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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I am brand new to the forum as you can see. :D A quick introduction, I live in the NYC area, single/no kids, but I'm currently deployed overseas with the U.S. Army. I'll be in the sandy paradise for another 8-10 months. I'm very indecisive of what series I want to purchase. I know I want a AWD, but I want some owner/expert opinions. Obviously, I can't just goto a dealer and see for myself and looking at brochures is just a tease :cry: I just want to know from first hand knowledge what are the differences (i.e. leg room/space, quality, drive, etc.) I'm looking forward for everyones' input. Thank you.

Ken
 

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I'm in the Army currently deployed to Iraq myself (my ride for right now being a Stryker), however I've already spent 12 months here and I'll be headed home soon.
My order was just recieved on a 2008 328i. I was contemplating the AWD seeing as though I'm stationed in WA, however I'm getting out of the service in about a year and I'll be moving to CA, so I went without the xDrive.
Good luck to you and watch your 6.
 

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Love the 'Fest
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Single and no kids? Get the 335i Coupe (yes, I know it isn't AWD, but this is your best opportunity until you're an old fart to buy a coupe) :)

and THANK YOU for your service!!
 

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awd coupe avail for sept prod.

oh, yeah for me if I was driving in the city I'd enjoy the 335 more. it's amazing for cutting through traffic. for laid back solid cruising, potholes, etc hard to match the 5. tough call but whatever you get you deserve it. thanks much for what you're doing over there. get back safe so you can enjoy your new car!!!
 

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Both are great cars.

Are you concerned about on-street parking? If so, then the 3 has the advantage.

The 3 is about a foot shorter than the 5 (12.9" to be exact). It's also cheaper, so you won't cry as much when it gets dented.

Potholes really annoy you? 5 is smoother.

How tall are you? I'm 6'3", and the 5 is a very comfortable car, though I could make the 3 work as well.

The 3 has a smaller back seat. I adjusted the driver seat in the 5 to be comfortable, and then sat in the driver's side backseat, and was reasonably comfortable. The 3 fails the same test.
 

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Straight up boys kick some ass over there.

Man if I were in your shoes I would look at the M5! You guys can get one hell of a great deal on it through the military and can go pick it up in Germany when your committment is over.

If that's stretching it too far, go with the 535. If you want to do performance mods then you will have lots of options with the 535.

Also forget the xi just move some place nice and warm when you come home!

Tell everyone thanks over there from us at Bimmerfest. Unlike the DH media we appreciate what you are doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Ken

Here's my take, since I've driven lots of 3ers and 5ers with thousands of kilometers in the driver's seat of each. If you are getting xDrive, get the 3er. The 5er with xDrive does not handle nearly as well as the 5er without xDrive while the 3er with xDrive handles really really well.

Second, if you get the 3er with xDrive, get the sport tire option in addition to the sport package. You will need winter tires for a few months but the sport/summer tire option is necessary for really good handling.

If you are not as concerned about handling, but more about ride and comfort, get the 5er.

If you are not 100% married to xDrive, here are the differences. The 3er is more nimble but the 5er is more solid. I've driven both at speeds in excess of 230 km/h and at that speed I'd rather be in a 5er.

Also, you can get many options in the 5er that are not available in the 5er (HUD, active roll stab., night vision, just to name a few). Perhaps to be, most importantly, comfort seats.

The 5er is wider and you definitely feel it's more expansive sitting in the driver's seat.

In the meantime, be safe out there.
 

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Ken I agree with others' comments on cars. My wife's 328xi is my first BMW and its great but consider your budget and don't exceed it. You can get more options for the $ with a 3er. Do wait to test drive both if you can before committing. I'd consider the 5er only if you are really tall or really need the extra space & better rear seat comfort or really want the cushier ride over bumps. Unless your budget is >$50K the 3er wins most in most areas I think.

From Navy to Army - Hooahh!! Keep your head on a swivel and continue making us proud! I was flying FA-18Es over Iraq last year helping the sandy boots out best I could, bro. Be excellent!
 

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The 5er with xDrive does not handle nearly as well as the 5er without xDrive while the 3er with xDrive handles really really well.
Jspira, very interested to know more details about your comment.

Can you elaborate?
 

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UR MOTHER IS AN ASTRONAUT
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Yep Yep

Thanks to both of you for your service to our country. :thumbup:
+ 1,000,000:thumbup::thumbup: Keep safe.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Jspira, very interested to know more details about your comment.

Can you elaborate?
It's just an observation - hard to really quantify or qualify.

The 3er is bound to handle "better" period because of it's size and inherently sportier characteristics.
 

