BMW 335is versus Cadillac CTS-V

Often the Cadillac CTS-V is compared to the M3 or to the M5, since these are maximum performance BMWs.

However, a new entry, the BMW 335is is now available.  Trimmed with similar equipment as the standard equipped CTS-V, according to it costs $57,675.  The starting price for a already well equipped Cadillac CTS-V is $62K.

BMW 335is

Here are the options I selected to get a comparable build:
My 335is Coupe 3.0-liter, inline 6-cylinder engine with TwinPower Turbo technology rear-wheel drive
. Base MSRP $49,650
. Alpine White $0
. Black Dakota Leather $0
. Dark Glacier Aluminum trim $0
. Convenience Package $1,500
. Premium Package $2,650
. Heated front seats $500
. Navigation system $2,100
. iPod and USB adapter $400
. Destination & Handling: $875
. Total MSRP as Built$57,675

Cadillac CTS-V

The BMW 335is is a sport version of the 335i. By retuning the engine to give additional boost for short periods, BMW has created a sporting model that is more capable than the standard 335i but less expensive than the M3.  The BMW M3  starts at $55K and quickly scales up from there.

Engine: The 3L Turbo Inline six is a nice engine and well suited for this application.  It is significantly less powerful however than the CTS-V’s supercharged 6.2L engine which provides 556 hp and 551 lb ft of torque.

Braking: The CTS-V comes with Brembo brakes front and rear, and is track ready.  The 335is can be made track ready by replacing the brakes with aftermarket units, at additional expense.

Suspension:  The 3-series suspension has been well lauded, but is a conventional suspension.  The CTS-V has the high tech MR, magnetic suspension that reacts hundreds of times per second to road conditions.

Reliability between these two is probably a toss-up.  Cadillac reliability has been very good, and the CTS-V powertrain is bullet proof.  The 335is engine is a new design or configuration.  Both BMW and Cadillac offer a 48 mo, 50K mile warranty.  Cadillac also includes a 60 mo, 100K mile powertrain warranty.

Maintenance: BMW includes 4 year maintenance in the price of the 335is.  Maintenance on the CTS-V will be at owner expense.

Configurations: BMW offers the 335is in coupe or coupe convertible form.  Cadillac currently offers the CTS-V in sedan (4 door), and will offer the CTS-V Coupe (2 door) beginning this summer.  Cadillac does not offer a CTS-V Convertible.

Summary: When shopping between the BMW 335is and the Cadillac CTS-V one has to consider — are you after the pure driving experience?  Then the CTS-V would be your choice.   If you demand the cachet of the BMW, then a standard 335i or a low-option M3 might be better choices than the 335is.    There may be a window in which the BMW dealers mark up the M3 above retail however, and the lower cost of the 335is just keeps it within budget, and a used M3 is out of the question for some reason.  In that case, the 335is could be your BMW, and the Cadillac CTS-V would be the road not taken, that perhaps offered more.

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