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View Poll Results: 2010 BMW 135i or 2004 Porsche 911 C4S?
2010 BMW 135i 109 64.88%
2004 Porsche 911 C4S 59 35.12%
Voters: 168. You may not vote on this poll

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      09-29-2009, 08:16 PM   #1
M3Armand
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Exclamation 2010 BMW 135i vs 2004 Porsche 911 C4S for $40k?

Ok folks, here's the dilemma... For roughly the same amount of money, I can order a brand spankin' new 2010 BMW 135i with the exact options I want or I can find a "pre-loved" 2004 Porsche 911 C4S.

I am posting this here since BMW forums members typically do not have that "Porsche ego" as Porsche forum members do. When I posted something similar to a Porsche forum, it was like "sacrilege" to even "think" that anything can be better than a Porsche... I'm like paaalleeeaaasseeee, "get over it" I tell those guys. They couldn't even admit that the lowly 135 was faster. Well, it is in both stats AND seat-of-the-pants feel.

So please vote on this survey!

But before you answer, here are some other qualifications. This will be one of a few cars me and my wife have (we both love cars). We currently have a Porsche so there isn't a "need to own a Porsche" stigma. Since selling my E36M3 1 year ago, I just haven't had the time to buy a replacement car (lousy excuse, I know). I miss it terribly. Whichever car I get will be my personal "daily driver". I will drive either car in the winter but with no snow or wet conditions. We drive other cars in the snow or wet.

With the $40k price point, it seems that the Porsches are on a "fire sale" at the moment. I'm sure the economy has helped with that.

Here are my pros and cons of each car:

135 = new
911 C4S = about 20k - 30k miles, but otherwise in pretty darn good condition

Availability = I can order the 135 now and get it in about 3 months. I have to "keep looking" for a used 911 C4S and hope to find one that I like.

Handling = 911 wins. The rear-biased AWD will even let me perform like Schumacher on the track. The car just feels planted at any speed.

Fun factor = 135 wins. The 135 feels more tossable believe it or not. The steering is not as heavy so it feels like you can "chuck" it into a corner more easily. But it doesn't "stay" in the corner nearly as nice as the 911. I can peel out in the 135 and have fun being a grown-up "hooligan" much more so with the 135. You can't really peel out much with AWD. What would be really nice is a wide body 911 with rear wheel drive only.

Acceleration = 135 wins, especially if on a "rolling start" or the 50 - 70 mph romp. 135 will destroy 911 with the JB3.

Brakes = interestingly, the brakes feel better on the 135. I'm not saying it stops better. I'm saying it "feels" better. But it's not really important to me as both cars' brakes are fine.

Looks = no contest, the C4S with the "wide body" looks seriously sexy and has that "timeless" 911 look. The 135...looks like a fat Chevy Aveo with big wheels. I like the way the 135 looks, but I'm not "in love" with it. My wife calls it the "bubble car".

Value = 135 will depreciate tremendously while the 911 will not have that much further depreciation to go. In 4 or 5 years, I am assuming that the 911 will be worth more than the 135.

Practicality = 135 wins. What I loved about my previous daily driver the E36 M3 was that it was still practical. I can still have 4 people in the car with some luggage. Although the 135 is a little smaller than the E36, it's still MUCH bigger interior-wise than the 911. The 911 is really a 2 people car with their luggage. I can fit a baby seat in the back of the 135. This is not possible with the 911. But as my child(ren) grow a little, they will be able to sit perfectly fine in the back of the 911.

Stereo = 135 wins. You are probably wondering, "why the hell is this even a factor?" It's a factor since if I'm spending the most time alone in the car, it will be my sanctuary. With kids, I can no longer BLAST my music at home. So the only real place for me to truly enjoy my music would be while in the car.

Tracktime = dunno. I feel that the 911 will handle beautifully. BUT, I see the 135 as blowing by it - especially since I will most likely get the JB3 + oil cooler + etc. once the warranty runs out. I've heard of the 135's cooking brakes and needing a suspension job since the current setup seriously understeers. The 911 is perfect out of the gate but with less power....and MUCH less power if the 135 had the JB3.

