What to get… 2005 BMW M3 or 2007 BMW 335?

3-Series | October 10th, 2008 by 37

Which car should get is the question? My cousin has the option of getting a 2005 BMW M3, with low miles, or for about $2,000 …

Which car should get is the question? My cousin has the option of getting a 2005 BMW M3, with low miles, or for about $2,000 more, he can get a 2007 BMW 335i Coupe.

If you were in his shoes, which one would you get and most important, why? I personally think the 335 is a better choice because the insurance is cheaper, they both go from 0-60 in about the same amount of time and the 335i gets better gas mileage and it has a new body style.

My cousin on the other hand said that the M3 holds a better name.

What to get... 2005 BMW M3 or 2007 BMW 335?

What to get... 2005 BMW M3 or 2007 BMW 335?

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  • Gragop

    I face the same problem in the next few months. Personally, I say the M3. I think that in 20 years, the E46 M3 will be seen as the car to be had as it was the last of the BMW’s to really engross the driver. It will also possibly be the last (I’m guessing here) six cylinder, naturally aspirated engines from M division.

    Seriously, is there a BMW fan out there who doesn’t love the E46 M3 CSL? That’s one of my all-time favorites. To me, the M3 defines a lot of what BMW was pre-late 2005/2006.

  • Javier

    2005 M3 FTW. The 2007 one has the new body, which is, IMHO, a royal POS.

    If you are considering an M3 or a 335 then for certain gas mileage is not a parameter.

    About that E9X fugly body… I know, I know. It’s a matter of taste, so there really isn’t a truly objective reasoning in this whole issue.

  • GabsoN

    I would get the m3, because it is M3… But 335i is more iconomical and it is new – it will have guarantee.
    And one more thing, if i wanted to get the newest 3 series coupe, i would wait for the facelift. ;)

  • L1ndja

    This is a really uncomfortably position lol well i dont have the money for either but if i had to choose between an M3 05 and en 335i07 i would choose the 335i over the M3.OK, you might think im gay but im not i absolutely love the M3 it is one of the best cars ever made but with new laws coming in soon the M3 would cost you much more and it also is less fuel efficient oh and i forgot something is the 335i a sedan or a coupe???cause if it is a sedan dont get it.It absolutely sucks i would rather pay more on taxes and fuel than have that shit…It doesnt deserve the name of the ultimate driving machine “BMW”

  • Amr Maranello

    I will Choose BMW ///M3 2005 it’s the better in design ,shape and performance .. I adore it ;)

  • JakeC

    I would go for the M3 only if it was CPO with a warranty. While I agree the M3 is a classic and has a certain aura about it. It will cause problems and go to the shop. And unless your pocketbook is fat you don’t want to be paying that repair bill. So if the M3 is not a CPO I would go with the 335i coupe provided the 335i coupe was CPO with a warranty.

    – J

  • Hantra

    Take both of them into a tunnel and roll all the windows down. That’s an easy decision. ;-)

    I agree with a previous poster on waiting for the facelift if he wants an E92.

  • okeribok

    For you: take the M3. For me: I’ll take the 335.
    This basically means that the M3 has more heart, but the 335 makes more sense. Personally, I drive an E46 compact diesel and I think that there is no BMW for me in the current lineup: a 3 series hatch, with somewhat individual styling.

    • Doug

      That’s exactly what I want – although a subtle one, not a “brake” design”

  • Joe

    M3 hands down. Looks better and those rims are nuts.

  • Gragop

    If I had much deeper pockets I’d do everything in my power to snatch up a CSL and import it. Federalizing a CSL might be a wee bit difficult though.

  • Marek Javorek

    Dude get the M3,Its not only about the 0-60 Times that are similar.But the M is tuned to be more responsive and to have better performacne overall.

  • Donny

    No, no, no … lets not kid ourselves here. Get the 335i, and don’t think twice about it. The engine is superior, and the body is more refined, more modern, and just more bitchin’!

  • whatever

    335 FTW!! drop a huge turbo in there with all the supporting mods and you can double your HP.

  • Eric

    Depends on how he uses it. I had a 2002 E46 M3 and traded it last year for a 335i coupe manual. I commute 40 miles a day in LA traffic, and the 335, like one of the comments above, makes more “sense” as a daily driver. I LOVED my M3, but I knew the new E92 M3 was just too much car with the V8 – weight, low fuel economy, etc. In everyday driving, the 335 is as fast as the M3. But it obviously lacks the “edge” and grunt and hard-edged nature of the M3. If this is a weekend car that he’s going to covet and polish and tear up mountain roads in, absolutely the M3. It’s more fun, where the 335 is more rational. He needs to consider maintenance costs on M3 however – out of warranty it is costly to maintain.

  • Auday

    I faced exactly the same question 5 months ago, and after driving both cars the answer was sooo easy, E46 M3 Competition Package was my car. The E92 335i is fast and has crazy torque, but that’s not what a real BMW enthusiast look for, what we want is a car that makes you feel part of it and make you smile with each turn you take.

    P.S: my car is a 2006 E46 M3 Comp Package 6spd manual Carbon black with Cinnamon interior, a gorgeous one!

  • Lee

    E46 M3, without a doubt. While the 335 is a great car and not a bad option, there’s more to the M3 than what you’re going to see by comparing 0-60 times.

    Being a former e46 M3 owner and having the chance to drive many 335s at work, neither are bad options. My money still goes to the e46 M3, though.

