TDIclub Secret Society of BMW Owners (SSBMWO)

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
I would like to hear what other BMWs have you driven before to make that comparison? According to every car/auto magazine/publication Fxx series BMWs are one of the worst bunch when it comes to handling.
For those that are looking for a F30, F31 or F10 chassis and like sporty handling find one with adaptive suspension, it makes a night and day difference. I'm not sure if that option was even available on 3series diesels here in NA but you can definitely find it in a 535d. Ohh, and good luck finding one, very rare option on a fiver diesel, I guess not everyone wanted to fork out few grand on better suspension.

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Maybe I've been driving modified front drive VWs for too long, but when I got my e90 I was totally underwhelmed by the ride and handling. It feels like a boat to me: Too soft, not enough control of those heavy wheels with run flat tires, more body roll than I'd expect. Getting better tires helped a lot, and swapping in some Konis, which I will eventually, will probably help more. This is the first BMW I've owned but it doesn't strike me as an ultimate driving machine.
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
Maybe I've been driving modified front drive VWs for too long, but when I got my e90 I was totally underwhelmed by the ride and handling. It feels like a boat to me: Too soft, not enough control of those heavy wheels with run flat tires, more body roll than I'd expect. Getting better tires helped a lot, and swapping in some Konis, which I will eventually, will probably help more. This is the first BMW I've owned but it doesn't strike me as an ultimate driving machine.
The sport package makes a big difference but the car itself has its limitations especially when comparing the suspension(s) and engines found in the 5-er. I find the N57 in the 535d much nicer than the "instant on power" of the M57 in the 335d, but both engines deserve a lot of praise. The E90 suspension was dated to be sure and the 6 speed automatic cannot compete with the ZF 8-speed, which BTW is also found in the newer Jaguars.
 

mjez

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Location
Fox Lake, IL
TDI
00 Jetta
I think BMW focused to much on comfort with F chassis cars and after much criticism they decided to move back towards what they used to call Ultimate Driving Machine with Gxx cars. It is an improvement over previous generation.
I've driven both 535d's, with and without adaptive suspension, they are completely different cars. In 535 with adaptive suspension option when in sport, or sport+ it handles more like an older m3. Flat in corners, decent balance, one can not feel that it's a 2+ ton vehicle. In comfort+ on the other hand it smoothes out almost every bump and imperfection in road. It truly is an amazing system worth every penny in my opinion.

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Blue_Hen_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Location
Slower, DE
TDI
owned: 96 B4V, 06 Golf, 12 NMS, 15 GSW
I will agree. The Jetta is nice for its low price but the BMW 335d and 328d are in a different league above for comfort, construction, materials, and even reliability IMO. My 535d, in case you are looking, is what the 335d wanted to be when it grew up - better in almost every way except size and fuel pump (I've owned both and driven the rest).

And of course the 335D is faster.
 

Blue_Hen_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Location
Slower, DE
TDI
owned: 96 B4V, 06 Golf, 12 NMS, 15 GSW
Maybe I've been driving modified front drive VWs for too long, but when I got my e90 I was totally underwhelmed by the ride and handling. It feels like a boat to me: Too soft, not enough control of those heavy wheels with run flat tires, more body roll than I'd expect. Getting better tires helped a lot, and swapping in some Konis, which I will eventually, will probably help more. This is the first BMW I've owned but it doesn't strike me as an ultimate driving machine.

Mine became a lot better feeling once I ditched the run-flats and put a Bilstein B12 Pro Kit on it.
 

Blue_Hen_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Location
Slower, DE
TDI
owned: 96 B4V, 06 Golf, 12 NMS, 15 GSW
The sport package makes a big difference but the car itself has its limitations especially when comparing the suspension(s) and engines found in the 5-er. I find the N57 in the 535d much nicer than the "instant on power" of the M57 in the 335d, but both engines deserve a lot of praise. The E90 suspension was dated to be sure and the 6 speed automatic cannot compete with the ZF 8-speed, which BTW is also found in the newer Jaguars.

Wow, that's the first time I've ever heard someone complain about "instant on power." LMFAO. I do believe that is the precise reason BMW put the extra turbo on the 335D.
 

mjez

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Location
Fox Lake, IL
TDI
00 Jetta
And of course the 335D is faster.
Faster than TDI is an understatement. I went head to head with one in my e46 m3 and we were even passed 100 mph. It was slightly modified, I think stage II with downpipe and intercooler pushing about 330 hp to the wheels. But even stock is pretty wild.

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Blue_Hen_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 23, 2005
Location
Slower, DE
TDI
owned: 96 B4V, 06 Golf, 12 NMS, 15 GSW
Faster than TDI is an understatement. I went head to head with one in my e46 m3 and we were even passed 100 mph. It was slightly modified, I think stage II with downpipe and intercooler pushing about 330 hp to the wheels. But even stock is pretty wild.