Cachet = 911 wins. With my line of work, it would be more "business acceptable" for people to see me in a 911 than to see me in the 135. This is because not everyone understands the performance capability of the 135.

Warranty/Repairs = 135 is new so there's no contest there. I can typically work on my own cars. But with the 911, the engine is not exactly easily accessible. Even after the warranty expires on the 135, I am confident I'll be able to fix most items when it breaks. I'm not sure how hard/easy it would be to even change spark plugs in the 911.

Have I missed anything else? KINDLY provide your thoughts so that I may be able to decide.
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      09-29-2009, 08:20 PM   #2
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Sounds like you want the 911.
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      09-29-2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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Well Maintenance is one thing, Porsche will cost you a lot more especially considering it's out of warranty. While the 135i will be in warranty for either 50k or 4 years + some small maintenance here and there! Any problems you have on the Porsche will cost you a LOT of $. If you're looking for a daily driver I'd go for the 135i.
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      09-29-2009, 08:33 PM   #4
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My wife's daily is a 08 c4s coupe (she had an 03 boxster s before & c4's since 90) & we're picking up a 135 this weekend as a topless toy. The Porsche is in another league. No comparison to the boxster, and in a totally different league than a 1 series. The all wheel is something in the corners, and the sound ---. But beware of the service costs. We try to trade as soon as the warranty goes.
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      09-29-2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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If you can find a mint 011 C4S, go for it. No comparison, and I love our 135 Vert. I never thought of one...but I did not want the bills for a vehcile like that out of warranty.
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      09-29-2009, 08:46 PM   #6
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I love Porsche's and especially 911's but I absolutely detest the interior of the 996. It is so low rent it's unbelievable. The driving is another story though. The 135 interior is significantly better than the 996 interior. The new 997 is another story though but you aren't getting even a '05 997 C2 for that type of money.
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      09-29-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warmtoes View Post
I love Porsche's and especially 911's but I absolutely detest the interior of the 996. It is so low rent it's unbelievable. The driving is another story though. The 135 interior is significantly better than the 996 interior. The new 997 is another story though but you aren't getting even a '05 997 C2 for that type of money.
I would probably have to dress up the 996 interior with either paint or wood trim. It doesn't look as bad with light wood trim. We didn't want a 2005 since the interior is pretty much exactly as our Boxster S. It would not feel like a "new" car. It would even look the same looking outside the windshield. Also, we weren't interested in a regular 911 since it wouldn't have that "wide body". But you can get a 2005 911 Carrera (not the "S") for $45k.

You're right, the interior of the 135 is better. I also love the "fat" steering wheel of the 135.
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      09-29-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
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Good luck. It is a tough choice. I think just from a maintenance point of view I would stick with the 1 unless you know of a good shop that won't gouge you on rates.
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      09-29-2009, 11:02 PM   #9
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Im not a fan of used cars. I feel like im buying someone else's peoblem once the car gets past about 5 or 6K miles.


That being said Porsche has a great CPO program...but its always buyer beware.
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      09-29-2009, 11:46 PM   #10
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Porsche is in another league...all it comes down to is what car you like more. You have to pay to play, so if your taste leans towards the 911, go for it. If you love the car , it will love you back I would take a porsche anyday!
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      09-30-2009, 12:16 AM   #11
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my only advice for buying used cars, is going with a CPO program. Otherwise, service costs will be thru the roof.
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      09-30-2009, 05:34 AM   #12
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You could probably buy a second BMW for the cost of maintaining the 911. I thought that BMW parts were expensive until I saw the cost of an engine ECU or an ABS control unit. Working on a BMW engine is a pleasure compaired to fixing oil leaks in the 911. I will admit that a ride in the 964 was really impressive. I never would have tried to push a BMW that far.
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      09-30-2009, 07:34 AM   #13
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I would only do the Porsche as a weekend car. If you plan on using it as a DD over the 135i, then you're certainly not thinking with your wallet.
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      09-30-2009, 07:47 AM   #14
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I would say Porsche all-day-long as long as the maintence costs don't scare you off like they did for me when my Boxster went out of warranty.
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      09-30-2009, 08:16 AM   #15
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Short answer - Daily Driver, street use, publilc parking = 135I!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Armand View Post
Ok folks, here's the dilemma... For roughly the same amount of money, I can order a brand spankin' new 2010 BMW 135i with the exact options I want or I can find a "pre-loved" 2004 Porsche 911 C4S.
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Armand View Post

