Combine one of the best
sport sedans on the market with one of the best ways to save on fuel and what
do you get? The diesel-powered BMW 335d.
Yep, diesel. And like the
Jetta TDI diesel we tested recently, this is a new-generation diesel that’s
smooth, quiet and powerful. While we found the Jetta to be fun to drive, the
335d is a blast.
At the core of the
performance is a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder pumping out 265 hp—not a bad
number. But the real game changer is a gargantuan 425 lb.-ft. of torque at just
1,700 rpm. This translates into
tremendous low rpm oomph that makes the 335d a monster at the stoplight grand
prix, yet never feels like it’s working hard.
Unlike some other diesels,
it’s also happy to rev up to its redline (only 5,000 rpm) for a sporting feel
befitting the BMW badge. The 335d is available exclusively with a six-speed
automatic. Ours had the optional sport steering wheel with shifter paddles for
added fun. And when you take advantage of this super smooth transmission, you’re
rewarded with a relentless wave of power that will put a huge grin on your
Driving aggressively, we
still averaged around 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving, probably 5-6
mpg better than its gasoline-powered twin-turbo 335i sibling. So you’ll emit
less CO2, and go further on a tank, but you’ll probably pay a little more for
diesel at the pump.
The rest of the driving
experience is pure BMW 3 Series, which is to say, best in class. With the sport
package, our Crimson Red tester was responsive with deliciously precise
steering, a firm, never harsh ride, and great brakes. The interior is all you
could ever want from a sport sedan, with fantastic seats (no one does them
better), a thick, meaty steering wheel, great gauges, and superb quality of
Our tester was nicely equipped with the aforementioned Sport
Package, Beige Dakota leather (gorgeous), heated front seats, fold-down rear
seats, iPod/USB adapter (BMW was one of the first with iPod connectivity), and
a few other items, that ran the total up to just over $50,000. Apple to apples,
you’ll pay about $2,000 more for the diesel over the gasoline 335i. For a green
vehicle that’s incredibly good to drive, it’s worth every penny.
—By Ben Lewis, Contributing
Read Jim Flammang’s review
of the BMW 335i coupe and 335d sedan and see all 2009 BMW products in our BMW buyer’s