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    Thread: Test Drove a 135i...

    1. Member droopy1592's Avatar
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      02-25-2012 03:40 PM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by Dawg90 View Post
      While I agree wholeheartedly with your criticism of BMW, the Golf R is 3400 lbs, in a small car with a trunk that's 1 foot deep.
      More like 3300 with a full tank.
      In many ways then this car is like herpes. Great fun catching it but not so much fun living with it every day. - Jeremy Clarkson

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      02-25-2012 05:17 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by TLud View Post
      Very true, but it feels SOOO much smaller and lighter than the M3.
      It's probably the short wheelbase.

      the thing I love about the Golf is that VW hasn't been caught up in the "let's make it bigger every generation" mentality that every other carmaker exhibits. It's why a 3 series is now the size of a stretch limo.

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      02-25-2012 05:44 PM #38
      Quote Originally Posted by Dawg90 View Post
      It's probably the short wheelbase.

      the thing I love about the Golf is that VW hasn't been caught up in the "let's make it bigger every generation" mentality that every other carmaker exhibits. It's why a 3 series is now the size of a stretch limo.
      Yea, the e90 is pretty much same size as the out going e60 chassis. I was told the e90 was easier to sit in rear seats then the e60. lol I don't know how the new F10 chassis compares to the E90.

    4. Member droopy1592's Avatar
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      02-25-2012 06:10 PM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by Boosted2003! View Post
      Yea, the e90 is pretty much same size as the out going e60 chassis. I was told the e90 was easier to sit in rear seats then the e60. lol I don't know how the new F10 chassis compares to the E90.
      It looks long. They even have a stretch version in the works for the Chinese market.


      I like that there's enough room in the back for tall people, and not extra.
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      02-25-2012 06:50 PM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by Tailwagger View Post
      ...for my road cars, I've turned to VW....These are cars, IMO, that build upon a humble, but solid platform to the singular purpose of satisfying the sophisticated enthusiast's desire for a competent road car...the philosophy that underlies the execution of these cars is clear, and to me, far more appealing than the muddled collage of purposes that underlie a modern BMW.
      Drove BMWs exclusively from '89-'07, was a huge enthusiast, and could not have said this better.

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      02-25-2012 06:55 PM #41
      Quote Originally Posted by Dawg90 View Post
      While I agree wholeheartedly with your criticism of BMW, the Golf R is 3400 lbs, in a small car with a trunk that's 1 foot deep.
      3300, possibly less, versus 3600 for the currently available 3xi. 14.8 cubes of cargo... aint one foot deep, nore like 2 and a half, but point taken. OTOH, its a hatch, the trunk is vertical. Regardless, once you get past the Mini or Elise, all modern cars, VW included, are way too heavy. Hopefully that's starting to reverse, but its going to be a while before we bring things back down to sub-Dusenberg levels.

      Regardless, I suffer no illusion that the R is perfect. As I've yet to live with one all I know is from reading, test driving TTs and two years of GTI ownership. I wont be able to comment on its true worth for several month yet. But AFAIC, the BMW I did business with is no more and those of us looking for a small, fun, sporty, well built practical four seater, forgetting about MINI, are forced to look elsewhere. The scary thing about that is there aren't many other places to look. I kiss the ground that, having largely ignored VW since I parted with my Wolfsburg edition Scirocco some 25 years ago, they are still around and capable of producing a car as interesting as fun as the GTI. I'm counting on the R to deliver that same level of fun sans the drawbacks of FWD. If BMW ever starts making the E30 M3 again and they certainly have a chance to do so with the new 4 cyl in a next gen 128, I'll take a look, but for now I'm not counting on it.
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      02-25-2012 09:23 PM #42
      Quote Originally Posted by Tailwagger View Post
      3300, possibly less, versus 3600 for the currently available 3xi. 14.8 cubes of cargo... aint one foot deep, nore like 2 and a half, but point taken. OTOH, its a hatch, the trunk is vertical. Regardless, once you get past the Mini or Elise, all modern cars, VW included, are way too heavy. Hopefully that's starting to reverse, but its going to be a while before we bring things back down to sub-Dusenberg levels.

