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Face off: 2012 BMW M3 v. 335i

I’ve covered a series of BMW 3 series Individual cars recently, and I seem to be on a streak of finding neat ones. Today for your consideration are two E92s; one 335i turbo with low miles in a nice color combination compared to a M3 Individual with higher miles. The price is nearly the same between the two examples; which would be the one you’d select?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW M3 on Craigslist

Year: 2012
Model: M3
Engine: 4.0 liter V8
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 80,249 mi
Price: $36,998

2012 BMW M3 2-Door Coupe
MPG: 14 City / 20 Highway
Transmission: 5 Speed Manual
Exterior Color: Dakar Yellow
Stock Number: 107
Interior Color: Fox Red
Title: Clear
License Plate: NP
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
VIN: WBSKG9C53CE798896
Fuel: Gasoline
Mileage: 80,249
Engine: V8 4L DOHC

Key Features:
Power Door Locks
MP3 Player
Leather Seats
Automatic Climate Control
Cruise Control
Power Steering
Traction Control
Power Windows
Anti-Lock Brakes
Satellite Radio
CD Player
Stability Control
Keyless Entry System

Contact Info:
Pure Motors
(844) 252-7873

The VIN confirms that this car was an original special order color, though interestingly there seems to be some confusion over the paint code “490” which is part of the BMW Individual program. Notably, it’s not the correct color code for Dakar Yellow, and this example looks a little lemon-flavored in comparison to most of the softer Dakar examples, but admittedly the photos and lighting make it difficult to sort. It’s been equipped with the pretty standard electronic options, and boy has it been driven; an average of over 20,000 miles a year! Pricing is mid E92 market, slightly surprising given the higher mileage but perhaps the unique color and BBS LM wheels are the big draw here. The color combination is certainly unique!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2012 BMW 335i on Craigslist

Year: 2012
Model: 335i
Engine: 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-6
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Mileage: 28,632 mi
Price: $34,995

General Information
Year: 2012
Make: BMW
Model: 335i
Body: 2 Dr Coupe
Engine: 3.0L DOHC I6 N55
Transmission: 8-Spd Auto Trans
Stock: 5698
Vin Number: WBAKG7C52CE802199
Vehicle Options

Exterior Options:
Rain Sensor Wipers, Power Glass Sunroof, Auto-Dim Int/Ext Mirrors

Interior Options:
Premium Sound System, BMW Teleservices, Interior mirror compass, M Steering Wheel, Heated Front Sport Seats, GPS Navigation w/Traffic, Voice Command System, Dakota Leather Upholstery, harman/kardon Audio

Mechanical Options:
Cold Weather Package, Run Flat Tires, Tire Pressure Monitor

Other Options:
High-Output Alternator, Auto 2-Zone Climate Ctrl, Adaptive Bi-Xenons w/Curve, BMW Original Warranty, Comfort Access Smart Key, ZM2 M Sport Package, M Paddle Shifters, Daytime-Running Lights, Ambiance LED Lighting Pkg, LED Lighting Elements, Warranty, Individual Black Headliner, 5.0 Secs 0-to-60 mph, 8-Spd STEPTRONIC AT, 19in Style-230 Alloys, Dynamic Cruise w/Braking, BMW Online Info and Apps, Bluetooth Connectivity, Satellite Radio w/Traffic, Anthracite Bamboo Int Trim, ZPP Premium Package, iPod/USB Device Adaptor, Smartphone Integration, 300hp 3.0L N55 I6 Turbo, Gloss Sportline Ext Trim, 11-Speakers 420 Watts

Vehicle Information
1-OWNER west-coast M-Sport Coupe with Premium Package, Dakota leather, navigation and original BMW factory warranty. Surgically clean 300hp coupe includes heated Sport seats w/lumbar; Individual anthracite headliner; Coral Red and Black two-tone interior; HD-based GPS navigation w/real-time traffic and voice-command; 11-spkr harman/kardon surround audio w/HD-radio, SiriusXM, CD, Bluetooth, iPod and USB; BMW TeleServices and BMW Apps; Smartphone integration; adaptive bi-xenons with dynamic curve lighting, variable light distribution and auto high-beam; LED daytime running, marker and taillights; Ambiance interior lighting pkg; Comfort Access keyless entry; 19in Style-230 Star Spoke light alloys w/run-flats; anti-dazzle rearview mirrors and MUCH more. An exhilarating Sport coupe in low-mile, thoroughly-maintained condition. CLEAN 1-OWNER CARFAX and AutoCheck showing NO damage, accident or claim history and a top-notch 93-point AutoCheck score. Owned since new in Norwalk, CA and maintained by McKenna BMW. Super.
Dealership Information
Landmark Motors
Phone: 425-861-1978

If the M3 above was well equipped, this 335i is even more so; heavily optioned with M bits and in the fetching combination of Alpine White and Coral leather, it’s an impressive example of the breed. Miles are low and the N55 turbo inline-6 provides levels of grunt close to the E46 M3. The condition is absolute top, and the 335i is I think a slightly more handsome design than the newer BMW Coupes; there are less frills, and that’s okay. With less than half the mileage covered by the M3 and in top condition, the asking price of this one is pretty high but perhaps justifiable given the options and lower miles.

Which is the winner? It’s hard not to pick the M3 since it’s got the right boxes checked for me. It’s a standout color, good condition, the S65 V8 is there and it’s a manual. But the price is I think slightly high compared to some others and the 335i is also quite pretty. Still, I think my vote here goes to the real M rather than the M-options adorned coupe. Which would you choose?



  1. Tony
    Tony July 29, 2015

    The M3 no questions. The M3 is an automotive icon and history has been kind to the badge. Over time, the 3 series will be just another nice BMW. The M3 will always be an M car.

  2. RPM
    RPM July 29, 2015

    The M’s color imbalance between exterior and interior burns my eyes.

    If only the 335i was a manual…

  3. MDriver
    MDriver July 29, 2015

    I’m w/RPM….Dakar yellow never did it for me back in the days of the E36..and the 2 tone interior is a bit rough for my tastes…then add in the high mileage….
    the auto-box is the negative for the 335….but for DD the 335 gives you the much needed torque…

  4. Dr. Who
    Dr. Who July 30, 2015

    The “490” is the internal “BMW Individual” code for Special Order Paint on the build sheet. It’s not the specific colors’ code, which is usually on a special tag/decal under the hood, trunk or door jamb.

  5. Carter
    Carter July 30, 2015

    @Dr. Who – thanks for the confirmation of that, some fora indicated that was the case.

Comments are closed.