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Old 12-03-2018, 04:05 PM   #1
cbr1100xx
 
Drives: VW
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Test Drove 3 SS Camaros,3 BMWs,2 Mustangs over weekend

I was bored this weekend b/c I couldn’t work out (at the tail end of a cold) so I decided to be very “productive” and test drive some cars. I jotted them down below. I’d never driven a BMW since forever and my 82yr old Dad has an A8 M235i, so figured why not. Then I drove Camaros.

‘ 17 BMW M240i manual (used)-$33K low mi, used
Pros-comfortable, solid, reasonably quick, perfect size IMO, handles pretty well.
Cons-Shifter a bit rubbery and throws are long, power only comes on when you floor it. Ride is a little stiff/jittery. A bit too civilized? Sound was ok, but no V8 visceral thrill of course.

Verdict: Nice car just wasn’t for me. Configuration screens, controls, nav…etc. Jeez….need to take a class. But I’m sure you get used to it. I wouldn’t mind driving the A8 honestly.

‘ 18 BMW 230i (auto) $32k ultra low mi used
Pros-GREAT transmission. Quick shifting in manual, paddle or sport mode. Even comfort mode was good. Quick car. Power was impressive for a 248hp 4cyl, decent handling. High quality feel. Almost no turbo lag. Gas mpg is pretty good.

Cons-Sound. Decent for a 4cyl but of course not that satisfying. While power is good, it’s not going to light you on fire. It looks like a nothing car, LOL. Like a middle aged woman would park at Coffee Bean (and I’ve seen this . It’s a sleeper for sure. That may good or bad for some.

Verdict-I’d never fault anyone for buying this car.

’16 BMW 340i (auto) $33K (low mi, used).
Pros-Comfortable, roomy, fast. Great tranny. Minimal turbo lag.
Cons-Handling was good but 3 series is getting large.
The Verdict-Great all in one car but for me as weekend ride, too boring. But BMW knows how to make some fast V6s.

2018 Mustang GT 10spd auto (new) base-($31K w/dealer discount)
Pros-Good steering, great auto. Felt FAST even with 3.15 gears in Normal mode. Stock exhaust sounds awesome. No need to upgrade to the Active Exhaust. Seats have lumbar.
Cons-Base comes with 235 tires/18 inch wheels. Seats are not that great. Found Camaro seats better.. No power recline which I think sucks on a car with $37,xxx MSRP and limited on adjustments.

Verdict-Almost bit on this car (for $31k) but the ticking issues going on with the Mustangs shied me away and the seats.

2018 Mustang GT base manual (new)- ($30K w/dealer discount)
Pros-Once again the stock exhaust…..it sounds really good. IMO better than NPP on the Camaro. Kudos to Ford on that one! Good visibility. Easy to drive. Probably the most “livable” daily American muscle.

Cons-I don’t like the shifter that much compared to the Camaro. The car is noticeably slower than the Camaro manual and worlds slower it seems than the GT auto.

The Verdict-An enjoyable V8 to drive around but it’s not the focused machine the SS is. Nope.

’19 Camaro 1SS 10spd Auto
Pros-Pretty good automatic. Shifts quickly. Downshifts good. Responsive with paddles. Stock cloth seats very comfortable to me and have power recline unlike the Mustang.

Cons-Well……the front end. Although in person, didn’t bother me so much. In Sport mode, it seemed to hang on the gears a bit too long sacrificing smoothness. Touring mode you had to push on it to downshift. The A10 Mustang GT auto I test drove, just seemed a little more eager….but who knows. That car had 150mi, this one had 7 mi. Only would knock off $3K off MSRP so about $37,500. BMW automatics I drove seem to be better. Visibility compared to the others but I didn’t find it to be a big deal. Seats have no lumbar but don’t feel like they need it.

Verdict-If you want an automatic SS, I think you’ll be happy. For some reason, I wasn’t that drawn to it.

’18 Camaro 1SS (new) manual-Base no NPP.
Same as the NPP but honestly I think non-NPP exhaust is too muted. And this from a guy who doesn’t like loud exhausts. It sounded quieter than Touring mode on the NPP. Sure you can put an aftermarket on there but for $895 option, the NPP is tough to pass up. That is if/when you get the NPP rattle. Then you'll wish you didn't get it.


’18 Camaro 1SS (new) manual-base with NPP (right now around $33,500 w/dealer discount).

Pros-Comfortable seats, faster than all the BMWs. Pretty violent in 1-3rd . Great shifter. I actually like the taller gears on the street (compared to my former Whippled Mustang GT w/3.73s). You can ride them out and the car really pulls, great torque, V8 sound, car felt planted and nimble. Even base SS has 20s and 275s on the rear. Best bang for the buck.

Cons-Visibility not the greatest of course. I think 6th is a little tall. I know it’s for freeway cruising and gas mpg, but my former 3.73 geared Mustang GT, revved higher and has some punch in 6th even at 70. Hwy gas mileage sucked as a result of course. But any punch of the freeway, requires 5th gear downshift.

Verdict-
The best car for me and anyone that wants/values/requires rawness and visceral feel injected into their driving experience.

Anyway, thanks for reading. Really all good cars when it comes down to it.

