Let’s hope you’re not child-sized or a professional basketball player if you’re planning on leasing the BMW 3 Series 335D – adjusting the seat requires far more effort than necessary! In spite of the fact we had to consult the on-board computer to find a comfortable seating position, we’ve decided to start on the negatives as there is very little else to say about it in that regard.
Brakes that won’t let you down
Quite simply, the 335D is a joy to drive. Whether you’re cruising around the city in the aptly-named comfort mode, or turning off traction control and taking off with lightning speed, it’s incredibly fun to run, particularly if you like to hear an engine roar. Despite its perhaps conservative appearance, the 335D comes with its fair share of surprises. Its simple dashboard controls are reminiscent of a car far older, and yet it’s so powerful, you could be forgiven for feeling less than confident in its braking system.
Another surprise is its fuel economy – with an impressive 254 bhp, 3-litre diesel engine, it still manages a very comfortable 56 MPG. Of course, whack it into sport mode and you might not get such value for money. Like most of us however, you’re probably looking for something that doubles up as a convenient family vehicle, and the comfort and ample room in the 335D makes it perfectly matched for that purpose.
It packs a generous punch with its 460-litre boot, and there are plenty of storage spaces in the front cabin for whatever the little ones’ latest gadget may be. Speaking of gadgets, sitting atop the dashboard is a very easy-to-use onboard tablet, which is far less intrusive than previous models we’ve tested such as the Mercedes C300H. Here you can select your media, DAB digital radio, GPS and even the manual (if you struggle with seats like we did). Meanwhile, front passengers can ride in comfort thanks to the two-zone climate control.
If you’re looking for a reliable car in all climates, then the 335D certainly will not disappoint. Its rear wheel drive function made it particularly helpful for us having to drive through the Yorkshire snow in January, and little extras such as parking sensors are always welcome. Couple that with a 0-60 time of five seconds, and you’re in for a speedy getaway.
Brains and beauty
Aesthetically, the 335D maintains the classic design principles of former BMW models, but also brings to the table a few more modern features such as a lower, sportier frame. There’s no doubting the sophistication of this smooth automatic, which seamlessly manages to appeal to the boy racer within all of us, even if it is designed for those who should know better. Little features such as paddles serve as a subtle reminder of just how fast this baby can fly, but added touches such as thigh support also assure us that it’s built for comfort, not just speed.