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I had a red e46 M3 run up all over my arse on I-95 in Philly a few weeks back when I was bottled up in traffic. He got a rude awakening once the left lane camper ahead of me moved over. He wasn't close to keeping up. I finally let off at about 120 and he finally got by me after I coasted a few seconds.
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
I had a red e46 M3 run up all over my arse on I-95 in Philly a few weeks back when I was bottled up in traffic. He got a rude awakening once the left lane camper ahead of me moved over. He wasn't close to keeping up. I finally let off at about 120 and he finally got by me after I coasted a few seconds.
From Top Gun: Jester: “That was some of the best flying that I’ve seen to date — right up to the part where you got killed.”
 

capt_slow

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Location
SoCal
TDI
2015 GSW TDI SEL
For those that are looking for a F30, F31 or F10 chassis and like sporty handling find one with adaptive suspension, it makes a night and day difference. I'm not sure if that option was even available on 3series diesels here in NA but you can definitely find it in a 535d.

The 2VF Adaptive Suspension is a standalone option on the F30/F31 328d. VSS was only officially available on the gassers, but you could special order it on the diesels. Agree both are rare options to find in the wild, that's why I ordered my F31 that way.


On another note, I've driven the G20 M340i and I would have picked one up had I not bought out the lease on the F31.
 

kenjazzman

Member
Joined
May 19, 2002
Location
South Jersey
TDI
2 B4s: '97 grey & '96 red
I've owned 4 TDIs, going back to the '96-97 B4 Passats, and loved them all. Not anticipating a successful fix, I reluctantly turned in my 2010 manual Jetta SW in the "dieselgate" program.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a CPO 2014 BMW 535d X-drive at a price I was willing to pay. I love the car. The engine is an absolute beast and it has given me 37 mpg in pure highway driving, sensibly done. It's a really nice combination of comfort, performance and mpg.
Nevertheless, I'm thinking of selling it. I find that the upkeep is a little rich for my blood. The cache of driving a BMW means nothing to me; the cost of tires, cv boots and oil changes does mean something to me. (Obviously, I'm not handy with cars.) With the car needing nothing, I could sell it with a clear conscience.
The other thing is that I miss driving a stick. The plan would be to replace the 535d with a nice, low-miles CPO 2015 manual Passat TDI. I'd be giving up some crazy torque, but am I correct in assuming the TDIs still have their peppiness, even with the fix?
Otherwise, I'll just hang on to the 535d until someone invents the electric car I would buy.
 

Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
The first "manual" vehicle I had was a Honda 70 trail bike. What a joy. It had a transmission that could be shifted forward or back through the gears.

My 535d has such a mode if you move the shifter over to the left, with or without putting it in "sport" mode. I'm not sure if your 2014 is with a sport transmission as my year they had it standard with paddles.

Try it if you really crave a manual. The BMW 8-speed automatic locks up in every gear.


I'm not interested so much any more but would buy a manual Porsche any day if I could afford an additional car.....
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
My biggest complaint about my 335d is that it's an automatic. It's a good automatic, not too many gears and not a DSG so it behaves, and the car has so much power it doesn't need to shift often, but it would be so much better with a manual. BMW didn't have a manual that could hold up to that engine's power and fit in the 3 series body, so we're stuck with automatics. If there was a way to do it, I'd consider a swap.
 

mjez

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Location
Fox Lake, IL
TDI
00 Jetta
BMW didn't have a manual that could hold up to that engine's power and fit in the 3 series body, so we're stuck with automatics. If there was a way to do it, I'd consider a swap.
That is true but only in North America. I'm not sure about rest of the world but in Europe E9x 330d, which is equivalent of 335d in NA market, was offered with manual gearbox. I'm not sure about European 335d but I don't see why not.
Also, someone has swapped transmission in 335d here in states for a manual one.
https://youtu.be/3INV9G17ffU

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Tin Man

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 18, 2001
Location
Coastal Empire
TDI
Daughter's: 2004 NB TDI PD GLS DSG (gone to pasture)
As I recall, the NA version of the 335d had a European equivalent also without a manual, if memory serves me right. The single turbo version of the E90 inline six 3.0 liter diesel may have had a manual available though.


The NA 335d had the automatic transmission from the 7 series.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
There wasn't a 335d manual offered by BMW in any market for the reason I mentioned above.

I hadn't seen that video. I knew people were trying, didn't know if they'd pulled it off. But TBH I don't like the car enough to make that big an investment. If I was going to spend $$ on a manual swap it would probably be for my Mercedes 300D.
 

gmenounos

Vendor
Joined
Jun 26, 2003
Location
Watertown, MA, USA
TDI
'99.5 Golf GLS, '01 Jetta GLX Wagon (TDI conversion)
 
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