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AutomotiveEra |OT| Four are better than two

Oct 28, 2017
9,196
So the warranty on my Jaguar XFS is about to run out later in the year, and I'm getting solid part exchange quotes so depreciation is very respectable. Thinking it's time I start looking at options for something different in the coming months whilst the value proposition still works in my favour.

What I'm after.

Given I'll probably go electric or hybrid in future (Tesla etc), I want this next vehicle to be a bit more noisy, quick and fairly fun, so I can enjoy combustion engines for a little while longer.

Thing is, I still need something comfortable, luxurious, practical, but quick. I do a lot of long distance driving, and often do airport runs with a stacked boot, have a car full of family or guests etc, so I can't go for a coupe/2 door or something too thirsty. Fuel efficiency still sort of matters, as does boot space and rear legroom.

Here's what I've shortlisted, what do you guys think out of the options? All cars would be the newer models.


The shortlist.

1.) BMW 540i with M Performance (not M Sport) body kit and M Performance Power and Sound Kit, possibly even a remap.

Pros: Incredible interior, infotainment, technology and comfort. Crap loads of legroom and great boot space. Quick 0-60 and still a fuel efficient engine. Sounds great with the aftermarket exhaust.

Cons: Not the torqueiest engine, so doesn't necessarily feel as quick as it is, especially at common rev ranges. Still a bit big and bulky, so not the most sharp and agile to drive.


2.) BMW 530D with M Performance (not M Sport) body kit.

Pros: Incredible interior, infotainment, technology and comfort. Crap loads of legroom and great boot space. Very torquey engine, so it feels much quicker than it is, plus fuel efficiency is incredibly good.

Cons: The acceleration isn't quite as fast as some of the other cars, plus the engine is pretty quiet, dull and boring compared to the more theatrical petrol motors, and no aftermarket exhaust system is going to change that. Still a bit big and bulky, so not the most sharp and agile to drive.


3.) Mercedes C43 AMG

Pros: Fantastic sounding with the AMG performance exhaust, lots of pops, bangs and gargles and a surprisingly sweet exhaust note given the cylinder count. Very fun and direct handling and feeling. Smaller in size too so can be thrown about a bit more. Very torquey engine, solid acceleration and still somewhat fuel efficient.

Cons: I really dislike the interior and infotainment system, and think the rear of the car looks ugly. Plus I dislike that it basically looks the same as most other C class models, to where the engine note is really the main thing distinguishing it. Boot space is a bit small too.


4.) Mercedes C63 AMG

Pros: Fantastic sounding, lots of pops, bangs and gargles and an addictive exhaust note. Very fun and direct handling and feeling. Smaller in size too so can be thrown about a bit more. Very torquey engine, great acceleration.

Cons: A fair bit more expensive than the C43 for very little difference in overall acceleration (just 0.5s 0-60 improvement), plus worse fuel efficiency. I really dislike the interior and infotainment system, and think the rear of the car looks ugly. Plus I dislike that it basically looks the same as most other C class models, to where the engine note is really the main thing distinguishing it. Boot space is a bit small too.


5.) Mercedes E43 AMG

Pros: Beautiful interior, with a very luxurious overall look, far more premium inside than a C43/C63. Very torquey engine, with good acceleration. Very practical with solid legroom and boot space.

Cons: More muted than the C43 in both engine notes and sound (less loud, far fewer pops and crackles etc). Less nimble, direct and agile than the C43/63 in terms of handling too. Also a fair bit more expensive than the C43 for very little difference in overall acceleration. I dislike that it basically looks the same as most other C/E class models, to where the engine note is really the main thing distinguishing it.


The ones that didn't make it.

Also looked into other cars that just missed out on being shortlisted, eg the M2 Competition (a bit small and too impractical on passenger comfort and boot space), the M3 (a bit pricey compared to the C43, plus super thirsty engine with poor fuel efficiency) and several Audis (not as keen on their designs).

Ideally I'd have loved a 2019 BMW 340i with an M Performance carbon package, but they're not out in the UK till later in the year, which means I'd have to wait another 6 months to a year after that before depreciation brought the value down to something more reasonable and less depreciating.

So which option would you guys opt for and why?
 
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Beautiful, congrats! The wait must be killer.
Thanks! I can't sleep, this is the longest week of my life haha
So the warranty on my Jaguar XFS is soon about to run out, and I'm getting solid part exchange quotes so my depreciation loss is very respectable. Thinking it's time I start looking at options for something different in the coming months whilst the value proposition still works in my favour.

