Pros Power, handling, build quality. It's a BMW
Cons outside mirrors, goofy seat belt arm
Summary My 330i sedan was rear-ended by a SUV whose driver was using a cell phone at the time, so the car had to be replaced. The prime candidates were an Audi S4, Acura TL, Lexus IS350 and GS350, Infiniti G35 Coupe and Sedan, Corvette, 350Z, CLK350, Cayman, and - of course - 3 series BMWs. I also looked at Cadillac STS and CTS, Lincoln Zephyr and LS, Jaguar S-type, and Chrysler 300C - although I'm not entirely sure why I looked at any of those.
The first rejects from the list were the S-Type and both Lincolns. I wasn't that impressed with the fit and finish on the Lincolns and the handling should have been better (especially in the Jag), but the 4 liter had good power in both the LS and the Jag. The Zephyr is an odd looking car to begin with.
Next rejects were Corvette and 350Z, mainly because they both felt cheap and junky - which was unfortunate because both cars have plenty of power. Corvette is also damned good looking, corners well, and can 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. Too bad that, at just over $44k base, the fit, finish and overall build quality are so bad. For $65.8K, you can get a Z06 that will 0-60 in 3.9, but still looks like something that was put together by a couple of 5 year olds in a hurry.
The Chrysler 300C was such a piece of junk that Corvette build quality and materials looked pretty good in comparison - and that's bad! I didn't even bother driving it.
A visit to the Cadillac dealer really surprised me. While I think the STS and CTS are ugly cars and their fit and finish should be better, the performance and handling of the "V" versions of those cars really impressed me. They are both prone to wheel hop during hard acceleration from a stop, but both cornered well. The $75K (before options) STS-V is waaaaay overpriced, but the quicker, better handling, and more fun to drive CTS-V isn't too bad at all - especially with a 6-speed manual shifter. But, with a sticker pushing 60K (Just over 50 before options), historically poor resale value for Cadillacs, and low grade interior materials, the CTS-V just doesn't seem like a a very good value for my money. But, 0-60 comes in 5.1. Maybe if you can get one for 10K off sticker - or a really sweet deal on a lease - the CTS-V would be worth considering.
I had lots of fun with the offerings at the Porsche/Audi dealership, which came as no surprise. The Cayman is a blast to drive and has exceptional Porsche quality and materials, but you have to get the $59K (base price) Cayman S to accelerate as fast as the Cadillac CTS-V. Porsche options are notoriously expensive, so you realistically won't be able to find a Cayman S for much under $70K. The Audi S4, at $47.5K, is top quality - as expected from Audi, and it handles great. It's lots of fun to drive and and is a decent value for the dollar - even though, with a 0-60 time of 5.5, it's still not as quick as the CTS-V. The RS4, at $66K, can 0-60 in 4.7. It's a great car and can run, but not worth $66K unless you want to "almost" be able to catch a Corvette.
The Mercedes dealer had a CLK350 and a CLK550. Both were VERY nice, great looking , and top of the line in materials and build quality. I was fairly disappointed in the handling of both cars and for $47K (base), the CLK350 had embarrassing performance. 0-60 in 6.4 seconds for a car that stickered at $55K. The CLK550 (base $56K) stickered at $65.5, was very nice, and 60mph came up in 5.1. But, it should have had a more sporting feel for that kind of cash.
The Acura TL Type-S was surprisingly good for at car with a base price of $39K and sticker price just over $45 optioned nicely. It came with leather, premium sound system, all the power goodies, etc and has a 6 year/70K powertrain warranty. 0-60 in the TL Type-S is 5.5. This car is fun to drive, has good build quality, and is a great value for the dollar.
The Infiniti dealer showed me G35 coupes and sedans. The fit, finish, and overall quality feel were considerably better than that of their Nissan siblings. I liked the coupes considerably better than the sedan, and only drove the 6MT coupe. The one I drove was pretty much loaded at just under $40K ($33.8 base) and does 0-60 in about 5.2. While the materials and quality were considerably better than the 350Z, they still didn't compare with the Acura, Audi, Benz and Porsche. But, for the price difference, it's still a great value for the dollar, handles great, and is fast.