      Regardless, I suffer no illusion that the R is perfect. As I've yet to live with one all I know is from reading, test driving TTs and two years of GTI ownership. I wont be able to comment on its true worth for several month yet. But AFAIC, the BMW I did business with is no more and those of us looking for a small, fun, sporty, well built practical four seater, forgetting about MINI, are forced to look elsewhere. The scary thing about that is there aren't many other places to look. I kiss the ground that, having largely ignored VW since I parted with my Wolfsburg edition Scirocco some 25 years ago, they are still around and capable of producing a car as interesting as fun as the GTI. I'm counting on the R to deliver that same level of fun sans the drawbacks of FWD. If BMW ever starts making the E30 M3 again and they certainly have a chance to do so with the new 4 cyl in a next gen 128, I'll take a look, but for now I'm not counting on it.
      I feel the same way, the 3 series has becomes less involving and special with each new generation. Even my E46 I feel is less involving, less raw than my E36 was. The newer cars certainly are wonderful cars, I love driving them, but I guess I could stomach $45k for a raw, focused driver's car, but can't stomach it for just a sporty luxury car. Only the M cars still appeal to me, but they're getting ridiculously expensive.

      I'd certainly take a Golf R over a new 3 series, but since I have one of the good older ones, it's not worth trading up. Unless they start discounting heavily at end of life, then it'll be too hard to pass up.

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      02-28-2012 01:33 AM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by Tailwagger View Post
      As a result, for my road cars, I've turned to VW. First the GTI and now the R. These are cars, IMO, that build upon a humble, but solid platform to the singular purpose of satisfying the sophisticated enthusiast's desire for a competent road car. We can argue about how successful they've been, but the philosophy that underlies the execution of these cars is clear, and to me, far more appealing than the muddled collage of purposes that underlie a modern BMW.
      +1 from another former BMW fanboi.

      Having grown up with BMWs, I had never never much cared for VWs until the MkV GTI came out and I test drove one on a lark. While being far from my ideal sports car, it really put me on notice regarding what VW is capable of. Basically, I could hardly design a better daily-driver myself. With the MKVI GTI and R, they just keep getting better.

      While having long been a premium brand with all the associated social baggage, a lot of BMWs used to be fairly modest machines --the E30 and E36 aren't flashy cars by design. Americans just decided that they were the thing to have if you needed to display your upward mobility. And the older 5- and 7- series were downright stately. BMW, in my opinion, has lost any hint of being a manufacturer of cars that are just honest driving machines. I guess that's one thing I really like about the Golf and most current VWs: They manage to come off as humble and sophisticated at the same time.

      My E36 requires a fair amount of regular upkeep and it doesn't even have the true Euro 'M' motor. I shudder at what the maintenance costs of a current BMW might be 15 years from now. I know BMW isn't designing cars for this market, as there is no profit in it, but it sort of strikes me as crass and lacking in engineering integrity to build a car that will basically become a maintenance time-bomb in 6 years.
      Last edited by Charlie84; 02-28-2012 at 01:35 AM.
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      02-28-2012 11:33 AM #44
      My local BMW just got a 2011 135i in, since it will be certified it will have a 6 year 100k mile warranty. It has about 8400 miles on it right now. Manual with the M sport and will be 3k less than the Golf R. I am going to go drive it today and see how it feels, but its very tempting.

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      02-29-2012 12:20 AM #45
      Quote Originally Posted by Runz View Post
      My local BMW just got a 2011 135i in, since it will be certified it will have a 6 year 100k mile warranty. It has about 8400 miles on it right now. Manual with the M sport and will be 3k less than the Golf R. I am going to go drive it today and see how it feels, but its very tempting.
      Would you please report back here after? I'll be very interested to hear what you have to say about the 135i compared to the R. I have my own predictions...
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    11. Semi-n00b
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      02-29-2012 02:14 PM #46
      My wife drives a 2008 135i. It's a fun car, but no where near as fun as my old M Coupe. The flat torque curve is a bit of a snooze, the lack of a limited slip is good for vaporizing the inside rear tire, and it does have a few rattles.

