They're firm, but they're not catastrophic. All stock has its issues; the constant groaning of gangways on Mk3s, or the push up the backside and constant knocking from a worn buckeye on Mk4s, they're heavy bits of kit, its never going to be perfect. Never experienced a 385 so can only assume its similar to the braking experience I've had on Hitachi stock, no noisier than any other unit I've been on. Since all of my journeys on 800/801s have been in the daytime, and I specifically remember being able to see out of the window quite clearly on every single occasion, obviously that's not true. Did you have the blind down? Well again the ones I've sat in I know are no worse than 222s. Oh that bit. Size isn't important, it's what you do with it. Again, not experienced a 385. Very specific time to be tolerable. My arse can go numb sooner than that on any train. They may well be alright on the inside, but there is a lot of corrosion appearing around the doors. How long they'll actually last with other operators remains to be seen.