Given I'll probably go electric or hybrid in future (Tesla etc), I want this next vehicle to be a bit more noisy and fairly fun, so I can enjoy combustion engines for a little while longer.

Thing is, I still need something comfortable, luxurious, practical, but quick. I do a lot of long distance driving, and often do airport runs with a stacked boot, have a car full of family it guests etc, so I can't go coupe or something too thirsty, fuel efficiency still sort of matters, as does boot space and rear legroom.

Here's what I've shortlisted, what do you guys think out of the options? All cars would be the newer models.

1.) BMW 540i with M Performance (not M Sport) body kit and Armytrix exhaust system.

Pros: Incredible interior, infotainment, technology and comfort. Crap loads of legroom and great boot space. Quick 0-60 and still a fuel efficient engine. Sounds great with the aftermarket exhaust.

Cons: Not the torqueiest engine, so doesn't necessarily feel as quick as it is, especially at common rev ranges. Still a bit big and bulky, so not the most sharp and agile to drive.


2.) BMW 530D with M Performance (not M Sport) body kit.

Pros: Incredible interior, infotainment, technology and comfort. Crap loads of legroom and great boot space. Very torquey engine, so it feels much quicker than it is, plus fuel efficiency is incredibly good.

Cons: The acceleration isn't quite as fast as some of the other cars, plus the engine is pretty quiet and boring compared to more theatrical petrol motors, and no aftermarket exhaust system is going to do much to change that. Still a bit big and bulky, so not the most sharp and agile to drive.


3.) Mercedes C43 AMG

Pros: Fantastic sounding with the AMG performance exhaust, lots of pops, bangs and gargles and a surprisingly sweet exhaust note given the cylinder count. Very fun and direct handling and feeling. Smaller in size too so can be thrown about a bit more. Very torquey engine, decent acceleration and still somewhat fuel efficient.

Cons: I really dislike the interior and infotainment system, and think the rear of the car looks ugly. Plus I dislike that it basically looks the same as most other C class models, to where the engine note is really the main thing distinguishing it. Boot space is a bit small too.


4.) Mercedes C63 AMG

Pros: Fantastic sounding with the AMG performance exhaust, lots of pops, bangs and gargles and an addictive exhaust note. Very fun and direct handling and feeling. Smaller in size too so can be thrown about a bit more. Very torquey engine, decent acceleration.

Cons: A fair bit more expensive than the C43 for very little difference in overall acceleration (just 0.5s 0-60 improvement), plus worse fuel efficiency. I really dislike the interior and infotainment system, and think the rear of the car looks ugly. Plus I dislike that it basically looks the same as most other C class models, to where the engine note is really the main thing distinguishing it. Boot space is a bit small too.


5.) Mercedes E43 AMG

Pros: Beautiful interior, with a very luxurious overall look and feel, far more premium inside than a C43/C63. Very torquey engine, with decent acceleration. Very practical with solid legroom and boot space.

Cons: More muted than the C43 in both engine notes and sound (less loud, far fewer pops and crackles etc). Less nimble, direct and agile than the C43/63 in terms of handling too. Also a fair bit more expensive than the C43 for very little difference in overall acceleration. I dislike that it basically looks the same as most other C/E class models, to where the engine note is really the main thing distinguishing it.


Also looked into other cars that just missed out on being shortlisted, eg the M2 Competition (a bit small and too impractical on passenger comfort and boot space), the M3 (a bit pricey compared to the C43, plus super thirsty engine with poor fuel efficiency) and several Audis (not as keen on their designs).

Ideally I'd have loved a 2019 BMW 340i with an M Performance carbon package, but they're not out in the UK till later in the year, which means I'd have to wait another 6 months to a year after that before depreciation brought the value down to something more reasonable and less depreciating.

