2010 BMW 335d Road Test Review

Arv Voss - CAP staff
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The BMW 3 Series has become an internationally recognized symbol of an intelligent and sporty motor vehicle.  It is also the best-selling premium vehicle globally.  For 2010, the 3 Series is fundamentally unchanged over 2009 models, retaining the Series' essential attributes of rear- or all-wheel drive, optimum front/rear weight balance, precise on-centre steering feel and superbly engineered suspension -- all of which blend to produce a satisfying driving experience that is quintessentially BMW. 

On the design front, 2010 3 Series updates include a freshened front end, profile enhancement and rear treatment.  Up front, the vehicle width is more pronounced and accentuated, though actually physically unchanged.  The traditional four-headlight look is emphasized by the lamps' setting in new chromed "tubes;" the more recently traditional "Corona" luminous rings around the headlights now serve as Daytime Running Lamps on vehicles with high intensity discharge adaptive lights.  LED turn-signal lamps display a new, vertically layered look.  The car's profile benefits from the side sills/rocker panels providing a stronger lower accent, while newly shaped side mirrors with crisp new contours also provide an enlarged visual field for the driver.  Out back, the bumper, taillights and decklid are all newly shaped for greater emphasis on the 3's sporting character.  The tail lamp's L-shape is more prominent, and new LED lighting illuminates both the tail and turn-signal lamps.  The rear track is actually increased adding more emphasis on the vehicles' wide stance. 

Moving inside, subtle updates in materials and surface textures enhance the ambience of the interior, while refinement of the interior styling and amenities include a more ergonomic placement of power window controls for the driver and new, expanded storage possibilities. 

The 335d Sedan represents a significant advancement forward in combining high performance with high fuel-efficiency as an important element of BMW "EfficientDynamics."  Power comes from a 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder diesel engine.  The new turbodiesel features aluminum construction, high-pressure direct fuel injection with piezo injectors, and a turbocharging system that incorporates both a small and large turbocharger for optimum response at either low or higher speeds.  The engine delivers 265 horsepower at 4,200 rpm, and generates a whopping 425 pound-feet of torque between 1,750-2250 rpm.  The engine delivers power to the rear wheels via an electronically controlled six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission with adaptive control.  The 335d is capable of moving from 0-100 km/h in just over 6 seconds with the 6-speed automatic.  The engine also features BluePerformance emissions control technology. 

BMW BluePerformance controls emissions to a strict level that enables the 335d to be sold in all 50 U.S. States and throughout Canada.  Specific features of the BluePerformance system include an exhaust particulate filter and an exhaust after-treatment system. 

My test BMW 335d sedan came with a base price of $49,900.  The exterior sported an Alpine White finish with prominent side graphics that pronounced its makeup -- BMW Efficient Dynamics and BMW Advanced Diesel.  The interior featured Black Dakota leather.  The final sticker grew to $64,900 after adding the Navigation Package, Premium Package, and the Executive Package. 

Except for the side graphics applied for promotion purposes, the BMW 335d sedan's exterior looks the same as other 3 Series models.  It really doesn't sound like your traditional diesel either, nor is there a noticeable diesel odor when operating.  In fact, were it not for the promotional graphics and specific badging, one would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the BluePerformance diesel 3 Series and a conventionally gas-fueled model. 

The ride quality and sporty handling characteristics are quite typically BMW – no different, except for perhaps the almost unbelievable 425 pound-feet of torque.  The extended range per tank of fuel is another clue that the 335d is diesel-fueled.  Fuel economy ratings using the more realistic US EPA rating system are the equivalent of 10.2 L/100km in the city and 6.5 during highway driving. 

Basically, until Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles and the infrastructure to refuel them become more prevalent, advanced diesel power represents a vast improvement over gasoline-powered vehicles, and the BMW 335d sedan is a fine diesel example.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Sport Sedan, BMW, 2010, 3 Series, 335d, $30,000 - $39,999, $40,000 - $49,999, $50,000 - $74,999,

Organizations: BMW

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