Enjoyed driving the new 2009 BMW 335d

Posted By on February 20, 2009

BMW 335d side

I called a friend of mine to check on his wife who was scheduled for surgery this week and after hearing that she was in recovery, our conversation shifted to the new 2009 BMW 335d that was sitting in front of the Akron area Dave Walter dealership. Although I know how the soft-sell enticement game works, I didn’t protest much went the “why don’t you take it for a test drive” lure was toss in front of my face. I took the bait thinking I would walk away satisfied to have driven this polished car, but the hook snagged me and I’ve been unable to shake it since Thursday.

start stop buttonCompared to the VW TDI diesels that I’m use to driving, the BMW 3-series diesel is considerably more expensive (see sticker), but comes with a few more BMW standard goodies, a reputation as one of the finest handling 4-door sedans,  a couple more cylinders and an extra turbocharger. This  3.0L 6 cylinder twin turbo creates a locomotive worthy 425 ft.lbs of torque an 265 horsepower, which is more than enough to get this oil burner to 60 in 5.7 seconds, so says Car and Driver. All I know is when I planted my foot down on the throttle on an interstate entrance ramp that it made merging into traffic a breeze. The engine noise was a bit more dieselish than the ultra quiet award winning 2009 VW TDI clean diesel, but not at all offensive to those who’ve owned diesel cars. In fact, the noise is not the diesel clatter of a truck or older diesel car, but instead a deep throaty growl. Beside the attractive touch and visual appeal, this beast now had won over my ears.

There was also no doubt that this car was a balance German Autobahn cruiser as lane changes were snappy at a bit above the legal speed limit and it felt like a glove. The even weight distribution of the 3-series BMW was all still there even with this slightly heavier engine. The six-speed automatic never once was searching for the right gear and it didn’t eve occur to me that I wanted a manual transmission … or dual clutch gearbox (which would be nice).


The model I drove was minimally equipped, although had a nice sunroof and comfortable heated seats. I sort of wanted to play with the new i-Drive Nav gadgets, but wonder if this signicantly priced upgrade would really be worth it? The climate control was dual zone and had heat pumping quickly into the smallish cabin and relatively simple to operate. The driver’s power seat was infinitely adjustable and I quickly found that it fit me well … can’t say as much for the back seat.  As for the truck, it might be challenging to get two full sets of clubs into it, especially if an overnight bag was also needed? (you’re not buying this car as a family tripmaker although I could comfortably make weekday and weekend trips)


All in all, the price is out of line IMHO.  $45K is a lot of money for a smallish diesel performance car and if you want a few gadgets, this car would be easy to add another $10K onto … and $55,000+ is way too much even with the $900 diesel tax credit that applies; it is hard to see BMW selling many at this price. (are diesel BMWs this high in Europe?)

2009 BMW 335d – from Car and Driver review

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

BASE PRICE: $44,725

ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve diesel inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 183 cu in, 2993cc
Power (SAE net): 265 bhp @ 4200 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 425 lb-ft @ 1750 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting

Wheelbase: 108.7 in Length: 178.8 in Width: 71.5 in Height: 55.9 in
Curb weight: 3800 lb

Zero to 60 mph: 5.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 14.2 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 21.8 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 6.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.2 sec @ 100 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 128 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.89 g

EPA city/highway driving: 23/36 mpg


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