What some consider tawdry – I consider exhilarating.
completely admit that I am not a big BMW fan of late. Most of the
reason resides in the company’s new look, infuriating Idrive system and
the mere presence of BMWs in society. They tend to say (nay, yell)
something about the owner.
Then I drove this magnificent machine.
the body lines are still a tad irregular. Some might call it
distinctive and I agree that recent BMWs are beginning to look better;
some more than others. This 335i looks good – the M3 version looks
Everything changes when you slip into the 335i’s
exceptionally clean interior. Everything is as tight as a drum, seats
are solid yet comfortable (some of the best seats in the business in
fact) and the gizmos never outweighed the importance for civility. Even
the cybernetic seatbelt arms that extend to ease your reach for the
seatbelts seemed polite in action and execution.
Idrive system, a knob located in the arm rest area, is much more
intuitive to use. It is a multimedia system meant to consolidate all of
the car’s technology into one, “easy to use” component. It’s still not
perfect as I had to glance at the menu far too long for safety’s sake,
but it is a vast improvement over the original, overcomplicated system.
There is backseat room for 2 and it’s fairly spacious – if you’re of
less than average height. The seats fold forward and electronically
move up making access not horrible. Front seat room was excellent. I
actually had to move the seat up an inch for easier clutch engagement.
After seeing the confines of the BMW 335i xDrive Coupe, my wife
declared that this was a perfect car… for a divorced dad or someone in
a mid-life crisis.
I agreed, but then I drove it. This is a great machine for serious drivers.
was fortunate enough to have the glorious 6-speed manual transmission
in my tester. Although the shifts were surprisingly long in reach, the
engagement was precise and rewarding. ESPECIALLY when listening to the
sweet sound of the 335i’s 300 horsepower (making 300 lbs feet of
torque) 3.0-liter, TWIN turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine. That 330
lbs foot of torque kicks in all the way down at about 1400 rpm and you
can rip into that power-plant to nearly 7000 rpm before red-line. The
sound, rush of speed and rippling effect in your synapse is highly
0 to 60 is in a scant 5.3 seconds. I managed to record 5.4 seconds
consistently, with one of my all-wheel-drive (AWD) launches in 5.2
seconds. The AWD system makes this BMW safer, more predictable and made
me look like a better driver in the corners. The balance is utterly
perfect and the electronic traction control let me step the tail out in
a drift ever so slightly before reigning in the fun. It is not very
intrusive and I never felt the need to shut it off – even when I was
being Godzilla-like aggressive.
I knew EXACTLY what this vehicle
was doing on the road at all times. The input through the steering,
pedals and seat of your pants is astounding. It took less than a day
before I was pushing this car hard. I have yet to drive another coupe
that communicates as exceptionally well as this BMW does.
Sure, it is anything but cheap. Prices start at over 44 grand and my fully loaded tester (sans, auto) came in at well over $50,000.
In the case of the BMW 335i xDrive, it’s worth it. This is all the
sports car a speed junkie would ever need. Not because it’s fast – I
have driven much faster machines – but because it feels like a million
There is one major flaw. People HATE you. I have never experienced
more on-road bias than I have with this vehicle. Even in other BMWs,
people hated me less. In this car, I was cut-off uncountable times,
tailgated, bullied, rudely received and given the one finger salute
more than once for no particular reason. Indeed, there is a bias and
that cannot be denied.
Still, for what this fantastic BMW
represents in regard to driver’s enjoyment, I would be more than
willing to deal with the schmucks out on the road. For a car that’s
built like a Swiss watch and drives like a thunderbolt, yup I could
handle that. Be DAMNED “snoot” factor!
The “Ultimate Driving Machine” indeed.
Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car
sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out
of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to
enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com