BMW's 2011 335d sedan combines speed and thrift

BMW's 2011 335d sedan combines speed and thrift

July 10th, 2010 by Mark Kennedy in Carscruisin

This Alpine White 335d sedan from BMW of Chattanooga is good-looking, practical and fast.

The BMW 335d sedan offers the best of two worlds: dynamic acceleration and penny-pinching fuel economy. During a recent test drive of an Alpine White 2011 335d from BMW of Chattanooga, I was floored (pardon the pun) by the low end torque of the inline sixcylinder, 265-horsepower engine. To think this much power could flow from a powerplant that returns 36 mpg on the highway is nothing short of amazing.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS: Like all 3-series BMWs, the 335d is a willing accomplice for any driver who likes to carve up a freeway. Our 335d tester charged through I-75 traffic late one afternoon last week. The torque never fades through the middle of the power band, and the leap from 40 mph to 60 mph happens in a flash. Steering is sharp, and the 335d's handling response is precise. The cockpit is meant to enhance the driving experience, so don't expect overpadded seats or sensory-killing road isolation.

STYLING: Aside from a tail badge and different mechanicals, the 335d is virtually indistinguishable from a plain-vanilla, gasoline-powered 3-series. But that's not bad. The athletic sheet-metal of the current 3-series has become instantly recognizable on American highways. Our tester came with a host of options, including Beige Dakota leather seats, a Steptronic transmission, heated steering wheel, moonroof, power seats, navigation system and Xenon headlights.

BOTTOM LINE: The BMW 335d is a near perfect car for serious drivers who want a green machine that returns subcompact-like fuel efficiency.

TEST DRIVE

TEST MODEL: 2011 BMW 335d.

ENGINE: 3.0 liter turbo-diesel.

TRANSMISSION: automatic.

FUEL ECONOMY: 36 mpg highway, 23 mpg city.

BASE PRICE: $43,950.

PRICE AS TESTED: $52,350.

SEE A VIDEO WALK-AROUND OF THE 335D BMW SEDAN.

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