BMW 335Diesel Test Drive
Today I test drove the new BMW 335 Diesel 4 door saloon as seen here on our driveway…
This new 3 Series has grown in proportions since the old model and is now bigger inside, which is now very similar to the Vectra. This model (335D) also weighs a similar amount to the Vectra at 1,655 KG.
However, I didn’t seem to have the same headroom in the rear as in the Vectra. !’m 5’10” and my head was on the roof lining almost.. it was better in the front though
The boot is smaller on the BMW as well, with a very small opening. The Vectra wins hands down for boot space as its a hatchback and you can get much better access. Also, if you want to fold the rear seats down in the BMW, you have to specify this as an optional extra... and it costs £245 !!
The 335D has a 3 litre twin turbo engine powering the rear wheels. It provides 286 BHP and 580 NM torque as standard (as a comparison the VXR Vectra provides 280 BHP and 355 NM torque). The 335D has a similar 0-62 time of 6.2 seconds.
The interior is very smart and functional, however I did struggle to locate the ‘unlock door’ button which is very small and hidden below the hazard warning switch. The steering wheel is chunky and leatherbound, so feels nice to hold but is much much heavier to turn than the Vectra, I thinks its a little too heavy. The plastics and materials used were high quality and the finishing was excellent.
The car key is electronic and simple has the door unlock, door lock and boot release
Push it into the slot on the left hand side of the steering wheel
… press the brake pedal and push the start button to fire up the 3 litre twin turbo diesel engine.
The engine is fairly quiet on tickover, but I was disappointed with the ‘mechanical roughness’ noise that it makes when accelerating in first gear. All the other gears make the engine sound smooth and powerful, except 1st gear… almost like it doesn’t have enough oil protecting it.
Whilst the engine is now running, we can take a quick look at the i-drive system. Its very similar to a computer mouse. Point and Click. Simple press the ‘Menu’ Button to return to the ‘home’ menu and twizzle, push and press the knob until you get to where you want to be… fairly simple
Ok, enough talking about the interior, lets take it for a test drive…..
There are four methods for using the gears in this car…
Drive = Normal Automatic (economy)
SDrive = Sports Automatic (races up to the red line before changing gear)
Tiptronic = Manual Control by pushing the gear lever forwards or backwards
PaddleShift = Manual Control by pushing and pulling the paddles on the steering wheel.
I honestly thought I would be using the PaddleShift system for the whole test drive (F1 style). But honestly, its just a gimmick and I didn’t use it at all. Its just to slow !!... you pull the paddle… it thinks for a second, then another… then changes gear !!.. There’s no point in it. You may as well stick it in SDrive and let it sort out the gears itself.
So here I am cruising along in my BMW 335D and it does feel nice. My wife thinks its quieter than the Vectra, but I reckon its about the same noise level. Either way, its fairly quiet.
Rear visability is fairly good as well.
However, I do have a problem with this car. I was heading onto the motorway (at speed) and glanced over my right shoulder to double check and saw this….
My headrest and ‘B’ pillar…. I couldn’t see anything else. It really surprised me how little I could see over my right hand shoulder, especially when I can see so much more in the Vectra. That was a negative point.
Safely on the motorway, I pushed cruise control and simply enjoyed the ride. Very comfortable seats which have leg extenders to support the back of your knees. Very nice.
My wife Diana also liked the dashboard layout… very easy on the eye and an enjoyable ride.
Well, obviously this car has been advertised as the ‘most powerful 6-pot Diesel in the world’ so we thought we should test that out to.
Hope you enjoy the clips
Very quick car, and don’t turn off the traction control in the wet, unless you want to die early.
Looks great on the inside, but I really don’t like the looks on the outside.
The model we test drove above costs £ 36,350
£ 715 = Adaptive Headlights
£ 185 = Headlight Wash
£ 285 = Rear Parking Sensors
£ 535 = Bluetooth Phone Preparation
£ 1970 = Sat Nav
£ 215 = Brushed Alloy Interior Trim
TOTAL = £ 40,255 new
3,500 miles on the clock second hand it should sell for around £30k, so a big saving.
Is it worth two Vectra’s ???