Review: BMW 335i 6MT Sport Line

Posted on 29. Apr, 2012 by in Auto News

Last month we reviewed the 2012 BMW 328i and found it less than going to be the ultimate driving machines. But the car is a review "Luxury Line" sedan was with an automatic transmission. For driving enthusiasts, the new BMW F30 with various options, including a larger engine, a six-speed manual transmission, a "Sportline" trim level, adaptive dampers, and staggered 19-inch summer tires. Check all these boxes, and the next M3 might seem superfluous. Or not.

Red color, darkened trim, and larger, five-spoke alloys make a car sporty appear reliable. It is somewhat shocking that 19-inch wheels now seem the right size, aesthetics, for a 3-series. Shod them with the new car will be used as compact as 3s. The previous generation E90 looked good with bare 18s. The next M3 (which are no longer offered in sedan form) will probably carry Dubs. Noted since reading a reader's comment on Sajeev design criticism, I can not stop the cutting line on the leading edge of the bonnet. BMW earlier practice of extending the hood to the front grille and headlights revealed a much cleaner nose.

Interior trim is the Sportline available with black, gray or red seats, aluminum or black, and coral (more red) or black accents. Who ordered the press car went with the most conservative options, we have classic black leather (can not see or feel much different than the standard synthetic leather) with bright red stitching, to give some visual interest. The aluminum trim on the center console has been knicked in a few places, suggesting that either it will not keep well or badly abusing journalists that the machines. The Sportline includes front bucket seats with cushions that are both larger and adjustable (unlike the current F10 5-Series) electrically. For all those who will take turns with the speed, that is a must-have. As in both the 328i rear seat and trunk are more spacious than in the past 3s. For those willing to forego this for a smaller, lighter, more agile car, it is time for a four-door 1-series.

Despite kicking 60 hp more than the 328i, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, turbo 335i is the 300-hp 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder will not feel much stronger. BMW official test track numbers back up this impression. Pair with both motors with a manual transmission, and the six only 0.3 seconds faster at 60, 5.4 vs. 5.7. What is this? By the mid-range of the 50-percent-larger engine is only about 15 percent more, and this is partially offset by an additional 165 pounds of weight. The maximum torque is 300 pound-feet with the six, 260 with the four. Only once over 5,000 rpm the large engine is much stronger. Audi has supercharged "3.0T" feels torquier. It's time for a new BMW six that is as tight as a new four-force.

The six course sounds smoother, but the soundtrack is all exhaust (no whirring mechanical bits) and almost universally. BMW has offered sweet sounding sixes in the past. When crossing the exhaust drones a bit much. The four is much varied repertoire is probably unsuitable for a $ 40,000 + car, but also more interesting.

EPA reviews show that the six not significantly less efficient than the four. The figures for the latter coupled with the automatic transmission has been revised down from 24 city, 36 highway to 23/33. The six gears with the same? Also 23/33. And the heavier, all-wheel-drive 528i xDrive … would you believe, 22/32? Neither do I. Something is not right. I suspect only one propulsion system was tested. You take a hit with the manual transmission. The 335i is rated 20 city, 30 highway. In my style of driving, the trip computer reported numbers 5-10 miles per gallon lower than the 335i with the 328i 6MT 8AT. While I was able to "Eco Pro" the latter about 40, it proved to be a challenge to move to the former over 30. Drive in typical suburb, the onboard computer in the mid-low 20s reported in the 335i and the high 20s to low 30s in the 328i. The stronger one. On the gas, the smaller the difference between the two You can rely on a considerable difference on the highway with the manual transmission: It has a shorter top gear (0.85 vs 0.67) and a shorter axle ratio (3.23 vs. 3.15).

Given the manual efficiencies and lower purchase price, there is a point to it? If you ask this question, then no, there is not. (I just asked them for journalistic duty.) My only problem with the manual, except the fuel economy hit is that the second course, it may be difficult to find on a quick downshift, a byproduct of the location of the lock-free reverse the slipstream first.

With the Sportline Sport and the "Adaptive M suspension" to "Sport", the new 3 will feel tighter than the Luxury Line car, but still looser than I would expect from a BMW. In curves, especially those with imperfect pavement or where you are a little too aggressive with the gas pedal, the rear end can bobble a bit. Somehow, the car line is not disturbed, only the driver's door of trust – and not much. The bond with the F30 is not as immediate as with the past 3s, but you learn that when driven with a minimum of understanding, the 335i is there exactly where you want it. What the people who clearly do not know what they are talking about could be called "snap oversteer"? There is none of that. Get on the go pedal slides gradually in a curve, and the rear end. On the far left, the stability control is cut too early. There is no need to disable it completely, the Sport + setting sets the threshold, where it should be. The electric power steering is more communicative than in other recent BMWs. Maybe BMW reasons that, since the car practically reads your mind, there is no need for them to speak. I'm not sure I. Driving the 335i better with communicative steering, but I would enjoy the experience more I did not drive the 328i and 335i with the same suspension, but as good as I can tell, the car feels heavier and less agile with the six, a typical result of the addition of 165 pounds over the front wheels.

One option not on the tested car: "variable sports steering wheel." This is not the $ 300 offered the complex Active Steering in the previous 3-Steries. Instead the steering ratio accelerates faster when the wheel is rotated. At the center, the steering is standard 15:1, 14.5:1, the VSS. With time, the wheel was 100 degrees (approximately the amount needed in a typical intersection turn) turned to the standard steering has accelerated 10.1:1, but VSS has reduced an ultra-fast 7.7:1. I was fascinated by a dealer to try a car with this option. Because the specifications suggest, the optional system is not feel much different on-center or in medium to large radii. Only steep curves the steering feel very different, and even then it's really only apparent after hopping back into the car without them. The biggest difference will be felt in parking lots, where fewer turns required to maneuver into a space. Unlike active steering of the character of the car is not dramatically affected. But since VSS is only $ 300, I would opt for it.

The advantage of the less athletic F30 sport suspension? The car rides more smoothly than the previous 3 Series sports suspension fitted. I could live with the suspension to "Sport" all the time, a good thing, as the car can jump around too much, when the "Comfort". (Yes, you have to switch it every time the car.) Given the nature of underdamped default, the Sportline's standard suspension seat probably the way to go. This will also save you $ 900. A further $ 900, stick save with the Sportline standard 18-inch wheels. They look about as good and they ride and handle much better. The ride is not harsh 19s much of the time, but beat even a small pothole and it sounds like you've taken a wheel. Make non-run-flat tire is probably better, but BMW does not offer them.

Equipped with the most, but not all of the options checked 335i lists for $ 55,745. Seems like a lot for a compact sports sedan? As just mentioned, you can save $ 1,800 by waiving the 19s and adaptive dampers. If you without nav and a head-up display (that would be useful if it included a tachometer included) can live, then you will remove another $ 2,550. Keep cutting tools who do not get the essential, the optional controller, and you're going to a mere $ 47,195.

Still too steep for a vinyl-padded compact sedan? Well, it's a great way to save an additional $ 3,700. The 328i is almost as fast, is much more economical better (despite similar EPA ratings) and handles. Overall, even with the various sports opportunities of the new 3-series feels a little soft for my taste, and uninvolving. BMW on providing a very complete car focused and clear space left for future "is" or "M sports." Among the current offerings of the 328i Sport Line is to get one.

BMW provided the tested car with insurance and a tank of gas. Erhard BMW of Farmington Hills, MI, provided the car with VSS.

Michael Karesh operates, an online source for car reliability and real-world fuel economy information.