Autocar
1 November 2006

What is it?

The new 3-series coupe, fitted with an uprated version of the twin-turbo diesel engine from the 535d (now with 427lb ft and 282bhp).

What's it like?

Quick. Unless you have iron resolve, this oh-so-tremendously worthy diesel coupé will get you into more trouble than you know how to get out of. The 335d simply demolishes any acceleration interval below three figures – and doesn’t let up much thereafter.

It’ll rev in a very undiesel-like way – a pleasant attribute, but not particularly relevant. The engine’s real weapon is the sledgehammer effect of all that torque through the mid-range and the hushed manner in which it is delivered. The turbo petrol 335i would ultimately be faster, but in a real-world test the diesel is easier to drive quickly, whether intentionally or by accident.

This is partly because the diesel is only available with BMW’s retuned six-speed automatic, which sweeps gearchanges past almost unnoticed and gives you very little against which to benchmark your rapidly escalating speed. Choosing between the petrol and the slightly more expensive diesel is difficult, because both engines perfectly complement the svelte new 3-series coupé.

There isn’t even much difference on the scales – just 30kg, which is not enough to make a discernible difference to the handling on our test. Nor are there any significant distinguishing visual clues; no downturned diesel exhausts here, just two chromed pipes like the turbo petrol.

Should I buy one?

Decently economical (BMW claims 37.7mpg on the combined cycle, and even with the most lead-footed approach we couldn’t get below 25mpg), monumentally strong and suitably sophisticated, the 335d coupé is a dead-cert contender for title of All The Car You’ll Ever Need.

Or it would be, except that it’s possible to get the same engine in 3-series saloon and Touring shells, and it’s the Touring that tempts us most: practical, upmarket and so effortlessly rapid. Just make sure you hang on to your licence long enough to enjoy it.

Join the debate

Comments
16

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

6 years 43 weeks ago

this is my desperate wanted. like it so much !!!

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

6 years 43 weeks ago

I have one and it really is a flying machine. The only change I would make would be to fit normal tyres and a space saver. Runflats ruin the ride and handling on rougher British roads and if they get a puncture the stealers want over £300 to replace (we don't repair runflats Sir!).

Between 2000rpm and 4250rpm I have only been in a handful of cars which can overtake more quickly. None of them get close to my average 35mpg!

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

6 years 42 weeks ago

And still people want silly gutless petrol engines in their cars.

Perhaps they drive them only on track days,when a petrol may be preferable,I would'nt know,I've not driven on a track since I grew up.

I do drive on roads however,and any serious road car,intended for journeys over 50 miles,will have a deisel engine,won't it.

robin

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

6 years 42 weeks ago

I own a 335d M sport Touring which I have had chipped by DMS to about 340bhp.

This is the first diesel car that I have owned and I can honestly say that I don`t miss my Audi RS6 that I traded in for.

I reckon that this car must be doing 0-60 in about 5secs and 0-100 in about 12 or maybe less.

With over 500ft lbs of torque available the mid range performance is simply phenomenal for an oil burner and I get about 32mpg driving it pretty brisquely.

I actually had a bit of fun with an Audi RS4 the other day on a motorway somewhere in Europe and he only just had the edge on me between 70 and xxxmph!

I can`t think of a better car to own which combines practicality and a bit of fun, unless, of course, BMW would like to slot in a 400+ bhp V8 oil burner into a 5 series.

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

5 years 10 weeks ago

from experience a 335 is far quicker, far better to drive and less of a 'company car' in my opinion as most fleets now provide the option of audis.

the A5 is better looking but I'd go for the 335 BMW all day long.

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

5 years 9 weeks ago

I have to disagree.I have sold my 335se because of the appalling ride and inability to put the power down. These chipped tractors will be deathtraps in the winter unless an LSD is fitted and your RS4 will be a speck in the distance. As for Company car' well, the three series is the most popular company car so can't buy that.

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

5 years 7 weeks ago

I completely disagree! I have just disposed of my Audi a5 3.0 tdi quattro and replaced it with a V8 engined Audi S5. Why? The diesel was superb and almost as rapid but it simply did nothing for me in terms of the emotional enjoyment of motoring. As a lover of cars, the sound and feel of an engine has always been a vital element for me. Initially, I felt the tdi could achieve that as the best sounding diesel I had ever heard. But after a year and 10,000 miles it began to leave me cold. Yes, I know the S5 drinks fuel by comparison but I think that cost is worth it. The engine is creamy and makes the best noise I have ever heard from a V8, as well as giving instant response and solid delivery throughout the power range which runs to 7500 rpm. Oh, and why an audi and not a 335i? Simple. As a previous dedicated disciple of BMW the arrival of Chris Bangle changed everything as he introduced a range of the ugliest cars I have ever seen (eg the 1 series which looks like a warthog on steroids, the 3 series saloon a bread bin which has been kicked around on a council estate etc). OK the coupe is to me the best looking but it is utterly bland compared to the Audi. And to cap it all, he turned their interiors into an environment you wouldn't expect to find on a vauxhall nova. Sure, they are probably still in extremis the best to drive (just) but, in the real world, most people wouldn't know the difference, so why miss out on the obvious advantage of 4 wheel drive?

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

5 years 7 weeks ago

search at edmunds.com for more info!

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

5 years 6 weeks ago

I really cant see the point in having a BMW, whatever the model. It does absolutely nothing for me. If I'm after a German make, The BMW isnt even on my list

Re: BMW 335d SE coupe

5 years 3 weeks ago

A friend of mine is only getting 7,000 miles out of his tyres on a 335d. BMW aren't interested in the problem yet he doesn't seem to drive it particularly hard. Do other owners have similar experiences?

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Our Verdict

The BMW 3-series Coupe is stylish, recently updated and has an unrivalled blend of performance and economy

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