All photos by BMW
The all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series is like taking something really good and making it a whole lot better. That’s not an easy task (even for a top luxury car maker), but the folks at BMW succeeded with a tremendous driving experience with the 335i Sedan.
Our test car was very sharp in alpine white, and although there are some differences from the outgoing design, they are mostly subtle but enough to appreciate fine styling when you see it! BMW knows where its bread is buttered, as the 3 Series is the top selling BMW, and only changes that are improvements are necessary. There is no major change to the renowned wide twin-kidney grille, which is classic BMW. As tested, our 335i sported 18-inch light alloy wheels with run flat all-season tires, Xenon adaptive headlights with dynamic auto leveling, Corona headlight surrounds, automatic high beams and LED accent lights. As a complete package, the exterior styling of the 2012 BMW 335i Sedan is one of the best looking sedans on the road.
The interior is now reaching levels that a driver could have only wished for just a few short years ago. What I mean here is that BMW hit it out of the park in the cabin of the 2012 BMW 335i Sedan, with a cabin that supports both luxury and driving performance. The increased seating space and luggage capacity are bonuses, along with the 8-way power front seats. The dashboard is well thought out and instruments are in plain sight. I was impressed with the extremely comfortable leather Dakota coral red and black sport seats, 3-spoke sports leather-wrapped and multi-functioning steering wheel, brushed aluminum trim, high gloss black trim highlights, anthracite headliner, comfort access keyless entry, auto dimming mirrors, heated front seats, Bluetooth wireless technology, satellite radio, iDrive system with 6.5-inch full color flat screen display, automatic climate control, 2-way power glass moon roof, rain sensing windshield wipers and automatic headlight control, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player audio system with HD radio, iPod and USB adapter, and BMW’s advanced safety system. Even with all of the options in the BMW 335i Sedan, the feeling is still that of a clean design, and these days, that’s a major plus.
Expectations were high going into our week driving the 2012 335i, and after many miles behind the wheel, we’re here to report that this new BMW did not disappoint. As tested, our car had a 6-speed manual transmission, 3.0 liter dual overhead cam (DOHC), inline 24-valve V6 engine with an aluminum engine block, TwinPower Turbo technology, high precision direct injection, Valvetronic and Double–VANOS steplessly variable valve timing. What this produced was a powerful and smooth driving experience that straddles the line between sport and luxury unlike anything on the road. When you add in Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including brake fade compensation, start off assistant, brake drying and brake stand by features with Dynamic Traction Control, you are surrounded by safety. Also adding to superb braking was the high performance and lightweight 4-wheel ventilated disk brakes with an anti-locking braking system (ABS), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and cornering brake control (CBC), which gives the driver plenty of padding to brake as needed. We chose to drive mostly in sport mode, which gives you an extra kick on the pedal and a slightly stiffer ride. When in default driving mode, the auto stop could get jerky at times, but for the fuel savings, some might find it worth it.
There are many choices in the marketplace for either a sports sedan or luxury sedan, but very few can give you both at the top of the chart. The 2012 BMW 335i Sedan delivers, and for a price as tested at $49,770, you know that you’re not just spending on a brand, but also a smartly engineered machine. Fuel efficiency is also improved coming in at 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. It appears that BMW has made strong improvements on what was already a great car with their all new 2012 BMW 335i Sedan.
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