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I would wait and test drive both models before I commited to a particular vehicle. I LOVE my 535i!!!! but I also have a wife and baby to take care of as well. However, if I were single, I would probably opt for a 335i coupe. For a few reasons, the coupe is cheaper which leaves more room for options, it handles quite a bit tighter than the 5. The 5 is no slouch in that department so don't get me wrong. It's sporty as hell. Legroom is not as good as the five but that is a matter of your size. I am assuming you want xi to contend with the winters in Staten Island. If you are not going to a place were you need it I don't find it necessary. The option that most of us here all agree on is the sport package. The seats you get alone make it worth it. Your best bet at this point is to research the hell out of the cars that interest you. Know more than the dealer. That is how I murdered the dealer during negotiations. I got a lot of help from the people on the board. Don't be in a rush and stay in your budget. Take care and shoot first ask questions later bring yourself and your men home alive.
 

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It's just an observation - hard to really quantify or qualify.

The 3er is bound to handle "better" period because of it's size and inherently sportier characteristics.
Still interested in any insights you have.

If you'd prefer, feel free to send me a PM.
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Still interested in any insights you have.

If you'd prefer, feel free to send me a PM.
I'm not holding back on you it's just that my observation.

The 330xi felt closer to the 330i than the 535xi feels to the 535i. Could be tires or something I can't put my finger on but I did notice this.
 

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when you say 5xi didn't handle as well as the 5 did you 5 with sport pack? b/c I drove a 535 w/o the sport and didn't think it handled nearly as well so if the 5xi is worse than that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey fellas, thank you very much for the advice and input. I went home on R & R a few weeks ago and test drove the 335xi coupe. I fell in love with it...I'll be placing my order here in a few months! Again thank you for your input.
 

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Hey Ken,

Thanks for doing what you are doing for us over there. And get home as soon as possible.

I recently drove a 335 and a 535 back to back. The specs aside, the two cars felt almost equally fast. The 335 handled somewhat better, but the 535 was more spacious and certainly did not handle poorly. I might prefer the interior of the 335 slightly; it's just a little more intimate.

One salient point - trunk space. In the 335, the trunk is neither large nor small, but I think the access opening is a little small. Music guys like me might have some trouble stuffing their gear through that hole. The 535 trunk is enormous - with the seats down there's not much less space than my X5 has.

The 535 is about $12K more, though.

Both are excellent cars, I think you can't go wrong either way.
 

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I debated for quite a while, and ended up with a year+ 550i for overall price, less than a new 335 or the 535... (I'm in the service, too - and cost was a factor for me).

I can't talk specifics about actual dimensions and such - but test driving the 335 is what got me decided on buying a BMW, this after looking at Infiniti G/M as well as Lexus IS/ES.
Then my wife got involved and she got me thinking that the 335 was a little small. By feel- the 335 seems quite a bit smaller side to side - and the back seat is definitely not inviting. It reminded me of my 2 door honda prelude, where I used to push my driver seat as far up as possible (I'm not a big guy), and still felt bad about someone sitting in the back behind me. Not saying that the 5er is much bigger in the back (and I think specs would say there's only so much difference), but I wouldn't have second thoughts about having someone sit back there... They won't be truly comfortable, but they won't be cramped I feel.

But if the roominess doesn't matter - then performance handling wise... I really liked the 335 (but mind you I tested the 335i Sport loaded with options at a tag of around 52K. The smaller interior really made me feel cozy and at one with the car - car moved and turned like it read my mind. And the acceleration was smooth with no lag that I could feel when I pushed it. The 5er (I've tested 528i, 535i/xi, and have the 550i) - feels a little big for me (but like I said, I'm not a big guy). As for the handling - feels very good as well, especially with the Sports Package that includes the Active Roll Stabilization (I just love taking the turns without slowing down much and not feeling like the car is leaning). I've never really had harsh winters where I've been - so I can't really talk about the trade off between AWD vs. the Sports Package. My biggest complaint... and this is with all the 5ers, is a lack of torque and acceleration unless it's revved hard. To me, it feels like any other car (and I attest this with Toyota Camry's and Honda Civics that initially pull ahead of me from stops). But when I do push the pedal down - there's a slight lag - then it zooms off like no other. Feels great, but you can't really do that all the time.

Lastly, ride quality wise - the 5er is quieter and feels smoother over bumps. Every once in a while, I felt like I was off the pavement on the 3er (this with a loaner). In the 5er, I'm careful to not hit the bumps too hard, but I can definitely feel less being knocked off where I'm headed after bumps.

Sorry if this was a bit long winded...
I guess bottom line... the 3er handled and accelerated better, but the 5er felt roomier and had a more luxurious ride. You'll have to choose... And pricing - aside from the baseline difference - the 5er does come with a few things more standard (ie, leather seats). I think the 335 I wanted came close to 50K vs a 535 was around 57K.

Anyways - good luck and make it back safe!
 
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