2013 335i xDrive MSport Review

by Bimmerfest.com Member - kevins950 on November 20, 2012, 2:16 pm
2013 335i xDrive MSport Review

Finally got past the break in mode and got 4,000 km (2,500 mi) on bimmer. It came with the 18" Bridgestone Potenza S001 on the 400M mixed wheels. Recently swapped out the summer tires for a A/S non-RFT 18" Bridgestone Potenza RE970AS Pole Position on 18x8 Enkei Racing PF01 on all four wheels. The A/S wheel/tire combo appears to be about 6 lbs lighter per wheel for a total of 24 lbs less then the OEM wheels.

So, I finally took the bimmer out to the Black Forrest and stretched its legs on parts of the autobahn without speed limits and somewhat pushed the limits of performance. Some initial thoughts.

It was difficult to detect any noticeable difference between comfort and sport suspension during casual city driving in traffic. However when pushed beyond 120 mph on the autobahn, there was definitely some floating and wallowing in comfort mode. There was a clear sense of the chassis stiffening up in sport mode during high speeds. I could also feel the electronic steering tighten up during high speed driving. It felt planted, stable, and beefy.

The sport suspension handled like it was on rails when hitting it hard in the twisties of the Black Forrest. The chassis remained flat without any noticeable plowing and took the curves like it was on rails.

After a day of hard aggressive driving, the mileage was a decent 22.9 mpg. Not bad for unleashing its potential in both the twisties and the autobahn. I was averaging a little over 24 mph during the break-in period in city driving. I'm hoping it will only improve as the bimmer continues to break in and get more efficient.

I went with the 18" wheels for two reasons. The previous 330i had RFT's and the suspension was a bit on the harsh side. The combination of this experience and knowing that 19" was more susceptible to roadside hazards, I decided to go with the 18's. However in all honesty, the suspension on the 18's with adaptive suspension is a bit on the soft side relative to my preference. Had I know this ahead of time, I probably would have opted for the 19's. The 330i was too harsh and the 335i is a bit too soft. The 19's may have been better for my personal preference.

The 330i had leatherette and the 335i has Dakota leather. In all honesty, the leatherette was mildly discomforting with clammy moisture build up between skin and seat. The Dakota is much softer, comfortable, and dry. It was well worth the additional cost. Very satisfied with leather and will never go back to leatherette.

The linear power delivery and acceleration from the xDrive is phenomenal. It hunkers down, grips the road, and catapults down the road like there's no tomorrow. Given the same tires, my gut instinct says that it will out perform a Audi S4 hands down.

The combination of extreme sport handling mixed genuine luxury touring capability is what really sets this car apart from so many others. It works great as a daily driver to and from work while thoroughly delivering on sport performance for the weekend sporting enthusiast.


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16 responses to 2013 335i xDrive MSport Review

wayner44 commented:
November 20, 2012, 5:02 pm

Nice review. Can not wait for mine to arrive.
Quinn Lasser commented:
November 20, 2012, 6:24 pm

Nice review. We have a 2013 335iX and I think your reference to the car as it "catapults down the road like there's no tomorrow" absolutely fitting. Very fun car.
shicobico commented:
November 20, 2012, 6:27 pm

Congratulations on your car. Great review. I'm going with the 18" for the exact same reasons! However, it is certainly interesting to hear you say this now that you've had the car for a while.


Is it possible to configure a staggered setup on xDrive?
kevins950 commented:
November 20, 2012, 8:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by shicobico View Post
Is it possible to configure a staggered setup on xDrive?
Yes. The OEM 400M mixed wheels come with 8x18 front and 8.5x18 rear. You can get the same set up in the 19" wheels also.
kevins950 commented:
November 20, 2012, 9:35 pm

On a couple occasions, I accelerated hard trying to overtake a car about a hundred yards in front of me on a long (about a quarter mile long) autobahn entry ramp. The bimmer went about its hard acceleration in a luxury business like fashion with the subdued sound of a somewhat distant exhaust burble. For a couple seconds, it felt like it was taking a long time to overtake the car in front of me. Then in the next instant before I knew it, I was blowing past that car like it was standing still and I was still accelerating hard going in excess of 100 mph. It doesn't have that raw visceral edge like a Porsche Cayman that howls and screams that the motor is working hard. The bimmer will out perform a Cayman in straight line acceleration in a subdued business like manner and do so without breaking a sweat or conveying that visceral edge of a wailing motor. Not that one is better or worse then the other. Just some different mannerisms between two different car types.
CE750Jockey commented:
November 20, 2012, 10:08 pm

Damn, that color combo looks great. Congrats.
jfox335i commented:
November 21, 2012, 8:43 am

I find everyone is in my way since I got a 335, however when I do get to open it up, this car in sport mode just wants to go fast. You can't go fast enough to satisfy the car's need for speed. 100 feels like 60, 120 feels like 80, and accelerating hard out of a sharp corner induces uncontrollable smiling and giggling. If you can't have fun driving this car, you just don't enjoy driving.
mossman35 commented:
November 21, 2012, 9:15 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfox335i View Post
I find everyone is in my way since I got a 335, however when I do get to open it up, this car in sport mode just wants to go fast. You can't go fast enough to satisfy the car's need for speed. 100 feels like 60, 120 feels like 80, and accelerating hard out of a sharp corner induces uncontrollable smiling and giggling. If you can't have fun driving this car, you just don't enjoy driving.
I agree 100%. The car is so much faster than 95% of the cars out there that it feels like everyone is going so damn slow. It can be very frustrating to say the least. I am very surprised I haven't gotten a ticket since I have had my car for almost 2 years now!!! What I love about the car the most is that it is quick, very sporty, and still very quiet and comfortable (IMO).

