The BMW 335d has been lost in the crowd of high performance automobiles and fuel sipping, Green vehicles. With the power to go from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds, the 335d is game for hard driving, but its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged diesel six-cylinder also returns subcompact-like fuel economy. There is no other car on the market for 2009/2010 that combines performance and fuel economy at this level.
The BMW 335d will save its owners money. The “d” indicates that it is diesel-powered, and the 3-liter twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder engine under the hood is rated at 23 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. That’s nearly 30 percent better highway mileage than a gasoline-powered 328i, and 40 percent more than the 335i.
What the 335d conserves all the time is the fuel itself, which means less imported oil. More important to some buyers, it also emits less CO2, and has overall emissions that are 50-state legal, thanks to a urea solution that is mixed with the exhaust and causes a catalytic reaction to clean up the soot diesels are infamous for. Refills of the liquid are included in the 4 year/50,000 miles of free maintenance that comes with the car, and coincide with regular service intervals.
While the engine produces a reasonably healthy 265 horsepower, it also churns out an astounding 425 pound-feet of torque, the stuff that gives you a kick in the pants when you step on the gas. That’s 30 pound-feet more than BMW’s vaunted M5 sedan can muster, and one more than a Chevy Corvette has on tap.
The engine spins away lazily at low revs, which is part of the reason it gets better highway mileage than a 34 mpg MINI Cooper saddled with an automatic transmission, the only kind available on the 335d.
Source of propulsion aside, the 335d is pure 3-series. It weighs about a passenger more than the 335i, but has the same nearly perfect weight distribution, and a sporty suspension that retains enough comfort for a cross country cruise, or a successful business lunch with the chairman of the board and his bad back.
Busy people will appreciate the 580 or so miles you can go between fill ups. This combination of efficiency and performance is part of the reason why nearly 70% of the 3-series sold back home in Germany are of the diesel persuasion.
For 2009 the entire 3-series lineup has been given a mild facelift inside and out. Dual exhaust pipes on a diesel are a nice touch, and speak volumes about the personality of the 335d.
Base price: $44,725