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|14th July 2009, 09:42||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2009
Thanked: 3 Times
Test Drive - 2009 BMW 335xi
It was a Saturday morning when I was driving past the local BMW dealership here and suddenly decided to drive in. I was looking for a specific machine. A 6 speed manual BMW 335i. Sadly the dealer did not have one in stock then. But he offered a test drive of a silver automatic 335xi which he had there. And such an offer is hard to refuse. So I took it. I didnít have a camera and hence no pics. But I did get the brochure. While he went to get the keys I took in the specs of the car. Of course the list of equipment is huge and I wonít write about it all.
Engine: 3 litre DOHC, Twin Turbo 24 Valve Inline 6 cylinder.
Power: 300 bhp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 300 lb-ft @ 1400-5000 rpm
Transmission: 6 speed steptronic automatic transmission. Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
Wheels: 17Ē double spoke light alloy with 225/45 run-flat tires.
Drive: xDrive AWD.
Brakes: Ventilated disc brakes all around.
Optional Packages Included:
Premium package with leather, navigation, Bluetooth et all.
Sports package with tuned suspension raised top speed etc.
A new car at a dealership always looks inviting. But this one came with all the bells and whistles. And I did not know where to look first. So I hastily took in the HiD headlamps, 17 inch wheels with low profile tires, the twin exhausts and that beautiful body. The dealer handed me the key and I got in.
I sat on the electrically operated leather drivers seat. The seating position is very comfortable and of course adjustable and memorised to your favourite position. The multifunction steering wheel has all the expected luxury toys. The dash is walnut wood panelled and equipped with all the audio, climate and navigation controls and switches including the i-drive. At first glance the dashboard seemed real short and in my face. Then I realised I was comparing with the huge Civic dashboard and hence it would take some getting used to. It was a hot sunny day and hence I turned on the AC. Pretty effective climate control system with loads of settings. The only odd thing was the position of the cup holders. Both front cup-holders swing out of the dashboard and somehow look weird.
I pushed the start button. The car purred to life. Putting it in drive, we set off. I drove through a few side roads with twists and turns. The car drove along silently. The ride was surprisingly comfortable considering it was equipped with a sport tuned suspension. Most bumps were absorbed with no complaints at all. After pottering along for a couple of miles at 30 mph, we finally hit a highway. I depressed the accelerator pedal further. And nothing. No sound at all. At this point I must mention I have been spoilt by the i-vtec exhaust note of the Civic Si. And hence for a moment I was taken aback. But then I stole a glance at the speedo and I was doing 80 mph! And the car was just as smooth, composed and quiet as it was at 30. And I could feel there was so much more power on tap. (Later I found out the top speed is limited to 150 mph) Soon we came to a traffic light where I braked quite late to test the brakes. The 13.7 inch front and 13.2 inch rear brakes duly brought the car to a hurried but smooth halt. Leaving the signal, there was a curving left turn. I accelerated into the turn. And then I heard it. A muted growl from the twin exhausts as the car surged ahead. The bolstered seats did their job well as the car hurtled around the turn. The AWD system meant there was no wheel spin or drama of any kind. I was already grinning from ear to ear. The dealer thought this was a good time to mutter some more info into my ears. But honestly, I was having too much fun to listen to him. After some spirited driving through more back roads we came back to the dealership. Reluctantly I got out of the car as he wanted to show me the boot space. Itís good for picking up a couple of relatives at the airport, as long as itís not an international airport.
On the whole
A car that lives up to its name and brand. Feels like a special machine. But not the spec that I would go for. When I think BMW I think of excellent handling RWD cars. And someday if I decide to bring a beast from Bavaria home, thatís the one it would be.
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