it out a bit unless you are in a hurry to find a car. I also decided against the turbos in the 335 model, more "stuff" that is expensive to go wrong with it. Oh my though, the 335's are crazy powerful to drive in MT, but I asked myself where in the world can you drive this car and really enjoy the power it has on the street without the speeding tickets unless you take it to a track? My 328 MT is no slouch in the power department thank you very much! My MT passing gear is just amazing! I am totally in love with my car, and cannot wait to drive it everyday. Remember fools rush in and good things come to those who wait. Enjoy the search and this is a major purchase so make sure you will be totally satisfied in what you end up with. BTW, when looking on dealer sites or car sites like autotrader, double check the pictures for the MT shift knob or 3 pedals, as I believe I found mine by being mislabeled an automatic on the dealer site when it actually was a MT undoubtedly in the pictures. People make mistakes on their ads all the time! I called the internet sales manager on the ad and he went out to check to see if the car was in fact an MT and it was! Good luck!
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  #22  
Old 10-07-2013, 08:13 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Mein Auto: 335i E93 - 750Lix
CPO 3 series--manual or automatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jetblkbimmer View Post
Sounds like you need to seek out a manual transmission and compare driving it to an automatic in the same model. I purchased my 2011 328 MT back in January this year in Canton, OH. I test drove multiple times for probably 6 months automatics vs. manuals between 328 and 335 models at various dealers. I have always driven MT my whole life and felt I would have a panic attack without one if I settled for an automatic. I decided it is much more fun to drive MT, more control and power over the car, less costly problems can arise in MT vs. auto and they are rarer to find...perhaps this is a resale point for the future. MT are out there to find, you may have to wait it out a bit unless you are in a hurry to find a car. I also decided against the turbos in the 335 model, more "stuff" that is expensive to go wrong with it. Oh my though, the 335's are crazy powerful to drive in MT, but I asked myself where in the world can you drive this car and really enjoy the power it has on the street without the speeding tickets unless you take it to a track? My 328 MT is no slouch in the power department thank you very much! My MT passing gear is just amazing! I am totally in love with my car, and cannot wait to drive it everyday. Remember fools rush in and good things come to those who wait. Enjoy the search and this is a major purchase so make sure you will be totally satisfied in what you end up with. BTW, when looking on dealer sites or car sites like autotrader, double check the pictures for the MT shift knob or 3 pedals, as I believe I found mine by being mislabeled an automatic on the dealer site when it actually was a MT undoubtedly in the pictures. People make mistakes on their ads all the time! I called the internet sales manager on the ad and he went out to check to see if the car was in fact an MT and it was! Good luck!
The 328 is actually faster than some of the legendary muscle cars of the 60s

CA


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  #23  
Old 10-07-2013, 08:18 PM
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Nordic_Kat Nordic_Kat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
The 328 is actually faster than some of the legendary muscle cars of the 60s

CA


LOL. The 328i MT is a goat in sheep's clothing.
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  #24  
Old 10-07-2013, 10:25 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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My E90 is a 328i with 6-speed manual. I have driven the 328i with automatic (several), and IMO the manual transmission transforms the personality of the car. The 328i will never compete with the 335i in terms of power. But my 328i with MT has plenty of power for me, and gives me the sports sedan driving experience that I seek. It also has that glorious sound of the inline six cylinder engine.

My advice to anyone asking about changing from a manual to an automatic transmission is as follows. If you are asking the question, then you have serious doubts, and probably will later regret buying an automatic.

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  #25  
Old 10-08-2013, 03:13 AM
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joechristmas joechristmas is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 335xi M-sport
For me, the MT was an absolute requirement. And I am enthralled every time I run through the gear box. I quit riding my sport bikes after getting a 2000 328 ci with a manual. Then I had a 2008 535 xi automatic. It was a great car, put 50K on it, but I actually liked the underpowered 328 ci until Sandy dropped a tree on it.
I live in Northern Virginia and hit some traffic (I've learned to avoid most of it) and the manual does not bother me in stop and go.
I also figured in 5-10 years you won't even be able to get a manual.
So, in short, I am someone who loves to drive and I savor the three pedals.
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