Lexus had an IS350 and a GS430. The IS350 had a base price of $35.7K and optioned out at $42K. The GS430 had a base of $52.5 and optioned out at just under $60K. Both cars were of the fit and finish one would expect from Lexus and were fun to drive. Especially the smaller, faster, more responsive, better handling, and less espensive IS350. While 0-60 took 5.7 in the GS430, the IS350 was only took 5.3 seconds.
Before going to the BMW dealer, I was considering the Audi S4, Acura TL Type-S, Infiniti G-35 and Lexus IS350. Any car that took more than 5.5 seconds for 0-60 was automatically rejected. The Corvette and Chrysler 300C were rejected basically for being pieces of crap - although the Corvette was the fastest car tested and one of the better looking. The Porsche Cayman S and Benz CLK550 were rejected due to poor value for the dollar. The Cadillac STS-V just didn't quite make the cut as compared to the Acura, Audi, Infiniti and Lexus.
I went in to the BMW dealer to look at a 335i Sedan, but there were none available; however, there was a 335i Coupe, with sport and premium packages and 6 speed manual. Sticker price just over $48K with options. Base was $42K. Typical BMW build quality and perfect handling. BMW Claims 0-60 time of 5.1, but the car magazines test it at 4.7 to 4.9 - depending on who you ask. On the first test drive, I rejected the Audi S4 and Infiniti G35 Coupe as being inferior. After leaving the BMW dealership, I went back to re-drive the Lexus IS350 and Acura TL Type-S. The power and handling for the 335i Coupe were just better than the IS350 and Acura could compete with. But, of course the 335i also cost $3K more than the Acura and 6K more than the IS350. Build quality on the Acura TL Type-S, BMW 335i, and Lexus IS350 were all great and they are all fast and fun to drive. I thought the BMW was easily worth the price premium as compared to the Acura, but it was a fairly tough decision as compared to the IS350 at $6K less. If price had been an issue, then I don't know if I would have purchased the IS350 or gotten the BMW 328i instead.
The next morning, I went back to the BMW dealer and purchased the 335i Coupe - a gorgeous car in Space Grey. I've been very happy with the car, except for 3 minor annoyances:
1) The seat belt hand off arms are kinda goofy and sometimes don't work.
2) The outside mirrors, while they look great, are abnormally small almost to the point of being useless.
3) The turn signal indicators are always hidden behind the steering wheel. So, if you accidentally hit the turn signal stalk and turn on a signal, then you don't know it.
BMW could very easily put on normal sized outside mirrors with turn signal indicators built in. That would solve the problems with the mirrors and the turn signals. Other than those minor complaints, it's the best car I've ever driven.
Pros Blistering acceleration, virtually no turbo lag, tight handling
Cons Low ridemakes getting in and out somewhat difficult
Summary I have taken the time to read many of the other reviews. What amazes me the most is that most of these people do not own the car, or have even driven it!
This is my first BMW. I always thought they were overrated by the expression "ultimate driving machine". Not anymore. I've had several high-performance cars, and while they may be fast, you still feel like you're just driving it. When you get behind the wheel of the 335i coupe, you feel like you're wearing it. As if it was an extension of your self. The car is incredibly fast. On my test drive I was sold when I hit 80 mph and felt the car lung forward even faster. The handling is exceptionally tight. Although not a smooth writing car by definition, it handles bumps well. You feel the bumps but they are muted.
The styling is a matter of taste. Some of these reviewers like at others don't. The stock stereo system is one of the best I've heard. The guys at Best Buy were amazed that there are two subwoofers one under each one of the passenger seats. You really feel this bass!
I added the new Alpine blackbird GPS to the car, and had it wired directly into a 12 V power supply. It looks great, and from what I have read about the I drive works a lot better.