So which option would you guys opt for and why?
I would go for the 540i. The B58 is the best engine on that list, amazing fuel economy, smooth and extremely tunable if you're comfortable with that thing. The new E class was very unreliable, had rear suspension issues and the interior build quality is awful. It looks great, but it feels very hollow. Plastic creaks and rattles, same with the C class.The Burmester speaker on the door panel would rattle every time I closed the door. I'm speaking from personal experience, I'd go for the 540i.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swplZPJT2A0
 
Oct 28, 2017
9,196
Thanks! I can't sleep, this is the longest week of my life haha


I would go for the 540i. The B58 is the best engine on that list, amazing fuel economy, smooth and extremely tunable if you're comfortable with that thing. The new E class was very unreliable, had rear suspension issues and the interior build quality is awful. It looks great, but it feels very hollow. Plastic creaks and rattles, same with the C class.The Burmester speaker on the door panel would rattle every time I closed the door. I'm speaking from personal experience, I'd go for the 540i.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swplZPJT2A0
Thanks for the response and input! What sort of tune could I get out of the 540i before I started seeing markedly reduced fuel efficiency or needing expensive aftermarket parts? A few friends have sort of put me off the idea of remapping due to the added pressure it can put on certain parts, so now I'm a bit apprehensive. Do you have any experience with it?
 
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Thanks for the response and input! What sort of tune could I get out of the 540i before I started seeing markedly reduced fuel efficiency or needing more aftermarket parts? A few friends have sort of put me off the idea of remapping due to the added pressure it can put on certain parts, so now I'm a bit apprehensive. Do you have any experience with it?
I had an M235i (sold it 6 months ago) which I kept tuned for 3 years and I had no issues. All I had was a catless downpipe (you can get a high flow cat version to pass emissions) and a remap and it made 410hp. My M235i had the N55 engine which was replaced by the B58. The B58 is even stronger of an engine and more fuel efficient, with a remap and downpipe replacement you're easily in the 440hp range with no reliability issues. I've got friends with 440i's, 340i's that have been running remaps since they bought the cars around 2 years ago and the cars have been running beautifully. You're not putting and added dangerous pressure on the engine, with a high flow cat you're basically freeing up all the performance that the B58 engine has. My best friend has a tuned stage 2 440i that constantly gets 40mpg, the car is quicker than a stock M4, that engine is crazy, has lots of untapped potential and has been proven to be very reliable.
 
Oct 28, 2017
9,196
I had an M235i (sold it 6 months ago) which I kept tuned for 3 years and I had no issues. All I had was a catless downpipe (you can get a high flow cat version to pass emissions) and a remap and it made 410hp. My M235i had the N55 engine which was replaced by the B58. The B58 is even stronger of an engine and more fuel efficient, with a remap and downpipe replacement you're easily in the 440hp range with no reliability issues. I've got friends with 440i's, 340i's that have been running remaps since they bought the cars around 2 years ago and the cars have been running beautifully. You're not putting and added dangerous pressure on the engine, with a high flow cat you're basically freeing up all the performance that the B58 engine has. My best friend has a tuned stage 2 440i that constantly gets 40mpg, the car is quicker than a stock M4, that engine is crazy, has lots of untapped potential and has been proven to be very reliable.
Sounds good. Just did some Googling and I might get the M Performance Power and Sound Kit (MPPSK) direct from my local garage (improved bhp, torque and sound), and then do a remap after if I still fancy more power. It's not that much more than the Armytrix exhaust, and is official BMW so at least I keep my warranty intact if I do decide I don't need the remap.

Any company or brand for the catless downpipe, remap and/or stage 1 tune you'd recommend if I do go that route?
 
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Sounds awesome. Just did some Googling and I might get the M Performance Power and Sound Kit (MPPSK) direct from my local garage (improved bhp, torque and sound), and then do a remap after if I still fancy more power. It's not that much more than the Armytrix exhaust, and is official BMW so at least I keep my warranty intact if I do decide I don't need the remap.

Any company or brand for the catless downpipe, remap and/or stage 1 tune you'd recommend?
Stage 1 is considered just remap, stage 2 is remap + downpipe so if you're getting the downpipe upgraded then you'll do a stage 2 remap. I had armytrix on my BMW and I can vouch for them as for the remap HCPerformance is the best B58 tuner. He does all the tunes for PureTurbos if you've heard of them. Any professional shops should know HCP or Bootmod3.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,884
Imo intakes and downpipes aren't typically any better than stock. It's just so the tuner can hit you for an extra $1-2k before they do the stage 2 for you. Lots of aftermarket intakes are actually worse than the stock set up because they are just an air dam in the engine compartment just like the stock set up but it wasn't designed as well for your car, or stock actually had sort of a snorkel where aftermarket usually doesn't. It just makes shit louder. And then a bigger downpipe isn't necessary a good thing if you look at actual Dyno results. Most car companies aren't putting such a small exhaust on there that a bigger one really does anything.

