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driving a D around RTP
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Disclaimer - this is my comparison of two cars based on my driving experience. Please do not let this devolve into a flame war. Both are great cars. No one should fight about opinion that one car is "better" than the other.


This week I had a 335i service loaner for almost two full days. My 335d's voluntary DPF recall was completed the first day, but they kept the car overnight to follow up on something else I asked them to check on.

The 335i makes a cool sound when the AT shifts near redline WOT. I assume that's the turbo. I never hear that sound in my 335d. In a VW 1.8T I could hear turbo whistle but never the sound the 355i makes when upshifting at high RPM. For some reason the sound make me think of video games. It's "fun" to hear it. Of course, the redline 2-3 shift is at a faster speed than legal limit of most of the local surface roads.

Another noticeable difference: put the AT into DS mode, brake hard then turn, and the 335i exits the turn at a much higher RPM than the 335d. I did not say that I think it exits with more power, and the higher RPM is more noticeable to other drivers than the "stealth" 335d's torque-laden lower RPM. (I imagine the 335i needs to downshift one gear lower to match the power the 335d gets automatically via the DS algorithm.)

It is very noticeable that the 335i revs higher than the 335d. At first that gave me the impression that the 335i seems a lot faster. When I watch the spedo they seem to accelerate at about the same rate...close enough that I'd need more accurate method of measurement to say which is faster accelerating in a straight line. This is all on roads with speed limit up to 50mph. The two times I had the 335i on the highway was during rush hour and I took it easy.

This 335i does not have sport package. Noticeable when traction control kicked in a few times that I think it wouldn't have in my 335d with sport. And while the 335i's tires can spin accelerating from a stop with the wheel not-straight, it's nothing like the torque-endowed 335d, even with zsp on the d but not the i. The non-sport 335i laughs at some of the road imperfections that I try hard to avoid in my 335d with sport. Both cars have their respective standard bridgestone runflat tires (matched 17" vs. staggered 18").

This 335i has oil temp gauge where my 335d has instant mpg. It's interesting to see how long the gas engine takes to achieve full operating temp. Yes, I actually waited for it to warm up before laying into the accelerator. I wonder how long my 335d takes to fully warm up from dead cold overnight slumber. Have toyed with the idea of getting an OBDII scanner to do some tests. I do prefer the analog instant mpg gauge over the digital BC readout. The analog gauge requires less thought when using it to assist in modulating rate of acceleration for best mpg when it is not play time. I'm undecided if temp or mpg is the right tradeoff...ideally I'd want the analog instant mpg plus an option for digital temp via BC.

I was very happy to return the 335i and drive away in my 335d. To me the 335d is a different...and better...all around driving experience. Even if the 335i had sport package I still prefer the engine characteristics of the "d". I'm becoming very attached to my 335d.
 

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I Know Nothing
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658 Posts
I would love a diesel. Why can't we get the coupe over here? Makes no sense. Well, to me at least.
 

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Heading south in 2016
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269 Posts
Fo my purposes/needs/wants, the 335D fits my day in and day out fun factor more so than the 335i. Why? Because my commutes don't allow me the ability to reach the upper end of the tach where the 335i truly shines. That's not to say, if I had the means, I wouldn't own one. :rofl: But I have a ZX-6R that tachs out at over 15,000 RPM for those needs.

The torque in the D during my commute though, is perfect for me. :thumbup:
 

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WTB - your E39 M5
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6,216 Posts
cant beat 25mpg+ in the city! and of course the 425lb of tq
 

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driving a D around RTP
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, the 335i averaged 20 mpg over the two days according to the trip computer. I forgot to check how many miles I drove. Driving the same way I'd guess that my 335d would have averaged somewhere between 26 and 29 mpg (measured at trip computer).
 

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8 Posts
Great analysis and it is especially helpful for me as I'm looking at at 2007/2008 CPO 33i vs. a 2009 335d. My problem with the d is that there are no used ones, however I found a demo today that is in FL (I'm in CA) so I'm gonna call as it is as follows:
Premium Package
Steering wheel mounted audio controls
CD player
Radio data system
Diversity antenna
MP3 decoder
AM/FM radio
SEATS AND TRIM*Power passenger seat
Power driver seat
Remote keyless entry
Telescoping steering wheel
Power moonroof
Steering wheel mounted A/C controls

The car has 12k miles and is being offered for $46,969. Any comments or suggestions are welcome as I've really wanted the d but it was out of my price range and are still somewhat unsure about the Sport option as this will be a commuter car (40 miles each way to work) and I first and foremost want comfort.
 

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BMW d Driver
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1,123 Posts
IMO everyone should drive them both.

The diesel delivers power in such a different way than your typical gas engine, it is hard to really describe unless you just try it. The weirdest thing is how it barely has to shift, passing/quick get up and goes/etc. never seem to require a downshift first...it just comes in a wave of power from any gear you are in.

The high reving gas engine is fun at times, but IMO it is harder to get the power out of it on the road as a DD. You really have to be clearly driving it hard, where the d can be driven quite normally and still take advantage of the peak torque power at 1.5-2k RPM.

One last neat thing about the d's power delivery is that if you accelerate hard into the 1.5-2k range you will get a huge kick in the pants (the 335i cannot compare unless you did a clutch dump maybe), but if you ease into it the car is very smooth like a gas engine at lower RPMs. Very nice as it does not have to be a monster all the time.
 

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Registered
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6,805 Posts
IMO everyone should drive them both.

The diesel delivers power in such a different way than your typical gas engine, it is hard to really describe unless you just try it. The weirdest thing is how it barely has to shift, passing/quick get up and goes/etc. never seem to require a downshift first...it just comes in a wave of power from any gear you are in.

The high reving gas engine is fun at times, but IMO it is harder to get the power out of it on the road as a DD. You really have to be clearly driving it hard, where the d can be driven quite normally and still take advantage of the peak torque power at 1.5-2k RPM.

One last neat thing about the d's power delivery is that if you accelerate hard into the 1.5-2k range you will get a huge kick in the pants (the 335i cannot compare unless you did a clutch dump maybe), but if you ease into it the car is very smooth like a gas engine at lower RPMs. Very nice as it does not have to be a monster all the time.
It is amazing what is possible with 425 ft/lbs....
 

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Registered
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6,805 Posts
Great analysis and it is especially helpful for me as I'm looking at at 2007/2008 CPO 33i vs. a 2009 335d. My problem with the d is that there are no used ones, however I found a demo today that is in FL (I'm in CA) so I'm gonna call as it is as follows:
Premium Package
Steering wheel mounted audio controls
CD player
Radio data system
Diversity antenna
MP3 decoder
AM/FM radio
SEATS AND TRIM*Power passenger seat
Power driver seat
Remote keyless entry
Telescoping steering wheel
Power moonroof
Steering wheel mounted A/C controls

The car has 12k miles and is being offered for $46,969. Any comments or suggestions are welcome as I've really wanted the d but it was out of my price range and are still somewhat unsure about the Sport option as this will be a commuter car (40 miles each way to work) and I first and foremost want comfort.
It sounds like a base model with Premium package. If it is a base model with Premium package, $46,969 is getting raped. If you can find a dealer with a production slot that can be ordered before 11/2, even at MSRP less $4,500 Eco Credit, you would out less than $46,969.
 
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