I still can't get over the look of the new ones though. Sorry guys.
I don't like the look of 4 doors in general so I am hoping the new 4 series changes my mind. Glad you enjoy your car.
BruceOmega commented:
November 21, 2012, 9:28 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevins950 View Post
.....
The sport suspension handled like it was on rails when hitting it hard in the twisties of the Black Forrest. The chassis remained flat without any noticeable plowing and took the curves like it was on rails.....
Are you referring to the Dynamic Handling Package? xDrive in US does not have a sport suspension per se.

Thanks
Bruce
sean10mm commented:
November 21, 2012, 10:15 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by BruceOmega View Post
Are you referring to the Dynamic Handling Package? xDrive in US does not have a sport suspension per se.

Thanks
Bruce
He mentions having the adaptive suspension later in his post.
kevins950 commented:
November 21, 2012, 11:47 am

Correct. It does have the dynamic handling package. Hard to tell the difference between comfort and sport during casual driving but becomes very noticeable during high or extreme sport driving.
kevins950 commented:
November 22, 2012, 6:04 pm

Took my first long road trip with the bimmer from Stuttgart to Prague (about a 5-6 hour drive). It was a real opportunity to determine it's road worthy capabilities. Fortunately it was a weekday and as such the autobahn was not overly congested with open roads most of the way. Cruising 80-100 mph was easy breezy gliding for the bimmer. No stress easy going. It felt like the sweet spot and could cruise all day long without any stress on the motor. It was picking up the paces and working moderately harder at about 120 mph and definitely earning it's money at 150 mph.

The roll-on acceleration from 90 mph to 150 mph (rather roll-on acceleration from any speed really) is just unbelievably sweet. The distant wail of the exhaust burble and leaving ornery competing cars in the dust was just amazing. On a couple occasions with no cars in front, I took it to the limit and the cars behind me just disappeared from my rear view mirror (this on a long straight stretch). A couple times other similar performance brand cars would test their performance limits and kind of egg me on on the autobahn. The bimmer just left them in the dust in a humiliating way. It was no contest. All I can say is "WOW".

The virtues of variable assist steering truly comes into play when driving at higher limits. The ease, stability, and precision during high speed driving is just out of this world. The ease and relaxation of driving at 120 mph was just as relaxed and pleasant as going 60 mph. No nervous jitters, just easy peasy and loping along at 120 mph as if you were cruising down a boulevard.

I adjusted the sports seat with the extended leg support to hold my thighs. The front edge of the seat was up as far as it would go and the back edge of the seat was down all the way. The back rest was tilted more towards vertical but not uncomfortably so. It was so comfortable that after driving 6 hours, I could easily have driven another 6 hours without any problems.

I would be remiss it I didn't mention the variable sport suspension is a class act. The previous 330i would float and wallow with jittery steering during high speed maneuvers. This thing just felt planted like it was on rails all the way to the limits. I believe the DHP probably gives it that high performance edge for the true sporting enthusiast.

Well the good news is that this bimmer has in many ways exceeded my expectations. I was somewhat skeptical that I would be impressed much less enthralled with the bimmer's overall performance especially coming from a Porsche Cayman. But I gotta say, it has a unique character all it's own and I'm more then impressed with the overall results so far.

Unfortunately there is a downside to all this exceptional performance. It will be difficult at best to unleash it's true potential and utilize (unleash) it's full potential in the states. It's just a sad reality. I blew past a Policia van doing 130 mph on the autobahn while it was chugging along at 80 mph.

Unless you have experienced sustained high speeds, pushing the limits at whim, leaving other performance cars in the dust, and driving on an open stretch of German engineered highway designed for sustained high performance driving, you'll never really know the true capabilities of your bimmer. It is a true luxury GT in every sense of the word.

Can you imagine doing 60 mph on the highway for sustained periods in a masterpiece? It's just too painful to imagine.
Stilian commented:
November 23, 2012, 3:42 am

Nice ride you got I'd love to have the 320d xDrive Modern Line estate in brown or navy. As for the competition that tried to show off with performance... well it is gonna be a long way before they reach the performance of stock beemers.
DerekS commented:
November 23, 2012, 5:06 am

Kevins950,

Really enjoyed reading your latest review of high speed fun in your 335i !!! Thank you for sharing your impressions. You are so right about the lack of high speed highways in North America compared to Europe, especially in Germany and Italy.

After waiting 3 1/2 months, I just picked up my own 335i last night and look forward to many years of driving this ultimate machine. I have owned more than a dozen BMWs over the past 28 years, the F30-335i is the best by far !
kevins950 commented:
November 24, 2012, 6:48 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stilian View Post
Nice ride you got I'd love to have the 320d xDrive Modern Line estate in brown or navy. As for the competition that tried to show off with performance... well it is gonna be a long way before they reach the performance of stock beemers.
Performance stats on the 320d xDrive is comparable to the 335i xDrive. The added bonus is better mpg on the 320d. How about a 350d xDrive! 376bhp and 546lb ft of torque in the 550d xDrive. \
Stilian commented:
November 25, 2012, 1:20 pm

I'm not sure I get the 350 concept, it's a bit too much in my mind, I guess 350d xDrive would be perfect for pulling a trailer or caravan