Last edited by cbr1100xx; 12-05-2018 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
GuywithL86
 
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I'm actually sedan hunting right now and was considering the 340i


Lots of complaints about new bmw's not being fun to drive.


Was it fun to drive?
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuywithL86 View Post
I'm actually sedan hunting right now and was considering the 340i


Lots of complaints about new bmw's not being fun to drive.


Was it fun to drive?
The 3 series has really gotten bigger. It feels like a medium sized sedan now. Itís reasonably fun to drive and athletic for a sedan. But yes it is a bit watered down from a steering standpoint. I donít if Iíd put it in true sports sedan category though. But itís a good blend of power and handling. Itís best feature by far IMO is the engine/transmission. If I need a 4DR though, this would be near the top of my list though considering price used.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:03 PM   #4
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It seems the A10ís really need some milage on them for learning to really get a good sense of it. The A10 Mustangs I drove definitely indicated this: One I drove basically brand new, off the truck and required some driving to get the thing operating ďnormalĒ; the other Mustang was one that had been on the lot a while and operated like the prior after it had mileage on it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:19 PM   #5
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You're spot on with regards to the Camaro 1SS manual with NPP. No regrets whatsoever.
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Old 12-05-2018, 05:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by torqueaddict View Post
You're spot on with regards to the Camaro 1SS manual with NPP. No regrets whatsoever.
I really want to drive an M240i auto still. That car must haul very good. I can get a new one for ($42.5) about 7-8K more than a new 1SS.

The only real plus for the BMW is the size/visibility. I like the smaller size of the 2 series to the Camaro. It's easy as hell to fly into a parking space and visibility is better and has a smaller feel to it.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cbr1100xx View Post
I really want to drive an M240i auto still. That car must haul very good. I can get a new one for ($42.5) about 7-8K more than a new 1SS.

The only real plus for the BMW is the size/visibility. I like the smaller size of the 2 series to the Camaro. It's easy as hell to fly into a parking space and visibility is better and has a smaller feel to it.
Good luck with whatever you end up with.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:54 PM   #8
CrazyCatGuy
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Well, I for one went from a Golf R to my 1LE and couldn't be happier. Sure, as you mentioned, with a smaller car, it's easier to toss around and gives you more confidence/comfort when parking in tight spaces or traversing parking lots in general, but you do truly get used to it with time in the Camaro.

Good luck and maybe we'll both me hopping from MK7forums over here.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CrazyCatGuy View Post
Well, I for one went from a Golf R to my 1LE and couldn't be happier. Sure, as you mentioned, with a smaller car, it's easier to toss around and gives you more confidence/comfort when parking in tight spaces or traversing parking lots in general, but you do truly get used to it with time in the Camaro.

Good luck and maybe we'll both me hopping from MK7forums over here.
How's the ride quality between the 1LE and R?
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:42 PM   #10
CrazyCatGuy
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Well my R was lowered so it got a little bouncy even in comfort setting with the DCC. I’d say though that the mag ride seems to absorb larger inconsistencies in the road better than the R did. I imagine the larger tires have something to do with that even though they’re low profile 20” compared to the 19” on the R. My wife even mentioned she thought the camaro was comfortable and that was a trip to OC this past weekend so we definitely put some miles on the 1LE to use as reference. The r wasn’t a bad ride I just feel that the 1LE feels better. Obviously that is very subjective. The tramlining in the 1LE is the only thing that bugs me but it isn’t really there all the time.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:43 PM   #11
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thanks for the info
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:51 PM   #12
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Busy weekend! Appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

I bought a new 2015 M235i manual and had it for 3 years and 10,000 miles. Tracked it 3 times, mostly used it as a weekend car, and stored it winters. Really nice car with superb quality inside and out, but after a year or so, I realized it wasn't the car for me.

Totally agree on the M235i/240i being the perfect size and having excellent visibility. Those were probably its best attributes. I loved the ride too - Comfort mode was much less stiff than my 1LE in Tour. Plus, the 1LE seat bolsters are quite a bit stiffer, so combined with the stiffer suspension, it really beats me up on rough roads.

The size and visibility are really the only things I miss though. Well, maybe I miss the thicker steering wheel too. The stiffer ride in the 1LE is not that big of a deal.

MyLink is more intuitive than iDrive, and the GM system has many more customization options. I couldn't live with the ultra-long travel in the BMW clutch, but fortunately that was fixable with an aftermarket clutch stop. The 1LE shifter feel is more substantial and the throws quicker than the rubbery BMW shifter. The BMW shifts are not nearly as sharp either, because of the very slight turbo lag and the clutch delay valve. My BMW had the M Performance Exhaust and it sounded pretty cool, but is no match for the NPP sound.

On the track, no comparison - the BMW was solid, with good brakes, power, and grip - but the 1LE does everything better. Plus, the 1LE is easier to drive on the track with the shift lights on the HUD and the Rev Match.

No regrets at all - the 1LE is amazing and checks all the boxes for me, especially its overall badass attitude.
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Old 12-07-2018, 12:24 AM   #13
cbr1100xx
 
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Thanks for the feedback wjones. Saw your thread before about obtaining your 1LE. I will never track the car and am leaning toward an SS manual or auto m240i. Like the 1LE look but have low tolerance these day for a stiff ride.
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