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Old 03-19-2016, 02:25 AM   #1
MaddMax
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2016 BMW M235i 6MT

Default After 4 years, my 2012 WRX hatch is gone and it was a good run

After nearly 4 years of ownership and 38K miles, my 2012 WRX Limited hatch was sold to Carmax last Saturday. The replacement car is a new 2016 M235i 6MT with moonroof delete, no navigation, Mineral White, and red leather. Anyway, I wanted to make this thread so perhaps someone researching these cars would find a pretty damn positive and honest long-term ownership review.

I purchased my 2012 WRX new back in March 2012 after having to order it. The car was a good fit for a 37 y/o married dad with two younger kids. The car served me very well over the course of ownership. It never visited the dealer and never had a single warranty issue. Nothing leaked fluids, no boost leaks, nothing fell off or broke. The interior held up extremely well and only the rear hatch panels had a few scratches from transporting a road bike. The passenger compartment didn't have a single scuff or scratch. I'm not OCD about the kids treating my car good either.

The oil was changed every 5K miles and/or 6 months. It consistently burned between 1/4 and 1/3 QT of oil between oil changes. I ran 5W-30 Pennzoil Ultra and also 0W-30 Castrol Euro. Used oil analysis showed really solid numbers over 3 years of testing. It consistently showed 1ppm of silver in the oil. The car got around 22-23mpg in 50/50 driving on the stock tune and 20-21mpg running the Cobb OTS 93 high wastegate Stage 1 tune. I didn't drive the car hard, but I didn't drive it gingerly either. It did get launched occasionally (clutch slip 4,500-5,000 rpm launch) and every entrance ramp was a WOT romp. The clutch did stink from the very occasional launches, but the clutch never slipped or acted funny. The throw-out bearing would whir loudly on humid days when the car was cold, but after 5 minutes of driving, the sound went away. It did that for nearly 4 years. Never got worse.

Two years in, I installed GTWorx Bilsteins and RCE Black springs I felt the drop was too much and the ride too harsh. The car needed wheel travel. I ended getting a specially valved Bilsteins with softer valving and RCE Yellow springs. Teamed with a 22mm Superflo front bar, 19mm OEM STI rear bar, and a set of 18X8.5 Enkei Rajjins and 235/45R18 Michelin PSSs, the handling and riding was shockingly good compared to stock. It was so dialed in for a street car. The suspension made the car ride like it was 500lbs heavier and I mean that in a good way.

I modified the lower and upper seat cushions on the driver's seat to increase bolstering so that you sat deeper in the upper part of the seat and kept your legs from splaying outwards. It was such a huge improvement even though visually it looked the stock.

I added the SPT short throw shifter, Kartboy front bushings, and a 1lb Lathewerks shift knob. The SPT STS and most importantly, the shift knob, made a massive improvement in shift feel, directness, and reduced NVH.

As previously noted, I ran the Cobb OTS 93 high wastegate Stage 1 tune for a year. I really enjoyed it and it made the car's driveability better in every way. The power was fun and amusing. I rarely felt the need to go over 5000rpms. I resisted the urge to add a downpipe because I honestly feel you're starting to push your luck on the shortblock with a downpipe and beyond. I told myself if I wanted a fast car, I'd buy a faster car.

My biggest compliant was the rattles. I kind of knew this going in, but I didn't realize it would be that bad. I routinely cursed Subaru's cost cutting with their panel attachment points. Once I added the suspension, the rattles increased substantially in the colder months. I managed to quell a majority of the rattles by running around 100 linear feet of felt tape throughout nearly every interior panel which had been removed. Luckily, pulling the panels is rather easy.

