For those who want the thrill of the BMW but are on a budget–rejoice! The captivating exhaust, torquey engine, and beautiful chassis balance of a BMW are all very within reach. The E92 BMW 335is coupe is the best used BMW money can buy right now, and here’s why.
All gearheads are familiar with the E92 M3’s raucous, 414-horsepower 4.0-liter V8 that screamed to over 8,000 rpm. It was the ultimate expression of the M line’s excesses, crackling and popping on downshifts and wailing during hard acceleration. However, with all of the V8’s shenanigans, it was certainly lacking in one aspect: torque. Producing just 295 lb.-ft. at 3,900 rpm, drivers were required to keep the car in the high-rev powerband for pickup (not to say, however, that this wasn’t fun).
On the flip side, the E92 335is, with its turbo setup, produces 332 lb.-ft. of torque from just 2,000 rpm. In addition, for short bursts of acceleration, there is an overboost function, raising torque momentarily to 370 lb.-ft. Though the M3 eclipses the 335is in horsepower rating, drivers use torque for acceleration more on a daily basis, meaning that the 335is’ powerband is more accessible.
2) Parts and Repairs
It’s no secret that German sports cars don’t have the best track record for reliability–take the E39 M5 pictured above, for example, with its temperamental electronics and leaky head gaskets. Many high-performance and even pedestrian BMWs are plagued by these issues, and when parts do need replacing, their specialized engines make parts difficult and expensive to find. This isn’t the case, however, for the 335is. It’s 3.0-liter straight-six has been in almost every BMW 3-series and 5-series since 2007, meaning that experience and parts for fixing this engine are plentiful. Of course, there are bound to be slight hiccups even with this 3.0-liter throughout its lifetime, but at least when something does go wrong, the 335is’ repair bills won’t sideline the car for good.
The standard E92 335i sounds beautiful, with its twin single-exhaust pipes bellowing a brassy six-cylinder sound across the RPM range. However, in the case of the 335is, the car wears a specifically-tuned, black-tipped M sport exhaust system that amplifies the straight-six’s rumble even further. Granted, the 335is’ exhaust isn’t nearly as crackly or throaty as the quad-pipe system found on the E92 M3. However, is there another BMW that can dole out the six-cylinder sound quite like the 335is can?
Yes, price! Though the BMW 335is coupe stickered for north of $60,000 when new between 2011-13, well-maintained, low-mileage (20,000 or less) can be had for around $35-40,000 in today’s market. The used examples we came across also sported harman/kardon sound, navigation, and desirable manual transmissions, meaning that less well-equipped 335is examples could be had for even less. At that price point, finding another BMW with the performance and aesthetic appeal of the E92 is virtually impossible, making lightly-used examples of this car extremely attractive.
Is there another BMW that can blend the style, dynamics, and sportiness of the 335is with a sub-$40,000 price tag? It is, with little doubt, the best value-based BMW. Go out and grab one before it’s too late!
Here is another tasty BMW coupe (435i with M package) that may transform into the next 335is.
Frank caught automotive fever early in life. Hailing from a long line of car fanatics, he was able to recite the year and model of every car that passed him by age five. His passion and love for the automobile have only grown since then. When not thinking about cars, he is reading, writing, learning, or dreaming about them. His area of expertise is in the realm of German and Italian cars, of which Porsche is a favorite. Frank currently resides in the heart of NASCAR country in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family. He enjoys driving exotic cars in the beautiful Carolina weather.