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      01-24-2014, 02:32 PM   #1
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435xi test drive - not exactly wowed!

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Last week I was able to test drive a 435xi M-Sport with 6MT.

While there were many aspects of the car that I liked: beautiful lines and profile, refined ride and power train, smooth acceleration and shifting, and a very good interior - there were aspects that were disappointing.

When compared to both my current car (2011 335xi with a lowered KW1 suspension + ECU tune) and a 2013 Audi S5 (that I test drove directly after the 435xi on the exact same roads), it had signicant body roll, the steering was numb, the car felt heavy and large, and just wasn't as much fun to drive as the other two cars.

Pretty much all the reviews I have read on the 435 were very positive, so
was I expecting too much from the 435xi? Or maybe my 335xi with the upgrades is just a a darn good car!

I'll probably go back and try both the 435xi and S5 again and see if I have the same reactions. I am also patiently waiting for my local dealer to get in an M235i for me to drive.

I am not looking to turn this into an Audi vs. BMW flame war, so let's not go there.

George
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      01-24-2014, 02:50 PM   #2
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I'm not sure how much our opinions will matter since we already chose the F30/F32, but the Audi S5 is a definitely a less comfort-oriented car than a 4-Series. You'll have to decide what you prefer.

All new BMWs have little-to-no "body roll." Your perspective is being shaped by the aggressive aftermarket suspension on your current car. No BMW of any year, including M cars, will be that stiff from the factory.

Also, the F30 and F32 are both about 100lbs LIGHTER than the E90 generation, so it should have not felt "heavy" but it is a little larger. The only thing I will totally agree on is I would prefer less assist on the steering.

Last edited by olinjohnston; 01-24-2014 at 02:57 PM.
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      01-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #3
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What driving modes (comfort, sports, Eco) did you test? What suspension option was on the test car? I have TC Kline double adjustable on my M Roadster and my 435i with M-Sport suspension corners almost as flat as my Roadster does. The 435i is also much smoother over the road than my Roadster is. The 4 Series is a larger car than the 3 Series, but it is also wider with a lower CG. They are not the same cars, so you will feel differences.
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      01-24-2014, 02:57 PM   #4
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      01-24-2014, 02:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olinjohnston View Post
I'm not sure how much our opinions will matter since we already chose the F30/F32, but the Audi S5 is a definitely a less comfort-oriented car than a 4-Series. You'll have to decide what you prefer.

All new BMWs have little-to-no "body roll." Your perspective is being shaped by the aggressive aftermarket suspension on your current car. No BMW of any year, including M cars, will be that stiff from the factory.
Total agreement on the 435 having a better cockpit and ergonomics when compared to the S5. Audi's MMI is especially annoying and unintuative compared to the iDrive. I also felt that the BMW's seats were better and there was significantly more leg room (front and back). All very good things!

While I agree that my KW1 suspension is a fantastic upgrade over the stock sport suspension in 335xi, we will have to disagree that there is little to no roll on new BMW's. I also wouldn't say that my suspension equals or is better than the M3's I have been in (2006-2011). But obviously that is very subjective.

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      01-24-2014, 03:00 PM   #6
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Heavy? Isn't the S5 pushing 4000 lbs?
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      01-24-2014, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COKen View Post
What driving modes (comfort, sports, Eco) did you test? What suspension option was on the test car? I have TC Kline double adjustable on my M Roadster and my 435i with M-Sport suspension corners almost as flat as my Roadster does. The 435i is also much smoother over the road than my Roadster is. The 4 Series is a larger car than the 3 Series, but it is also wider with a lower CG. They are not the same cars, so you will feel differences.
I had about a 35 minute test drive on local roads and highway. First 10 minutes or so were in normal mode and I switched to sport for the rest of the time. That did tighten up the suspenion and steering.

The car did not have the DHP.

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      01-24-2014, 03:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auf Deutsche View Post
Heavy? Isn't the S5 pushing 4000 lbs?
From what I can tell, all the cars are roughly the same weight:

335xi - 3750lbs
435xi - 3800lbs
S5 - 3850lbs

Is this correct?

Regardless of weight, the S5 and 335 didn't feel as large and heavy as the 435.

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      01-24-2014, 03:15 PM   #9
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Your modified suspension has altered your frame of reference to compare the new car fairly.

I can say just throwing springs on the new F3x cars makes a substantial difference to feedback and body roll and your coilovers are far more impact-ful than just springs. Same for your tires, I have the same PSS in the same 275mm out back and again, made a huge difference compared to the stock tire.
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      01-24-2014, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zybar View Post
I had about a 35 minute test drive on local roads and highway. First 10 minutes or so were in normal mode and I switched to sport for the rest of the time. That did tighten up the suspenion and steering.

The car did not have the DHP.

George
The suspension does not change unless DHP is installed. Steering gets a bit tighter on non DHP cars though.

DHP makes an enormous difference IMHO. You really need to try and find one with DHP, I think it might change your opinion slightly. Plus the non DHP XDrive suspension really doesn't lend itself to sporty driving. A non DHP M Sport RWD car would feel tighter than the non-DHP Xdrive setup.
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      01-24-2014, 04:28 PM   #11
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OP did you see DHP on the window sticker?

If not, you drove a car with the base model (non sport) suspension even though it had the M sport package because it was xdrive

You shouldn't make a judgement until you drive a RWD option 704 (passive sport suspension) or DHP equipped car.
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      01-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n55x3 View Post
The suspension does not change unless DHP is installed. Steering gets a bit tighter on non DHP cars though.

