BMW 335i xDrive M Sport
Generation after generation, the BMW 3-Series amazes us by improving an already excellent machine, which explains why it won Car and Driver 10 Best award a whopping 22 times now. Statistically, the BMW 3-Series accounted for nearly 27 percent of BMW global sales in 2014. Talk about pressure to perform, but that’s ok, because performing is what it does best.
What exactly is it that makes it such a great car? Well, besides its 300-hp TwinPower engine.
The BMW- 3 Series was a direct replacement of the iconic BMW 2002, which put BMW on the map for performance, build quality and affordability. In the mid 1970’s, people in Europe turned to smaller vehicles that could deliver the same engagement and reliability as bigger displacement predecessors did before the oil crisis. So it was in 1977 that the first BMW 3-Series hit North America and the rest is history. A profitable history.
The Recipe for success
Before I even sat in our car, I had to first install my daughter’s Josephine heavy but solid Recaro child seat, so that meant coming to terms with the LATCH anchors. By no means am I a stranger to German quality, but it is the small details that are always a pleasant surprise, so I was very pleased to see how accessible the anchors were. A plastic flip cover keeps the anchors clean but also noticeable, because if you’ve ever had to shove your hand in between the seats to locate the anchors you know what I’m talking about. You never know how many Cheerios and gummy bears may come out of those crevices. Yuck!
Once the car seat was installed and Josephine was buckled, it was my turn to settle in. The drivers seat seat was comfortable and the backrest bolstered enough to offer support without “bear-hugging” you. The dashboard layout and instruments are quite “blah” in traditional BMW style, I get the idea behind “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” but I would expect a more high-tech and engaging interior when you’re knocking on the $50,000 plus mark. When it comes to comfort, Josephine was cruising in the backseat and enjoyed ample leg room to the passenger seat backrest. Unlike other cars in this segment, you can actually fit four adults extremely comfortably, and you can also fit a month worth of grocery shopping in the trunk.
There have been some quite lovely BMW 3-Series in the past as well some bland ones, but I must say that this is a genuinely good looking car. Due to the 20 degree weather that we experienced during our drive, I spent most of our time enjoying the heated steering wheel and seats, but I still made sure to analyze all the great features of this 335i exterior. The headlights along with the traditional kidney grille are sharp-looking and flaunts an “I’m gonna eat you” look.
This particular model is fitted with the optional M Sport package, which at $3,000, isn’t a bargain but I would most definitely get it if I were buying one. M Sport adds 18 inch wheels, an M sport steering wheel with paddle shifters (our car had a traditional 6-speed), an aero body kit and sport instrument cluster.
The overall look of the car is definitely muscular and agile, I actually believe that it is a sleeker looking car than the mega-muscular BMW M3, which looks like it’s on a high protein diet with a side of steroids. Certainly no complaints in this department, even Josephine took the time to learn some of the key parts of our car.
Josephine loves cars, she’s had the pleasure to ride in some very fancy vehicles and I like to believe that she can now differentiate between the ride quality of a Mini Cooper and a Mercedes Benz S-Class, so after a long day of errands and photo shoots, it was time to settle in and enjoy the superb ride.
Although I would’ve liked to put the X-Drive and winter tires to the test, I spent most of our drive cruising around town with Josephine, which leads me to another beauty of this BMW 335i: adjustable driving modes. They are a life saver, I cant stress enough how much I appreciate this feature that allows me to be as smooth on the throttle and steering like a veteran limo driver. “Eco” or “Comfort” mode is GREAT when you are carrying puke-prone kids in the back seat, and trust me, I know how that can be. If puke-prone describes your kids, I suggest rubber mats or Weathertech liners.
As a responsible Dad, I made sure to explore the “Sport Plus” driving mode of our car BEFORE lunch, and of course it didn’t disappoint. This car is as fast, agile and it handles better than some pseudo-sports cars on the market. What is there not to love?
From a Dad point of view, this is a great car, but most importantly it is a “doable” car, but what do I mean by “doable”? I am speaking to the hundreds of thousands of moms and dads that think that because they have one or two children, cars like this BMW 335i are out of the question. Just because you have a family, it doesn’t mean you have give up on fun and drive a van or third-row SUV, and not that those types of vehicles aren’t convenient, but my experience is that you can have kids and still own fun, exciting and practical cars. Granted, this isn’t a bargain by any means, as you could choose from a variety a luxury SUV’s with more luxurious and spacious interiors and more modern safety features like lane departure warning, emergency braking and back-up camera at no extra cost.
Could I drive this BMW 335i every day? ABSOLUTELY. The trunk is big enough, the backseat is spacious, it delivers a phenomenal combined 26mpg, and if I ever needed to, I could even throw a bike rack on top. In the end, Josephine and I walk away very happy having the pleasure of experiencing such a fine vehicle, well… actually, I’m the only one walking away because she is asleep now, so I have to carry her. I told you this was a comfy ride.