Gather together a cross section of people and ask them what they think of BMW's.
Gather together a cross section of people and ask them what they think of BMW's. Usually, the majority respond with, ‘they’re okay but…’
Now, this could be due to the general perception that BMW drivers have little in the way of road manners. It certainly can’t be down to the cars themselves, because with the possible exception of the Z4, they are all good looking and perform well. This is particularly true of the new 3 Series Coupe.
Despite the generalisation of opinion, the 3 Series Coupe has remained at the top of its premium coupe tree for many years and the company expects this to continue with prospective sales of the latest, third generation car to reach 13,000 units per year in the UK. Mainly, these will be snapped up by male, golf-playing, senior business people, according to BMW’s research. This survey also revealed that the top five reasons for choosing the coupe are: style, performance, handling and roadholding, comfort and reliability.
Starting at the top of that list, the new 3 Series Coupe is very elegant and impressive, with more than a smidgeon of sportiness thrown in for good measure. This can be seen in the various exterior design elements from the ‘powerdome’ on the bonnet to the so-called ‘Hofmeister kick’ at the base of the C-pillars - a BMW trademark. In between these points are connecting design lines, which increase the muscular look of this sleek coupe.
The new coupe is 92mm longer and, in the case of the 335d test car and its petrol counterpart, 6mm lower, while the others in the range have a height reduction of 26mm, compared to the outgoing model. The boot space is bigger, too with an increase of 20- or 30-litres depending on the engine size, which, in the test car results in a capacity of 430-litres. There’s a bit more available if the rear seat backs are folded forward and there are various optional extras, such as a removable ski-bag, to make life a little easier.
Despite the larger boot size, the cabin is not at all cramped. In fact the legroom has been increased, as has the shoulder- and head-room. In the rear, this is facilitated by the use of two, individual, low-slung seats to compensate for the tapered roofline. Although they are well contoured and very comfortable, they are also quite difficult to get out of, especially when upholstered in leather, which makes you slip back. The rear seats have ISOFIX fittings and are separated by a multi-functional armrest and centre section.
BMW 3 Series Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||BMW BMW 335d|
|Body Type||3-Door Coupe|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.1 Seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automatic Gearbox With Gearshift Paddles|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||47.9 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Price (when tested on the 02/05/07)||£35,475|