Tag Archives: BMW 3 Series

2011 BMW 335i Review

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You are probably confused and wondering why I am reviewing another E90 (2006-2011 generation) 3 Series if I have already reviewed both a 328i Sedan and a convertible. Well those were the 328i versions, and this is a 335i version. For those of you who know, my sister now drives the Pilot, and so I drive my father’s 2010 BMW 328i. One of my friends has a 2011 335i, and it is exactly the same color and the same generation as mine, so I thought, why not just do a review on his BMW? It may be another E90, but it is a 335i. The 335i is the top dog version with a turbocharged inline six cylinder engine whereas the lesser 328i versions make do with a normally aspirated inline six cylinder engine. The first 3 Series started with the E21 in 1975. At this time, BMW was cementing a reputation as a purveyor of “ultimate driving machines,” a strategy that culminated in the making of some very fine driving machines until recently. After the E21 came the 1982-1991 E30 which launched the first ever M3, then came the 1993-1998, then the 1999-2005 E46, then the 2006-2011 E90. Funny thing is that even as the BMW 3 Series slowly grew in size and status, it remained the undisputed compact luxury sedan in terms of prestige, sales, and driving enjoyment. No matter what other competitors threw at it, the BMW reigned supreme. After reviewing an E30 M3, E36 325i convertible, E46 330i, and two E90s, I can attest to that. I would not include the present generation F30 as one of the all time BMW driving greats because it is part of BMW’s new comfort oriented philosophy. The older the generation, the better driving characteristics they possess, but they are all fantastic to drive except the 2012-present F30 (which actually has started losing comparisons in automotive publications due to its worse handling). Since I drive a 328i, I was curious to see whether the twin turbocharged engine makes the 335i a better car than the 328i.  Continue reading

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2011 BMW 335i Teaser

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Review coming soon (car on the left)!

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2013 BMW 328i Review

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As you may know, for the past three years, I drove a Honda Pilot. But my sister drove a 2002 Toyota Camry LE, which got totaled this summer, so she got the Pilot. What I may not have mentioned is that since August, I have been driving a 2010 BMW 328i sedan (It’s my dad’s) . It was quite the change, as I actually have to worry about huge dips and speed bumps and what not. But I embraced the svelte inline six cylinder engine and the sublime handling. The 328i (I named her Gisele) is the last 3-Series they produced with the heavenly hydraulic steering. I know it seems trivial to obsess over a steering system, but that is what makes a BMW feel like a BMW. In other words, the steering is weighty and it is brimming with feedback. That is why when I got the opportunity to review the latest 3-Series, I approached this car with dread as it was going to be hard for me to remain objective. After all, I arrived to do the review in an E90 (3-Series’ are classified by their generation names. E90 is from 2006-2011, and F30 is 2012-present), review a F30, then leave in an E90. But what really made me approach the F30 with trepidation is the fact that the F30 replaces the amazing hydraulic steering system with an electric system. After reading reviews stating the obvious lack of feel in these new electric steering systems, I tried to approach this car with an open mind. I should explain: previous 3’s were not particularly fuel efficient, so BMW saw fit to install an a more fuel efficient electric system in the F30. The 3 series has a long history dating back to 1975 which when the first generation launched. Since the first generation, the 3 series has solidified its reputation as the best compact luxury sedan in the world. For five generations, it has remained supreme in terms of sales despite the emergence of worthy competitors. Now, it is going to be hard not to be biased. But I am going to try to be objective with the review of this car. It is just that I arrived in an E90 to test drive a F30, and I left in an E90. Can’t be that hard to remain objective right? I have reviewed the third, fourth, and fifth and I have loved them all, so hope was high that I would become fond of the sixth generation.  Continue reading

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2001 BMW 330i Review

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Long touted as the best compact luxury car to drive, the BMW 3 Series was redesigned in 1999 (E46 generation). Succeeding the E36 generation (1990-2000), the BMW 3 Series made strides in comfort and refinement while honing its driving dynamics. How did I stumble upon this BMW? It all started with my friend. She got an “old” BMW, but did not know which it was. As a lover of old German cars, I jumped at the chance to review it. She said, “Okay, but it has to be really fast”. I then found out that the BMW was a 2001 330i, and the time frame was only 15 minutes. 15 minutes! And the car is not even washed. Can you really evaluate a car in 15 minutes? Only one way to find out.

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2005 Acura TL Review

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Before 2004, the Acura TL wasn’t considered a genuine rival to the BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class, which could be attributed to its image and dullness. The 2004 redesign changed that. Combining modern styling, sharp performance, affordability, and comfort, the TL surprised it’s German rivals with its competence. The fact it was available in Type S trim and with a manual transmission didn’t hurt either.The original TL (TL stands for ‘Touring Luxury’) was introduced in 1996 to replace the Vigor. The TL did not concern the Europeans as it had dull styling and underwhelming performance. Same thing applies to the second generation TL which debuted in 1999. It wasn’t till 2004 that Acura gave a car the Europeans were afraid of. It became the second best selling luxury sedan behind the BMW 3-Series in the U.S following 2004. Continue reading

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2010 BMW 328i Review

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“Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken”

That’s the expression that crossed my mind when I was driving the E90 generation. I kept thinking of the 2012 328I F30 version that I drove as a courtesy car. I kept wondering, how did they manage to make the F30 so different than the E90. The E90, in my mind, is almost perfect (the E46 is my favorite).  The BMW 3 Series is the leader of the compact luxury class, and within good reason. When you drive the BMW, Ultimate Driving Machine springs to mind. The one virtue I’d like to have in a car handling wise is decent steering feel. And the Beemer has exemplary feedback. I can literally tell when the road changes just from the feel of the front wheels. There is a stereotype that BMW drivers are douchebags on the road which I can relate to as the engine note of the inline six cylinder engine is addictive. I have a hard time resisting the urge to push the engine to its redline. I prefer it when I can feel the bumps in the road, but not to the point it gets intrusive. The ride quality in the BMW is firm and comfortable at the same time. I don’t know any other car manufacturer that does this. Maybe Honda? But BMW is still miles ahead. I drove on a narrow twisty road, and the car turns so quickly I was able to corner relatively quickly. On a twisty road, this car makes me smile with the alluring engine note and the car’s ability to carve tight turns so well. Continue reading

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