      If you want fast, easily tuneable and don't need awd, the 135i will do most things better than a Golf R, aside from allowing people into the rear seats with any ease, holding much stuff in the trunk and not demolishing rear tires.

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      02-29-2012 02:39 PM #47
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post
      Would you please report back here after? I'll be very interested to hear what you have to say about the 135i compared to the R. I have my own predictions...
      TLDR: I decided against it. I realized that for 3k less than the R i would be sacrificing a ton of features, a nice stereo, the ability to modify it for my own likes, and I would still be in a 2 door. The raw power from just a tune is a very alluring thing, but once you push the car out of a corner, it just peg legs.



      Performance: It was cool, been a while since I drove a stick and was nice to NOT stall the car once even with it being years. I also wound up taking 5-6 phone calls while test driving proving I can still balance the two things.

      The gearbox was VERY notched and I really didn't care for it at all. Felt like it had rubber bushings you had to squeeze the lever through to get to each gear. Great for not missing a gear, horrible for smooth daily driving. The car pulled very hard like all 300hp 3350lb cars should, and had tons of torque to get up a hill at 1k in first. It just didn't feel like me though, it felt like I was forcing performance from a platform that wasn't quite meant for it.


      Here is why:

      After a long exhausting process similar to Graycars I have decided to wait on my Golf R to be made and shipped here.

      My reasons are pretty simple, I want something that is tunable and gets good gas mileage while holding 4 people comfortably and still has a nice interior.

      The interior threw both the STi and Evo out immediately as nice as they are.

      That really only left an S4 or 135/335 in my price range. The M3 is out due to being a high revving V8 with no balls down low for daily driving fun.

      I ruled out the S4 due to weight, same thing with the 335i, so basically down to 4 passenger vehicles of 3400lbs or less.

      The 135 was thrown out last night because of the lack of being able to make it mine. The one I looked at had the base base stereo that SUCKED horribly. Highs were crackly, lows were bottoming out at interstate window down level. When I started researching changing the stereo out in it I found that it was a PITA and a half to change out. That is when I came the realization I wish I had had a few weeks ago.

      The VW will be mine, the modifications, the management, care and everything else can be done by me. The BMW is a car that while you can modify it your not going to get very far before its just like someone else's. In the R I can put w/e stereo I want, and still use my steering wheel controls, I can change and add things as i like. While this isn't a deal breaker it ultimately is something that is very important to me. I felt like in the BMW I would basically chip it and that would be it, maybe some suspension and wheels, where in the VW I could make it a power house down the road if I wanted to. I dont doubt you could do that same to the BMW but to what cost? Valvetronic is cool and scary.

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      02-29-2012 02:50 PM #48
      Glad you figured out which car will fit you the best.

      I agree with a lot of what you said, but this statement just made me lol:

      Quote Originally Posted by Runz View Post
      The M3 is out due to being a high revving V8 with no balls down low for daily driving fun.
      Based on that statement, I'd bet you dollars to donuts that you didn't actually drive the M3. Yes, it has a stratospheric redline and power peaks higher in the rev range, but it still has an awesome amount of power down low, and an amazingly flat torque curve that stretches from end to end of its 8500 rpm rev range. Trust me, it's a beautiful thing. There are downsides to the M3 as a daily driver, but that is not one of them.

      If you did drive the M3 and think it lacks balls down low, then I'm sorry to say, but you'll hate the R.
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      02-29-2012 02:52 PM #49
      Seems like the same decision I'm leaning towards. The functionality of the 5dr R is making up for any drawbacks. Plus, everyone has a BMW (including my old car, and my wife's current car). I miss the rareness of my M Coupe, and while the 1er is semi-rare, they're still all over the place. The R just strikes a really good balance of my current wants.

