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Old 25th June 2012, 00:39   #1
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Default BMW 3 series coupe (e92) 335i Ownership Review

Ok.... I guess its about time I stop lurking and actually post something.

I noticed that in India the 3 series is not offered in either the 335i or 335d iterations. Maybe you could order them, but have never seen it on the website.

So here is a review of a car that if within your budget, you should get.

Lets roll back to 2006. I had been in Dubai a few years and decided that I needed to upgrade my car. I was driving a '03 Chrysler Sebring. I could afford a premium car and decided that I was going to treat myself to one on my birthday - which falls in Jan.

So in july '06 I started the car search.

Here were my criteria:
  • Must be fast. This was something I would not budge on.
  • Must be luxurious and come with all the bells and whistles.
  • Must handle really well.
  • Ideally a premium brand or even a sleeper.

So I drew up a shorlist and decided to visit the showrooms.

UP FIRST - The Audi A6 3.2 Quattro.

Boring exterior but a stunning interior. The luxury box was ticked. No one does interiors like Audi. I mean it was just plain stunning. The test car had a brown interior with shiny black trim. Made me drool.

Got into the car and while it did have some pull, I was really disappointed by the steering feel. It did not inspire confidence. Too light and while the quattros do give you great grip, I got no feel for it. So it was essentially grip that couldn't be exploited.

Oh well, onto the next.

IFINITI FX35.

A beautiful Crossover with a cracker of an engine. It had the same VQ series engine as the 350z. This meant 300hp on tap. In a CUV that handled closer to a sports car.

Took it out for a spin and wow. Just wow. The turn of speed on this combined with the high driving position made it a pleasure to drive. Interior was decent, a bit of a let down after the Audi's. But hey can't have everything. One additional plus point - it handled great and had good steering feel.

So the FX35 takes the lead.

CHEVY CORVETTE

This is a monster. A great looking car with 400+hp on tap. BUT one look at the interior and I walked away. So cheap and shoddy with crappy plastics.

Besides, I couldn't have this as my only car.


BMW 5er to 3er.

Stopped by BMW last. Have always had a soft spot for Bimmers. Went to look at a 530i.

Bangle's exterior design did make things interesting. The Interior was decent.

But sitting off to the other side of the showroom was a rather unassuming 2 door car. The saleswoman informed me that it was the new 3 series coupe.

First impressions: I really liked the elegant lines. It's beauty was a bit subtle. The interior was elegant. Not Audi level. But a bit above the FX35. Nice.

Test drive time:

I remember to the day, the saleswoman telling me - go hit the back roads and gun it. Well I did. And suddenly I new what 400nm of torque (from 1500 rpm) feels like. The car just pulled like crazy. My head was literally being thrown back. And the handling was spot on. Luxurious enough to soak up bumps yet, stuck to road like glue. My absolute favourite thing - the steering feel. The steering was heavy, nicely weighted and gave me great feedback - at any given instant I knew how much grip I had.

15 minutes later, with a giant grin on my face, I placed the order for one with all the option boxes ticked.


Anyway, it has now been 5 years since I bought the car. How have we aged together?

The long term ownership review

The car has not been without issues. It was among the first batches of cars delivered and it had the dreaded High Pressure Fuel Pump failure - twice. The fuel pump would fail but it didn't mean that the car would stop, it would continue driving but only up to 80 km.

Both times I got it fixed under warranty.

It has had it niggles, little things failing like hoses, belts etc. All things you can expect within a normal car's life cycle.

Till today, the car is still among the faster cars on the road. The only cars faster than this are the Ms, AMGs, RSs, 911s and other exotics. I don't drive as fast as I used to but I do take the car down to some back roads early in the morning and unleash it. I do this about 1-2 times a month and it still brings a smile to my face. You do have to learn to drive this car as it is not a matter of stepping on the gas and holding on. The car has a sweet spot. between 4500 and 6000 rpm where it has the perfect combination of torque and horsepower.

The handling is pure joy, but then again you already know that. The tires are expensive - they are 19 inch extremely wide ones after all. But the overall servicing has not been too bad. I spend about Rs 20,000 on servicing every year.

I have thought about about replacing the car a couple of times but most other cars in my budget do not really offer anything more.

And oh yeah. The car is ridiculously stable and quick so before you know it you are at illegal speeds and you get fined. Trust me I know. Not a boast (and I definitely am not it the group of people who can afford to throw away money) - but I did get fines totaling Rs 1 lakh the second year of owning this car. Still beat myself across the head for it and have changed my driving. Although the one big fine for about Rs50,000 was due to me have bad bowels that day and racing to get to a petrol station.

So the Positives and Negatives:

Positives:
  • Incredible Engine
  • Awesome Handling
  • Very comfortable
  • iDrive is great - especially the large screen one which displays both map and songs
  • The seats are unreal - they even have side bolsters that deflate or inflate according to how much you want
  • A sneaky car - initially people just thought it was just another car and had no idea how fast it was.
  • Very elegant.
  • Huge Boot - its boot is as big as a corolla's
  • 4 people ride in comfort - had a couple of 3-4 hour road trips in there and no one was uncomfortable
  • Puts a smile on your face


Negatives:
  • Can be expensive - fines and if you drive it aggressively all the time be prepared to shell out on tires and brakes
  • Interior is a bit dull when compared to whats out there now
  • The extras can add up.
  • Now, it has become a magnet for people who modd their cars and want to test theirs against it.


