MPG-o-Matic BMW 335d Review Summary: . The 2009 BMW 335d sets a new standard for performance-oriented sedans, by delivering a remarkable combination of fuel economy, acceleration, handling, and electronics.
The 2009 BMW 335d is like nothing else on the road in America today. While it looks, for all intents and purposes, like typical 3-series BMW, the 335d’s game-changing clean diesel engine transforms the car into a tour de force to be reckoned with.
The 335d’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six produces 265 horsepower (HP) and an amazing 425 foot pounds of torque. The powerful clean diesel engine is exclusively mated to a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. (The Steptronic can be shifted manually via the console-mounted slapstick shifter. Paddle shifters are optional.)
The official mileage estimates for the 2009 BMW 335d are 23 city / 36 highway miles per gallon (MPG).
We put over 750 miles on our Alpine White 335d review unit, and vanquished the official estimates, scoring an average of 43.9 MPG on the Interstate highway, with 35.1 MPG combined. Test period temperatures ranged from the forties through the sixties, with freeway speeds between 60 and 72 miles per hour (MPH).
The 335d presents a paradox. It isn’t just fuel efficient. It’s downright fast, with a stated 0-60 MPH time of six seconds flat.
Coaxing the best mileage out of the powerful twin-turbo engine isn’t difficult, once you get the hang of it (and gain the willpower to resist the sheer joy of stomping on the accelerator pedal at every opportunity).
Once you’ve accelerated to speed, let off the throttle. By lightening your right foot, you can get the 335d into a high mile-per-gallon range. Feather your foot and watch the analog MPG gauge (underneath the tachometer) to achieve the lightest touch. If you modulate your touch, you can slip into the vicinity of 50 MPG at 50 MPH. The 335d’s proliferation of torque makes it easy to feather the throttle and float down the highway.
Note: Our 335d test unit was delivered with under 2,000 miles on the clock. As with all diesel engines, we’d expect mileage to increase once the diesel engine has undergone a proper break-in period.
Although the 335d’s ride may be a tad stiff for some folks, it’s well balanced and the handling is excellent. Make no mistake about it, handling prowess plays into fuel economy, by making it easier to carry speed into and out of turns. The less you’re on the throttle, the better your mileage results.
Unlike many hybrids, which gain MPGs through low-rolling-resistance tires that can negatively affect grip and handling, the rear-wheel-drive 335d is glued to the road with low profile 225/45R-17 tires as standard equipment. (18-inch performance tires are optional.)
The 335d is unquestionably a drivers car, with a snug, though well-appointed cabin. Our test unit was equipped with Black Dakota Leather and packed with options, including heated seats with power lumbar support, USB iPod adapter, Park Distance Control, satellite radio, and navigation system (complete with real-time traffic).
The console mounted iDrive system uses a toggle knob and seven buttons to provides full access to the 335d’s audio, navigation, and cellular telephone capabilities. An internal hard drive is provided for in-car audio storage. Voice and steering wheel-mounted controls complete the mix.
The iDrive trip computer keeps track of the departure time, trip duration, distance traveled, and average speed, in addition to providing a running tally on fuel consumption. A miles to empty display is located between the speedometer and tachometer.
Hands free Bluetooth integration is top shelf. The process of syncing is straightforward and the upload of phone book information was performed flawlessly. There are two 12-volt outlets – one inside the center console and the other in the ashtray.
All-in-all, the BMW 335d is one of the best choices today for the fuel-conscious sporting driver, with the change to spare. No other car in America can compare with the 335d’s combination of thrilling performance and excellent fuel economy.
- by Daniel Gray
March 13th, 2009
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