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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys,
I'm new here but I’ve already got a ton of info from searching around, you all have an awesome forum here. I was looking for some advice from some of you out there that know these two vehicles well. Both vehicles will have a CPO warranty. The 535i will have around 30,000 miles and be optioned with premium 1 & 2 & Cold Weather packages. The 328i will have around 15,000miles and be optioned with premium, tech and cold weather package. They are both nicely optioned with everything I’d want. They are both falling in the price point I’m looking for as well. I won’t be able to check out either car myself; however I do have a mechanic in the area that is going to look at the one I want before I commit. I realize they are very different cars but I would appreciate any thoughts or opinions you have especially if you have driven both vehicles. Thanks for the help!
-Mike
 

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Unless you decide you really prefer the 5, i'd stick w/ the car with lower miles and more warranty. I'm more of a 3 series person, but am picking up a 528 soon because i'm having a baby and the lease deals in december were excellent on that model. But there are many people who are rabid fans of each model and think the other one is the devil incarnate. I'll and try and summarize the typical arguments for each i see on here:
3 series pros:
-almost as much room as a 5 but in a lighter smaller more maneuverable car
-More responsive steering generally
-More fun
-Smaller size makes it easier to park and deal with in large cities
-Some prefer its more aggressive looking styling
3 series cons:
-some people really dislike the front end styling
-some feel the interior seems cheap
-Seats aren't quite as supportive and comfortable (both the base seats and the sport seats)
-328 uses a 4 cylinder engine which some people think isn't smooth enough and doesn't sound good enough "for a bmw".

5 series pros:
-excellent seats
-interior looks more upscale with possibly nicer materials in some palces (thats an area of debate here)
-535 will give you the inline 6 N55 engine which many feel is a "must have" in a BMW due to its smoothness and sound
-Will be a more comfortable ride due to longer wheelbase and softer suspension
-available with a few features not on the 3 but not sure if any of these apply to the car you're considering or if you care: multicontour seats, active rear stteering, massaging ventilated seats, 4 zone climate contol, roll stabilization, upgraded merino or nappa leather, bang and olufsen stereo (since 2013 i think),
-more comfortable for passengers, though not as much extra rear legroom as you'd expect (maybe 1-2 inches)
-Pretty sure the trunk is bigger- this is also a point of debate believe it or not due to various measuring methods. The 5 looks bigger to me
5 series cons:
-steering can feel vague and too light -especially the 2011 models if that's what the 535 is
-car can feel a bit "floaty" to someone used to a 3 series
-Much longer, wider and heavier so less maneuverable and "parkable"
-Not as fun to drive for all the above reasons
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! That summary is awesome, I'm leaning toward the 3 series for the warranty, miles, and baby plans are still 3 years out. The only reason I'm considering the 535i is the longer commute I'll have, and I don't think I'll be doing much canyon carving in North Carolina. From what I've read the 535i would be a little more quite and "luxurious." I test drove a '13 328i out in Hawaii and loved the feel of it. I haven't had the opportunity to drive a 535i so hopefully someone that has driven both can give me their opinion. I want a car that is fun and also comfortable for a 45 minute each way commute. I'm in the process of moving to North Carolina and I'm trying to buy a car in the Atlanta area to pick up when I fly in. My wife's only demand is heated seats hence the cold weather package...
 

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Steve In Texas
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I've driven both but not regularly. It's hard to compare because they are, as you've said, two completely different cars. The 535 is a very comfortable cruiser with enough cajones to pass without fear, and the 328 is a great all-around sports sedan. I haven't checked 0-60 times, but my guess is that acceleration is similar between those two cars (bigger engine offset by more vehicle weight). You'll find the ride stiffer but the handling more nimble in the 3 series and the ride more comfortable but the handling less responsive in the 5 series. The 5er is obviously a bit more roomy.

But if I had to boil it down, it will come down to you deciding whether you want a comfortable cruiser or a relatively nimble sports sedan. With kids not factoring in for several years, assuming you don't have a need to regularly haul around a few clients, etc., I'd personally go with the 3 series. But, I'd personally hold out for a 335 (mileage be damned). Of course, that decision is yet another source of heated debate.
 

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I've driven both but not regularly. It's hard to compare because they are, as you've said, two completely different cars. The 535 is a very comfortable cruiser with enough cajones to pass without fear, and the 328 is a great all-around sports sedan. I haven't checked 0-60 times, but my guess is that acceleration is similar between those two cars (bigger engine offset by more vehicle weight). You'll find the ride stiffer but the handling more nimble in the 3 series and the ride more comfortable but the handling less responsive in the 5 series. The 5er is obviously a bit more roomy.

But if I had to boil it down, it will come down to you deciding whether you want a comfortable cruiser or a relatively nimble sports sedan. With kids not factoring in for several years, assuming you don't have a need to regularly haul around a few clients, etc., I'd personally go with the 3 series. But, I'd personally hold out for a 335 (mileage be damned). Of course, that decision is yet another source of heated debate.
Yes I believe it's around 5.7 seconds for the 328 and 5.5 for the 535.

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I've driven both but not regularly. It's hard to compare because they are, as you've said, two completely different cars. The 535 is a very comfortable cruiser with enough cajones to pass without fear, and the 328 is a great all-around sports sedan. I haven't checked 0-60 times, but my guess is that acceleration is similar between those two cars (bigger engine offset by more vehicle weight). You'll find the ride stiffer but the handling more nimble in the 3 series and the ride more comfortable but the handling less responsive in the 5 series. The 5er is obviously a bit more roomy.

But if I had to boil it down, it will come down to you deciding whether you want a comfortable cruiser or a relatively nimble sports sedan. With kids not factoring in for several years, assuming you don't have a need to regularly haul around a few clients, etc., I'd personally go with the 3 series. But, I'd personally hold out for a 335 (mileage be damned). Of course, that decision is yet another source of heated debate.
I totally agree about the 335 for the drivetrain (3L engine with the 8-speed auto transmission). My wife has it in her 2013 335xi (with M sport package as she likes to remind me) and I have it in my 2011 535xi GT. The two vehicles handle differently but a straight comparison of the two is 'apples versus oranges'. When I want my GT to feel sporty, I use either the computer's Sport+ mode or the transmission's DS mode knowing that there is a bit of a fuel penalty to pay.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again for all your input guys. I went with the 328i I described in the original post. All the 335i F30's where more than I wanted to spend otherwise I would have been 335i all the way. I can't wait to pick it up!
 

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Thanks again for all your input guys. I went with the 328i I described in the original post. All the 335i F30's where more than I wanted to spend otherwise I would have been 335i all the way. I can't wait to pick it up!
Good luck with your new to you car you'll love it I'm sure:thumbup:
 
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