So should you buy one

Well, if its in your budget, I don't see why not. It can seat four. Has a good size boot. Will make you smile. And you can always buy wifey a sensible car for when you need one.

Pics - you will notice that the alloys are blacked out. I got that done recently, just to change up the look and freshen up the car for myself.
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Old 25th June 2012, 01:48   #2
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Default Re: BMW 3 series coupe (e92) 335i Ownership Review

Congratulations on owning this monster, looks awesome in the pictures, the paint job on wheels surely enhance the car's looks, overall she's a looker.

BTW what was the price you paid for her at that time ? and I would like the know more about the options you opted for ?

Wish you wonderful miles ahead, Drive safe

Cheers,
Sameer

Last edited by sameerg001 : 25th June 2012 at 01:49.
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Old 25th June 2012, 02:34   #3
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Default Re: BMW 3 series coupe (e92) 335i Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by zetaxi165 View Post
I noticed that in India the 3 series is not offered in either the 335i or 335d iterations. Maybe you could order them, but have never seen it on the website.
You are right, we have the 325i which is a 4 door and sells very poorly because it is a petrol, but that would not matter there, would it ? Congrats on a good purchase though.
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Old 25th June 2012, 13:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sameerg001 View Post
Congratulations on owning this monster, looks awesome in the pictures, the paint job on wheels surely enhance the car's looks, overall she's a looker.

BTW what was the price you paid for her at that time ? and I would like the know more about the options you opted for ?

Wish you wonderful miles ahead, Drive safe

Cheers,
Sameer
Thanks for the compliments, Sameer.

At the time (5 years ago) I paid about AED 240,000 Which is about Rs 35 lakhs at current exchange rate. I am sure if you tried to buy it in India, the damn taxes would double the price.

These were the options I ordered (keep in mind this is 5 years ago and a lot of these options are now standard in cheaper cars)

- Sports pack (sports seats, sports suspension, 19 inch wheels, can totally deactivate stability control).
- Light package (ambient lighting in the doors, handles - inside and outside).
- Dynamic Radar Cruise (car maintains a certain distance from vehicles in front).
- 8 inch iDrive screen (normally I think it is 6 inch but all the current models have 8 inch I think).
- Auto wipers, rear view mirror dimmers, folding mirrors.
- DVD, TV and 12 speaker surround sound system with 7 cd changer and Aux in.
- Comfort glass - not tinted but reduces heat (absolutely essential in the Middle East).

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover View Post
You are right, we have the 325i which is a 4 door and sells very poorly because it is a petrol, but that would not matter there, would it ? Congrats on a good purchase though.
Thanks, I forgot to mention it has 300 hp combined with 400nm of torque. So it is a pretty potent combination.

Yeah the high price of petrol there is a killer. We pay about Rs 18 per litre (for super) and about 16 for normal.

Funny thing is I have learnt that your fuel economy depends a lot on how you drive.

I could maintain high speeds in this car with the engine barely ticking over. And if I drove it normally (not aggresively), I would get about the same fuel economy as a corolla or civic.

But it is a real shame that they don't even offer the 335d in India. That car is incredible as well. It has 260hp and 500nm of torque. Its especially weird considering Audi sells the A5 and S5 in India.

Last edited by noopster : 25th June 2012 at 15:28. Reason: Please use multi-quote option while replying
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Old 25th June 2012, 15:21   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover

You are right, we have the 325i which is a 4 door and sells very poorly because it is a petrol, but that would not matter there, would it ? Congrats on a good purchase though.
I believe we also get the 330i here in India!
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Old 25th June 2012, 17:15   #6
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Default Re: BMW 3 series coupe (e92) 335i Ownership Review

the wheels are huge! they look great!! I envy you man. Great car you got there.
Petrol is 16 and 18 rupees a litre. Are you serious? I knew it was cheap in the middle east but I didnt know its that cheap!!

@esteem_lover- yup the four door 325i got replaced by the 330i a couple of years ago.
We also have the 330d convertible on offer here,as a CBU.
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Old 25th June 2012, 21:53   #7
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Default Re: BMW 3 series coupe (e92) 335i Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by promit View Post
Petrol is 16 and 18 rupees a litre. Are you serious? I knew it was cheap in the middle east but I didnt know its that cheap!!
You know what the absolutely insane thing about the prices here are?

See, Dubai buys its oil from Abu Dhabi. They pay a little below market rate for crude. After selling it at these prices, the oil companies report a profit.

Granted they don't make too much money but they make enough.

The taxation in India is absolutely insane. It is unjustifiable. All that taxation does is destroys the middle class's spending power and it is the middle class that is the most important for a good economy.

Anyway, back to autos....
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