I am posting this here since BMW forums members typically do not have that "Porsche ego" as Porsche forum members do. When I posted something similar to a Porsche forum, it was like "sacrilege" to even "think" that anything can be better than a Porsche... I'm like paaalleeeaaasseeee, "get over it" I tell those guys. They couldn't even admit that the lowly 135 was faster. Well, it is in both stats AND seat-of-the-pants feel.

... KINDLY provide your thoughts so that I may be able to decide.
I went through some of the same decision process. I put on over 25 track days a year and participate in another 10 to 20. I have quite a bit of experience driving these cars in all weather conditions from Northern Maine and Michigan to more temperate climes. I know you said you would use other cars in the snow and rain; but, just another data point. The 911 is better in the snow without question.

I chose the 135I as my daily driver and have driven it in several of our events. To me there is no question that in general driving the 135I is a better daily car. If for nothing else then visibility and useful mid range power.

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Originally Posted by M3Armand View Post
...Fun factor = 135 wins. The 135 feels more tossable believe it or not. The steering is not as heavy so it feels like you can "chuck" it into a corner more easily. But it doesn't "stay" in the corner nearly as nice as the 911. I can peel out in the 135 and have fun being a grown-up "hooligan" much more so with the 135. You can't really peel out much with AWD. What would be really nice is a wide body 911 with rear wheel drive only....


Agree you can drive the 135 harder on the street then the 911 because you cannot or should not even approach the limits of the 911 on the street. The tiny turbos and outstanding mid-range torque make the 135 a great car on public roads. The 135I feels very nice well below the limit; but, closer to the limit the 135 does not behave that well. My 135I has Yokohama AD08s on it and I have a skinny spare in the trunk.

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What would be really nice is a wide body 911 with rear wheel drive only....
Carrera S


Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Armand View Post
Acceleration = 135 wins, especially if on a "rolling start" or the 50 - 70 mph romp. 135 will destroy 911 with the JB3.

True around town, not so 50 to 130 roll on the throttle as in coming out of Oak Tree at VIR. I collected enough data over three days at VIR in September. Sally and I took our daily drivers as our track car was down. She was able to pull me with her stock 964 coming out of Oak Tree. The 911 will run all day long as will the 135I in stock condition. The 135I with JB3 will limp.

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Brakes = interestingly, the brakes feel better on the 135. I'm not saying it stops better. I'm saying it "feels" better. But it's not really important to me as both cars' brakes are fine...

Brakes are not even close – last event both cars were using Hawk HT10s and ATE Blue. Turn 1 killed the 135 brakes and there was insufficient time to recover for Turn 3. Not enough heat sink in the rotors. To me HT10s when warm feel better on the street then the stock pads because of initial bite and high torque. The rotor on the 135 is too skinny. 25mm on a 3400 pound car. Sally’s Carrera has 28mm rotors and weighs 500 pounds less. 996 TT which weighs about the same as the 135I has 35mm thick rotors.

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Practicality = 135 wins. What I loved about my previous daily driver the E36 M3 was that it was still practical. I can still have 4 people in the car with some luggage. Although the 135 is a little smaller than the E36, it's still MUCH bigger interior-wise than the 911. The 911 is really a 2 people car with their luggage. I can fit a baby seat in the back of the 135. This is not possible with the 911. But as my child(ren) grow a little, they will be able to sit perfectly fine in the back of the 911..