After 4 years, I decided I wanted something more sports car like, a bit more refined, a little more powerful, and RWD. That's where the M235 comes in. Even though the M235 is highly rated by even Consumer Reports as being quite reliable, I fully expect the M235 to have it's issues and be expensive to maintain out of warranty. I also know for a fact that I won't get 75% of the value of the car back after 4 years. I sold my WRX to Carmax for $22,000. I paid $28,400 for it. God bless Subaru's bonkers resale.
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Last edited by MaddMax; 03-19-2016 at 02:34 AM.
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Old 03-19-2016, 02:44 AM   #2
Elusivellama
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How much more powerful do you find the M235i? It has the N55 engine in it, correct? Congrats on the upgrade, I actually quite like the M235i myself...
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:40 AM   #3
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusivellama View Post
How much more powerful do you find the M235i? It has the N55 engine in it, correct? Congrats on the upgrade, I actually quite like the M235i myself...
Quite a bit more powerful in daily driving. It is the N55 with an M Performance tune (320hp/330tq vs 300hp/300tq in the standard car). It makes around 310whp/330wtq stock or around 350hp/370tq at the fly. With my options, my M235 weighs around 3420lbs or about 150lbs more than my WRX.

On the highway, it has quite a bit more legs above 70. Getting it off the line quickly is more difficult, that's for sure. The turbo spools nearly instantly and it feels very much like a small, high revving V8. Overall, it's a very different driving experience. You can be lazier with it compared to the WRX. Both are great to drive.

The clutch in the M235 is very light and has a long travel. The accelator pedal is very stiff. Both are the exact opposite of the WRX. I miss the WRXs quick accelerator on downshifts.
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:45 AM   #4
bagwell
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nice pickup, but why a 2 door with 2 (still-young) kids?
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:49 AM   #5
Elusivellama
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I've sat in the back of an M235i and there is actually quite a bit of space back there despite how it looks from the outside. I found it quite easy to get in too. By comparison, getting into and sitting in the back of a 2015 Mustang GT was a miserable experience.
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Old 03-19-2016, 12:00 PM   #6
mishapopa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMax View Post
I sold my WRX to Carmax for $22,000. I paid $28,400 for it. God bless Subaru's bonkers resale.
Was going to ask why you'd trade in a problem free WRX until I saw this.

Grats dude, may you have the same luck with BMW that you've had with Subaru.

Can't say I'm disappointed on the reliability front with my car but can't say I'm happy with all the recalls and minor issues either.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:18 PM   #7
theEZV
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Current - 2014 BSM 335i

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I made a similar move recently - ditched my 2013 WRX a few months back for a 2014 335i. The rattles were my biggest gripe with my Subie as well. I'm enjoying the added luxury, although the interior plastics rattle quite a bit as well, which is disappointing.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:13 PM   #8
Cal_92
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Congrats on the M235i! I had one as well, and is the best driver's car I've owned to date. Don't forget to put it in "Sport" mode. Throttle response, steering response, and exhaust note are significantly enhanced. I enjoyed listening to the pops and burbles on deceleration/acceleration. As you've stated, those cars are extremely underrated with the horsepower figures.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:17 PM   #9
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagwell View Post
nice pickup, but why a 2 door with 2 (still-young) kids?
I guess I'm of the belief that kids don't take up much space and many of us grew up riding in much smaller cars with our familes The M235 has about 2 inches less legroom than my WRX did. I'm 6 2" and my 5' tall 11 y/o son easily fits behind me and my 7 y/o daughter in a booster is fine sitting behind my wife. I can actually fit behind the seat with it in my driving position. I could ride like that for a cross town jaunt. With that said, my kids love riding in it, even more so than the WRX. With the seats folded down, I can get my road bike in the M235 which surprised me.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:51 PM   #10
TranstaSWP
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Where did you get the specially valved bilsteins at? Your set up sounds like what I want for mine...
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Old 03-20-2016, 03:41 PM   #11
pooster.online
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m235 is truely a sweet ride!! i heard they are very limited/already sold out... Pics would be awesome!!
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:06 PM   #12
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TranstaSWP View Post
Where did you get the specially valved bilsteins at? Your set up sounds like what I want for mine...
Miles at Racecomp Engineering arranged to have the Bilsteins revalved by the Bilstein folks in LA. It was amazing how much better they rode on the street, even with stiffer RCE Yellow springs.
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Old 03-24-2016, 02:13 PM   #13
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pooster.online View Post
m235 is truely a sweet ride!! i heard they are very limited/already sold out... Pics would be awesome!!
They're not really "limited" and are definitely not sold out. BMW just doesn't sell a bunch of them because the M235 is very close in price to the 435 once you start throwing in options. More people gravitate to the 435 at that point. I wasn't interested in the 435 because it's too big and a bit disconnected. The M235 is more focused on the driving experience, has a strong N55 motor, more power, the same beefed up 6MT found in the M2/M3/M4. I had to order it because hardly anyone wants an M235 without a moonroof (40lbs lighter), a 6MT (slower than the auto), and no navigation (more crap to break).

