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BMW 335i vs M3

Both BMW’s 335i and M3 series are high-tech and successful models in terms of performance. In summary, while the 335i is more suitable for daily driving, the M3 can be considered a more sporty sedan model. With its high-speed and powerful engine, M3 has superior handling.

BMW is well known for their M series vehicles, the ultimate version of their 3- and 5-series models. Their M3 is an absolute powerhouse on the track or around town and can also serve as an everyday car if necessary. But for those on a tight budget searching for top-tier performance but can’t quite stretch to an M3, BMW also offers the 335i as an economical alternative with similar performance levels. Thus, it can be said that there are some important differences in transmission and suspension for 335i vs M3.

A stock BMW 335i may be quick, but even one heavily modified M3 can outrun it in straight line speed. However, as M3 prices increase and 335i’s become more affordable, the 335i offers an incredible opportunity for affordable German engineering – but is it as good as its rival?

The same differences as in the 335i vs 340i also apply here. For 335i vs M3, there are examples from many different units.


There are some differences in engine performance for 335i vs M3. The BMW 3 Series is an outstanding car, and its E90 generation represents its pinnacle in this premium German automaker’s range-topper lineup. Boasting superb ride and handling qualities as well as classy interior styling, excellent safety features, excellent iDrive technology and a powerful engine, the BMW E90 should be your top choice if you want a three-Series without breaking the bank for an M3.

First and foremost, the BMW 335i stands out due to its lively performance. It can reach 100 km/h from rest in just 5.6 seconds – faster than all but one other coupe on the market and even the M3. Furthermore, its fuel consumption is lower than most rivals in its segment.

Note that the 335i’s speedy performance can be attributed to its powerful twin-turbo inline six-cylinder, codenamed N54 engine. Later versions used a single turbo, yet earlier twin-turbo configuration still packs plenty of punch. Tuner enthusiasts love this engine because of its easy maintenance requirements and ample power handling capacities, making it an excellent platform for tuning. This is an important detail for 335i vs M3.

The BMW 335i stands out from other BMW models by accommodating four passengers at once, making it ideal for buyers needing additional seating capacity. Rear seats are comfortable and there’s ample trunk space; additionally there’s even a handy shelf in the trunk which can hold seven bags of groceries at once!

A major reason behind the 335i’s immense popularity is its outstanding handling. This car deftly manages various road surfaces with ease and its handling balance and geometry rank among the best in its class. Furthermore, its traction control system offers reliable performance even on wet or snowy roads, creating an enjoyable driving experience.

At first glance, it may seem tempting to convert your BMW 335i into an M3 with just a few modifications, but that’s simply not possible. An M3 is an entirely unique beast with special chassis setups and weight-saving parts designed specifically for it, making it far more capable than its standard BMW counterparts.

Related Post: BMW M340i vs M3


The BMW 335i features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine that offers effortless thrust regardless of tachometer readings. Furthermore, tuners have managed to squeeze an impressive 100 horsepower out of its stock configuration.

To realize its full potential, this engine needs bolt-ons and tuning. For those who still prefer manual transmissions, BMW 335i offers an exceptional 6-speed manual that offers instantaneous feedback and plenty of torque.

Both the BMW 335i and M3 offer superior handling characteristics, but the M3 was created specifically to be precise on a racetrack. Less forgiving at its limits and demanding of driver input, but each input received nearly instantly back.

Its chassis balance is exceptional, with adaptive M suspension minimizing body roll during corner entry while keeping the car planted to the road. Brakes offer incredible feel, while steering gives plenty of feedback that gives an impression that one could touch the tyres with their hands – although in reality this would be impossible with any standard BMW. Driving an M3 on track feels like driving something different altogether: from its wide track and big wheels to the functional hood inlet which pulls air in from underneath its wide bonnet inlets.

Different features in brake systems are among the first differences that come to mind for differences between 335i and M3.


Just like in the BMW M2 vs M3, we will examine different details. BMW has long been revered as the Ultimate Driving Machine, with M cars as its crown jewels but its other offerings equally capable. One such non-M vehicle that stands out is the 335i; its chassis tuning makes driving feel natural; you feel connected with it when behind the wheel – truly making this car one of the most balanced, poised products from mainstream automakers available for purchase today.

The key to the 335i’s success lies within its engine. It features an N54B30 block, commonly referred to as “2JZGTE 2.0”, due to its extreme tuner friendliness and ability to handle massive amounts of power without issue. As standard, it produces 302 hp – plenty for any 3-series car!

Even when equipped with run flat tires, the 335i remains adept at handling skid pad tests. Furthermore, its chassis offers smooth steering response and balanced handling, making driving around corners an absolute pleasure.

Regarding its looks, there are various ways you can customize your 335i for more aggressive driving. For instance, adding a rear diffuser and wider fenders can give it a more muscular appearance while upgrading its exhaust system can produce deeper, more aggressive soundscapes.

However, if your goal is to convert your 335i into an M3 challenger, expect to invest some serious cash. There are a few firms who specialize in making cars more aggressive and faster on straights; however these services won’t come cheaply.

The BMW M3 is one of the most desirable cars in its class. Offering the perfect blend of performance and style, it easily outshines its competitors such as Mercedes C300 and Audi A4 3.0-litre TSFI quattro. However, its balance and poise cannot be rivaled by any competitor; thus earning its popularity among performance enthusiasts. If an M3 is out of your price range then 335i provides an affordable alternative option.

Related Post: BMW M3 vs M4


The BMW 335i earned a below-average reliability rating due to an increase in repairs and maintenance issues, while its BMW M3 counterpart earned an above average score. Although overall reliability may be superior on this latter vehicle, be wary of potential problems nonetheless.

Some of the major problems plaguing the BMW 335i include an engine that frequently overheats, cooling system issues and electrical problems which may result in fires – all potentially serious health risks for driver and passengers.

M3 engine problems aren’t unheard-of either, though their severity tends to be less serious than those found in the 335i. N54 and N55 engines often suffer from rod bearing issues which are costly to repair; similarly, throttle body issues in M3 models can prove equally costly as repair costs.

If you want the most reliable BMW 335i, make sure that it was built after 2007. These models have addressed some of the inconsistencies and bugs seen with earlier models.

Nothing compares to the thrill of hearing a naturally aspirated V8 engine revving at 7,000rpm in the BMW M3. Its steering is both responsive and precise, while handling is superior compared to any other BMW car on the road. Although not the fastest vehicle around, the M3 still proves itself capable of challenging even its more powerful competitors on twisty roads or tracks alike.

The BMW M3 is an impressive car in its stock state, but when customized further with performance modifications it becomes even more so. While its power advantage over its 335i counterpart is clear, making upgrades will cost significantly more and may end up making you wish you’d started out with one! In retrospect it may have been wiser to invest in an M3. This is one of the most well-known examples for 335i vs M3.

In summary, for differences between the 335i and M3 can be said that the M3 is suitable for more adrenaline and speed-filled uses.

Juan Gibson

Juan is an automotive engineer and an avid car enthusiast. He has over 15 years of experience in the car industry. In my free time, I write blog posts about cars, models and etc.

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