DHP makes an enormous difference IMHO. You really need to try and find one with DHP, I think it might change your opinion slightly. Plus the non DHP XDrive suspension really doesn't lend itself to sporty driving. A non DHP M Sport RWD car would feel tighter than the non-DHP Xdrive setup.
^^^THIS
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      01-24-2014, 05:21 PM   #13
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Drive a Sport/Msport car with DHP in Sport mode and report back.....RWD preferrably.
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      01-24-2014, 05:24 PM   #14
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Definitely no DHP.

Will see if I can find one with DHP on my next drive.

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      01-24-2014, 05:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zybar View Post
Definitely no DHP.

Will see if I can find one with DHP on my next drive.

George
Please understand that DHP does not eliminate body roll in its entirety. If you go into a test drive with this expectation, you will come away disappointed. The body still does roll some, then settles....all the while providing tenacious grip.

It admittedly is something that requires an adjustment period that comes with any decent length of ownership. This is why the journalists lament the "softening" of the F series to the E series.

I think the handling is superb, but, I also don't like to sugar coat things either.....there is body roll present in the non M (i.e excluding F80) F series; the degree to which, is influenced by the suspension configuration of the vehicle. Is there any stock configuration that eliminates body roll or minimizes it to where its not discernable......the answer is NO.
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      01-24-2014, 05:46 PM   #16
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OP...me and the wife compared the 435xi with DHP and an S5 with sport differential, both with MT. We preferred the sportier driving experience of the S5 - the supercharger gives lots of low rpm torque and doesn't let up. And it is a beautiful car. The 435xi seems to want to play at higher rpm, so it requires some more rev management. I can understand why PPK is in such high demand. Definitely a great looking car too.

We ordered the 435xi last weekend for ED in July. With DHP and performance tires. And we will get PPK. Similarly optioned it is a far better value than the S5, especially when doing ED and leasing. About $270 per month cheaper. And the S5 is about to enter its final production year in its current form...as you say, the nav is a bit cumbersome...it needs an update when compared to the bmw.

My butt won't be able to tell the difference in handling once the car is in my driveway and the S5 test drive is a distant memory, but my wallet will.
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      01-24-2014, 05:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvenKeel View Post
Please understand that DHP does not eliminate body roll in its entirety. If you go into a test drive with this expectation, you will come away disappointed. The body still does roll some, then settles....all the while providing tenacious grip.

It admittedly is something that requires an adjustment period that comes with any decent length of ownership. This is why the journalists lament the "softening" of the F series to the E series.

I think the handling is superb, but, I also don't like to sugar coat things either.....there is body roll present in the non M (i.e excluding F80) F series; the degree to which, is influenced by the suspension configuration of the vehicle. Is there any stock configuration that eliminates body roll or minimizes it to where its not discernable......the answer is NO.
I'll add that my sister has a G37 sedan with the Sport Suspension (passive) that corners flatter than my DHP equipped F30. However, the difference in ride quality between the two vehicles is absolutely night and day. No way would i trade the ride quality of the F30 for the flatter cornering of her car.
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      01-24-2014, 07:18 PM   #18
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I test drove both the 435i and 428i and agree they both felt heavy compared to the S5/A5 even though they weigh less. I think the default gearing, amongst other power delivery things, on the Audi models is more aggressive and somewhere between the comfort and sport mode on the BMW. This could make the Audi feel peppier but also less efficient on MPG. if you start off with the BMW in Sport mode it feels even peppier and lighter than the Audi models.

Also keep in mind Audi S cars are performance models and should not be compared to the 335 or 435 models. The 4 series is a grand touring coupe period. I traded my S4 in for the 428i, the S4 is a performance car, was absolutely flat in every corner, had gobs of easily accessible power, but also was louder a little less refined and loved to drink and to date in my line of owned vehicles was the best handling car I've ever owned. But I really really like my new 428i.
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      01-24-2014, 07:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I test drove both the 435i and 428i and agree they both felt heavy compared to the S5/A5 even though they weigh less. I think the default gearing, amongst other power delivery things, on the Audi models is more aggressive and somewhere between the comfort and sport mode on the BMW. This could make the Audi feel peppier but also less efficient on MPG. if you start off with the BMW in Sport mode it feels even peppier and lighter than the Audi models.

Also keep in mind Audi S cars are performance models and should not be compared to the 335 or 435 models. The 4 series is a grand touring coupe period. I traded my S4 in for the 428i, the S4 is a performance car, was absolutely flat in every corner, had gobs of easily accessible power, but also was louder a little less refined and loved to drink and to date in my line of owned vehicles was the best handling car I've ever owned. But I really really like my new 428i.
The S4/S5 are direct competitors of the 335/435. Same price and same performance. If leasing though BMW has a much better deal usually.
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      01-24-2014, 07:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
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The S4/S5 are direct competitors of the 335/435. Same price and same performance. If leasing though BMW has a much better deal usually.
I totally beg to differ I've had both, the S4 is in between the 335i/435 and M models, I don't care about the price or spec sheets.
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      01-24-2014, 07:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christos
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToyotaBMW View Post
The S4/S5 are direct competitors of the 335/435. Same price and same performance. If leasing though BMW has a much better deal usually.
I totally beg to differ I've had both, the S4 is in between the 335i/435 and M models, I don't care about the price or spec sheets.
That's highly unlikely. Mperformance takes care of the S models. M takes care of the RS models. Granted Audi wants you to feel the S is a notch below the M, in reality it isn't
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      01-24-2014, 07:56 PM   #22
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That's highly unlikely. Mperformance takes care of the S models. M takes care of the RS models. Granted Audi wants you to feel the S is a notch below the M, in reality it isn't
Your opinion, have you had any one them? Note I also said in between, yes I agree the M is compared to the Rs models
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Last edited by Christos; 01-24-2014 at 08:03 PM.
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