BMW 335d 12-Month Report and Review

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Driving the BMW 335d

The 3er Series was launched in 1975 as the successor to the 2002, the car that first defined the sports sedan.  Since then, the BMW 3er Series has not only consistently defined the prototypical sports sedan, but it has been the car that other automakers try very hard to emulate.

The 335d, a fifth generation 3er, doesn’t pamper driver and passengers; instead, it fully engages the driver in the driving experience.  Available as a four-door sedan, it bears a strong familial resemblance to the new 5er and 7er sedans thanks to a mild redesign of the sedan’s body style.  The front was given a wider look along with new headlights and a bolder bumper/spoiler. Prominent longitudinal hood lines frame the hood’s power dome. The rear received new taillights and a more pronounced character line.

Of course, what really differentiates the 335d from the other cars in the 3er Series is the powerful, three-liter six cylinder inline twin-turbo diesel engine with common-rail, high-pressure direct fuel injection with piezo injectors.  This engine produces 265 hp and an incredible 425 pound-feet of torque. (To put this figure into perspective, the BMW M3 generates a mere 295 pound-feet of torque.)  Indeed, there’s so much torque in the 335d that BMW had to use electronics to keep the rear tires from spinning out of control.

To eliminate turbo lag, BMW designed the engine with one fast-and-small turbocharger for initial acceleration coupled with a second, larger turbo that takes over as engine speed rises. As a result, there is no noticeable turbo lag.

The 335d’s steering feels perfect and gives the driver just the right amount of road feel and resistance.  The throttle responds perfectly to driver input.  There is slightly more engine noise but, with the windows closed, the driver only hears a pleasant diesel growl.

The ZF-manufactured automatic transmission’s shifts are perfectly timed (a manual transmission isn’t available) and the normally silent engine emits a low but muscular growl under acceleration. The 335d is, with a 0-60 mph time of 6.0 seconds, slightly slower than the 335i (0-60 in 5.6 seconds)  For passing maneuvers, where going from 70 km/h (44 mph) to 150 km/h (93 mph) seems to happen almost instantaneously, the 335d has no peer.

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