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      02-29-2012 03:35 PM #50
      Quote Originally Posted by TLud View Post
      Glad you figured out which car will fit you the best.

      I agree with a lot of what you said, but this statement just made me lol:



      Based on that statement, I'd bet you dollars to donuts that you didn't actually drive the M3. Yes, it has a stratospheric redline and power peaks higher in the rev range, but it still has an awesome amount of power down low, and an amazingly flat torque curve that stretches from end to end of its 8500 rpm rev range. Trust me, it's a beautiful thing. There are downsides to the M3 as a daily driver, but that is not one of them.

      If you did drive the M3 and think it lacks balls down low, then I'm sorry to say, but you'll hate the R.
      I drove the grey one at BMW of Chattanooga with the DCT, feel free to look it up.

      I would imagine with a manual they are far more fun, however sub 3k RPM it was terrible. Granted I was also 2 up in the car so about 4-500 in passengers with me.

      I am not saying it was horrible, or didn't pull very hard at the higher rev ranges.

      With that being said, i will race ANY stock M3 in a straight line shifting at 4k vs my GTi shifting at 4k. It pulls harder and stronger, no question. Regardless its 3800lbs and when I threw it into a corner I still could feel that, even with its immense grip.
      Last edited by Runz; 02-29-2012 at 03:47 PM.

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      02-29-2012 03:56 PM #51
      Quote Originally Posted by Runz View Post
      I drove the grey one at BMW of Chattanooga with the DCT, feel free to look it up.

      I would imagine with a manual they are far more fun, however sub 3k RPM it was terrible. Granted I was also 2 up in the car so about 4-500 in passengers with me.

      I am not saying it was horrible, or didn't pull very high at the higher rev ranges.

      With that being said, i will race ANY stock M3 in a straight line shifting at 4k vs my GTi. It pulls harder and stronger, no question. Regardless its 3800lbs and when I threw it into a corner I still could feel that, even with its immense grip.
      I guess you drove an M3 with the laggy DCT issue because everyone who ever drove my 6MT M3 walked away with a very different impression (including a couple of 335i owners who initially made the same comment that you did above).

      I still say that if you didn't like the M3 sub 3k, you will not like the R. The M3 pulls MUCH harder sub-3k rpm than the R (that's where the R really opens up).

      The curb weight is actually around 3,700 lbs on the M3, but I agree completely with your assessment that you could really feel the weight despite its cornering ability. It's one of the reasons I love the R so much in comparison.
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      02-29-2012 07:53 PM #52
      Quote Originally Posted by Runz View Post
      With that being said, i will race ANY stock M3 in a straight line shifting at 4k vs my GTi shifting at 4k. It pulls harder and stronger, no question.
      One of my biggest beefs with BMWs in recent years is that they are basically too good at what they do and this makes them deceptively fast. My favorite example of this is the E46 330i ZHP versus an E36 M3. On paper, their performance numbers are practically identical. In actual real life driving, you'd swear the E36 M3 was the faster car because it's driving experience is so much more lively. The car isolates you less from those signifiers that let you know "hey, now we're really going fast."

      TLud will back me up on this. I believe one of his criticisms of his E90 M3 was that because it's so ridiculously good, you had to be traveling at warp speed to feel like you're having any fun. Not great for a street car.

      In comparing the GTI and M3, I'm sure the GTI really does feel faster to you. But I think what you're actually experiencing is this perceptual phenomenon. The BMW is faster, even under 4K rpm, but it hides it from you.
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    18. 02-29-2012 09:05 PM #53
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post
      One of my biggest beefs with BMWs in recent years is that they are basically too good at what they do and this makes them deceptively fast. My favorite example of this is the E46 330i ZHP versus an E36 M3. On paper, their performance numbers are practically identical. In actual real life driving, you'd swear the E36 M3 was the faster car because it's driving experience is so much more lively. The car isolates you less from those signifiers that let you know "hey, now we're really going fast."

