Fleet News

BMW 335 Ci

BMW

Review

Blackberry? Check. Talent for blue-sky thinking? Check. Ability to say ‘synergising our mission critical strategies’ without smirking? Check. BMW 3-series Coupe? Check.

BMW’s Coupe has been an essential weapon of an executive’s armoury for a long time: stylishly corporate, sexy, great to drive and easy to live with.

The new model is easily the best-looking of the 3-series family, and the picture you see here just doesn’t do justice to its sleek yet muscly lines.

Keeping the basic ingredients that have appealed to so many businessmen – lantern-jawed front, short overhangs and long, low roofline is a sensible approach. So while the styling is conservative, yet progressive at the same time, the engine is anything but. In fact, for BMW you could call it radical.

After being a turbo pioneer in the 1970s, the firm dropped them and established a long tradition of producing the requisite power from naturally-aspirated petrol engines. But a combination of competitors raising their power outputs, and the need to keep engines light and more fuel-efficient, means it has fitted two turbos to its already superb 3.0-litre straight-six.

As a result, the 335i Coupe has 306bhp, a 0-62mph time of 5.5 seconds and will nudge 30mpg if you drive it steadily. If you can. That will be difficult though, as the engine emits a glorious metallic wail as it accelerates.

Factor in quick, precise gearchanges, a well composed ride and accurate and nicely weighted steering and the temptation to go for it will be too great for most people.

The interior is snug and high quality, while there is lots of space in the back – not something that can be said of many coupes, and the boot is the biggest in the class, too.

And at around £35,000 for the auto version, it looks good value, especially up against an equivalent Mercedes-Benz CLK, which is a couple of grand more.

According to CAP, a 335i SE will retain just over 40% of its value after three years/60,000 miles. The more economical, smaller or diesel-engined models do better still, at around the 45% mark. There’s nothing to dislike about this car, and I love the engine. Typical of BMW to ignore turbocharging petrol engines for decades, then ace it as its first attempt.

Expect to see a lot of these blasting down the fast lane in the near future. So many meetings, so much money to make, so little time. Such a great car to synergise those strategies, do the deal and kick the competition in.

Max power (bhp/rpm): 306/5,800
Max torque (lb-ft/rpm): 295/1,300
Max speed (mph): 155 (limited)
0-62mph (secs): 5.5
Fuel consumption (mpg): 29.7
CO2 emissions (g/km): 228
On sale:Now
Price (OTR): £35,010

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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