When it comes down to performance luxury sedans, there is one vehicle that has reigned supreme for decades as the ride of choice for people who love driving. That vehicle is the iconic BMW 3-series. Known primarily for having velvety smooth straight 6 cylinder gas engines, BMW has built a reputation in Europe mainly for its frugal yet powerful diesel models.
Although BMW wanted desperately to introduce its lineup of performance diesel AWD sports cars to North America, it could not until recently because the type of diesel fuel at our nation’s gas pumps was high in sulfur. This high sulfur diesel fuel was okay for eighteen-wheelers but would destroy the technologically advanced and emissions-friendly BMW diesel motors.
But thankfully the Federal Government outlawed the high sulfur diesel because of pollution concerns and mandated that all gas stations carry low sulfur diesel. That is why BMW could finally introduce its most highly lauded oil-burner, the straight six-cylinder turbodiesel found in the new 2010 335D.
If you still have your doubts about whether diesel AWD sports cars are fast enough to be fun to drive, consider this: the current land speed world record is held by an Audi with a diesel engine. Also, a driver in Germany recently set another world record by driving over 150 miles per hour in a stock BMW 335D. That may be nowhere near a Ferrari-like top speed, but it means it is just as fast as any other BMW.
And that is truly where the 335D sedan excels (unfortunately BMW has seen fit to not equip coupe models with the diesel). Just like any other BMW, the 335D has the unique character trait of actually becoming more composed the faster you drive it. Once you hit 100 miles per hour (not recommended) the car feels so firmly planted that you sense it existed solely at those speeds. (Note: It kind of was if you consider the fact that the German Autobahn has no speed limit.)
2010 BMW 335D models come standard with an automatic transmission (no manual is available) but that is no hardship considering the vast amounts of power and torque on hand from low in the rev range. Occasionally the vehicle can be caught off boost in a merging situation, but once you realize this and adjust your driving style to suit it no longer becomes a concern.
What you will more than likely notice will be how fast this diesel feels. It is a “push you back into the seat” kind of car when you floor it. The rest of the package is standard 3-series standard-fare meaning solid build quality, exquisite handling, and steering that is so precise NASA should study it. You also, of course, get a standard 4 years/50,000 free maintenance package that even includes brake pads. Frugal and no maintenance costs? This is one very sensible BMW 3-series.
Price: (Starting at $43,950)
Engine: (6 cylinder Turbodiesel)
Power: (265 horsepower/425 lb. feet of torque)
Fuel Economy: (23 city/36 highway)
0-60: 6 seconds