      TLud will back me up on this. I believe one of his criticisms of his E90 M3 was that because it's so ridiculously good, you had to be traveling at warp speed to feel like you're having any fun. Not great for a street car.

      In comparing the GTI and M3, I'm sure the GTI really does feel faster to you. But I think what you're actually experiencing is this perceptual phenomenon. The BMW is faster, even under 4K rpm, but it hides it from you.
      Very true. My E36 subjectively felt faster than my 135 but imperically there is no way that is the case.

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      02-29-2012 09:13 PM #54
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post
      One of my biggest beefs with BMWs in recent years is that they are basically too good at what they do and this makes them deceptively fast. My favorite example of this is the E46 330i ZHP versus an E36 M3. On paper, their performance numbers are practically identical. In actual real life driving, you'd swear the E36 M3 was the faster car because it's driving experience is so much more lively. The car isolates you less from those signifiers that let you know "hey, now we're really going fast."

      TLud will back me up on this. I believe one of his criticisms of his E90 M3 was that because it's so ridiculously good, you had to be traveling at warp speed to feel like you're having any fun. Not great for a street car.

      In comparing the GTI and M3, I'm sure the GTI really does feel faster to you. But I think what you're actually experiencing is this perceptual phenomenon. The BMW is faster, even under 4K rpm, but it hides it from you.
      This I cannot argue with, between the weight and the slow shifting of that DCT I see that as a very possible scenario.

      I also agree in the fact that because its sneaky fast it makes for a horrible street car. I would rather feel dangerous at 80 then 120. the feeling is the same, but one has less consequence. (both are stupid)

      With that being said, I really liked the 135i in comparison, and would have a 1M in my garage if I could get one for near sticker.

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      02-29-2012 10:04 PM #55
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post
      One of my biggest beefs with BMWs in recent years is that they are basically too good at what they do and this makes them deceptively fast. My favorite example of this is the E46 330i ZHP versus an E36 M3. On paper, their performance numbers are practically identical. In actual real life driving, you'd swear the E36 M3 was the faster car because it's driving experience is so much more lively. The car isolates you less from those signifiers that let you know "hey, now we're really going fast."

      TLud will back me up on this. I believe one of his criticisms of his E90 M3 was that because it's so ridiculously good, you had to be traveling at warp speed to feel like you're having any fun. Not great for a street car.

      In comparing the GTI and M3, I'm sure the GTI really does feel faster to you. But I think what you're actually experiencing is this perceptual phenomenon. The BMW is faster, even under 4K rpm, but it hides it from you.
      As the owner of an E46 ZHP and an E92 M3, I couldn't have said it better myself.

      At the time I sold it, I was at the point that if I wasn't going 100 on my way to or from work, I was getting pissed off at the "slow" traffic. In the R, I'm cool going 70.
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      02-29-2012 10:37 PM #56
      Quote Originally Posted by TLud View Post
      A
      At the time I sold it, I was at the point that if I wasn't going 100 on my way to or from work, I was getting pissed off at the "slow" traffic. In the R, I'm cool going 70.
      God, isn't that the truth? These days, I force myself to slow down and trundle along at the speed limit. I get less worked up. BMWs can be murder on one's license/wallet/insurance rates.

      Sometimes I wonder if guys like us should be driving something legitimately slow, but still fun, like Porsche 914s or something. 80 mph in one of those things probably feels like breaking the sound barrier.
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      02-29-2012 10:40 PM #57
      Well, I hope you guys are right about all this fun>fast garbage because I just bought a Golf R today to replace my 135i. It had better be fun because the 135i is frighteningly fast.