Definitely 135I. I have put adults in the back seat of the 135I. I removed the rear headrest and I have visibility I could only dream of in the Porsche. The little turbos and the low to mid range torque make this a dynamite commuter car. Also, I get almost 28-30mpg on the highway – over 20 commuting (of course that depends on what happens to my right foot). 7.5mpg on the track

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Tracktime = dunno. I feel that the 911 will handle beautifully. BUT, I see the 135 as blowing by it - especially since I will most likely get the JB3 + oil cooler + etc. once the warranty runs out. I've heard of the 135's cooking brakes and needing a suspension job since the current setup seriously understeers. The 911 is perfect out of the gate but with less power....and MUCH less power if the 135 had the JB3..


Unfortunately, this is not going to be close without extensive work on the 135I. Put equally experienced drivers in the car and the 911 wins. Put the JB3, oil cooler, brake money into the 911’s suspension and there is no way that you can put enough money into the 135 to make it faster on the track then the 911.

If occasional track use and ease of driving is your goal, then why not consider an E46 M3.

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Cachet = 911 wins. With my line of work, it would be more "business acceptable" for people to see me in a 911 than to see me in the 135. This is because not everyone understands the performance capability of the 135.
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Warranty/Repairs = 135 is new so there's no contest there. I can typically work on my own cars. But with the 911, the engine is not exactly easily accessible. Even after the warranty expires on the 135, I am confident I'll be able to fix most items when it breaks. I'm not sure how hard/easy it would be to even change spark plugs in the 911..
I chose the 135I. I do not like the looks of the 996. I love the looks of the 997 as well as the 993 and earlier 911s.

The 135I is more fun to drive on the street and in traffic.

Warranty Repairs – Will be less expensive to maintain the 135; but there will be a myriad of little things that go wrong. One of my tail lights failed and was replaced under warranty – three days down time.

Both cars have a wonderful engine and transmission; but, the 996, 986, 987, and 997 have been fighting potential RMS problems with limited success. The base engine is not used in the TT and GT3. Porsche chose instead to use a more reliable bottom end for the GT3 and TT and use the one originally developed for the 964.
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      09-30-2009, 08:31 AM   #16
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A daily driver is typically synonymous to reliability, comfort and fuel efficiency. While neither car hits the mark on the latter (even though either car's fuel consumption isn't that bad), only one has both first aforementioned qualities: the 135i. I've seen BMW blocks go for 500,000 miles with ease… now that isn't to say that there were no electrical problems along the way but most are an easy fix. On a Porsche, as you said, everything is difficultly accessed. If you think BMW parts are expensive, wait until you see Porsche parts.

As far as comfort goes there truly is no contest here. The 135i is extremely comfortable for its size and the sportiness it conveys through its engine and body lines. The same cannot exactly be said for the Porsche. I couldn't imagine anyone daily driving anything other than a Boxster and imho that's not a real Porsche.

It sounds like you want the 911 but if you're thinking with your wallet you'll go for the 135i.
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      09-30-2009, 08:52 AM   #17
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Hey M3Armand, good to see you here on the board.

You already know my vote, if you can find a pristine P car, that is my vote!

As I have already shared with you, the 135 is really a great car, but now that I am a year into it....the love affair has kinda faded. I enjoy getting behind the wheel and the sheer enginerring / power of the 135. But it lacks a bit of that show/style.

For example, leaving work walking up to your 135....the average Joe will likey look over and think 'Ahh...he just has a base model Beeeeeemer'. Whereas walking up to a P car.....the average Joe's thoughts will certainly be different.

Meaning....for ~$40k....might as well get yourself a fun pleasure car you will be proud to be seen in. Furhter, for me the 135 relationship has become a bit frustrating in that there is NEVER enough open roads to really enjoy the turbos and performance of the car. I always find whenever I try to get into it with the car I end up behind some blasted SUV or minivan.