  • Redwood

    As much as I love the M3, I would say go for the 335. I think the 335 coupe is gorgeous (so is the M3). I wouldn’t say a person considering both vehicles doesn’t care about gas mileage at all. The 335 gets decent gas mileage, the M3 doesn’t. The insurance difference is probably not that huge. Even regular BMWs have high insurance rates (speaking from having owned regular an M BMWs). However, the repair costs are a lot higher on the M3 and if you’ve watched Edmunds’ experiece with a 2002 long-term M3, there are quite a few issues that will come up in the next few years at great expense. However, if it’s not too late to get an extended warranty on the M3, that might make that a non-issue for a while.

  • Clara

    It’s interesting — and surprising — to read the comments here. To me, the M3 wins because of it’s obviously superior handling. It’s a lower, smaller car, and has a better tuned suspension. The E92 to me insulates the driver too much from the interaction of car and road in the interests of being a luxury car and other silly distractions (eg, run-flats). It is less responsive, and the subtle road changes are less communicated. Naturally, both are still excellent, but it depends on what you’re focused on.

  • Lee

    Maintenence costs are only marginally higher with the M3 (once they are both out of BMW’s included free maintenence). The main differences being that the M3 calls for more expensive fluid in the diff and will need valve shims ever 60k miles.

    Perhaps I’m missing something else here, but beyond those two differences they’re pretty much going to require the same things. The 335 might even come with slightly higher labor times (maybe) due to having more stuff crammed in the engine bay. Honestly I haven’t done much major work on them yet for me to really say for sure. When we see them it’s typically for an oil/filter, CEL or track inspection. Once they start to fall out of warranty, that’ll change pretty quickly.

    You really can’t go wrong with those two options, though. Kinda like having to choose between a bottle of Chimay or Maredsous. Neither are going to leave you disappointed.

  • Volan

    I dont know any BMWs that can/should be judged by the 0-60: if thats your goal, you are barking to the wrong tree altogether- get anything american with muscle. I will let you decide by following that link:

  • Volan

    Let me also add that I never had/seen a 0-60 more than 5.2 sec for the M3- so dont know how that driver managed to get a 5.4…..

  • Alessandro

    Hey guys, this is my 335 in front of my house i was surprised that they took this picture.


  • Frankie

    I have a 02 black e46 ///M3, Mostly stock (27.435) miles. My friend HAD a 06 335i. yes I drove it, just didn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong 335i is a nice car, and yes. it comes with a warrenty. I will ALWAYS choose the e46 ///M3. Both these cars are sweet. One more thing……..I can’t stand the hipe about that piece of shit pontiac G8. It is a daycare car for young rich women, so why are dudes driving these shit boxes. I remember when Sion came out, jesuschrist don’t get me started on that. these punks thought this car was the next best think to sliced bread. They still have their highschool tassel’s hanging from rear views….lol. love you’s, sorry for venting. Frank

  • robert

    i’d buy both

  • luis

    Do your research… the 335i kills the m3 in most performance categories including cornering (sorry all M3 owners) plus can get 30 mpg on the highway.
    Much better technology, maybe the 08 M3 will beat the 335.

  • ORG

    I too am weighing these exact options over the next 6 months. I think much depends on your age and how you plan to use the car. I’m staring down age 50 and for me driving a track ready car like the rugged M3, on a regular basis, isn’t sounding that great. The 335 coupe has milder road manners than the M3 and could be a dialy driver;however, I plan to drive it about 6000 miles/year and keep it for around 10 years. Here’s the dilemma part for me: I don’t care about the extra stiff suspension of the M3 or driving a stick-shift in Dallas traffic, and I’ve always wanted one! or The 335 coupe makes more sense for my style of driving I will enjoy tooling around in a car that’s easier to drive and has newer technology and gets better gas mileage.
    Good luck to you.

    • Doug

      It’s not the stick that’s the problem in traffic, it’s the m3’s throttle response.

  • Geoff

    I say it depends on what you want do you want more of a race car or a everyday car i drove both of them a couple days back for my decision in the summer and this summer im going for the E46 M3 ya its a bit harder louder and blah blah blah but if you love your cars and are a enthusiasts you will be able to manage with it and if your worried save up about another 1 or 2 grand and buy yourself the warranty for the M3 and your all set :) cheers mate

  • Jason

    I wouldn’t want to get any of these without a subscription. I have an 04 M3 and that saved me more than $4K in repairs and parts already.

  • Jake

    The 335i is something that you can’t appreciate unless you drive it. The way engine pulls hard in any gear due to the bigger torque flexibility (jab the gas pedal down at 500rpms and you still PULL) provides an experience that can’t be met by the M3 in real world/public road driving!! The M3’s tires will spin at 6000rpms, the 335i’s spin 2000rpms! Tires don’t last long :) It’s easier to speed when you don’t have to rev the motor to high rpms, torque delivery at 100mph without screaming.. nothing like it!

  • Jeff

    As an m3 owner…. I take pride in saying I drive an M…

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  • The man

    ///M3 has a LSD. 335i do not. M3 has a dip stick. 335i do not! If you enjoy cars, get the ///M. If you need a quick A 2 B tool and have a bad back get the 335i.

  • Yassin Sibai

    I just had to make the same choice this weekend. M3 2006 or 335i 08 and I test drove both and they both were asking same price. Ended up buying the M3 and will never look back :)

  • BMWmeat

    i have an 07 335i and i love it but i like the //M3 as well but if it was 05 M3 vs 07 335 ill take the 335i all day…