The seats are very comfortable and supportive. If you find someone who tells you they cannot get comfortable in the seats they have real back problems! They have more adjustments to them than a chiropractor!
Overall the driving experience is superb.
Pros Unbelievable engine & transmission, superb stable ride & handling, confidence-inspiring brakes, classy interior
Cons no navigation without dreaded i-drive!
Summary I previously owned a 330ci and then an e46 M3. The 335i is better in every way than both of those cars. The 335i has unbelievable power -- believe it or not, it feels faster than the M3. Caveat: I live in Colorado, where the altitude robs normally-aspirated cars of about 20% power. It is amazing that BMW is putting this twin-turbocharged inline-6 in their entire 3-series line. The engine feels so powerful, so responsive, I wouldn't be surprised to learn it actually has 350hp rather than 300 as they claim. Then again, maybe it's just the advantage it gains against the M3 up here at altitude. Unlike the M3, the 335 power comes from way down low and runs all the way up to 6000 rpm's. The engine happily revs up to 7000, and it sounds delightful in the process. The decision between the fantastic Steptronic and manual is the hardest car decision I've ever made. If you always shunned auto trannies (like me), you will think twice when you drive a 335 with the paddle shifters. This is a HUGE improvement over any other auto tranny out there (I haven't tried the Lexus 8-speed). It shifts instantaneously when you flick the thumb shifters - bam! bam! -- yet you can always stick it in auto mode if you're not in the mood to shift. Supposedly the auto is slightly (.2 sec) slower 0-60, but in the hands of the average BMW-buyer (like me!), the auto is probably faster. However, the manual 6-speed is simply delightful. Gone is the notchy shifter and heavy clutch of the M3 6-speed. The 335 shifter moves so smoothly it's like rowing through jello, and the clutch is incredibly light. The interior of the 335 feels warmer and richer than the previous 3-series, in my opinion. It is larger & roomier, and does not have the slight creaks in the plastic/ wood that the previous car had. And the exterior door handles finally feel solid!! At around $45k for a nicely-equipped 335, this car is a tremendous deal. It is going to be the standard-bearer once again.
"DON'T OWN ONE"on by Ryan_1
Pros don't know haven't driven one
Cons don't know haven't driven one
Summary This isn't really a review it's just a question. Why are people talking about the problems they've had with their BMW 330i's? This is not a 330i it's a 335i. They are very different cars. I would like to hear from more people that have actually driven a 335i. Thanks.
Pros Perfect, smooth accerlation and handling
Cons slow iDrive system
Summary I've owned my 335i for about 2 months now and must say it is hands down the most enjoyable car I have ever driven.It was time to turn in my 2002 G35 sedan and I was prepared to buy the new 2007 G35. I first checked out the IS350, but the ride and styling were both very subdued. It just didn't have that sports car feel and handling. Next stop was the Infinity dealer where I fell in love with the slightly modified styling of the new G35. Much sleaker than my 2002. However, once in the drivers seat disappointment set in. The ride of the G35 is very stiff. Try driving over a speed bump or two during a test drive and you'll be looking for the bottle of aspirin. The power of the G35 of is obvious, but shifting transitions and the ride in general seem forced.Onto the BMW dealer where cars for a king's ransom may be obtained. I figured the 328 wasn't even in the contest so I went directly into the 335i. Take a test drive in the 335i before purchasing any of the three contestants and you will be driving home in a new BMW.The car behaves just like you'd expect a performance car to behave, flawlessly. The power, ride and handling are all far superior to the G and IS. I'd give the nod to the controls in the G35 as the iDrive takes a good month of solid memorizing to be able to handle without staring at the screen, but if your going to put out somewhere in the high 30's to low 40's for sporty car, that would be the least of my concerns. By the way, Car and Driver are saying that the 300 horsepower rating of the 335i is understated and is closer to the 320-330 hp range.Updated
Oh, by the way, a radar detector is a must in this car. The speed is decieving in this car due to the smoothness of operation. I apparently was going 25 over the speed limit without even noticing it.