BMW 335d Review

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How does it drive?

We’ve had the 335d in our test fleet for almost a year and it’s spent time passing slower cars on German Autobahnen, driving up twisty Alpine roads, and driving the challenging Lime Rock track. It’s lived up to BMW’s reputation for providing Freude am Fahren (the joy of driving) and it demonstrates responsive yet refined road manners  – without sacrificing passenger comfort or driver joy.

The 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 hears a pleasant diesel growl.

While a manual transmission isn’t available (BMW says that a manual transmission that could handle the engine’s torque would be cost-prohibitive), the ZF-manufactured automatic transmission’s shifts are perfectly timed 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.

Since the delivery at the BMW Welt last December, we have found that fuel economy typically surpasses the EPA rating of 23 mpg (10.2 l/100 km) in the city and 36 mpg (6.5 l/100 km) on the highway. The best sustained fuel economy we’ve recorded was 40 mpg (5.9 l/100 km), although we’ve seen as high as 42 mpg (5.6 l/100 km) for brief periods of time.

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