Here are some crappy cell phone pics on the day I got it.











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Old 03-24-2016, 03:12 PM   #14
Elusivellama
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Did you get this with the limited slip?
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:20 PM   #15
ConBroMitch
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Quote:
I sold my WRX to Carmax for $22,000
I. have. so. many. questions.

My 13 WRX (42k) is for sale right now. I would love to get close to that number for mine. Where are you located? How was it dealing with CarMax?
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:25 PM   #16
theEZV
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FYI Carmax offered me 19k for my 2013 hatch. 26k miles, Base model, had some light damage to the front bumper, cracked windshield, with mods - KWs, exhaust, and 18x9.5 Gramlights. Probably a more realistic number to expect.

This was 3 months ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ConBroMitch View Post
I. have. so. many. questions.

My 13 WRX (42k) is for sale right now. I would love to get close to that number for mine. Where are you located? How was it dealing with CarMax?
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:09 PM   #17
MaddMax
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusivellama View Post
Did you get this with the limited slip?
Na, I held off because I wanted to see how well it did without it. The temps really haven't been warm enough to fully use the Michelin Pilot SSs yet. BMW just dropped the price of the LSD differential $500 and now it's $2,200 MSRP to buy from a dealer. Some online stores are selling then for $1,900. I may end up buying one eventually and install it myself. I did the same thing with my old G35 (swapped in a VLSD from a 350Z).
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Old 03-25-2016, 03:20 PM   #18
MaddMax
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2016 BMW M235i 6MT

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConBroMitch View Post
I. have. so. many. questions.

My 13 WRX (42k) is for sale right now. I would love to get close to that number for mine. Where are you located? How was it dealing with CarMax?
I'm in Kansas City. Not to toot my own horn, but my 2012 WRX Limited 5-door was in stellar shape, not a dent or scratch inside or out, was paid off, had the title in hand, and I'm 41 y/o dad. It was completely stock when sold. I had it listed online for $23,000 and would take between $22,000-23,000. I had the car listed on Cars.com for 10 days and not a bite. It turns out the 2011-2014 WRX market is pretty saturated thanks to the high resale of that gen and Subaru dealers having plenty of new WRXs in stock. I went to CarMax for the hell of it. They offered $22,000 and wouldn't budge (that's their thing, but I tried to get more). I was fine with $22,000 because I knew their money was good and they'd take care of paper work correctly. I was in and out in about 1 hour. Painless. I've bought a prior car from them and was just as happy with process. They're legit and good to work with.

I really think the key is to have the car in stock form and free of damage.

They did ask about mods, specifically and I quote: "Does the car currently have engine or suspension modifications?" My answer was: "No, the car is currently completely stock." And that was that. They didn't ask if it had prior mods; which it did including a Cobb Stage 1 tune (no other power mods).
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:32 AM   #19
MaddMax
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M235 now makes popcorn with the M Performance exhaust.



https://youtu.be/pfFUiAd5w54

Last edited by MaddMax; 05-03-2016 at 03:38 AM.
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