      I've had the 135i for 3.5 years after 2 STIs. It's been a great car that you almost never see here in UT. Very comfortable, great MPG, killer stereo (the hifi option, at least), and with a tune, 135s are INCREDIBLY fast but there is something to that TOO FAST criticism others have described. Gun to a knife fight? Is that the phrase? I was going to replace it with a JCW Mini based on the driving involvement factor but made a last second 90-degree turn to the Golf R.

      I hope this works out. I've never even seen one. I pick it up Friday.

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      03-01-2012 10:51 AM #58
      Quote Originally Posted by Charlie84 View Post
      One of my biggest beefs with BMWs in recent years is that they are basically too good at what they do and this makes them deceptively fast. My favorite example of this is the E46 330i ZHP versus an E36 M3. On paper, their performance numbers are practically identical. In actual real life driving, you'd swear the E36 M3 was the faster car because it's driving experience is so much more lively. The car isolates you less from those signifiers that let you know "hey, now we're really going fast."
      Very true. The fastest feeling car I've owned was a '93 Civic EX 5 speed - with an 8000 rpm redline it felt like you were flying.

      My 330i ZHP feels slow on the highway - maybe 0-60 it's a fast as the E36 M3, but above 70 mph I doubt it. I know cause I've raced a buddy's Accord in both my E36 325i and the ZHP, and it wasn't any faster above 70 mph.

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      03-01-2012 12:07 PM #59
      I surprised a 135i last night when he tried to zip passed me lol
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      03-01-2012 12:41 PM #60
      Quote Originally Posted by ToddMcF2002 View Post
      Great car. Funny looking pig belly thing going on but a great car anyway.
      I thought the beauty of BMWs are how ugly they are. Wait, wut?
      Scotch. It's time.

      Quote Originally Posted by Buford T. Injustice View Post
      Wow such Canagay. Much hairy. So cuddles.

    26. Member Tailwagger's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 30th, 2008
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      Boston, MA
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      260
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      2012 R 2dr Base CW 3/27/12
      03-01-2012 05:29 PM #61
      If I was going to spend 50 large on a used M, it be $20K up front and $30K restoring it. For me, the E30 was the best of the bunch when it comes to having fun on the street and the best looking too. Dont argue, its $5/gallon compatible, has sexy flares and a proper wing. The others aren't and don't. Never should have sold mine. It was one of the best cars I've every owned and I've owned a lot.
      2012 R CW 2DR
      2011 F150 SCrew 5.0
      2009 WRX
      2000 911 C2 Aero Brumos Special Edition 'B59'
      1970/73 911 RSR residing within a 2011 ATC 24 ft VNose

    27. Member Alive By time's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 2nd, 2006
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      North San Diego
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      12' CW 4DR Golf [R] (SOLD) 13' RB 4DR Golf R
      03-01-2012 05:32 PM #62
      I think they look sexy.
      Blue One

    28. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 5th, 2012
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      Northern VA
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      2012 Golf R CSG 4-Door Nav Sunroof
      03-01-2012 07:04 PM #63
      It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

      Not that the Golf R is a slow car.

    29. Member
      Join Date
      May 12th, 2002
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      Keller TX.
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      2012 Golf R
      03-01-2012 07:11 PM #64
      Quote Originally Posted by Tailwagger View Post
      For me, the E30 was the best of the bunch when it comes to having fun on the street and the best looking too.
      Amen to that ! My buddy had one when I was stationed in Germany! Sweeeeeet car.

    30. Member
      Join Date
      Sep 28th, 2003
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      '04 330i ZHP
      03-01-2012 08:42 PM #65
      Quote Originally Posted by Tailwagger View Post
      If I was going to spend 50 large on a used M, it be $20K up front and $30K restoring it. For me, the E30 was the best of the bunch when it comes to having fun on the street and the best looking too. Dont argue, its $5/gallon compatible, has sexy flares and a proper wing. The others aren't and don't. Never should have sold mine. It was one of the best cars I've every owned and I've owned a lot.
      First thing I will do when i win the lottery. And get an E34 Euro M5 - sweetest sounding six cylinder I've ever heard.

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