Last post on Apr 06, 2009 at 9:22 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Pontiac G8, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS 350, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#96 of 102 Re: Thoughts from a 3-series shopper
Mar 10, 2009 (9:00 pm)
Yeah, I'm shopping new cars at the moment too and drove a 335d and 335i auto (didn't like the turbo lag in the diesel and didn't like the trans in the 335i either). Then I drove a 335i stick and liked it much better. Also drove a G8 GT and was quite impressed with the driveline and chassis. Nice steering feedback and great auto trans-- way better than the Bimmers' auto. And the engine feels and sounds great. Only problem with it is the exterior looks like a Japanese video game, with all the fake scoops and such. Interior is well-put together but not very pretty. Then I drove an '06 Z06. Holy crap that thing goes! And it's loud--but a good loud from the 427 V8. But the seats suck in that car and the steering is numb-- at least in that '06. Haven't driven a post-'08 Vette yet where they allegedly improved the steering.
So, now what? I'd love a 3-series with the G8 engine and trans. Then you'd have something.
#97 of 102 Re: Thoughts from a 3-series shopper [hgerhardt]
Mar 11, 2009 (7:52 am)
Did you have the 335i auto in Sport mode, or regular Drive mode, when you drove it?
I have a 535Xi with auto, and I find the Sport mode much more responsive than Drive, but Drive mode smoother in rush hour traffic.
#98 of 102 Re: Thoughts from a 3-series shopper [bruceomega]
Mar 11, 2009 (12:18 pm)
Yes, tried it both ways. It wants to hold upper gears for as long as possible, it seems, probably to maximize gas mileage. It was annoying... you see a hole in traffic, punch it... and nothing for far too long until the computer decides to actually complete the downshift. It's like it can't decide whether to shift one or two gears at once and hesitates until it makes up its mind. Paddle shifting manually worked OK, but that's not how you drive in the city.
The trans in the G8 was immediate in its downshifts. Worked exactly as a good auto should. I also drove a new CTS with the same trans as the G8, but in that application it was more like the Bimmer's auto. Therefore, the software calibration in the G8 is what makes it good.
#99 of 102 Re: Thoughts from a 3-series driver [bowtiefan1]
Mar 14, 2009 (4:12 am)
Thanks to all for the advice re pricing and new vs used.
My 3-series doesn't come off lease for another 9 months, so I've got some time. Leasing the BMW used to make sense b/c the great residuals and included service made it a cheap proposition for a few years. Right now, those residuals are falling fast and BMW is pushing customers to buy rather than lease. I am hesitant to buy a BMW because service costs out of warranty can be insane.
If I get a G8 or Camaro, I will almost certainly buy new. For an American car, the resale values are dismal (as noted by several of you), so the purchase only makes sense if I decide I want to hold on to it until it dies. With a US car, I am not so worried about service costs out of warranty.
#100 of 102 Re: Thoughts from a 3-series driver [steveinvt]
Mar 14, 2009 (8:56 am)
I am hesitant to buy a BMW because service costs out of warranty can be insane.
The two main groups that perpetuate the "BMWs cost a bazillion dollars to fix" myth are:
1. Shady BMW dealers who are trying to scare customers into a new or CPO car.
2. Envious fools with a "sour grapes" mentality.
Speaking of fools, on one of the Mazdaspeed boards(where opposable thumbs are a rarity) some doofus was telling me that he had a friend with a 2008 3er and how the oil service cost $175. I asked why the car wasn't covered by BMW's free maintenance; he said that it was- but the dealer put the price of the service on the invoice to show what it would cost out of warranty. Hmmmm, my dealer never does that, but then they charge less than 60 percent of that price to do the same service.
In addition, where you live also affects servicing costs. My local dealer(Swope BMW, Louisville) performed an Inspection II(AKA the 60,000 mile service) and a brake fluid flush on my wife's X3 for just $374. In contrast, Santa Monica BMW charges $1105 for the same work. I know that the cost of living in California is higher than that of Kentucky, but 295% higher? There are also many good independent BMW shops that offer great service for a reasonable price. And if you are a member of the BMW Car Club you'll find that most dealers and indie shops offer Club discounts of up to 25% on parts and or labor.
If it makes you feel any better, my first truly fast BMW(top speed of over 140) was a 1988 M6 that had just gone out of warranty. The original owner dropped it like a hot potato in 1992 fearing exorbitant running costs- and I gladly picked it up. The only thing that actually was pricey was the engine- a modified version of one of BMW's successful competition engines. The short block alone cost $15K back then. Well, I autocrossed it, tracked it, won countless Stoplight Grand Prix, and in general had a ball with the sled. There were no budget-busting disasters. I only sold it because my kid's car seat wouldn't fit in the rear bucket seat. I still miss it... Having said all that, the newer 7ers and the V8/V10 M cars CAN be pricey to maintain- but the E90/E92 3ers simply aren't that expensive to run.
Note that I'm not saying that the G8 or Camaro would be a bad choice. I just wanted to point out that the running costs for a 3er aren't nearly as bad as some seem to think.
Mar 26, 2009 (9:27 am)
I drove a g8 gt recently. General impressions:
* The sport seats are very nice.
* Wish the sides didn't slope in so much. My head is practically resting on the roof rail.
* The engine, at low RPM, is very very quiet.
* The auto trans started out in a high gear, and i felt like i was lugging the thing. Press gas more, still lugging. Then press a little more and it drops 2 gears and i'm going like a bat out of hell. Would have liked a manual better.
* car is pretty composed even over rough roads, but felt somewhat ponderous.
Seems like a good car for the price, but not sure if it's going to come out ahead of a 335i for me. Maybe the GXP would be better ( manual tranny, stiffer suspension ).
#102 of 102 CTS & G8 GT trans. Re: Thoughts from a 3-series shopper [hgerhardt]
Apr 06, 2009 (9:22 am)
“I also drove a new CTS with the same trans as the G8, but in that application it was more like the Bimmer's auto. Therefore, the software calibration in the G8 is what makes it good.”
Actually, the trans. in the CTS is a 6L50, in the G8 GT, it is a 6L80. They are physically different as well as the software \ calibrations being a lot different.
I test drove a fully loaded CTS DI [ and drove a more mundanely equipped CTS as a rental for almost a week ] and I would agree that the CTS is calibrated much more toward the ‘luxury sedan’ end of the scale – where the G8 GT is calibrated as a ‘sport sedan’. There were several aspects of the CTS trans. [mis-]behavior that I found very annoying, when driven in a [ um ] spirited manner. Though when driven like a more traditional luxury car, with my daughter in the co-pilot’s seat, in & around San Diego for a couple of days – it was acceptable.
Very happy 6L80 driver . . .