A good custom tune on a stock set up would do more than a canned tune with an intake and exhaust. If you just want to make noise sure put an intake and exhaust on there.
 
Oct 28, 2017
9,196
After doing some more reading of reviews, comparisons etc, I'm still very much undecided. I remember preferring the XFS's handling dynamics to the 5 series during my last bout of testing, and feel that could be a point of contention again, including versus the C43/63 or E43. Think I might just have to test drive them all.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,622
I'm looking for a manual M240i and I cannot find A-N-Y.

There's a total of 1 it seems on the west coast. Insane. I suppose you can always order the car from the factory, but you have less negotiation flex when you do that, right?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,290
I know at least in regards to the N55, bang for your buck mods seem to be:

Tune
Downpipe
FMIC
Charge pipe (preventative as they are made of plastic and are known to blow under increased boost)

Intake/exhaust will give minimal gains. Not sure about the B58.
 
Oct 25, 2017
442
I'm looking for a manual M240i and I cannot find A-N-Y.

There's a total of 1 it seems on the west coast. Insane. I suppose you can always order the car from the factory, but you have less negotiation flex when you do that, right?
Yeah, the dealer has little reason to offer a discount other than the manufacturer incentives if you're placing a custom order.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,770
I'm looking for a manual M240i and I cannot find A-N-Y.

There's a total of 1 it seems on the west coast. Insane. I suppose you can always order the car from the factory, but you have less negotiation flex when you do that, right?
You can still negotiate with ordering - have done it myself multiple times. In fact, BMW really pushes for people to order their cars.
 
Oct 25, 2017
866
So Nissan at NYIAS is having their 50th anniversary with the GT-R R35 and Z34


Like I understand why their doing it, but god damn these are such old chassis at this point. We really need a new successor. I guess it won't happen until the Ghosen scandal comes to a close. At the progress Nissan is going, I'd rather just take an old S chassis or one of their 90s car.
 
Oct 25, 2017
479
Yeah Nissan really needs to do something for those two models. The 370Z refresh of the 350 is nice, but is getting really long in the tooth. I can understand why they are taking their time with the GT-R though because they need to nail that one perfectly.
 
Oct 27, 2017
8,884
So Nissan at NYIAS is having their 50th anniversary with the GT-R R35 and Z34


Like I understand why their doing it, but god damn these are such old chassis at this point. We really need a new successor. I guess it won't happen until the Ghosen scandal comes to a close. At the progress Nissan is going, I'd rather just take an old S chassis or one of their 90s car.
New Altima is pretty slick. They'll be fine.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,622
Found a 2018 M240i in manual! Currently negotiating a lease with the dealer. I’m getting nervous and having second thoughts, but I just keep telling myself that this is probably going to be the last few years before the manuals are gone, and maybe even the small RWD straight 6 BMW coupes.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,880
Got my mx-5 this morning and spent the last 3 hours driving it around. Pretty pleased, not used to how responsive it is and hurt myself getting out of it the first time lol. I feel like a million bucks driving this thing around.

Even though this car has been out for what, 3 years now? People still stare at it like its something exotic. Lots of looks at redlights and stop signs.



 
Oct 25, 2017
1,622
Got my mx-5 this morning and spent the last 3 hours driving it around. Pretty pleased, not used to how responsive it is and hurt myself getting out of it the first time lol. I feel like a million bucks driving this thing around.

Even though this car has been out for what, 3 years now? People still stare at it like its something exotic. Lots of looks at redlights and stop signs.



Beautiful! Love that color too, it’s such a gorgeous car. I love my NB and can only imagine how much nicer a more updated and newer car must feel. Congrats!
 
Oct 27, 2017
234
Found a 2018 M240i in manual! Currently negotiating a lease with the dealer. I’m getting nervous and having second thoughts, but I just keep telling myself that this is probably going to be the last few years before the manuals are gone, and maybe even the small RWD straight 6 BMW coupes.
Congrats! My wife and I got a pearl white CPO 2017 F22 last fall, we love it. This week we got the M Performance front splitter installed along with a set of black grilles, looks even more sporty now lol. Granted it’s an auto because it’s primarily my wife’s daily commuter. It’s a very nice and smooth transmission but I’ll admit it’s not as engaging to drive compared to a manual. It’s still fun to drive tho.