Just my 2 cents....I love the 1er....but it is an unusual relationship. Kinda like being with a girl that you have the most amazing sex with....but can't seem to get along outside the bedroom.
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      09-30-2009, 10:51 AM   #18
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2010 135 of course!
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      09-30-2009, 11:18 AM   #19
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911, no question
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      09-30-2009, 11:57 AM   #20
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That's a tough choice. My Mom has an '05 C4S as her "summer car". I use to drive it quite a bit when I lived at home, it's simply perfect. At first impression, you might feel the 135i accels in some areas you outlined, but get comfortable in the Porsche and it's a whole new experience...the transmission, from clutch feel to gear ratio and engagement gives me chills everytime I drive it. That said, the 135i is certainly more "livable." It's more comfortable, far quieter, and can easily be a year-round daily driver. Depending on your driving habits, I would be cautious with a 911 as a daily driver. My Dad does about 30K miles/year, he had a '00 911, the car was constantly in the shop, the dealer admitted it wasn't built for that abuse...additionally it beats the crap out of you for extended daily use. He admitted his M3 was a far superior daily driving performance car.

I can't answer that question. If it's a daily driver and you require comfortable, reliable, low cost maint = 135i. I love Porsche, but until I can afford it to be a spare car, I'll stick with the versatility of a BMW.
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      09-30-2009, 12:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I would only do the Porsche as a weekend car. If you plan on using it as a DD over the 135i, then you're certainly not thinking with your wallet.
You're right, I'm not thinking with my wallet. But I'm still "somewhat" thinking with my wallet since if I weren't, I would have ordered a new C4S and gotten it over with already...
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      09-30-2009, 01:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Carrera S

True around town, not so 50 to 130 roll on the throttle as in coming out of Oak Tree at VIR. I collected enough data over three days at VIR in September. Sally and I took our daily drivers as our track car was down. She was able to pull me with her stock 964 coming out of Oak Tree. The 911 will run all day long as will the 135I in stock condition. The 135I with JB3 will limp.

Brakes are not even close – last event both cars were using Hawk HT10s and ATE Blue. Turn 1 killed the 135 brakes and there was insufficient time to recover for Turn 3. Not enough heat sink in the rotors. To me HT10s when warm feel better on the street then the stock pads because of initial bite and high torque. The rotor on the 135 is too skinny. 25mm on a 3400 pound car. Sally’s Carrera has 28mm rotors and weighs 500 pounds less. 996 TT which weighs about the same as the 135I has 35mm thick rotors.

If occasional track use and ease of driving is your goal, then why not consider an E46 M3..
Wow... great post and exactly the type of info I was looking for... THANKS!

The Carrera S doesn't have that "wide body" look.

So you're telling me that the 996 (315 hp) is faster in a straight line than the 135 on the track?

Yeah, I heard about the 135 brakes on the track. But since I will only casually take it to the track (maybe once a year if even?... got kids now...), it's not much of an issue for me.

E46M3 = cow on ice

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeueKlasse View Post
If you think BMW parts are expensive, wait until you see Porsche parts.

I couldn't imagine anyone daily driving anything other than a Boxster and imho that's not a real Porsche...
Yes, I know Porsche parts are expensive...annoyingly expensive...ask me how I know

The Boxster / Cayman is the best handling Porsche hands down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark M View Post
For example, leaving work walking up to your 135....the average Joe will likey look over and think 'Ahh...he just has a base model Beeeeeemer'. Whereas walking up to a P car.....the average Joe's thoughts will certainly be different.

Meaning....for ~$40k....might as well get yourself a fun pleasure car you will be proud to be seen in. Furhter, for me the 135 relationship has become a bit frustrating in that there is NEVER enough open roads to really enjoy the turbos and performance of the car. I always find whenever I try to get into it with the car I end up behind some blasted SUV or minivan..
The "walk up" factor is important to me. AND I know exactly what you are saying...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pit1 View Post
My Dad does about 30K miles/year, he had a '00 911, the car was constantly in the shop, the dealer admitted it wasn't built for that abuse....
That's silly...the dealer is just trying to make you feel better about taking it up the exhaust on dealer pricing...
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2004 Porsche 911 C4S, Seal Grey / Black, X51, Sport Exhaust, Carbon Fiber
2006 Porsche Boxster S, Guards Red / Beige
2001 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro, Laser Red / Black, APR Stage 2, H&R Coil Overs, Window Tints, BBS Wheels, Combination Pillar Boost Gauge/Airbag, Xenon Headlights
2008 BMW X5 4.8i, Black Sapphire / Saddle Brown
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