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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
6,753 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So, another member (FX32 not to name names) asked me for my thoughts on moving from my VQ powered 3.5SE 6MT to a BMW twin turbo AWD 6MT ten years younger... So this thread will follow my random and not necessarily consecutive thoughts on the matter.

By the numbers, Alti 270hp/250ftlbs, BM W (with M options) 355hp/350ftlbs (I have the's 379ftlbs with the autobox) basically +100/+100

For starters, the BMW's sticker price was fully twice was the Altima's was. It was made in Germany, my Alti was made in Tennessee or wherever. They are both 4 door sedans, approximatley the same size though the BMW is 350lbs heavier they almost the same wheelbase, and the BMW is 7" shorter and 1.5" lower. I paid 5x as much for the BMW, but the Alti in comparison had 5x the km and 5x the years when I bought it. I will not be saving money driving this thing. I did however get 3 years of original warranty and schedule maintenance included...I got none of that with the Alti.

As for the rubber hitting the road...255/35/19 $600 runflat S001's vs 215/55/17 $200 Dunlops and AWD vs 1-wheel drive, well let's just say wheel spin is largely a thing of the past. So is body roll....the BMW is on rails compared to the Alti. Winter rubber is a fun can't buy steel rims to fit over the giant you have to invest in alloys for winter (x2 $). No spare tire, means runflats unless you like freezing to death in your fancy car around here. That's another x2 in $ selling my old Alti may just about pay for the snow wheels on this thing.

Cameras and radar...I had to retrofit a simple rear camera in my Alti. BMW has rear cam, front cam, side cams...generating surround view, birds eye view either side views..., there are ultrasonic obstacle detectors, front mounted radar and all this ties dynamically into the video display...including colour blocking of the most concerning obstacles. Oh, and when reversing, it uses the stereo audio to inform the driver of moving obstacles represented by tone and sound field an object approaching from the back left across to the right is represented by a ton increasing in pitch and moving from the left speakers through to the right speakers... Don't get me going on the lane departure stuff...change lanes without signalling...wheel too close on a side...lights on the mirrors flash at you... I haven't even tried the adaptive cruise control yet...probably don't want to. Suffice it to say the navigation tools are a world away from Nissan's.

but, Dear God, this BMW is fast when it wants to be....

BMW came with 'M Power and Exhaust' options...basically a factory authorized resonator delete, engine tune and electronically controlled valving to bypass the rear muffler to really let things all hang out. I call it 'Angry Mode'. Produces an exhaust rumble on par with my original Gen3 3.5SE Alti with the Vibrant stainless cat back exhaust system. Under load it makes plenty of exhaust noise, including requisite acceleration blaaattts, exhaust popping when you bakc off, rev blipping on down-shifts (thanks ECU!)...all electronically controlled from an understated switch on the centre console...oh, and the digital guauges all reconfigure themselves and turn red.

Things I like better about the 'all-doors unlock' button in the driver door console (BMW locates theirs in the centre of the centre console right below the Hazards button) WTF? I also like the Alti's push button start better...they both start the same...but the BMW stays alive even when you turn the engine off...even after you get out of the car and shut the doors, at least until you lock the car with the remote...then all the lights and entertainment stuff shuts down, finally.

So there you go, first impressions.

225 Posts
Thank you for taking the time!
Definitely BMW and Audi are one step forward every other brand with their 360 camera/radar system, extremely useful on small cities.

I didn't consider it to be so expensive with the details you mentioned, but you get what you pay for: newer, quieter, safer. Not much to mod out there, it looks great the way it is with the M package. And really nice that you've got it with so low miles.
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